DOD says Russia shifts forces ahead of new offensive. Kirby says Russia focusing on offensive in eastern Ukraine. WAPO says Russia warns U.S. to stop arming Ukraine. Burns says Putin might consider using nuclear weapons.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Tonight`s" LAST WORD" is Chippy. The 11TH HOUR with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.
STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, Russia`s lead battleship sunk. Ukraine says it fired a missile responsible in a potentially major blow to Putin`s war.
Then, he argued Trump made him do it, but the jury did not buy it. A big verdict for the January 6th case and what the judge said tonight about the former president and future of our democracy.
And what`s in the world`s Elon Musk`s endgame in his bids to buy Twitter, as the 11TH HOUR gets underway on this Thursday night.
Good evening once again, I`m Stephanie Ruhle. As the war on Ukraine moves into day 51, there are more signs that Kremlin is preparing for a new more lethal onslaught. A senior U.S. defense official says Russia now has 65 operational battalion tactical groups in the east and south with more military equipment still incoming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Clearly, what the Russians are doing are trying to do what we call shaping. They`re trying to set the conditions for success in the Donbas for some future more offensive operations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: There`s also a new warning tonight from Russia. To this country. The Washington Post says it is reviewed a formal diplomatic note from Moscow warning that U.S. and NATO shipments of weapons assistance to Ukraine could bring, quote, unpredictable consequences.
The threat comes one day after President Biden announced more military aid to Ukraine worth $800 million. There is also this sobering assessment from Biden CIA director about Putin himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BURNS CIA DIRECTOR: Kevin the potential desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks that they have faced so far militarily, none of this could be taken lightly to threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons.
So far, we haven`t seen a lot of practical evidence of the kind of deployments. But we watch for that very intently.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: Russia did have a major military setback today, confirming the flagship vessel in its Black Sea Fleet has now sunk. Ukraine says its missiles were responsible, Russia says the ship was damaged after a fire on board. Either way, the ships losses an embarrassment for the Kremlin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADM. JAMES STAVRIDIS, U.S. NAVY (RET.T): Well, your first year added Annapolis, the thing they teach you is never led to your flagship blowup.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: And they did. As for the west`s economic war on Russia, European Union officials are now drafting plans for an embargo on Russian oil products. In today, in Moscow, Putin conceded sanctions have disrupted Russia`s industry, but he also warned that replacing Russian suppliers will create a host of problems for the world economy.
We`ll have more on that just ahead, but we begin this evening with NBC`s Ali Arrouzi, he is live for us tonight in Lviv.
Ali, the Pentagon says that the next phase of this war could begin in days in eastern Ukraine and it could be devastating. What are you hearing?
ALI AROUZI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, Stephanie. Look, we`ve seen this massive column, eight-mile long column of Russian hardware, heading to the Donbas. We know that they are amassing tens of thousands of troops there. And the Russians have been saying for some time now that their focus is going to be on the Donbas region. But at the same time, they have been disorganized, they have been plugged with problems, and they haven`t taken the weather into account.
There`s torrential rain right now in the Donbas region, they are having trouble getting their armored vehicles off the road and amassing their troops in that region. But nobody here is under any illusions that a big attack is coming there, and not least of all, Stephanie, because the 9th of May is such an important date for the Russians. It`s the day that the Nazis surrendered in 1945, and everybody you speak to here in Ukraine say, that`s a day that Putin wants to make a big mark, to sell a big victory to the people back home in Russia. So they`re expecting something big leading up to that day or on that day. And it could be in the Donbas region or anywhere else in this country, frankly.
RUHLE: How are Ukrainians reacting to the sinking of that Russian warships?
AROUZI: Well, look, it was a huge embarrassment to the Russians. It was a symbol of Russian military might and that military asset is now sitting at the bottom of the Black Sea, a huge embarrassment to the Russians but a big goal to the Ukrainians.
It`s a big boost for the military here to all the officials here, they are really happy that they were able to take out the pride of the Russian Navy. And we had reports that in the coastal areas around Odessa, which are all affected by those ships, people were singing and celebrating when they heard news that that ship had sunk.
So it`s a big morale boost for the Ukrainians and a huge embarrassment for the Russians.
RUHLE: Ali, thank you for joining us this evening, this early morning for you.
And with that, let`s bring in our experts this evening, Retired Four Star U.S. Army General, Barry McCaffrey, a decorated combat Veteran of Vietnam and a former Battlefield Commander in the Persian Gulf, William Taylor joins us, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, he`s also the United States Institute of Peace Vice President for Russian and Europe, and Garry Kasparov, he grew up in the Soviet Union, he saw and opposed Vladimir Putin`s rise to power. Now, he is a Political Activist, Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and the Renewed Democracy Initiative, and, of course, you know him as a World Chess Champion.
General McCaffrey, I will start with you. Yesterday, we reported another $800 million in military aid headed to Ukraine. Tonight, Russia is warning, the United States and our NATO allies, to stop sending weapons and threatening what he is calling unpredictable consequences. What does that even mean?
GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Not much. Poor Mr. Putin is desperate, he`s scared, he doesn`t have all options. Strategically, he has already nearly lost the war. NATO has come together, rearming Germany, doubling their defense budget, Sweden and Finland are about to come on board. He`s in a disastrous situation.
U.S.-European command headed by Air Force Four Star Wolters is pumping military equipment across that border. 50 nations are taking part, it`s a U.S. and individual 15-nation operation and Ukrainians are putting it into the fighters hands in short order.
The jury is out in how this thing is going to come out, but this is an incredible display of NATO standing behind a struggling democracy fighting for its life.
RUHLE: Ambassador, should we look at Putin`s warning and interpret it as an escalation of this conflict on Moscow`s part?
WILLIAM TAYLOR, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Stephanie, I don`t think so. They have made these kinds of threats and others on many occasions. They -- exactly what General McCaffrey said, they are in a hole. They`ve lost in every time they have been after Kyiv. They`ve just been pushed out of that area back into Belarus, back into Russia.
This embarrassment of the sinking of the Moskva and the elation of the Ukrainians, the boost of morale for the Ukrainians, this is all just going badly for the Russians. And then making these threats, of course, they don`t like the fact that there is a lot of weapons coming in from the west into Ukraine, and that needs to continue.
RUHLE: Garry, The Washington Post also reports on this alarming change in Russia`s propaganda messaging, which you know very well. As its troops are struggling in Ukraine, the Post writes this. On state television, a military analyst doubled down on Russia`s need to win and called for concentration camps for Ukrainians that opposed to the invasion. That report also says other commentators have doubled down on describing Ukrainians as Nazis.
All of that is ridiculous but it`s what the Russian people are seeing. Why is this -- why is the rhetoric even headed in this direction? Why now?
GARRY KASPAROV, RUSSIAN PRO-DEMOCRACY LEADER: What else? As has been said here a few minutes ago, the war has strategically lost. Strategically is one story, NATO is getting stronger and Ukraine`s army is getting stronger also. But as of now, Putin`s troops can still inflict huge damage on Ukraine.
And the fact is he appointed General Dvornikov, known as the Butcher of Syria, as his head man in Ukraine, shows that they will stop at nothing to show at least something by May 9th which, by the way, was not the real date of German capitulation but Stalin didn`t want to celebrated at the same day as the free world on May 8. So, he came up with his own date on May 9th.
And as in Syria, the Russians used every tool at their disposal, carpet bombing, heavy missiles, and I think that the use of chemical weapons cannot be excluded. Again, General Dvornikov had this experience in Syria.
RUHLE: Garry, you have been very critical of the U.S. and our allies in the past saying were simply not enough.
Has your view change at all? We`re doing a lot more since you and I last spoke.
KASPAROV: Absolutely, things have been changing. I think now, was -- we are no longer discussing the principles of giving Ukraine real weapons. And we stopped this useless conversation about defensive, offensive weapons. It`s about timing now.
So, I have to give credit to the U.S. and President Biden for eventually getting on board and taking the lead. Though we will all know that many of the decisions might be wrong decisions made by this administration, where based on poor advice coming from CIA and Pentagon that heavily underestimated the strength of Ukrainian army. And believe that the war would be over in four, or five days.
RUHLE: Certainly not, here we are. Day 51 and what happened? The loss of that Russian warship. General, how much of a military setback is that? Is it really just symbolic and huge emotional or morale boosting win for Ukrainians? Or is it serious business in terms of the loss?
MCCAFFREY: Well I think it`s also a huge boost for Ukrainian morale. And by the way, I have no doubt in my own life for having followed this for the last 24 hours, Ukrainian sunk the ship with two Neptune missiles at a deception operation. It was a very clever, aggressive move. And there`s also unconfirmed rumors that much of that ship`s party were lost at sea. So, we need to listen to it in the coming day.
But, look, that was the flagship, that was not only pounding Ukrainian civilians with cruise missiles for 1,000 miles inland, it was also part of the air defense protection of 21 Russian combatant and amphib ships. That`s how the logistics was getting in, the support the Russian army in fighting Mariupol. So, this is a big hole just got knocked in their capability.
The rest of the fleet has now withdrawn 80 miles away from the coast. So, this is a real military setback to the Russian -- to Putin`s forces.
RUHLE: NBC`s Molly Hunter recently talked to a Ukrainian about Russia`s -- excuse me, Russia`s Navy efforts to take the city of Odessa. We have seen videos for days of those ships sort of trolling the shoreline back and forth. And the Ukrainians she spoke to was simply not having it. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOLLY HUNTER, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: We will kill them, drowned them, he says. They have no options.
So, you don`t think they can take Odessa? We will sink them and it will be fish feeding season, he says. And our fish will grow fat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: Our fish will grow fat. Ambassador, how big of a win is this for Ukrainian morale?
TAYLOR: Stephanie, I heard, first thing this morning from several -- two of my friends in Ukraine, and they were both ecstatic. Both were military, one was former defense minister, the other is in the military right now. They knew exactly what was going on. Gen. McCaffrey exactly right. They knew it was their own Neptune that they created, they`ve manufactured, they were so proud. They were so hot. They knew the big problem is coming. They -- and one of my friends is on the line out in Izyum.
So, they are aware of this big battle that is coming. But this was an enormous boost for them this morning.
RUHLE: Garry, how concerned are you that this is so humiliating for Putin he will truly seek revenge? He could bomb Ukraine`s railways. He could do some really twisted stuff. He does not like being humiliated.
KASPAROV: Oh, it`s humiliation and he will try to do his best. But, again, he lost his flagship. And as the general just pointed out, Russian warships have been used as the prime source of firing missiles to Ukraine.
They actually cause more damage than Russian bombers. That had to fly too high just on low altitude because they`re vulnerable for technology that was supplied to Ukraine by Americans and European allies.
But also I think it will -- it`s not just a boost for Ukrainians. I think it sends panic to Russian sailors, to Russian troops. Because the fact is that the Russian flagship was hit by two, let`s be honest, by old-fashioned missiles.
So, and, yes clever, deception operation, I heard, it but it`s a clearly sign of negligence. They were so confident that they were out of any danger. They were shelling Ukrainian cities and they thought, okay, how can Ukrainians even shoot at us?
And I think it may have serious consequences for the morale of Russian fleets, Russian Navy. And without the strategic advantage of the Russian Navy offered to Putin`s armies, I think they will soon find themselves in great, great trouble.
RUHLE: General, let`s look ahead. We`ve been talking about what`s coming next, what the Russians are preparing for. What are you watching for as we are heading into this next phase of war?
MCCAFFREY: Well, can the Ukrainian generals, who have been extremely good, and our tactical leadership, and these sergeants, they created an NSO (ph) core, can they deal with armored warfare, a war of fire and maneuver?
We are now finally getting longer distance weapons and there through them, self-propelled 115 artillery weapons. But the Ukrainians have been doing hybrid warfare. They`ve been using extremely good special operations force guerrilla units, but it`s been urban defense. Now, they have got a war of maneuver against the Russians who have masses armor.
I`m encouraged, however, though the Ukrainians have recalled 200,000 territorial forces. We are now rushing to arm them, body armor, small arm, anti tank missiles. The ratio of forces is actually one-on-one now. The only place for Russians have a serious advantage is a fivefold advantage in air power.
So, the battle is about to be joined in the coming 30 to 90 days, the existence of the Ukrainian army is the vital outcome. Can they defeat the Russians and still be a force in being?
RUHLE: Gentlemen, before we go, Garry, I want to ask you about Putin opponent Vladimir Kara-Murza. He is now under arrest. Do you have any update? Do any know anything about his situation?
KASPAROV: No, not -- nothing I can add to what you already know. The only question remains unanswered is whether these arrests for 15 days prison was a last warning, basically telling him get out of the country, or he will not see daylight out of prison because they will come up in 15 days with criminal charge against him. I hope for the former, but you never know.
RUHLE: You never know, but we hope for the best. Gentlemen, thank you so much for starting us off this evening, General Barry McCaffrey, Ambassador William Taylor and Garry Kasparov.
Coming up, a jury gets the final say in the case of the accused writer who claimed he was following presidential orders, but then the judge as in a scathing warning.
And later, the world`s richest man wants to own Twitter and promises changes if he gets his way. The 11TH HOUR just getting underway on this very busy Thursday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Nobody wants to get left behind because the truth is coming out in the way that it`s supposed to in a democracy. There are lots of characters who are not known to the broad public today who were involved in this. It will be, I think both agonizing and riveting for the country to see how close we came to losing it all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: Many would say that the wait is agonizing now. The January 6th committee now expected to hold public hearings in late May or early June. And Congressman Jamie Raskin who saw just there says, new crimes previously uncovered will be exposed.
The panel spent most of the day hearing virtually from Trump`s Senior Adviser Stephen Miller. The New York Times reports that more than eight- hour long session was heated at times. Miller invoked executive privilege when asked about his discussions with Trump, including a phone call he had with the former president the morning of January 6th.
The paper goes on to report, quote, investigators asked Miller repeatedly about the use of the word we throughout Trump speech on the ellipse.
And another part of Washington today, the January 6th rioter who told jurors he was just following presidential orders when he stormed the Capitol, for he was found guilty.
The federal judge then spoke after the verdict saying, quote, I think our democracy is in trouble because unfortunately, we have charlatans like our former president who doesn`t in my view really care about democracy, but only about power.
Let`s discuss and bring in Eugene Daniels, White House Correspondent for Politico. And former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance who spent 25 years as a Federal Prosecutor, both are MSNBC Contributors.
Joyce, the times goes on to report this. Stephen Miller rebutted the implication that the word we indicated that Trump was trying to incite the crowd to action, arguing that it had been used in political speech for decades. He also argued that the election had been stolen.
Okay, let`s remember who Stephen Miller is. This is a man who was clearly not known to be cooperative, so what do you think of what he said today?
JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I suspect this was a painful day for investigators, for the house January 6th committee who have to sit through Miller trying to parse their questions without giving them any helpful information. To the extent that he told them anything that they didn`t know it was likely inadvertent on his part.
It`s important Stephanie to remember who Stephen Miller is. He came to Washington with Jeff Sessions. He was a Jeff Sessions sycophant. He is someone who has anti immigrant policies in his bloodstream.
But also this notion of election fraud that became so powerful under Trump as the big lie with something that his mentors, Senator Sessions, had long pushed in Alabama, trying to bring voter fraud cases, claiming that there was voter fraud in elections when there was no evidence of it.
So, it`s not surprising he ends up in this position where he ended up today, likely as one of the last line defenders of the former president, ironically trying to assert executive privilege which has now largely been waived and disallowed by the Supreme Court in this last gasp effort to not provide anything helpful to keep the truth from the American people.
RUHLE: And as, Joyce, is reminding us of who Stephen Miller is, who he was. That cell phone, remember, was on his mom and dad cell phone plan, grown man.
Eugene, this is one of the rare instances though, where we are getting leaks, we are getting details about the testimony. Why in Stephen Miller`s case?
EUGENE DANIELS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Because when Ivanka Trump or Jared Kushner went in front of the committee, all we kind of heard were murmurs of it, nothing specific. And people didn`t tell us. I think it`s because people around this world, this was the Stephen Miller group of people, they probably talk a little bit more. It reminds us of the White House, the Trump White House, there are so many leaks out there. Because I think one thing that Stephen Miller and folks like him want, especially President Trump, to know is that they were not cooperating, right? I did not go in there, former President Trump, and right on you. I did not tell on you. I stood strong and I continue to push the big lie that you have continued to push and you want us to continue to push it.
And I think that, at this point, the committee knows a lot more, and you heard Congressman Raskin talk about that. They know a lot more than we do, than they are putting out there. There have been a lot less leaks, I think, than we would like there to be, so people don`t really know what`s going on as we start to get closer --
RUHLE: As reporters, a lot less leaks than we would like.
DANIELS: As reporters, as people like me would want them to be.
But I will say, you know a lot of this stuff is going to come out. And at this point, they are kind tying up loose ends, talking to folks and trying to confirm a lot of things that they already know.
RUHLE: Stephen Miller continuing to push the big lie and also a reminder, while he is currently working on the campaign for David McCormack who is running against Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania.
Joyce, I want to talk about that federal judge. He was a judge appointed by George W. Bush. This is the judge who called Donald Trump a charlatan and said he is helping to tear apart our country. How unusual is that to hear from a judge?
VANCE: It is unusual but it`s not unwarranted here. And Judge Walton`s history is important. He`s no newcomer to political cases. He, for instance, was the judge who had the opportunity to rule in the Whitewater case that documents involving Hillary Clinton shouldn`t be released. He oversaw the trial of Scooter Libby, former Vice President Cheney`s chief of staff, which resulted in his conviction in connection with defrocking a CIA agent, and, in essence, being prosecuted for perjury.
So, this is not someone who speaks loosely, this is not someone who is unaware of what goes on in Washington. And his comments come on the heels of the fact that he was one of the judges who had the opportunity to examine the Mueller report. At that point, he had really, I think, unflattering things to say about Bill Barr, the then-attorney general`s voracity, when he told the country that the Mueller report had exonerated then-President Trump.
So, there`s a little bit of a trajectory here with Judge Walton increasingly feeling like it`s important to speak the truth and help the American people see what he is seeing in his courtroom.
RUHLE: Joyce, before deliberations, prosecutors also told jurors that that their efforts to blame Trump was just a sideshow, and pointed out that this was not Trump`s criminal trial. Is that significant?
VANCE: It was significant. This is an important thing for prosecutors to have done. They instructed the jury, and the jury which responded very quickly with the guilty verdict, clearly understood that this defendant on January 6th was responsible for his own actions, and that if he committed crimes, he should be held accountable.
But, you know, Stephanie, I guess it`s the converse is true as well. And it seems I think increasingly to everyone that justice is coming for Donald Trump, and one day a federal prosecutor in the district of Columbia will tell a jury that Donald Trump should be judged based on what he did and what his state of mind was, and the jury should look at him and not consider any excuses. He might have merely whether or not he was personally involved in fomenting an insurrection.
RUHLE: I know you don`t have direct information on this, Joyce, but any idea of what Jamie Raskin was talking about when he said new crimes may be exposed? There`s a lot of people anxiously waiting for the crimes that they thought were going to be revealed for months now.
VANCE: We have some idea of the lay of the land here, that their conspiracies to interfere with certifying the Electoral College vote, conspiracies to interfere with government. Whether there are other specific election crimes, other conspiracies substantive of that.
I think we`ll have to wait to see. But, Stephanie, something that`s really important to remember here is that the committee staff, who these Members of Congress chose to help them and to advise them, to former United States attorneys, one a Democrat, one Republican, people who understand how criminal law works and how to take evidence and decide when crimes are apparent.
So I think in collaboration with Jamie Raskin who is an amazing constitutional lawyer, other prosecutors and people with legal backgrounds on the committee, we will see a finely honed narrative when the committee finally holds its hearings.
RUHLE: And we are anxiously awaiting it. Joyce Vance, Eugene Daniels, thank you both so much this evening.
When we come back, is the richest man in the world actually trying to buy Twitter or is he taking part in his other favorite activity, putting on a great big show, when the 11TH HOUR continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a Plan B?
ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA MOTORS: There is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: Ominous, that`s his jam, throwing even more uncertainty into the mix. The world`s richest man, Elon Musk, made $43 billion bid to take over Twitter. In an SEC filing he said, quote, I believe free speech is societal imperative for a functioning democracy. I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company. My offer is my best and final offer. If it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.
Let`s discuss, with us tonight, former Wall Street Banker, Bill Cohan, he`s a Puck News Columnist and New York Times bestselling Author, including the book, Money and Power, How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World.
You need a new book, Bill. Goldman Sachs certainly doesn`t rule the world anymore, the likes of Elon Musk do. What is he up to? Is this just a guy who is extremely rare, extremely antagonistic and extremely bored? Is he really trying to buy this company?
BILL COHAN, FORMER WALL STREET INVESTMENT BANKER: Well, Stephanie, we are going to have to wait and see. I mean, obviously, we would not be talking about him in this segment if he weren`t the world`s richest man. We wouldn`t be talking about it if he were trying to buy this through Tesla, the company that he basically controls, which is worth nearly a trillion dollars.
So we are talking about this because this is the world`s richest man trying to buy this company for himself, personally, not unlike, say, how Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million.
The question is, can he do it? Can he do it? He certainly you would think as the wherewithal, financial wherewithal to do it. But, you know that`s what we`re testing here. That`s what we`re going to find out. His offer is not fully financed, so what is going to happen here in the next few weeks?
The first thing that is going to happen is that Twitter`s board is going to figure out if there`s anybody else out there except for Elon Musk who can buy this company, who`s interested in buying this company. That is the number one priority.
Number two priority is, is this financing real? Elon, do you have this $43 billion in cash that you have offered to our shareholders? And number three, is the price that he has offered, $54.20 a share, fair to the Twitter shareholders?
RUHLE: Okay let`s --
COHAN: I don`t think anything else with those three things matter at this point.
RUHLE: But a lot of other things do matter, right? I want to share what former Labor Secretary Robert Reich tweeted earlier today. And he`s not talking about share holder value. He said, what we are watching is a hostile takeover of Twitter by the richest man in the world who regularly tries to silence critics.
This is what oligarchy looks like.
What do you think of that take? That`s very different from who is the right buyer, is this the right value for the company.
COHAN: Look, I think we live in a free society, a liberal capitalism where stockholders is a public company, stockholders decides as a board of directors decide. This is not up to Robert Reich, the former labor secretary, he might be right.
And it might be, in fact, Stephanie, that if Elon Musk buys this company and transforms it into something that stifles free speech or does things that his users don`t, like he might end up being the king of nothing. He might have paid $43 billion for nothing. But we are not there yet. We are at, is this offer something that the Twitter board and Twitter shareholders want to accept?
RUHLE: Okay. But then could you see Congress actually acting? As Elon Musk said, Twitter has become the de facto town square. But town square has a lot of rules and regulations, and that`s not what Elon Musk likes.
Let`s say he does by this company, could that be the final straw that incentivizes Congress to act and start regulating those platforms in the same way that traditional media companies are, where there isn`t just open free speech, there is actual standards?
COHAN: Well it could, Stephanie, it could. But Twitter is a lot smarter smaller than the other social media platforms that Congress has been investigating. And if it`s not willing to sort of reign in what happens on Facebook/Meta, I don`t really see how it can step up and start regulating what happens on Twitter, especially when Twitter is a privately owned company by Elon Musk.
Elon Musk`s risk, however, is if he does things like bring back Donald Trump or try to make it a right-wing echo chamber, he is going to lose this town square aspect of what makes Twitter Twitter, what makes everyone so interested in Twitter or so many people, not everybody. But if he starts messing with that formula, which he seems intent on doing, he is going to lose maybe two-thirds of the users and then he is going to pay $43 billion for pretty much nothing.
Now, maybe he wants to do that to make his point. He certainly can do that to make his point. He has got enough money to do that to make his point, but I`m not sure that`s what he is after here.
RUHLE: And my last point, maybe he will have a whole lot more soon, and I say that because of his, quote, my offer is my best and final offer, which is strange. Anybody who would be negotiating a deal this big would never lead with their final offer. But then he goes on to say, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder, i.e., would he have just created all of this chaos and pushed the stock all to just then turn around and dump it, creating a great big Elon Musk signature show. We will soon find out.
Bill Cohan, always good to see, thanks for joining.
COHAN: Thank you Stephanie.
RUHLE: Coming up, it is rare to see bipartisanship in Washington. Some Democrats and Republicans want a stock trading ban on Capitol Hill, on themselves. Why? Because their fellow Democrats and Republicans are trading up a storm.
We will ask Congresswoman Katie Porter what it is going to take to make something happen, when the 11TH HOUR continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JON OSSOFF (D-GA): 75 percent of the country, Democrats, Independents, Republicans, agree that members of Congress should not be permitted to trade stocks while in office.
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): You have to include spouses in the ban, I also think you should make members of Congress sell the stock, or put it in a blind trust.
REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): I think our message is simply, there is consensus around the basic fundamental principles that members of Congress should be serving their stock portfolios, they should be serving that people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: Do you see, that, those are Republicans, and Democrats, the current rules around members of Congress trading stocks are incredibly lax. In a very rare show of bipartisanship, several bills have been introduced to address this problem with sponsors on both sides of the aisle.
Last week I described the status quo as, quote, the fantasyland of insider trading, all you have to do is eventually report that you did it. That very quick tweet caught the attention of my next guess.
With us tonight California Congresswoman Katie Porter. Congresswoman, it is always a pleasure to see you.
Over the last couple of years, you and I have talked a lot about legally, how there are CEO`s enriching themselves, hurting their employees, hurting their customers, how in certain cases Republicans are looking to help the rich, help corporations, and hurt the little guy.
But tonight I have to ask you, we have these lax rules, and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle seem to think it is a okay to use clearly privileged information to trade up a storm in the stock market and enrich themselves. How is that okay? I mean these -- many of them are your own colleagues.
REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): Well, Stephanie, obviously it is not okay. But let me flip it around, most members of Congress just like most Americans don`t think these rules are okay. So then the question is, why haven`t we passed one of the many, many bills, many of them my bipartisan, including my Stock Act 2.0 with Senator Gillibrand are many, many bills, why haven`t we moved them?
So I`ll be honest with you, I think amongst my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, we see exactly what we see among the American people, 75 to 80 percent of people that we shouldn`t be doing this. It is a trust issue.
The question is, why aren`t Democratic leaders and Republican leaders moving this legislation over the finish line?
RUHLE: And what is the answer?
PORTER: I think the answer is to look at who those leaders are, and where their priorities are? I think it is very, very common for leaders of both parties to think that the reason -- that, we say Americans don`t trust us, but we often hear is, of course Americans don`t trust Republicans, or of course Americans can`t count on Democrats.
But the reality is, this is not a partisan issue. Congress has an approval problem, and the way we get the American peoples approval, is to show that we are holding ourselves to the very, very highest standards.
So I think there`s too much finger pointing at the other party in Washington, and not enough willingness to look at the system, at the institution, at the structure that we have created for ourselves, and be willing to shake it up.
RUHLE: So have you and your fellow Democratic colleagues spoke into Nancy Pelosi about this?
PORTER: You bet we have. We have pushed and pushed on this, and anyone who knows me knows I`m not done pushing. The house did have a hearing last week on this topic, and that is surprisingly, all of the experts on the ethics, on transparency, on good governance, said the same thing.
We need a ban on stock trading, it needs to be very, very strong, the qualified blind trust rule is not enough. We simply need to outright ban trading.
We can also go further if we wanted, and just force people to sell individual securities before they go to Congress. It is a privilege to serve in this job, and that privilege comes with some changes to your lifestyle, some hardship, this should not be a tough one for people to -- if they want to serve in the U.S. Congress, they should be willing to accept this restriction.
RUHLE: And with all of your pushing, has Speaker Pelosi responded?
PORTER: Well, she did scheduled this hearing where she charge the committee on house administration withholding this hearing. But the reality is we have to get these bills across the finish line.
The American people right now -- and I know I hoping we will be able to talk about this, but the economy is both strong and troubled, it is good job economy, it is a good stock market economy, people are getting higher wages, at the same time we are seeing inflation and higher prices.
So people are nervous, they want to know that they can trust Congress to create an economy that works for everyday Americans. And one of the ways we can earn that trust, is by making sure that people know we will work for them. The economy we will create it will be the economy that puts more money in the pockets of hardworking middle-class Americans, not an economy that is going to line the pockets of wall street or the wealthy. And so the ban on stock trading as part of earning the Americas peoples trust that we can fix the economy.
RUHLE: How and when are you going to create that economy? I know the president talked about economic challenges today, did you hear anything from him that is going to put your constituents minds at ease. those who are so anxious of where things are going?
PORTER: Well, we are definitely seeing proposals being floated an action being taken with regards to gas prices in particular. I think we are seeing movement on that, including both releasing more oil from the strategic reserve, be willing to lift the ban on ethanol E15 during the summer, but also willingness to hopefully hold big oil to account for price gouging.
So I think we are making progress on that, with regard to the larger issue of inflation I think the fix here is to encourage more competition in our economy, and have the right kind of enforcers at the FTC and DOJ. Biden has absolutely put those people in place.
Let me tell you what I do not want to do, and what I want to warn the American people to be listening for. When you hear someone say the problem is there is too much money in the economy, make sure that what they are not really saying is, there is too much money in the pockets of hardworking Americans.
The traditional fixes for inflation are to raise interest rates, and lower wages. What we need to do instead is lower cost, and that is where I think you hear President Biden focusing on things like improving domestic manufacturing capacity, improving supply chains, and making goods more affordable. We should be the party of abundance.
RUHLE: It`s not that there`s too much money, it`s that there is too much money in certain places. Katie Porter, thank you so much for joining us, I really, really appreciated. Always good to see you.
PORTER: Thank you.
RUHLE: Coming up next, how new rules from Texas Governor Greg Abbott are creating delays and chaos at the border. When the 11TH HOUR continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): This is sending a message about the president and Congress, Texas is tired of being the unloading dock for illegal immigrants crossing the border. The new unloading dock is going to be Washington D.C.
RUHLE: The last thing before we go, another big show. Greg Abbott`s border politics. The Republican Governor of Texas is following through on his promise to bus migrant to Washington D.C.
The head of customs and border protection release a statement saying, Abbott, is taking actions to move migrants without adequately coordinating with the federal government and local border communities. Well, back in Texas, he is creating chaos at the border. Abbott has imposed new inspection rules for commercial trucks entering from Mexico, saying it is to ensure no undocumented migrants or drugs are on board those trucks.
The Washington Post reports, this has caused multi mile backups leading to supply chain delays, which are affecting hundreds of thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.
Even the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board says Abbott actions have made the border mess even worse. The governors of two Mexican states have now made an agreement with Abbott to increase security measures on there and.
That means there can be a return to normalcy in those entry points. But why is Abbott doing all of this?
Well according to his office, both actions are the first in a series of aggressive actions by the State of Texas to secure the border in the wake of President Biden`s decision to end title 42 expulsions.