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Transcript: The Rachel Maddow Show, 4/5/22

Guests: Oleksiy Goncharenko, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Jason Crow


MSNBC`s continuing live coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ivanka Trump testified to the January 6 committee for about eight hours.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: All right. Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you for your time tonight.

That is "ALL IN" on this Tuesday night.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW with Ali Velshi starts now.

Good evening, Ali.

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you and we will see you tonight.

And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. I`m joining you again tonight from the city of Lviv in Ukraine.

And here in Lviv sits one of the oldest cemeteries in Europe. It`s called the Lychakiv Cemetery. It dates the 1787. In addition to holding the graves of some of Ukraine`s most celebrated writers and artists and politicians, it also holds the graves of Ukrainian soldiers from the many, many conflicts over the centuries since the city`s founding.

There are sections for veterans of various 19th century uprisings against the Russian Empire and four veterans of World War I and World War II, when Ukrainians and Russians fought together to liberate Ukraine from Nazi occupation.

And now, the cemetery is the resting place for an ever growing number of soldiers who have died in the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. Today, rain fell on Lychakiv cemetery as funerals were held there for more Ukrainian soldiers who joined dozens of others who were buried there in recent weeks.

And even as the military dead are put to rest, in a central square here in Lviv, earlier tonight, hundreds of candles were lit to honor civilians killed in the Russian invasion of this country, civilians whose bodies are even now be recovered in towns where Russian forces have withdrawn, civilians who have not had the dignity of a funeral, in many cases, not even the dignity of a burial. Many of the civilians have not even been identified and some may never be.

Residents of the city, Lviv, along with Ukrainians who have fled here to escape the invasion, arrange yellow and blue candles tonight in the shape of their country. Like all Ukrainians, they`re trying to come to grips with the emerging horror of the atrocities that have been uncovered. For the past couple of days, we`ve been getting grisly reports and images out of the Kyiv suburb of Bucha following the departure of Russian forces that occupy the town for weeks.

Well, today, NBC News foreign correspondent Richard Engel went to Bucha. And I will warn you, as I sadly must do every night now, that some of the images in the descriptions in Richard`s reports are deeply disturbing.


RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To enter Bucha now, you have to drive past a graveyard of Russian tanks. Ukrainian troops kick the Russians out of this Kyiv suburb and once again are in charge.

But for five weeks, Russian soldiers occupied Bucha, destroyed much of it, and imposed a reign of terror. Today, residents were coming out of hiding. In front of their building, Valentina and her friend said Russian soldiers went apartment to apartment, mostly searching for men.

They were breaking open doors with axes and sledgehammers, she says. If you talk back, they shot you.

She wanted to show me something behind the building.

She`s saying one of her neighbors was so frightened because the Russian soldiers were banging on his door. That he jumped out of that window on the third floor and came landing on the ground. Didn`t die, hurt himself but managed to escape. He felt the Russians were just going to shoot him dead, desperation.

A few feet away was a grave, Valentina dug with her friend.

You put up across? You buried four people here? Two were our neighbors, she says. We don`t know who the other two are but buried them anyway.

She says, all four of them were machine gunned by Russian troops. She doesn`t know why.

Please don`t let this happen again, she says. We are regular, hardworking people.

Down the street, the Abrama (ph) family was in their home when Russian soldiers threw a grenade through the window and set fire to the house. Vladimir and his daughter Erina (ph) came running out in the cold in slippers.

They started to ask, where are the Nazis, give us their addresses, he says.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They said, we are Russians, we came to liberate you.

ENGEL: The soldiers grabbed Erina`s husband, Oleg, and took him out in front of the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They make him take his sweater off and they put him on his knees and shot him in the head. I went on the street and blood was still pumping from his head. I started to shout, kill me too, because I have only one husband.

ENGEL: She thinks they killed him to scare others in Bucha into submission.


He was facing in this direction?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes.

ENGEL: And that`s part of his head, I still see the blood there.

Oleg was a welder. Erina says he never served in the military because of his bad back. When Oleg`s killers left, it was very cold. They took his sweater with them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I always saw that they were our brothers. I`m half Russian myself.

ENGEL: Ukrainian troops estimate hundreds of civilians were murdered in Bucha. They are still finding bodies after a wanton disregard for human life here, not even in war is a crime.


VELSHI: NBC`s Richard Engel in Bucha today.

And as Ukraine forces reclaim these towns around Kyiv in Ukraine`s north. Officials there are treating the civilian death as crimes. Even in the midst of a war, they`re trying to build an evidentiary record in the hopes of holding Russian forces and Vladimir Putin accountable.

Sky News` Deborah Haynes was in the scene of a new discovery of bodies in Bucha today.


DEBORAH HAYNES, SKY NEWS REPORTER (voice-over): This is no ordinary crime scene. Behind the cordon, yellow plaques numbered from 1 to 6 are all that distinguish the remains of one life from another. Each body burned beyond recognition.

Like so many victims in the town of Bucha, their identities are not yet known. But what is clear is Ukraine`s resolve for justice and its rage at Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We already understand that we need more criminal experts here. And a DNA lab would be needed here. Because you will see that these bodies have no faces left.

HAYNES: How can you talk to Vladimir Putin when his forces do this?


HAYNES: We`ve not been here very long, but in this small corner of Bucha, we`ve already counted eight bodies. There are many more houses and gardens he had to be searched.

Down the road, three more stolen lives, discarded in death, but further evidence for Ukraine`s liberators.


VELSHI: Sky News` Deborah Haynes in Bucha, Ukraine.

Yesterday, Ukraine`s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy went to Bucha to see the carnage for himself. And today in an address to the United Nation Security Council, he described civilians being tortured, people shot in the back of the head with our hands bound, women raped in front of their families. His anger was palpable.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): If this continues, the countries will be rely only on the power of their own arms to ensure their security and not on international law, not rely on international institutions. The United Nations can be simply closed, ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to close the U.N.? Do you think that the time of international law is gone? If your answer is no, then you need to act immediately.


VELSHI: And Zelenskyy has said that Bucha, for all its horrors, may not be the worst of it. That other places like the devastated town of Borodyanka, 15 miles away, may have suffered even more civilian casualties. And new atrocities will be revealed as Ukrainian forces and officials are able to start recovery efforts, not just in cities and towns but even on the roads in between them. Just outside of Kyiv, there`s an important highway connecting the capital to the region of Zhytomyr.

In general, this is an important highway but in times of war, it`s even more so. People are using it to evacuate. It`s become a humanitarian corridor. For almost 40 days, Russian troops tried to enter Kyiv. They couldn`t do it.

But on the way to the capital, on the highway between Kyiv and Zhytomyr, they destroyed everything they could. Buildings were bombed, people were killed, their bodies strewn about on the roadside. And we know this because the highway has since been liberated by Ukrainian forces but much of what is left behind as you can see, is hard to watch.

Alex Goncharenko, a Ukrainian member of parliament, visited the area.


OLEKSIY GONCHARENKO, UKRAINIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: I am in Kyiv, on the highway Kyiv, Zhytomyr, just kilometers from Kyiv. And you see this hell. It is a hell. It`s something absolutely awful. That is Russian world. That is what is done by Putin and Russian federation.

Just watch at this. Cars like this with bodies are just all around.



VELSHI: That highway just one of the many areas that Mr. Goncharenko recently visited in order to document the atrocities left in the wake of the Russian retreat. He also visited Bucha and while the situation on the ground there is harrowing, he worries that the reality could be far worse in cities that are still under siege.

He tweeted today, quote: Ukrainians who manage evacuate Mariupol say, the Bucha massacre is only part of the Kremlin`s atrocities. When the world sees variable, you won`t have enough tears. And I`m scared to hear it. I am scared to hear it.

Joining us now from the southern city of Chernivtsi is Alex Goncharenko. He`s a member of Ukrainian parliament.

Alex, thank you for being with us.

We were together on Saturday. When you had first reach that area in Bucha and you had your phone and you were showing me a shopping mall behind you that had been destroyed. But at that point, in the middle of the day on Saturday, neither you nor I had first seen what you end up having to experience -- the bodies and the sheer destruction throughout the region.

GONCHARENKO: That`s true, it was that we explored just during the last days and what we saw this awful, absolutely horrific picture of devastation and murders committed by Russian army. And I can tell you, me personally, I saw up to 50 killed people, 50 just imagine. I saw a mass grave with up to 20 bodies in plastic bags. I saw these dozens of burned down cars that you are now showing.

I saw one of what is absolutely awful, on this Kyiv -- I saw naked bodies of women and their clothing or near the road. Which we can only just understand what had happened probably before that death. But after Russian troops killed them, they put them on tires and try to burn them down. And partly, they succeeded and partly not.

It`s awful, that I can`t just explain you and I saw it by my own eyes. I met a couple of aged people who stood by their own eyes while Russians killed people in the car just outside of their house. And then they took their bodies and bring them in private garden. So, now, they have vegetable there, some sunflowers and two graves of people whom they didn`t even know.

VELSHI: Alex, you`ve actually been traveling from town to town. This is one of the things that you do in addition to the other things you do as a member of parliament and charity you run, but there are so many towns and you`ve alluded to this on your Twitter feed, that we`ve not seen anything about because they`re either still in a Russian attack or under occupation.

So, when you`re talking about Kherson or Mariupol, what are you hearing?

GONCHARENKO: About Mariupol, we have testimonies of people who left Mariupol, who managed and who succeeded to leave this city. And what they are saying is so horrific, the city of half million population is almost completely destroyed, just flattened. And they are saying, speaking about Bucha, external area, the number of victims were counting them in hundreds. So in Mariupol, we`re counting them in thousands, in thousands, just in one city, but quite a big city, but one.

And really we are scared to turn to -- just to open what had happened in Mariupol. We have Russians are still there, they are still attacking the city, it`s under siege. Ukrainian troops are partially controlling the city and still fighting. But we do know that one of Lithuanian director who try to make documentary there was killed by Russian troops two days ago.

And that`s why we don`t have enough information. But even that we know shows us the situation there is absolutely awful. That is a war crime. And that is a genocide because all these peoples are civilians and they are killed for just being Ukrainians.

VELSHI: Well, let`s discuss that a little bit more, because you`ve been out there documenting it. President Zelenskyy did say that the atrocities that he was there as well in Bucha and saw were evidence of genocide against Ukraine.

The U.S. has said that while it`s possible that genocide has been committed, it`s not ready yet to make that assessment. So what do you say to those in the world who are saying, we now believe these are war crimes.


We`re not sure it`s genocide, the deliberate annihilation and elimination of killing of people because of who they are.

GONCHARENKO: Unfortunately, I think that in some time, they will say yes. That`s true. You are right. Like at the beginning, we said that Russians will make this terror campaign and they are making it, and also they are like, okay, maybe they are exaggerating.

But now, watching these pictures of devastation and killings, and absolutely on a human barbaric behavior of Russian troops, now, nobody has any concerns about this. And everybody understands what is going on. So I think that in some time, the genocide will be proved as a genocide. Also, Ukraine is inviting International Criminal Court, specialist, prosecutors to Ukraine to work on this and I think that after the war will be done, it will be absolutely clear that Russia`s committed genocide.

VELSHI: Alex, as you know, because everyone in Ukraine has these apps about airstrikes and things. And there is information from a government official not far from where you are close to the Moldovan border there have been strikes again tonight. What`s the situation in southern Ukraine where you are now?

GONCHARENKO: You see that, without light, because it is just forbidden. Because it can be bombed and it`s bad to not to show light in the night because Russians are continuing to bomb and two missile attack Ukrainian cities. And, for example, just yesterday, Mykolaiv, in one of the southern cities of Ukraine was again attacked. And what`s targets there, oncological hospital and pediatric hospital. Just imagine.

So, again, it`s not a military target that Russians are continuing this terror campaign, throughout the whole country. That`s why we are so desperately need air defense and aircrafts. We succeeded to win the battle of Kyiv, which is extremely important strategically important, and we want to go further.

But what is our problem, air, where Russians still have advantage. And we hope that with the help of this free world, we should shock with all these people pictures and this horror. We will succeed to the situation in air too.

VELSHI: Alex, thank you for spending time with us again this evening. Alex Goncharenko is a member Ukrainian parliament, who has been documenting the atrocities.

GONCHARENKO: Thank you very much.

VELSHI: We`ll talk to you again, Alex.

As Alex Goncharenko just told us, the attacks on Mykolaiv have included attacks on hospitals. We`re going to be joined live by "Washington Post" reporter who`s there, next.



VELSHI: A baby boy named Bohdan was born in a Mykolaiv hospital this weekend. He was born in a makeshift bomb shelter there.

This is how "The Washington Post" describes his first night alive, quote: Mothers with newborn babies, a woman with a heart condition in elderly people who couldn`t walk on their own hurriedly evacuated to the basement of a Mykolaiv hospital on Sunday night, as the booming thuds of artillery grew closer.

They made it down to the shelter just in time. Five minutes after patients and staff had crowded into the cramped underground hallway, a suspected cluster munition landed right next to the building. The blast shattered nearly all of the windows.

It made for an eventful night, first night for Bohdan, who was born in the makeshift bomb shelter after his mother, Vitalina, and others from the maternity ward, made the most harrowing journey to safety, from the hospitals top floor. The Russians are animals, there is no other explanations, said Bohdan`s grandmother Vlada.

No one was injured in the attack. As nurses and volunteers move from one word to the next sweeping up broken glass, their feelings range from distress to anger.

One staff member cried as she did open the door to a used to be her laboratory. The window glass was gone, the glass in the cabinets was scattered to. "Gosh, can this end already?" said Lyubov Byaluk, a nurse. What did we even do? We never attacked anyone.

That was on Sunday. On Monday, Russians bombed yet another hospital in Mykolaiv. Doctors Without Borders went to visit the cities oncology hospital. By the afternoon, they were ducking for cover as Russian forces fired at the area around the hospital.

As of March 30th, the World Health Organization has verified at least 82 Russian attacks on health care services, resulting in a 72 deaths and 44 injuries. Those are war crimes. Russian troops have been targeting Mykolaiv as they try to secure control of Ukraine`s Black Sea shoreline and make their way to the country largest port.

But hospitals across this country have been attacked with increasing frequency. Frightening residents and damaging access to health care. One "Washington Post" reporter has been documenting the lives and the deaths of Ukraine`s living under Russian control and Russian violence, reporting on the inhumanity, the brutality and the horror that has playing out across this country.


Joining us now is Isabelle Khurshudyan, a "Washington Post" foreign correspondent who`s been reporting from Ukraine for the past two and a half months.

Isabelle, it`s good to see you again. Thank you for joining us.

We just quoted from your reporting on the bombing of the hospital in Mykolaiv. I needed to tell us more about this. Tell us about the patients and the medical staff and how they`re able to cope in this type of environment which is unfortunately as you were reporting becoming common across the country.

ISABELLE KHURSHUDYAN, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yeah, you it`s really strikes me now when you go to the site of some of these bombings and attacks is. Just right away, people have this kind of you know numbness as they just start to clean up the scene.

When we got there, people volunteers and hospital staff are just weeping of glass. I mean, sweeping up areas that had been their offices, their wards, things of that sort. So I think, you know, they were -- there`s kind of these attacks happen, they expect him at this point. And right away, they start to cleanup.

I mean, that hospital got lucky that everyone was evacuated in time and no one was seriously injured. But one woman, she`d come to the hospital with heart condition. Even said to her, I can`t imagine this was good for your heart, you know, the stress of this.

And she said, I`m too scared to stay here at the hospital, I`d rather go home. And that`s where that becomes really heartbreaking is that even a hospital becomes unsafe. It`s a place that Ukrainians now expect to be targeted. And they`re afraid to be there, even if it`s, they need to be there for their health.

VELSHI: There`s something in your reporting was very similar to what Richard Engel had from Bucha. You reported on the experiences of Ukrainian residents living in the villages around Mykolaiv, where Russians were, and they`ve been asking them where the Nazis live.

And I don`t know whether this is something they`re really trying to get out or whether this is part of the propaganda that the soldiers were given when they invaded Ukraine. But they`re going around and looking for Nazis, they say.

KHURSHUDYAN: Yeah, everyone we talked to said, the Russians were asking, where are the Nazis, where are the Vanderites (ph) -- which was a group that was Ukrainian actual group that was formed in World War II. They were looking for people dressed in black.

And, you know, a lot of residents that we talked to in these areas, these are small towns and villages, an hour northeast of Nikolai of. There were occupied for about ten days. Those people kind of looked at them, and the Russian soldiers and said, we have no people like that here. We don`t know what you`re talking about.

And their impression was that, you know, those soldiers have been kind of almost brainwashed by this Kremlin false propaganda that`s been used to justify this unprovoked war.

VELSHI: The Russian troops are trying to make their way West, along southern Ukraine. Mykolaiv has been a point at which they`ve been stopped. They were planning to otherwise be in Odessa, the beautiful port city of Odessa. The biggest pour in the country on the Black Sea.

You have spent a lot of time reporting on Odessa. It`s where your parents were born. Tell us what it`s like, what it was like to be there and how that port city is doing right now. Everybody there is expecting that the worst is still yet to come.

KHURSHUDYAN: Yeah, Odessa is, you know, for the most part like there has returned to normal for normal-ish I guess as normal things can get in a war. There are, you know, still military checkpoints and a heavy military presence. But even the zoo is open nowadays. You know, salons are open, restaurants are open.

But at the same time, people know that that surprised for Russia, right? There were airstrikes recently in the fuel depots there. I think, people are nervous, I think they are kind of scared as this war appears to be shifting east and south. And now, we`re seeing Mykolaiv come under much heavier attacks.

I think there is kind of a push that people Mykolaiv are starting to feel where we`re seeing more cluster munitions, more attacks in broad daylight that seem to be kind of purposely targeting civilians.

And so, those people evacuating to Odessa. And you know, as you mentioned, I have family there, my family is from there, my great aunt is there. And I`m of the morning of those airstrikes, on the fuel depots, my great aunt was like, maybe you should leave.


And, you know, obviously, that`s not really how my job works. My job is to stay and document what happens. But, it`s a weird feeling there, because on the surface, it looks very normal but people are getting nervous as kind of it seems that area is going to come into play soon.

VELSHI: It is, it`s not just very hard, it`s impossible to put your feelings aside as a journalist we are covering the story like this. When you have your heart and it because you`re hurt your families actually there, that is a challenge and we thank you for living up to it and doing it.

Isabelle Khurshudyan is a "Washington Post" foreign correspondent. And we thank you for your time tonight.

Well, the key thing that Ukraine`s leader say they need to fight Russia is more weapons from the West. Well, today, Ukraine got some good news on that from the U.S. but some key members of Congress say, it`s still not enough. Congressman Jason Crow joins us next.

And later, Ivanka Trump testified to the January 6 investigation for roughly eight hours today. We`ll give you some details ahead.



VELSHI: Today, we learned that the United States will soon be introducing a new weapon to the battlefield and Ukraine, tank killing drones. The administration plans to send Ukraine so-called, switchblade 600 drones.

Check this out. It`s part of the $300 million lethal military aid package. These weapons are essentially portable robotic smart bombs that can destroy heavy armor like tanks and artillery from a distance. The 600 series of these drones carry a stronger payload than these ones they`re looking at, the low cost switchblade 300 drones that are used for pinpoint strikes on enemy personnel.

Both types of drones are equipped with cameras. They can be program to strike targets miles away. The Biden administration announced last month that it would provide Ukraine with 100 of these less deadly 300 series drones.

Also breaking tonight, NBC News can report that the U.S. will be sending $100 million worth of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. It`s a weapon that the Ukrainians troops have used with devastating efficiency against invading Russian tanks.

It also emerged today that the Czech Republic, a NATO ally, has been quietly sending Ukraine old Soviet-designed tanks, which Ukrainian forces are already trained to use. Now, that marks the first time that a foreign country has provided Ukraine with tanks since the beginning of the war.

But despite these new weapons, some U.S. lawmakers are still calling on the Biden administration to do a lot more. Forty-four House members from the Armed Services Committee, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as the bipartisan Ukraine Caucus have signed this letter, making highly specific weapons request that they say are needed for Ukraine to defend its air space, counter Russian naval attacks, and increase its capability on the ground.

One of the people who`s behind that letter is Democratic Colorado Congressman Jason Crow. Today, during the Pentagon`s budget hearing, he pressed Secretary Lloyd Austin on how the U.S. plans to keep up its support of the Ukraine war as it evolves.


REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Can you just very briefly, Mr. Secretary, talk about how should our support evolve as this goes from a short term fight that`s providing things that are needed and can be used now on the battlefield to transition to a longer term fight like the national security adviser indicated yesterday. How does that change the nature of our support?

LLOYD AUSTIN, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We continue to look at what we think - - we don`t think, we know the Ukrainians will need because we`re talking to them on the basis. And it will be a lot of the same things that we provided already. But we look for things that also can provide them an advantage in this fight.


VELSHI: Joining us now is the Democratic Colorado Congressman Jason Crow, member of both the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees. He has served as an Army Ranger in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Congressman, thank you for your time tonight. Thank for joining us.

We just learned the Biden nation will send another $100 million worth of these very effective Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. But our first guest tonight, the member of parliament Alex Goncharenko told me that Russian long-range attacks on the civilian populations are the reasons why Ukraine so desperately needs anti-tank and anti aircraft defense more than anti-tank defense. You`ve also made that argument.

Is the U.S. going to do it?

CROW: Yeah, I think the United States is going to do it. I want to make something clear, the Biden administration has done a remarkable job providing a vast array of defensive weapons and material and equipment to the Ukrainians in a very short period of time. And there`s a couple reasons why the Ukrainians are having as much success on the battlefield that they are.

One is that they are fierce fighters. They`re fighting for their live, and their independence and their freedom, and they`re doing a great job. The second is, we`re giving them tremendous weapons, 21st century weapons, we`re doing so at a breakneck pace.

And the third is, we`ve been training them since 2014. Given the communications equipment and training actually bring them to the battlefield with the fight than they are now. So, the administration is on a great job, but worst change, wars evolve.


And this war has changed an evolved. The Russians have adopted. They`re shifting their tactic. They`re shifting their location. So, our support has to adopt and evolve with it.

That`s with this letter is about. It`s not a critical letter, not saying they haven`t done enough. We`re saying that the next phase of this war will require and evolution, a change in both the quantity and speed and nature of this support that we provide.

VELSHI: Congressman, you`re an army ranger. You serve in Afghanistan and Iraq, so you know the consequences of this. How do you balance the Ukrainian request for more assistance, some of which, Russia will take to be an act of war from NATO.

How do you separate those things? Because people warn that if you do that, you end up in a world war three, you end up in a direct war with the Russia, a hot war that could involve you nuclear weapons. Tell me how you think about this.

CROW: Yeah. So, how I think about it is, we`re not going to implement a no-fly zone, because that would require U.S. fighter jets a shooting down Russian fighter jets over the Ukrainians guys, and we`re not going to send NATO or U.S. troops to fight on the ground in Russia. So short of those things, there are many other things we can do.

We can provide all the assistance we can ask for at a period of time. We can do it now, because they have to be able to sustain it and how the supply lines and be trained on those systems. To make sure that these are systems that won`t fall into the hands of the Russians or be captured either. So, we`re balancing all those considerations.

But most of the things we can give them, I think over some period of time, but we have a list of 17 items prioritized in order of 1 to 17. The top items on that list are things that they need to implement right now and put into effect on the battlefield today. As you good on that list, there are a longer term things -- fighter jets, tanks, other material that requires sustainment. Some supply lines, some training that they may not have.

But the administration recognize that what`s happening here is the Ukrainians after both fight now, and have to transition to a longer term fight as the Russians begin and look at a war of attrition over long period of time. So have to do both. The Ukrainians understand that, and we have to build a balance will for the shut down the long term.

VELSHI: It`s hard to think about a long term when you see the images that we`ve all watched this weekend of these atrocities. But we appreciate that people like you are the real experience on about field and then government understand how to discuss them.

Democratic Colorado Congressman Jason Crow is a member of both the Armed Services and the Intelligence Committees, sir, we appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

VELSHI: Well, up next, Ivanka Trump, who was in the room with her father on January 6, testified for roughly eight hours today. What investigators may have learned, next.



VELSHI: Today, Ivanka Trump testified before the January 6 investigation for roughly eight hours behind closed doors. That`s about two more hours than her husband, Jared Kushner, gave the committee last week. But unlike her husband, who was returning from an overseas trip to Saudi Arabia on January 6, Ivanka Trump was actually in the room that it happened, with President Trump that day, as the attack on the capital was unfolding.

Keith Kellogg, who served as Vice President Mike Pence`s national security adviser, told investigators that Ivanka Trump was present in the Oval Office that day. That overheard a late morning phone call in which her father tried to pressure Mike Pence into stopping the Electoral College certification a few hours later.

According to other accounts from that day, multiple officials reached out to Ivanka Trump to try to get her to get her father to call off the riot. Documents released by the investigators also detail how Ivanka Trump made multiple unsuccessful attempts to get her father to stop the attack as hours passed without any action from him. And there`s some indication that investigators might actually got some answers from Ivanka Trump today.

This was the January 6 investigation chair, Benny Thompson, talking with NBC News outside of the hearing.


REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): She`s answering questions. I mean, you know, not in broad, chatty terms, but she`s answering the questions.

NBC REPORTER: Has she invoked the Fifth?

THOMPSON: Not that I`m aware of.

NBC REPORTER: Or any other privilege for that matter, executive privilege?

THOMPSO: Not that I`m aware of.


VELSHI: Okay, so that would seem to imply that Ivanka Trump is one of the more Cooperative witnesses from Donald Trump`s inner circle.

Several other Trump allies who stonewalled the investigation by either invoking executive privilege or pleading the Fifth have does far not been forthcoming with the committee. Committee`s chairman also made news today, suggesting that his committee will likely not subpoena the vice president, former Vice President Mike Pence for testimony saying, they`ve got enough information from his aides who have already testified.

Thompson also appeared to rule out calling the former president himself as a witness. But they did apparently want roughly eight hours of testimony from the president`s daughter.

So just what are the investigators learning from Ivanka Trump and what does it mean that she is in fact answering questions?

Joining us now is NBC News justice reporter Ryan Reilly who first broke the news that Ivanka Trump would be testifying before the January 6 investigation today.


Ryan, good to see you. Tell me what you make of the idea that Ivanka Trump, according to Bennie Thompson, who has no reason to lie to us about this, is neither invoking executive privilege nor the Fifth Amendment.

Do you make anything of that?

RYAN REILLY, NBC NEWS JUSTICE REPORTER: You know, I think it`s present to this broader theme that we saw throughout the Trump administration where Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner tried to make themselves out to be the reasonable people in the room, and they kept saying that they were trying to push Trump in the right direction. It became a true throughout the Trump administration we saw this in every decision that from administration made that was unpopular with the broader masses or may have been unpopular in their circles, there was always the story that said well you know Ivanka was trying to push him in the right direction behind the scenes.

So, this sort of seems like an ongoing theme here, and because January 6th is now this monumental event that is shaping the entire Trump presidency, I think it`s clear here and then she recognizes that. She has to be clear that, you know, she was a reasonable force in the room. She has to get the narrative out there or else is going to bring her entire brand down along with her father`s.

VELSHI: So tell me how she does that without throwing him under the bus, because the argument that I am the adult in the room means that someone else wasn`t being an adult in the room. And the binary observation of that would be that maybe Ivanka Trump was trying to get him to call it off and on Trump wasn`t calling it off.

REILLY: Yeah, I mean it`s difficult to imagine that Ivanka Trump actually believes the things about the stolen election that her father believes, right? I mean, just generationally, she`s younger, she`s more Internet- savvy, she`s college-educated. You know, she`s probably a lot less conservative than her father.

So, it`s tough to imagine that we`re in a situation where we actually believe these lies that the president was spreading, which is what makes her testimony so important because a critical thing here is whether or not Donald Trump actually believes the lies that he was telling about the stolen election. That`s really a critical component of this, especially for the Justice Department investigation where that`s going to be a critical component to broader, to the brother investigation and criminal culpability ultimately if he actually believed the lies of the selection.

That`s a lot different than just saying these things to try to make a splashing change direction of the election -- basically essentially steal the election. If he knew there were lies, that was one thing. If you actually believe the lies, there`s another. That could determine the trajectory of the criminal side of this investigation.

VELSHI: Then there are a whole lot of people who would like the answer to exactly where you just -- you just framed. Chairman Thompson has indicated that the committee is not calling either Donald Trump or Mike Pence as witnesses.

Is that something the whole committee is on board with, because there are whole bunch of Americans who may not be onboard with that idea?

REILLY: You know, I think based on the investigation that the committee is running here, interviewed over 100 people, they have a really wide view of this entire situation. You can go to a lot of areas that the FBI and DOJ really can`t because there is no criminal issue at matter. They can sort of have this wide-ranging investigation where DOJ is more limited.

And I think that they have that, essentially what happened with Pence without actually getting his testimony because they have that testimony from close aides. So, really, they do have a really comprehensive view of this. And it sort of speaks to the fact that, we could get the full picture, the full story from this committee rather than from DOJ or the FBI, who are only going to get these piecemeal things, or are going to get information only one implicates a violation of federal law.

VELSHI: Ryan, I`m grateful they are here. It always blows in mind how so much you know about this because it`s a lot of work at a lot of papers and a lot of documents that committees going through and you seem to know that every bit of it.

NBC Justice Department reporter Ryan Reilly, we always appreciate your time.

Coming up next, things look very familiar at the White House today.

Stay with us. We`ll tell you what that`s about.




BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: I heard some changes of been made by the current president since last year. Apparently, Secret Service agents have to wear aviator glasses now.



VELSHI: President Barack Obama paid his first visit to the White House in five years today. And it wasn`t just a tell jokes.

Today, President Biden signed an executive order that fixed a glitch in the Affordable Care Act, lowering health care premiums for nearly a million people and allowing another 200,000 uninsured Americans to get coverage.

Today was sort of a victory lap for both presidents. Passing the Affordable Care Act 12 years ago was, of course, the signature accomplishment of the Obama-Biden administration. Or as Biden famously whispered to Obama when Obama signed the ACA 12 years ago, not realizing that he could still be heard by the microphone, the ACA was a big bleeping deal.


OBAMA: And today, the ACA hasn`t survived, it`s pretty darn popular. And the reason is because it`s done what it`s supposed to do. It`s made a difference. First 20 million, now 30 million people have got uncovered, thanks to the ACA.


If you can get millions of people health care coverage and better protection, it is to, quote, a famous American, a pretty big deal.



VELSHI: Indeed, a major step toward what could ultimately become the universality of health care, only the United States continues to struggle with is a very big deal indeed.

That does it for us tonight. We will see again tomorrow.


Good evening, Lawrence.