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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  April 22, 2021 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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>> all right, nicholas johnston, thanks, very much, my friend for being here. i want to underscore something we talked about a little bit earlier. senator tim scott suggesting some optimism that there could be a compromise on police reform. that is something to watch and a sign of hope for advocates who are hoping for real systemic changes. thank you so much for getting up way too early with us on this thursday morning. don't go anywhere. "morning joe" starts right now. >> this week in covid history. it's mid-april, 2020, and nobody knows what to believe. >> first, there were 2.2 million who were supposed to die in the united states and then it was a 1 million. then it was 500,000. the models, folks, are just plain wrong. >> yeah, no way 500,000 americans will die of covid. especially not with president trump's new plan. >> sun, sunlight, heat. heat, heat and sun. heat and light.
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very powerful light. >> what a bright idea. how would we use this light? >> supposing you brought the light inside the body. either through the skin or some other way. sounds interesting. >> interesting and genius. what else? >> i see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning. that would be interesting to check that. >> she looks like she could use a glass of bleach right about now. the media spreads word of the president's ban, but it turns out the president was just pulling our leg. >> i was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you, just to see what would happen. >> classic, had me going. even his "fox & friends" were confused. >> it didn't seem like it was coming off as sarcastic. >> either way, it's important we end this mess soon or else. >> if we don't get this economy going again, that man could become president of the united states. now, that is far more terrifying than any coronavirus. >> that's a bunch of malarkey!
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>> this has been "this week in covid history." >> i don't even know where to begin. it's so funny. >> it is. >> and all the -- okay. good morning and welcome. >> whoa, whoa, whoa, it's funny, and yet if you look at it more closely -- >> i know. >> it's kind of educational. >> no, it's -- >> willie, when you had donald trump talking about the lights and the bleach, i for a second was thinking, this is probably how jonas salk when he was trying to figure out how to get that vaccine for polio, that's probably the process. he probably went through a process like that. sitting there thinking, wow, this is not only funny, but if we're not careful, we might just learn something here. >> yeah, a little-known fact about history, and i know you know this, joe, but jonas sauk attempted again and again to
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inject light into people's bodies, in different places, repeatedly, and ultimately ended up with the polio vaccine. so laugh if you will, but there's no polio because of it. >> yeah, okay. no parallel. >> who's laughing now? >> i wasn't laughing then and i'm not laughing now. >> in our audience, nobody's laughing now. they're like, get to the news. >> good morning. welcome to "morning joe." it's thursday, april 22nd. did you guys know it's earth day. i love that. we have a lot -- >> willie, do you remember our first earth day? >> how could i forget? >> i'm really sorry i asked. >> yeah. >> we kind of confused what earth day meant. it was a couple of months in the slammer, but still, we celebrated it in our own special way. >> along with joe, willie, and me, we have pulitzer prize-winning columnist and associate editor of "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson with us. and white house editor for
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politico, sam stein joins us this morning. so, everybody -- >> can i ask sam a question. what's your prep school doing for earth day today? y'all cutting out collages and going on to the green? >> he's at dartmouth now. >> am i contractually obligated to answer this question or can i ignore it? >> no, not at all. you don't have to answer anything you don't want to. >> only 12 years of prep school at this point. >> i tried to put you in college. go, big green. >> all right, guess what, everybody. americans have now received 200 million covid-19 vaccinations. >> hear, hear. >> since president biden's took office, reaching the administration's first 100 day goal and more than doubling the initial goal of 100 million shots. biden announced the milestone
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yesterday ahead of his 100-day next week saying that by today, 80% of those other 65 will have had at least one shot. that's incredible news. >> it is incredible news. and gene robinson, you look at how america is doing so much better on the world stage than anybody else. we need to go back and we need to actually talk about that man that we were having a laugh at, at his expense. and you really do, you look at the combined efforts of what happened during the trump administration, on the development of the vaccines, on the selecting of the proper vaccines, and they obviously did a very good job at that. and then, you go and you look at what biden was able to do, that donald trump just wasn't able to do. because he never had an infrastructure around him, by his choosing, that knew how to effectively run a government. to do these sort of operations. he never wanted to nationalize this effort.
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and so trump and his team made the right choices on vaccines and now we have a president who actually knows how to basically handle the logistics to get it out to 200 million people. we're ahead of the world and maybe this is one time where we stop and both sides look at each other and go, okay. did a pretty damned good job. >> yeah, no, the vaccines are really a miracle, if you think about it. if you think about just, you know, in the span of mere months, we went from 0 to 200 million. and that says a lot. it was -- it was smart of the trump administration to launch operation warp speed and the most critical part of that, i mean, there was up-front money to some of the drug companies for development, but i think the most critical part was the commitment to buy millions and millions and millions of doses
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of the vaccine, thus incentivizing the speed and volume with which the vaccine makers could set up. and then the absolute miracle is this new mrna process that allowed the development of the pfizer and moderna vaccines, which are ridiculously effective. you don't get vaccines that are, you know, 100% effective against death when you're talking about a deadly virus. you just don't get that. and this new process is a modern miracle that could not only change medicine, but certainly gives us a powerful new tool in the arsenal. and then, yes, the biden administration is full of people who actually know how to make government work and the -- which
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levers to push and what to pull and how to get massive numbers of doses into arms in a ridiculously fast way. so, yes, we are -- i mean, you know, israel is ahead of us, but we are ahead of the rest of the world in an impressive way. and so we should pat ourselves on the back for that. >> yeah, we really should. and willie, you go back. i certainly don't want to belabor the point, because i don't want to make a lot of people that watch this show and don't want to hear anything positive about donald trump spit their cereal into the television set. but you go back to june of 2020, and they selected j&j. they selected pfizer. they selected merck. they selected az. and they selected moderna. and i remember when they selected moderna, like, who?
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it was a smaller company. and that was in june of 2020. if you look at what -- so virtual, the selections, we selected, much better, the trump administration selected much better than europe, obviously. and then you look at what those companies did from june forward to the end of the year, come on. this is ridiculous. it's a miracle. got everything in place, the trump administration was just, again, they said, we don't know how to do this, states, you handle it. biden comes in, he nationalizes it. we're up to 200 million. it's just really -- >> joe biden was preparing before he started during the campaign, even. >> right, so they were preparing the logistics side of it, which even i think most donald trump supporters would say, trump was not good with logistics. he was not good with nationalizing this. he didn't know how to nationalize it. he didn't have the team to nationalize it. but again, you look at the selection process, trump
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administration selected the right companies. obviously, a lot of countries across the world did not. then doubled down, as gene said, bought a lot of the vaccines. and then these companies just went -- it's unbelievable at the warp speed that they went at. and then biden came in and figured out how to get it across -- i mean, we're doing so much better than europe right now. we're doing so much better than almost every other country across the world. it's a real change in what we were seeing a year ago on just about every other metrics. in all the metrics. >> no question about it, this is historic. and there will be books written about it. i know there are already documentaries being made about how quickly this vaccine was researched, developed, and produced and distributed. and you're right, it's not a political statement to say that operation warp speed set this in motion, was an effective piece of the process. that's what public health experts say. that's what the ceos of these
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pharmaceutical companies say, that the trump administration got out of the way, effectively, and let them do their jobs. and of course, the biden administration came in and put its foot on the gas and got these produced and distributed incredibly quickly. now we've got more than 50% of adults in this country are vaccinated. that's a big number, but there's a bunch of the country that says it's not even going to get the vaccine. that's something we still have to grapple with. but for the moment, we can pause and say, this is an extraordinary achievement by america. it's an extraordinary achievement by the world, that took, yes, a couple of presidential administrations and some geniuses in the world of science and medicine. let's turn to minneapolis now. less than 24 hours after a jury convicted former police officer derek chauvin in the death of george floyd, the justice department has opened a civil rights investigation no determine whether the city's law enforcement officers engaged in a pattern of practice of policing that violates the constitution or federal civil rights laws. here is attorney general merrick
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garland yesterday, announcing that investigation. >> yesterday's verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in minneapolis. the investigation i am announcing today will assess whether the minneapolis police department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests. the investigation will also assess whether the mpd engages in discriminatory conduct and whether its treatment of those with behavioral health disabilities is unlawful. i strongly believe that good officers do not want to work in systems that allow bad practices. good officers welcome accountability, because accountability is an essential part of building trust with the community and public safety requires public trust. >> the civil investigation will include a comprehensive review
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of the minneapolis police policies, training, supervision, and use of force investigations. it will use both community and police input to make findings and recommendations for change. the justice department also has a separate criminal investigation into george floyd's death, mika. >> former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin is now in a 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement after being led out of court in handcuffs on tuesday following his conviction for the murder of george floyd. the 45-year-old faces 40 years in prison for kneeling on floyd's neck for nine and a half minutes. a spokesperson for the maximum security facility says chauvin is being kept in an isolated wing for his own safety. >> gene, you know, it's been, the past several days, tv
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pundits and some politicians have gotten cred. the best way to get cred with the far left is to say, oh, this meant nothing. this was not a victory. in fact, this was a defeat! this is horrible! this is -- i mean, it just, it denies the fact actually how quickly the jury was out and how quickly they came back in. denies the fact that law enforcement officers testified against another law enforcement officer in a way that i believe is historic in these type of high-profile cases. but i thought that your -- i thought that your op-ed, i was very moved by it. i was very moved by your op-ed coming into this, because i was very nervous that there might not be a guilty verdict. and you wrote -- though the experience was so much more personal, i still felt like you were kind of writing my concerns which is, you know, telling the
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media, stop saying this is a done deal. this may not be a done deal. and then what you wrote a couple of days ago, i thought was beautiful. which is, you know what, this shouldn't feel like a victory. this should be obvious to everybody that this was going to happen. but it wasn't obvious. so, yes, it does kind of feel like a victory. talk about your emotions, as you were going through this and what you wrote about in "the post" so movingly yesterday. >> well, you know, look at the case itself, the murder itself, you know, 9 minutes and 29 seconds, caught on video, from multiple angles, the most striking being the angle filmed by darnella fraser, the passerby who had the presence of mind to just hit record. and you know, you think about what would have happened had she not done that.
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you think about what the initial police department's statement about george floyd's death was, which was that, you know, a suspect was taken into custody and was in medical distress and died and no one fired a weapon. that is what they said. that is how they described it. and then, you know, i thought of all the times before when police officer s used excessive and deadly force against african-americans, especially, and others as well, but those officers were given more than the benefit of the doubt. they were given what amounted to a free pass. and acquitted and you couldn't -- i couldn't get all of that out of my mind. and so even in this most obvious
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of cases, to me, would the jurors see what the rest of us saw so clearly. and so, yes, it feels, it feels like an enormous relief, but also, it does feel like a victory, and really. the question -- i don't think there's any question about that. i think the question going forward is that -- you know, what does this mean for the future? is this a galvanizing sort of watershed moment. is this the equivalent of emmett till's killing and his mother's decision to show that -- to have the open casket, so the world could see what was done to her son. and you know, which had an
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enormous impact on the civil rights struggle. is that this kind of moment, or will it -- or will we look back and say that it didn't initiate that sort of fundamental change that we need? >> and mika, you know, we have -- to talk about how different this is, we unfortunately, gene and i and well, all of us have been talking through what happened with trayvon martin. and what happened to the person who killed him. and we could go through what happened in north charleston, just as sickening a video as you'll ever see. and then what happened on staten island, where i'm not going to say we -- because i can't remember what you all said, but you look at that videotape, and eric garner was murdered. he was murdered.
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we said it in realtime. anybody that looked at it could see, he was murdered. and yet eric and his family didn't get justice. they did not get justice. so, so i feel comfortable hearing people say that justice was, in fact, served the other day. and -- because it was. >> in this case, yes. >> in this case. one case at time, one courtroom at a time, that's how change happens. and it certainly is also happening with merrick garland in d.c., with the announcement he made yesterday, that's a positive announcement as well. but from all of those who said, i knew this was going to happen, they're lying. if they say, i knew he was going to be convicted, they're lying, and you can't trust them, because you can't trust anything they're going to say if they're going to lie to you about that. >> i don't remember one person on this show saying, it's going to be three guilties, 100%,
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hands down. >> no, but they lied afterwards, because they wanted to minimize it. go back and look at what happened to eric garner. look at the fact that he was murdered for simply selling like cigarettes on the street. >> yeah. >> and see that actually, it's okay, it's okay, you can say it, but at least for this week, we took a step forward and at least in this one courtroom, with these 12 jurors, justice was served. and a man who murdered another man in front of the world's eyes, with the entire world watching, was held accountable for their actions. i don't know what you want to call that. i will tell you what we call that here in america. we call that justice. that now needs to be replicated and duplicated. that needs to become the example. that needs to be the rule and
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not the exception. >> and i think it's fair to also say, there's a lot of other work that needs to be done. and fair, but it doesn't take away from what happened in this case. and senator tim scott, the republican point person for police reform, is express optimism that a deal is within reach. the bill, named in george floyd's honor, passed the house in march, but has stalled in the senate due to a lack of republican support. one of the outstanding issues, qualified immunity, which protects officers from being sued. democrats want to eliminate it, but republicans say the move would hurt recruitment. scott proposes allowing lawsuits against police departments instead of individual officers. another sticking point, choke holds. democrats want them banned outright. scott wants to study the issue. democrats also want to prohibit police departments from getting
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unused military gear, but republicans oppose that. arguing not all items are lethal and some are necessary for disaster response. and scott says a deal could be reached within the next week or two. and joe, i mean, this is another hopeful sign. i know that when you get into the weeds of it, it can be very frustrating between democrats and republicans. but the hope is that there will be legislation that comes out of that moment in history. >> and what a wonderful, what a wonderful example we'd set if the deal that was done, that the bipartisanship began with this issue. sam stein, obviously, there's some sticking points there. the military gear. i somehow feel like that can be promised on. the liability and the immunity. maybe they can split that halfway. right now, it seems to me, and it is just my gut, i would love to hear what you think.
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right now, it would seem to me that choke holds would be a sticking point for democrats. democrats, if they want a deal, democrats will have to compromise and they're going to have to give -- i just have a feeling they'd be more willing to give on those other two issues, more so than choke holds. >> my sense is that it's actually the qualified immunity portion of it that's going to be the biggest sticking point, right? the whole idea here is how do you provide more transparency to police forces. and one of the ways you do it is you either have a more activist department of justice, as we're seeing here with merrick garland going and looking at what happened in minneapolis, similar to what eric holder did with baltimore and ferguson, but the other thing is using an opening of the legal avenues for holding police accountable. the tim scott solution of going after whole police departments, i don't know if that's going to be enough to satisfy democrats. it's something in the direction of where they were -- you know, it's more in the direction of
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where they were than just getting rid of the issue entirely. but here is the sticking point. it's, how do you make sure that if police misbehave, if there's police misconduct, you have the mechanisms available to hold those officers accountable. and this does correspond with what we saw. and i think the most important part of the chauvin trial is seeing an officer testify against another officer. and you know, maybe i'm naive. i thought that was the biggest, most important moment of the trial, in that it could provide, potentially, a template or at least a permission structure for officers in the future to call out the bad apples and their horses. there was two ways this could have gone. there could have been immense backlash for those officers testifying against their comrade, or they could say, you made the right call, you did the right thing, you spoke out. that's what happened here. and hopefully it invites other officers to do the same when they see misconduct among their peers, when they see something go awry.
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this is under the rubric of accountability. and that's why confidence immunity will be that sticking point. >> it's worth pointing out, because it's so rare nowadays that you have republicans and democrats working in good faith on this issue. tim scott has been leading the republican side of it in the senate since 2015, i think. and as sam says, it is qualified immunity. republicans say, police officers aren't going to sign up for the job if they know that they can personally be sued for what happens on the job. tim scott says, let people sue the police department rather than the individual officer. so, if they can get around that, there actually is hope that there could be some kind of bipartisan legislation on reform here, but progressives and democrats in the congress say, they don't want this bill to be too watered down by republicans, as it crosses the finish line. >> well, if they want the deal, they're going to compromise. they can pass all the bills they want to pass in the house and make all the progressives as happy as they want to -- that's their right. they're in the majority. but when they go to the senate, they're going to have to figure out, it's a 50/50 senate, and
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i'm just hoping that the men and women of good faith on both sides can figure out a way to come together, because this is such an important issue. and i will say that if instead of suing the individual officers, you use the approach that senator scott is doing, i can tell you, if you're sing entire police departments and they're being sued for millions and millions of dollars, there are a lot of these municipalal ties that will simply have trouble being able to afford that. that will put pressure on the police department, to have more reasonable, more restrained, more rationale approaches to law enforcement. and that will, i think, that tim scott approach actually could create a culture that provides for better policing. and really pushes back at parts
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of a department where you may have some more aggressive, as sam said, bad apples that go at it a certain way. >> all right. still ahead on "morning joe," more than 1,000 people arrested in russia, after unauthorized protests in support of jailed opposition leader, alexei navalny. we're going to have the very latest on the growing unrest there. plus, republican senator john kennedy asks stacey abrams what she disliked about georgia's new voting law. and she doesn't hold back. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. back. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. finding new routes to reach your customers and new ways for them to reach you is what business is all about
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31 past the hour. a live look at the white house, as the sun comes up over washington. a lot to deal with this morning. more than 1,400 protesters were arrested in russia yesterday, according to reuters, for speaking out against the treatment of imprisoned opposition leader alexei navalny. in cities across russia, protesters demanded navalny get access to his own doctors. this comes as close allies say his health is rapidly declining in detention. among those arrested were navalny's spokeswoman, who was reportedly taken into custody at her home hours before protests began. one protester described yesterday's demonstration as a last gasp for a free russia. willie? >> and earlier in the day, russian president vladimir putin delivered a warning to the west in his annual state of the nation address, in which he
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touted russia's nuclear arsenal and warned of a powerful response if any country's crossed russia's red line. these were putin's first public comments since president biden announced new sanctions on russia last week in response to recent cyber attacks against the united states. meanwhile, politico is reporting the u.s. is considering sending missiles and other weapons to ukraine to help to counter russia's growing military presence at its border. this is according to sources briefed on the matter that, of course, the border with ukraine, joe. >> yep. let's bring in right now president of the council of foreign relations, richard haass, whose own world is sort of reeling. his head is reeling right now because he didn't believe at the beginning of this year that it would be the nicks doing well and the yankees in last play. richard, are you going to be able to work through this segment with the yankees losing again last night? >> pithy from you, joe, which i
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know to expect. >> i am glad the knicks are finally winning, my god. yesterday, russia's president, vladimir putin, threatened to west. it seems to me he should be more concerned about what's happening in his own front yard. yesterday, the demonstrations were widespread and the type that we aren't used to seeing in russia. what's going on there? >> yeah, you've got genuine political protests there. people are tired of the regime. a big part of this is covid, joe. the official numbers are russia are about 100,000 dead. but if you look at excess deaths, it's more than 300 or 400,000 people who died. so per capita, russia might be right along with india. the least successful country in the world wrestling with covid. the economy has not done well. it's totally dependent on oil and gas. so, yeah, these are real protests. and it brings you to the question of what they're doing with ukraine. and whether that's a bluff, whether that's a distraction.
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the honest answer is, none of us knows what putin's intentions are, but he's clearly building up his capabilities. you've got these two crisis, one internal for him, and one who's now posing to his neighbor. >> "the washington post's" gene robinson's with us and has a question for you, richard. gene? >> you know, richard, in this combination of crisis, one perhaps invented, for putin, is -- do you have any sense that we may be coming to the end of the putin years in russia, or is he likely to survive all of this and continue as the strongman leader of this nuclear armed but hollow state? >> my guess is that he's got some running room. he still has security forces
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that are willing to do what he do. he's willing to use force at home and abroad with considerable impunity. these regimes are brittle. they're there until the day they're not, but my guess is they're there for quite a while. my question with putin is what comes afterwards? this is a kleptocracy. i think russia faces something of an existential political crisis the day after putin. but i don't know when that day comes. >> the scenes of the navalny supporters in the streets of moscow are extraordinary, but we've seen them before. we've seen protests before in the years of vladimir putin and they've always been suppressed by the regime. is there any reason to think that something different is happening here in russia? >> not yet, willie, as impressive as three turnouts are, these people are stunningly courageous, what they're doing. but the regime is clearly worried about what would happen if navalny becomes a martyr. they don't want him to die in
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prison. my guess is they would prefer him to die in a hospital or simply be out of the way. i'm not sure they thought all of this through. russians are supposedly great chess players. i'm not sure they counted on the hunger strike and the fact he could die. but no, i don't see a tipping point being reached. and what you really need to see is some evidence that the security forces are unwilling to kill or arrest people, and thus far, i haven't seen a sign of that. >> richard, during the obama administration, president obama and those around him kept referring to russia as a regional power, kept denigrating their strength. i mocked, of course, mitt romney, for suggesting that russia was a geopolitical rival of ours. one of the most significant. and i've sensed that that is an attitude that has lingered in the media over the past six, seven years.
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could you just explain to our viewers how russia is more than a regional power. how they have -- vladimir putin has invested in his military. how they have invested in cyber operations in a way that make them far more than a regional power. but when it comes to the united states, whom they see as an enemy, a global menace. >> well, they are. they've got one of the world's two largest nuclear arsenals, a large convention of military, which they're willing to use as we've seen all too often through syria or ukraine. cyber tools as good as anybody. one of the world's great energy powers. but again, this is an incomplete economy. almost totally reliant on oil and gas. russia has less, joe, than 150 million people. that's like 50 or 60 less than pakistan. less than half the population of the united states. less than one-tenth the population of china.
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obviously, the political system lacks legitimacy or the institution. but they're dangerous. they're dangerous. and putin is the embodiment of resentment. he sees russia being badly treated by the world after the end of the cold wa humiliation and he gets up every day and see the biden human rights emphasis, he sees this aimed at him. that's why the speech he gave yesterday is so significant. he's beginning to feel a bit caged, a bit threatened and he's talking about red lines and asymmetric responses. we have to be careful, because he is somewhat cornered now with this domestic crisis. and that's why i'm not as sanguine as some other people that he might not do something to distract, typically because of his predicament. i would watch ukraine. he has capabilities there and we can argue about his intentions all day long, but he clearly has capabilities that are far greater than anything ukraine can put up against them. >> so, richard, if russian
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troops go into ukraine, as they already have, as they went into crimea, as they went into georgia in 2008, american presidents have not responded. george w. bush didn't respond in 2008. barack obama didn't respond in 2014. what does joe biden do in 2021? if he sends even more troops into ukraine? outside of the crimea area. >> well, what we can't and we shouldn't go to ukraine's defense directly. that would be a war. we don't have that kind of commitment. we don't have the capability of the geography, joe. we can perhaps send some more anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to ukraine. one thing we should think about on the sanctions front, which is ironic given that it's earth day, is that there's energy. if the united states were suddenly to restrict some of the restrictions we set on ourselves for oil and gas production, that would bring the price down in the world. that would hurt putin, where it hurts him most, which is on the
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one part of his economy that's still functioning. that's something the administration need to think about. >> richard haas, thank you very much. i'm sure we'll be talking to you once again very soon about this. let's bring in national correspondent at politico, betsy woodruff, who has new reporting this morning on an investigation into new suspected russian attacks on u.s. troops. betsy, what do you have? >> that's right. what we've confirmed is that pentagon officials have briefed the very top members of congress. the gang of eight, which includes speaker pelosi and minority leader mitch mcconnell. what they have told them, as well as members of the senate armed services committee, is that they have reason to believe u.s. troops stationed overseas have been the victims of direct energy attacks and they suspect russia may be responsible for these attacks. directed energy attacks are probably most commonly discussed in the context of u.s. diplomats in cuba and havana, who over the
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last several years have imported very strange, concerning, and debilitating brain issues. lots of pain in some cases, what appears to be a traumatic brain injuries. the way that directed energy attacks work can vary really dramatically. and the tools used to injure people through this technology can be really small and portable. in addition, the symptoms people have when they are attacked this way don't necessarily look the way someone might look if they were injured on the battle battlefield. it's sometimes difficult to tell what exactly is wrong with the victim. so from an intelligence standpoint, that makes this difficult for the pentagon and the u.s. intelligence community to say with total certainty that they know for sure that the russians attacked troops in this way. what we do know is that russians injured u.s. troops in syria last year, when humvees crashed into each other in a scene reminiscent of mad max. and we know that the russians
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have used directed energy weapons in syria, according to one u.s. general who talked about how they've used this type of weaponry for the purposes of damaging u.s. electronic equipment and gps capabilities. what we also know now is that because of what's happened to these u.s. troops, there was enough concern at the senior levels of the pentagon that they briefed the top members of congress about the concerns they had and that they've investigated it. >> sam stein, jump in. >> betsy, fantastic reporting, and my god, what a website you work for. just incredible. >> it's amazing. >> making me blush. >> yeah, well, it's early. i had a question about -- when i read the reporting last night and this morning, which is, do we have any suspicion or knowledge about the motivations here? russia does malignant activities all the time. they mess with us. but why? why go through neuroweaponry
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like this? what is the actual impetus that they have here in doing this? is it just pure provocation or is there something more to it? >> what we know about russia's behavior over the last several years is that particularly in northeast syria, it's been very escalatory involving u.s. troops. sources in syria have been saying, going back for quite some time, that the russians have been increasingly aggressive, have come as close as they can to the line of potentially engaging in some sort of kinetic attack on u.s. troops. i would recommend people find some of the videos from last summer showing russian humvees chasing american soldiers through some of these roads in northeast syria. it's really galling, it's very aggressive and provocative. so the fact of russia engaging is very impressive in provocative ways is not necessarily new. and it comes as the united states government is struggling with how to deal with russian
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activity. and of course, as one of the big energy questions, just pointing back to what richard haas brought up, is whether or not the biden administration is going to take this moment to do one of the limited non-kinetic things that the u.s. government can do to actually dramatically curtail russia's energy relationships with europe, which would be putting sanctions on the pipeline that russia is currently constructing to germany. the biden administration has yet to roll out those sanctions. something the ukrainians have wanted for many years. the fact that it hasn't happened yet signifies it's a tough decision point within the administration. >> all right. betsy woodruff, thank you very much for your new reporting this morning. we'll be following this. coming up, the brother of george floyd writes a powerful new op-ed on what justice feels like. we'll read from that piece ahead on "morning joe." ing joe.
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former georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights activist stacey abrams appeared before lawmakers this week for a hearing on voting rights. >> how did that go? >> it went pretty well. i mean, she kind of knows her stuff, you know. >> yeah. at one point, republican senator john kennedy pressed her on -- >> how did that go? >> well, you know, she knows her stuff. i think it went pretty well. kennedy pressed her on her stance against georgia's new voting law. you know, the one we've been talking about for weeks, asking her to list specific provisions that she disagrees with. >> how did that go? >> pretty good. take a look. >> tell me, you're against the georgia bill, i gather?
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is that right? >> i'm against certain provisions of it, yes. >> and i think you've called it a racist bill. am i right? >> i think there are provisions of it that are racist, yes. >> okay. >> tell me specifically, just give me a list of the provisions that you object to. >> i object to the provisions that remove access to the right to vote, that shorten the federal runoff period from nine weeks to four weeks, that restrict a time a voter can request and return an absentee ballot -- >> okay, slow down for me, because our audio is not real good here. >> certainly. >> could you start over for me. >> certainly. >> thank you, ma'am. >> it shortens the federal runoff period from nine weeks to four weeks. >> okay. >> it restricts the time a voter can request and return an absentee ballot application. >> right. >> it requires that a voter has a photo identification or some other form of identification that they're willing to surrender in order to
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participate in absentee ballot process. >> that -- that -- if i can stop you, that's where they're going to not comparing signatures, but to voter i.d.? >> yes, sir. and we would become only the fourth state in the nation to require voters to put -- >> yes, ma'am, what else? >> it eliminates over 300 hours of drop box availability. >> okay, what else? >> it bans nearly all out of precinct votes. >> bans what? i'm sorry. >> it bans nearly all out of precinct votes. >> okay. >> meaning that if you get to a precinct and are in line for four hours and get to the end of the line and are not there between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. -- >> okay, what else? is that everything? >> no, it is not. it restricts the hours of operation, because it now under the guise of setting a standardized timeline, it makes
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it optional for counties that may be -- may not want to see expanded access to the right to vote, they can limit those hours. instead of those hours from 7:00 to 7:00, they're now from 9:00 to 5:00, which may have an effect on voters who cannot vote during business hours, during early voting. >> okay, i get the idea. i get the idea. >> yeah, um -- >> what? >> what do you have in there? >> why do people keep underestimating her? >> matlock would have been very disappointed with senator kennedy. he of oxford fame and also, of course, john kerry supporter. you just -- you don't ask the question if you don't know the answer. especially if you're trying to set somebody up like -- and i'll tell you something else, and maybe it was just the seersucker suits that made him so darned
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polite with his witnesses. but senator kennedy, former john kerry supporter, he kept trying to throw her off, he kept trying to interrupt her. >> excuse me, we've got an audio problem! >> he would say, explain it -- he would cut her off -- it just, seriously, this guy, i guess they don't teach matlock at oxford, because he sure made a mess of things for himself, didn't he? >> that was the definition of getting more than you bothered for as stacey abrams calmly and ticked through a lot more than he thought she knew, perhaps, gene robinson. and it went on like that for a long time. stacey abrams was confronted by senator kennedy, but also ted cruz and other republicans about her own race in 2018, asking about other laws in other states. you got the sense that perhaps there was some frustration that off a stacey abrams, largely, that they no longer hold the majority in that body, do republicans. >> yeah, exactly. and so they wanted to go after her. but you would think that they
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would have learned by now if you're going to mess with stacey abrams, you better come correct. you better come with more than our faux matlock had yesterday. that was a riot. i was thinking the same thing that's obviously something they don't teach at the oxford debating union about dealing with -- about dealing with intelligent people, who are just going to -- i mean, she mowed him down, basically. it was highly entertaining to watch. >> well, actually, it was a really great example for anybody who sort of is figuring out, how do women develop their voices in this sea of how men do what they do, she was elegant, she was measured, she kept coming back, and she mowed him down without lifting a finger. >> she had information. >> but my big question for sam
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stein or anybody on this panel is why in the world does anybody keep underestimating this woman. if you think about it, if you think in the way she turned out the vote in georgia, the way she turned out the vote saved our country. if you had any concern about trump. i mean this woman is not to be methods with any way, shape, or form, and he was acting as if he was dealing with some neophyte. he was condescending, he was a moron. >> mika, don't say that about an oxford grad. >> did he actually think that this woman, whose job is a essentially to understand voting laws in her state and to structure them in certain ways, did he actually think she would not understand the particulars of this law? it was a little confusing what she was getting at.
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obviously, he thought he had some sort of intellectual superiority, but this is literally her work. did he not expect that she would know the actual elements of the law. to the broader point about underestimating stacey abrams, obviously, 2020 was proof positive that you shouldn't do it, i think there's something else to discuss here. and this is not in any way to say that these voting laws are not, you know, malignant or anything like that, but oftentimes when states do pass these restrictions on voting, they have a paradoxical affect. they inspire or encourage or motivate people to go to the polls, because, precisely, they feel targeted by the state apparatus. they look at it and they say, they don't want me to vote. i'll wait even more hours in line to do so. that could very well be where it happens in georgia. that's not to say that this law is a good thing. but it could be a motivating factor. and it could prove stacey abrams
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right yet again if she can organize and mobilize and get people to the polls, precisely because she wants to counteract restrictive voting measures. >> you know, willie, it really was condescending. and it was condescending again, it was such a misplay, talking to a woman who knew more about georgia voting laws probably than anybody else, that would be like a senator coming at me about ribs or baseball cards or american top 40 countdowns. i know all the important things here. >> he really does. >> don't ask -- >> too much room in your brain for that stuff. >> -- about these voting laws. it was a weak performance on his part. >> she was prepared, as she always is, and he wasn't. joe, it would be like me asking you for number 4 in 1974 on casey kasem's countdown.
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you've got it in the chamber, ready to come back. >> willie, mika hates when people do this. >> name a year. name a year. just name a year. >> 1975. >> oh, well, that's easy, the red sox lost to the reds -- >> oh, world series, i gave you too easy. >> name another year. >> go back early. 1951. >> 51's a tough one, if i'm not mistaken -- >> see, i just asked you a question to which i don't know the answer. hold on. >> i think the giants -- check it out. i think the giants beat the yankees in '51. >> correct! you have it. >> he has it? >> the yankees beat the giants. >> one more. >> in 1950, the yankees beat the phillies. >> let's go to '63. >> the dodgers won the world
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series in 1963. >> yeah. >> they beat the twins in '65. >> this is crazy. >> the dodgers crushed the yankees in '63. >> that's the year they swept them. >> crushed them in '63. >> anybody who knows anything about television ratings knows that this is the way to push yourself up into that "60 minutes" territory in terms of numbers. just quizzing on the world series trivia, live on television. >> and american top 40 countdowns. >> when he has all of his room in his brain, i have questions why you don't have any room in your brain for the top of the hour and the break we just missed. joining the conversation, we have now, 7:00 eastern time, nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of "way too early," kasie hunt, and msnbc contributor, mike barnicle. and "the washington post's" eugene robinson is still with
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us. thank you all for joining us this hour. >> kasie hunt, 1966. >> i've got to be honest with you, joe. 1966. the only one that's stuck in my head is 1983, which is the last time my orioles won a world series. >> 1966. 1970, they won. >> that's fair. >> i think that's why my dad is such a big fan, right? that's the key spot for him, and then we had some hope from cal ripken in the '90s, but otherwise, it's been rough. >> mike barnicle, one of the great stories, and i heard lupica talking about this the other day. one of the great stories is earl weaver going out in the playoffs and he was miked, he didn't realize he was miked and walks out to the pound. the pitcher is getting absolutely hammered and earl weaver goes out there and he goes, son, if you know how to cheat, now's the time to do it. turned around, walked off the
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mound, went back into the dugout, didn't know he was on mic. >> right, that's the famous don stenhouse incident. he was the pitcher on the mound, and he contributed to earl's nickname, six-pack weaver, because earl would pack six packs of cigarettes when stenhouse was on the mound because he was so hesitant about his delivery. but he did, walked right out to the mound and said, kid, if you know how to cheat, do it now. he got out of a jam. he did. >> he must have known. earl weaver, the same guy when lupica asked him, he said, coach, how many games a year do you think you're responsible for winning? and weaver went, zero. and he goes, but i would lose you four or five a year. >> oh, my god. >> mika, are we ever going to get to the news? >> we've got the bases loaded, so let's get moving. americans have now received 200
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million covid-19 vaccinations. this is an incredible milestone since president biden took office, this is reaching the administration's first 100-day goal of more than doubling the initial goal of 100 million shots. biden announced the milestone yesterday ahead of his 100-day mark next week, saying that by today, 80% of those over 65 will have had at least one shot. meanwhile, a report from "the new york times" out this morning shows vaccine hesitancy tends to track with the 2020 presidential election. the graph on the left shows residents of states where the majority of trump voters are likely to be hesitant about getting the vaccine. seen on the rights, those states also show a smaller share of residents who are already vaccinated than states with more biden voters. so this is a big milestone. we'll be talking more about this in the days and months to come,
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especially with the johnson & johnson vaccine and news expected, hopefully, for them to be able to get back into the global market place very soon, ending the pause. former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin is now in a 23 hour a day solitary confinement after being let out of court in handcuffs on tuesday, following his conviction for murder of george floyd. the 45-year-old faces 40 years in prison for kneeling on floyd's neck for nine and a half minutes. a spokesperson for oak heights park prison, a maximum security facility, says that chauvin is being kept in an isolated wing for his own safety. "the new york times" reports, the court has a sentencing date of june 16th. willie? >> philonise floyd, the brother of george floyd, wrote an op-ed in "the washington post" titled, for my brother, george floyd, this is what justice feels like, while calling for police reform, philonise wrote this. quote, this verdict is historic,
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but it shouldn't be historic to punish people who do bad things, even if they wear a police uniform. especially if they wear a police uniform. this week, our family received a measure of justice, because regular citizens and those in authority took the most basic human action. they did the right thing. it's up to all of us to build on this moment. we must end the qualified immunity that too often shields law enforcement officers from responsibility, require police to maintain body camera and dash cam videos, and ban choke holds and no-knock warrants. he goes on, now it is time for the u.s. senate to do its part and pass the george floyd justice and policing act, and beginning the work of transforming policing in the united states. what does justice feel like? it feels like maybe we can finally take a breath. that's philonise floyd, george floyd's brother. kasie hunt, we heard this also from president biden the other day, that this is the beginning of something, the work does not
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end here, it begins here. what does that look like in the congress you cover every day? >> willie, i've got to tell you, i wasn't terribly optimistic about it, especially heading into the verdict, but we actually heard from senator tim scott yesterday, and he has been taking the lead with this among his colleagues on the republican side of the aisle in the senate and tim scott is very well respected and he has spoken out on these issues in a very frank and straightforward way in the past. and he made some remarks to reporters on the hill, saying he actually thought that they may be able to reach some sort of compromise in the next one to two weeks on some of these provisions. and the george floyd policing act would make some changes to the system. the sticking point, the hardest piece of it is qualified immunity, where police officers in civil suits are protected. they benefit from immunity in some of these situations. and democrats say, we've got to end that.
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police officers have to be held liable for their own actions on the job in these egregious situations. there is still quite a ways to go here. 60 votes, tim scott will have to bring ten of his colleagues along on this. democrats will have to decide that they are willing to make changes. but that was a glimmer of hope where we didn't expect one. >> and gene robinson, we've talked, i've talked about how that verdict was justice, in that case. it was justice for a murderer. and justice was served. but that was just justice in one case, obviously. anybody suggesting that somehow this is going to create a holistic solution or a global solution, obviously, is far too naive. we still have some steps, a lot of steps to go to make sure this becomes the rule and not the
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exception. i'm curious, what do you think about the actions taken by the attorney general? what do you think about the legislation that tim scott's talking about? are those some of the steps we need to take to get to a point where we can say, okay, this was actually a moment that we're able to use as a country to move closer toward that promise of justice for all. >> those absolutely are some of the steps. what attorney general garland announced was a pattern and practice investigation of the minneapolis police department to determine if there was a pattern or practice of excessive police violence in minneapolis as many residents have alleged. and this is the sort of thing that the justice department should do.
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and, in fact, regularly, did before the trump administration, which essentially stopped doing it. and it can result and lead to reforms, especially in a case, i hope, and suspect, like minneapolis where you have a reform-minded police chief. a department that will not reject this scrutiny but mostly welcome it and embrace it. so if you can have the cooperative voice between the justice department and a police department or at least the police brass to first diagnose problems that myself exist and then fix them, that's got to help. and the legislation, it is amazing to hear kasie and others
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speak optimistically about the george floyd act or i hope it's still named that at the end and the possibility it might actually get past regular order. it's -- tim scott, senator scott is working on it with republicans and congressman karen bass is negotiating for democrats. and she's very tough, but very pragmatic. and this could happen. and i think it would be a major step forward to ban choke holds, and some of the other provisions would be more than a good start. it would be a significant step in this process. >> so let's move now to ohio, where columbus police have released new body camera footage
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showing the fatal shooting of 16-year-old makiyah bryant by police on tuesday afternoon. officer nick reardon responded to the scene, where bryant appeared to be attempting to stab two people with a knife. the body cam video was shot and released by columbus police, who have blurred the faces. >> hey, what's going on? hey, what's going on? hey, hey, hey! get down! get down! get down! [ gunshots ] >> what appears to look like a kitchen knife was found next to bryant after the shooting. police also released two 911 calls about the disturbance. it was not clear who made the calls or whether bryant, who was in foster care at the time, was the caller. officer reardon has been put on administrative leave pending an
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investigation into the matter. >> yeah, the 911 call, somebody was yelling that somebody had a knife and they were attacking them and the police officer showed the camera footage, it showed the girl, the 16-year-old girl that was shot and killed, she appeared to have the kitchen knife and had someone else pinned against -- pinned against a car and about -- the video looked this way and the police looked this way, like she was about to stab someone with a knife. now, we don't obviously normally play sound from other networks, but last night, there was an interesting discussion between cnn's chris cuomo and don lemon about the challenges in reporting on this columbus story. thought it was interesting. take a listen. >> you know, we were -- you were
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really actually -- to be honest, let's let the audience into something. so don and i heard about this story last night on social media, while we were doing coverage for you of the chauvin verdict last night. and the initial reports didn't seem right. and it was so interesting for me, as emotional and personal as these stories are, as a person of color, especially, don, with your battleground, you were cautious about it. you were saying, i want to see this one. i want to see it. there was also of emotion and understandably so. you've got a 16-year-old kid that's gone. and it's a hard one. i do not know how to explain this to people in a way that doesn't make somebody very angry. >> well, yes. and we're dealing with a lot of emotion right now. and i'm going to talk about that in a moment. and i think that is -- it's real. and you have to take that -- that part has to be taken into account. there's a lot of anguish. people are very emotional right now, but we've got to be fair about what happens when police
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arrive at scenes. it is tragic that it's a 16-year-old girl, just as tragic that it's a 13-year-old in chicago. when police are chasing people, they don't know how old they are. they don't run and say, hey, how old are you? oh, i'm 13, my mom -- you don't know that. or, i'm 16. when they roll up on a scene, they see people tussling around, and someone has a knife, their job is to protect and serve every life on that scene. and if they see someone who is in the process of taking a life, what decision do they have to make? and i know that people say, well, you know, you could do this, you could do that. tasers don't work the way guns work. >> not at that distance. >> and not with that amount of time. >> right. >> tasers -- they don't always connect. >> don lemon and chris cuomo talking on cnn last night. gene, obviously, there's a lot more to learn about what happened. who called 911, who felt they were in distress at that point,
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what exactly happened. but what we saw on that video and what don and chris were talking about right there was a woman who appeared to have a knife poised to stab someone who was up against a car and the officer said he shot the woman, the 16-year-old young woman, to save the life of the other young girl or young woman. so, you know, people i've talked to, people i've read quoted about this in the last day or so said, there's not a police department in america that wouldn't have said, if you see somebody about to be stabbed, if you see someone's life in danger, you are authorized to use force in that case. >> yeah, i think that's probably true. i mean, look, the split second decisions, these are the most difficult cases -- there's nothing, you know, as opposed to george floyd, 9 minutes and 29 seconds. everybody could see that. everybody could see that was wrong. but this is literally a split
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second decision. and, yes, when an officer arrives on a scene and sees someone about to be stabbed, the officer has to take action. now, whether there was any action short of shooting makiyah, i honestly don't know. i don't know if there was something else the officer could have done or should have done. i don't -- i would be very surprised if this officer ended up facing some sort of legal jeopardy, ended up in a courtroom over this shooting. but, again, there's a lot to learn. so that's sort of what i see
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from those few seconds of body cam video. we're going to look at it from other angles, learn more about it, and maybe there was an alternative. maybe there's something else that he should have done. but he had to do something. i mean, you cannot, i think a police officer cannot stand by and allow someone to be killed in front of him or killed or seriously wounded in front of him. he's got to do something and the question is, was that the right thing to do? >> yeah, and of course, mike barnicle, that's why there's an investigation underway. obviously, if a law enforcement officer had not done something and had stared at somebody getting stabbed once or repeatedly, then, they would obviously face disciplinary action under that circumstance, as well. it is such a tragedy that a
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young girl was killed. anytime a young person is killed, just like the young 13-year-old boy in chicago, but these are those split-second decisions that are far different than what happened in minneapolis. and i say far different not in -- not in the depth of tragedy for the family that lost these children, but in the way that the investigations are going to take place, because, again, when investigators look at this, just like all of us right now, we're talking about split seconds. and yes, you can do a freeze frame. you can stop and freeze a certain frame and then you can write all the news stories about that that you want to write about it. that's not the way investigators are going to look at this. they're going to try to get into the mind of the police officers in that split second. so comparing what happened in chicago or comparing what happened in columbus in news stories, with what happened in
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minneapolis with derek chauvin, that really does readers a disservice. >> oh, i totally agree with that, joe. i think all of us, including everyone in the news business who covered these stories, as we do cover them, and nearly every member of the population of the united states of america would be stunned to realize how often that a scene like that, not always with the same result, but a scene like that, which we just witnessed, happens every single day, in every city of this country. so that officer did what that officer was trained to do. to combat potential, you know, a fatal incident from occurring. thus far, i have not seen any video or any response from the intended victim. i don't know whether the young woman who was the intended victim has been interviewed by any news organization, but it
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would be interesting to get her point of view. but there's a larger story here, joe. and it gets to what we were talking about just a few minutes ago. the police reform legislation. and at the bottom of the legislation, at the base of the legislation, i don't know that it's in the legislation, but we need a complete review and an assessment of police academies in this country. how are recruits taught how to be police officers? my sense is that in too many cases, it comes to remember, folks, when you pin the badge on, when you go out on the street, it's us against them, which is not exactly the right approach that we need today in this country. and again, my instinct is in police academy after police academy, especially in big cities, they don't talk enough about race in different neighborhoods. why is so much crime committed in one neighborhood as opposed to another neighborhood? what are the ingredients for crime? is it just illegality?
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is it just people wanting to rob? certainly not. but they don't teach recruits about the culture of the cities that they are policing. and it's vitally necessary to do that in this day and age, when we have such a mix in this country of so many different people, so many different languages, the new york police department, i think the last time i checked, they have the capacity to speak. they have police officers who speak 150 -- not each one of them, but they can speak and attain 153 different languages, in one city, new york city. it's a complex, dangerous job. that tape we just rolled shows a police officer pulling up on to an already violent scene. he's out of the car. i don't know how long he was out of the car. i suspect he was just out of the car. and he does what he does. and as we've said here and has been said all over, everything that i've seen about it, that's what police officers are trained to do and he did it.
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>> yeah. i'm not sure the question in this case will ultimately be about the cops or policing. i've been talking a lot about everything that leads up to a police shooting and looking at that video, i just feel -- i feel so sad, as a mother, as an american citizen, to see a 16-year-old girl in foster care so disregulated, you know, falling out into the street with a knife. these cases are all different. in the case of daunte wright, which happened right so close to the george floyd trial, there there is the question of policing. the situation in virginia, where the american serviceman was just tormented by the cops, there's a question about policing. why are they drawing their guns and ready to shoot when they're just doing a typical stop. but in this case, everything that led up to the shooting
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suggests questions about the system. about mental healthcare, about what's happening in foster care, about how we're treating our children, not just during this pandemic, but in general, when they are in crisis. because there are a lot of different factors that lead up to an event like this. and to me, it seemed like external factors that were extremely sad, that this was a child or a situation that needed a lot of help from a system that perhaps might have been failing them. much more to learn, of course. >> no doubt about it. still ahead on "morning joe," the third highest ranking official at the justice department has finally been confirmed by the senate. we'll tell you the republican senator who broke ranks with her party to vote for juanita gupta. you're watching "morning joe." we'll wrb. ." we'll wrb. from prom dresses to workouts and new adventures
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the third highest ranked official at the justice department has finally been confirmed by the senate. juanita gupta narrowly won confirmation to be the next associate attorney general by a largely party line vote of 51-49. senator lisa murkowski of alaska was the only republican to join all democrats in supporting gupta. she explained her vote on the senate floor. >> i asked her, point-blank, why do you want this? is this worth it? because, this has been clearly very hard on her as a nominee. and she paused and reflected a moment. and just spoke to how she feels called to serve in a very personal way that i thought was impactful. >> gupta will be the first woman of color to ever serve as the
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associate attorney general. more now on those protests across russia, from sky news moscow correspondent, diana magnay. >> reporter: these protests were smaller than before and the mood was very different. the riot police out in large numbers, but in moscow, mostly, they let the people be. far fewer out in the russian capitol than the 100,000 who'd signed up and most were young, but with strong convictions. >> we can do anything for him to get out of the prison. what we can do something for him not to die. >> concern, too, not just about navalny's health, but about the latest threats to his foundation, the fbk. >> the fbk is going to be labeled an extremist organization, which pretty much equals everyone around here to terrorists. and that's absolutely terrible, because i mean, the russian
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government isn't even pretending to be a democracy anymore, it's just a de facto kleptocracy. >> alexei navalny always wanted to have his demonstrations held here in front of the kremlin and he was never authorized to do so. and as he lies on hunger strike in a prison hospital, his supporters have managed to make it happen. [ screaming ] >> reporter: there were more than a thousand arrests across russia, though. tougher police measures in st. petersburg, especially, and people rallied in cities across every russian time zone. as putin delivered this message for the wider world -- >> translator: we really don't want to burn bridges, but if
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some mistake our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intend to burn or blow up those bridges themselves, russia's response will be asymmetrical, quick, and tough. >> reporter: but as expected, he made no mention of the name these people came out for. the crowd seemed cheerful, grateful to all who had shown up. a simple message here, thank you for coming. diana magny, sky news, moscow. >> let's bring in katty kay and u.s. national editor at the "financial times," ed luce. katty, what do we know about alexei navalny's condition? there have been reports that he was near death. there are reports that, obviously, they're trying to keep him alive force feeding him, what do we know? >> so i've spoken to our moscow correspondent last night and she said all we know is through the lawyers. he is getting access to his
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lawyers, they're the conduit for information. he is getting some form of medical treatment. we're not exactly sure what that is and he's in a hospital. he's not actually in that prison camp that he was in before, but what they want is an independent doctor to go and see him, because all he's getting at the moment is the russian state doctors. and he doesn't treat the russian state doctors, because the russian state tried to poison him. so they want to get an independent doctor. the concern is those crowds last night weren't nearly big enough, either to get him out or even necessarily to get a doctor of his choosing to go and see him. >> so ed luce, these protests happened the same time, same day, at least, that vladimir putin was issuing dire warnings to the west and talking about not crossing lines, tell me, what is the staf putin's presidency? what's the state of the russian economy? what do these protests mean?
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>> well, this was the annual state of the nation address that putin's given. and he tends to unveil fairly dramatic things. last year he changed the constitution to enable him to stay president until 2036. essentially, president for life. previous year, he unveiled these hypersonic missiles that could destroy american citizens, cause noims. so he tends to have some sort of dramatic message for the world that is also for the domestic audience. and i think the message for the domestic audience here both with putting navalny in jail, but also this amassing of 100,000 or so russian troops on the border, the eastern border with ukraine, is that i'm not going anywhere. i'm tough. 60,000 of you can protest, 80,000 of you can protest, biden can say he's with the
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protesters. the west can provide its moral support to them and can put sanctions on us, but i am not going anywhere. whether it means something more ominous, like a repeat of 2014, when he annexed crimea, this time perhaps annexing the bombast region in eastern ukraine is i know something experts are very divided on. is he just testing biden here or is there genuinely some sort of russian military incursion planned? that remains to be seen. >> mike barnicle? >> teddy, it's probably foolhardy to try to measure the impact of crowds from one country to another, but the crowds that have gathered in moscow, despite putin's energetic state of the union
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speech he gave yesterday, the crowds that have gathered in moscow, basically elements of it, a police state, have displayed amazing courage. and i'm wondering what your thoughts are about the strength of the crowd and the potential weakness of vladimir putin. >> unbelievable courage. they know if they go out and protest, they risk getting beaten. they risk losing their job. in a worst-case scenario, they risk like navalny himself, being thrown into some prison somewhere and the key being pods away. it's an enormous risk they're seeing. the only reason we didn't see more protesters in moscow being beaten up by police or being dragged into vans, recorded on cameras, is because putin was giving that big speech and he didn't want the image in the capitol to be him given the speech on one side of the screen and protesters being beaten up and arrested on the other side of the screen.
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and our correspondent in moscow said it was amazing that the police were almost standing back in moscow, which they almost never normally do, because that speech was going on, but in other areas of the country, they were being picked up. in st. petersburg, there were 450 protesters picked up. in other places, they were being beaten up as well. it takes a huge amount of courage. numbers have dwindled. there were hundreds of thousands turning out just when nvalny was first arrested. and i suspect putin and his authoritarian state, i've got to hang on to power at any cost will see that as something of a victory for himself. >> president zelensky of ukraine addressed his country. there's a report many politico this morning that the united states is considering sending more weapons to ukraine to also prepare for that possibility. how likely is it that russia crosses the border, that there's a full-fledged war with ukraine,
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and that the united states might become involved? >> well, both president biden and tony blinken, the secretary of state, have made it very clear that the united states supports ukraine's territorial integrity. ukraine is not a part of nato, so an attack on ukraine is not an attack on america as it would be for another member. but this language that we fully support the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity and we'll do what we can to back it is as close as you get to a nato undertaking, without ukraine being a member of nato. that said, there hasn't been any announcement by biden of big new packages of defensive arms. when we've heard talk of that, we've heard talk of nato beefing up its presence in the black sea and on ukraine's western borders and providing more logistical
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support to ukraine, but no substance to it yet. i think that probably what would hit putin the hardest, particularly if navalny dies, is sanctions on the oligarchs around putin and on those who are implicitly funding putin's money himself. you remember back in 2014, when eannexed crimea, that came shortly after the panama papers were revealed. and it showed tens of billions of potential putin money sorted away through our systems, through places like london and new york and the cayman islands of bermuda and panama and that really struck a raw nerve with putin. so i think, you know, if the biden administration is looking at drawing up a list of the closest oligarch circle to putin, that's something that would hit him where it hurts. >> all right ed luce and katty kay, thank you all both very
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much. greatly appreciate it. and let's go from russia now to china. in a new bipartisan effort to boost american innovation on everything from manufacturing to high-tech jobs. at the same time that china's looking to exploit political divisions in america for the benefit of, well, themselves, on the world stage. let's bring in right now, a member of the foreign relations committee, republican senator todd young of indiana. and senator, you and this bipartisan bill reminds me much of how the united states responded midcentury to the challenge of sputnik. and the investment we made not only in technology, but also in education, it created a generation of the most gifted minds, whether you're talking about engineers or scientists or mathematicians that really changed our economic future and create created an economic revolution. is that what you're hoping to do here with senator schumer and others? >> that's precisely what we're
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attempting to do, joe. thank you for having me on. this is our new space race. this is our opportunity as a country to harness our greatest national assets, which are our people, our talent, the dynamism of our economy associated with our people and the only way for us to win that race, however, is to do what we did in winning the space race. it's going to require some investments from the american people in cutting edge, 21st century technologies, things like artificial intelligence and robotic and quantum commuting and geonomics and various high-tech areas to ensure that the united states of america makes this century the second american century. this should be an opportunity at the very time that the chinese communist party and other regimes throughout the world are looking at the united states and
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emphasizing how divided we are as a country, politically, civically, and on so many other fronts, for us to unify behind this effort and thwart the chinese by out-innovating them and out-growing them. to go on offense as opposed to being on defense as we have for a number of years, with tariffs, with rip and replace of technology, for many of our partners and allies. we can go on offense against the chinese, working together with partners and allies and demonstrate to the world at this moment, if we can pass this endless frontier act that were unified on this issue. >> and you said, right now, the chinese communist party semp sizing to the world that the united states is a divided nation. but you are so right, with legislation like this, if
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republicans and democrats can come together invest in this country, it sends -- it not only helps our economy, not only makes us more competitive, but you're right, it sends that message not just china, but also to russia and our other rooifls that we're not divided when it comes to the most important things. >> that's right. technology has always been a strong suit for our party, but the chooinsz communist party is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on innovating this these areas. many of these areas like artificial intelligence and hyperscience have military applications. and if our liberal democracy, if our system is not going to just thrive but survive and be seen in other parts of the world as opposed to the ill liberal regime that the chinese
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communist party is trying to not just protect, but also export to other countries, we're going to have to outgrow them. ultimately, our military power, our ability to exercise leverage when it comes to diplomacy is dependent on our economic strength, collectively through our alliance system. as we develop these technologies, joe, we have the opportunity and working with our allies to also set the standards for each of these technologies. otherwise, it's the chinese who set the standards and they can find back doors through these technologies. they can steal more of our stuff. they can take away our jobs, which they've been doing for decades. they can be undermining our wages and in the heartland, part of the appeal of this endless frontier act is that we'll be seeding some tech hubs across the country, so that we harness talent not just on the coast, although that's very important,
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but instead where there are existing areas of expertise like indiana and other states across the entire country. >> senator, it's willie geist. good to have you on this morning. that's a bipartisan effort, as you mentioned, you're working with chuck schumer on that one. i want to ask you about some more bipartisan work you're attempting to do. on an infrastructure bill. you can call it a group of moderate senators met yesterday to talk about a way forward. mitt romney was in the room, susan collins, dick durbin, jon tester, joe manchin among many others. what was the discussion like? obviously, we've heard from mitch mcconnell that republicans will not vote for the plan put forward by the biden administration 2.2 trillion. they don't like raising the corporate tax rate. so what's the discussion yesterday? and do you believe there's a bipartisan way forward on this big infrastructure plan? >> well, i do think there's a bipartisan way forward. in fact, we've already passed some surface transportation
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bills through the united states senate, just in recent years. we have water legislation that's been crafted in a bipartisan way, that's been passed through the senate. we can look to pass precedent and see how some of those things have been funded through government subsidized loans, through various types of user fees. we also have a very important opportunity to take a look at some of the funding for the pandemic. much of that funding was absolutely needed, but in my home state of indiana, just to take one example, there's $2 billion at the state level. there's millions of dollars, even across many of our smaller municipalities, that frankly is not needed to address the pandemic, as we emerge from this horrible situation. so some of that money might be dedicated towards infrastructure. so usually that's where we get hung up. it's not on the major traditional infrastructure
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priorities, which is what this discussion and this package would consist of it, it's how we pay for it. and i think some of the things i mentioned present real opportunities for us to come together. and in the incoming days, at least, conceptually on legislative framework. >> senator, we really appreciate you being here. before we let you go, let me ask you really quickly about a bill that we've been talking about this morning, that tim scott talked about yesterday. obviously, the country's eyes, a lot of people focused on minneapolis and what comes after minneapolis. is there a possibility as senator tim scott said for republicans and democrats to come together on a police reform bill? >> there is. and let me commend tim scott on his incredible work for trying to find that sweet spot where rs and ds can come together. as he's emphasized on this show, he's not trying to come up with his ideal piece of legislation,
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he's trying to come up with a piece of legislation that we believe will solve many if not most of our challenges and can actually get signed into law. and that's what legislators do. so among the elements, we know we agree on, for example, is to prevent some police jurisdictions from losing officers, not reporting their bad records to other police jurisdictions. we can help facilitate that information, so that bad officers aren't being shopped around from one location to another. we can give body cameras or ensure that more of those body cameras make their way out into the field, thus giving the community and many police officers more confidence as they carry out their work. we can make lynching a federal crime, which would send a very strong message at a time of incredible racial discord and ferment right now and anxiety for a lot of americans. so these are among the punch list of items that are part of
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that piece of legislation, the police act. and let's build on that work. i know senator tim scott is not done with that and still engaged in conversations and i support him in those efforts. >> republican senator todd young of indiana, thank you very much for coming on the show this morning. and coming up, what our next guest calls the neglected middle child of mental health. that may be the dominant emotion this year. we'll tell you what it is, next on "morning joe." we'll be back in two mns. "morn. we'll be back in two mns
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52 past the hour. the united states has passed 32 million reported coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. yesterday alone, there were over 61,000 new cases. at least 573,000 americans have
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died since the start of the outbreak, including 817 people just yesterday. meanwhile, india reported 314,000 new infections yesterday, breaking the world record for a single day case load. a reminder that this pandemic is far from over. joining us now, infectious disease physician and medical director of special papathogens unit, dr. bedelia. good to have you back. >> we've been talking on this show about the -- obviously we all as a country need to take precautions, still need to take precautions, but talked about also the necessity to ease some of the guidelines, especially for people who have been vaccinated outside and moving past the mask mandate for people
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outside that have been vaccinated. you've spoken out about this. what are your thoughts? >> well, joe, i think the current cdc guidance is if you're indoors, you wear a mask. if you're outside, you wear a mask, particularly where you can't maintain that social distance and you're in crowds. what you see is that states have taken a whole myriad of thoughts on this. some states it's a flat mandate because sometimes that messaging is so much easier. wear a mask. masks work. this is what has gotten us to this point and this is what's going to get us out of it. there is a difference in risk of getting this disease in the outdoor setting compared to indoors. about 10% of infections are coming from outdoors and about 90% are coming from indoors. what is potentially happening and the concern that i have is you have a compilation of risk.
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there is an equivalency between them where you're seeing some states with outdoor mandates, but open it up indoors. some states you're wearing a mask outside, going into restaurants and taking it off and getting exposed. so i think the cdc guidance, potentially, as we move out of this should be that maybe we should consider -- i hope what they do is they consider outdoor mandates ending before indoor mandates and continue indoor mandates longer so people can concentrate on where the risk is. what they may do is look at not how many individual people have been vaccinated, but how many in the community have been vaccinated and how high the cases in hospitalizations are as an indicator of potentially moving to the next step. >> let's bring into this conversation professor adam grant. the author of the book "think again," the power of knowing what you don't know. he has a new piece in the in, times titled there is a name for
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the blah you're feeling. adam, great to see you as always. explain what languishing is. i think a lot of people who read your piece said yes, there it is. maybe i'm not depressed in a clinical sense, but what is it? >> it's a sense of stagnation like you're in a bit of a void. we've had other terms for this, we've had blah and meh and malaise. one, we have 20 years of research in psychology on the state of languishing saying, look, even if you don't have symptoms of mental illness, that doesn't mean you have full mental health. two, to languish, it's active. at least it's active in being passive. >> adam, what do we do about it is the question. now that you're putting a name to it and injury explaining what it is, a lot of people are going to identify with it. what are some solutions in
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dealing with this languishing? >> it seems like for a lot of people, the pandemic was a big loss. and it seems like it's been never ending. for some people, that's looking for little moments of mastery, in cooking, learning an instrument, reaching out to somebody that you've lost touch with and just feeling like your life is moving forward or you have something to look forward to is a piece to the puzzle. >> so, adam, how in the context of getting people vaccinated does this work? i mean, i have to say, i am simply looking forward to every day activities that is sort of helping me in my personal struggle with languishing. but for folks who are starting to get back out into the world, maybe they feel nervous or worried about seeing people again in ways that seem to come naturally. what do you recommend? >> i think that's normal. i think we need to get used to being awkward as we transition back into some degree of every
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day life. there's research on what happens when you live in outer space or go through solitary confinement. and it turns out social skills are a lot like muscles. if they're not exercised, they turn into atrophy. so we need high tolerance for people being a little uncomfortable. >> mike barnacle, jump in. >> doctor, listening to adam and witnessing what we all witnessed nearly every day of our lives as we go outdoors, this is not a medical question, per se. it's rather a cultural question. but it boils down to whether we're languishing or not, do you think we are too spoiled as a culture in that we are asked in order to save lives, please wear a thin strip of cotton or cloth across your mouth and nose and we hesitate to do it? what is wrong with us? >> yeah.
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i think we've had a couple of false starts in the beginning, right? i think that unfortunately masks became politicized very early in this fight. part of it was that the science was shifting. early on, we didn't know this disease could be transmitted without you having symptoms. so the medical guidance and the public health guidance was different. when that change happened, i think it led to confusion among the population well, you said no to wear a mask yesterday. why are you asking me to wear a mask now? what is happening again is we're gathering more data about how this threat is happening. so i think the -- combining the two questions, i think that it's always -- it's always good to take it slow, right? we are making changes. it's good to look at the positive points of these vaccines. they're making an impact. people are becoming safer. but then how do we go back as a society, set those parameters, those landmarks of how we go back and do this? it's better not to shame people
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for wanting to wear a mask and it's better not to shame people if they're outside and they're not wearing a mask and exercising. what we do is we try to understand where the risk is and make public health guidance based on that and that keeps the politics out of it. >> dr. bedelia and adam grant, thank you both for being on the show this morning. up next, the republican point person for police reform says a deal could be just weeks away. plus, the u.s. hits a milestone after vaccinating some 3 million people a day over the last two weeks. we'll start the next hour of "morning joe" right there. e nexf "morning joe" right there.
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sun, sunlight, heat, heat, heat and sun. heat and the light. very powerful light. >> what a bright idea. but how would we use this powerful light? >> supposing you brought the light inside the body, either through the skin or in some other way. >> sounds interesting. >> interesting and genius. what else? >> i see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? it would be interesting to check that. >> she looks like she could use a glass of bleach right about now. the media spreads word of the president's plan? the president was pulling our legs. >> i was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what happened happen. >> it didn't seem like it was coming off as sarcastic.
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>> either way, it's important that we end this soon, or else. >> if we don't get this economy going again, that man could become president of the united states. that is far more terrifying than any coronavirus. >> this has been this week in covid history. >> i don't even know where to begin. that's so funny. and -- okay. good morning. >> it's funny, yet if you look at it more closely, it's kind of educational. >> no, it's -- >> for instance, willie, you had donald trump talking about the lights and the bleach, i for a second was thinking, this is probably how jonas salk when he was trying to figure out exactly how to get that vaccine for polio. i think that's probably the process. he probably went through a process like that. so i'm sitting there thinking, this is not only funny, but if
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we're not careful, we might learn something here. >> a little known fact about history, and i know you know this, joe, but jonas salk attempted to inject light in people's bodies and ended up with the polio vaccine. so laugh if you will, but there's no polio because of it. >> i just ask who is laughing now. >> i wasn't laughing then and i'm not laughing now. >> nobody is laughing now. they're like get to the news. okay. we'll get to the news. quit being so pushy. >> good morning. welcome to "morning joe." >> eat your grits. >> did you guys know it's earth day? i love that. >> willie, do you remember ur our first earth day? >> yes. >> i'm sorry i asked. >> we celebrated it in our own special way. >> it was a dark day.
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>> along with joe, willie and me, we have associate editor of "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson with us and white house editor for politico sam stein joins us this morning. >> sam, can i ask sam a question? >> oh, okay. >> sam, what is your prep school doing for earth day today? are you all cutting out collages or are you going on to the green -- >> he's at dartmouth now. >> only 12 years of prep school joe to this point. >> i tried to put you in college. go big green on earth day. >> i appreciate that. guess what, everybody. americans have now received 200 million covid-19 vaccinations. think about this. since president biden took office, reaching the
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administration's first 100 day goal and more than doubling the initial goal of 100 million shots. biden announced the milestone yesterday ahead of his 100 day mark next week saying by today, 80% of those over 65 will have had at least one shot. >> gene robinson, you look at how america is doing so much better on the world stage than anybody else. we feed to go back and we need to talk about that man that we were having a laughlty his expense. you look at the development of the vaccines, the selecting of the vaccines. they obviously did a very good job at that. and then you go and look at what biden was able to do that donald trump wasn't able to do because he never had an infrastructure
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around him by his choosing that knew how to effectively run a government. he never wanted to nationalize this effort. so trump and his team made the right choices on vaccines and now we have a president who actually knows how to basically handle the logistics to get it out to 200 million people. we're ahead of the world and maybe this is one time where we stop and both sides look at each other and go, okay, did a pretty good job. >> yeah. i mean, the vaccines are really a miracle, if you think about it. if you think about just in the span of mere months. we went from zero to 200 million and that says a lot. it was smart of the trump administration to launch operation warp speed and the
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most critical part of that, there was up front money to some of the drug companies for development. but i think the most critical part was the commitment to buy millions and millions and millions of doses of the vaccine, thus incentivizing the speed and volume with which the vaccinemakers could set up. and then the -- the absolute miracle is this new mrna process that allowed the development of the pfizer and moderna vaccines, which are ridiculously effective. you don't get vaccines that are, you know, 100% effective against death when you're talking about a deadly virus. you just don't get that. and this new process is a modern miracle that could -- not entirely change medicine, but gives us a powerful new tool in
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the arsenal. and then, yes, the biden administration is full of people who actually know how to make government work and to -- which levers to push and what to pull and how to get massive numbers of doses into arms in a ridiculously fast way. so, yes, israel is ahead of us, but we are ahead of the rest of the world in an am pressive way. so, yes, we should pat ourselves on the back. >> still ahead, eugene robinson says derek chauvin's conviction shouldn't feel like a victory, but it does. we'll read from his column in "the washington post" next on "morning joe." his column in "the washington post" next on "morning joe." ♪ you've got the brawn ♪ ♪ i've got the brains... ♪
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less than 24 hours after a your convicted former police officer derrick you chauvin, the justice department as opened a civil rights investigation to determine whether the city's law enforcement officers engage in a pattern of practicing and policing that violates the constitution or federal civil rights laws. here is attorney general merrick garland yesterday announcing that investigation. >> yesterday's verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues of minneapolis. the investigation i am announcing today will assess whether the minneapolis police department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests. the investigation will assess whether the mpd engages in discriminatory conduct and whether its treatment of those with behavioral health disabilities is unlawful. i strongly believe that good
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officers do not want to work in systems that allow bad practices. good officers welcome accountability because accountability is an essential part of building trust with the community and public safety requires public trust. >> the civil investigation will include a comprehensive review of the minneapolis police policies, training, supervision and use of force investigations. it will use both community and police input to make findings and recommendations for change. the justice department also has a separate criminal investigation into george floyd's death, mika. former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin is now in a 23-hour a day solitary confinement after being led out of court in handcuffs on tuesday. following his conviction for the murder of george floyd. the 45-year-old faces 40 years in prison for kneeling on
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floyd's neck for nine and a half minutes. a spokesperson for oak hikes prison says chauvin is being kept in an isolated wing for his own safety. >> gene, you know, it's been the past several days tv pundits and some politicians have gotten cred. the best way to get cred with the far left is to say, oh, this meant nothing. this was not a victory. in fact, this was a defeat. this is horrible. i mean, it just -- it is -- it denies the fact that actually how quickly the jury was out and how quickly they came back in denies the fact that law enforcement officers testified against another law enforcement officer in a way that i believe is historic in these type of high profile cases. but i thought that your op ed, i
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was very moved by your open he had op-ed coming into this because i was nervous that there might not be a guilty verdict. and you wrote though the experience was so much more personal and searing to you, i still felt like you were kind of writing my concerns which is telling the media, this may not be a done deal. and what you wrote a couple of days ago i thought was beautiful which is, you know what? this shouldn't feel like a victory. this should be obvious to everybody that this was going to happen, but it wasn't obvious. so, yes, it does kind of feel like a victory. talk about your emotions as you were going through this and what you wrote about in the post so movingly yesterday. >> look at the case itself. 9:29 caught on video from
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multiple angles, including the most striking being the angle filmed by darnella frazier, the passerby who had the presence of mind to just hit record and, you know, you think about what would have happened had she not done that. you think about what the initial police department's statement about george floyd's death was, which was that a suspect was taken into custody and was in medical distress and died. and no one fired a weapon. i mean, that is what was being said. that is how they described it. and then, you know, i thought of all the times before when police officers used excessive and deadly force against african-americans, especially, but others, as well.
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and all those officers were given what amounted to a free pass. and acquitted. i couldn't get all of that out of my mind. so even in this most obvious of cases, to me, would justice prevail? would the jury see what the rest of us saw so clearly. so, yes, it feels -- it feels like a -- an enormous relief, but also, it does feel like a victory and, really, the question -- i don't think there's any question about that. i think the question going forward is that, you know, what does this mean for the future?
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is this a galvanizing watershed moment. is this the equivalent of emmit till's killing and his mother's decision to show that, to have the open casket so the world could see what was done to her son. which had an enormous impact on the civil rights struggle. is this that kind of moment or will it -- or will we look back and say that it didn't initiate that fundamental change that we need. coming up, vladimir putin responds to mass protests by arresting over 1,000 demonstrators. what it means for his grip on power, next on "morning joe." r power, next on "morning joe.
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more than 1400 protesters were arrested in russia yesterday, according to reuters, for speaking out against the treatment of imprisoned opposition leader alexei navalny. in cities across russia, protesters demanded navalny get
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access to his own doctors. this comes as close allies say his health is rapidly declining in detention. among those arrested were navalny's spokes woman who was reportedly taken into custody at her home hours before protests began. one protesters described yesterday's demonstration as a last gasp for a free russia. willie. >> and earlier in the day, russian president vladimir putin delivered a warning to the west in his annual state of the nation address in which he touted of russia's nuclear arsenal. these were putin's first public comments since president biden announced new sanctions on russia last week in response to cyber attacks against the united states. meanwhile, politico is reporting that u.s. is considering sending
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missiles and other weapons to ukraine. >> let's bring in right now president of the council on foreign relations, richard haas, whose own world is sort of reeling right now because he didn't believe at the beginning of this year that it would be the knicks doing well and the yankees in last place. richard, are you going to be able to work through this segment with the yankees losing last night? >> only with massive amounts of sympathy from you, joe, which i know to expect. >> you will get that from me. i am glad the knicks are finally winning, my god. so let's talk about russia. yesterday, vladimir putin threatened the west. it seems to me he should be more concerned about what is happening in his own front yard. yesterday, the demonstrations were widespread and the type we aren't used to seeing in russia. what is going on there? >> you have genuine political protests there.
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people are tired of the regime. a big part of this is covid. the official numbers in russia are about 100,000 dead, but if you look at excess deaths, it's more than 300,000 people who have died. so per capita, russia might be the least successful country in the world along with india not doing well with covid. these are real protests and it brings us to the question of what they're doing with ukraine and whether that is a distraction. the honest answer is none of us knows what putin's intentions are, but he's clearly building up his capabilities. so you've got these two crises, one internal for him and one he's now posing to his neighbor. >> "the washington post" gene robinson is with us and has a question for you, richard. gene. >> yeah. richard, is there a -- it's a combination of crises, one perhaps invented, for putin is
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do you have any sense that we may be coming to the end of the putin years in russia or is he likely to survive all of this and continue as the strong man leader of this nuclear armed but hollow state? >> my guess is he's got some running room. he still has security forces that are willing to do what they do. he's arresting all sorts of people. he's willing to use force at home and abroad with considerable impunity. so, again, these regimes are brittle. they're there until the day they're not, but my guess is they're there for quite a while. i think the question with putin might be, gene, what comes afterwards? he's done absolutely nothing to legitimatize his role. there are no institutions. this is a cleptocracy. i think russia faces an
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existential crisis the day after putin. i just don't know when that day comes. >> the scenes of the supporters of navalny in the streets of moscow are impressive. but we've seen them before. they have always been suppressed by the regime. is there any reason to think that something different is happening here in russia? >> not yet, willie. these people are stunningly courageous what they're doing. but the regime is clearly worried about what would happen if navalny becomes the martyr. they don't want him to die in prison. my guess is they would prefer to die in the hospital or simply be out of the way. i'm not sure they thought all this through. russians are supposedly great chess players. i'm not sure they counted on the hunger strike and the fact that he could die. but at the moment, no, i don't see a tipping point. but, again, what you really need to see is some evidence that the security forces are unwilling to kill or arrest people and thus far, at least, i haven't seen a sign of that.
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33 past the hour. the sneed senate will vote today on the covid hate crimes act. the bill is meant to target the spike in anti-asian-american hate crime since the start of the pandemic. senate majority leader chuck schumer said there will be votes on three republican amendments before a final tally on the bill this afternoon. also happening on the hill today, an expected house vote on hr 51, a bill to make the district of columbia the 51st state. here is speaker nancy pelosi yesterday. >> washingtonians, as the
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congresswoman said, pay taxes, fight in our wars, contribute to the economic might of on our country. but for centuries, they have been denied their right to representation. what does the license plate say? taxation without representation is one of the manifestations. it is imperative that we correct this injustice, which is also a matter of civil rights and security. as last summer's protests in the january 6th insurrection made clear, d.c. must be empowered to protect itself people. if the district of columbia were a state, the chief executive would have been able to call out the national guard. >> all right. joining us now, majority leader steny hoyer of maryland. steny, a lot to talk to you about today. but why don't we start there. what is the possibility of this happening? >> well, it's going to pass the house, no doubt about that. we passed it last congress, as you know, mika. and we'll pass it this congress. i doubt that we're going to lose
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a democrat. clearly, 712,000 people, larger than two states with paying a significant amount of taxes to the federal government. there is no reason why the residents of the district of columbia should not be equal citizens with every other citizen and, therefore, admitted as a state. we all know that the problem is going to be when it gets to the united states senate it's going to need 60 votes and we all know that of one of the things that the united states senate, particularly the republican party is very concerned about is anybody having additional two senators from a jurisdiction or a state that may elect democrats. i don't think it's principal. i think it's a political position. there is no principled reason why the residents of the district of columbia should not have a voting member in parliament of their country as every other prenation in the world has.
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only america has its nation's capital unrepresented by a voting member in its parliament and in our case the congress of the united states. so i am hopeful, however, that we have a different situation than we had last congress. first of all, we have majority leader chuck schumer who is for this. secondly, we have the president of the united states who is for this and he will sign it. so the only impediment is having the number of senate republicans vote on principle as opposed to voting on politics. having said that, we all know that historically, states have been admitted very much on political rationale rather than principled rationale. >> so speaking of politics, are there any -- if you look at the infrastructure bill, potential of police reform legislation, where -- where are the bills being worked on where there is going to be real synergy with republicans where there could be a bipartisan outcome?
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>> well, i think certainly the infrastructure bill is one of those. of course, donald trump said when he ran for president he wanted to see a trillion dollar infrastructure bill. we met with him tu white house during the course of his presidency. he said he wanted to see a $2 trillion infrastructure bill. he never took any steps to do that. the republicans never took any steps to put such a bill on the floor and move it forward. however, they have said they're for infrastructure. the president's build back better program is one that i think should garner bipartisan support and has bipartisan support among republicans, democrats and independents in the country. so the fact that it is not represented in congress of the united states, either in the senate or the house, we got no votes on the rescue plan that is going to make such a positive difference, which we did pass through reconciliation. we didn't need 60 votes in the
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senate. we only needed 51 and we got those in the past. and it's going to make a real difference. and i would hope that at some point in time, we're going to get republicans listening to the people. because the bills that we've passed, including the justice in policing act, hr-1, the clinical reform, redistricting reform, voting rights reform, are supported by an overwhelming majority of the american people and that ought to be reflected in the united states senate. but unfortunately, our friends see opposition to biden before they see merits in legislation the american people want. it's a shame. the reality, on justice and policing act, clearly, i think senator booker is trying to work with senator scott, the republican from south carolina, to try to come up with a compromise. and if they do, we will certainly be glad to consider that because we need to pass
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legislation to respond to this pandemic of violence being perpetrated against people of color in our country. >> mr. majority leader, you began to answer my question about the police reform act. and there has been cautious optimism. we've heard it on this show this morning from the united states senator. we've been hearing it over the last 24 hours that there may be bipartisan effort in the senate to come to a deal that would pass with 60 votes in the senate, something we're not seeing much of these days. what does that kind of legislation look like to you? we hear republicans don't want qualified immunity for an individual officer, maybe for a police department. is there any room to negotiate from where you sit? >> we sent a bill over that we think is a good bill. and we think it provides for accountability. we did that last year and we've done it again this year. we understand that there is concern about liability for individual officers and i'm sure that is going to be part of the
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discussion, certainly senator scott has brought that up, senator booker has acknowledged it and hopefully they can come to an agreement, which will keep intact the ability to hold accountable those who operate outside of the police authority and warranted circumstances. but that will not -- and will be able to garner 60 votes in the united states senate. i'm hopeful that they can do that. this every day -- this daily tragedy that we see on the streets of our country, both in rural areas and in urban areas, people of color losing their lives, clearly the education we just saw was so self-evident as the prosecutor said believe your eyes. but this is happening so many times, it call us out for the senate and the house and the congress and the president to
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pass legislation. but we also have, as you know, background checks that have been passed a number of times by us, passed genl this year. that also calls out for action and sadly, tragically, we have not seen any action in the united states sneed senate to move that bill. but hopefully senator booker can make some progress with senator scott and we can get a bill done. >> we'll be watching. majority leader steny hoyer, thank you very much for being on this morning. up next, an ambitious plan in los angeles to combat a huge water problem in the city. jacob soberov has the new reporting for us. keep it here on "morning joe."
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this morning, the white house announced president joe biden is pledging to reduce u.s. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030. this new target more than doubles the country's previous commitment made under the paris climate agreement of 2015. biden will host a virtual global climate summit later today and tomorrow in which he is expected to urge global cooperation in the fight against the climate
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crisis. msnbc's jacob soberov has been doing some great reporting on this and in just a few minutes, he's going to join us with a fascinating live look at the water crisis in california. but first, on this earth day, we would like to note the women past the age of 50 who are doing pivotal work in the push for a sustainability environment from erma munos to dr. beverly wright to mya lynn, to ann simpson, the list of these incredible women is quite long, proving once again the that women over 50 are a tremendously powerful age group. let's bring in chief content officer of forbes media randall lane. also with us, morning.joe's producer danielle bravo, the coauthor of "earn it" and a
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contributor along with me. this topic is amazing. at the top of the list, danielle, dr. sylvia earl, she's 85. we run the gamut on age here. we talk about over 50, the power of this demographic goes 40 years into the future. >> yeah. she's 85. she is a marine biologyist, oceanographer and founder "mission blue, a nonprofit that helps bring awareness and protection to the ocean and its preservation. she is the first female scientist at moaa, she's such a pioneer in the oceanography and marine ecosystem research. randall, i still can't get this fact wrapped around my brain. she has spent over 7,000 hours under seas exploring, that is a little under 300 days, almost a year, and she has brought us so much rich research on marine
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biolife, ecosystem and, obviously, that has such an impact on how we see this world and the fact towards climate change. >> and it's not just how much time she spent under, but what she's doing there. 1979, she set the world record for the deepest untitherred dive, walking with nothing attached to her. think about that, not just as a feat and not just as a physical feat, but as a woman role model. and this is more than 40 years ago. she talked about when she got in the science, i mean, again, we're talking six, seven decades ago. and she said it seemed like a guy thing. she has been a real role model way ahead of her time in a role model generation. >> so cool. that is so cool. randall, second on our list is a baby in comparison, lisa jackson is 56. tell us about lisa jackson. >> she was known as she's best known to the viewers here for running the epn in the obama
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administration. she did that in new jersey before that. what's interesting, she's now the vice president of environmental policy and associated initiatives at apple. last week, apple announced that they're going to put $200 million into what they're calling the restore fund, the work with goldman sachs and what they're going to do is invest it for us. and they're going to try to turn a profit, but as they're doing it, they're going to take carbon out of the air because they're going to invest sustainably. so it's this idea of just capitalism, this idea of doing well while doing good. and we really need the private secretaritory take a leap here. government alone cannot solve this and lisa jackson is on the vanguard of that. >> danielle wynonna leduk been. >> she's founder of one of the largest nonprofit based
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organizations in the country, director of honor the earth which ames to educate and support funding for native environmental groups. she's an activist dedicated to sustainable development, renewable energy and food systems while specifically this has been her life's work that n communities face. >> so there is -- go ahead, randall. >> and she was also ralph nader's vice presidential candidate back in 2000. if anyone recognizes her name, there she is. >> there you go. we do have an unsung hero. 61-year-old catherine lucey. randall, tell us about her. >> this is somebody who probably most people never heard of, former investment banker. she started something called solar sister, which is a social entrepreneur program in rural africa. what it does is empowers women entrepreneurs. she was an investigator in the energy sector and she saw energy
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solutions were a way to lift people out of poverty. and won a peace prize for helping women, you give women money in foreign countries, they will invest it. she gave them sustainable energy, solar lights, cleaning cook stoves. so she's creating entrepreneurs and solutions for the environment. amazing, amazing story. >> all right, "forbes" randall lane and daniella-pierre, thank you both. go to forbes.com and click on 50 over 50 to learn more about these women and our upcoming list. it's about six weeks away. it's going to be amazing. willie? on this earth day, mika, los angeles mayor eric garcetti monday endorsed a goal to make his city 98% run on clean energy by 2030 and 100% by 2035.
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already l.a. engineers and scientists are working to prevent the city from running out of water as the southwest continues to feel the effects of so-called mega drought. joining us now, msnbc correspondent jacob soboroff. jacob, good morning. you're at the los angeles aqueduct. you've got an inside look. what did you find? >> willie, mika, guys, it is extraordinary up here. i have never been up here, grown up my entire life in los angeles. it's not an exaggeration to say modern l.a. would not exist without the water that flows through here, literally hundreds of billions of gallons a year, comes from hundreds of miles outside of l.a. in order to make the city we know possible. but this water is a finite reforce and importing water is not sustainable. it's running out. l.a. has a plan to address that. it involves drinking recycled toilet water if the residents
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are up for it. watch this. straight up, huh? >> straight back and straight forward. just like that. there you go! >> okay. >> reporter: this fisherman has been here for over 30 years and invited me to join him. >> you're a natural. >> reporter: soaking your line in the los angeles river makes you almost forget where you are. a former concrete danage ditch next to the interstate. >> the 5 freeway. you can hear it. >> reporter: sounds like a rushing river actually. while it often doesn't rush, the restoration was made possible by clean water from a local source. >> there hasn't been any rain so basically all of this water that's coming in right now is from treatment plants. >> reporter: that's where it's coming from? >> it's all from treatment plants. >> reporter: as in waste water treatment plants, toilet water. you're lucky this is not smellivision. michael runs one of the plants that are the main sources of l.a. water. mike, what is it exactly? >> in a scientific term it's
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called mixed liquor suspended solids. >> reporter: mixed liquor suspended solids? sounds pretty gross but michael cleans the sewage so it could be released in the river but most doesn't end up there for people to enjoy. dolphins, on the other hand -- >> we're on our way out five miles into the pacific ocean to see where the city of los angeles is currently discharging hundreds of millions of gallons of treated waste water every single day. whoa! >> reporter: these l.a. city scientists want to change that. they're part of are an ambitious plan to recycle all of l.a.'s waste water by 2035. >> given climate change, this is a pretty critical infrastructure project? >> yes. we're wasting water that can be used for other things. >> reporter: and those other things include turning waste water treated from this pipe on the ocean floor into drinking water. l.a. mayor eric garcettip cot be more confident in his plan to
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protect l.a. from climate change by going toilet to path or flowers to showers as he likes to call it. >> yesterday we went five miles directly out that way to where this facility is pumping 1250 million gallons of waste water treated every day in the pacific? >> yep. we think by 2035 we can take 216 million of the 250 million gallons instead of piping it that way, we will be piping it back this way. >> reporter: first he will have to convince any squeamish l.a. residents. >> by 2035 the 4 million residents of the city hopefully will be drinking this stuff? it starts hours ago in our showers and homes and toilets? >> absolutely. you'll have the sweetest, cleanest, clearest water here from l.a. >> reporter: the plan is in motion from terminal island, where they use advanced technology. fernando offered me a taste. this is the water that started
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how many hours ago as somebody's toilet water? >> about a day. it's been processed for about a day. >> reporter: about a day ago what i flushed down my toilet has ended up with this? >> yeah. looks good. >> reporter: that is delicious. that is good! i swear to you guys, it tasted delicious. it tasted like the future. i just want to say in all honesty, the water here is not going to go away. they still need to import the water from the aqueducts but they're going to stop buying, cut in half the amount of water they buy from outside of california. a lot of that water is drying up now. they just have to get residents on board with drinking recycled toilet water. if i had some, i would offer it to you guys. >> that sounds like a good "snl" sketch, good toilet water, yum. but water has always been finite
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resource. it's always difficult to get water in l.a. how soon does this become a crisis for that city? >> as you know, willie, l.a. was built because of the infrastructure project i'm standing on top of right now, william full holland in 1913 said famously, there it is, take it, after stealing water from northern california and bringing it to southern california because it's not a resource we have in abundance in southern california. because we import half of the water especially from sources like the colorado river, which i have been to lake mead, i have seen it dry up five years ago, it's only worse today, it's critical we figure out a sustainable solution to that and it costs ten times as much as recycling waste water, what they do all around the united states currently but all around the world. mayor garcetti thinks it's the most practical way to do it and they're off to the races. >> sounds like mayor wants a
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little help from the federal government perhaps included in this $2.2 trillion infrastructure bill? >> oh, there's no doubt about it. this is a very expensive project and the mayor told me that he thinks it will pay for itself in some measure when they stop buying all of that water from the colorado river and what's called the metropolitan water district. but they need $8 billion to $10 billion and will go to the biden administration as part of his bill and request some of the that money to make sure this is completed really as a critical infrastructure project to make l.a. what they call water independent. >> jacob, are there other places they're considering this? obviously l.a. might be the place, biggest city where the problem is most acute, but is this something that can be scaled to other places? >> oh, absolutely. in fact, singapore, you know, a significant portion of the water in singapore comes from this exact type of system. from southern california all the way to atlanta, there's 4 million -- approximately 4 million is my understanding people who drink some form of
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recycled waste water. and i should be clear, it's not just toilet water, it's shower water like mayor garcetti said, stuff that goes down in your front yard through the sewage system. toilet is the most fun to talk about. but this would double that in the united states of america. it's hard to state how significant it is. also, you feel proud of it, what you flush becomes what everybody else drinks. >> i'm not sure that's the best sales pitch. it's not just toilet water, it's also your shower water! but good idea. see how it plays out there. great report, jacob. thank you very much. >> that's amazing. i think he should have drunk the whole glass. >> i bet he did. i bet he chugged. >> you've got to have a lot of water. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. hi, there, i'm stephanie ruhle. it's thursday, april 22nd, and
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this morning the nation begins to move on from the george floyd verdict and focusing on how to change the culture and the circumstances that led to his death. in the city of minneapolis, that means a new investigation by the justice department into how the city's police department operates. and in washington, d.c. it means a new push to get police reform did done in george floyd's name finally on a federal level. to this point those efforts have hit a wall but new discussions are under way, leading to hope that new federal reforms could finally get passed. but all of that is for the future. i want to talk about what is happening today. in the city of minneapolis just a few hours from now, a funeral is being held for daunte wright, the 20-year-old black man who was shot during a traffic stop in an attempted arrest just 11 days ago. at the same time, new police shootings in other states are sparking protests as well as demands for answers and accountability. in ohio,

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