IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Transcript: The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle

Guests: Nicholas Wu, Barbara McQuade, Adam Smith, Kavita Patel, Jessica Bruder, Damian Paletta


The Senate is expected to vote on an abortion protection bill next week after a draft opinion suggested the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v Wade. It comes as the White House weighs its next steps to protect abortion rights, although options are reportedly limited. Chief Justice John Roberts speaks publicly about the leak for the first time.


STERLING BROWN, MSNBC DIRECTOR: I`m going out dancing.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Oh Wow. So there`s going to be an actual life --


O`DONNELL: -- after work for Sterling Brown.

BRWON: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: Starting Monday night for the first time in nine years.

BROWN: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: Oh, well deserved, Sterling. Thank you very much can never thank you enough.

BROWN: Thank you and honor.

O`DONNELL: Anytime you want to drop by we will be here. Thank you, Sterling. Sterling Brown gets tonight`s Last Word. The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.


STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, the increasing pressure for Democrats and maybe even Republicans to protect abortion rights, even as new restrictions are suggested for a potential post-Roe America.

Then a closer look at the real-life impacts if Roe is reversed that could immediately affect millions of American families, what could and should be done to help.

Plus, exclusive new details tonight in the sinking of that Russian Flagship, as the 11th Hour gets underway on this Thursday night.

Good evening, once again, I`m Stephanie Ruhle. Tonight, the President and his party are coming under growing pressure to launch a new fight to protect abortion rights. Elite Supreme Court draft opinion signaling justices were set to overturn Roe vs. Wade has sent Americans into the streets and rocked the political landscape.

The Senate now on track to vote on an abortion protection bill as early as next week.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We`re going to see where everyone stands. It`s the first time there`s a vote like this in a very, very long time when the actual rights are at stake, when it`s not an abstract exercise.

This is not just one vote and then this issue goes away. You will hear a lot from us through the next month all the way through November.


RUHLE: No one gets to hide. Democrats don`t have the votes for this to pass. And Republican Susan Collins is well already reportedly a no. Well over at the White House, the President and his team are weighing their next steps.

The Washington Post reporting the administration`s options to guarantee abortion rights are limited. Even so, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department was ready to act if the High Court does overturn Roe.


MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Justice Department has steadfastly been committed to defending the right to abortion. If the law changes, we will address appropriate next steps at that time. But what will not change is our commitment to defending the rights of women and all Americans.


RUHLE: Meanwhile, First Lady Jill Biden is speaking out about the league draft opinion in an interview with our own Symone Sanders.


SYMORE SANDERS, MSNBC HOST: As a mother and as a grandmother. What would you say to young women right now, particularly young women who are upset about the possible erosion of their ability to make decisions about their own bodies?

DR. JILL BIDEN, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I guess the first thing I would say is that how shocking it was actually when we heard the news and Joe and I got the call that you know, it had been leaked. The president matters, the election of the president matters because he`s the one who puts the justices on the court and then but if this goes to a state level, our state legislators are going to matter too, so people have to get involved.


RUHLE: Chief Justice John Roberts also commented today on the leak, while at a conference in Atlanta, he called it quote absolutely appalling. And now there`s new concern that the end of Roe could mean that the next battle over abortion will focus on pills, medications that end pregnancy.

In the state of Louisiana, Republican lawmakers are advancing a bill that would charge mothers and abortion providers with homicide. The bills from supporters cited that Supreme Court draft opinion.

Meanwhile, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton offered this warning today about what could happen if the court does rule to end Roe v. Wade.


HILLARY CLINTON, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: This opinion is dark. It is incredibly dangerous. And it is not just about a woman`s right to choose. It is about much more than that. And I hope people now are fully aware of what we`re up against because the only answer is at the ballot box to elect people who will stand up for every American`s rights.

In any American who says look, I`m not a woman, this doesn`t affect me. I`m not black, that doesn`t affect me. I`m not gay, that doesn`t affect me. Once you allow this kind of extreme power to take hold, you have no idea who they will come forward next.


RUHLE: Well, that`s chilling. With that, let`s bring in our experts this evening, Nicholas Wu, congressional reporter with POLITICO, Barbara McQuade, veteran federal prosecutor and former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. She worked with the Department of Justice during the Biden transition and is a professor at the University of Michigan School of Law, and former Florida Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo, who is a member of the Republican conference for the first two years of the Trump presidency. He is now an MSNBC political analyst.

Nicholas, you`ve done a lot of this great reporting this week. So I want to start with you. There`s very little chance that this bill to create nationwide protections for abortion rights is going to pass. So why are they going to do it?

NICHOLAS WU, POLITICO CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Next week will accomplish is a purely symbolic measure. As leader Schumer said in that clip earlier, the goal is to try to show where everyone stands on abortion. But the problem for Democrats here is that not even all 57 Senate Democrats support this abortion, when this class came up. Senator Joe Manchin voted against it, for example.

And so they`ll try to put this up next week. There might be -- they might pick up a moderate Republican or two. But at the end of the day, this will still leave Democrats at square one with their effort to pass nationwide abortion rights.

RUHLE: Carlos, I`m hoping you brought your Republican decoder ring, because we are reporting that Senate Republicans are sending out talking points that direct GOP candidates to be compassionate, consensus building when talking about abortion, while targeting Democrats for extremist views.

Is this really a good issue for the party? What is the risks for their candidates in the midterms? I mean, I`m not sure how you can be compassionate and build consensus, when we`re talking about ending a woman`s right to choose. And in many cases with these trigger laws, women who are victims of incest and rape.

FMR. REP. CARLOS CURBELO, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Steph, there`s certainly some irony here, because you would think this is a big victory for Republicans that Republicans would be celebrating openly. But in reality, they understand that this is a big distraction. Heading into the November election, Republicans have been hyper focused on this topic of inflation, on some of the hardships that Americans are experiencing post pandemic, they really were hoping to ride those issues to victory in November. And now they get this big curveball from the Supreme Court.

And by the way, this is just the beginning of the story. There is going to be an official ruling at some point, it`s likely that it`s consistent with this draft. And this story is going to grow and grow and deflect attention from what Republicans really want to focus on.

So that`s why they`re talking to their members saying, Hey, don`t make a big deal out of this. Talk it down, be compassionate, because this is not what`s going to help us win in November.

RUHLE: Why though, forgive me, isn`t this what they have run on year after year? Now they`re getting what they wanted? Shouldn`t they be celebrating this?

CURBELO: Well, I mean, some are, but again, at the end of the day, these are Republicans who want to return to power. And even though this is something they`ve campaigned on and advocated for years, now they`re worried that it is going to be a new hurdle on their path to reclaiming a House majority, may be reclaiming a Senate majority. So they want to tuck it down. Again, very ironic. There`s a big paradox here. Some may call it hypocrisy. It is what it is.

RUHLE: Barb, look ahead with us here. What could the Department of Justice do if roe gets overturned?

BARBARA MCQUADE, FMR. U.S. ATTORNEY: Think the Justice Department has some options here. You know, one of the important things to remember is that the Roe case was based on this theory of substantive due process. He implied privacy, right, which of course, undergirds a lot of other opinions.

But if that`s gone, it`s not the only basis for attacking statutes that restrict abortion rights. And so the federal government, I think, would have standing in many states where it has an obligation to perform abortion services, states where it has inmates, states where there are immigration detainees, states where members of the military are assigned to serve.

And so to the extent those people are being denied their rights to an abortion. I think the federal government could file lawsuits under different constitutional provisions. For example, there`s the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. This was the section that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg always believed should have been the basis for abortion rights.

There is also under the First Amendment, the right to be free from the establishment of a religion to the extent that abortion restrictions are based on the Christian view that life begins at conception. It violates people who are the Jewish faiths, which says life begins at birth or the Muslim faith, which says that life begins at installment (ph) at four months.

There`s also a possibility of a violation of the Ninth Amendment, which reserves to individuals` rights that are not enumerated in the constitution. So I think there`s some fertile ground is great legal minds, no doubt at the Justice Department will be working on this to find ways to challenge these restrictive laws.

RUHLE: Carlos, one thing that Republicans are focused on outraged about is the leaker exposing the leaker. Here`s what Senator Josh Hawley had to say.


SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MI): According to get to the bottom of it. I`m alarmed at this effort to target the justices.


RUHLE: So I get why this is a huge problem for the Supreme Court. But why exactly is it a problem for the American people? The Supreme Court is that -- the court is the least transparent branch. And this critical information that we learned this week was massively important.

CURBELO: Well, that`s right. Steph. And again, this goes back to your original question that Republicans want to deflect attention from the substance of this policy of this ruling. And that`s why there`s so much of an emphasis on the fact that yes, there was a major breach of protocol here, some are saying that perhaps there was even criminal conduct involved in the leaking of this draft opinion.

But the bottom line is that Republicans would rather talk about that, instead of the substance, the implications of this and the attention that this is getting from people all over the country, they are seeing the poll numbers, they know that about 60 percent of Americans would oppose this kind of drastic shift in abortion policy. So they don`t want to talk about that. They want to talk about the leaker.

RUHLE: I don`t know the implications are that people around this country realize this could be coming. And people are preparing and they`re speaking up. Barb, New York Times reporting that abortion pills could become the next battleground. If roe gets overturned, what could it look like?

MCQUADE: Well, you can imagine states banning the importation of pills into their states treating them like illegal drugs the same way we currently treat heroin or cocaine or opioids, making it illegal for these drugs to be found within their state.

And so, you know, that creates a black market, it creates, makes it turns it into contraband. And it creates opportunities for criminals to make profit off of contraband. So I think that there are all kinds of collateral consequences that can arise when you start criminalizing certain behavior.

RUHLE: Nicholas, any Republicans getting on board with protecting abortion rights, any?

WU: You know that all eyes are on moderate Republican senators like Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. But at the end of the day, that`s only two Republican senators and with the legislative filibuster still intact, you need 60 if you want to advance legislation in the Senate.

So, you know, whichever way those two senators ended up coming down, we`re still going to see any attempt to pass expanded abortion rights legislation in the Senate, dead in the water.

At the same time, I mean, Democrats on the Hill I`ve talked who just want action of some kind anything. The bigger question is just what happens to the Senate. So this is the same problem that has bedeviled Democrats throughout this entire term. But what do you do about the Senate and Democrats still can`t get past that here?

RUHLE: All right. What do you do about this, Barb, Chief Justice Roberts furious appalled about this leak? But we didn`t hear one word from him about Justice Thomas`s wife, Ginni Thomas, when it came to her text to Mark Meadows ahead of the January 6 insurrection, they got no issue with this? No investigation needed.

MCQUADE: Yes, I think you raise a very good point of the hypocrisy there, Stephanie. I think that most Americans should be deeply troubled that the spouse of a justice is involved in this kind of behavior. And she`s certainly entitled to her own life and to do the things that she wants to do.

But when you`re thinking about, concerned about the credibility of the court as an institution, its legitimacy, then it`s really on the justices to recuse themselves in making decisions about these things.

And so allowing Chief Justice Thomas to decide cases as he did in the National Archives executive privilege case, when we know his wife is raging about the stolen election, and even referring in a text message to talking to her best friend about these things. Her euphemism for her husband, Clarence Thomas, the justice of the Supreme Court, I think you really have to think about the kind of damage you`re doing to the perception of the court, whether it`s an actual conflict or simply a perceived conflict, the damage is the same, and they need to take that conflict seriously.

RUHLE: I`m definitely thinking about it. Nicholas, before we go, a wrinkle with Rudy, the January 6 committee has been trying to get Giuliani to come in. And now he`s out with a new statement saying, Ah.

WU: Yes, the committee has been going back and forth with Giuliani for quite some time on this. Remember, they subpoenaed him, they tried to negotiate with him to set the parameters of how he might come in for an interview.

And it was revealed this evening, that he actually had reached some sort of agreement with the committee to come in for a transcribed interview tomorrow, not a deposition, even though he`s under subpoena. And as it turned out, all this fell apart because Giuliani wanted the entire thing to be videotaped, which of course was, you know, something that the committee would never agree to.

So, the committee in a statement tonight is revealed that, you know, have is actually on the table now for Giuliani and so we`ll have to wait and see what happens with how they proceed on that since they have been holding these contempt proceedings against witnesses who have, for all intents and purposes, not cooperated with the committee`s investigation.


So Giuliani wanted to show they said no, and we are back to ground zero. All right, we`re going to leave it there. Thank you all so much for starting us off this evening, Nicholas Wu, Barbara McQuade and Carlos Curbelo. Thank you all so much. Coming up, exclusive new reporting on how U.S. intelligence helps sync the flagship of Russia`s Black Sea Fleet.

And later everyone knows it is expensive to have a baby. We`ll talk about the additional support women will need if it was overturned and the uphill battle to get it the 11th Hour just getting underway on this Thursday night.



RUHLE: Remember Russia`s flagship missile cruiser the one that sank last month. Well, NBC News now reporting American intelligence helped make that happen. And the New York Times reporting the U.S. has provided real time battlefield intelligence that allowed Ukrainians to target and kill Russian generals. NBC News has not independently verified that report.

And today, too, as U.S. officials told NBC current U.S. policy expressly forbids the sharing of lethal targeting intelligence about Russian civilian and military leaders. And the Pentagon spokesman said this.


JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: The United States provides battlefield intelligence to help Ukrainians defend their country, we`ve talked about that quite a bit. We do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military.

Ukrainians have, quite frankly, a lot more information than we do. This is their country, their territory, and they have capable intelligence collection abilities of their own.


RUHLE: All of this is raising new questions about U.S. involvement in this now 72-day old conflict. So let`s begin with my colleague Cal Perry for us again tonight or good morning to him in Kyiv. Cal, we knew the U.S. and Western Allies were sharing Intel with Ukraine. So why is this such a big deal?

CAL PERRY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It`s a big deal, because we`re now talking about it. We didn`t know that there was sharing of intelligence. But Russia has claimed in the last two weeks, especially since the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin visited that this was a proxy word that the U.S. was using Ukraine to fight against Russia.

In fact, it was the defense secretary who said that he wanted to weaken the Russian result that is weaken their ability to replace military assets. So you heard from the foreign minister of Russia, saying that this is a proxy war, he said at the UN, he has said it in interviews. You`ve had the White House claiming that it is not a proxy war. And now you have basically these comments by senior U.S. officials to the media.

Now, the National Security Council is pushing back against that New York Times article calling the way it was framed, quote, irresponsible, but the fact remains U.S. officials are now talking about this. It could be used by Russia as a way to escalate things, especially before Victory Day on May the ninth. Ukrainian officials will wait and see what they say this morning.

For their part in the past, they like to take claim for their military victories. It`s a way to strengthen morale here in the country. And it`s a way to sort of talk about the sacrifices that they`re making on the frontlines. Stephanie.

RUHLE: Could Russia use this new reporting about U.S. involvement as a reason to escalate the war even more or just to worsen ties between U.S. and Russia?

PERRY: Certainly, I think that`s the fear. And as you approach what I`m saying Victory Day, May the 9th, I think there was a fear that there could be further airstrikes. If you look at the comments from the foreign minister of Russia, it`s possible that he`ll point to this. The sinking of what was a flagship and look, Stephanie, we know that there were a high number of casualties on that ship.

So what you`re hearing from John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesperson may be a difference without a distinction for the Russians. They may not see a distinction between sharing intelligence and then what happens downrange whether that`s the sacking of a flagship or the killing of Russian generals, Stephanie.

RUHLE: Ukrainian fighters and Mariupol, this is amazing to me, continue to stand their ground, what`s the latest there?

PERRY: So standing their ground, the losing communication with the government here. We don`t know the situation as it is right now this hour, but we know that Russians have breached that outer perimeter that there is quote, close quarters combat that you have civilians hunkered under that plant in that bunker at least 30 children, according to government officials, so their fate is unknown.

At this time, there will be a rescue attempt tomorrow. Today, I should say here in a couple of hours before the Red Cross, the United Nations will try to get civilians out to Zaporizhzhia, unclear if that will be successful again, Stephanie, the combat there is just so intense. The fighting, we understand has been unrelenting for a full day.

RUHLE: 30 children still in there. Cal Perry, thank you for this important reporting yet again today.

I`m now pleased to welcome Democratic Congressman Adam Smith from Washington. He`s the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Congressman, thank you for joining us tonight.

When you`re in your home district, do you have constituents asking you about the war? Is it a priority for them? That is, it`s a really tricky balance. I mean, you`ve got to manage world order while people are worried about managing their lives.

REP. ADAM SMITH (D-WA): Yes, actually, yes. Is the answer to that question. My constituents asked me about Ukraine all the time. I have a large Ukrainian population in my district but even constituents who aren`t Ukrainian this is something that has drawn the attention.


I think of the entire country and much of the entire world, that the horrific things that are happening to the Ukrainian people and the courage that they`re showing in the face of that is definitely a story.

Now you`re right. Typically, constituents are more interested in healthcare, the price of gasoline jobs, the economy, kitchen table issues, as the cliche goes, but they are very much interested in what`s going on in Ukraine.

RUHLE: Then even if you have those support from constituents right now, do we end up in a tinderbox situation? Because in times of perceived peace, people don`t care about this stuff. It`s just not on their minds.

SMITH: Look, I mean, I always struggle with these reports that say, Oh, my goodness, how come the public doesn`t care about this? Or that or the other thing? How come they don`t know what`s going on and tell us about?

Look, we can`t pay attention to everything going on in the world, or even everything going on in the immediate lives around us. And I think setting that expectation misses the point. I do think that our constituents pay attention to the issues that are important. They tell us what`s important. And we manage and balance that I think in a decent way.

Yes. You know, if you picked one particular issue and said, if we focused on that all the time, would we do a better job of dealing with it, perhaps. But there`s hundreds of issues, and you`ve got to be able to juggle those in a representative democracy to adequately represent the people. And I think we`re doing a decent job of that right now.

RUHLE: Nothing Putin is doing is a surprise. He gave us a roadmap of what he wanted for years, the past administrations Republican and Democrat, take him seriously enough?

SMITH: No, obviously not at this point. I mean, Putin gave the famous speech in 2007, at the Munich Security Conference, which I`ve kind of summed up as where he basically said, we`re coming for you, you know, Russia is going to be back.

Now, I do think when you look at the policymakers trying to wrestle with that, confronting Putin more directly, early on now, certainly in hindsight seems like the right thing to do. But the balance that folks have tried to strike in the 15 years since that speech is we don`t want to confront and create a conflict. I think we always were trying to work towards a way to get Russia to better integrate with the work not world to not choose a confrontational path.

So I can`t say that I`m going to be critical of efforts to try to stop a confrontation by trying to find a peaceful way out of it. But Putin never bent. He kept moving forward with the idea of expanding Russia and recapturing what he perceives as the glory of the Soviet empire. And now we know exactly what he is prepared to do. And that is why you`ve seen the response in the U.S. with our allies and NATO all around the world, building up defenses in Poland, in the Baltics and Romania, and crucially, helping the Ukrainians to fight off their invaders.

RUHLE: And are you happy with the level of US military aid for Ukraine that we`ve provided so far?

SMITH: I think we`ve reacted very quickly. There`s more to be done, happy might be an overstatement. There`s really nothing happy about this situation. But we have gotten quite a bit in. I think there`s more that we can do and coordinate with our allies. And every day we`re learning this, I will say that the Biden administration has been on it, you know, from day one. They have they have coordinated an extraordinarily response with our NATO allies and others and moving fast.

But this is such, such a difficult set of circumstances. There`s always more to do. We`re going to work on that starting point. We need to pass the $33 billion supplemental to provide greater military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as early as possible next week, always more to be done. But I think it is impressive the way the world has rallied.

And just one quick point. I mean, our goal and objective here is number one, to maintain a sovereign democratic Ukraine. Number two, to make Russia weaker for having made this choice to not make them think that this type of choice is a positive. And number three, to strengthen the alliance. And certainly, on number three, we`ve done that we`ve got to keep building on it.

RUHLE: What`s your take on multiple media reports about U.S. intel sharing that has supported Ukraine, whether it`s in going after Russian generals, or the possible sinking of that Russian fleet?

SMITH: Well, number one, and let me just say, before I say this, I completely support a free press and I do not think the government should restrict it that at all. I think it`s unbelievably irresponsible for the media to be making these reports.

I mean, I was talking with someone today, it`s like if this was World War II would be the media said, Hey, we found out where we`re going to land at Normandy. Let`s broadcast it. I mean, this is our intelligence. We shouldn`t be writing stories about what our intelligence is or is not doing. It really undermines our ability to be successful and it`s incredibly dangerous.

Especially to the extent as your report you know, I think correctly speculate added on you know what if Putin says well if this is a proxy war and if the U.S. is targeting us then the U.S. and their NATO allies outside of Ukraine are fair game incorrectly speculated on, you know, what if Putin says, Well, if this is a proxy war, and if the U.S. is targeting us, then the U.S. and their NATO allies outside of Ukraine are fair game their targets.

So I don`t think that we should be reporting on what our intelligence is or is not doing with Ukraine, number one, and number two, John Kirby, the spokesperson for the Pentagon completely agree with this report way overstates what we`re doing.

We are helping Ukraine. Yes. We are not in the business of targeting Russians. We`re providing them with the intel that we have. And Ukrainians are the ones doing the work on that far.

RUHLE: Are you worried that Russia is going to take this reporting and then escalate their aggressions against Ukraine or the situation between U.S. and Russia? Could this make us more susceptible to I don`t know, a cyberattack?

SMITH: It`s a very delicate battle. And look, I am all in to help Ukraine in any way we possibly can because the stakes are so high. If Putin is able to succeed in this, you know, the devastation that Ukraine will experience will be even greater than it is right now. The threat to the broader neighborhood.

I mentioned Poland, Romania, the Baltics other countries, if he`s able to succeed here, it`s just has horrific implications. China will interpret that as this is an acceptable way to conduct foreign policy. So we have to get them everything we possibly can.

But from the very beginning, the Biden administration has been very clear. We`re going to help Ukraine in every way we can. We`re going to not go to war with Russia and start World War III. That`s the balance we have to strike.

So yes, on all of this, it does. We always have to calculate it. What is the risk of Putin`s escalation versus the risk of him succeeding in his mission? And that leading to an escalation? All right, so thus far, I think the Biden administration struck that balance well.

RUHLE: And it is not an easy one. Congressman, thank you so much for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.

SMITH: Thanks for the chance.

RUHLE: Coming up. We`ll discuss the support women around this country will need if Roe is overturned in the battle ahead to make it happen when the 11th Hour continues.




MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: We`ll see states around the country step up to provide additional support to women that are facing crisis pregnancies. I`ve also been a great champion of adoption reform in America, I think, to be pro-life you need to be pro adoption.


RUHLE: Mike Pence is suggestion that adoption might ease some of the burdens women face if abortion rights disappear, seriously reflects a new political reality right there. Republicans are now under pressure to reconsider their approach on family and medical assistance.

As the Washington Post points out, the GOP has adamantly opposed President Biden`s proposals to provide cash payments for parents, universal pre- kindergarten and other family benefit programs such as expanded childcare subsidies.

So let`s discuss. With us tonight journalist Jessica Bruder. She wrote the New York Times best-selling book "Nomadland," and Dr. Kavita Patel, clinical physician and former senior policy director during the Obama administration. She`s also one of our public health experts here at NBC.

Kavita, if we see these restrictive laws, they`re not going to affect wealthy women while the woman can hop on a plane and go to another state for abortion services. You have seen firsthand what happens when states restrict care what happens to more economically vulnerable women explain.

DR. KAVITA PATEL, CLINICAL PHYSICIAN: Yes, so economically vulnerable women and honestly, Steph, it`s really a wide array of women, even educated women find themselves because of access issues not knowing who and when to see find themselves with unplanned pregnancies.

And then 14 states right now we have such restrictive abortion policies that you can imagine this isn`t a future scenario. It`s the now scenario, they face higher maternity mortality, they face unintended pregnancy outcomes. Think about how much when we have a pregnancy and how much we rely on having a healthy emotional and physical surrounding if you`re economically vulnerable. That is less likely, many women are often found left to stay in abusive relationships.

So there`s higher rates of spouse and partner abuse, and then many are also in households with other children. So this is a spillover effect. We`ve seen that studies done a five year study called the turn away study at UCSF that looked at women who had been turned away from abortions because of gestational age, that there had been long lasting effects in those unplanned pregnancy in the children, developmental disorders, mental health disorders.

So this is a far ripple effect, economically vulnerable, but I would say all women have had some elements of this. And what we see is that they don`t have any --

RUHLE: Jessica, you wrote in The Atlantic last month that a post-Roe world will not resemble a pre-Roe world. What do you mean by that?

JESSICA BURDER, AUTHOR, "NOMANDLAND": I mean, we`ve got two things that didn`t exist back then. We`ve got the internet and we also have abortion pills. Science has come a long way. While we are going to have a lot of people facing incredible challenges just look at what happened after Texas passed SB-8, there was an abortion diaspore a bottlenecks in neighboring states. More Texas patients in Washington State, in Maryland everywhere.


Texas has one in 10 women of reproductive age in the US. But imagine this time, you know, maybe 26 states. So it`s going to be a huge challenge. But it`s not going to be the same challenge that my parents and my forebears faced because we have better information.

And I think part of it right now is just among activists a fight to get the information out there to tell people about the resources that exists from websites, including which have information about getting pills to the repro legal helpline, which helps people protect themselves for self-managed abortion, to the M&A hotline for miscarriages and abortion. So the resources to help people are out there, and the internet is out there to help spread the word.

RUHLE: So Dr. Patel, I want to share what we heard from a North Dakota clinic worker today.


SARA HAEDAR, RED RIVER WOMEN`S CLINIC: Definitely makes things real. I mean, it`s been a surreal couple of days. It took me about 20 seconds after getting the news to vomit. And, yes, providers are not OK.


RUHLE: How are medical workers handling this idea?

PATEL: Oh, Steph, I mean, I have tears. You know, every time someone else is talking, I think about youngest patient I`ve ever seen in this situation, a 14-year-old team, who was brought in by her parents, and was desperate, father, who was very concerned about her health, and she had hidden the pregnancy from them. And there were so many issues around that.

And I think now about how hard it would be for that brave girl to come forward. Even with internet access, or even with many resources, Steph, I wouldn`t have been able to do anything. Even then it was hard. Now it would be impossible.

So that is we are all feeling it. In fact, the most common text thread we all have is what is it that we can do? Do we need to export providers? Do we need to put up more resources, donate more money, but it does feel like it`s just another slap in the face to say, you know, your health care is not between you and your doctor. It`s now up for Supreme Court or court legislatures to decide.

RUHLE: Well, if they do this, does the government need to provide more money to support these women carrying pregnancies to term or put an actual financial obligation on the fathers? Jessica?

BRUDER: Yes. It`s funny, I think the government, we need to not go where we`re going, first of all, but yes, we do need more of a social safety net in this country. We`ve known this for a long time. We are some of the leaders in the so called developed world when it comes to economic inequality, along with maternal mortality. Lots of things that are coming into play right now.

So yes, I do think we need more equitable responsibility and more support for people. People have every gender when it comes to having kids but we also need support for people to have that full slate of options, whether it`s the freedom to have children and a healthy environment, or the freedom to not have children.

This is part of the reproductive justice framework. And I think I`m glad people are talking about it.

RUHLE: Government is looking to put more rules, restrictions and responsibilities on women. Women can`t get pregnant without men. What are they going to do about the men. Jessica Bruder, Dr. Kavita Patel, thank you so much for joining us tonight. I know it`s a really hard topic.

Coming up. The investigative reporter who broke open the story of the corrupt Kentucky lawyer who stole millions and millions of dollars from guests who, the U,S, government, a story you won`t want to miss coming to a TV screen near you when the 11th Hour continues.



RUHLE: Americans heads are spinning. The Fed raised rates this week and the market soared. But today, the market decided maybe they didn`t like it. And the Dow lost 1,000 points, the worst single day since 2020 in the markets, pair that with rising inflation and the Biden administration is struggling with a very complicated economic outlook.

So let`s bring in Damian Paletta, economic reporter for The Washington Post. His reporting is at the center of a brand new Apple TV series called "The Big Conn" about the biggest social security fraud in U.S. history, which premieres tonight, at midnight. Damian, we`re going to talk about this series in a second. But I have to ask, how complicated of an economic story does the Biden administration have to tell inflation is a problem markets are up markets are down and even though we`re in an economic recovery, Americans aren`t feeling it?

DAMIAN PALETTA, THE WASHINGTON POST ECONOMIC REPORTER: I know and, you know, just in a few hours, we`re going to hear about the jobs report from the previous month. The labor markets unbelievably hot right now, which I think is one of the strongest parts of the economy when you have unemployment that, you know, three and a half percent, it gives you some confidence that we could power through this, you know, kind of slowdown and maybe avoid a recession.

But when you have obviously the government, the economy contracted in the first quarter, gas prices are still extremely high. Inflation is a major problem. And the stock market swings, you know, can create a lot of uncertainty.

So I think a lot of Americans are on edge and the longer that continues. I think the worst that`s going to play out for the Democrats in the Biden administration as the year goes on.


RUHLE: Well, a lot more Americans would agree on fury and outrage about your story. You are the reporter who broke open the story of a man named Eric Conn 11 years ago. This was the Kentucky lawyer who defrauded the Social Security Administration out of more than half a billion, billion dollars before he fled the country. I remember the story very well. An Apple TV viewers are about to hear about it as well. I want to share a sample.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of the craziest people who pulled off one of the biggest scams in American history.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are looking for Eric Conn for defrauding the U.S. taxpayer of more than $550 million.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eric Conn was one of the biggest glories here in Appalachia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The town loved him and the people love him. He was a phenomenon.


RUHLE: How did this thing work?

PALETTA: It`s amazing. So I was looking into the Social Security Disability Program. And I found some data that showed there was this one judge in West Virginia who approved 99.7 percent of the cases before him, which was a huge outlier. I started making calls in the area and everyone said, You got to get down here. There`s some sort of weird, you know, kickback scheme between this judge and this lawyer.

And sure enough, they`ve been doing this for years. There were some brave whistleblowers who had tried to stop it, but they were essentially bullied into submission by other government officials. It was like kind of a monthly payment between the judge -- between from the lawyer to the judge, which got thousands of people approved for benefits.

Now many of them were disabled, but many others were not. And it was so hard to tell which was which because everyone was going to this one lawyer. This is an incredible story. The lawyer was married over 16 times, you know, that we`re talking to voodoo dolls. He owned a brothel in Thailand. I mean, so many things in this are almost too much to believe. But it all happened.

Once they ended up in indicting him for -- the indicted five people in the case. Eventually, he cut off his ankle bracelet and then disappeared. And they led to an international manhunt.

So you know, I mean, as you`ve been talking all night, like government policy can seem like numbers in this abstract thing, but obviously affects many people. And here`s a case coming to Apple TV that really shows you in stark contrast, you know, how crazy these things can get.

RUHLE: Voodoo dolls, a brothel in Thailand, a lawyer and a judge. So where is this guy the lawyer today?

PALETTA: Well, the judge`s passed away a few years ago. The lawyer is in prison. I think he was initially sentenced to between 10 and 15 years but when he disappeared and fled, once they`re arrested him they added a lot more to his sentence. There`s a good chance he`s going to die in prison.

I think he you know, his version of events is very evident in this story, which makes it even more powerful. But justice was served it just took a really long time for the wheels of justice to turn and in the process. A lot of people were really hurt.

RUHLE: Well, I know what I`m doing at midnight tonight. I am tuning in, Damian Paletta. For anyone who doesn`t support the Free Press, you better watch this and watch it again. Thank you, Dalian.

When we come back, oh, and The Big Conn debuts as I said tonight, Apple TV just a couple of minutes from now. But coming up, a changing of the guard in the White House briefing room on the 11th Hour continues.



RUHLE: The last thing before we go tonight at changing of the guard. White House press secretary Jen Psaki made it official today she is stepping down after a little over a year on the job, and a very eventful year at the briefing room and microphone. And it was this moment between Saki and her successor that caught our attention.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I`m going to cry. OK. I want to talk about my friend, Karine, got a couple of here.

So, I just want to take the opportunity to celebrate and congratulate my friends, my colleague, my partner in truth, Karine Jean-Pierre, the next White House press secretary.

For anyone who does not know her, I want to provide a little bit of a primer for us to settle in. First, as you all know, she will be the first black woman, the first out LGBTQ plus person to serve in this role. She will give a voice to so many and allow and show so many what is truly possible when you work hard and dream big. And that matters.

She got her start in New York City politics. She comes to this job with decades of experience, even though she looks very young. We`re both in our 20s. She`s a longtime adviser to President Biden, and Dr. Biden, they are partners having served in senior roles for him and for both of them back to when he was vice president. And she`s worked for a number of advocacy organizations fighting for issues and justice for so many Americans.

When we both found out we were getting these jobs was about how we wanted to build a drama free on your best days. Place, workplace where everybody worked hard. Were we are on our best days we`re rebuilding trust with the public. And I`m just so grateful to have had Karine by my side for this over the last 15 months. And I just can`t wait to see her shine at the podium.

So, congratulations, and I can`t wait to see you bring your own style and brilliance to this job.


PSAKI: I love you.


RUHLE: Karine Jean-Pierre, the daughter of Haitian immigrants will be the first black woman first openly gay person to serve as White House press secretary. But just as importantly, as all of that is, did you hear that list of qualifications? She`ll need to bring them when we will be challenging Karine with some tough questions from the White House Press Corps.

And on that note, I wish you all a very good night from all of our colleagues across the networks at NBC News. Thank you for staying up late with us. And as I can stay awake until 11:00 tomorrow which I`m not really sure about, I`ll see you at the end.