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tv   MSNBC Reports  MSNBC  December 31, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST

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welcome to msnbc reports. we're going to begin this hour with breaking news out of colorado. officials just finished briefing the public on the latest devastation caused by a fast-moving wildfire. you're looking at some of the pictures showing the scope of the damage from a helicopter flying over boulder county where the fire has damaged upwards of 1,000 homes and burned more than 6,000 acres. the fire has forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate. one silver lining, officials said there are no reports of any deaths. they called it a miracle. the damage, however is intense. the governor has already declared a state of emergency. he says president biden has ke -- declared an expedited state
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of emergency. >> this was a disaster in fast motion. all over the course of a half day. nearly all the damage. many families having minutes, minutes to get whatever they could, their pets, their kids into the car and leave. this is our community, and to watch it burn so quickly, so unexpectedly, it's something that i think we're all just struggling to believe and understand. >> among the communities dealing with the most devastation from the fire is the town of lewisville which was evacuated entirely. i'm now joined by the mayor of lewisville. mayor, thank you for being with us and our condolences to you and your community. >> thank you for helping us get the word out. >> what does the town look like right now? >> well, the good news is i'm looking outside, and it's snowing. and so that's really welcome to see to help put out the
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remaining fires. there are sections of town that just -- it's undescribable. it's unimaginable, the devastation and tragedy that we're seeing. >> how much have you been able to survey and kind of paint the picture for us. i know in the briefing the sheriff said some areas were like a mosaic where maybe an entire block was taken out and other homes were untouched but in other areas like in your sister city, there are entire subdivisions gone. >> just like the other residents, i'm under an evacuation order. i haven't been in town. i've been viewing it from pictures and other photos. i haven't seen it firsthand. but i have seen photos of areas of town i'm very familiar with that look almost unrecognizable. >> mayor, what's gone? is it your local grocery store? your library? obviously homes. what have you been able to glean from the pictures in terms of
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what's destroyed? >> there are still -- they're still figuring everything out, what's gone. it's frustrating. people want to know what remains and what doesn't, but seeing people's homes, friends, family members, council members, first responders that are fighting the fire, other city staff members, neighbors, seeing members of the community's homes destroyed is probably the most hard thing to see. but the people of lewisville are incredibly supportive of one another. i ask that everyone continue to support your friends and neighbors. reach out to yur friends and neighbors. we need each other right now. and reach out to your friends and neighbors in superior also. >> mayor, is your home okay? >> i believe it is, but i have not seen for sure. >> we're hearing numbers 500 to maybe as many as 1,000 completely destroyed or partially destroyed homes.
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dune how many of of those are just in lewisville? >> i don't have the final numbers yet. everyone would like to know the exact addresses. hopefully within the next day or so, we'll be able to get that information out. we know how many people are evacuated. we know that we really encourage people to not go back to the areas that are still evacuated. the office of emergency management will put out when it is safe to go back. the water needs to be shut off so we can manage leaks and other things like that, the utilities need to be shut off. we need the first responders to have good access to the community. when it's safe to get back in, we will let folks know through the oem website. >> we know first responders prioritized life safety, the officials kept saying during the briefing. as someone under the evacuation order herself, what was it like? was it minutes for you and your family to get out? >> it was a very short amount of
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time. it was unbelievable. the sky was blue. it was an absolutely beautiful day. and then to be surprised by the -- we have a text message system in our county that alerts people if there's an emergency. to get the text message before i had even heard of the issue was pretty alarming. >> mayor, what do you and other residents of lewisville need right now? >> so it is incredibly touching how much support we have gotten through calls and support from our federal representatives, state representatives, people around the state, first responders around the state, other elected officials all around the state and country. so that support is felt, and thank you all so much. donations would be fantastic for the victims. people are going to need financial help to rebuild. and so there are some places set up on the county's website that people can donate money and just
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continue thinking of us and all the messages you've sent so far are very wonderful, and i thank you very much. >> that county is boulder county. lewisville, colorado mayor. thank you so much. >> thank you. turning now to the latest on the coronavirus as the world enters the third year of a global pandemic and cases are surging to new heights. the uk, australia, france, germany, italy, spain, those are just some of the nations that broke covid case records this week. here at home we're ending the year with more americans testing positive every day than ever before. and now some officials are scrambling to keep new year's celebrations safe. for example, in boston the mayor announced vaccines and rapid tests would be available during tonight's festivifestivities. new york city will pass out masks. and from san francisco to paris,
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fireworks have been cancelled to try to keep crowds under control. joining me right now is von hillyard at la guardia airport covering the travel disruptions. also director of the texas children hospital for vaccine development. von, first to you. surge in cases, flight cancellations, a warning from the cdc to avoid cruises no matter your vaccine status. sounds like a recipe for chaos at the airports right now. >> reporter: that's what we're seeing. naturally the omicron variant is hitting staffs at these airports. and within the airlines. you are seeing tsa agents compared to one week ago, the number of infected tsa agents has tripled. more than 17 00 tsa agents are not at work today. but then the faa also coming out this morning and saying they're seeing an up tick in cases that are taking out their employees and that folks should expect further delays within these
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airports because frankly, they can't handle the amount of traffic that is usually expected here at the turn of the year. but you're also dealing with these airlines. with flight attendants and other staff and the pilots who are coming up among those 500,000 individuals on a daily basis with positive tests. that is where you are seeing cancellations galore. just today, just today, new year's eve, 14 00 cancellations in the united states. 3,000 globally. you're seeing pockets from seattle, 300 cancelled flights, down to denver which was the denver international airport, just a few miles from where the wildfires were taking place. nearly 300 cancelled flights today. what you see is a backlog of travelers. over the course of more than a week now, 1,000 cancellations in the u.s. a day. this is putting intense pressure at a time in which now a winter storm is descending on the west this afternoon. colorado, utah, it's going to be
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making its way to oklahoma, nebraska, iowa overnight. before it hits michigan, ohio, western new york tomorrow morning. snow, sleet, this is a really tough time. i was just talking to scott from scott's cheap flights who tracks this and has thousands of individuals that are looking to what they should expect here at the airports. he said frankly, this isn't going to change over the next weeks as you continue to see the omicron variant spread here across the country, including within the airports. >> doctor, that said, tsa crews calling in sick. we know the airlines are dealing with crew member illnesses. what's going on with our transportation infrastructure, and what needs to be done in order to keep it moving? >> yeah. you know, lindsey, this is going to be a vulnerable point during this omicron wave. it is so highly transmissible. i mean, we're hearing about the tsa agents. but i have to believe that air traffic controllers are probably calling out a ground crew, the flight crew.
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we should anticipate widespread disruptions throughout our transportation infrastructure, same for trains and same for a lot of other things. i think the message is going to be be patient. it won't go on forever, but it will be tough over the next few weeks. be prepared for when school is supposed to start in terms of teachers or staff or bus drivers calling in sick. we should anticipate widespread disruption to our social infrastructure over the coming weeks. and it's going to be particularly apparent in a swath going from new york, new jersey, the mid atlantic states all the way to illinois, and then it's going to start going into other parts of the country. we're already seeing now the cases really going up 800% in louisiana, mississippi, georgia, so now it's returning to the south as well. so even with the low severity of illness, the fact that you're going to have so much social disruption to our infrastructure, transportation
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infrastructure, and health care workers being knocked out, that's going to be the tough part of this wave of the pandemic is even though there's fewer hospitalized patients, there's going to be fewer people to take care of them and all the aspects of the social disruption that we'll see. >> and doctor, let's talk about schools going back on monday. there's a big concern about the recent up tick in pediatric hospitalizations. and it does come as the fda is expected to hopefully approve a booster in the next few days. and right now it appears too soon to know how severe omicron is among our kids, but what's your advice to parents who send their kids back to school? >> well, you know, my advice is if your kids are eligible to get vaccinated, get them vaccinated. and that means fully vaccinated. in my opinion, although, not the way the cdc defines it is three immunizations for the pfizer vaccine. so if you can get -- if your kids are eligible for boosters, 12 to 15, and maybe as soon as early this coming week, go ahead and do that. but remember, also, we're not
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doing well in terms of vaccinating our five and up. our five to 11-year-olds, a very small percentage across the country. a little higher in the northeast. but really low down here where i am in texas and the southern u.s. and with all of that omicron circulating around, that's going to create another vulnerable. >> of course, vaccines remain a key tool. your own vaccine, don't know how you have time, but your own vaccine just one emergency authorization in india. what data can you share with us on how effective it is against omicron and what impact it can have for vaccinating the globe in 2022? >> this is a prototype vaccine. our technology we developed at texas children's hospital, baylor college of medicine. and we've now co-developing it into vaccines with other countries. the one furthest along is produced by one of the big vaccine producers in india known as bio logical-e.
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we don't have the data against omicron, but it seems to be holding up well against beta and delta. we have some optimism. they have 150 million doses ready to go now with plans for 300 million doses shortly after that. so hopefully this will make a difference, because the reason we have omicron in the first place is that we failed to vaccinate the southern hemisphere, failed to vaccinate africa, and this will prevent future variants from emerging. >> doctor, thank you for your time and work. vaughn, thank you so you as well. still to come, president biden is in wilmington, delaware to ring in the new year as democrats prepare for a busy start to 2022. following some of the disappointments that capped off 2021. and later, the exchange between vladimir putin and biden amid rising tensions with ukraine. what was said and what it means. you're watching "msnbc reports".
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democrats continue to stress the need to pass voting rights legislation headed into the new year. this month president biden called voting rights the single biggest thing domestically. and the vice president said passing voting rights legislation is about preserving the integrity of our democracy. but without 50 members of the senate in support of changing the filibuster rules, the path to getting a bill to the president's desk is uncertain at best. let's bring in our capitol hill correspondent. pretty big words from the white house on voting rights. is the president leaning on the senate to get this done? where are they supposed to be focussing? >> everywhere. and that's really how we ended the year on the hill. some of my last conversations with lawmakers were about the path forward on build back better and the path forward on voting rights. that's also how they're going to start the year. trying to contend with how they move forward on biden's signature legislative package
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while making action on the thing they have said is the underpinning of everything else they're working on which is voting rights. right before we left, i had a conversation with senator warnock who has been at the center of the voting rights conversation. he has been trying to pressure his colleagues, specifically manchin and cinema who are reticent to change the rules in order to go forward. the reality is if you look at the state of play on voting rights, democrats are on board with how they want to move forward. you have all 50 democrats agreeing on the path forward for voting rights. but they cannot have any republicans on their side. there's no appetite for this from the other side of this. if you can't get to 60 votes, you can't do it unless you change the rules and manchin and sinema aren't there right now. one of the things the democrats did is in a caucus meeting they presented one ways to make a carveout on voting rights. sources in the room told us this is one of the first times they've proposed that to the
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full caucus. clearly the conversation is there, but it's not clear there's an appetite to actually do it. it leaves them in limbo, wanting to do something on voting rights but unable to do it. >> do you see democrats going for full throttle for example the john lewis voting rights act, or treating the like build back better where they need to narrow it down a little bit? >> we already saw them do that. that was a larger package ochbt table, more expansive in the scope. manchin said he couldn't get on board. he went back to the drawing board with some of his fellow senators and now at least you're in a place where all 50 democrats agree on the package of things they'd like to do to shore up protections for federal voting rights. it comes down to the mechanism, and if you can't get over the 60 vote threshold, you're not going anywhere. all 50 democrats might agree, but that's not the magic number unless you make a rule change. and one of the things that happened when they made a rule change specifically on the debt
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ceiling is senator warnock said and other people in the grass roots have mentioned this as well, if you can start doing carveouts on some things, where's the line for when you start doing things on other key priorities like voting rights and gun violence prevention? there's a litany of things democrats wanted to accomplish now that they have the majority in both the house and the senate. the realities in the senate are such that with manchins like this, they can -- margins like this they can't get them done. warnock was saying if you can change the rules on the voting rights, why can't you do it with the debt limit. activists have been calling for action on two bills for months. and some are pushed to extreme measures earlier this month. staging a 15-day hunger strike outside the white house. i'm joined now by one of those hunger strikers. jocelyn gars yarks the co-founder of unpack, a
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nonpartisan group committed to providing voting rights. i spoke to a couple of your colleagues who were also doing this hunger strike. i mean, they were losing so much weight. i think one of them was down 13 pounds. some people within the group had to stop based on doctor's recommendations. why was it so important for you to be a part of this? >> absolutely. and thank you so much for having us here. it was important that i participated in a hunger strike, and i unfortunately also lost several pounds. our democracy is absolutely everything. and it impacts everything we do and everything we love. it impacts all our futures. it is the crux of this entire country. and without passing this bill, the freedom to vote act, our democracy is guaranteed to crumble, and in that, our entire
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future will also go down that rabbit hole, unfortunately. and we decided to do a hunger strike because we were seeing that there wasn't any urgency from our decision makers to move the freedom to vote act across the finish line, and we decided to do the hunger strike because it's really a moral play. right? this is not a partisan issue to save our democracy. everything we do, everything we love, all of our futures and dreams really hang in the balance of our decision makers to prioritize our democracy and pass the freedom to vote act. >> what is the status right now of the strike and do you plan to return to it if there's no movement here? >> at the moment we suspended our strike as of a few weeks ago. and that was in response to senate majority leader chuck schumer putting out a statement saying that they will consider voting rights as early as the first week they come back which
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is next week. so we are going to be holding our senate accountable to that promise that they have made to the country. we will remain vigilant, but we have also stated publicly that we are willing and will escalate if necessary whether that is starting hunger strikes in a larger capacity, or if participating in another tactic. we are committed to ensuring that this bill passes, because our entire futures hang in the balance of this bill moving, and we would rather endure another hunger strike or escalate in another capacity than have to deal with the consequences that come without passing the freedom to vote act. >> president biden tweeted yesterday this new sinister combination of voter depression and election subversion is un-american and undemocratic. we must pass the freedom to vote act and the john lewis voting rights advancement act. so jocelyn, do you trust the
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president to follow his words? what kind of movement on voting rights would you need to see in order to convince you this is a priority for the white house? >> we did have a meeting with the white house earlier this week. and in that meeting they did reiterate their support for the bill, and they stated they are working to get it passed. what we trust are actions. we are beyond to point of words, and because it is extremely important that we get this bill passed before it is too late, we are looking at actions. and we -- that is what we are assessing, and as mentioned, we are willing to escalate and president joe biden, he is a leader of the democratic party. and he does have power and the ability to motivate what is going to be the agenda that the senate moves forward with, so we will be keeping a close eye on
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the president and ensuring that he follows his words with concrete actions, and that involves restoring the senate and finding a solution to ensure that we're able to pass the freedom to vote act with a simple majority. >> all right. jocelyn, thank you for your time. >> thank you. up next, we're going to dive deeper into the challenges facing democrats in congress in the new year. we'll speak to one of the party's top house lawmakers after the break. you're watching "msnbc reports". . . try boost® high protein with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein. boost® high protein also has key nutrients for immune support. boost® high protein.
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welcome back. all 435 members of the house of representatives are on the ballot next year. and for congressional democrats, they're hoping to kick off the midterm season by passing the build back better agenda. it's going to take work to get a majority in both chambers to agree on the details. joining me is the michigan democratic congresswoman, co-chair of the democratic policy committee. she doesn't scare easily. you told my colleague earlier this month you just couldn't accept joe manchin's no on build back better. what's the way to a yes? >> so i plan on calling him next
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week, sitting down and talking to him. this morning i was on the phone with the president of the uaw for a good hour. there are a lot of things in this bill that matter. we're talking about transitioning from an internal combustion engine to electric vehicles. we've got to protect jobs and keep jobs in this country and bring this supply chain back. how? there are just really difficult, tough things we've got to get worked out. employers are desperate for people to fill jobs. that means a lot of women in this country and men need child care. there are so many things that people don't know the specific of what's in build back better. we have to start to talk the specifics of how we're going to get it done and what we're going to get done. and the reason we have it all in one umbrella is because of the reconciliation process, which is the process we have to use to get the united states senate to move bills that want to --
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>> david axelrod wrote this weak saying the aca was no shield for doctor obama and democrats in 2010, but if through a retooled build back better act mr. biden can achieve significant and durable process that benefit children and families for generations, democrats would be wise to celebrate and tout those gains instead of complaining about what wasn't possible. so congresswoman, do you feel the democrats will be able to trump it, whatever does get passed even if it's not all that was promised, the voters will listen? >> we have to do that. we're not doing a good job now. i'm going to say that as a democrat. of talking about what we've gotten done in the last year. look where we were last christmas. scared about covid, but people were scared about their jobs. are they going to have access to masks and equipment? we have shots in people's arms. could they even get the vaccine? we got shots in people's arms. we have to convince more to get them. we have people back to work that
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could work, and then we looked at the infrastructure bill. we're fixing roads and bridges and trying to clean up water. we're getting broadband. we're getting it done. we need to talk about it more. there's more work to be done. got to roll up our sleeves and get it done and tell the american people what he did. >> a lot of our democratic colleagues are either not seeking reelection or they're retiring. some say it's a sign of how they think things could go, that democrats could lose the majority come november. but what do you think the chances are the democrats can hold or even expand that majority, and what needs to happen over the next few months to help your case? >> well, first of all, i think we're going to hold the majority. a lot of people talked about how things are going republican ways but if you noticed, there are articles. people aren't paying attention to the details that democrats are keeping that -- they're competitiveness in the seats. people are going to have to work hard for them.
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but that's what we're supposed to do. that's why the house of representatives is up for election every two years. you need to stay accountable to the people. we have to go out and talk about what we've gotten done. if i were a republican, i wouldn't be proud of trying to get people to not have confidence in election results or i don't want republicans who didn't vote for the infrastructure bill, don't try to go out and take credit for money that's going to go into your district that your district needs but have voted against it. we as democrats have to do a better job of talking about what we've done, taking credit for what we've gotten done, and if we do it and get out there and do it right, we will get reelected next november. >> that said, one of your colleagues told "the new york times" last month, kitchen table issues effect michigan and the midwest more than any other national issue going on in washington. what's the best way to go about tackling those issues? is it build back better knowing that it might be much more narrow in focus?
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>> so obviously build back better is one of the tools but we've got -- i talked about the kitchen table issues when i predicted donald trump would win michigan. i said it's simple. people want to have a job. they want to feel like they've got economic security. they want to live -- they want to be able to buy a house in a safe and secure neighborhood, put food on the table, educate their kids, go to the doctor when they need to go to the doctor and have safety and retirement. those are simple issues. that's what we're trying to deliver in the build back belter act from so many different things from child care to long-term care for seniors so they have that safe and secure retirement to a lot of economic issues and addressing the climate issues. which, you know, again, in the last couple weeks you look at the horrific fires in colorado. we've had high winds in the midwest, the tornadoes in the midwest, the hurricanes, the -- it's warm. it's 60 degrees. in some portions. in some places and all the sudden they're having snow
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storms within 24 hours. we've got to address the environmental issues as well. and people know they're real. we've got to build up our resilience and do something about the carbon emissions we have. if we talk to the american people forwardly, they're going to see we're trying to get it done and are getting it done. >> congresswoman debbie dingell, happy new year. >> happy new year. up next, tens of thousands of college football fans are about to cram inside a sold out stadium in miami. all for this year's orange bowl with no covid restrictions. no vaccine requirements, no mask mandates. this is "msnbc reports". freaki. you get advice like: just stop. go for a run. go for 10 runs! run a marathon. instead, start small. with nicorette. which can lead to something big. start stopping with nicorette.
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better. faster. 100% whiter teeth. shop crestwhitesmile.com. welcome back. covid concerns cancelled five different college football bowl games the season. but tonight one of college football's longest standing playoff games will go on as planned. miami's hard rock stadium will be at full capacity and isn't imposing any covid restrictions
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on fans. as the georgia bulldogs take on michigan for a spot in the final. kerry sanders is outside the stadium with more. what do we know about this decision? >> 65,000 fans will be crowding into the stadium here. encoloneled to wear masks. the orange bowl committee will not require those attending to wear masks. health officials are greatly concerned about the spread of the omicron variant, especially in florida where we've seen a record number of cases in the last week, and of course, it's not just the fans having to deal with this. even the teams are having to deal with this, including the university of georgia. >> we've offered guys to get booster shots. some have. some haven't. they've adhered to the policies we've asked them to and been able to steer clear for the most part. we had a bout the last couple weeks this. we lost some guys and got most of those guys back. and really, that's -- the biggest thing is being at full
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strength when you have to be, and that's what we're aiming toward. >> reporter: so the teams come back they believe at full strength of the matchup for the orange bowl. but the concern is in the stands about the omicron variant which happens much quicker as people are particularly close together which you'll have in the stadium here today. 65,000 fans. >> all right. hopefully everybody stays safe. thank you. borderline with an estimated 100,000 russian troops just miles away from ukrainian territory. how real is the potential for conflict in eastern europe? the former supreme allied commander of nato joins us next. this is "msnbc reports". this is "msnbc reports".
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power through your day, medicine. new from vicks. welcome back. ukraine's president will be among the first foreign leaders president biden will speak with in the new year. just moments ago the white house announced the president will speak with walensky to reaffirm the support for sovereignty. it's a sign russia will be the top of the list of foreign policy issues the biden
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administration will deal with in 2022. yesterday putin and biden spoeng about russia's aggressive behavior toward ukraine. it's two weeks before the security talks are set to begin in geneva and has russia as amassed troops along the border with ukraine. i'm joined by the former supreme allied commander at nato and now an msnbc chief international security and diplomacy analyst. is russia the most pressing foreign policy issue for this administration heading into the new year? >> i think they are the most pressing tactical issue. midterm, i think it's iran with the potential of hopefully landing some kind of a nuclear agreement. and the long-term strategic concern for the biden team is going to be china. as we round into the new year tactically, putin is at the top
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of the list. >> well, here's part of the white house's statement on yesterday's call. president biden made clear that the united states and its allies and partners will respond decisively if russia further invades ukraine. so what does a decisive response look like? >> i'd say it encompasses three critical elements. one will certainly be a looetful package of economic sanctions, potentially up to and including detaching russia from the international swift system which is what allows countries to trade goods and services back and forth. so sanctions, economic. secondly, diplomatically, i think you'll see the democracies of the world rise up together and in particular nato will probably reinforce all of the nato countries along the russian border. the baltics, poland, romania, et cetera. and thirdly, you'll see a very significant upcheck of weapons
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systems, aid and support to ukraine. if putin decide to invade, it's not going to be a layup. think of ukraine as armed and dangerous, so to speak. so watch for all three of those things to happen if putin were to go across that border. >> and the kremlin's readout of the call was a little more aggressive than the white house's with moscow saying if the u.s. issues more sanctions, there could be a rupture in u.s./russia relations. what do you make of that? >> i think it's a true statement both ways. and i think the downside is much greater for russia of being detached economically, placed under massive sanctions, ending up with a guerilla style campaign against the forces in ukraine and seeing the world's democracy as a group push back on them dramatically. we have to remember this would be the third invasion of a
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sovereign country by russia in the last just over ten years. georgia first. ukraine. and crimea. the democracies have to say enough. and i think they will. well, that said the white house is urging a diplomatic solution with russia. is that possible and what does diplomatic solution with russia. what does that look like? >> i think there's a 20% chance that putin unfortunately will roll the dice and go across the border. i think there's a 20% chance he won't do an overt kind of engagement, but he'll amp up division within ukraine. i think there's still a 60% chance we can avoid those two levels of conflict. it's going to take a great deal of patience on the part of the united states and a great deal of restraint on the part of
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putin. i would bet more on the former than the latter. we'll know a lot more, lindsey, as the first week of january unfolds. there are talks between u.s. and russia directly, talks between russia and nato, and talks at the osce, the organization for security and cooperation in europe. we've got a bunch of cards to turn over yet. let's see how things look by mid-january. >> admiral, i got 30 seconds left with you. how closely do you think china is watching the standoff? any influence it could have on china's behavior towards taiwan? >> very perceptive question. they're watching it every minute, and absolutely the two situations are not a perfect match. they're pretty analogous. china will be watching to see how resolute we are. >> retired admiral james stavridis, thank you, great do you see, happy new year to you. >> same to you. coming up, a tribute to those we lost this year. you're watching "msnbc reports." . you're watching "msnbc reports."
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welcome back. we want to take a moment to look back at some of the iconic people in politics, culture, and media whom we lost this year. >> don't anyone ever tell you you are limited because you came from the inner city, because you're black, because you didn't go to the right schools. the only thing that should ever be a limitation is your own dream.
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♪♪ >> as you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time. ♪♪ >> my grandfather was a slave. my father was a sharecropper. my mother, a maid. because this is america, i am now a congresswoman. ♪♪
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>> i thought history would judge the campaign as an honorable campaign. and i believe i will be judged that way. ♪♪ >> good day from washington. i'm roger mudd. ♪♪
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>> mom, i know you didn't want me to do this. but i did. and here it is. [ applause ] >> i don't know what to say except to you, my audience, thank you. and instead of goodbye, how about so long. ♪♪ >> i leave you all tonight with a full heart and a fervent prayer that we will meet again and we will meet often.
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>> a big thanks to our friends at "meet the press" for putting that piece together. you can catch a special edition of "meet the press" this sunday, called "january 6th: one year later," on your local nbc station. i'm lindsey reiser. i'll see you tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. katy tur picks up the coverage right now. good to be with you and happy new year's eve, i'm katy tur. we're looking at another record breaking week as covid cases continue to explode across the united states. more than 584,000 cases reported yesterday alone. but despite this huge increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain much lower than previous case surges thanks to vaccines and boosters. keep all that have in mind.
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and expanded eligibility for those boosters is coming as well. the fda and cdc are expected to recommend boosters for kids ages 12 to 15 possibly as soon as next week. meanwhile, the new surge in covid cases has upended holiday travel for a lot of us. thousands of flights delayed or canceled because of staff shortages. cruises are now a no-go. the cdc is advising everyone to avoid cruise ships altogether regardless of their vaccination status. the trade group representing cruise lines say they are disappointed and perplexed. joining me now from la guardia airport is nbc news correspondent vaughn hillyard. vaughn, very good to see you, my friend. lucky for you, it's a relatively mild day in new york i

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