Skip to main content

tv   News Nation  MSNBC  March 4, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST

8:00 am
in just two weeks. when your skin is luminous, so are you. new regenerist luminous. from olay. your best beautiful. good morning, everyone, i'm tamron hall, and this is "news nation." we are following major developments today in the volatile crisis in crukraine. russian president vladimir putin spoke a few hours ago, and breaking news, john kerry will speak in about 15 minutes. kerry is in ukraine's capital of kiev. the secretary also visited independence square, which had been the center of protests and where a huge memorial has now been erected to those killed before president yanukovych was ousted. we'll bring you secretary kerry's remarks live when he starts. again, that's in about 15
8:01 am
minutes from now. meantime, speaking publicly for the first time since the ukraine crisis boiled over, president putin accused the west of encouraging a, quote, unconstitutional coup in ukraine and said russia reserves the right to use military force as a, quote, last resort. however, these images, obviously, are stirring. russian troops, who had taken control of a ukrainian air base in crimea fired warning shots as ukraine soldiers approached. all this as we said with secretary of state john kerry now in ukraine in a show of support. nbc news chief fortunate affairs correspondent andrea mitchell joins us now by phone in kiev. andrea, do we have a preview of what we might hear from secretary kerry? >> well, secretary kerry, we're in the motorcade right now with him heading to a news conference at the u.s. embassy.
8:02 am
he's just met with all the leaders, acting leaders, here and tried to encourage them with an offer of $1 billion in loan guarantees to help offset expected increases in energy costs coming from russia, as russia continues to try to squeeze them. there's a lot of interest in his reaction to what vladimir putin said. he would have gotten a readout by now, but has been on a pretty busy schedule, the emotional trip through the square, where he lit a candle and visited the shrine to those who fell to snipers' bullets, so he didn't see it himself, we were on the plane overnight flying when putin was speaking, but contrary to all of the u.s. pressure for him to take the off-ramp and exit -- >> we've, obviously, lost our connection to andrea mitchell, but, of course, we'll have the very latest information she brings to us, again, in about 15 minutes, we will hear from secretary kerry. meanwhile, let me bring in nbc's
8:03 am
ian williams, also in the ukrainian capital of kiev and what's happening on the ground there, in particular the crimea region. ian, what is the latest you are seeing? >> reporter: hi, tamron. well, just to pick up from what andrea was saying, it's going to be interesting to see what kerry has to say, how he reacts to that putin press conference. it was a bit of a rambling press conference, to be honest, and pretty combative, as well, talking about a illegitimate government here, a coup, and the right to intervene, as he said that was a last resort. he also said in that press conference there have not been a bullet fired, well, that's no longer the case, because we had that extraordinary standoff today in crimea at an air base near where ukrainian members of the ukrainian armed forces who worked at that air base walked unarmed towards the base to be
8:04 am
confronted by russian soldiers who were blockading the base. the russians said they wanted their jobs back, wanted to go to work in the base and the russians fired shots over their heads. it was very tense for awhile, the two commanding officers spoke, the ukrainians demanded that they patrol jointly, and the last information we had is that that standoff was continuing, but that is by far the most tense episode we've seen in crimea. also today, hearing of russian ships, apparently, blockading the port, so the russians h s tightening their grip on crimea, and the big fear what may happen next in the russian-speaking parts of east ukraine, tamron. >> also images that were extraordinary to see, secretary kerry there in that square, which had been the center of protests, and to your note and andr andrea mitchell, where there's a
8:05 am
memorial for those killed during the oust of yanukovych, secretary kerry knowing that image would be broadcast through the world, him at the center, if you will, of some of of this at this point. >> that's right, and just two or three weeks ago when i was last in kiev, those barricades were built high with sand bags, ice bags, all sorts of defenses, and now they are covered in flowers, many, many, many flowers and photographs of those who died. a lot of them by sniper bullets during those disturbances just a week or so ago. kerry was surrounded by an absolute scrum of camera people and security officers and well aware those images would be sent around the world. the substance, of course, of what he said today was that the economic support that the u.s. was prepared to provide for ukraine at a time also when the imf is here, because the economy
8:06 am
here is in a terrible state and everyone is aware that the russians can't probably, will tighten the economic screws. we've already seen a hint of that today with the suggestion that gas prices are going to be going up, so a very important gesture by kerry, whose visit here is under very, very close attention, tamron. >> ian williams, thank you very much. now let's get the latest from chuck todd. to pick up on where ian picked off, the economy, economic instability, i'm looking here, the dow is now up 202 points, we're not seeing the rattles, at least today on wall street, but we know what impact a global crisis will have, not just on the economy in russia, but certainly here in the u.s. and throughout the world. >> well, that's right. that's why the white house has quickly been reaching out to congress to make sure there's enough support for this $1 billion in guarantees to ukraine. what's unclear, does the obama
8:07 am
administrationened up asking for more money from congress for ukraine if the imf, you know, the goal is to have enough money coming from the west, coming from the western allies for ukraine, that it replaces the lost money that they were going to be getting from the russians. but tamron, one other -- sometimes it's news when the white house reacts to something, and sometimes it's news when they have nothing to say. and there has been, andrea and i have been trading notes about this, there has been radio silence from the administration in the last few hours in directly responding to what putin did and what he said at his press conference, almost as if they are trying to wait for kerry to finish his meetings in ukraine before fully reacting, but they are being careful not to overreact, they don't want to come out and say we're glad to see that he's backed off, almost letting putin's words set out there, almost realizing putin,
8:08 am
in their minds, what they are trying to say is putin doesn't have a plan b. he acted emotionally, they believe that's his reaction to this and he doesn't have a plan b right now and they almost want to not react as if to let putin sort of sit out there on his own. >> we know the president met with his national security council for about two hours last night, which included secretary kerry before he left. i want to play, though, what the president said yesterday, chuck todd, as you note today there's been silence. let's play it. >> what cannot be done is for russia with impunity to put its soldiers on the ground and violate basic principles that are recognized around the world. and i think the strong condemnation that it's received from countries around the world indicates the degree to which russia's on the wrong side of history on this. >> chuck, your point is there are many who are waiting to see
8:09 am
what putin's plan b will be, critics of the president are wondering if his plan a or b is effective. there are talks of sanctions or other measures that were in the bush years, as well, but what's intriguing to me, chuck, is this conversation the president had with angela merkel, who gave some color, if you will, on putin's demeanor and what her insight is after talking with him. >> right, merkel basically questioned putin's state of mind and having that come from merkel is actually pretty important for the white house, you know, part of their challenge here in responding to putin is there's only so much the united states can do on their own, in this case, because putin, to be blunt, has bought a lot of european allies financially. there's too much of europe's economy tied into dealings with russia, both having to do with their financial system, but more importantly, with energy contracts, so this is what makes
8:10 am
punishing putin in a way, and punishments they are talking about are all mostly economic, though there are some symbolic political punishments, essentially kicking russia out of the g-8, but putin would shrug his shoulders on that one. you could hit him on the wallet, but it would require a lot of corporation from europe, and from what i understand, that has been a struggle for the obama administration to get europe on the same page on this. >> chuck todd, thank you very much. greatly appreciate you joining me. let's now bring in senior national security correspondent "the washington post," also associate professor for russian soviet and eastern history at university of california. let me start with you here, chuck noting we have not heard anything from the white house, perhaps a strategy of waiting to see what comes out of meetings secretary kerry has, and we're awaiting an update from his team in about ten minutes. do you think that's the strategy
8:11 am
here? >> i think kerry will respond, but it's important to note what putin said today, calling this a coup, saying that the pro-russian elected government is still the legitimate government in ukraine, saying that, insisting, that there had not been additional russian troops sent to ukraine. this was all said by his ambassador at the united nations in several meetings of the security council over the past several days, and there's been a really nasty sort of tit for tat exchange between the russian ambassador and samantha power, the u.s. ambassador, where he's made all those allegations, and, obviously, it's important when putin comes out as the head of the country and says the same thing. i think kerry will try to express disbelief about this, but return to what the united states wants, which is for russia to allow international monitors to come in and verify
8:12 am
whether there is or is not a series of attacks going on against russians in crimea, which the united states and its friends definitely say there is not. i think that's perhaps what merkel was talking about after her conversation with putin that he seems to have an idea of the facts on the ground, or at least he purports to have idea of the facts or not ground that don't comport with the reality everyone else is seeing there. >> let me bring you in, because the facts on the ground, reading notes from you yesterday, and i think people should focus on the details, 59% of crimea's population is russian. yesterday on the nightly news, i want to play a snippet of just what our reporter was able to capture, at least in a second of some of the tone there. let's play that. >> they want to be back with russia. >> everyone is russia, and the crimea was russian before, so this is russia territory.
8:13 am
>> should not be lost that you hear that young man, this is not an older person, a young man saying this is russia territory. >> yes. crimea is part of ukraine only by vir stattue of a historical accident. in fact, crimea was given to ukraine in 1954 as a anniversary president to mark the 300th anniversary of the alliance between ukraine and russia. and as a consequence of that, crimeans are overwhelmingly russian, about 60%. now i should point out that among the other 40%, there are not only ukrainiaukrainians, bu tartars who have been in recent years returning from central asia, where they were reported under stalin to their former homes in crimea. and these people, the tatars
8:14 am
tend to associate russian power with soviet power, so they have been -- they have allied themselves with the new government in kiev. >> and you make what i also think is a very interesting note that this notion or the perception of russian power, karen touched on this, as well, secretary kerry, amongst his first remarks were putin had the glow of sochi and chosen at this point to dmish that. and now days later he's saying he does not want to use military force, but it is on the table here. with all the talks of sanctions, in your expertise, steven, what do you believe would have significant play or movement to bring putin to the table of compromise, if that is even the appropriate word? >> well, i am a pessimist, i'm afraid. i see no scenario under which crimea reverts to the status
8:15 am
quo. it's simply crimea will either become independent or it will be formally annexed by the russian federation. of course, there are elections later this month in crimea on march 25th, and the results of those elections, i think, are probably a foregone conclusion that most crimeans will vote to leave russia. they have already voted in that manner twice since 1991. >> just quickly, karen, the idea of buying of influence, you heard chuck todd present the score, if you will, on what the u.s. might give to have influence in crimea, in ukraine, and what putin has been willing to do, which was initially the part of why this all kind of deteriorated so rapidly, the fear that russia would not have that ability to buy the influence there. >> well, i think that as you saw with this $1 billion loan guarantee that kerry has
8:16 am
proposed, the americans are trying to stabilize the ukrainian economy, because as others have pointed out, it is definitely under the thumb of russia, but the united states and certainly europe, do not want to be responsible for the ukrainian economy. i think that's a big part of, in addition to the investments why the europeans have been a little more hesitant about all of this than perhaps the united states has been, and that's why they want the imf in there quickly. they want a substantiative imf deal, they don't want to be holding this particular basket case. >> karen deyoung, kevin, thank you both for your time. reminder, we're awaiting this news conference with secretary kerry. within the hour, as well, president obama will unveil his next budget in washington that could help democrats in the mid term elections, just as congress
8:17 am
officially kicks off the 2014 election season. we'll have a live report. plus, oscar pistorius murder trial with both pistorius and a witness breaking into tears, this as the mother of reeva steenkamp breaks out in an exclusive interview. >> it doesn't matter to me what happens to oscar, because my daughter is never coming back. >> we'll have the very latest live for you. and, the woman sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot could now have her sentence tripled under florida law. she now faces 60 years, but developing today, there's new legislation being considered that would grant immunity in cases of self defense. you can join our conversation on twitter. find me @tamronhall and my team @newsnation. hungry for the best? it's eb. want to give your family the very best in taste, freshness, and nutrition?
8:18 am
it's eb. want to give them more vitamins, omega 3s, and less saturated fat? it's eb. eggland's best eggs. eb's. the only eggs that make better taste and better nutrition... easy. eggland's best eggs. better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. it's eb. better eggs. olet's say you pay your tguy around 2 percent to manage your money. that's not much, you think except it's 2 percent every year. does that make a difference? search "cost of financial advisors" ouch! over time it really adds up. then go to e*trade and find out how much our advice costs. spoiler alert. it's low. really? yes, really. e*trade offers investment advice and guidance from dedicated professional financial consultants. it's guidance on your terms not ours that's how our system works. e*trade. less for us, more for you.
8:19 am
8:20 am
8:21 am
these are live pictures from ukraine, where we are waiting new comments from secretary of state john kerry, who is on the ground in kiev, we'll bring you the very latest. this will be secretary kerry's first news conference since arriving and first comments since vladimir putin's marks earlier today. meanwhile, day two of oscar pistorius's murder trial wrapped up just a few hours ago, and while the victim's mother speaks out for the first time. in a contentious back and forth on the stand, michelle berger, a neighbor who lives less than 600 feet from pistorius, continued her testimony from yesterday. the defense repeatedly tried to find holes in her story and at one point asked her the same question no fewer than eight
8:22 am
time times. she broke down in tears. her testimony was she clearly heard a woman screaming, following gunshots. meantime, reeva steenkamp's mother speaks out about what it was like to face her daughter's killer for the first time. june steenkamp was in court yesterday because she said she needed oscar pistorius to see her. instead, she says he never looked her way in an exclusive interview on the "today" show. she also said she can forgive pistorius. >> it's actually important to forgive him for me, because i don't want to live with bitterness in my life. it's not going to matter anything to me whatever happens to him, because she's not coming back, and it's not going to change anything as far as that goes, and that's the most important thing in my life, is trying to live without her now. it's not going to help me. i don't wish him any harm. i just want the truth.
8:23 am
>> joining me now live from p pretoria is aman mohyeldin. she said it was clear it was a male voice after attorneys representatives said this high pitch could have been oscar pistorius. what's the very latest there today? >> reporter: tamron, it was a day of both drama and emotion. first that drama, this individual witness, michelle berger, her identity was revealed and that angered the prosecution and the judge, who issued a very stern warning to the media here not to violate a previous order that was imposed on journalists not to show the faces of witnesses that are testifying. in this particular case, this witness was one of the major witnesses of the prosecution. she was a very important one, as they try to establish a timeline, a timeline that they say involves an argument or at least neighbors hearing an argument according to michelle berger. she gave a very heated -- she
8:24 am
had a very heated exchange with the defense attorney, who at the end of it all, broke down. here's what she said. >> your emotions at the time of the making a statement, how did you experience it? >> it was quite -- >> quite what? >> raw, the emotion. never heard a shot before. the shots. >> how did you express your emotions when the captain took your statement? >> i told him everything i heard. and then i said to him, it's very difficult for me. when i'm in the shower, i heard shots. >> you said to him when you were in the shower, you heard the shots. >> terrifying screams. >> now we've moved on to two other neighbors that lived in the same or adjacent compound. the prosecution is trying to use the testimonies of these witnesses to establish there was a argument of some sort, perhaps some yelling of some sorts that would suggest this was an
8:25 am
intentional killing, that it was not simply a case of mistaken identity, as the defense claims, that oscar pistorius knew who was in that bathroom when he opened fire on the door, killing reeva steenkamp. we are expecting the continuation of the prosecution's witnesses tomorrow, with more witnesses testifying to similar accounts before they move into the forensic part of the case. it is expected to last several weeks. tamron? >> thank you very much, aman mohyeldin live in pretoriapreto. we are waiting for secretary john kerry to speak to reporters in kiev and will bring you the latest developments live as soon as it begins. we'll be right back. [ garner ] there's a lot of beautiful makeup out there,
8:26 am
but one is so clever that your skin looks better even after you take it off. neutrogena healthy skin liquid makeup. 98% saw improved skin. does your makeup do that? neutrogena® cosmetics.
8:27 am
8:28 am
we want to take you to ukraine. let's listen in. >> under former president yanukovych, one woman, who pleadingly said how poor they were, how rich lived well and how those in power took the money and how they were left behind, and particularly, one man who told me he had recently traveled to australia and he had come back here, but he came back determined to be able to live as he had seen other people live in other parts of the world. so, it was very moving, and it gave me a deep personal sense of how closely linked the people of ukraine are to not just americans, but to people all across the world, who today are asking for their rights, asking for the privilege to be able to
8:29 am
live, defining their own nation, defining their futures. that's what this is about. the united states extends our deepest condolences to those whose grief is still very fresh, and those who lost loved ones, who bravely battled against snipers on rooftops and people armed against them with weapons they never dreamt of having. these brave ukrainians took to the streets in order to stand peacefully against tyranny and to demand democracy. so instead, they were met with snipers, who picked them off one after the other, as people of courage notwithstanding the bullets went out to get them, drag them to safety, give them comfort, expose themselves. they raised their voices for dignity and for freedom, but what they stood for so bravely,
8:30 am
i say with full conviction, will never be stolen by bullets or by invasions, it cannot be silenced by thugs from rooftops. it is universal. it's unmistakable, and it's called freedom. so today in another part of this country, we're in a new phase of the struggle for freedom, and the united states reaffirms our commitment to ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to international law. we condemn the russian federation's act of aggression, and we have throughout this moment evidence of a great transformation taking place, and in that transformation, we will stand with the people of ukraine.
8:31 am
today, ukrainians are demanding a government with the consent of the people, and i have to say, that we all greatly admire the restraint that the transitional government has shown, as it makes this transition. they have shown restraint, despite an invasion of ukrainian homeland and the russian government that has chosen aggression and intimidation as a first resort. the contrast really could not be clearer, determined ukrainians demonstrating strength through unity and the russian government out of excuses, hiding its hand behind falsehoods, intimidation, and provocations, in the hearts of ukrainians and the eyes of
8:32 am
the world, there is nothing strong about what russia is doing, so it's time to set the record straight, the russian government would have you believe it was the opposition who failed to implement the february 21st agreement that called for a peaceful transition, ignoring the reality that it was yanukovych who, when history came calling, when his country was in need, when this city was the place where the action was, where the leaders of the nation were gathered and ordered to decide the future, he broke his obligation to sign that agreement, and he fled into the night with his possessions destroying papers behind him. he abandoned his people, and eventually his country. the russian government would have you believe that the ukraine government somehow is
8:33 am
illegitimate, or led by extremists, ignoring the reality that the rada representing the people of ukraine, the elected representatives of the people of ukraine, they overwhelmingly approve the new government, even with members of yanukovych's party deserting him and voting overwhelmingly in order to approve this new government. it was thanks in part to the votes of yanukovych's own party that the future of ukraine changed, and today, the rata is the most representative institution in ukraine. the russian government would also have you believe that the calm and friendly streets, one of which i walked down, but many of which i just drove through, that somehow these streets of kiev are actually dangerous,
8:34 am
ignoring the reality that there has been no surge in crime, no surge in looting, no political retribution here. the russian government would have you believe against all the evidence that there have been mass defections of ukrainians to russia or there have been mass attacks on churches in eastern ukraine. that hasn't happened either. they would have you believe that ethnic russians and russian invasions are threatened. they'd have you believe that kiev is trying to destabilize crimea, or that russian actions are legal or legitimate because crimean leaders invited intervention, and as everybody knows, the soldiers in crimea at the instruction of their government, have stood their ground, but never fired a shot, never issued one provocation, have been surrounded by an
8:35 am
invading group of troops, and have seen an individual who got 3% of the vote installed as the so-called leader by the russians. they would have you believe that kiev is trying to destabilize crimea, or that somehow russian leaders invited intervention, not a single piece of credible evidence supports any one of these claims, none. and the larger point is really this, it is diplomacy and respect for sovereignty, not unilateral force, that can best solve disputes like this in the 21st century.
8:36 am
president obama and i want to make it clear to russia and to everybody in the world that we are not seeking confrontation. there's a better way for russia to pursue its legitimate interests in ukraine. if you were legitimately worried about some of your citizens, then go to the government, talk to them about it, go to the u.n., raise the issue in the security council, go to the osce, raise it in one of the human rights organizations. there are countless outlets that an organized structured decent world has struggled to put together to resolve these differences so we don't see a nation unilaterally invade another nation. there's a better way for russia to pursue its legitimate interests in ukraine. russia can choose to comply with international law and honor its
8:37 am
commitments under the helsinki final act under the united nations charter. if it wants to help protect ethnic russians, as it purports to, and if they were threatened, we would support efforts to protect them, as would, i am told, the government of ukraine. but if they want to do that, russia could work with the legitimate government of ukraine, which it has pledged to do. it cannot only permit, but must encourage international monitors to deploy throughout ukraine. these are the people who could actually identify legitimate threats, and we are asking, together with the government of ukraine, together with the european community, for large numbers of observers to be able to come in here and monitor the situation and be the arbiters of truth versus fiction.
8:38 am
russia, if it wanted to help deescalate the situation, could return its troops to the barracks, live by the 1997 base agreement, and deescalate, rather than expand, their invasion. now, we would prefer that. i come here today at the instruction of president obama to make it absolutely clear the united states of america would prefer to see this deescalated. we would prefer to see this managed through the structures of legal institutions, international institutions that we've worked many years in order to be able to deal with this kind of crisis. but if russia does not choose to deescalate, if it is not willing to work directly with the government of ukraine, as we hoped they will be, then our partners will have absolutely no choice but to join us to
8:39 am
continue to expand upon steps we have taken in recent days in order to isolate russia politically, diplomatically, and economically. i would emphasize to the leaders of russia, this is not something we are seeking to do, this is something russia's choices may force us to do. so far, we have suspended participation in the preparations for the sochi g-8 summit. we have suspended military contacts, and we have suspended bilateral economic dialogue, and we are prepared to take further steps if russia does not return its forces to the barracks and engage in a legitimate policy of deescalation. at the same time, the united states and its partners, our partners, will support ukraine. we will support it as it takes difficult steps to deal with its
8:40 am
economy, and i appreciate the meeting that i just had with the acting president and the prime minister, and other leaders, as we discussed how to strengthen the economy and move rapidly towards free, fair, open elections that can take place very shortly. we are working closely and will continue to work closely with the imf team and with international partners in order to develop an assistance package to help ukraine restore financial stability in the short run and to be able to grow its economy in the long run. i'm pleased to say that this package includes an immediate $1 billion in a loan guarantee to support ukraine's recovery, and we are currently working with the treasury department of the united states and with others to lay out a broader, more comprehensive plan. we will provide the best
8:41 am
expertise available to help ukraine's economy and financial institutions, repair themselves, and to work towards these free, fair, fast, inclusive elections. we are also working with the interim government to help combat corruption and to recover stolen assets, and we are helping ukraine to cope with russia's politically motivated trade practices, whether it's manipulating the energy supply or banning the best chocolates made in ukraine. the fact is, this is the 21st century, and we should not see nations step backwards to behave in 19th or 20th century fashion. there are ways to resolve these differences. great nations choose to do that appropriately. the fact is, that we believe
8:42 am
that there are a set of options available to russia and to all of us that could move us down a road of appropriate diplomacy, of appropriate diplomatic engagement. we invite russia to come to that table. we particularly invite russia to engage directly with the government of ukraine, because i am confident they are prepared to help work through these issues in a thoughtful way. i'm very proud to be here in ukraine. like so many americans and other people around the world, we've watched with extraordinary awe, the power of individuals unarmed, except with ideas, people with beliefs and principles and values, who have reached for freedom, for equality, for opportunity. there's nothing more important in this world. that is what drives change in so many parts of the world today.
8:43 am
it's really partly why the world is in such a state of transformation in so many different places at the same time, because we're all connected. we all understand what other people are doing and the choices they have and the lives they get to lead, and all over the world, young people are saying, we do not want to be deprived of those opportunities. that's what this is about, and it is about all those who value democracy and who support the opportunity for this country to join the legions of others who want to practice it. the united states will stand by the ukrainian people as they build the strong, sovereign, and democratic country that they deserve, and that their countrymen and women just so recently gave their lives in extraordinarily courageous acts in order to ensure for the future. we must also step up and answer their call.
8:44 am
happy to take some questions. >> thank you, first question from andrea mitchell, nbc. there's a microphone coming. >> thank you very much. mr. secretary, u.s. officials have been saying that vladimir putin will be isolated by his actions, yet today he seemed defiant, speaking for an hour, taking questions, he said, among other things, that russia reserves the right to take any action to use any means, obviously, military means. he described events here as an unconstitutional coup. he denied that there were any russian troops in crimea occupying crimea. he blamed the crisis on united states interference, saying the u.s. -- >> he really denied there were troops in crimea? >> yes, he did. he also blamed the crisis on the united states saying that the united states was acting as though it were conducting an experiment across the ocean on lab animals, on rats, here, and
8:45 am
he showed no sign of being ready to step down, step down or deescalate the military presence in crimea. there have been fire -- shots fired today, there's the presence reported of naval -- of russian ships along between ukraine and crimea, so with all of that, how has the u.s. pressure worked against putin, what is your reaction to his assertions? and also, while you were here, you met with many leaders, you did not meet with -- is she viewed as part of the problem? >> let me answer the first part first, not at all. i thought i might actually bump into her, but i didn't. i had the meetings with the current group that represent the
8:46 am
parties and most likely presidential candidates who i met with a number of them previously, so we continued that conversation, but with respect to president putin's comments, you know, i've spoken as directly to president putin today as i can, to invite him to engage in a legitimate and appropriate dialogue, particularly with the current government of ukraine, knowing that there's an election in 90 days and the people of ukraine will have an opportunity to ratify their future leadership. the fact is that in the eastern part of the country, russia recently tried to get a couple
8:47 am
of city councils to actually pass something asking for russians to come in. and lo and behold -- >> okay, we want to take you right now to president obama. he was holding an event unveiling his budget for 2015. the president now discussing ukraine. let's listen in. >> putin is pausing for a moment and reflecting on what's happened, i think that we've all seen that from the perspective of the european union, the united states, allies like canada and japan, and allies and friends and partners around the world, there is a strong belief that russia's action is violating international law. i know president putin seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations, but i don't think that's fooling anybody. i think everybody recognizes that although russia has
8:48 am
legitimate interests in what happens in the neighboring state, that does not give it the right to use force as a means of exerting influence inside of that state. we have said that if, in fact, there is any evidence out there that russian speakers or russian natives or russian internationals are in any way being threatened, there are ways of dealing with that through international mechanisms, and we're prepared to make sure that the rights of all ukrainians are upheld, and, in fact, in conversations we've had with the government in kiev, they have been more than willing to work with the international community and with russia to provide such assurances. so the fact that we are still seeing soldiers out of their barracks in crimea is an indication that which what's happening there is not based on actual concern for russian
8:49 am
nationals or russian speakers inside of ukraine, but is based on russia seeking through force to exert influence on a neighboring country. that is not how international law is supposed to operate. i would also note just, you know, the way that some of this has been reported, that the suggestion somehow that the russian actions have been clever strategically. i actually think that this is not been a sign of strength, but rather is a reflection that countries near russia have deep concerns and suspicions about this kind of meddling, and if anything, it will push many countries further away from russia. there is the ability for ukraine to be a friend of the west and a friend of russia's, as long as
8:50 am
none of us are in -- inside of ukraine trying to meddle and intervene, certainly not militarily, with decisions that properly belong to the to the un people. that's the principle that john kerry is going to be speaking to during his visit. i'll make additional calls today to our key foreign partners and suspect i'll do that all week in through the weekend. but as i indicated yesterday, the course of history is for people to want to be free to make their own decisions about their own futures. the international community i think is unified in believing that it is not the role of an outside force where there's been no evidence of serious violence, where there's been no rational under international law to
8:51 am
intervene and people try to determine their own destiny. so we stand on the side of history that i think more and more people around the world deeply believe in, the principle that a sovereign people and independent people are able to make their own decisions about their own lives. and mr. putin can throw a lot of words out there, but the facts on the ground indicate that right now he's not abiding by that principle. there is still the opportunity for russia to do so, working with the international community to help stabilize the situation. we've sent a clear message that we are prepared to work with anybody if their genuine interest is making sure that ukraine is able to govern itself. and as i indicated before and something that i think has not been emphasized enough, they are currently scheduled to have elections in may.
8:52 am
and everybody in the international community should be invested in making sure that the economic deterioration that's happened in the ukraine stops but also that these elections proceed in a fair and freeway in which all ukrainians, including russian speakers inside of ukraine are able to express their choice of who should lead them. and if we have a strong robust legitimate election, then there shouldn't be any question as to whether the ukrainian people are governed themselves without the kinds of outside interference that we see russia exerting. >> thank you very much, everybody. >> a brief remark from president obama following the unveiling of his budget at elementary school in washington, d.c. we were also listening to secretary of state john kerry on the ground in kiev in ukraine. let me bring in peter alexander
8:53 am
and mark murray is standing by. peter, are you there? >> reporter: i am. >> this is the first remarks following vladimir putin's comments this morning. the president saying there is still an opportunity to stabilize the situation but as our own andrea mitchell noted in her question to secretary of state john kerry, putin is not even prepared to admit that russian troops are in crimea despite the video and overwhelming proof that that is the case. >> reporter: we heard back to back messages from american leaders for secretary of state john kerry and then president obama himself. i think you could say that secretary of state kerry basically gave a point by point rebuttal of exactly what we heard earlier today from vladimir putin. there had been basically radio silence from administration officials over the course of this day since putin himself spoke. this is probably why. the white house administration was waiting for the message to
8:54 am
be delivered clearly on the ukrainian soil by john kerry. he accused the russian government of hiding behind in his language and i took notes, behind falsehood intimidation and provocation. there's not a single piece of credible evidence supporting russian's claims right now. the president himself, president obama, echoing that point as well, basically saying that vladimir putin is listening to a different set of lawyers giving him different advice. clearly the issue, the scene on the ground is very different in the eyes of america than the reality that vladimir putin is trying to present. >> and the realty is different from headlines, peter that try to put this as a u.s. versus russia issue. the president will speak with other world leaders who are key in bringing this to some sort of resolution. >> obviously in terms of a resolution we heard from john
8:55 am
kerry as well reiterating that idea of an off ramp, a desire as president obama also indicated to have intr national monitors come in so they can oversee and reassure the rights of the russian speaking ukrainians in crimea and elsewhere what may as vladimir putin suggests be under attack. the white house, john kerry and president obama both camed that that is not the case. but the desire as the president indicated, a deescalation and john kerry's words, we are not seeking confrontation at this point. and i think though this was just such a contrast to the language we've heard in recent days because the trip by secretary kerry was not just symbolic. it was also tangible by with being on the ground and talking about the aid and loan guarantees to ukraine and going to the site where so many lives were lost a matter of days ago. >> a lot of breaking news we followed this hour.
8:56 am
that does it for this edition of "news nation." my colleague, andrea mitchell is up next. we'll have the very latest on the situation in ukraine as well as the battle of the president's budget. ill running in the morning? yeah. getting your vegetables every day? when i can. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. two full servings of vegetables for only 50 delicious calories. this is mike. his long race day starts with back pain... ...and a choice. take 4 advil in a day which is 2 aleve... ...for all day relief. "start your engines" their type 2 diabetes... ...with non-insulin victoza. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar, but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza. he said victoza works differently than pills, and it comes in a pen.
8:57 am
and the needle is thin. victoza is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. it is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes and should not be used in people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. victoza has not been studied with mealtime insulin. victoza is not insulin. do not take victoza if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza or any of its ingredients. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat, fainting or dizziness, very rapid heartbeat, problems breathing or swallowing, severe rash or itching. tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck. serious side effects may happen in people who take victoza including inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
8:58 am
which may be fatal. stop taking victoza and call your doctor right away if you have signs of pancreatitis, such as severe pain that will not go away in your abdomen or from your abdomen to your back, with or without vomiting. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you have any medical conditions. taking victoza with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. the most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, and headache. some side effects can lead to dehydration, which may cause kidney problems. if your pill isn't giving you the control you need... ask your doctor about non-insulin victoza. it's covered by most health plans.
8:59 am
right now, power play, russian president vladimir putin lives the door open to military might in ukraine. telling reporters that he reserves the right to use force. john kerry is in kiev today in a show of support for the new ukrainian government. >> they raised their voices for dignity and for freedom. but what they stood for so bravely, i say with full conviction, women never be stolen by bullets or by
9:00 am
invasions. it cannot be silenced by thugs from rooftops. it is universal. it is unmistakable and called freedom. >> we'll have a live report from andrea mitchell traveling with the secretary in kiev. primary colors, voters head to the polls in the lone star state. gubernatorial candidate wendy davis is already looking ahead to november and the third wheel in the race, ted nugent. >> we're all responsible for our actions and he has reflected by associating himself with a person like ted nugent, what his values really are. oscar pistorius breaks down in court during day two in the murder trial of his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp. the victim's mother speaks out about seeing the blade runner face to face for first time in court. >> i wanted to see oscar face to face and that he would know that i was there.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on