December 11, 2023

Immigration Marriage

Feel Good With Immigration

The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle, 5/16/22


President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Buffalo, New York after a racially motivated shooting left 10 people dead. Police say the suspected shooter`s online manifesto showed intentions to attack more than one target. Voters in five states head to the polls Tuesday with much of the focus on key races in battleground Pennsylvania. And Sweden and Finland announce plans to join NATO.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: We are out of time. THE 11TH HOUR with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.


STEPHANIE RUHLE: Tonight, tragedy in Buffalo. 10 people murdered at a grocery store in a targeted racist rampage will remember those lost. Has yet another city mourns, the political battle rages over gun control and racial rhetoric. How hate is allowed to flourish in the dark corners of the internet.

And hours before primary polls open in Pennsylvania, the new images of one candidate marching on January 6. What impact will that have on the race as THE 11TH HOUR gets underway on this Monday night.

Good evening, once again, I`m Stephanie Ruhle. Tonight, the nation is struggling to come to grips with another massacre. Saturday`s racially motivated shooting in Buffalo, New York was allegedly carried out by a white 18-year-old man who traveled hours to a black community where police say he opened fire at a supermarket. 10 people were killed three others injured.

Tomorrow, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Buffalo to grieve with that community.

Earlier today, White House honoring public safety officers at the White House. Biden spoke about the victims and their families.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: No one understands more than all of you here today the pain and anguish those families in Buffalo feel, but if they were pulled into as if you when it happens, at least my experience you feel like you`re pulling a black hole inside your chest and everything, everything they can`t. And it`s hard.


RUHLE: The suspect, Payton Gendron has pleaded not guilty. Tonight, the New York Times reports he lied to evade a state law that would have stopped him from legally purchasing a gun after he made threats at a high school back in June 2021.

According to The Washington Post, messages from a writer who identified himself as Gendron revealed he made plans for an attack about five months ago. Buffalo Police say the alleged shooters online manifesto revealed intentions to attack more than one target.


JOSEPH GRAMAGLIA, BUFFALO POLICE COMMISSIONER: There were references to have made it out of there before police arrived that he had plans to continue his slaughter. We found some things that show that he was here in early March. And then again, we know that he was here on Friday, basically doing a reconnaissance on the area.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Was he in the store then at that time to do the reconnaissance?

GRAMAGLIA: He was in the store both on Friday and Saturday. Yes.


RUHLE: He had plans to continue the slaughter. Authorities also say the manifesto revealed the suspect was motivated by something called replacement theory, which is the totally false and racist ideology that claims there is a plot to diminish the influence of white people by replacing them with immigrants and people of color.

This conspiracy theory has been increasingly echoed by many who are on the right.

Today Liz Cheney called out the House Republican leadership for enabling white nationalism and anti-semitism.

Meanwhile, Fox News host Tucker Carlson is also coming under scrutiny for his comments about replacement.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: For the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots with new people, more obedient voters from the third world. In political terms this policy is called the great replacement. The replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries.

It is the secret to the entire immigration debate. Demographic change is the key to the Democratic Party`s political ambitions. They`re trying to change the population of the United States. And they hate it when you say that because it`s true.

That the country`s being stolen from American citizens as we watch.

In other words, you`re being replaced and there`s nothing you could do about it. So shut up.


RUHLE: Today on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called out Fox News.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY) MAJORITY LEADER: In a craven quest for viewers and ratings, organizations like Fox News have spent years perfecting the craft of stoking cultural grievance, and political resentment that eerily mirrors the messages found in replacement theory.

If organizations like Fox News truly want to condemn this weekend`s violence, they need to stop spreading out ideas like replacement theory on their shows.



RUHLE: Meanwhile, House Democrats are looking to introduce legislation meant to fight the threat of white supremacists and other domestic extreme groups.

So I want to start our evening with a man who`s had a very difficult few days. Mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown. Mayor Brown, I am so, so sorry for what you are going through. Please tell us how the people of buffalo are doing tonight.

BYRON BROWN, MAYOR OF BUFFALO: The people of buffalo are grieving tonight. A lot of heartbroken people in our community. A lot of scared people in our community. We`re starting the process of healing, a lot of prayer in the city of Buffalo, lifting each other up, wrapping our arms around the families of the victims, the precious lives lost in this mass shooting, this horrible crime against our community. But we are a strong community. We`re coming together. And we will get through this incredibly difficult and dark time.

RUHLE: The city of good neighbors, tell us a bit about Tops, this grocery store and how important it was for your city and specifically that neighborhood.

BROWN: The Tops is a center of the community. Years ago when I was a city council member worked hard with others to convince the corporate community that there was a marketplace on the east side of Buffalo, in the inner city of Buffalo, Tops supermarket stepped forward. They were one of the corporations that said we will invest in this community. There are tens of thousands in this community that need a place to shop. This is a food desert, and we will locate a store in this community.

So the supermarket is more than just a supermarket. It is a gathering place a meeting place, yes. Importantly, a place for people to get groceries, but also a place that hosts special events. A place that provides information in the community. So critically important to the residents of this area of the city of Buffalo that rely on this supermarket for their food, for their prescriptions and for healthy eating.

RUHLE: This alleged shooter he wasn`t from Buffalo. He was an 18-year-old man from hours away. He didn`t know his victims. Why do you believe he did this?

BROWN: He was motivated by hate. That`s quite clear. He was radicalized in a partially from the internet. He traveled more than three hours to get to Buffalo to shoot and kill people he didn`t know. His goal was to take as many black lives as possible. And if not for the heroic action of the security officer, a retired Buffalo Police officer who engaged the suspect and returned fire from the suspect he might have killed more people inside the supermarket.

And if not for the swift response by the Buffalo Police Department, getting to the scene of this mass shooting in about a minute`s time and being able to get him to surrender himself to police, there might have been many more people chilled outside in the community. That was his goal. And fortunately, the Buffalo Police were able to stop his heinous plan.

RUHLE: And we`re grateful for that. Mayor Brown, thank you for joining us this evening. I appreciate it. Our thoughts tonight are with you and your city.

BROWN: Thank you, Stephanie.

RUHLE: With that, let`s bring in this evening`s experts Peter Baker, Chief White House correspondent for The New York Times. Professor Melissa Murray of NYU Law School. She was a law clerk for Sonia Sotomayor on the federal bench before her nomination to the Supreme Court and MSNBC political analyst, Brittany Packnett Cunningham. She`s a former member of President Obama`s 21st Century Policing Task Force.

Brittany, when we see shootings like this, all too often people express their grief, their upset their anger. And over and over, they say that is not who we are. But then it happens again. Is this who we are?

BRITTANY PACKNETT CUNNINGHAM, FORMER MEMBER OF PRESIDENT OBAMA`S 21ST CENTURY POLICING TASK FORCE: Sadly, this is exactly who we are. I think that folks want to act as though this exists on the fringes or that this was just the act of a mentally ill individual. But let`s really actually break down what it means when people immediately go to those kinds of answers.

First of all, we have to recognize that 10 people are now dead. They will never be with their families again. And in particular, he killed a lot of black elders. I`m thinking of Jerry Tolley who I just watched a new store about, she was 62-years-old she was in there to get some cold cuts with her fiance to eat for dinner.


And these are people who survived the very worst atrocities of this country just for those same atrocities to resurrect themselves and their murders, and what should have been the greatest years of their life in the twilight of — twilight of their life. And so I`m particularly sick about that.

And the fact that those people are dealing with someone who now is being labeled as just a child or someone who was mentally ill is terrifying. But we do this over and over again. This is precisely the cycle that you`re talking about. And that cycle is one that keeps us embedded in a space where we are unwilling to actually look at ourselves and all the ways that we perpetuate this take this mental health narrative, for example.

Yes, it is supposed to humanize right perpetrators of domestic terrorism, and of course, increase the stigma against people who are truly mentally ill, and don`t go around terrorizing people.

But in the end, it lets the people who raised him and the churches who preached to him and the classrooms that taught him and the community that embraced him all off the hook, and every time that happens, every time those folks are able to just throw up their hands and say, it wasn`t our fault, because he was crazy. Every crime that happens in cities and towns and states across America, another shooter, another terrorist, another white supremacist, is being developed is being radicalized.

So sadly, this is exactly who we are. And it will continue to happen until we actually shift the cycle.

RUHLE: No one is calling this man a child, not here, not on this show, that`s for sure old enough to buy this gun, old enough to suffer the consequences. Melissa, the Justice Department is investigating this as a hate crime, which is different from normal investigation. What does that mean?

MELISSA MURRAY, NYU LAW PROFESSOR: So this hate crime will come if there are charges brought against him. Under the hate crime statute, there are additional penalties based on the fact that this would be considered a racially motivated crime. It seems like there`s sufficient evidence to make out those charges.

But again, it is a federal crime. So there may already be New York state charges that could be leveled against him homicide charges, but there would be an additional set of charges stemming from this federal hate crime statute. And that, of course, would have to be established through a federal trial or perhaps a guilty plea in that case, but it would come with its own additional punishments, and its own enhancements because of the racially motivated nature of the crime if it were proven.

RUHLE: Peter, Republican Liz Cheney criticized House leadership, Republican Adam Kinzinger singled out Elise Stefanik for pushing this replacement theory rhetoric. Do Republicans have a problem here? Well, Kinzinger and Cheney might be right, their influence in their party has diminished. The Republicans have to address their involvement in any of this.

PETER BAKER, THE NEW YORK TIMES CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, that`s exactly right, that there is a very small section of the Republican Party willing to talk about this. And they are the same people who are talking about Trumpism and talking about January 6, and the ones who think that something is wrong in their own party for at the very least tolerating, if not actively encouraging, you know, versions of white supremacy and things like that.

And I think that, you know, you have not heard from the leaders of the party. So we haven`t heard from for President Trump, who`s the likely front runner for their nomination 2024, their congressional leaders. And that speaks to I think, the state of affairs right now.

On the on the right, you`re going to have President Biden go there tomorrow. The question will be how does he address this? Obviously, he will, you know, he`s always been an empathetic political figure. He`ll talk about the tragedy and loss and probably related to his own loss and his own family, which he then tends to do.

The question that a lot of people on the left are asking is whether he he`ll call out Republicans in the way that Liz Cheney and Chuck Schumer, as you showed did today. How much will he talk about this? He wants to be a unifying president. But at the same time, how do you then address the scourge of racism that has fueled the kind of violence that we`ve seen now in Buffalo, but also in so many other places before it?

RUHLE: Brittany, The New York Times is reporting that federal data shows that in the last 10 years, hate crimes specifically against black Americans who make up 12.1 percent of the population have far exceeded those reported against any other group that includes biases based on victims religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, given these facts, realistically, how can we address this? What do we need to do?

CUNNINGHAM: So, what I find important to recognize in this moment, as you say, is that we use accurate language like you said on this show, you`re not calling him a child. He was old enough to buy that gun. You`re not using any of the excuses that we`re seeing lots of media organizations decide that they want to use it, that matters across the board.


We have to recognize that not only was this white supremacist, but it was deeply anti-black to drive three and a half hours to a black neighborhood that you research that you did reconnaissance in, is to engage in anti- black violence. That is sadly as American as apple pie in harkens back to an era of racial terror that we`ve seen time and again in this country.

And when it happened, sadly, none of us were surprised because as you said, these are the facts. We were so unsurprised that we could actually play out exactly what the aftermath was going to be. We knew the police were going to take him alive. We knew that there was going to be this mental illness narrative. We knew that he was going to be seen as a kid, including by the AP, who called 18year-old Michael Brown, who was on armed and murdered a man.

We knew that there`d be thoughts and prayers, and this would be called a tragedy. People will use the passive voice is that they didn`t engage in the kind of rhetoric that perpetuated this. We knew that Fox News would essentially stay silent at best, that we knew that colorful euphemisms would be used to avoid saying white supremacist or domestic terror. That train always runs on time.

And at some point, there has to be enough of our priority on the lives of black Americans to interrupt that cycle. You have to do something urgently different to get a different result. And thus far, it does not seem like our communities are enough of a priority to do that. For lawmakers who know better.

RUHLE: Peter, President Biden launched his campaign for the White House talking about what happened in Charlottesville and the need to end racism. You mentioned he`s going to be an empathetic voice tomorrow. We`ve heard that from him before.

There`s another commonality in Saturday`s shooting, which we`ve seen with so many others. Hate, unfortunately, we can`t get rid of. But AR15 assault rifles and rifles like them. We see them again and again in these mass shootings.

While the President does not make or set gun laws. He can`t. Is there any chance when we see him tomorrow he`ll start to talk he`ll bring up gun reform. Because those assault style weapons we hear in city after city after city.

BAKER: Yes. Certainly Biden, President Biden has a history in this area. Of course, he during the 1990s, as a senator proposed and passed a basically an assault rifle ban that lasted about 10 years, but then sunset out, and then other words, the band went away and made these types of weapons legal again.

But he has fought for gun control in the past as vice president under President Obama, he was charged with coming up with a plan to help restrict gun access after the Newtown shootings. They did — they did sign a number of executive orders that were pretty modest. They did not get anything significant out of Congress as a result.

And I think that there`s a sort of a, you know, there`s a pattern here, too, you know, you we just said that the train runs on time, every time. Well, that`s also been the case on the gun issue. We hear, you know, calls for gun control after an event like this, and then they will maybe they`ll have some traction for a little while and then they`ll disappear.

There is a embody embedded resistance to the kind of laws that President Biden would like to pass in the political system that I don`t think is going to change after this law after this terrible tragedy and massacre anymore than — if it didn`t do it after the children of Newtown, it`s hard to see how anything is going to change that at least in the short term. There has to be something more fundamental if gun control advocates want to bring the kind of change they believe is necessary in Washington.

RUHLE: We`re going to end this segment exactly where we started it. People always say this isn`t who we are. But alas, perhaps it is. Peter Baker, Melissa Murray, Britney Packnett Cunningham, thank you all for joining us tonight.

Coming up, with that how that false theory we were just talking about, apparently embraced by the suspected gunman is allowed to flourish on the internet. NBC News reporter Ben Collins is here to debunk replacement theory and explain how this movement has no borders.

And later, we`re just hours away from polls opening in those high stakes primary races in Pennsylvania, where there are new twists and turns for candidates in both parties in the final stretch. The 11th Hour just getting underway on a very important Monday night.



RUHLE: More questions tonight after law enforcement officials say they believe the suspected gunman wrote and posted a manifesto with repeated mentions of what`s known as the replacement theory.

So let`s get into what exactly that is. As are own, Ben Collins sums it up, it`s the false idea that a cabal is attempting to replace white Americans with non-white people through immigration, interracial marriage and eventually violence.

With us tonight, that very reporter Ben Collins himself, he covers disinformation and extremism on the internet. So Ben, tell us more about this false idea because it`s not just being pushed in the United States. It`s around the world.

BEN COLLINS, SR. REPORTER COVERING DISINFORMATION AND EXTEMISM: Yes, in fact, the specific person, this person tried to emulate this weekend is Brenton Tarrant, the shooter from the New Zealand shooting, you know, when two mosques and killed 51 people a couple of years ago. This is basically a copy and paste job of that manifesto.

You know, these people are virulently anti-immigrant and this guy was very mixed up. He was anti-immigrant and targeting black people because he believed that they were part of the invasion of this country was an anti- semitic conspiracy theory, above all, in part because they he believes, you know, Jews are trying to bring in people to change the electorate in the United States.


And that`s what this is about to him. It largely what we`ve noticed over the past couple of days here, I`ve been combing through his Discord, which he posted shortly before the shooting, and his Discord served as like a diary. Discord is usually a chat service. But for him, it served as basically a planning diary going back to December, and he tried to scope out places that would cause the most harm and the most terror to black people specifically.

He initially thought maybe I should do this to the school or maybe a church. But he wanted to bring the most terror to every single black civilian, to make it believe, to make black people believe this could be they could be targeted anywhere. That`s what he was going for it.

RUHLE: He says, have come into this country to replace white people. Of course, all of the people who he shot and killed were older than he is, and has been in this country long before even he was born.

Ben, where does he find not he`s specifically but you track it. Where is this information found? What websites? What chat forums are these racist theories pushed on?

COLLINS: Well, he realized his audience was mostly on 4chan and then knock off of a website called AChat. It`s now dead. There have been other sites popped up that use that name. So that`s what he did before the shooting. He took this manifesto that he`s been working on for months. And he posted it to people that he met on Discord and things like gaming forums and other things like that. He sent them an alert that he was about to do this shooting on Twitch, which is like a video game service.

But there is a large contingent of people in this space. It`s a completely anonymized space. 4chan is a completely anonymized space where anyone can post anything under just a string of numbers and letters instead of username, that`s been used from foreign disinformation operations, but it`s also used for people like this who are trying to hide their identity until the moment that they`re no longer trying to hide it.

This man found a community in white nationalist terror all throughout the world. And you know, people like Brenton Tarrant, but also people like the Poway shooter, the El Paso shooter, the Garlic Gilroy festival shooter, there are a lot of people who believe what he believed, but they`re all over the world. They`re not just in his community. These people do not meet up in real life. There`s still community for them. You know, on the internet.

RUHLE: I`m afraid to ask this question. In these chat rooms, what has the response been to the shooting? Please don`t tell me he`s being praised some sort of sick hero, please.

COLLINS: Well, there`s two reactions to this, you know, there is that reaction, Steph, that he is being praised for this among white nationalists, because that`s what they want. They want to race war. And this is one way of going about this specifically.

But he, you know, these people are deeply paranoid. They think everything, even if they agree with it, they think it`s some sort of, you know, fed operation. They think it`s some sort of false flag to detract from whatever problems they think are real.

So they are equally upset at this man while also agreeing with him in this space. They want the race war, but they don`t want to be blamed for it. That is, you know, at the very heart of white grievance at the end of the day.

RUHLE: I have to ask you these sick, sick, dark web chat rooms, you too, unfortunately for your job, you live on them. What is this like for you? When you heard about the shooting on Saturday? Were you surprised? Or are you basically just waiting for this to happen?

COLLINS: Steph, I never thought this was going to go away. You know, if you talk about replacement theory over and over again, in the public sphere, and you allude to it as a legitimate political stance to take, and then somebody in the extremists forums, they`re not just saying it`s a legitimate stance to take, but we have to take action on it.

Eventually, you come to expect that someone`s going to do it. That`s what happened in 2018 and 2019, when this was so fervent in the spaces, there was the string of terror attacks, you know, one before the midterms in Pittsburgh at a synagogue, but then, you know, a several in 2019 copycat killings every weekend.

There was one weekend where I stayed home close to my house, because I assumed that it was a Saturday and somebody was going to do something again. I hope we don`t get back in that space. That`s what I hope, Steph. But I also realized that, you know, this is not going away. This is a community that`s growing. And it is now picking up real mainstream attention from people who should not be giving it that.

RUHLE: And it`s time to damn well do something about it. Ben Collins, thank you always for your incredible reporting and for your willingness to cover the darkest of the dark.

Coming up. New twist in high school — in a high profile Pennsylvania primary race is just hours away from the polls opening.


A.B. Stoddard and Tim Miller on what is at stake for both sides and what to expect tomorrow when THE 11TH HOUR continues.


RUHLE: We are just hours away from polls opening in the state of Pennsylvania and the Republican Senate primary is very close.


Trump endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz leads the polls that Kathy Barnette, who until a week ago was an unknown seems to have some serious momentum.

On the Democratic side, Senate primary front runner and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is now recovering from a stroke he out over the weekend. But he is still in the race.

So let`s discuss and welcome back A.B. Stoddard, veteran Washington journalist and associate editor and columnist for Real Clear Politics. And Tim Miller, contributor to The Bulwark and former communications director for Jeb Bush.

A.B., Tim came in pearl, so he gets to go first. Tim, Kathy Barnette, is as far right as they come. And people keep saying that these new pictures that have emerged of her that show she was marching in Washington on January 6, these pictures are going to be a problem for her. But are they if you are somebody who`s already in Ultra-MAGA corner, is marching on January 6, a problem or a bonus?

TIM MILLER, THE BULWARK CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I saw those pictures this morning, Steph and I thought she might be getting a two or three point bump in the primary out of it. Sadly, you know, I wish you have to do a little McCobb humor sometimes with the state of affairs in this race. But look, looking at Barnette`s running against just for some context on this Pennsylvania primary.

The original front runner, the original person that got all the endorsements was David McCormick, hedge fund guy who is a classic, you know, Davos moderate Republican, yes, globalist, right, and — but he was pretending to be ultra MAGA. He rolled out on Breitbart saying that, that he was going to do the full MAGA, which was just never believed on its face. I did a whole profile on The Bulwark if people want to read more.

But the only thing he had going for him is that the other candidate in the race was even funnier than him. It was Dr. Oz who was a socially liberal, you know, television star also pretending to be a MAGA nationalist, you know, which was also ridiculous.

So in the last week or two I don`t think it`s surprising that someone who is of the crazy who actually believes the crazy who is there on January 6, who isn`t pretending that they believe in voter fraud, you know, would get momentum in this race and so I don`t know if it`ll be enough for to win. I think it`s going to end up being close race but I think that what we`re learning here is that, you know, we all know that talking about the Glenn Youngkin model.

The Glenn Youngkin model only worked because it was an off year election and he didn`t have to face voters. Republican voters want real MAGA. I wish it weren`t the case, but that`s what they want. Kathy Barnette is giving it to him, while the other two guys are obvious fakers. And so that`s where we`ve landed.

RUHLE: Then given that, A.B., David McCormick is a Davos darling, married to a Goldman partner, Mehmet Oz is a TV star who has very little connection even to the state of Pennsylvania. Given that, how did these two men with hours ago think they have they can win over any of Barnette`s supporters. What could they even say?

A.B. STODDARD, REAL CLEAR POLITICS ASSOC. EIDTOR AND COLUMNIST: Right, they were really caught off guard by this step. The surge was perfectly late, that all the stars have aligned for Cathy Burnett. And as you said those photos will only endear her more to these primary voters who don`t like Oz and McCormick believe they`re both carpetbaggers and phonies, and find her incredibly authentic.

She`s the unpolitician, she says whatever she feels, timing again was unbelievable. After the leak of the draft opinion from Justice Alito, she has this amazing video out to go to the heart of the primary electorate about how she was a result of a rape of her 11-year-old mother and she still believes in no exceptions, as a pro-lifer for rape or as incest or anything else and culture is going gaga over her on Twitter, everyone thinks she`s the real deal. And now she`s got the endorsement of Scott Perry, her Pennsylvania congressman who is under subpoena from the January 6 committee and had a role in the two-month coop plot.

So I think if you`re Oz and McCormick, you just ran into a buzzsaw of bad luck because of the seven days she had to have all of these things come into place. And the fact that even though Trump said she`s really troubled and can`t win the general election, he then goes and endorses Mastriano for governor, which the entire Republican Party of Pennsylvania is in a blind panic about he runs with Kathy Barnette their signs are posted together. They are thicket and so he is likely to pull her over the line.

RUHLE: I don`t understand the blind panic then because here we are with guys like Sean Hannity going after Barnette, you know, attacking her for marching on January 6 yet Elise Stefanik, Tim, you just wrote about her has risen to power within the GOP once a moderate and now she`s been appealing to the darkest instincts of the base. So what`s the game plan for the top of the party for Republican leadership?


MILLER: Here`s the difference between Elise and Kathy, Steph, is it at least plays the inside game that the whole parse of the MAGA movement is that they claim to be, you know, outsiders that are going after the old establishment. But there`s just a new establishment that`s replaced the old establishment and it`s a MAGA establishment and what they want is people that they know that they can trust to do what Donald Trump says the next time he tries to steal elections. They want someone that they know they can trust to actually win elections and beat Democrats and stay on message and go along with Mitch McConnell and appoint judges.

And this is what Elise Stefanik is, you know, she is owned by Donald Trump because her whole career has been made by the fact that she quit being an old school, Tim Miller style moderate republican and threw in with Trump.

Trump can`t control Kathy Barnette. She`s not all that good at this, you know, you want you`re doing Fox interviews, she doesn`t know what she`s going to say. She doesn`t know the answer to the question. She doesn`t have her talking points.

And so these guys that all claim to be outsiders, they don`t want a real outsider. They want a person that they can control that will go along with the Trump program. Elites will do that. She`s just phony enough to do it. And Kathy Barnette is and that`s really the difference and it has nothing to do with them actually thinking she`s too extreme or disagreeing with any of our positions. They`re fine with all those positions as long as the person stays on message.

RUHLE: Well, all eyes on PA tomorrow. AB Stoddard, Tim Miller, thank you both so much.

Coming up. The conflict in Ukraine has yet another traditionally neutral nation looking to join forces against Russia. We`ll talk with the former ambassador about that and more when THE 11TH HOUR continues.




ADM. JAMES STAVRIDIS, FORMER SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER OF NATO: It is an extraordinarily good day for NATO. And a better day will be when we close the switch and they actually join in. I`ll tell you very quickly why that is. Sweden and Finland both have superb highly trained technologically advanced militaries. It`s a signal to Russia that NATO is not going to back down in the face of the kind of aggression that we`re seeing in Ukraine.


RUHLE: As we enter the 83rd day of Russia`s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Sweden says just like Finland, it wants to end decades of neutrality and join NATO. Surprisingly, Vladimir Putin`s reaction to the news was pretty subdued. From the Washington Post, quote, Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to downplay the development, saying he had no problems with the Alliance`s possible expansion.

So I got to find out about that one with us tonight. William Taylor, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is also the United States Institute of Peace, Vice President for Russia and Europe. Mr. Ambassador, that is a wow, what do you make of Putin`s reaction? No biggie, let them expand.

WILLIAM TAYLOR, FMR. U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: So Stephanie, a couple of things. One is you can`t afford to go after to threaten to make any aggressive moves toward Finland in Sweden. He`s got his hands more than full and Ukraine. Ukraine is giving him a run for the money more than that. Ukraine is pushing him back. So he can`t — he can`t threaten credibly to go after Sweden or Finland.

But the second point is very interesting. He used NATO expansion. Putin said that NATO expansion was what caused him to have to invade Ukraine. Well, he`s now saying actually, it`s no big deal. NATO expansion no big deal. That just shows the lies definitely that the NATO expansion argument was never the real reason. President Putin just really wants to dominate Ukraine. And that`s what he was after.

RUHLE: It also shows that he simply doesn`t have that strong a hand, which is why some European leaders are calling on Ukraine to consider concessions that would allow Putin to save face. What do you think about that?

TAYLOR: I mean, this is almost immoral for any leaders to be asking President Zelenskyy to give up some of his own territory. This is, you know, this is a horrible statement. President Zelenskyy recognizes what his people want, what Ukraine wants. He recognizes what`s at stake here. President Zelenskyy recognizes that what`s at stake is his independence, his sovereignty, his nation, and he`s in the best position to decide when to negotiate if ever.

And then if he does decide to negotiate what he`ll put on the table. This is not for any European or anybody just say what goes on the table for President Zelenskyy. He`s the one who decides.

RUHLE: He`s the one who`s risked so much and lost so much already. Something else that caught our eye, a Russian columnist was on Russian state TV completely controlled Russian state TV and said this quote, We are in full geopolitical isolation and that however much we hate to admit this, virtually the entire world is against us. And that is a situation we need to get out of.

The fact that that was said on state TV in Russia is incredible. Is it evidence that the bubble is breaking down and people there are starting to find out the truth?

TAYLOR: It is definitely people are starting to find out the truth.


The Russians are starting to hear from neighbors whose sons and daughters mostly sons and husbands are coming back from Ukraine dead to be buried. That`s getting around because somewhere between 10, 20,000 Ukrainians, say 27,000 Ukrainians or Russians have been killed in Ukraine. That message you can`t hide from families. You can`t hide from communities.

So this is getting there. And as you say, you have these military bloggers who are upset. They`re indignant that the Russian military is doing so badly. So this is getting out there. I think President Putin is going to have to acknowledge.

RUHLE: So what do you have your eye on going forward?

TAYLOR: Watch the Ukrainians pushing back hard. The Ukrainians as we know, the Russians back out of Kyiv in the first stage. The Ukrainians right now are pushing the Ukrainians back out of Kharkiv as the second largest city and the Russians say they are trying to now take Donbas but that`s at a stalemate right now.

So the Ukrainians really have the momentum. Yes, they pulled out of Mariupol. And the heroes that defended Mariupol for that long will go down in Ukrainian history.

RUHLE: World History at that. Ambassador William Taylor, every time you join us, you make us smarter. I appreciate you being here.

TAYLOR: Thank you, Stephanie.

RUHLE: Please stay with us right after the break, we will be remembering those lost lives in the city of good neighbors. It`s a segment you all need to see and people we all need to remember when THE 11TH HOUR continues.




DARIUS PRIDGEN, BUFFALO COMMON COUNCIL PRESIDENT: When you say to someone, especially someone who has been through this tragedy, I`m checking on you. If you just say I`m checking on you, it`s not enough. After saying I`m checking on you, you might want to stand up and say and what happened in Buffalo, New York was horrible and horrific and should not be tolerated in any country in any community.


RUHLE: The last thing before we go tonight, the city of good neighbors and the community of Buffalo is special. It`s also reeling tonight after 10 people, 10 good people nearly all black were gunned down in a racially motivated attack while simply buying their groceries on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

These folks were grandmothers, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters all lost in senseless hatred driven violence. There was 52-year-old Marcus Morrison. He was a Buffalo native, a father of three working as a Buffalo school bus aide. Marcus was in the store to buy food for his weekly movie night. 53-year-old Andre MacNeil, he was from Central New York. He was in Buffalo visiting relatives and was in Tops to pick up a surprise birthday cake for his three year old son.


MALIK ELLIOT, BROTHER OF ANDRE MACKNEIL: I can imagine I found about the news. I was laying on my couch praying for the city. The last thing my brother told me on the phone was on one hour away.


RUHLE: 65-year-old Celestine Chaney, a breast cancer survivor was buying strawberries to make her favorite strawberry shortcake. Her sister said more than anything she loved being a grandmother. 32-year-old Roberta Drury moved to Buffalo 10 years ago. Her brother told NPR he`s been recovering from leukemia, so she often shopped for groceries for him and his family. 62-year-old Geraldine Talley was said to be an expert baker known for her warm, gentle personality. She was there grocery shopping with her fianc‚. As her niece told People magazine quote, our lives will never be the same.

86-year-old Ruth Whitfield was the mother of a retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner and a devoted caregiver who had spent the day visiting her husband in a nursing home before she stopped to get groceries.


GARNELL WHITFIELD, SON OF RUTH WHITFIELD AND FMR. FIRE COMMISSIONER: What I loved most about my mom is how she loved us how she loved that family unconditionally. Has she sacrificed everything for us as he gave up herself when she had nothing else to give.


RUHLE: Then there 72-year-old civil rights advocate Kat Massey, who was said to be passionate about education. She often wrote letters to the Buffalo News, including one specific letter a year ago calling for better federal gun control to stop mass killings.

67-year-old Hayward “Tenny” Patterson was loading groceries into his car when he was gunned down. According to local media, Tenny would often drive people who couldn`t walk to the very store was hit where he was murdered. Because, quote, as a faith based man he felt it was his calling to give a helping hand to others and do things out of the kindness of his heart.

77-year-old Pearl Young was a substitute teacher. She was known as the neighborhood mom. For decades, she ran a weekly food pantry and every Saturday she fed people in Buffalo Central Park.

And then there`s former Buffalo Police Lieutenant Aaron Salter. He was a 55-year-old security guard at the store who sacrificed his own life for others until his very last breath. Buffalo`s police commissioner put it simply Lieutenant Salter was a true hero.


All lives lost, but never ever forgotten in the city of good neighbors. Tonight, I am taking away community in kindness in the face of hate. Love is always the answer because nothing else matters.

And on that note, I wish you all a very good and safe night. From all of our colleagues across the networks of NBC News, thanks for staying up late with us. I`ll see you at the end of tomorrow.