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tv   Alex Witt Reports  MSNBC  January 29, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PST

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to say i'm glad i got to sit and listen to your last interview with deon cole. it lifted my spirits. >> and you got paid to do that. that was fun for you. >> it was fun. it was fun indeed. >> we'll see you next saturday, thanks my friend. >> thanks. meantime, a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters in new york. welcome to alex witt reports. we're going to begin with the breaking news. the nor'easter strengthening into a bomb cyclone, yikes, that storm slamming the northeast right now and creating dangerous conditions up and down the east coast from new england to florida. some areas have already accumulated more than a foot of snow, and wind gusts of over 50 miles an hour are blowing that snow around, making conditions even more treacherous. several states have asked drivers to just stay off the roadways, and thousands of flights have been cancelled ahead of this storm. some coastal areas are experiencing heavy flooding from
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the strong wind and the storm surge, and power crews are on stand by to respond to outages. they have been working all through the night, and with freeze warnings in effect, as far south as florida, rising concern at this hour for manatees, they're going to have difficulty surviving those cold temperatures, we're sorry to say. we have a team of reporters in the thick of the storm, and bill cairns has been monitoring all of it for us. we're going to start with kathy park with our coverage in boston where you are anything but comfortable. it probably feels like four years ago when the city's last blizzard happened there. the temperature is, what, negative three degrees. just quickly, how are conditions right now, my friend? >> hey, alex, good afternoon to you. thank goodness i wasn't here four years ago to endure another round of this blizzard. it is pretty brutal right now. the snow is really starting to come down. we're reporting 3 inches per
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hour in some spots. right now, on the ground, we have about 6 to 8 inches, but keep in mind, this is a long duration storm. this will continue on for several more hours, so some places could see a foot of snow, other spots 2 feet of snow. but massachusetts, they are tackling this storm in stride. they have thousands of pieces of equipment out and about today. they have been working around the clock, clearing the roadways, but alex, as you can see, the snow is blowing all around. it's kind of hard to keep up with this storm. crews are up against a lot of challenges right now. but we're also tracking the conditions out on the coast. cape cod, wind gusts, close to 90 miles per hour. it is just insane out there. i just saw some pictures, waves are crashing. they're slammed with a ton of snow. they're also dealing with flooding as well. so obviously conditions are extremely dangerous. at last check, the temperature here, minus 2.
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it feels like minus 2. it's about 18 degrees. i'm wearing several layers, still shivering, my jaw is starting to kind of freeze up here. this kind of gives you a taste of what it's like here in boston, but like i said, it's expected to get worse throughout the day, alex. >> i can about imagine. listen, you totally my hero for doing this. i'm just going to tell you about a story when i was doing a live shot in really cold conditions. you should know, i went to usc, right, the point is i was talking about the aclu and i kept talking about ucla. my brain was frozen and that was like why would i be talking about ucla. anyway, great job, and stay warm, we'll check in with you again. let's go from there now to long island, and we have emilie ikeda joining us from there. how are things for you? looks like almost as bad as boston? >> reporter: hey there, alex, just like kathy, the name of the game is layering up. i have a ton of layers on. it is just frigid cold outside.
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a couple of hours ago i was stomping around here, and you can see my footprints covered, aside from the ones i took to get to this point, and that's because the snow is falling at an impressive clip, several an inches an hour. where we are in long island, parts have seen more than a foot of snow already, but really what hits you when you step outside the doors is wind, wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour, and what it does is picks up light snow, and throws it around making travel really that much more treacherous. in nearby new york city, they have crews working around the clock, nearly 2,000 snowplows out working the roadways while they're still encouraging people to stay off the roadways. we have seen a number of people get stuck in the snow. here in long island, the roadway is quiet. people are heeding the warnings. governor hochul is talking about concerns, one is power outages, they could be strong enough to
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bring down power lines. and when you get power outages in cold frigid temperatures like this, it can be very problematic, listen here. >> this is a huge point of vulnerability. you do not want to be in the middle of the storm and start calling in utility workers to be on the ground to start doing repairs so we can restore power. they need to be deployed and on the ground and ready to take action the second the limbs come down and bring down the wires or whatever the circumstance is, because when the weather is this cold, this is where the danger sets in. you cannot have people in their homes without pete heat for any length of time and that is the part we're concerned about, why we wanted to reach out to the utilities make sure they are on the ground, and we have received word that they are. >> and you can see wind gusts are coming through. sometimes it's difficult to look at the camera, it really just stings your cheeks, so cold with the snow hitting your face. some of the snowfall totals we have seen in the region, three states, maryland, new jersey, new york, already with more than a foot of snow in some areas.
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here in long island included and get this, we could see up to 20 inches of snow. so hours more of these conditions. as kathy mentioned the duration, we're in it for the long haul. >> another hero correspondent braving the elements, thank you so much, emilie ikeda in long island for doing that. let's bring in nbc news meteorologist bill karins. so the question to you as i say good saturday to you, where's the worst of it right now? >> good saturday to you, alex. i feel guilty. we both have had our share of big storms out in the field. we do have those memories. we feel for them today. it's about as cold and bone chilling as it gets. thank you for showing us the pictures. there's two sides of a winter storm. there's the areas that get hit just bad enough that it's an inconvenience, and you go clean up and the kids play, and then there's the people that lose power. you have damage, you have wave action and damage. this storm really is a tale of
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two storms, and the areas that are being highly impacted are really right along the coast, especially out on the cape cod. here's a big satellite view of the storm, giving you an overview of how massive and huge the storm is. it's officially a bomb cyclone. it did undergo bombogenesis. we're waiting to see if it meets blizzard criteria. we're likely going to get here soon, rhode island, block island into boston, it's snowing really hard in those areas. philadelphia, you're done. new york city, maybe just another fluffy 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch, pretty much done in new york. long island has a ways to go, and when you look at the radar, the blue is where it's snowing. when you see the white, that's where it's snowing really hard and this storm has been really well forecast for the last 24 hours. it's right over providence in boston. that really 2 to 3 inches of snow an hour, adding up quickly. we could see a 2 foot snow total by the time we're done.
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as far as the numbers go, we have a little over 40 million people under winter storm warnings or blizzard warnings. the areas on the coast, still under a blizzard warning. jersey shore, long island, coastal maine, and they extended into central maine, too. additional snow on top of what's already on the ground. boston, another 9 to 12 inches, maine, you still have another foot to go. on long island, maybe another 3 inches. that's on top of the 14 or so and we're wait to go see if this storm in boston can make it into the top five all time to get there we have to get over 24 inches of snow. we'll wait and see how that all plays out. the snow totals are just starting to come in. the highest total so far, the jersey shore. smithville is the highest of anywhere. it's 16 inches of snow. river head is at 14. philadelphia at the airport picked up around 6. new york, central park, that was a 7:00 a.m. reading, so we're probably close to 7 inches by now in new york city. we'll wait and see what logan reports later in the day. these winds have been no joke, out in province town, we gusted
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near 80 miles per hour. and it looks like our data stopped. we lost power to it or the anemometer, the wind gauge busted. not a storm to be fooling around with in eastern new england. that's kind of what we expected the rest of the northeast, you kind of start to resume their day. >> yeah, absolutely, and everyone be careful on the roads. i got to say, i made my way to west chester, the roads are not plowed yet. and it's constantly coming down, if they were plowed you couldn't tell. thank you so much, good to to see you my friend. take care, be safe. as we bring you a live look at providence, rhode island, a blizzard warning in effect. all non-emergency road travel is banned there. by the way, if you're flying today, know this, most of the flights in and out of the airport around boston, are cancelled. other service has been cancelled
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or very limited. meantime, right now, ntsb investigators are on the scene of the pittsburgh bridge collapse. a team of more than a dozen officials arrived there last night. they are now combing through debris in the snowy ravine. ten people were injured friday morning just hours before president biden visited the city to tout infrastructure investments. our nbc affiliate, wpxi slates the bridge was slated for replacement but not for another decade. that was according to the latest inspection report. let's go to josh lederman braving things at the white house with the president today. it doesn't look so bad there weather-wise. that's good to know. there's hope on the horizon. but let's talk about the coincidence of this accident and the president heading there. i think everyone thought wow. >> yeah, alex, to think of how many weekends you and i have talked about how hard it has been for president biden to connect the dots for americans about his economic agenda. what that really means in people's lives, and here in pittsburgh, just this
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breathtaking real life example as well as president biden hopes, a real wake up call. it wasn't planned but it sure made the point. this bridge in pittsburgh plummeting to the ground hours before president biden was set to speak there about america's crumbling infrastructure. >> just simply unacceptable. >> it's also a miracle, no deaths, at ten people were injured. rescuers repelling more than 100 feet to help them. >> as i was driving across it in my mind, i knew the bridge was collapsing. i could feel it. >> mr. biden, making a detour to view what was left of the bridge, one of more than 45,000 across the country, listed in poor condition. >> you're going to fix them all, not a joke. >> it was an i told you so moment for a president struggling to sell his trillion dollar infrastructure lot. an achievement democrats are running on in the midterms. >> members of congress, have been saying for years, we have to do something about this, and we finally got it done. >> reporter: the biden
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administration has started dolling out $27 billion to repair bridges across the country. pennsylvania will get 1.6 billion over five years. there's 3 billion headed to airports, and 7.4 billion to upgrade lead pipes. many of the projects will take years to get off the ground, as a recent report card from the american society of civil engineers gives u.s. infrastructure a c minus. >> if this doesn't bring to the forefront the need to renew our infrastructure, i'm not sure what else can happen. >> reporter: this morning an ntsb team is on the ground to investigate but at least three people are still hospitalized in fair condition. >> got to move. the next time we don't need headlines saying that someone was killed when the next bridge collapsed. >> reporter: to think there were half a dozen vehicles including that port authority bus on the bridge that fell with it when this bridge collapsed and somehow nobody died in this is just incredible. but even with all of that
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infrastructure funding, officials in pennsylvania saying it will take at least a year to get a functional bridge up and running there. >> it is an absolute miracle that nobody died. can you imagine the feeling of being on a bus and having a bridge collapse underneath you. terrifying, absolutely. josh, thank you for all that from the white house. we'll see you again. meantime, for all of you, what will the confirmation process look like for president biden's judicial nominee, especially if that is a black woman as the president has promised. i'll talk with someone who helped justice breyer through the confirmation process, next. helped justice breyer through helped justice breyer through the confirmation process, next ♪are you ready♪
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comcast business. powering possibilities. . let's go now to the day's other big headlines. new developments in ukraine at this hour as officials there reportedly criticizing the biden administration for escalating talk of an imminent russian attack. meanwhile, new reaction from president biden who told reporters yesterday, a small amount of u.s. troops could be moving to eastern europe sooner
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rather than later. >> have you decided how soon you would be moving u.s. troops to eastern europe? >> i'll be moving u.s. troops to eastern europe and the nato countries in the near term. >> also new today, from the january 6th investigation, the house select committee issuing subpoenas to former white house spokesman judd deer as well as 14 so-called alternate electors who were allegedly part of a scheme in 2020 to admit fake slate of electoral votes for president trump across seven states won by joe biden. the white house is publicly identifying one name on that list of who biden is considering to replace supreme court justice stephen breyer. nbc news confirming overnight, j. michelle childs, judge on the u.s. district court in south carolina as a potential candidate. the preferred pick of james clyburn, who played a key role in propelling biden's victory in
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2020. i'll be speaking to clyburn about the vacancy. joining me now to success all of that, maya wiley, and harry litman, former deputy assistant attorney general. harry clerked for supreme court justices, thurgood marshall and anthony kennedy, and helped prepare judge bryer for his supreme court nomination. you know justice breyer, so what factors do you think weighed most heavily in his decision to retire and the timing of it all. do you think he would have been influenced by justice ruth bader ginsburg's death while on the court, and in the end, do you think he gave into politics. >> i wouldn't call it giving in. it was a reality that was always in his mind and obviously justice ginsberg's death drove it home in sort of brutal fashion. i think in the fall when there was this human cry for him to retire, he had it in mind, and
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he wanted to say, i don't want to look as if politics is driving this decision, but the most telling point is he announced his retirement is in january, the traditional time for doing it at the end of the time in june, when time would have been very short. you can call it political or you can call it just wanting to have some sense that his successor would be con gruns with him and his values, that doesn't strike me as political in a big pea way. >> maybe more pragmatic overall, and i think he has said as well once there is a confirmation, he will retire. that could happen prior to to the end of the term in june. we'll see. these things tend to take longer than you anticipate sometimes, given the fractured nature of congress and the process. to you, with the chatter in conservative circles over president biden's commitment to
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nominate an african-american woman. so are saying it's unacceptable to pick someone based on their identity. were they equally outraged when president reagan nominated the first woman which he largely signalled he would do, sandra day o'connor? >> yeah, i see this as politics, right, which is finding ways to attack what our -- in terms of the lists we have seen, and extremely highly qualified group of legal thinkers because that's who these women are, with long track records and incredible work histories that demonstrate exactly who we should be considering for the highest bench in the land that's going to make so many important decisions that reflects and is going to impact people's lives. so i think the short answer is, it is hypocritical. i think for many of us, particularly black women, this has been a bench, and i'm talking about the entire federal
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bench that has been so grossly under represented of women of all races, women of color in particular, black women. there's only been three people of color, three people who were not white to serve in the history of the supreme court, on the supreme court bench, so simply saying that we're going to have people making some of the most important decisions that actually understand the experiences as well as the law that relate to the decisions they have to make is just good policy making. it's politics to suggest that we're not just appointing white men because they're powerful and have had position and network and privilege. that's really what's going on. >> amen to that. and look, harry, frankly, we could probably find dozens of african-american women as any other demographic. so what qualifications should people actually pay attention to? and then you look at the potential nominees, we've got a
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picture of three being considered potentially, what is the basis that president biden should be making his choice? >> they're quite diverse. i want to add to maya's point, none of this says anything about the qualifications of the potential nominees, and he did it in the heat of battle and buoyed him to victory. an idea whose time has come and the political process responded to it positively, yes, let's do it. it was one of the reasons he won. the qualifications, we have diversity within, not surprisingly, within the group of african-american women, and i would say the first two that you showed on the left, brown jackson, and kruger are very much of the traditional, extremely elite supreme court clerks, platinum plated resume, and childs, it's going to be an interesting internal debate
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because she has much less august kind of background, but maybe that brings something to the court. i did clerk for justice marshal, he didn't clerk on the supreme court. it wouldn't have been possible at the time. and i think everyone thinks in retrospect he brought a lot to it. the court over the last 20 years for good or bad has become very elite and credentialed and i don't mean to poo poo that, i think it helps when you have to be tangling with gorsuch and alito and the like, it's going to be a very interesting question whether biden eventually wants to go less traditional, and i don't mean by just, you know, race and gender but actually personal qualifications for the court. >> yeah, i actually think that judge brown jackson clerked for stephen breyer i think to that point. >> and kruger stephens and
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they're both phenomenal. >> one point i wanted to add to harry's important points is from 2005 to 2017, 85% of supreme court clerks were white. which means anytime we use these elite standards to determine who's qualified we're automatically excludeing people because they're not in the network, and that itself is discrimination and we should talk about that, frankly. >> let me ask you, although historically, and i'm picking up on your prior answer, with presidents selecting justices, as you make that point, they remain true, the spirit of the law, but they also tend to choose people idealogically aligned with them or their party, just beyond what you indicated with their background and their own personal experiences so do you expect president biden to choose a liberal leaning or a more centrist justice, if all of that is true? >> is that for me? >> no, sorry, for maya. >> i'm sorry, pardon me.
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>> i had the same question, harry, so don't worry. >> look, i think what president biden is trying to figure out is how to get a fantastic juris, a fantastic legal thinker, a highly qualified person on the bench because he's got to navigate both the politics, that is the politics of no. he's got to navigate a lack of, where we traditionally had more on issues like judicial nominations but also because every single one of these black women that we're hearing from all have something to offer that is extremely important to the shaping of our laws, the interpretation of our laws moving forward. i think it's actually going to be about not just the highly qualified because they are, but also the politics of getting them through the process, i think they're also in a strong position on that as well. and by the way, on that factor,
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i think judge ketanji brown jackson has the benefit of having received votes from manchin and sinema, as well as collins, murkowski and graham. >> given the process you have been through before, prepping and helping a justice make his way through it, what do you expect this time? >> okay. that was a lock on the beach. this is being scantily clad in the middle of boston today. >> oh, wow. >> it's changed so much, and the difference, you know, breyer, you'll of course prepare everything, but they knew he was going to be confirmed. so the nominees, at a minimum has to have a very very thick skin. the best case scenario, and i actually think this will be the scenario, but others disagree, is that she will be, you know, pilloried and assaulted in every little part of her record turned and there will be general, you
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know, from cruz and hawley and the like. manchin and sinema voted for brown, jackson, they have voted for every single one of biden's judges. even though we start a razor thin margin, i think most people think it can hold, and until that happens, it's a different game. even if it's going to be very tight, they just kind of keep head down. if manchin, sinema go soft or something arises in the process and they actually may be losing one, then all the rules of the game change. right now, it's sit, totally take all kinds of incoming, coolly, politely, and just let the white house do its work to keep the 50 in line. >> okay. i think you are 100% right harry litman, and maya wiley, good to
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see you both. thank you so much. it is one of the hardest hit cities right now, the sweeping storm in the peak at some spots. we're going to talk with the mayor of this city. you can't make out which one it is because it's so snowy there. obviously still in the thick of it, we'll be right back. there obviously still in the thick of it, we'll be right back. and a touch of sea salt. it's like a double double for your tastebuds. subway keeps refreshing and refreshing and refreshing... as a professional bull-rider i'm used to taking chances. but when it comes to my insurance i don't. i use liberty mutual, they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. wooo, yeaa, woooooo and, by switching you could even save 665 dollars.
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more breaking news as we're tracking that nor'easter slamming the northeast. more than 68 million people impacted from virginia up to maine, and according to flight aware, more than 4,600 flights into or out of the u.s. have been cancelled. that's a lot. the highest snow totals are along the east coast, and that includes eastern long island and maine. massachusetts snowfall could top more than 2 feet, making records in some places, and the storm is expected to stretch into late tonight. let's go to nbc's ellison barber, another one of our hero correspondents covering the latest on the storm from brooklyn, new york. awfully windy there, we can hear
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it. other than that, what's it like. >> reporter: yeah, the wind is what really gets you. you can see it happening here as i'm standing. when the wind gets moving, the snow starts coming off of the drift and almost at times creates this white wall of snow, making it very difficult to see. this is one of many reasons why officials here in new york city are encouraging people to stay off the roads as much as possible. the new york city mayor, eric adams has been traveling borough to borough, there are 1,700 snowplows out, but because of conditions like this, the wind that sends the powdery snow into the area, the inches of snow that has accumulated on the roads, they say stay home if you can. listen. >> it's clear, the department of sanitation has been out, moving about, doing their job, really
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thank them. high winds, visibility is sort of difficult. it's best to take the public transportation today, but new yorkers are doing their job also, moving snow from in front of their homes. i want to thank the sny for keeping the city moving. >> so as the snow has fallen, we have seen people driving through the area. there are snowplows out early. a few people kind of getting stuck as they try to make their way through the area. a winter storm warning is in effect until 7:00 tonight. the national weather service says they issued a special winter statement for new york city saying that it is going to get colder and it is possible that the windchill could be near 0 all the way until sunday morning. so again, the message from officials here, if you don't have to be out and about, particularly on the roads driving, please stay home. they say if you do need to go
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somewhere, travel somewhere, try to use public transportation. they have some 280,000 tons of salt ready for this. they tried to pretreat a lot of the roads. for now, this is clearly going to be something that sticks around for a little while and the key they're saying is to stay safe. they want new yorkers to look out for each other, make sure your elderly neighbors are okay. if you see someone without shelter, call 311 so they can try and get help. alex. >> very good point. i'm glad your camera man widened to say no one but you is out door walking. seeing the first car moving slowly but surely. stay safe and warm. joining me, mayor of providence, rhode island, jorge lors, what a time you were having. showing a picture earlier, we could make out the top of the building. that was about it. there's that photo again. so how much snow are you seeing? >> yeah, we're seeing a lot of
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snow. it's kind of hard to measure because the wind, it just blows it back. right now, we've seen anywhere from 6 to 8 inches. i'll tell you, i have lived here my entire life. i have never seen the conditions as bad in terms of the amount of snow, and the wind put together. we're telling folks, in fact, there's a travel ban in effect. unless you absolutely need to leave the house in an emergency. please stay home. that's the best folks can do. >> that is so telling. so you have lived there your whole life and never seen it this bad. what is it that makes it so bad, the amount of snow, wind, temperatures, everything put together? >> it's really everything put together. we've had a lot of snow in the past. we've had a lot of wind in the past, but to put it all together, i mean, we have almost whiteout conditions. for anyone who does venture outside or anyone who is driving a car, you can't see more than a few feet in front of you, so it's just extremely dangerous, and you know, for someone who
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does venture outside, if you get stuck in the snow, it's difficult for public safety to get out to you. you're putting yourself at risk, public safety at risk. for those of us who have a roof over our heads, let's count or blessings. if you can stay home, please stay home. >> how about snowplows, how many do you have on the roads right now? >> we have our maximum, which is over 100 for our city, and you know, thankfully, we have a full complement of drivers. we have vaccine requirement for our employees, and that's actually coming in very handy right now. our employees are healthy, out there, and doing their job. >> that's good news right there. any power outages to report yet, given those winds in particular? >> not yet. not here in the city. although that's a real possibility. the more snow that accumulates on tree limbs, and strong wind, the more likely we will see power outages.
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if anyone does see power outages, dial 311 in the city, and we'll get out to you right away. stay home. that's the best we can all do today. >> how long until you think it's over and people can venture out and start to clean up? >> you know, the travel ban is in place until about 8:00 tonight. but, you know, the snow is coming down so fast. we can't guarantee that every street in the city is going to be drivable and passable, so we're just urging everyone to just please stay home. in fact, the snow clean up will likely continue well into sunday. it's going to take us a while to move the snow. >> let's hope things stay safe in providence, rhode island, thank you mr. mayor, best of luck as you get through this. good to talk to you. >> a key battleground state suffers a big loss in the courts, and has an impact on how much access people have to vote in this year's midterms. that is alarming some for sure. we'll talk about it next. that is alarming some for sure that is alarming some for sure we'll talk about it nextwith sm, oven-roasted turkey, and baja chipotle sauce.
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some new developments concerning elections in a crucial battle ground state. a state appeals court struck down a pennsylvania law, allowing no excuse mail-in voting as being unconstitutional, ruling it conflicts with the state's requirement the people vote in person, unless they meet certain requirements. the pennsylvania department of state immediately filed an appeal to its supreme court, which triggered an automatic stay, and that will keep the law in place as this process plays out. joining me now to discuss that more, pennsylvania congresswoman
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madeline dean, vice chair of the committee, and a good friend to us. great to welcome you on this snowy saturday, congresswoman. we have the state supreme court. it could reverse the ruling. what are the implications if it's up held. >> hello, alex, from snowy montgomery county, pennsylvania, i have confidence that the supreme court of pennsylvania will see this effort to undo the 2019 bill to modernize our elections as an attempt at voter suppression, cynically an attempt at undermining the confidence of pennsylvania voters in our election. i believe they will find that act 77, which was put forward by the republican majority in the pennsylvania house and senate is constitutional. many many people took advantage of the chance for mail-in voting in the last three election cycles and i find it incredibly cynical that those who actually
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brought this lawsuit are the very republican legislators who led the effort to modernize and allow mail-in. they didn't challenge the act after the first election cycle or the second election cycle that mail-in ballots were used. they challenged it only after donald trump lost. i have a confidence that the pennsylvania supreme court will see this for what it is. >> okay. let's turn to the larger supreme court vacancy with justice breyer's retirement. whomever president biden picks faces that 50/50 senate for confirmation, with vice president harris breaking the tie. how do you see the confirmation playing out, do you think it's smooth sailing or an onslaught of republican antics? >> first let me comment on justice breyer, what a man of decency. we see in justice breyer what we search for in all of our jurists, a person of high intellect, a person who upholds and believes in our constitution. a person who believes we must
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park politics at the courtroom door, a man of decency, and humility, interestingly enough. i hope that the senate does its job. i look forward to whomever our president chooses, it will be very exciting to see a further diversification of our highest court with a woman of intellect a woman of color. i just look forward to it. i hope the senate does its job, and doesn't cynically in some way stand in the way of making sure that the president biden gets his pick and that our court is staffed with the very highest of jurists. >> that excitement you speak about, do you think democratic voters are going to get fired up over this president picking a premium court justice in an election year? do you think this is going to give the party a boost given all the stalled voting rights legislation and build back better and beyond? >> i hope it gives, not only the democratic party but all
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citizens a boost. we should celebrate our beautiful diversity, and we want to make sure that our court reflects that, that all of our institutions reflect that. though i hope it isn't a partisan excitement, that it's an excitement for all america that we will have a court that has -- that does not choose party over their decisions, so yes, it will excite democrats but i believe it will excite many others. >> let's move on to the ukraine crisis out there with vladimir putin certainly escalating his military build up. president biden having warned ukrainian president zelensky. congresswoman jamil la jayapal saying we have significant concerns that sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions and a flood of hundreds of millions of dollars in lethal weapons will only raise tensions and increase the chance of miscalculation.
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russia's strategy is to inflame tensions, the united states and nato must not play into this strategy. what are your thoughts on this assessment here? do you think that the biden administration, the current strategy is playing into putin's hands? >> well, i have to tell you, i'm informed by my own constituents, i'm very fortunate to have a beautiful large population of ukrainian american citizens. i was on a zoom call with many of them, experts, university professors, literally those who were in the military for us in the united states who oversaw elections in ukraine. so what i believe is the united states must stand with this young democracy, ukraine, we must lift up her sovereignty and make sure that russia does not invade their sovereignty. this is much bigger than just the invasion of ukraine or the threat of invasion of ukraine.
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this is a global moment where we must stand with our friends and partners in democracy and so i hope that we will continue on the path for diplomacy. i hope mr. putin will deescalate so the ukrainian people can enjoy the peaceful sovereignty of their country instead of having their bags packed, their papers ready in case of an invasion. >> quick question before i let you go on cancelling student loan debt. you're one of 80 lawmakers in the house and is that the urging the president to publicly release information from education secretary miguel cardona on his legal authority to do that, to cancel student loan debt. why do you think this memo hasn't been released or spoken about much? >> well, i'm telling you, as a former professor that i am very excited about the prospect of us making sure we cancel crushing student loan debt. so, yes, i joined that letter with 80 other lawmakers asking the president to do this by
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executive order. i would love to do it legislatively. when our young people go seeking higher education, they're supposed to be seeking opportunities of a lifetime, not a lifetime of debt. so as a mother, as a former professor, and i believe that our president understands the power of education with his own wife, dr. biden being in this space for so many years, i hope the president will take advantage of the executive order, i hope we'll do it also legislatively, but one other thing we must do around student loan debt, we should not have student loan debt at 4, 5, 6, 7, 8%. it should be 0%. that's what we ought to do, and make sure that every student has a chance at higher education. >> all right. wonderful thoughts on which to end this conversation. i'll look forward to seeing you again, congresswoman madeline dean, thank you so much. inside the mind of vladimir
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putin, is he bluffing or prepared to release an assault on ukraine. a former insider once based in moscow, and knows just how putin operates. d in moscow, and knows just how putin moscow, and knows just how putin operates and a touch of sea salt. it's like a double double for your tastebuds. subway keeps refreshing and refreshing and refreshing... when i break a long run, i'm talking long, long. that's why i use old spicele triple protection sweat defense. [announcer] there he goes.
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there are new reports of strained relations between the u.s. and ukraine, criticizing the biden administration of come innocent rhetoric saying that they make it as acute as possible, in my opinion, this is a mistake. joining me now, former member of the cia's senior intelligence service. john served in moscow during his 28 year career with the clandestine service and is a non-resident senior fellow at the atlantic counsel and cofounder of spy craft entertainment. i'm glad to have you here because i'm going to ask you
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about the press conference. read your piece from the "washington post" yesterday. everything that happened with the conference, joint chiefs milley, secretary austin as well. who is right here? is this white house over hyping the potential for war? >> no, i don't think they are. they realize that vladimir putin has pushed us around for the last, you know, ten years, and every time he has done something aggressive, we have accommodate him to pull off and change his tune. he never has. now he's really rolling the dice, talking about a war in europe, which will create a lot of blood. you're never going to accommodate this guy, you need to deter him. pulling our nato partners together, talking to the u.n., about other people, talking about raising the stakes so vladimir putin understands that if he takes this crazy move
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there's going to be a serious price to pay. >> given your decades studying the mind of vladimir putin, do you realistically expect him to invade or do you think it could be a smoke screen for kind of more of a power grab, try to advance his mission which really is to fracture and get rid of nato? >> well, i think he -- every day he calculates. he's a dictator, they live day-to-day. they worry about uprising from inside their country. they worry about all sorts of things with this conspiratorial mindset. he's weighing whether this makes sense, a career kgb officer which sniffs out weakness. if he finds weakness he can take advantage, he will. the more we stay together and stay tough with our allies, the more it raises the stakes and makes him reconsider. i don't know that he had made a decision yet. the more we make it clear we're serious, the more chance he won't do this. >> i'm reading from the "washington post" article in which you say putin's political
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power and control is what is most important to him. threatening to invade ukraine will help putin at home. invading won't. talk about the difference. explain why you think that. >> i think vladimir putin has sort of three things that he claims are most important to him, he wants the u.s. out of europe. he wants a weak or no nato, and ukraine and countries on his borders, to be supplicant to the kremlin. now, what he has done is created just the opposite. nato is rejoouf national security advisered -- rejuvenated, it's there because of russian aggression. ukraine moving further and further away from russia. it wasn't like that before the invasion. vladimir putin, some of the things he has done is actually working against him, so yes, you know, he has to convince his people that his weak economy is because of the threats from the west. the west is doing something
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terrible. he has to have a scapegoat to blame. however, once he invades, he could lose this thing. have body bags back to the front, and body bags from aversion is one of the things that ended the soviet. >> 100%, you're right there, historically speaking. about richard engel reporting from eastern europe, the troops appear to be calm, i'm curious what's going on behind the scenes and what kind of involvement would the cia have in ukraine at this point? >> i think ukrainians have been at war since 2014. you remember putin seized crimea and went into eastern ukraine. they have been dying for the last six, seven years, and they us. they live next to putin, the baltic states, and they understand how he acts. they're not scared. they understand this is the game he plays, and i think they're ready. behind the scenes, absolutely, i
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think putin has really made a mistake here by stoking fires of war, and i think, you know, a lot of people are coming together to try to support ukraine as best they can. i think the cia has been training russia, or excuse me, training ukrainian forces to be ready to fight, and even if vladimir putin takes over the country to create an insurgency, to bleed him, if so. >> yeah, listen, this is an excellent conversation for people, though, who want more of what you're thinking. again, the articles in "the washington post" you wrote, it is online, but it will appear tomorrow in the newspaper itself. you can all look forward to reading that. it will answer a bunch of questions i didn't have time to get to. you'll have to come back. thank you so much. >> thank you. we're also going to get you caught up on that massive historic nor'easter that could dump 3 feet, and new storm clouds overshadow the economy. and is there a silver lining to be found, d is there a silver li be found
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