tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC April 25, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT
right now on "andrea mitchell reports," the president's' club. all the living presidents, current and past gathering in texas, dedicating the george w. bush presidential center. >> we also know something about george bush the leader. as we walk through this library obviously we're reminded of the incredible strength and resolve that came through that bullhorn as he stood amid the rubble and the ruins of ground zero. >> mr. president, let me say that i'm filled with admiration for you, and deep gratitude for you, about the great contributions you've made to the most needy people on earth. >> starting with my work with -- president george h.w. bush on the tsunami and the aftermath of katrina, people began to joke that i was getting so close to the bush family i had become the
black sheep's son. my mother tolde not to talk too long today. and barbara, i will not let you down. it's a great pleasure to be here. and to honor our oldest son and this is very special for barbara and me. god bless america and thank you very much. >> i appreciate my fellow members of the former presidents' club. 42, 41, and 39. i'm going to thank you all for your kind words and the example you have set. alexander hamilton once worried about ex-presidents wandering among the people like
discontented ghosts. actually i think we seem pretty happy. and could there be another addition to the bush presidential legacy? well mother knows best. >> we've had enough bushes. more on that coming up. and new in the boston bombing investigation -- sources confirming to nbc news that the suspects were planning to detonate more bombs in new york city's times square. the house intelligence chairman, mike rodgers joining us to express concerns also about the questioning of dzhokhar tsarnaev. as tsarnaev's mother defends her son. >> he was really nice and very like he never rejected anyone because they are americans. i'm sure that my kids were not involved in anything. >> and also today, the white house for the first time says with varying certainty, that the assad regime did use chemical
weapons in syria. it could be a red line for the u.s., senator bob corker joining us coming up. good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington, a full recap of all festivities at the bush library with david gregory and chris matthews in a moment. first to breaking news in the boston terror investigation. michigan congressman mike rodgers chairs the house intelligence committee he's a former fbi man and he joins me now. mr. chairman, we're hearing from questioning before he was mirandaized, significantly, that dzhokhar tsarnaev did tell the fbi that they did have a plan. first he said they were going to new york to party after the explosions. but he did then acknowledge that they were planning to use whatever was left of their explosives in times square. what degree of credibility do you give to this hospital bed confession, if you will? >> i'm not sure. i have not heard that specifically. i did hear that in the aftermath, that there were at
least interest in doing more events. i'm not clear it was new york. it may have actually been in the boston area. but because of the videos released, that ramped up the pressure on them. they went on a crime spree. it was my understanding, and again this is, these things are fluid, and there's lots of facts flying around. but trying to repeat basically what i've heard from the intelligence community, is that in fact, they were going to escape to new york. that was part of their plan. so get to new york. didn't hear the part that that would be where another event was. although they had devices and could have done that once they arrived there. i didn't hear the confirmation that they in fact said that they were going to do events in new york. >> now, mr. chairman, this brings me to your concerns, which you're now raising for the first time here. i understand you've written a letter to the justice department about it. your concerns that tsarnaev was mirandaized too soon. that the fbi was on the case, questioning him.
it was open-ended. this period of the exception. and that the federal magistrate arrived. tell me what your concerns are. what have you heard? >> i certainly never saw this in my law enforcement career and i understand for officers who have been in, agents who have been in over 25 years, say they've never seen anything like this. that the court proactively calls up as early as over the weekend and said, hey, we're going to come down and do the arraignment and mirandaize. because we see on television he may be getting what's called the public safety exception to the miranda rule. meaning that when there's a public safety issue. bombs being one of them. weapons of mass destruction, as he was charged, we didn't really know if there were more, more individuals or more bombs, they were trying to determine that. so remember over the weekend he's in and out of lucidity. he's on medication, he's talking, but he's not talking, he's unconscious, going for medical procedures. what i know is because of that
engagement with our department of justice and the department of justice was not very aggressive in trying to stop them from doing this until the fbi said we have all the information we might need to keep the public safe. that's very, very concerning and we better get this right in a hurry. this investigation may take over turns and we need to make sure that the court doesn't believe that they are now in the position to intercede in that public safety administration of an interrogation. that's really dangerous and concerning, especially when the fbi will tell you, we weren't quite finished with him. we didn't really believe that we had all that we could get out of him. when it came to the public safety provision and the exception to providing miranda rights. >> you're telling me something here, i just want to make sure i nail this down correctly. you're telling me from your information from the fbi they were still questioning dzhokhar tsarnaev, still thought they could get more information from him, about potential other plots or conspiracies or whatever else
that they were trying to pursue. and that instead, the court interceded and mirandaized him. >> that's correct. now i will say that the, they contacted the department of justice and they made some arrangement. we trying to get all the details of what that arrangement was, so that the court would show up. but again, this wasn't the department of justice contacting the judiciary and saying we've got a guy to come down to arraign. it was the judiciary calling in saying we're going to do this. it was i argued highly unusual. there are exceptions, the exception under the new york persons quarrels case is that it's clear, broad and on a case-by-case basis when you're talking about weapons of mass destruction, this is as serious as it gets and we better err on the side of public safety. but to have the court affirmatively push their way in, is a, i think it's wrong and b, we should have given the fbi the time they needed, given the circumstances of someone in the hospital, who is in and out of consciousness and on and off
medication, for the d.o.j. not to push back, the attorneys' office. they have a lot of explaining to do. and if it takes a legislative fix, they haven't told us that yet, then we'll do that. we can't have in a case like this, the judiciary deciding because it's on tv and it might look bad for them, to allow the public safety exemption that is deemed legal by the united states supreme court, that they were going to somehow intercede in this, it's confusing, it is horrible, god-awful policy and dangerous to the greater community and we have got to get to the bottom of this and we've got to fix it right now. >> do you have an answer yet from justice? >> i've had preliminary discussions. they have assured me that they'll get the answers in and the timeline to me shortly and i argue that's the right place to go. and at the speed this needs to happen. >> let us know, mr. chairman. thank you very much for breaking that here. important new information in boston, we will follow up. and in dallas this morning,
former president george w. bush was praised by his democratic, fellow presidents, carter, clinton and obama, as a good man. president obama said to know him is to like him. surrounded by family, friends and the other living presidents, including his father, george herbert walker bush, president bush was back in the spotlight. before he took the podium, he was briefly upstaged by his mother, barbara, who joined the other bush women sitting down with matt lauer on "today." >> so will we see another bush in the oval office? not this one here in dallas. i'm talking about the one in washington. >> mila bush hager? >> i don't want to put that pressure -- >> i was thinking more near-term. do you think jeb bush will run, would you like to see him run? >> sure, he'd be terrific, he'd be a wonderful president. we're just letting him decide. >> the fact that granny didn't
talk at all. >> mrs. bush, would you like to see your son jeb run? >> he's by far the best qualified man, but no, i really don't. i think it's a great country, there are a lot of great families and it's not just four families or whatever. there are other people out there very qualified and we've had enough bushes. >> have you expressed that to him? >> surprise. >> he's much the most qualified, but i don't think he's run. >> joining me now is chris matthews, host of msnbc's "hardball" and nbc's david gregory, moderator of "meet the press." we let that play along because we wanted our audience to see it all. you had laura bush giving the expected answer, he would make a great president, but it's up to him, he hasn't decided and then jenna very correctly says, we haven't heard from gamy, and gamy lets it roll. and david, i thought one of the headlines there was what was
implicit. we have other families. she means the clintons as well, we have other people besides jeb bush and we have other people besides a clinton to run in '16. what was your take-away? >> well what did president clinton say speaking about president george w. bush that he's disarmingly direct. well he got that from his mother. if you ask a direct question, you get a direct answer and that did speak volumes. this is a mother talking, she's also an astute political observer. i think part of this day is understanding that the bush legacy is still being formulated. but is going to be very difficult for him to overcome. a legacy of war-time decisions that were controversial and divisive. and that any bush is going to have to deal with all of that headwind. and so i think all of that was packed into a very direct answer. >> well chris matthews, i loved watching you this morning, throughout the morning and you and david and chuck. and all of our team down there. and just for anyone who loves
the american presidency, loves american history. this was so extraordinary. you saw jimmy carter getting up and finding something really positive to say about george w. bush. about sudan, about pepfar. bill clinton, the gracefulness of all of these other leaders. what was your impression being there? >> i think somebody was passing out the sodium pentothal the past couple of days. you had george w. bush the former president say, you know dick cheney saying i don't see him much. that was a firestorm. that was a great get for him and from the former first lady, we've had enough bushes, that's like eisenhower saying about nixon, give me two weeks and i'll think something he's helped me with. that was an undercut. and wonderfully bill saying the eternal effort of former presidents to rewrite history. what an absolute statement about what this is all about.
all of these lee brieres are that very thing to try to write history your way. i thought it was an amazing candor day, except for the one thing we never mentioned, which is probably the reason we didn't mention it, iraq. the word was never spoken out of courtesy. >> well, david i want to -- let me ask you about that day right after 9/11, because you were the pool correspondent and i'm told that when president bush got on that bun bul horn. the way that american first heard that was on your cell phone. because there was no microphone for the pool there. tell me about that, because that was certainly in terms of his leadership and his historic role one of the moments we'll never ffrgt. forget. >> i remember chris matthews as well as others saying that was really the moment he became president. we were covering that, i was a pool reporter and you know, because we couldn't carry it live, the way to carry it live was by my holding my cell phone
up. what that moment represented is something that does connect to today, andrea. and that is what chris was saying is so true. iraq was not mentioned, iraq has not prominently featured in the library. in other words, it's all part of the war on terror. that's how bush considers it, as part and parcel of that struggle. what this was about today, was both other presidents celebrating the personal qualities that george bush had and has. and brought to bear during his leadership. even if the courage of his convictions meant that he made decisions about iraq that deeply divided the country. created such raw passions about this country that exist to this day. that was not captured, it was recognizing how he arrived at decisions. that the library recognizes people are going to continue to struggle with. and the library asks people in effect to know the information and make up your own mind. >> and that's one of the things about this library. is the first, chris matthews i know you've been to all the
libraries, you've written so many histories of these presidents. this is the first interactive, fully interactive library. >> and i think, i think it in all fairness, it's a product of both the bushes, both laura bush and her husband. i think it's a teaching library. a library science project, if you will. that was her major in college here at smu. i think it's a great idea for a guy to open the books and say, how would you have done it? how would you have handled t.a.r.p.? would have played the rand paul, laissez faire free market approach, would you have let the houses die in or do what i did, try to hold them up and save the country. i think iraq is a good question. none of these are simple and to open it up as a history lesson is i think a great service to the students and adults who come here. >> well, it's -- >> andrea, if i could just add quickly, just to pick up on that. the presidency is hard. politics is rough, politics is
not easy, it's rough. it's how the various presidents jockey. without bush you don't have president obama politically. making the decisions are hard. that's the recognition of today was about. >> it's so great to have the both of you. david i loved your story last night on "nightly news." and chris, to you on "hardball" at 5:00 and 7:00. thank you so much. coming up, the bush legacy with the president's men. the former advisers. this is the first time in american history, that parents have seen their son's presidential library. mother, i promise to keep my area clean. oh, boy. [ groans ] ♪ ♪
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george w. bush expressed confidence in how history is going to judge him. >> one of the benefits of freedom is that people can disagree. fair to say i created plenty of opportunities to exercise that right. but when future generations come to this library and study this administration, they're going to find out that we stayed true to our convictions. >> joining me are two former members of the bush white house, communications director dan bartlett and former speech writer, michael gerson. a columnist with the "washington post." this must have been quite a moment for all of us watching, tell me your impressions on this very important day. >> i think you put it right, andrea, bush the person came through and i think that's one of the interesting parts of post presidency. as the white-hot issues that define the debates of the day kind of fade for a certain
extent, what's then revealed or put back on the forefront is the character of the man. i think you saw mutual admiration and respect former presidents and the current president and you saw a very proud man today, a very emotional man. this is he had his entire family, his personal family, his political family. and it was real pleasure to take part in it, that's for sure. >> certainly very happy for everyone to see bush 41 participating as he did. i know that that meant a lot. and barbara bush now, michael gerson, what about barbara bush and what she said about jeb? >> i think she speaks her mind, under any circumstance. and i think she is, you compare her to laura bush's remarks which were very politic, which was normal for her and i think barbara bush is a recognition in her case, that they've been through a lot. there may well be a feeling thaw know, that this is kind of a
tiredness there on her part that they've been through many of these cycles. i think jeb bush is one of the most qualified people for that job and i think he would be a very serious candidate. >> this does not mean that he wouldn't be running, it just means that momma doesn't want him to. >> exactly. dan, we've talked a lot about the legacy so far on the program, of president bush and the things that were mentioned today, by president carter, sudan, the fact that he lived up to the promise and appointed former senator dan forth to go to sudan and try to work on that peace agreement. pepfar which has been lauded globally. it still is by presidents and secretaries of state. then we come to iraq andy want to ask you, it's ten years ago next week, may 1st, 2003, on that carrier, on the aircraft carrier when he said "mission
accompli accomplished." looking back now, when we look at the death toll, there were 139 american troops dead as of that day and several hundred more contractors. overall by the end of the war, 4,488 u.s. soldiers, 3400 american contractors. we now know the mission was hardly accomplished at that point. what did you learn from that experience, because we then went into the most serious years of the war. >> we all learned a lot during that process and that speech that he gave on the aircraft carrier. he said the military operations are over, he never did use the words "mission accomplished" obviously the banner behind him did say that. there were very difficult chapters ahead of him. i can say that from the approach i sat in at the white house, this was a very difficult process for the president.
my last big policy decision i was involved in was the surge of troops in iraq. all the political winds were blowing against the president. and a lot of military thinkers were saying that a surge in troops would exacerbate the situation, not make it better. he to make a very difficult call. that's the presidency. you have to make very difficult calls. and you don't get to have a do-over as he said. so he made decisions based on the best information he had at the time. as he said himself in some of the interviews leading up to today. is that the world is better place with saddam hussein not in power. there are many chapters yet to be writ bn iraq and about the decisions the president made. but what he did and what he spoke about today, was the kwibs that he brought, the principles that guided him and the decisions he made. we never have perfect information and obviously in this case there wasn't close to perfect information when it comes to the intelligence, but that's not, the you know, the
situation a president is faced with. you can only do what you can with the information you have, when you make that decision. >> and that is the genius, if you will, of this presidential center, it brings people in interactively and lets them come to their own conclusions about what decisions you would make. as he did in his book, president bush is describing the tough decisions that one has to make as president of the united states. that does seem to be the bond, michael gerson that connects these presidents and the current president, the former presidents from different political parties and they do seem to have this really personal connection. >> i agree with that i thought the other presidents today, the democratic presidents were very thoughtful in their remarks. reflecting on how difficult the presidency is. about how tough choices are. some kind of feeling for the difficulty of difficult decisions. and i thought that was an empathy there that was very useful. i alshought their praise for
the president was thoughtful. on sudan, with jimmy carter, the president mentioning immigration, using that issue to talk about the bipartisan nature of that issue. even praising the president on education, which i didn't really expect in this. it's interesting how much of the current debate when it comes to issues like immigration, is very much the bush agenda, as president obama recognized. >> to say nothing of him trying to take on the social security issue without success, but trying at least. after his re-election. >> entitlements, thank you both very much. >> you remember all of that. thanks for coming out. and joining us. what would a legacy day be without some really great bush moments, here's a look back at some of the best. >> fool me once, shame on -- shame on you.
you can't get fooled again. >> i think you misunderestimated the will and determination of the commander-in-chief, too. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help.
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for the little mishaps you feel use neosporin to help you heal. it kills germs so you heal four days faster. neosporin. use with band-aid brand bandages. we can't have in a case like this, the judiciary deciding because it's on tv, and it might look bad for them, to allow the public safety exemption that is deemed legal by the united states supreme court, that they were going to somehow intercede in this is a, confusing, it is horrible, god-awful policy and dangerous to the greater community and we have got to get to the bottom of this and we've got to fix it right now. >> nbc news justice correspondent pete williams joins joins me now. pete, a very angry house intelligence chair, mike rodgers, saying that the fbi's question of dzhokhar was interrupted by the federal magistrate. that the court pushed its way into the process uninvited or someone invited the court and
without the knowledge of the fbi. do you know what the justice department is saying yet about this? >> well without being specific about whom i've talked to, andrea, i will say i've talked to a number of federal officials about what the chairman is saying here. which obviously they take very seriously. and this is my best understanding. that this was not the magistrate walking in as the fbi is in the middle of interrogating dzhokhar tsarnaev. they had left, the fbi interrogation team, actually we should call it the high-value interrogation team, consisting of the fbi and others had left an hour before the judge got there. so this was not walking in in the middle of it. the larger question though here is were they done. did they want some more time? did the judges insistence on doing this speed the process up? and my guess is andrea, this is probably going to turn out to be a matter of compromise, on the one hand, there's the desire of all interrogators to keep going as long as they can. and of course, the longer they go, the more cooperation they
elicit, the better things get. they want to go as long as they can. on the other hand, they understand that they're working up against a, a closing window. the so-called public safety exception for the miranda warning period is expiring, there's only a so long they can go. so you know, the way it's explained to me, yes, probably the interrogators wanted to keep going. the judge is saying look, the time is running out and so there's a compromise reached. it's probably not as early as the judge wanted the advice to be given. it's probably not as late as the interrogators wanted. it's some kind of compromise. so that is my understanding of what happened here. but in any event, everybody seems to agree that it's not the judge walking in in the middle and shutting it down. >> but it's clear that rodgers believes it happened too soon and that he has talked to some fbi questioners who feel that it happened too soon. because he cited them as his source. >> i don't doubt that. >> he wants a legislative remedy
if this window, he thinks is closing too soon. at whoever's insistence. i know you're going to be on and we're expecting also to hear from the new york city mayor and police chief soon about the news that dzhokhar tsarnaev may have said that they're they were heading to new york for reasons other than partying. thank you, pete. over the past two days, u.s. and russian intelligence officials have been interviewing the parents of the tsarnaev brothers trying to learn more about how they became radicalized. speaking near her home in russia today, the mother of the bombers was still defending her sons. >> i would prefer not to live in america now. why did i even go there? why. i thought america is going to like protect us, our kids, it's going to be safe. like any reason. but it happened. opposite. my kids just, america took my
kids away from me. what have you done with my son. he was alive? why did they need to kill him? why did they send him whatever. why did they kill him? why? >> joining me from dagestan, russia, is nbc's adrian mong. this is a grieving mother who has her own set of information, which is not necessarily what really happened. but there must be a real, a real -- gap here between what we believe happened, in boston and what she is being told or what she believes. >> absolutely right. there is a gap. you could call it a disconnect. but i would be a bit cautious. at times even though the mother did seem genuinely distressed, at times there seemed to be a bit of theater. she did say a couple of remarkable things. one is that they have been in touch with the lawyers representing her son, dzhokhar in hospital.
she said that the lawyers told her that he had not been questioned yet. she said her son, in trying to describe his condition. she said that he can't even write, he can't even speak. and that they have not questioned him. because the lawyers told her that he he was not in any condition fit to be questioned. so she questioned everybody, where is this information coming from? and has accused the media of distorting the facts. some other interesting things that came up. she and her husband say that they do plan to travel, but they were, she was quite evasive about when she might travel to the states. when pressed about whether or not this outstanding felony charge that's coming up in her background check, whether that was a cause. she dismissed it. as saying it was very minor, there are other things. the father said he is planning to leave tonight. but we understand he's still here. andrea? >> thank you very much. adrienne mong in dagestan. chuck hagel says that syria
has used chemical weapons. will that force the president to take action? senate foreign relations bob corker joins us next. [ male announcer ] this is betsy. her long day of pick ups and drop offs begins with arthritis pain... and a choice. take up to 6 tylenol in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. all aboard. ♪ arrival. with hertz gold plus rewards, you skip the counters, the lines, and the paperwork.
major news today on the subject of chemical weapons used in syria. responding to letter today, from a bipartisan group of senators requesting answers on this murky question of whether the assad regime has used chemicals, according to the new assessment by the white house, on two incidents they did or someone did. there is a concern about the chain of custody of these weapons, but principally, it was sarin gas, according to the defense secretary, chuck hagel. has the syrian regime crossed a red line? which would indicate an american response? tennessee republican bob corker is one of the senators who sent that initial letter to president obama and joins me now. senator, dianne feinstein has just put out a statement saying that now this is out, she has concerns that the assad regime will think they have nothing
left to lose, which could precipitate more use if they did use this. that the white house needs to immediately join with russia and the brits and the french who have for long or at least two weeks said this was the case, go to the united nations. what steps do you think the president should take? and should the united states take steps unilaterally. >> i do think it's always good to have u.n. security council resolution and i think that's one avenue that needs to be looked at. the second piece, obviously not in this order. we do need to still understand where those samples came from. there is a little bit of verification that needs to occur. but andrea, you know, i just authored an op-ed saying i really do believe we should change the calculus inside the country. we should move towards an accommodation between the sunni moderates that are part of the opposition, helping them by the way with arms, to really draw in the population and to try to change the equation with russia.
so yes, we need to certainly take this chemical warfare very seriously. but in the process of doing so. we what don't want to do is change that overall strategy. so we have teams that are in jordan right now, that have trained folks, how to deal with chemical warfare. there are actions that could be taken immediately if we saw that that was getting ready to be dispersed. but we need to again make sure that what we do is towards an end, within syria, that's that end of accommodating again the secular, more secular sunni moderate groups and make sure that what we're doing is within that second war between the extremists and the moderates, we're doing something to really change that equation and not get, not let this get out of hand. i think there are multiple avenues that we need to be taking at present. >> and an overall confusing situation, "the new york times" has a story today that the assad regime is drying to reach out to the u.s. and the west and persuade them that the radicals,
al qaeda elements are on the other side and that they should switch sides, is that a viable at this stage? or has that train long left the station? >> i don't think, i don't think that is viable. and i do understand, by the way, that he's painting a picture that he is, he is better than the alternative of al qaeda or nusra being in control of syria. i think what we need to do is focus on the opposition groups that are more moderate. that candidly at this present time are not as effective as the extremists. figuring out a way for them to link up with the alowites that favor assad. no question, assad has to go. anned opposition groups, the question of who's going to be the entity when assad leaves. that has greater national implications to us and our allies in the region.
obviously we're going to need to take additional actions more than what we're taking now regardless in my opinion, regardless of whether chemical weapons have been used there. but no question, we're on alert, we have six teams, i say we, our all lie allies. we've been training our teams in jordan. think this will generate additional activity by the u.s. it engages the president, because it has to. because he's clearly stated that this is a red line. and i'm looking forward to that consultation with congress, as to how we move forward and take care of our national interests in the region. >> thank you very much, senator bob corker. as this is developing throughout the day, we'll have updates right here on msnbc, thank you, senator. and meanwhile, foreign policy turf wars, a former state department officials expose on the foreign policy battles.
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sharply critical account of the obama foreign policy and the way it tried to sideline nasr's mentor. thanks for joining us, we want to talk about that and let me ask you about the syria situation, if there is hard evidence and apparently it is, not yet fully verified because they don't have the full chain of custody to prove that it was the regime. even though it's ohm the regime
that had custody of the chemical weapons. isn't there an obligation for the president to take on this issue. >> it puts a lot of pressure on him to act. largely because many other countries around the world are looking at the united states to see if we are willing to defend the red lines that we lay down. if the red lines are not defended, if the syrian government gets breached, then iran can breach its red lines and north korea can breach its red lines with impunity thinking that there would be no consequence. so this is no longer about syria alone. it's a test for american foreign policy and how seriously others would take it. >> in your book you write very sharply, about the white house hold on policy. about how time and time again, ambassador holbrooke was not permitted to go on a trip to afghanistan when the president was going. that he was not included in video conferences that in fact if it was not for hillary
clinton's strong role, they would have been even less accomplished. tell me what your experience was, as the close adviser to dick holbrooke during this very tumultuous period. >> it was approach to foreign policy that in large measure was broken. because the foreign policy making was very centralized in the white house, they brought in very talented and experienced diplomats and datesmen like richard holbrooke. but systematically they kept him out of the decision-make being to the extent possible and the signal around the world was that the president's point man in afghanistan didn't really have his backing. that made the implementation of the policy very difficult. it allowed president karzai for instance to disregard ambassador holbrooke and to be able to divide and maneuver between various agencies of the u.s. government, the military, the embassy, and the office of ambassador holbrooke and it all
made our policy far more chaotic than it need have been. >> you write that the president's principle aim was to ma not to make strategic strate decisions. did politics rule at the state department? >> i think there was a perception first that we needed to put a lot of troops into afghanistan because of the domestic perception of the military position. the outcome of the iraq war. and in the administration decided to end this campaign precipitously with an eye to domestic politics. and politics dominated whether the administration would take risks, in terms of foreign policy making, would initiate certain policies and generally the strategic approach to afghanistan, first surging and then withdrawing was largely with a view to what would seem to be domestic political imperatives. >> the dean of the school of
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which political stories will make headlines in the next 24 hours. chris cillizza is with us. the president will go on to baylor and speak about, of course, the texas explosion and memorial service for the victims there. what we saw today really showed the full range of presidential power and the intimacy if you will of the president's club.
>> look, andrea, five living presidents, five living first ladies. six, obviously, but five there. you do not see that very often. i thought the speeches were gracious. i thought they in many ways embodied who the presidents were. you saw bill clinton being bill clinton. you saw george bush, w. bush, excuse me, to the point, unapologetic about what he had done in office. sort of a, look, i'm a political junky, self-admitted. i do think this is a fascinating day for our democracy. >> indeed it was. the president goes on to baylor and then back tonight. this was a moment in history. thanks for sharing. chris cillizza, the fix. that does it for us on this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." my colleague tamron hall has a look at what's next. >> we're following several news stories. u.s. defense secretary chuck
hagel says intelligence indicates syria has used chemical weapons on its people. the white house says it is figuring out if the so-called red line has been crossed. if so, what's next. we'll talk to chuck todd and bob menendez. plus, breaking news in the boston terror case. nbc news confirms that the suspects discussed coming to new york to detonate the rest of their bombs. it is all coming up next on "news nation." i should be arrested for crimes against potted plant kind.
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hello. i'm tamron hall. the obama administration right now working to determine if syria has crossed the so-called red line by using chemical weapons against its own people. defense secretary chuck hagel making the announcement in the past few hours while traveling in the region. >> the u.s. intelligence community asays with some degree of varying confidence that the syrian regime has used chemical
weapons on a small scale in syria. specifically, the chemical agent sarin. >> nbc news chief white house correspondent chuck todd is traveling with the president. he is in texas. before i get more information on what the white house is saying, i want to play the president's remarks, august 20th, 2012, when this red line was first referenced by the president. let's play it. >> we have been very clear to the outside regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is, we start saying a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. that would change my calculus. that would change my equation. >> of course, august 20, 2012. what is the administration saying right now, chuck? >> reporter: well, they're a fine line here. what you heard secretary hagel say is the intelligence community believes that chemical weapons have been used by the
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