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tv   Way Too Early With Jonathan Lemire  MSNBC  May 2, 2022 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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press." press. vemming news from ukraine. civilians who have been trapped inside horrific conditions in that mariupol steel plant are finally being evacuated. now, the wives of the last defenders in that city are pleading for their husbands' lives as well. plus, the second major u.s. visit to kyiv in two weeks, this time led by house speaker nancy pelosi, adding more weight to america's commitment to ukraine. and new reporting on the january 6th capitol attack. the threat from senator lindsey graham that may have led donald trump to finally urge his supporters to go home.
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good morning. and welcome to "way too early." on this monday, may 2nd. i'm jonathan lemire. house speaker nancy pelosi visited ukraine over the weekend, becoming the highest-ranking u.s. official to do so since russia invaded more than two months ago. leading a congressional delegation, pelosi met with ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy in kyiv on saturday. her visit came weeks after russian forces reportedly withdrew from the city, following a failed attempt to capture the ukrainian capital. after departing for neighboring poland, poland discussed with zelenskyy, and talked about the united states response to russia's aggression. >> do not be bullied by bullies. if they're making threats, you cannot back down. that's my view of it. that you were there for the,
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we're there for the fight, and you cannot, you cannot fold to a bully. >> the conversation with president zelenskyy is no surprise, not only his courage, and his leadership, but his detailed knowledge of every subject we brought up. >> zelenskyy also had praise for the house speaker whose secret visit to kyiv wasn't announced until she was already on the ground, the ukrainian president awarded her a civil honor during the proceeding and the medal is given to women who have made outstanding contributions to the ukrainian state and meant to highlight pelosi's significant political contribution to strengthen america's ties to kooev. first lady jill biden is expected to visit eastern europe to see the effects of the war firsthand. in the second solo international trip, the first lady will make stops in romania and slow slacka, two neighbors who have -- slovakia, two ukrainian
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neighbors who have opened their doors during the war. she will spend two days in romania, talking to ukrainian refugee aid workers and teachers. and a visit to slovakia will put her miles away from the ukraine border. according to president zelenskyy, more than 100 civilians, mostly women and children, were evacuated yesterday, and were being taken to ukrainian controlled territory. this video of the evacuation that you're seeing here has not been independently verified by nbc news. zelenskyy said many more people are expected to move to safety today. the evacuations which are being carried out by the international red cross and the united nations, as well as with ukrainian and some russian officials, comes after weeks of attempts of negotiations. meanwhile, a new video of the
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deputy commander of the far right group of ukraine the azov regiment hoping the soldiers would be removed from the sprawlingly and devastatingly damaged plant. the appeal comes a day after the associated press released video of the wives of two azov commanders whose husbands remain inside and call for any evacuation to also include the soldiers. they said that they feared that the troops will be tortured and killed if left behind and captured by russian forces. take a listen. >> i wanted to say that the soldiers matter too, the lives of soldiers matter, too, and we are talking about hoping we can rescue the soldiers, too, not only dead and injured, but all of them. >> this, as one of the ukrainian fighters allege that russian
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forces resumed shelling the plant yesterday, as soon as that initial evacuation was completed. joining us now, live from southeastern ukraine, nbc news foreign correspondent matt bradley. matt, there you are. good to see you this morning. obviously the mariupol steel plant has become a symbol of ukrainian defiance, some comparing it to the alamo. and it is great to see that some civilians apparently have indeed been evacuated. and they're arriving where you are this morning, tell us what you're seeing and have you been able to talk to them? what's the very latest? >> yeah, jonathan, we haven't actually talked to anybody from the steel plant itself, we've seen people who have come, some from mariupol and surrounding towns and villages, and all coming over here, this is where they're setting up sort of a car park, a parking lot here, we're outside a big box store, the kind that you see in any suburban area in america, buses are pulling up here, or private cars, one of them just came up
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and it had its whole windshield, it was smashed but this is sort of a processing area right here, and here is some other buses, tents, they're international aid agencies here, unicef, doctors without borders, the international red cross, red crescent, all of them prepare tock -- preparing to greet those who are come out of mariupol and the surrounding region and we saw two buses that didn't come from mariupol themselves but comes from an area within the oblast province region and still very close to the front line, and even those people who are not coming from the steelworks plant and not coming from mariupol, they have endured a terrible, horrifying journey, like i said, that car, that showed up, with kids in it, that it's whole front window shield kind of blasted open, or at least cracked, and we spoke with one group who said that they had just come from a village outside of mariupol, and essentially they took advantage of the cease-fire that's been happening
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for the past day or two. once they heard that the guns had fallen silent, they decided to get in their car, and take advantage of the situation, and drive themselves out themselves. now, they said that they didn't encounter any problems, but it was indeed a terrifying journey, they had to pass through russian checkpoints and when they did, they would bribe the russians with 500 notes, about $20, a little less than $20 and sometimes bribe them with liquor just to get past them, just so they could move on. and we've been talking to people, and again, the situation there is very, very tense, even for those people who managed to get out alive, and didn't see a lot of shelling, they had endured weeks and weeks of just terrifying bunker lifestyle, even if they weren't in that ai azov steelworks. so we're still waiting, i got to tell you, jonathan, the largest group is the international press corps and tons of media here and
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every time a bus shows up, they are swarming, and hoping they will catch people from that steel mill, that steel plant, but we're all still waiting and we got that announcement as you did that the evacuations had begun, and i think once they come in here, you will see us covering it. jonathan? >> matt, we know you will keep us posted, and reports that people haven't seen the daylight in weeks holed up inside that factory and we talked about the idea that some soldiers, the pleas from their wive, hoping to get them out as well, is there any sense that the russians will agree to that? no. and the russians have rejected that flatly. the russians have rejected removing civilian, the russians letting the soldiers go, that would be akin to essentially allowing them to surrender, and then letting them walk away. for the russian, we've heard this from the kremlin directly, they want to take these soldiers captive, if they surrender, they will arrest them and detain them. because they have been fighting them. i mean this does stand to reason, the wives and
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girlfriends who have been saying that they want the soldiers to be released, that's a big ask, considering that this is a war, and that the russians are surrounding the plant and they have been fighting this men and i have spoken to a soldier who was in there who spoke to me from the bunker underneath and he told me that he is in no, he has no interest in surrendering. he used very, very harsh terms to describe his comrades who had surrendered. he said it will be a great shame to surrender. so if the wives and girlfriends want their boyfriends and husbands to surrender, it sounds like those men are willing to fight to the death. they will not surrender at all. jonathan? >> nbc's matt bradley, we really appreciate your reporting. stay safe and keep us posted. still ahead, a new first-hand account of what was happening inside the room where senators took cover during the attack on the u.s. capitol january 6th, 2021. plus, we have the highlights from the first white house correspondents dinner, in two
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years. those stories and a check of the weather when we come back. years. those stories and a check of the weather when we come back. staying up half the night searching for savings on your prescriptions? just ask your cvs pharmacist. we search for savings for you. from coupons to lower costs options. plus, earn up to $50 extra bucks rewards each year just for filling at cvs pharmacy. more protection, more sun, more joy.
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the white house correspondents dinner returned to washington, d.c. for the first time since the start of the pandemic. nbc news correspondent josh lederman has more. >> for a few hours it was like covid didn't exist. more than 2500 people including president biden, packed into a hotel ballroom. there were very few masks, no social distancing, but plenty of pandemic punch lines from comedian trevor noah. fauci thought it was too dangerous to come tonight. pete davidson thinks it's okay. and we all end with pete. okay. mr. biden pointing out the first time a president attended the correspondents dinner in six years. >> it's understandable, we had a
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horrible plague, followed by two years of covid. >> the last two years, telling everyone the importance of wearing masks and avoiding large indoor gatherings, then the second someone offers you a free dinner, you all turn to joe rogan. >> president biden pokes fun at his own dismal poll numbers now in the low 40s. >> i'm excited to be here tonight, the only group of americans who have a lower approval rating than i have. >> noah taking on the president over inflation. >> ever since you have come into office, things are really looking up. gas is up. rent is up. food is up. everything. >> the president's decision to attend raising concerns as new covid cases are popping up at the white house. >> at this star-studded event, guest had to show they're both vaccinated and tested. >> the most we can hope for. >> mr. biden on the dais
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unmasked and skipping dinner and staying mostly socially distant. as the journalists and the politicians they cover raise a toast to the first amendment. >> to the journalists and their families, to the people and the elected representatives, to the united states of america. >> josh lederman, nbc news, washington. >> the evening included plenty of good punch lines from both noah and the president and a tribute to the reporters who have been killed or imprisoned around the world. particularly those recently mid war in ukraine. new reporting suggests that president trump's video on january 6th asking insurrectionists who assaulted capitol riot to stand down was at least partially brought on by a threat from a republican senator to invoke the 25th amendment. this reporting from the upcoming book by reporters alex burns and jonathan martin called "this will not pass," this bombshell was not given out by anonymous source or aide, martin, the
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times reporter, was in the room as senators sheltered in place during the siege on the capitol. he happened to be there as this was going on, listen now, as he describes the scene that he witnessed firsthand. >> we were put in the holding room, in one of the senate office buildings for hours and hours and hours, and obviously, tensions there are rising and people don't know what's going on, they're seeing images on their phone, their spouses are calling them or texting them and there is great uncertainty and in these hours, republican party is grappling with its future. what does this mean for our party, for our outgoing president, and is it so severe that we have to drive him from office before he is set to leave on january 20th. and the reason graham is extremely angry, he's almost shouting down the capitol police as they try to address the u.s. senator, demanding them to take action, forcefully recapturing the capitol, and in the same moment, he gets on the phone and
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he telephones the white house counsel, pat cipollone. >> you're hearing all of this, firsthand account, not from sources. >> i'm in the room. and he calls pat cipollone and says if trump doesn't tell these people to go home, the rioters in the capitol, we're going to call the 25th amendment. so trump has a second and third take of that video, he is -- >> he is -- >> more than a year after announcing a criminal investigation into former president trump's infamous call with georgia secretary of state brad raffensperger, a special grand jury selection begins today and a recorded call made days before the assault on the capitol, trump can be heard pressuring raffensperger to find enough votes so he can win the state. take a listen. >> i only need 11,000 votes. fellas, i need 11,000 votes. give me a break. all i want to do is this. i just want to find 11,780
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votes. which is one more than we have. there's nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you've recalculated. >> the atlanta journal constitution reports that fulton county district attorney fani willis will wait until after the may 24th primaries to call witnesses to testify. willis says that would give the grand jury about a month to approve any necessary subpoenas. the veteran prosecutor also acknowledged she is waiting until after the primaries to avoid the perception that her actions are politically motivated as her republican critics allege. several witnesses that the d.a. will likely contact are the ballot including the secretary of state and georgia's governor. coming up in sports, a thrilling finish in memphis. and some baseball history in the atlantic league. "way too early" will be coming right back with all of that. ic . "way too early" will be coming "way too early" will be coming right back witalh l of that.
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that's it. from downtown. and the warriors back up by one. >> golden state would take game one. you just saw it. klay thompson a go ahead three-pointer with 30 seconds left in regulation and the warriors overcame draymond green's first half ejection, to win over the memphis grizzlies 117-116 last night in the first game of the western conference semifinals. to boston, and a truly dominant performance by the defending champion bucks in the eastern conference semifinal opener over the new york celtics. the c's held giannis, and the reigning mvp, still managed the second career playoff triple-double and one off the backboard himself. the celtics were sloppy, didn't
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shoot well and a lot of turnovers and maybe the week off left them rusty. milwaukee wins 101-89. the quest for lord stanly's cup, the best cup in sports officially begins tonight. 16 nhl playoff teams prepare to face off for a chance to claim the coveted cup. and a pair of matchups in eastern conference, including the eastern conference series between the toronto maple leaves and the defending champion it be lightning, looking to win the cup three consecutive seasons when the new york islanders won four in a row in the 1980s. the bruins on the road against the carolina hurricanes. i'll be watching that. we won't want to watch much major league baseball after what is happening these days. the new york yankees followed the perfect home stand with a sweep on the road in kansas city and wrapped up with a 6-4 win over the royals. which was powered by a pair of aaron judge homeruns.
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one was an absolutely bomb. the yankees will aim to extend its nine-game win streak and maintain the top of the east against the blue jays tonight. that will be a good one. and if you couldn't tell, the yankees are the division leaders by looking at the standings on the screen now, you could hear it echoing through the concourse at camden yards in baltimore last night. the fans there chanting a very familiar anti-yankees mantra that you hear at fenway or just randomly on the streets in boston at any time and yesterday in baltimore, the red sox hapless, with a terrible road trip, losing two out of three to the orioles, including yesterday's 9-5 defeat. sox have a lot of work to do. already 7 1/2 games behind. and yesterday baseball history made. kelsey whitmore batted ninth for the staten island ferry hawks the first woman to start in the atlantic lead and the first to
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do so in a league connected to major league baseball. very cool seen. love to see that. and time for the weather and let's go to meteorologist michelle grossman for the forecast. great to see you. >> we're watching a chance for severe weather and an active weather, especially friday night, video of a tornado, if you haven't seen this yet, i watched this ten times and still gives me chills, a powerful ef-3 tornado with winds nearing 160 miles an hour, engulfing that debris, and just, you know, bringing it thousands of miles into the air, and you know, i couldn't imagine being in a closet hearing that outside and hearing your glass breaking but let's see what is happening right now and tell you what we expect this afternoon. looking at radar, we have some storms this morning and you can see the lightning and heavy rain, with the darker colors, really stretching from texas, oklahoma, kansas, and nebraska, and that's where we're expecting the bull's eye for severe weather today. and stretching from texas, into parts of tennessee and lower mississippi valley, and we could
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see strong tornadoes once again, large hail of two inches or greater, and winds gusting with 60 miles an hour, to 8 million at risk, and then jonathan, as we look toward tomorrow, the greatest risk, with the wind damage and also some small hail, back to you. >> just extraordinary and terrifying footage. >> yes. >> really scary. >> michelle grossman, thank you so much for the forecast today. still ahead, does an endorsement for former president trump really count if he gets the candidate's name wrong? that's what happened at a rally over the weekend ahead of ohio's crowded senate gop primary. we'll be happy to show you that video, when we come right back. taking trulicity, and it looks like he's gotten into some new healthier habits, too. what changes are you making for your type 2 diabetes? maybe it's time to try trulicity. it's proven to help lower a1c. it can help you lose up to 10 pounds.
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welcome back to "way too early." it's 5:30 on the east coast, 2:30 out west. i'm jonathan lemire. president biden's approval rating ticked up in the latest "washington post" abc news poll. he is now at 42% compared to his low point of 37% two months ago. he still remains under water with his disapproval at 52%. republicans however have lost ground on the generic congressional ballot. in february, 49% of registered voters said they would pick the republican candidate if the election were held that day and 42% said they would pick the democrat. in the new poll, 46% said they would choose the republican and 45%, sorry, i'll do that again. 46% would choose the democrat and 45% the republican. obviously that is within the margin of error.
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this is fun, while speaking at a campaign rally in nebraska yesterday, former president donald trump butchered the name of the republican senate candidate he endorsed in ohio. minutes after bragging that he quote aced the cognitive test, the former president turned to the record on choosing winning candidates but struggled to remember the name jd vance. >> i lost one race, they say trump was humiliated, that's what they're waiting for, they're waiting for, we'ves endorsed dr. odd, we have endorsed jd mandell and doing great. >> one of those in the ohio senate primary is josh mandell, it seems that the former president fuse the the two together and maybe his endorsement is null and void. voters in ohio, head to the polls tomorrow to cast the primary day votes and a test of the former president's power over the republican.
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and joining us, the early 202, author and anchor of "washington post" live, a familiar face to our viewers, leigh ann caldwell, congrats on the new job, we missed you on nbc, and congrats on the new job, let's start with the former president and what sort of influence do we anticipate that he will have on the senate primary in october whether or not he can remember the candidate names. >> well, thanks, jonathan. it is good to be back on msnbc. and with you guys, too. but as far as primary races is concerned, ohio is going to be a big test for the former president. that's because jd vance, which is his correct name, he is someone who is extremely critical of the former president, even threatening to vote for hillary clinton in the 2016 election. and that has turned off a lot of ohio primary voters. and so the fact that the president came out in sore of
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him, his poll numbers -- in support of him, his poll numbers have increased over the past few days since that endorsement and then you have josh mandell, going after the evangelical conservative vote backed by ted cruz in the state campaigning for him last week and a third candidate, jonathan, someone who says he does not believe that the 2020 election was stolen. so he is breaking from the former president, and really major way in that way, and that is why so many people, not just us reporters, but republican operatives in dc and around the country as well tell me that they are watching this race really losely to see how much influence the former president is going to have in this primary season. and this election season. >> right, and it's of course not just ohio, he did endorse dr. oz in pennsylvania, that's a crowded field there, too, and the support of herschel walker, the former college football
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star, the republican to beat in georgia. talk to us a little bit about the dilemma that could create for the general election. it seems like trump is looking to endorse in most cases the most far right candidate and couldn't that backfire come november, considering what we saw from so many suburban voters in 2020, rejecting trump? >> yes, absolutely. and that is where a lot of the divisions are, between the former president, and the current senate minority leader mitch mcconnell who obviously wants to be majority leader, after these elections, and the biggest thing that mcconnell wants is electability. not what the republican primary base wants, but it's this candidate, if these candidates are going to win in a general election, and the most trumpy-est, the farthest right candidate might not be able to do that in some of these difficult states, and so in ohio, probably going against the representative tim ryan, and then there's a lot of strong
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candidates that democrats have put up in some of these races, and may is going to be a big month for the primaries. you have north carolina, pennsylvania, georgia, alabama, all of these races that trump has endorsed, there is a lot of republican primary candidates and it's really going to set the stage for how this race, how these races play out in the general election, and if these democratic candidates are able to overcome these republican primaries, the winners, depending on trump's influence and if he is able to pull his candidates over the finish line, jonathan. >> well, leigh ann, we're sorry you left us but excited for your opportunity. tell us about the newsletter you have been working on. >> shameless plug, describe to the early 202, every morning, we have a look ahead on the day, some really smart analysis and insight, and today we talk about the iran deal, and how trump
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designating the revolutionary guard as a terrorist organization, during his administration, has really made it a lot more difficult to get a new iran deal. we take a look at what is happening in congress this week. and this is just this morning, including a number of, excuse me, politically potent provisions that the senate is going to have to vote on, in order to get a conference committee, for the america competes act. of course, that is that legislation that will include manufacturing here in the u.s., including semiconductor manufacturing. but there's some good news there, and that is that there's actually a conference committee, jonathan, this is how congress is supposed to work, to reconcile their differences, between the house and the senate, and this is just the second time in more than five years that congress has used a conference committee on a major piece of legislation to make it become law. so congress is working in all of it. a lot of good scoop, a lot of
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insight. >> the phrase, this is congress, how congress is supposed to work, not one we hear often around here. >> right. >> but we're certainly glad to see you. good luck with the newsletter, the "washington post" leigh ann caldwell, thank you so much. still ahead live with cnbc for an early look at the markets after a brutal month of april for wall street. "way too early" will be right back. "way too early" will be right back ♪ ♪ as a chef i always knew what i should be eating,
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in addition to the substitute teaching. i honestly feel that that's my calling-- to give back to younger people. i think most adults will start realizing that they don't recall things as quickly as they used to or they don't remember things as vividly as they once did. i've been taking prevagen for about three years now. people say to me periodically, "man, you've got a memory like an elephant." it's really, really helped me tremendously. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. time now for business and for that let's bring in cnbc's rosanna lockwood who joins us live from london. good morning. u.s. treasury yields are edging higher this morning, as investors are monitoring economic data and some monetary policies. what can we expect on this first trading day of may? >> well, hopefully a better performance than friday when we saw the dire sell-off across all of the indices, really tech
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pulling the nasdaq down heavily. and netflix for example was down 49% over the month of april, extraordinary figures. and you saw a lot of negativity in the equities to close out the end of april, and today being the first trading day of may and we're hoping for u.s. futures pointed to the upside at the moment and a number of indices and exchanges around the world off for public holiday. let's switch gears to china which we know is the site of an extraordinary covid outbreak in recent weeks, we saw what happened in shanghai and the capital of beijing has tightened covid restrictions as it launches a new roun of mass testing in the hardest-hit districts. how will these restrictions impact the chinese economy and what kind of ramifications might we see elsewhere including here in the u.s. >> i think it is going to be pretty stark. when you think about for example the population of both shanghai and beijing combined is 46
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million people, that's the population of spain. currently china is in what is called a spring holiday, a restaurant holiday, a bank holiday type thing, and normally a lot of people eating out and dining out and shopping, in the two major cities of shanghai and beijing and now they're not. and if you take the economic impact of the customers the size of spain out of the picture, we get the idea. beijing in the official lockdown, the streets are very bare indied. >>. >> a very tough stretch for streaming services including netflix and they canceled the development of "pearl" which is the animated series created by meghan the duchess of sussex. what's a big name. what prompted this move? >> cost cutting. you mentioned there, netflix has had a very tough first quarter. they were down on their subscribers. they also say it is a strategic decision regarding their
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animation, and you might harken back to 2020, remember the sussexs, meghan markle, signing a multimillion dollar deal with netflix to produce animated series and productions through the production company and this series "pearl," centered around a 12-year-old girl, we don't have much more detail than that but netflix pulled the plug and they can't afford to spend any more and take the risk and we're waiting for the launch of in verruckt -- in victus games. >> and is a critical time for the streaming services in the weeks ahead. >> thank you very much. still ahead another sign of dysfunction within the russian army. what we're learning about the visit to the front lines by vladimir putin's right-hand man. we'll be right back. we'll be right back.do for yourself goes out the window. the lines that i was seeing in my forehead
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the top general of russia's army was on the front lines of eastern ukraine over the weekend in an effort to quote change the
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course of the russian offensive there. that's what ukrainian and u.s. officials told "the new york times." ukrainian forces learned that the general may have been at a russian base in izyum near kharkiv just before it was destroyed by fighters and the report is that the general was wounded in the leg during that attack. those claims were not repeated by official ukrainian armed forces sources. ukrainian forces claim that at least 200 russian soldiers, including a separate general, were killed saturday, in the russian-controlled city of izyum. visits to the front lines by such a high-ranking member of the russian army is unusual. this general is known as vladimir putin's right-hand man in the military. joining us now, news director for new alliance magazine, investigative journalist michael weiss, one of our favorites keeping us informed on the war. let's start there.
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the report of the general, whether or not he is injured, but what does it mean he was in the front lines at all? >> it is kind of extraordinary. this is the chief of the general staff, the top general russian military, several years ago, he created a white paper, which kind of got bandied about in the analytic community about how russia should go to war. ironically enough, based largely on what he believes the americans got up to in iraq and afghanistan and the americans never said the chief of staff, into an active combat zone in which the russians had not secured. this is a very precarious part of northeast ukraine. so i spoke to the ukrainian military intelligence officials who said, his service believes that he was there, and was lightly injured but evacuated. not life-threatening injuries. you've seen that in the reporting, he ske dadled before that strike, but the point is look, this is a very secure history q that the russians set up in izyun. they believe one general was killed and at least 200 high ranking staff officers.
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this is in cog knee know tore for what the russians have in, how many generals, eight or nine. >> i lost count. >> so far. >> and we're supposed to be covering this. >> what you have been covering so effectively is the ideas of the weapons involved militarily and the ukrainian, what they've asked for and what they've received. what can you tell us? >> i commissioned the british defense analyst to do a survey, basically with this very question, what do the ukrainians ask for, what have they been promised, what's been delivered and what has been confirmed to have been used on the battlefield and what is extraordinary jonathan, for the first time since this kicked off and everybody day i checked in, we need, we need, and i am getting smiley case emojis on signal and the stuff we have been asking for for years is finally coming through and one of the most important systems is 150 millimeter howitzer, self propelled, from the united
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states, estonia, czech republic, poland, germany, land and what is important, it is nato standard, a limitless supply and the ukrainians have been era kit, so basically we're turning ukraine's military, at least in the artillery sense of the word, into a nato peer army. that, in itself, even if you discount the fact they're actively engaged in war, is kind of an extraordinary development. >> i was in washington the last several days and a common refrain if top officials is, at this point, they feel the ukrainians forces are almost as armed as the russians. russians have the advantage in manpower. >> yeah. >> they also anticipate we're about to enter a phase of this war that could be months if not longer, just a long slog of the two sides shelling at each other on the east there in the donbas. >> the thing to watch, too, is does putin on may 9th, does he use this as an opportunity to
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declare some victory, or does he announce mass mobmobilization? this is a special military operation, not all-out war. if he decides on mass mobilization, russia can pour in -- i mean, this is already a meat-grinder for them. they can pour in thousands upon thousands of conscripts into this thing. look, the ukrainians are doing quite well. this battle of donbas, which has been under way, we're not hearing so much about it because it is largely stalled. the russians are bogged down here. so, yes, a war of attrition, but if the ukrainians have a technological superiority, thanks to nato and its partners, they certainly have the willpower. morale has yet to diminish. if anything, they now are more optimistic they're going to win this thing. is it really going to be attrition so much on both sides, or is it going to be mostly attrition on the russian side? they think they can push the russians out of the country, at least parts of the country that have recently been occupied. >> u.s. officials more optimistic, as well. thank you very much. we'll have you back soon. democrats punch back against the so-called republican culture
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war. coming up on "morning joe," live reporting from the ground in ukraine as the civilians trapped inside that mariupol steel plant by russian forces are finally evacuated to safety. plus, expert analysis from a lineup of retired military heavyweights. army general steph twitter, navy master jason beardsley, and michael kearney. also, liev schreiber with his project to help ukraine. "morning joe" a few moments away. away
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that's how healthier happens together with cvs. welcome back. it is time now for axios 1 big thing. joining us to tell us what that is, congressional reporter for axios, alayna treene. great to see you again. what is the axios 1 big thing today? >> good morning, jonathan. it is great to be here with you today. our big story for the day is about how democrats are pushing
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back against republicans' socially-charged -- seizing socially-charged issues ahead of the midterms this fall. it is something, you know, the culture war attacks, from talking about race in schools and how teachers are teaching their students about lgbtq communities. these are all things that, you know, democrats have really shied away from a lot of these attacks in the past and have left it up to the state representatives and legislators to try to message on this and push back against it. but recent research has shown that these attacks from republicans are actually working. it is working to energize voters across the country. democrats are now telling me and my colleagues that they don't think they can ignore it anymore or label it as unworthy of response. they really want to lean in and try to go against this. we're seeing, you know, one example from my conversations with a lot of members, democratic members on the hill
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is looking to the state senator in michigan, mallory mcmorrow, who has a now viral floor speech, pushing pack against one of her republican colleagues who labeled her a groomer for her support of lgbtq kids' rights. that's something that every single democrat, actually, that my colleagues and i spoke with independently brought her up and said, "that's the example of how you push back against this. that's how we message against this." rather than running away from the issues or trying to, you know, switch topics when asked about this, they're trying to lean in and push back on their own. >> yeah, does seem the republicans have been able to, with some effectiveness, to find the battle here on these cultural terms. democrats are going to need to push back. good reporting there, to show how they'll start doing it. >> the updated data for colored women in congress, what does it show? >> you know, it is disappointing, i think, and members i've spoken with say it
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is disappointing. we dug into the data about minority members on the hill, and we found that when it comes to women of color on capitol hill, they're falling behind in numbers, of having chief staff roles. from chiefs of staff to legislative directors, communication directors, senior roles. women of color make up 6%, less than a third of what we see nationally across the country. you know, one thing that's interesting is we talk about, i think, needing to have more representation in congress from a member level, from both in the house and senate and who is representing their districts or states. but when it comes to the staff roles, that isn't really matching up. i think it is a huge issue, and it is an issue that i think people are aware of but i don't know how much it's been changing. i think we have to keep drawing attention to the lack of diversity, not just, of course, in congress, but in these staff
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roles. >> it is an extremely important point, and thank you for bringing it to light. lastly, i saw you at the correspondents dinner this weekend. let's set aside the jokes, as some were pretty funny, and talk about the messaging we're supposed to hear. what the administration wanted to put out there. first of all, a defense of the first amendment. paying tribute to the reporters who have been captured or killed throughout the world. of course, we know reporters were so often attacked by former president trump. also, the idea that an event like this could be held safely with the proper precautions. a major event. everyone there vaccinated, boosted, had to be tested day of. what did the administration want us to take away? >> well, i think they very much wanted to, on the vaccine front, show that you can start having these again. the country is getting back to a place where things are opening up. they want to get the economy back on track, of course. the economy, inflation, all that being a key thing that's going, a key issue for the midterms ahead of the fall. i mean, as regard to what's
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happening in ukraine, i think it was a really important moment, to see the first correspondents dinner in several year, because of the pandemic, for people to get together and honor what journalists are doing. as you said, first amendment rights which is something we're not seeing in the war and happening in russia right now. i was very grateful, you know, to be part of the u.s. press and the american press and be able to defend the first amendment right. >> yeah, that message was nicely underscored at the dinner. alayna treene, thank you being with us. thank you to all of you for getting up "way too early" on this monday morning. "morning joe" starts right now. >> jd is the conservative outsider. jd vance. >> i'm jd vance. >> i'm jd vance. >> i support jd vance. >> jd vance is different. jd is strong on borders. >> donald trump has officially endorsed senate candidate jd vance. >> we've endorsed

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