U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle has overturned the federal mask mandate for airplanes and other forms of public transportation. The Department of Justice may appeal the judge`s ruling on travel mask mandates. NBC`s Brandy Zadrozny talks about how a nurse`s fainting spiraled into conspiracy chaos. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch talks about how Donald Trump`s first impeachment connects to the war in Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: And it really feels that way as well. HODA KOTB, NBC NEWS HOST: Does it? PRINCE HARRY: Yes, it is. We`ve been welcomed with open arms. And we`ve got such a great community up in Santa Barbara, so — (END VIDEO CLIP) JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Well, you can get more of that interview with Prince Harry tomorrow morning on the “TODAY SHOW.” That is tonight`s “REIDOUT.” ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC ANCHOR (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN, a federal judge appointed by the twice-impeached President, deemed unqualified by the Bar Association, overrules the Center for Disease Control. So, what happens now that the mask mandate for public transit is lifted? Then, as Putin`s war enters a new phase, and the U.S. sends more heavy weapons, former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch on how we got here. DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I really hope that you and President Putin get together and can solve your problem. That would be a tremendous achievement. MOHYELDIN: Plus, bombshell text messages from the criminal conspiracy trial of an Oath Keeper? Why were they so concerned about protecting Donald Trump`s favorite doctor turned member of Congress? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anything you`re keeping from us for privacy reasons? REP. RONNY JACKSON (R-TX): I can promise you there`s absolutely nothing that I`m — that I`m withholding from this. MOHYELDIN: ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOHYELDIN (on camera): Good evening everyone from New York, I`m Ayman Mohyeldin in for Chris Hayes. After leveling out following the Omicron wave, COVID cases are starting to tick back up across the United States. In fact, the New York Times is reporting that the U.S. is averaging nearly 40,000 daily cases. And yet, a federal judge just issued massive — a massive blow to basic public health measures across this country. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle has overturned the federal mask mandate for airplanes and other forms of public transportation. She said that the CDC overstepped its boundaries by justifying the mask mandate as a form of “sanitation.” And while her decision has been criticized by some legal observers who point out that masks do in fact sanitize the area around them by stopping the spread of the virus and by stopping the transmission of droplets, it is nevertheless now in effect across this country. And tonight, we are learning that the Department of Justice may appeal the ruling if the CDC thinks extending the ban is necessary. But as of right now, major airlines like Delta, JetBlue, United, American, and Southwest, they`ve all basically lifted their mask requirements to travel. And in some cases, they actually announced the change while passengers were already seated. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just checked with company, and the company`s position is, Delta`s position is masks will be optional this evening for all crew and passengers as well. So, this is a cause to celebrate. But for those who want to wear masks, please do. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s go. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it is optional. In that way, we can alleviate any stress and discomfort. Thank you very much. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOHYELDIN: All right, so let`s be clear about this. This decision will have a massive ramification for public health and the spread of COVID in this country. Less than a week ago, the CDC was arguing to keep the travel mask requirements in place because the facts are pretty clear, masks do work. They are effective at slowing the spread of COVID, especially in an enclosed area like a bus or even an airplane. And late last year, the largest randomized study of its kind, a joint effort between Yale University and Stanford and U.C. Berkeley found that “Increased mask-wearing led to a significant reduction in the number of people with COVID-19 based on symptom reporting and antibody testing.” But one federal judge can now overturn the will of the public health experts in this country who are actually tasked with keeping us healthy in the middle of a pandemic. And why? Because that judge who is rated unqualified to be a judge has the sole power to loosely or narrowly interpret the word sanitation and change the rules for hundreds of millions of Americans. And the person responsible for all of this is U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas who was appointed by none other than Donald Trump. Now, even though Judge Mizelle was just 33 years old at the time of her lifetime appointment, and even though she was determined to be not qualified by the American Bar Association, she nonetheless passed conformation in the Senate, as you probably guessed it, along a party-line vote. She was just one of hundreds of judges that were appointed by Donald Trump, young, ideological conservatives who will now shape the judiciary for generations to come. This was the deal with the devil that Mitch McConnell and other Republicans made when Donald Trump got elected. They basically agreed to blindly support this man who was obviously unfit to serve even though many of them privately disliked him in exchange for the ability to churn out as many judicial nominations as possible. [20:05:11] And guess what? That bargain paid off because Trump`s judges are already reshaping the judicial landscape in this country. They are issuing rulings that are affecting the lives of millions of Americans like a 2021 decision undermining the Fair Housing Act which exists to fight housing discrimination for people of color. There was a notorious case, the majority which included five Trump- appointed judges, who basically ruled against a Black plaintiff, who argued — this plaintiff argued that his landlord refuse to act when his neighbor began a campaign of racialized terror against him. “Francis said the landlord did nothing, while his neighbor harassed him several times for being Black, including with racial insults, and a death threat.” And Trump appointed judges also issued a ruling in 2020 which overturned to Florida cities` bans on so-called Conversion therapy for LGBTQ children, where counselors attempts to change someone`s sexuality or gender identity, even though — and let`s be clear about it — even though the American Psychological Association deemed the practice not ethically permissible. And then there is of course, the Supreme Court where you have three Trump- appointed justices, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, the latter to replacing justices Anthony, Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a moderate and liberal respectively. And with those appointments, dramatically altering the ideological makeup of the court in a more conservative direction. And that court speaks for itself. The Supreme Court has already undermined President Joe Biden`s vaccine mandates for large employers. It has further gutted the historic Voting Rights Act in this country leaving at a shell of what it once was. The court also appears poised to overturn New York strict gun control laws, which could have massive consequences for public safety. And of course, it looks as though it will overturn Roe versus Wade, undoing a half a century of reproductive rights in this country. Now, these are all groundbreaking decisions just like the mask mandate decision that was made earlier, which have the potential to fundamentally alter the lives of tens of millions of people in this country. And we are now just beginning to see the consequences of Donald Trump`s changes to our courts. Janai Nelson is the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which frequently argued cases before the Supreme Court. She joins me now. Janai, it`s great to have you with us. So, I want to start with this news. The DOJ saying that if the CDC concludes that a mandatory order remains necessary for the public`s health, after that assessment, the Department of Justice will appeal the district court`s decision. What do you make of this response from the Department of Justice? Excuse me. Should the DOJ wait for the CDC or be more forceful in appealing it regardless of what the CDC thinks in terms of public health concerns at this moment with masks? JANAI NELSON, PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR COUNSEL, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: Well, I certainly hope that the DOJ will reconsider its decision to wait until the CDC makes a decision. We have about three weeks before we get to May 3. And during that time, we might see a spike in cases, we might see increased transmission of COVID-19 that threatens to harm so many communities including, and particularly Black and Brown communities, that have borne the disproportionate burden of this pandemic in so many ways. We are talking about a pandemic in which the share of deaths among Black and Latino persons is higher than their share of the population, a pandemic in which racial disparities across vectors like unemployment and housing and debt and food insufficiency and mental health have revealed a very adverse and acute effect on specific communities. So, this decision from the DOJ and more importantly, the underlying decision from Judge Mizelle, that decision is just reckless. It`s reckless as a general matter, and it has real-world impacts, racial impacts, that are preventable and avoidable. MOHYELDIN: And Janai, that`s exactly what I wanted to talk to you about, this specific decision because in an article for Vox, legal journalist Ian Millhiser called myself decision a “legal disaster.” And he went on to write, Mizelle`s opinion is so poorly reasoned that it is difficult not to suspect that it was written in bad faith. Its primary argument is that federal law permits the CDC to require businesses to clean up contaminants that concern spread disease but that the law does not permit the CDC to actually prevent such contamination from occurring in the first place. Just from a legal mind, what do you make of that ruling? [20:10:13] NELSON: It`s highly suspect. I have to agree that it is indicative of a very animus posture from this judge who was seemingly looking to reach a particular result and interpreted the term sanitation in a very narrow way. We have evidence that droplets, when transmitted from any individual who is contaminated with COVID, may transmit that disease, that virus to other individuals. And we have proof that masking can prevent that. But I think what this decision underscores more than anything, is that we can`t be reckless when it comes to our confirmation of judges. And we need to unpack the ABA`s rating of Judge Mizelle as not qualified. Of the 180 federal judges that went before the 16th Congress, only three will rate it not qualified by a substantial majority of that ABA committee, and Judge Mizelle was one of them. And her decision yesterday, it illustrates the peril in advancing unqualified judges for pure political gain. These judges have lifetime appointments. They`re deciding some of the most consequential issues in our society, as you pointed out, and we the public bear the brunt of those bad decisions when they`re issued. This is of serious concern. And I hope that we will see the Department of Justice take more immediate action and appealing this decision. MOHYELDIN: Yes, I was going to say, it affects millions of lives for generations to come with very little if any recourse at all. Janai Nelson, thank you so much for joining us. I greatly appreciate your time. So, that was the conversation around the legal decision. Dr. Vin Gupta is here. He`s a critical care pulmonologist and faculty member at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington to help us sift through some of the science potentially behind this decision. Dr. Gupta, give it to us straight. Should people keep wearing masks on public transportation? DR. VIN GUPTA, MSNBC MEDICAL ANALYST: Ayman, good evening. Yes, they should. Right now, Ayman, this toolkit that we talked about, vaccines, therapeutics, it isn`t where it needs to be quite yet. We still have under five, without access to vaccines. I suspect that`s going to change hopefully sometime in the month of May, early June with the Moderna`s application. That`s promising. They already have it in from the FDA. So that`s good news. That`s going to be one key piece. The other will be, will we have more funding for therapeutics? That`s being held up right now. Demand is far greater than supply. Once we rectify that everybody will have that critical access to this toolkit. And Ayman, that will then allow us to revisit this discussion about masking and when to end the mandate in airplanes. That`s probably going to end up happening anyway sometime in May or early June once this toolkit was robust enough. But we`re not there yet. We`re definitely not there yet. So, still — if you`re watching this right now, especially if you`re medically high risk, it`s really important to wear a high-quality mask when you`re in transit. MOHYELDIN: There`s obviously, Dr. Gupta, and let`s be honest here, a little bit of confusion about the trajectory of masks from the very beginning of the pandemic. The mask guidance from the CDC has been somewhat confusing. They lifted indoor mask guidelines, then they brought them back, then they changed the criteria, and then they lifted them again. What would you say to someone out there who thinks they no longer need to wear a mask indoors, certainly in a place that is as enclosed and cramped as a public bus or perhaps a plane? GUPTA: Well, I would say we are entering a phase that`s different from 2021 and 2020 when that confusion was rampant. That to that individual, we should take advantage, Ayman, of this moment in time where people understand their medical risk more than they ever have, say, prior to the onset of the pandemic and December 2019. Can they categorize that either based on age or on their underlying conditions? If they consider themselves a low to medium risk, I can`t reasonably tell that individual that yes, they must wear a mask at all times in public places. In an airplane cabin, it`s important because we aren`t checking vaccine status and there`s still a lot of critical unknowns here. We don`t know. For example, what is a booster do, that third shot or that fourth shot in those that are higher risk? How long is that protection accorded? We`re still trying to figure that out. We had some initial guidance on that fourth shot from CDC earlier this month. But again, there`s some uncertainty there. Again, we have pediatric groups that still don`t have access. Because of that uncertainty, certain places still need to have these mandates. But at an individual level, can I tell somebody who is otherwise healthy, consider themselves is low risk medically that they need to wear their mask in a grocery store if they`re otherwise healthy, low risk? No, they don`t because they`re — that`s where individual assessment really takes root. [20:15:11] MOHYELDIN: So, you bring up a really good point. And when you take a step back and look at the totality of what is happening in the trends of what we`re seeing, you have cases that are slightly ticking up again on the coasts just about in time for the immunity from Omicron to subside. There`s some warnings that there could be another variant that is starting to gain a little bit of traction. What should we expect as we head into this spring and summer because the flip side to that is spring and summer is when we would normally think cases go down, you`re outdoors more, the weather`s a little bit warmer, you`re not in these enclosed places all the time? GUPTA: Well, I think critical factor here is the University of Washington estimates that we are only capturing 50 percent of cases in the recorded tally. So, 85 percent of cases are currently going undetected because — or unreported because people are testing at home. That`s an example. The next six months significant reprieve in terms of hospital stress. Until say, Halloween, expect that hospitals in most of codes across the country will not be experiencing ICU-level stress COVID. Ayman, that`s going to change come November and as we get into the winter months. Remember, COVID and other respiratory viruses, these are seasonal viruses where transmission increases in colder, drier air. So, I am worried about Thanksgiving time and to say next February of 23 where we`re going to have a resurgence. Critically those — I mean, I see this clinically, 65 and older are only 1/3 to about 40 percent of those individuals that actually got a third shot. That third shot is vital to keep them out of the hospital. These dynamics are going to really wear their heads and I worry a significant way come November especially for you don`t have these therapeutics. And one last thing just to keep in mind, there is this new oral anti — a new pill in development, a new treatment that is under FDA consideration that might actually save people`s lives once they`re in the ICU. So, if we have this broader toolkit with these new therapeutics, that could hopefully help mitigate the risk of a surge down the road, but lots of dynamics can play. MOHYELDIN: And not to mention we need to continue to improve our testing capabilities in this country. Dr. Vin Gupta, always a pleasure. It`s good to see you, my friend. Thank you. Coming up, a new name has entered the January 6 investigation. Why were the Oath Keepers texting each other about protecting none other than Donald Trump`s favorite former White House doctor during the insurrection? New details on doctor turned congressman Ronny Jackson straight ahead. And incredible new reporting on the origin story of a vaccine conspiracy theory. Brandy Zadrozny joins me next with that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:20:00] MOHYELDIN: We have spent a lot of time talking about the difficulty of getting people vaccinated and how misinformation has actually played an outsized role in that conversation. NBC News Senior Reporter Brandy Zadrozny has been covering online misinformation for years. She`s an expert in that field. She has dealt with everything from extremism to faulty science. And now, she has a new podcast on one crazy story that is almost too hard to believe. Of course, it is about a nurse named Tiffany Dover whose reaction to the COVID vaccine set off a flood of conspiracy theories online. And you may remember back in December of 2020, Dover actually got the vaccine shot in Chattanooga, Tennessee with the cameras rolling. And you see there she actually fainted just afterwards. And for her, this was not a big deal. It was actually something that had happened to her before. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TIFFANY DOVER, NURSE: I have a history of having an overactive vagal response. And so, with that, if I have pain from anything, hangnail, or stomach too, I can just pass out. I feel fine now. And the pain in my arm is very minimal, actually, but it doesn`t take much. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOHYELDIN: All right, but for the conspiracy theorists out there and the anti-vaxxers, that moment, that single moment that you just saw there that was caught on camera was all the evidence they needed. It was the proof that somehow the vaccine had killed Tiffany Dover. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KAREN LONG, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, CHI MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: So, the vaccine event was on a Thursday. All this really snowballed, you know, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. So, on Monday, when Tiffany returned to work, all the nursing leaders have a regular meeting in the morning anyway, that`s standard part of care. So, they came over. It`s a staircase. So, they line the staircase. We had signs made that said we support Tiffany. We put the date on it trying to take away any doubt that this was done today. This was not done before the vaccine event that we — you know there`s — this was a timely event that we did because so many people were demanding proof of life. BRANDY ZADROZNY, NBC NEWS SENIOR REPORTER: It will not surprise you to learn that for a large portion of people, it didn`t work. LONG: Everything they could try to pick apart they did. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOHYELDIN: All right, so the podcast is called Tiffany Dover is Dead. And you see there`s an asterix there. And I just want to be clear, she is not. Tiffany Dover is not dead. This podcast was just released yesterday. It is currently number one on Apple podcasts, an incredible feat already. NBC News Senior Reporter Brandy Zadrozny joins me now. Brandy, it`s great to have you with us. Congrats on the amazing success and launch of this podcast. It is such an important story. And it reveals so much about the way we consume information. Tell us a little bit about what happened when that clip of Dover, when she fainted, started circulating online and going “viral?” [20:25:32] ZADROZNY: Well, thanks for having me. First, I know that you know how hard a podcast can be. So, I`m really glad to be here with you. But — so, this thing went bananas, right? People filled Tiffany`s social pages with harassment and conspiracy theories right after it happened. All these conspiracy theories made videos about her, claiming that they had some proof that she had been killed. They also went to her family member`s pages and said that they were somehow complicit in this conspiracy theory. And then, you know, probably one of the most important things is, as you just heard from the hospital administrator, they disrupted the hospital, harassed doctors and nurses who were fighting a pandemic, right? And that all is still happening. This has been more than a year later, and it`s happening right now. MOHYELDIN: So, I got to ask you. I mean, there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there a lot of COVID air conspiracy theories, everything from, you know, microchips being planted into the vaccine so that people can track our movements and what have you. Why did you pick this story to follow for the podcasts, that of all the conspiracy theories that are out there? ZADROZNY: There are a lot. And you know, we often say that sort of as misinformation, reporters were putting out fires. And so, to get this time to focus on one was important. And why Tiffany? Well, because, first of all, she was among the first. I mean, the timing couldn`t have been worse. It was this moment, December 17, 2020 when all eyes were on these local feeds, these local news sources, Facebook pages, live streams out of hospitals, and everybody was watching this as a moment of hope. And so, we normal folks aren`t just watching it, but anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists were also watching this. And they were just looking for a moment like this to capitalize on and to take as proof. And so, because it was the first, because it was on video, because Tiffany is beautiful, because of all of these, it just sort of made this storm and this perfect storm to breed misinformation. Also, I should say, one of the reasons that we picked it is because it seemingly was going to be so easy to debunk. That didn`t turn out to be quite the way that I thought it would be though. MOHYELDIN: Why is this story so important? I mean, is there any way to quantify how much this conspiracy theory spread? I mean, just by the number of views of people who saw it, or how it was shared in various messaging boards? I mean, what did — what does it tell us if you will, about just the scope of conspiracy theories about the larger intersection of Coronavirus and politics? ZADROZNY: So, it`s hard to overstate just how big this conspiracy theory got. You know, within the day that it happened, people were making new content, making new videos and uploading them to YouTube every 19 minutes. That was just on the first day. And this has had a really long tail. These videos of Tiffany have been viewed millions and millions of times. And again, people are still making content right now. The important thing to know about this too is the Tiffany lie really isn`t political. So much of COVID misinformation is but this one lie, it`s just not political. It`s delusional. And I think what it shows us is that a lie, when people really want to believe it can just be far more powerful than the truth. MOHYELDIN: Yes, I know. You`re absolutely right. It`s something I touched upon as well in my own podcast. You can definitely listen to the first two episodes of the podcast Tiffany Dover is Dead now. Brandy, congratulations on all the hard work. And I look forward to following the next several episodes as they drop. Make sure to download those as soon as you can. A big announcement is apparently coming from the White House regarding a new arms shipment to Ukraine. Up next, former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch on what this means and how far we have come from the last President`s hands-off approach to this situation. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I really hope that you and President Putin get together and can solve your problem. That would be a tremendous achievement. And I know you`re trying to do that. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:30:00] MOHYELDIN: For past seven and a half weeks, we have seen Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy walking through the streets of Ukraine in the middle of this war, risking his life for his country. But you may remember Zelenskyy was also at the center of the first impeachment trial of our own disgraced ex-president. In fact, during July of 2019, in a now-infamous phone call between then- President Trump and the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. Specifically, we are almost ready to buy more javelins from the United States for defensive purposes. To which Trump then replied, I would like you to do us a favor though. And then he proceeded to ask him into manufactured dirt on the Bidens. It was extortion. Trump was holding up vital military aid, things like javelin and anti-tank missiles in exchange for political dirt on an opponent. [20:35:12] Now, to give you some context, just in the past two months during this war, the United States says it has provided 7,000 javelins to Ukraine, part of the nearly $2.6 billion in U.S. military aid to the Ukrainians since Russia`s invasion began on February 24. That is how Ukraine has defended itself against Russia`s invasion. That`s how critical those javelins were. Now, back in 2019, just hours after a transcript was released Zelenskyy asking Trump for those specific weapons, and then Trump extorting him, the two actually had a face-to-face meeting at the United Nations in what is described as a truly, truly bizarre press conference. Watch this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE: We had, I think, good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things. And so, I think, and you read it that nobody pushed it — pushed me. Yes. TRUMP: In other words, no pressure. Well, we`re working with Ukraine, and we want other countries to work with Ukraine. And when I say work, I`m referring to money. They should put up more money. We put up a lot of money. I gave you anti-tank busters that frankly President Obama was sending you pillows and sheets. And I gave you anti-tank busters. And a lot of people didn`t want to do that, but I did it. And I really hope that Russia because I really believe that President Putin would like to do something. I really hope that you and President Putin get together and can solve your problem. That would be a tremendous achievement. And I know he`s trying to do that. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOHYELDIN: All right, I`m not a body language expert. But you can just pretty much see that pain look on Zelenskyy`s face, a man who is trying to do for the best — with the best of his abilities for his country, while at the same time basically being bullied by the President of the United States, this thug. And two months later, with impeachment hearings in full swing, Trump went on the White House lawn to publicly threatened Zelenskyy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelenskyy, President Zelenskyy to do the right thing. This is the final word from the President of the United States. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOHYELDIN: All right, so the whole affair led to Trump`s impeachment. But looking back now, it is so much worse knowing what we know. But at the time, one of the people who was actually fighting Trump`s corrupt activity from behind the scenes was the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. For that she was removed from her post and forced to leave the country in the dead of night. And her new memoir is titled lessons from the edge. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch joins me now. Ambassador, thank you so much for making time for us. We all knew that Donald Trump, you know, withheld aid from Ukraine, and that was certainly bad. He got impeached for it. But looking back with the benefit of hindsight, is it even worse how this played out than we originally thought? MARIE YOVANOVITCH, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Well, I think it just shows that President Trump was using Ukraine as a pawn for his own personal reasons. Rather than working for our national security interests which included having a strong Ukraine, he was looking out for his own interests. And I think that`s a bad signal. Not only is it wrong, and bad for the American people, but it sends a signal to dictators around the world that deals can be done with that administration, weakening the United States. MOHYELDIN: Can you help — yes, I was going to say, can you help set the record straight for us on that particular moment? We heard that from President Trump where he said, you know, President Obama sent you pillows and sheets, I sent you anti-tank busters compared to this administration. How does the Biden administration`s handling of Ukraine compare to the Trump administration`s and what he was saying about the previous administration? YOVANOVITCH: Yes. So, the Obama administration made a decision that sending javelins will be exculpatory. And so, they made a decision not to provide javelins to Ukraine at a time when there was no tank warfare in Ukraine. So, sending tank busters to Ukraine perhaps was not the most necessary thing. But it was symbolic. I think a number of people in the — in the administration, including myself, felt that that was the wrong decision and continue to push when Trump became president. And under some pressure, Trump did agree to send an initial shipment of javelins to Ukraine in 2017 which were delivered in 2018, and then the infamous perfect phone call where he, you know, traded — you know, wanted to trade dirt on the Biden`s for the javelins. So, you know, that is clearly not the way when should be using high office in the United States. So fast Biden administration — [20:40:28] MOHYELDIN: And how would you — yes. YOVANOVITCH: So, clearly the Biden administration is all in providing, you know, record amounts of ass stance including Javelin tank busters, including all sorts of equipment for Ukraine. And the important thing is to keep on flowing that equipment now when it can make the most difference, including a long-range offensive and defensive equipment. MOHYELDIN: Let me get your opinion on how this ends today. I mean, what is your opinion on what you have seen in Ukraine during this invasion? And how does this situation end? People have made the difference between the attempt to save Ukrainian lives, to save Ukraine by ending this war and kind of reaching some kind of political or diplomatic framework, or what is happening now, which is bogging Russia down in this war and basically bleeding Russia out in Ukraine, even if it is still able to carry out the destruction that it is doing inside that country? YOVANOVITCH: Well, I don`t think that that`s — you know, those are, you know, sort of reasonable positions to hold in the United States, but it isn`t our call to make. It`s up to the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian leadership, to make that decision as to what they want to do. I mean, I have many friends in Ukraine. I am so worried about what is happening not only to my friends, but the greater Ukrainian population. It is horrifying, horrifying to watch. But at the end of the day, you know, they are fighting for their country. This is an existential crisis. They are fighting for their country, they`re fighting for their families, they`re fighting for their freedom. And it is up to them to make that decision as to how much further they want to go in Mariupol, and in other parts of Ukraine, and how they move forward. I don`t think that`s something that we in the West should be dictating. We`re not the ones who are fighting. MOHYELDIN: But surely we would have a say in lifting off the sanctions that we`ve imposed on Russia. Do you have a sense of what that would require for us to do that? YOVANOVITCH: Not at this point. Sanctions, as you know, are very, very hard to lift under any circumstances. And given — frankly, given the — given what Russia has done in Ukraine, it`s going to be really hard to see a bipartisan consensus to lift those sanctions. So, yes, I mean, we have a say on certain issues, things like sanctions, you know, if there are any kind of security guarantees that the Ukrainians are looking for, on Reconstruction issues, there are roles for the international community, certainly, first and foremost, the United States. But I think in terms of an eventual peace negotiation, what those terms are, it`s definitely up to the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian leadership. MOHYELDIN: All right, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, thank you so much for your time. I greatly appreciated your insights. Next, why were Oath Keepers texting each other about protecting Donald Trump`s favorite doctor turned congressman while the attack was actually underway at the Capitol. The questions surrounding those newly revealed texts just ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:45:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell me how a guy who eats McDonald`s and fried chicken and all those Diet Cokes and never exercises is in as good a shape as you say he`s in? JACKSON: It`s called genetics. I don`t know. It`s — some people have, you know, just great genes. You know, I told the President that if you had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, you might live to be 200 years old. I don`t know. (END VIDEO CLIP) MOHYELDIN: All right, so that was how most of us were actually introduced to Ronny Jackson. He was then-physician to President Donald Trump in January of 2018. Dr. Jackson performed Trump`s first physical in office and he made those outlandish claims about his health that you heard there. He also record a Trump`s height at six foot three inches, his weight at just about 239 pounds, squeezing under the threshold for being considered obese. And not long after that, Trump tried to promote Dr. Ronnie to Secretary of Veterans Affairs. And ultimately, Jackson had to withdraw from consideration for the post amid a slew of damaging accusations that were revealed. According to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, that included loose prescribing practices, earning Jackson the nickname Candyman from White House staffers who said he would provide whatever prescriptions they sought without paperwork. But that wasn`t the actual end of Ronnie Jackson`s career or his story. In fact, he left the White House Medical Unit at the end of 2019. He ran for Congress successfully. Jackson campaigned on his close relationship with Trump and touted his endorsement all the way to the House of Representatives. [20:50:07] But now, but now, Ronnie Jackson may be called upon to tell the truth under oath. Newly unsealed text messages reveal his connection to the wannabe militia, the Oath Keepers. And amidst the violent insurrection that happened on January 6, an unidentified person wrote on an Oath Keeper`s text chain “Ronnie Jackson office inside Capitol, he needs O.K., which we presumed to be short for Oath Keeper`s help. Anyone inside? Now, for the record, some of these Oath Keepers are charged with criminally conspiring to stop Congress from counting electoral votes on January 6. And so, that raises the question, why were the so-called Oath Keepers concerned about protecting Donald Trump`s favorite doctor turned congressman during an insurrection, during this riot.? There are more text messages and new reporting about that. We`re going to have that and much more straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:55:00] MOHYELDIN: The Department of Justice continues to prosecute more participants in the criminal conspiracy to stop the peaceful transfer of power on January 6. And as The Guardian reports, the investigation is starting to focus on the coordination between far-right military gangs and their actions leading up and during the insurrection. In fact, a new court filing reveals text messages showing that the head of the Florida Oath Keepers chapter, Kelly Meggs, called the jailed leader of the Proud Boys and it shows them coordinating protection services for Donald Trump ally Roger Stone. But we are also seeing for the first time that the Oath Keepers mentioning as the January 6 riots were underway, a newly elected Trump-loving member of Congress in their text, none other than Dr. Ronnie Jackson. “Dr. Ronnie Jackson on the move, needs protection. If anyone inside, cover him, he has critical data to protect.” Hugo Lowell is a congressional reporter for The Guardian who has been covering the investigation into January 6. He joins me now. Hugo, it`s great to see you again. You reached out to Dr. Jackson about this story and others. How did he respond to the text in this filing? HUGO LOWELL, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, THE GUARDIAN: Yes, so we got a statement through his office earlier this morning that he was not involved with any of the aforementioned groups, so the Oath Keepers and the — and the Proud Boys, and that he had never spoken to any of these people, which I thought was interesting, because obviously, these were text messages. And it seemed to be that there was some sort of connection between the Oath Keepers and Ronny Jackson. And during the Capitol attack, maybe that was through text. So, I put that question back to his office and did not receive a response. MOHYELDIN: So, is there any plan by the January 6 Committee to call Republican members into Congress like Ronny Jackson? Is there anything that, you know, under oath he may be compelled to offer up? LOWELL: Well, it`s a good question. And I think the Select Committee is still trying to decide what they want to do with the Republican members of Congress and whether they want to bring them in before the committee. You know, back in January, I was hearing murmurs among the members on the committee and among the staff that they were really concerned about the political implications of bringing in members of Congress, right? Members of Congress are protected by the so-called Speech and Debate Clause. It`s really hard to overcome that and subpoena these members without it turning into a real partisan fight. And, you know, the committee has looked at this and thought, well, if it`s going to be a partisan fight anyway, maybe we bring them in. But I don`t think they want to take that step just quite yet. I think they — if they do that, they do it towards the end of their evidence gathering phase, which is like, looking towards the end of this month, I think. MOHYELDIN: There was an interesting nugget in one of the texts from the Oath Keeper`s founder Stewart Rhodes, and he — it seems to add someone he identified as “an event producer for Stop the Steal. But that name, as you see there on the screen was actually redacted. What do we know about that? And why might that name actually be redacted at this point? LOWELL: It`s again, we just don`t know. It`s a good question, right? I mean, this is the first time we`re seeing the leaders of the Proud Boys of a — of the leadership of the Oath Keepers rather, talking about a stop the steel individual. And you know, it`s none other than Stewart Rhodes himself adding a stop the steel event producer, which we might read as almost like a rally organizer, or someone connected to the events surrounding the January 6 rallies to this group chat. And the second line of the text message you reference is really telling because it goes, well, you know, he`s going to help us determine who`s going to do what in the “creative chaos” on January 5 and January 6. I mean, it`s really remarkable and damning and, you know, raises all sorts of questions about who this person might be. Now, it`s possible, right, that Stewart Rhodes misidentified this person and maybe it was a Save America rally person because they were kind of caught — colloquially being known as Stop the Steal. But it`s a really interesting point. And the point that he raises afterwards in the text about the creative chaos, I think, is most interesting. MOHYELDIN: All right, Hugo Lowell from The Guardian, Hugo, it`s great to see you. Thank you so much for your reporting on this. I`m sure it`ll be a story that we continue to follow for weeks and months ahead. That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now. Good evening, Rachel. RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ayman. It`s great to see you, my friend. Thank you. And thanks for home for joining us this hour. I`m happy to have you here.
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