tv Jose Diaz- Balart Reports MSNBC January 20, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PST
agen da, a deep dive into the presidency. russia moves more troops along the ukrainian borer can amid growing concern about an imminent invasion. we'll talk to senator robert menendez. also in washington, a blow to former president trump. the supreme court blocked his efforts to stop the national archives from releasing hundreds of documents to the house january 6th committee. and we'll get a live report from reno, nevada, about the housing crisis plaguing an otherwise booming local economy. one year ago today joe biden stood on the west front of the u.s. capitol to be sworn in as president. 365 days later, he finds himself in a tough spot.
his approval ratings are sagging, facing huge problems from soaring covid cases, inflation to the threat of a potential russian invasion of ukraine and much of his agenda is stalled on capitol hill where he suffered a huge defeat last night, senate democrats were unable to advance voting rights bills or change senate rules to make it easier to pass them. the president is hitting the reset button, starting with a nearly two-hour news conference yesterday and a wide range of topics. the biggest headline maybe these comments on what the u.s. would do if russia invades ukraine. >> russia will be held accountable if it invades and depends on what it does. if it's a minor incursion and we fight with what to do and not do, et cetera. if they do what they're capable of doing it will be a disaster for russia if they further invade ukraine.
>> we have a great panel lined up to talk about all of this, eugene daniels, white house reporter and victoria francesca soto, dean at the university of arc a dr. celine gounder from the new york university school of medicine and belle view hospital and senior fell owe and ed for at-large from kaiser health and elaine cooper, pentagon reporter. good morning to all of you. they're all msnbc contributors. helene, vice president harris tried to kind of clear up the president's comments during an interview on the "today" show this morning. here's some of what she had to say. >> if putin takes aggressive action, we are prepared to levy serious and severe costs, period, and i will tell you that part of the posture that we have taken is grounded in the respect
and the value we place in sovereignty and territorial integrity. >> madam vice president, i'm sorry to interrupt. >> -- the territorial integrity of ukraine. >> it is less than clear, because 30 minutes after the news conference, the white house press secretary had to actually clarify the president's remarks. >> savannah, i'm being clear with you right now. >> even though the vice president tried to clear things up, helene, were these comments viewed by russia and ukraine as essentially a green light for putin to go into ukraine? >> it's not a green light but i can see why you would ask that question, because it certainly sounds, from what biden said, that the administration has now basically accepted what they believe to their intel and the latest steps from russia sort of
make clear, that russia is going to in some sort of way make some kind of incursion to ukraine. it could be air strikes. it could be ground incursion. it could be cyber. it could be a combination of all three. they have spent years ever since 2014, when russia annexed crimea during the obama administration trying to walk this fine line between not provoking russia into doing anything more bold by going further into ukraine so they've sold military equipment to the ukraine, try to make sure it wasn't seen as proactive, offensive stuff, focused more on defense and they've kind of done this balancing act but what you're seeing now is a pivot to an acceptance that there's no talk anymore about we can't
provoke russia going into ukraine. they accept now that time has passed and we're now at the stage of what to we do once vladimir putin does go into ukraine and now president biden says it depends how far in he goes, how big of an incursion it is. the reality is, ukraine is not a part of nato, and because of that, the united states is not obligated to come to its collective defense and nato is not going to come to its collective defense, so the options for the administration, yes, you could do a locale more on the military side and that is probably going to be more, would be more likely to sort of put a halt or at least stay the russian hand but he doesn't want to do that. the last thing he wants to do is commit military assets after a long afghanistan war or focus
more sanctions, which is what he has been doing so far. as we all have seen from afghanistan, to iran, russia, sanctions, they are a limited value and it's unclear whether there's collective will in europe to be as tough on the sanctions part of policy as they could be. >> i was just wondering, you covered the pentagon. let's say the u.s. military in the past has talked about a minor incursion into somewhere. what is a minor incursion normally mean? >> right. it's an insane thing to even say. i can't believe it came out of my mouth, because ukraine is a sovereign entity. there's no such thing as a minor incursion, but when we're talking about it in this case, we're talking about maybe just focusing on its doingbas region,
already a separatist movement, pro-russian separatists battling the military of ukraine for years and russia to maybe do something in that region, limited toward eastern ukraine, far more pro-russian activists there than there are the rest. we're talking about not threatening or not trying to push further towards kiev, looking at the denepa river as a sort of marking point and you look at the cyber activities that vladimir putin has already started, so there are different levels that you could see. it's not necessarily we're looking at huge tanks coming over the border and pushing all the way to kiev, but there is -- but you are probably going to see some type of, probably won't be, analysts now say they doubt it will be limited only to cyber, but at this point we
don't know because at the end of the day, this is still a question of what's in vladimir putin's head and what he's willing to risk particularly on the side of the russian public opinion. if you start seeing body bags coming back to russia and russian troops getting killed he's running his own fine line how far can he push this in the russian public eye before he gets pushback of his own. there's a lot of different factors to consider. >> a lot question the legitimacy of the midterm elections. jen psaki tweeted the president was not casting doubt on the 2022 election and that he was trying to make the point it would be illegitimate if states did what former donald trump asked to do in 2020, tossing out
ballots and overturning the results. is the white house worried what would happen if nothing happens on voting rights? >> that's a fine line they're walking, trying to walk back some of the things. that's what happens when a person who talks off the cuff like joe biden gets two hours with reporters. they are worried what b what's going to happen with voting rights legislation. you heard the president they want to do q something" on electoral reform, certain things that the republicans are willing to do that don't have a lot to do with the actual voting part of things but that is where a lot of the stress is for both black voters, for advocates, civil rights leaders and folks in the white house who are concerned not just that some republican states are making harder to vote, changing things
and going back to how it was before covid, doing things beyond that but most importantly to the administration they are kind of changing who has the power to count the votes, who administers the elections and those are people in some of these states that are more part son than they've ever been or the able to be more partisan than they've ever been. voting rights legislation, hard to see how that would happen, though they say they'll push for it in the white house and in the senate, that otherwise you're going to, states do what they want and i talked to al sharpton last week and he said the next thing that he and other civil rights leaders want is a meeting with president biden and the attorney general to say basically you guys have to do more. we want to know what the department of justice is going to do to protect folks' voting rights.
they've done little things around the edges but want to see more because it's obvious in the senate, any kind of voting rights legislation whether it looks like the ones they tried to do last night or anything else are coming again soon. >> the president begins his second year in office, an nbc news poll shows 43% of americans approve of the job he's doing, second lowest approval rating of president end of the first year in office. over the past year lost ground almost all of his core constitu constituencies, african americans, latinos, women, independents. what does that tell us about the uphill battle facing the president? >> it's worrisome for the white house and also for the races that are coming up in 2022. you highlighted the subgroups, the voters of colors, latinos, latin americans, asian americans.
even though they supported in 2020 overwhelmingly voting for him 70%, what we're seeing is now, he has the support of only 52% of that block and when you're looking at races across the country, especially in our state, with large minority mop police station that have senate contests, that's worrisome, not just the day-to-day for joe biden, but what it is going to look like in terms of the math of the senate and also the house of representatives and here, jose, i'm thinking about obviously georgia, arizona, nevada. these are ones where the voters of color first of all turning out are going to be key, but also supporting the democratic party because remember, the democrats can't assume that minority voters are automatically going to vote for them. we've seen slippage among asian americans and latinos. this is an uphill battle, given the numbers across the board and especially with the key
constituencies. >> dr. gounder, here is some of what the president had to said about fighting the pandemic. >> i'm not going to give up and accept things as they are now. some people may call what's happening now the new normal. i call it a job not yet finished. it will get better. we're moving toward a time in covid-19 won't disrupt our daily lives, where covid-19 won't be a crisis, but something to protect against and a threat. >> doctor, you remember biden's covid-19 advisory board during the transition and recently one of several health experts who called on the administration to adopt a strategy toward living with the pandemic instead of trying to wipe it out. what did you make of what the president had to say yesterday? >> well, i agree that we do need to adapt to coexist with the virus. we've known for some time that this is not a virus that we can
eliminate or eradicate. it's highly infectious, it has a short incubation period. a lot of people spread asymptomatic spread and finally animals can also be infected with sars covid-2.characteristi impossible to eliminate or eradicate. this starts with focusing on preventing severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths as well as disruptions to society and the economy. i think where we have really gone wrong is in declaring mission accomplished too early over and over again, being caught by surprise by new variants and what we really need to be doing is building up our public health preparedness, not just surging for crises but really being more prepared and assuming we will see a new variant emerge once or twice a year. we need health care systems not
every time there's a surge putting elective surgeries and other health care services on pause, that is not a sustainable way to have your health system run, but really to assume you're going to have periods of time every year where you're going to have a higher toll on the hospitals and so that means we have to step up. we need to have more hospital beds, we need more doctors and nurses in the long run to be able to deal with this in a sustainable way and not be in crisis all the time. >> dr. celine gounder, eugene daniels, and dr. soto, dean of the school of public service at the university of arkansas, congratulations, that's great. >> gracias. >> happy to see all of you. [ speaking in foreign language ] what the supreme court just did that allows the january 6th committee to dig deep near president trump's actions as president. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports."
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20 past the hour. the house january 6th committee is receiving key records from the trump white house related to the attack on the capitol, after the supreme court rejected former president trump's request to block the national archives from releasing hundreds of documents to the committee. joining now is nbc news justice pete williams and former law clerk to sonia sotomayor and msnbc legal analyst. pete, what can you tell us what this means for the former president's ability to block other documents? >> he's now in a bad position to block any further documents by asserting executive privilege. the supreme court really didn't say much. we don't learn -- we learn almost nothing about the big question that always hung over this case, how much power does a
former president have to assert executive privilege. the supreme court said whatever the court of appeals said in this case is just their own view of it, it has no force of law, but in any event, the supreme court did say that even if he were still the president, it would have been difficult to block the documents going forward. i think it's a blow to his ability certainly. he can't stop these documents, the committee already has them and i think the handwriting's on the wall for any further attempts to block future documents from archives. >> and melissa, what is the significance of these documents? what do they mean for the committee's investigation? >> i think this is a huge victory for the committee, because they really do want to know what was going on at the white house, what was going on in the trump inner circle while the events of january 6th were playing out and everything that led up to january 6th, so they've been keen to get these documents and i think this win from the supreme court was welcomed yesterday. >> pete, could this mean something for, i don't know,
thinking other trump officials who want to shield themselves and their records from the committee? >> yes, i think it's bad news for them on a couple of counts. first of all, a lot of these efforts to block subpoenas from the committee have made an argument that the committee has no justifiable need, no legitimate need. it's not a true investigative committee. it's trying to prosecute people. the court of appeals ruling said that's not the case. the committee does have a legitimate need and what the supreme court yesterday did leaves that in place. so that's now the law of the d.c. circuit. i think it makes it very hard now for people to attack the committee and say it has no legitimacy, no need, true need for these documents. the second thing is, of course, a lot of these former trump people are saying well, we don't want to cooperate because the president told us that's asserting executive privilege. there's not much left of that now, so i think it's bad news for them on those two counts. >> i'm wondering, melissa and
pete was so clear as he always is, there wasn't a lot coming out of the supreme court as far as the logic behind it or expand on it, but do you think this has any, i don't know, precedent for claims of executive privilege in the future? >> the court was very clear that anything that the court of appeals below had said regarding the efforts of the former president to invoke executive privilege would not be considered precedent going forward but it left open this question saying it wasn't decided here. we did have one opinion from justice cavanaugh suggesting he did not agree with the court of appeals decision below that a former president could not invoke executive privilege. it's a live issue one the court may take up in the future. >> thank you for being with me this morning. i so appreciate your time. up next, we're watching secretary of state blinken speaking live in berlin,
germany. there you see him. senator bob menendez chair of the foreign relations committee talks about the consequences for putin if russia invades ukraine and a lot more. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports." you're watching "jose you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports. sorry, one sec. doug blows several different whistles. doug blows several different whistles. [a vulture squawks.] there he is. only pay for what you need. ♪liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
28 past the hour, this morning ukraine's president urged his fellow citizens not to panic after president biden said yesterday his guess is russia will move into ukraine. this hour secretary of state antony blinken is speaking in berlin before meeting with germany's chancellor and then travel to geneva to meet with russia's foreign minister tomorrow. joining me is richard engel. what is the latest? >> reporter: jose, it's clear that ukraiian officials and government are upset, frightened, rattled by what president biden said and you can see it in their denials, denying there is any daylight between the u.s. and ukraine, that president biden's comments changed the game at all yesterday. this morning president zelensky
stating president biden's position and statements yesterday changed nothing, that the u.s. and ukraine are on the same page but you don't say that until there's a concern the u.s. and the ukraine aren't on the same page. the foreign minister said there can be no such thing as a half invasion, that a russian minor incursion is the same as a major invasion. yesterday president biden strongly suggested more than once in his comments that a minor military action by russia into ukraine would elicit one kind of response and a major invasion potentially toppling the ukrainian government would trigger massive sanctions and also said that nato allies are divided about how they should respond to russia, if it carries out a minor military action or a
military action that doesn't cause any casualties or a full blown invasion. his comments were quickly clarified by the white house, but the presidents words have much more weight than a written statement from a white house spokesman. so today they have going out of their way to say there is no issue but by going out of the way, revealing they're clearly upset and comes at a time when the u.s. is trying to show unity and strength as diplomatic negotiations are continuing. they began in kiev and today continuing in germany and tomorrow in geneva, where the secretary of state will meet the russian foreign minister and something of a game of poker going on between the u.s. and russia and if it seems like president biden may have revealed quite a few cards. jose? >> richard engel in kiev, thank
you so much. joining me now is nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell. you're in geneva, as richard was telling us, secretary blinken will be meeting with russia's top diplomat tomorrow. what is the latest on the diplomatic efforts? >> it is a matter of cleanup on aisle three, if you will, because tony blinken today was meeting with the germans, with the french and with the briss here in berlin. before he gets to geneva to meet with lavrov and so many things president biden said last night contradicted what tony blinken has been saying, what the u.s. has been saying in public at least about the unity of the nato alliance, saying they're completely unified about their response to any russian aggression. just last week wendy sherman the top negotiator reporting from brussels from nato saying
anything would trigger sanctions, whether it's hybrid or cyber, any other response, non-direct military response from vladimir putin. all of that contradicted by the president last night. what the president said is much more important than what any of his cabinet members say and what he signaled was weakness on the part of the u.s. towards putin. just this week, the french president macron saying that the europeans will be directly negotiating with russia rather than obviously letting the u.s. lead the way. there's a lot of uncertainty, even going into this press conference last night and now tony blinken is sitting with all of the allies today repeatedly at a news conference emphasizing unity, we're in this together, directly asked about these contradictions from the president and side-stepping them in his news conference, not
directly answering the question whether a minor incursion would trigger sanctions, indicating that we've always said there would be a response to aggression from russia. a diplomatic two-step for tony blinken on the heels of what was by all accounts a very dispiriting performance by the president last night on foreign policy. jose? >> andrea mitchell in geneva, thank you. joining me is democratic senator of new jersey, bob menendez, chair of the foreign relations committee. always a pleasure to see you, sir. i want to get your thoughts out the gate. it's clear we're in a dangerous time. no one is under more threat than ukraine. what is the message the united states should be sending to the people of ukraine? >> good to be with you, jose. the message is we have a strong
unwavering commitment to ukraine's territorial sovereignty, to assist it in defending against russian aggression. that is an absolute commitment as it evidenced by the more than 600 million the biden administration has advanced in lethal material to ukraine. the most recent decision having u.s.-made weapons transferred from some of the baltic states, latvia, lithuania, estonia, including javelin anti tank missiles, and the endorsement of the administration of my mother of all sanctions bill, which we think is essential to send a very clear message to putin that there will be devastating consequences to him and to the russian economy, should he make
the fatal mistake of invading ukraine. >> what would that bill give the united states, what tools would that bill give the united states? >> jose, these are beyond the normal sanctions i've been watching some of your programming before and at other times listening to various channels talk about sanctions don't have the consequences, not these sanctions. these sanctions, why i called the mother of all sanctions would not only directly sanction putin and military and oligarchs in russia, it would sanction russian's sovereign debt. it would potentially unplug russia from the suisse operation, which is at the international financial transaction systems. it would accelerate 500 million, half a billion dollars in ukraine and military assistance. that's just the start of it.
there's so much more and at the end of the day it sends a clear message to putin, not only will you and the russian economy face devastating sanctions, including by the way, sectoral sanctions on their extraction industries, which is basically what russia's economy is, but you are going to face a much more fortified ukraine that means that if you send russia's sons into battle, expect that the casualties of war will send many back to russia in body bags. >> i know, senator, you were very involved, very passionate about what went on in the senate last night, on voting rights. how significant of a failure was the vote last night? >> well, look, it's a big disappointment, there's no question about it. as you and i both know from our family's histories, freedom and the right to vote is essential to all other things.
that's what dr. king called the right to vote, the most powerful, important tool to end oppression, and to create opportunity, but it's unfortunate that while two of our colleagues on the democratic side didn't join us, not one rop joined us, even on the bill. forget about the rules change. you would have thought that the 16 republicans led then by senate mcconnell, the republican leader in 2006 who voted to the extent of the voting rights act then that what's the difference between 2006 and now, that 16 of them that voted with us then did not vote with us last night. had they voted with us, we, in fact, would have passed these significant pieces of legislation to guarantee the sacred right to vote, and there would have been no rules change necessary. yes, i'm extremely disappointed but that won't stop us from using the justice department to
enforce the voting rights of people as guaranteed by the constitution. it won't stop us from pursuing actions against political gerrymandering and it will continue to challenge our republican colleagues. several of them on the floor last night made statements about what they are for, like the complete contact, which is only one element, not about voting rights directly but it would ensure that we don't have another attempted coup as we saw under president trump. >> senator, a curious thing happened overnight. we learned that the cia has ruled out that hundreds of reported cases of this mysterious havana syndrome are not part of a global campaign by a hostile country but in about two dozen cases they've been unable to rule out foreign involvement. what do you make of this? >> i'm perplexed by it, jose, and demanding answers. number one, i'm looking forward to a briefing and i haven't had
the opportunity to read the report yet, but i'm looking forward to a briefing because everything that led up to this point in terms of the information we received and talking about what's out there in the public sphere makes it clear it was a different train of thought what the attacks were, so we owe it to our diplomatic personnel and others across the globe who are pursuing the u.s. foreign policy and national interests to get to the bottom of it. i also don't understand why an interim report that seems to be somewhat inconclusive at the end of the day was being issued right now, so i have some tough and serious questions that i'm going to be demanding answers to, because we owe it to our foreign service people. >> the timing, right, senator, seems a little odd. >> it certainly does. if you exhausted all of your, you know, research and
investigation, and this is your conclusion, which you would have to back up as you come to this conclusion, what's the evidence behind that conclusion i understand it would be time for a report but an interim report that leaves open the possibility that foreign hostility may have been one of the actions taken here is in my mind mind-boggling. i don't know what is the purpose of an interim report as inconclusive. how did this dramatically change from everything we were being told up to now and that's what we're going to go after and test the proposition as to not only why did you issue it now but how did you come to these conclusions. >> senator bob menendez, thank you for being with me. >> great to be with you. president biden barely mentioned, well he didn't mention immigration during his two-hour news conference. you know why that is? you know how many questions he
was asked about immigration? zero. when we come back, we'll talk about what are the questions that should have been asked. and we're keeping an eye on capitol hill, speaker of the house nancy pelosi is about to hold her weekly news conference. you're watching reports. her we. you're watching reports.
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back pain, and fatigue. aleve-x. it's fast, powerful long-lasting relief with a revolutionary, rollerball design. because with the right pain reliever... life opens up. aleve it... and see what's possible. president biden had a nearly two-hour news conference and yet not one question was asked to him about immigration reform, border policy, nothing. joining me now is my friend julio, an author of telemundo's evening newscasts, one of the journalists i most admire. two hours, not one single question about immigration, about the border. what were some of the questions that you would have liked to
ask? >> there are so many questions. jose, thank you for having me. he answered almost more than 00 questions and no questions about immigration although immigration has been a major crisis for this government, and he campaigned big on immigration reform, so question number one, why hasn't he been able to deliver on that promise of immigration reform. why hasn't he used his political capital during this first year to make sure an immigration solution goes through congress and question number two, why hasn't this government been able to reduce the number of immigrants coming in from central america? this administration has argued that we have to attack the root causes of immigration, in central america and that's true, and vice president kamala harris has been working on this but not only we haven't seen a reduction in the number of immigrants, we've soon an increase since last year.
this is not a one-day solution but i mean, we saw an increase of immigrants coming in, so there's a lot of work to do. what have we been doing wrong as a country and as a region? >> so i want to take advantage of our time together, julio, to ask that the president speak to you, that he sit down with julio of telemundo, if you can include me in there, i'd love to but if not ask the president of the united states to sit down and talk about the issues. one of the border policies not asked about, title 42 the trump-era policy that expels migrants on the basis of public health. the biden administration spent yesterday defending that in court. what is title 42 and what does it do? >> that's one question we should ask him, jose, you and i together in this interview. title 42 is basically an order that uses public health grants to authorize the u.s. government
to immediately expel and turn away immigrants asking for asylum at the border. so president trump used this as an argument, using the pandemic as an argument but really it deterred immigration and the result was a human rights crisis with hundreds of thousands of immigrants escaping their own countries, fleeing persecution, violence, only to find out they cannot come into the united states, no questions asked, and one would think that the biden administration would restore asylum, but title 42 continues. >> julio, you and i are also now ambassadors with telemundo for a new program to pointer institute and google news that tackles disinformation in spanish. talk to me about the importance of that issue. >> i'm very excited about this one, jose, because i think it's a great initiative, basically what we're trying to do is to give tools to our audience for them to be able to distinguish
what is true and false in the news. we talk a lot about fake news in this country but everything is in english and we have more than 40 million people speaking spanish at home who depend in social media to get in touch with family members around the country and world. the latino community uses the internet and the social media to get informed. so we are giving them resources for them to be able to know what's true and what's not, what's fake news and what's not. so i'm very excited to join this initiative and to be able to work together in this. >> and in both english and spanish? >> yes. people can find more information and resources about this. >> thank you for being with me. i so appreciate your time. i know that you have very limited time. i'm grateful that you spent some with us. appreciate it. >> thank you very much.
business in like tesla, microsoft and others are creating high-tech and manufacturing jobs. but housing prices are soaring in washoe county, and some people are having to live out of their cars. the boom is creating a housing shortage there. is anything being done to help? >> reporter: good morning, well, they're doing everything they can. you have affordable housing projelkts being built around the county. you have developers building new homes, but they can't do it fast enough. we were told they were planning on 6,000 a year. they've only been able to do 5,000. and then the supply chain issues have made it difficult for a lot of the developers to get the materials they need. sometimes the projects are stopped for days because they're waiting on things like sand, cement, stucco, even garage
doors. everything has combined to create this shortage like you've seen in other parts of the country, but it's much worse here in washoe county. what happens is the houses that are on sale, have become so much more expensive. you look at prices in the last ten years. they went from houses averaging $150,000 to half a million dollars here. the population has also been increasing. and if you look at salaries, the salaries are not growing as fast as the cost of housing is. this is why it's difficult. this is a city where people can have a full-time job, make good money and still not be able to afford a new home and have a hard time paying for rent. one of the casinos downtown has made a decision to restructure one of the buildings here and create housing for their employees, because it was so difficult for them to find people that can work in the casino and actually afford to live in the area. so everything that can, is being
done. but the experts do say that they could -- the government could create more policies to make it easier for developers and invest more in affordable housing. >> thank you so much for being with me this morning. that wraps up the hour. i'm jose diaz-balart. thank you for the privilege of your time. craig melvin picks up with more news after this short break. p w p w news after this short break.♪ deon, hand it over. now how does that ou feel? like a part of me is missing. gabrielle? this old spice fiji hand and body lotion has me smoother than ever. that's what it does.
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