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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  August 28, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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and we know where they got money to keep these and they need them because they know that one day the folks aren't going to take it anymore. all right. that does it for "the cycle," the president will be in the briefing room at any moment now and "now" with alex wagner brings you live coverage. any minute now president obama will deliver a statement from the white house briefing room. it is thursday, august 28, this is "now" upon. >> danger zone. ♪ ♪ >> president obama will be meeting with his national security team to discuss the threat posed by isis. washington waits on the edge of the seat. the president and the national security team are looking at options. >> air strikes appear likely. the president has made clear we're going to take on the threat that isil is posing. >> the more the u.s. gets involved on the syria side, the more it it looks like the u.s. is finally intervening, but on the side of the regime. >> if we go after isis we are
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helping assad. >> there is a lot of individuals fighting with isis who are not syrian or, rack i. >> we know that there are definitely americans in the ranks of isis. >> there is clearly movement on the issue of how to deal with isis. >> the cart and the horse are both about three years overdue in syria. >> it does come down to who you ask at the end of the day. ♪ i'mis ra klein in for alex wagner. we have breaking news in this hour. in just a few moments, president obama is expected to make a statement from the white house briefing room. the president was originally supposed to meet in the white house situation room at this hour with his national security council including vice president joe biden, john kerry and chuck hague toll weigh his options against isis in iraq and in syria. we will bring you the president's remarks from the briefing room live, but joining me now is editor of politico
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magazine, susan glasser. it's good to have you here. >> hi, ezra. how are you some. >> i'm good. what do you expect to hear from the president this hour that got scheduled hastily. >> we are dealing with one of those days that feels like a split screen global crisis. we have on the one hand, lots of conversation here in washington around whether the president is actively considering stepped up military measures against isis in syria and iraq. so that's one possibility. at the same time we have increasingly dire statements coming out of ukraine today where the ukrainian government has said that russia has launched what amounts to a direct invasion of the eastern portions of ukraine so both of those are very serious crises that the president is likely to comment on. >> and do you expect that today's comments will include new action or does this look more like an update and a warning? >> you know, that's a very good question. we all know that president obama personally has been very
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resistant to the idea of taking aggressive new military actions certainly when it comes to syria and iraq, and so it's not entirely clear. he has been launching air strikes and we may be hearing more about that and there will be additional air strikes launched by the u.s. military in iraq today and that's one possibility and of course, in ukraine, u.n. ambassador samantha power has been very vocal publicly today at an emergency session of the u.n. security council, strongly condemning russia's actions and accusing president putin in effect, of lying to the world. president obama may comment on that, as well. >> susan, i want to bring in nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. >> thank you. >> what are you hearing out of the white house? what we heard going into this meeting is there will not be any decision so i expect as susan was just suggesting it's going to be a strong warning. worried about isis and of
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course, we had the beheading of james foalet and other horrors that we've seen coming out on of syria. there is a real challenge. how do you go after isis in syria? they're doing surveillance and trying to get the target information, but it is much more complicated than iraq, finding them and separating them from the other rebel groups, some of which we are covertly supporting is going to be very difficult. avoiding civilian casualties will be very difficult, plus, most importantly you are helping to attack the enemies of assad. so you are on the same side as assad three years after you first called for assad to be, you know -- >> hasn't that been part of assad's actual strategy here? hasn't he been focused on taking on the moderate elements of the opposition to leave the west between the horrors of isis and his also horrible regime? >> he's deliberately not challenged isis. let them grow and thrive in this
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vacuum and some would say the the persian gulf leaders would certainly say the saudis and others that it's american inaction dating back to exactly a year ago labor day weekend when the president decided not to take action on the red line that he himself had drawn against assad if assad were to use chemical weapons against his own people and he would take action with air strikes and not do it without congressional consent. he was satisfying a lot of constitutional scholars, but certainly upsetting a lot of american allies. >> susan, do you think that there is a connection between the changes in the situation in the middle east and iraq and in syria and putin's sort of increasing aggression in the ukraine? do you think that putin believes that america's distracted or has other things to worry about and that's been emboldening? >> that's a really interesting question. especially remember the negative role that russia itself played in syria. frankly, putin has been bashar
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assad's chief patriot in the international community over these last three years of civil war and by the way, that's a civil war that's now killed over 190,000 civilians and let's remember that barack obama has not taken action in the course of that. so, one of the reasons that he hasn't has been russia's active supply of both arms and weapons and sophisticated weapons as well as financial support to the assad regime to enable it to hang on to. on the other hand and on the other side of the split screen, you look at it and clearly part of the overall context is the correct reading of president obama and the other european leaders and understanding that they are not particularly inclined to rush to ukraine's defense certainly with active military support. i think that is a correct reading of president obama's position and foreign policy and that may have contributed and remember that for rush a ukraine isn't so much a foreign policy
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crisis as they consider it to be almost a domestic policy crisis and putin still sees this as part of what they call a near abroad in russia and in his own spear of influence and has acted aggressively in that context. >> andrea, i wonder on susan's point on what they suggest about america's position and if there is a red line at the moment that. putin could cross it it would innovate a stronger response from the west. >> there could be a strong are are response if there were an all-out invasion, clearly. so far he has deniablity. he has found russian soldiers in the ukraine and kiev paraded them, in fact, but he in his meetings with poroshenko in the last 24, 48 hours said you have to deal directly with the separatists. they don't belong to me. so he's been creating plausible deniablity -- or implausible one would suggest and enough deniablity so that they're still calling all of these pinser
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movements, if you will,inti incursion and not invasion. so the state department are very carefully not calling it an invasion. once there is an all-out invasion there is a little way for the west to ignore it. after the malaysian airliner there was no way that they could not step up with sanctions, but they could ratchet up the sanks. they could do all of the banking and financial sector and not just partial banking sanctions. they account make it a lot more difficult for putin if they choose, but i cannot imagine a military response unless he crosses other borders. i don't know, susan is a great expert on this, but unless he crosses other borders and would go into poland, let's say, that would be beyond a red line and that would engender a nato response. >> is there a legit mass toe the the language games being played.
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>> there's video out of russia today of a tank that really could only have come from the russianarmy. is there any reason to think this anything other than an invasion ora i slower motion. >> i think the evidence is convincing that an actual russian military incursion has been under way now and for quite some time and it so far has been convenient -- >> excuse me, susan. the president is about to begin speaking. we'll go to that live right now. >> first, beginning with the number one thing that most americans care about, the economy. this morning we found out that our economy actually grew at a stronger clip in the second quarter than we originally thought. the companies are investing, consumers are spending. over the past four and a half years we have created over 10 million new jobs so there are reasons to feel good about the direction we're headed, but as everybody knows there is more we should be doing to make sure that all americans benefit from the progress that we've made and
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i'm going to be pushing congress hard on this when they return next week. second, in iraq our dedicated pilots and crews continue to carry out the targeted strikes to protect americans there and to address the humanitarian situation on the ground. as commander in chief i will always do what is necessary to protect the american people and defend against evolving threats to our homeland. because of our strikes the terrorists of isil are losing arms and equipment. in some areas iraqi government and kurdish forces have begun to push them back and we continue to be proud and grateful to our extraordinary personnel serving in this mission. now isil poses an immediate threat to the people of iraq and the people throughout the region and that's why our military action in iraq has to be part of a broader, comprehensive strategy to protect our people and to support our partners who are taking the fight to isil and
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that starts with iraq's leaders building on the progress that they made so far and forming an inclusive government that will unite their country and strengthen their security forces to confront isil. any successful strategy, though, also needs strong regional partners. i'm encouraged so far that countries in the region, countries that don't always agree on many things increasingly recognize the promise and the threat that isil poses to all of them and i've asked secretary kerry to travel to the region to continue to will build the coalition needed to build this threat. as i said, rooting out a cancer like isil will not be quick or easy, but i am confident that weigh can and we will working closely with our allies and partners. i directed secretary haguel and our joint chiefs of staff to prepare a range of options. i'll be meeting with my national security council as we continue on develop that strategy, and i've been consulting with
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members of congress and i'll continue to do so in the days ahead. finally, i just spoke with chancellor merkel of germany on the situation in ukraine. we agree if there was ever any doubt that russia is responsible for the violence in eastern ukraine. the violence is encouraged by russia, the separatists are trained by russia. they are armed by russia. they are funded by russia. russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of ukraine and the new images of russian forces inside ukraine make that plain for the world to see. this comes as ukrainian forces are making progress against the separatists and as a result of the actions russia has already taken and the major sanctions we've imposed with our european and international partners, russia is already more isolated than in any time since the end of the cold war. capital is fleeing. investors are increasingly
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staying out. the economy is in decline. this ongoing russian incursion into ukraine will only bring more costs and consequences for russia. next week i'll be in europe to on coordinate with our closest allies and partners. and estonia will have the commitment to the defense of the natoal lays and they'll focus on the additional steps we can take to ensure the alliance remains prepared for any challenge. a meeting of the nato ukraine commission will be another opportunity for the alliance to continue our partnership with ukraine and i look forward to reaffirming the unwavering commitment of the united states to ukraine and its people when i welcome president poroshenko to the white house next month. so with that, i'm going to talk a few questions and i'm going to start with somebody who i guess is now a big cheese. he's moved on, but i understand
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this is going to be his last chance to ask me a question in the press room. i want to congratulate chuck todd and give me first dibs. >> i'm glad you said in the press room. let me start with syria, the decision that you have to make between -- first of all, is it a if or when situation about going after isil? can you defeat isil or isis and how do you prioritize? you've said that assad has lost legitimacy to lead. defeating isis could help assad keep power. talk about how you prioritize those two pieces of your foreign policy? >> first of all, i want to make sure everybody is clear on what we're doing now because it is limited. our focus right now is to protect american personnel on the ground in iraq, to protect our embassy, to protect our consulates, to make sure that critical infrastructure that
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could adversely affect our personnel is protected. where we see an opportunity that allows us with very modest risk to help the humanitarian situation there as we did in sinjar mountain, we will take those opportunities after having consulted with congress and our priority is to make sure our folks are safe and to do an effective assessment of iraqi and kurdish capabilities. as i said in the last press conference, in order for us to be successful we have to have an iraqi government that is unified and inclusive so we are continuing to push them to get that job done. as soon as we have an iraqi government in place the likelihood of the iraq i security forces being more effective in taking the fight to
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isil significantly increases and the options that i'm asking for from the joint chiefs focuses primarily on making sure that isil is not overrunning iraq what is true, though, is that the violence taking place in syria has obviously give n isila safe haven well in ungoverned places and in order for us to degrade isil over the long term we'll have to build a regional strategy. we're not going to do that al e alone. we'll have to do that with other partners in particular sunni partners because part of the goal is to make sure that sunnis both in syria and in iraq feel as if they've got an investment in a government that actually functions, a government that can protect them, a government that makes sure that their families
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are safe from the barbaric acts that we've seen in isil and right now those structures are not in place and that's why the issue with respect to syria is not simply a military issue. it's also a political issue. it's also an issue that involves all of the sunni states in the region and sunni leadership recognizing that this cancer that has developed is one that they have to be just as invested in defeating as we are, and so, you know, to cut to the chase in terms of what are your specific concerns are, chuck, my priority at this point is to make sure that the gains that isil made in iraq are rolled back and that iraq has the opportunity to govern itself effectively and secure itself, but when we look at a broader strategy that is
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consistent with what i said at westpoint, and that's consistent with what i said at the national defense college, clearly isil has come to represent the very worst elements in the region that we have to deal with collectively, and that's going to be a long term project. it's going to require us to stabilize syria in some fashion and it means that we've got to get moderate sunnis who are able to govern and offer a real alternative in competition to what isil's been doing in some of these spaces. last point with respect to assad, and it's not just my opinion, and it would be an international opinion that assad has lost legitimacy in terms of dropping barrel bombs on families and killing tens of
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thousands of people, and right now what we're seeing is the areas that isil is occupying are not controlled by assad anyway, and frankly, assad doesn't seem to have the capability or reach to get into those areas. so i don't think there's a situation where we have to choose between assad or the kinds of people who carry on the incredible violence that we've been seeing there. we will continue to support a moderate opposition inside of syria in part because we have to give people inside of syria a choice other than isil or assad. and i don't see any scenario in which assad is somehow able to bring peace and stability to a region that is majority sunni and has not so far shown any
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willingness to share power with them or in any kind of significant way deal with the longstanding grievances that they have there. >> do you have congress' approval? >> i have consulted with congress throughout this process. i am confident that as commander in chief i have the authorities to engage in the acts that we are conducting currently. as our strategy develops, we will continue to consult with congress, and i do think it will be important for congress to weigh in and that our consultations with congress continue to develop so that the american people are part of the debate, but i don't want to put the cart before the horse. we don't have a strategy yet. i think what i've seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting further
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ahead of where we currently are. that's not just my assessment, but the assessment of the military, as well. we have to on make sure that we have clear plans and that we're developing them. at that point i will consult with congress and make sure that their voices are heard, but there's no point in me asking for action on the part of congress before i know exactly what it is that is going to be required for us to get the job done. >> colleen mccain-nelson. >> do you consider today's escalation in ukraine an invasion and when you talk about additional costs to russia are you ready to impose broader economic sanctions or are you considering other sanctions that go beyond the sanctions. >> i consider the actions that we've seen in the last week a continuation of what's been taking place for months now.
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as i said in my opening statement, there is no doubt that this is not a homegrown, indigenous uprising in eastern ukraine. the separatists are backed, trained, armed, financed by russia. throughout this process we've seen deep russian involvement in everything that they've done. i think in part because of the progress that you've seen by the u krienians around donetsk and luhansk, russia determined that it had to be a little more overt in what it it had already been doing, but it's not really a shift. what we have seen, though is that president putin and russia have repeatedly passed by
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potential off-ramps to resolve this diplomatically and so in our consultations with our european allies and partners, my expectation is that we will take additional steps primarily because we have not seen any meaningful action on the part of russia to actually try to resolve this in a diplomatic fashion. and i think that the sanctions that we've already applied have been effective. our intelligence shows that the russians know they've been affected even though it it may not appear on russian television, and i think there are ways for us to deepen or expand the scope of some of that work, but ultimately, i think what's important to recognize is the degree to which russian decision making is isolating russia. they're doing this to themselves
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and what i've been encouraged by is the the degree to which our european partners recognize even though they are bearing a cost in implementing these sanctions, they understand that a broader principle is at stake. so i look forward to the consultations that we'll have when i see them next week. okay? steve miller? >> thank you. >> there you are. >> last week you said it was stronger when the president acts with the support of congress. in response to chuck's question you don't have the strategy yet. you will reconsider that going forward. why didn't you go to congress before the current round of strikes in iraq? do you not believe that that's the the case anymore from what you said last year and throughout your career you've also said that you raise concerns with the expansion of powers with the executive. are you concerned that your recent actions have come against
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that? >> no and here's why. it is not just part of my responsibility, but it is a sacred duty for me as commander in chief to protect the american people and that requires me to act fast based on information i receive if an embassy of ours or a consulate of ours is being threatened. the decisions i made were based on very concrete assess ams about the possibility therbil might be overrun in the kurdish region and that our consulate could be in danger, and i can't afford to wait in order to make sure that those folks are protected, but throughout this process we've consulted closely with congress and the feedback i've anytimen from congress is that we're doing the right
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thing. now as we go forward, as we described to chuck and look at a broader, regional strategy with an international coalition and partners on systematically degrade isil's past and engage in the terrible violence and disruptions that they've been engaging in and not just in syria and not just in iraq, but potentially elsewhere if we don't nip this at the bud, then those consultations with congress for something that is longer term, i think, become more relevant. and it is my intention that congress has to have some buy-in as representatives of the american people and by the way, the american people need to hear what that strategy is, but as i said to chuck, i don't want to put the cart before the horse and in some of the media reports, the suggestion seems to have been that we're about to go
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full scale on an elaborate strategy for defeating isil, and the suggestion, i guess, has been that we'll start moving forward imminently and somehow congress is still out of town and will be left in the dark. that's not going to happen. we'll continue to focus on the american people and we'll continue where we can to engage in the sort of humanitarian acts that saved so many folks who were trapped on a mountain. we are going to work politically and diplomatically with folks in the region and we'll cobbel together what we'll need for a long-term strategy as soon as we are are able to fit together the military, political and economic components of that strategy. there will be a military aspect to that, and it's going to be important for congress to know
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what that is in part because it may cost some money. okay? i'll just take a couple more. yeah? >> mr. president, do you regret not moving on isis earlier? some reports indicate that most of the weapons, the u.s. weapons that they had, they acquired it after the fall of mosul and also the iraqi president said today that the iraqi forces are in no position to stand up to isis. why do you think that forming a new government will change the situation? >> well, once isil got into mosul that posed a big problem because there's no doubt that they were able to capture some weapons and resources that they've been used to finance additional operations and at that stage we immediately contacted the iraqi government and keep in mind we have been in communications with the iraqi government for more than a year indicating that we saw significant problems in the
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sunni areas. prime minister maliki was not as responsive, perhaps, as we would have liked to some of the underlying political grievances that existed at the time. there is no doubt that in order for iraq's security forces to be successful they're going to need help. they're going to need help from us and they're going to need help from our international partners. they'll need additional training and they'll need additional equipment and we are going to be prepared to offer that support. there may be a role for an international coalition providing a dushl air support for their operations, but the reason it is so important that an iraqi government be in place is this is not simply a military problem. the problem we've had consistently is a sunni population that feels alienated from baghdad and does not feel
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invested and does not feel as if anybody is looking out for them. if we can get a government in place that provides sunnis some hope that a national government serves their interests, if they can regain some confidence and trust that it follow through on commitments that were made way back in 2006 and 2007 and 2008 and earlier about how you arrive at, for example, debaathification laws and give people opportunities so they're not locked out of government positions, if those things are followed through on and we are able to combine it with a sound military strategy then i think we can be successful. if we can't then the idea that the the united states or any
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outside power would perpetually defeat isis, i think, is unrealistic. as i've said before, i think i said it it in the previous res conference. our are military is the best in the world. we can route isis on the ground and keep a lid on things temporarily, but then as soon as we leave the same problems come back again. so we've got to -- we've got to make sure that iraqis understand that in the end they're going to be responsible for their own security and part of that is going to be the capacity for them to make compromises. it also means that states in the region stop being ambivalent about these extremist groups. the the truth is that we've had state actors who at times have thought that the way to advance
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their interest is well financing some of these groups as proxies is not such a bad strategy and part of our message to the entire region is this should be a wake-up call to sunni, to s a shia, to everybody that a group like isis is beyond the pale. that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people and as a consequence we've got to all join together even. . we have differences on a range of political issues to make sure that they're rooted out. okay? last question. last question. >> mr. president, despite all of the actions the west has taken to get russia to pull back from ukraine, russia seems intent on taking one step after another,
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convoys, transports and arms. at what point do sank sanction longer work, would you envisage military action to get russia to pull back from ukraine? >> we are not taking military action to solve the ukrainian problem. what we're doing is to mobilize the international community to apply pressure on russia, but, i think it is very important to recognize that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming. now the fact that russia has taken these actions in violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the ukrainians has resulted, i believe, in a weakening of russia, not a strengthening of russia. that may not be apparent immediately, but i think it will become increasingly apparent.
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what it's also done is isolated russia from its trading partners, its commercial partners, international business and ways that i think it it will be very difficult to recover from, and we will continue to stand firm with our allies and partners that what is happening is wrong, that there is a solution that allows ukraine and russia to live peacefully, but it is not in the cards for us to see a military confrontation between russia and the united states in this region. keep in mind, however, that i'm about to go to a nato conference. ukraine is not a member of nato, but a number of those states that are close by are and we take our article 5 commitments to defend each other very seriously, and that includes the
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smallest nato member as well as the largest nato member and so part of the reason i think this nato meeting is going to be so important is to refocus attention on the critical function that nato plays to make sure that every country is contributing in order to deliver on the promise of our aricelart. that's are the pa of the reason why we're going to estonia. we don't have those treaty obligations with ukraine. we do, however, stand shoulder to shoulder with them and we are doing not just a lot of work diplomatically, but also financially in order to make sure that they have the best chance at dealing with what is admittedly a very difficult situation. >> how about sending arms -- >> thank you very much. thank you, guys. thank you.
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>> immigration? >> how are external events and your executive decision making going to impact your decision -- >> let me just say this. i've been very clear about the fact that our immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed and my preference continues to be that congress act. i don't think anybody thinks that congress is going to act in the short term, but hope springs eternal that after the midterm elections they may act. in the meantime, what i've asked jay johnson on do is to look at what kinds of executive authorities we have in order to make the system work better and we've had a lot of stake holder discussions and that set of proposals is being worked up and the one thing that i think has happened is the issue with
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unaccompanied children that knot knot so much attention a couple of months back. part of the reason that was so important is not because that represented a huge, unprecedented surge in overall immigration at the border, but i do think it changed the perception of the american people about what's happening at the borders and so one of the things we have had to do is to work through systematically to make sure that that specific problem in a fairly defined area of the border that we're starting to deal with that in a serious way, and the good news is we've started to make some progress. what we've seen so far is that throughout the summer the number of apprehensions have been decreasing and maybe that's counterintuitive, but that's a good thing, but that means if you were folks that were coming across, the number of apprehensions in august are down from july and they're actually
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lower than they were august of last year and a prehedge pprehee half of what they were in june and we're seeing a downward trend in terms of unaccompanied children and what that, i think, allows us to do is to make sure that those kids are being taken care of properly with due process. at the same time it's allowed us to engage in the broader conversation about what to do to get more resources down at the border. it would have been helped along if congress had voted for the supplemental that i asked for. they did not. we want to make administrative choices and executive choices about getting more immigration choices out there. that has kept us busy, but it it has not stopped the process of looking more broadly about how do we get a smarter immigration system in place while we're waiting for congress to act and
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it continues to be my belief that if i can't see congressional action that i need to do at least what i can in order to make the system work better, but, you know, some of these things do affect timelines and we're just going to be working through it as systematically as possible in order to on get this done, but have no doubt in the absence of congressional action i'm going on do what i can to make the system work better. all right? thank you. >> that was president obama speaking from the white house briefing room addressing the terrorist group isis in syria and iraq, russia's actions in ukraine and the potential of executive actions on immigration. back with me is nbc news' andrea mitchell and politico magazine's susan glasser. i want to start with you. one of the things that the president said that will blow up in the aftermath of the press conference is they do not yet have a strategy for isis and
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syria. do you hear hints toward one? >> no. he said explicitly what a critical new york times editorial said was that they don't have a vat yeah. i'm not going to put the cart before the horse. we're not there yet. we don't have a plan. they want a regional plan and he'll send secretary kerry, i don't believe immediately, but within the next week or so, he said, he was sending him to the region and they'll go to turkey and the saudis and places like that, looking for a strategy and looking to see if sunni leaders will join going against isis in syria and for now his priority is making sure that isis or isil as he refers to it does not overrun iraq and that will be predicated upon making sure that iraq puts together an inclusive government and something that has not yet happened. >> susan, one of the things behind that is that there's been a lot of discussion particularly about president obama's allergy to foreign policy doctrine and
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the lack of a brand strategy. is this the place of where the flexibility of this administration on foreign policy is a help for them as they respond here or a hinnedance as they don't have something clear to fall back on. >> in this case it's pretty clear that his staff is presenting obama with options and options that so far he's been reluctant to approve when it it comes to syria and options and greater measures. on russia he said flatly, there will be no u.s. military intervention and basically, ukraine, there is no treaty with you. you're on your own, and i think that was a very explicit statement from the president. >> i felt a very striking part of that statement was when he said he drew his line that we would go to a nato conference and if russia does impinge on any of their borders then there could be military options. susan glasser and erraner and a mitchell, thank you very much. you can catch andrea mitchell
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reports at noon eastern. after the break, the president said russia is encouraging, funding and arming the separatists in ukraine. i will discuss with max fischer next. there's a reason it's called an "all you can eat" buffet... and not a "have just a little" buffet. because what we all really want is more. that's why verizon is giving you even more. now, for a limited time, get more data! 1 gb of bonus data every month with every new smartphone or upgrade. our best ever pricing with the more everything plan and 50% off all new smartphones. like the htc one m8 for windows or android. built to inspire envy. come get your more with verizon. [ jackhammer pounding, horns honking ] [ siren wailing ] visit tripadvisor miami. [ bird chirping ] with millions of reviews, tripadvisor makes any destination better.
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>> russia is responsible for the violence in eastern ukraine. the violence is encouraged by russia, the separatists are trained by russia. they are armed by russia. they are funded by russia. russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sof rentee and territorial integrity of ukraine. >> that was president obama addressing the deteriorating situation in ukraine. joining me is foreign editor at my colleague max fisher. the one thing he would not say is this is an invasion, despite the fact that russian tanks are in ukraine, and why won't they
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take that step? >> you know, it's not really clear and maybe it's because they want to give vladimir putin a diplomatic out and a face-saving way to say well, we never invaded. maybe we had some troops and maybe they were lost. at first they said the troops were lost. >> they took a wrong turn and ended up in ukraine. >> that's what happens to all of us. obama is pushing a diplomatic solution, right? the only way he thinks he can get the crisis to end is to get president putin it to choose to end it it. so the more that on the one hand he can can ramp up the pain that putin feels on these sanctions and having nato troops in estonia, but at the same time understand that putin is talking about a domestic audience and a lot of this is about russian domestic politics and the more he can ease putin into withdrawing from ukraine the more likely it will happen. >> there's been a slow motion nature to this invasion. >> right.
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>> that is pretty unusual for this kind of thing. >> right. where you are beginning to see it dribble out by satellite pictures by nato. people have realized what's going on and it's not had the sort of violence and the sort of international crisis atmosphere. >> right. >> that you would normally associate with this and why? >> so this is kind of brilliant on putin's behalf. he saw what happened in syria a year and a half ago. obama was saying for years. no chemical weapons. no chemical weapons and what bashar al assad used chemical weapons a little bit at a time. it wasn't clear if it was a little bit at a time. inspectors are in. once assad is actually using chemical weapons overtly we've gotten used to the idea and there's no outrageous red line that has been crossed in a single moment that will galvanize local action. that is what putin did in u krab. first he was sending over the
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anti-aircraft guns over flight 17 and he was sending over more and more russian troops not in uniform to work with the rebels as these fake, ukrainian separatist rebels and about two weeks ago he started sending in self-propelled artillery and now we have russian t-72 tanks moving across the border and russian troops moving across the border and there was no single moment of an invasion because putin knows that european public, they don't care that much about ukraine so there is not a big, terrifying moment. >> the argument president obama made is that this has been bad for russia. that the punishment for russia is one that russia is inflicting on himself and why do you think it's in his interest is. >> there are two schools of thought on this. this is a deliberate strategy by putin where he is trying to annex eastern ukraine or ferment permanent chaos there because he will will always have russian claws in ukraine and it won't slip away to the west which is
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his fear. the second school of thought is that he never deliberately chose this and he's been playing up the domestic propaganda for months about how ukraine are under threat by fascists and civilians are being slaughtered by the ukrainian government, we need to save them and he's wrapped so much of his domestic legitimacy. not just approval, but legitimacy that if he doesn't act and doesn't respond to save the eastern ukrainian separatist rebels who are under threat of being overrun then that would be intolerable for him and so he got pulled into something he didn't want. >> vox's matt fisher, thank you very much for being here today. >> jay nixon announces new changes in response to the crisis in ferguson, but what policies will ease the deep-seeded racial tensions? i will talk with nicholas christoph next on "now."
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many are looking at what, if any, concrete policy responses should come of the rishlly charged unrest in ferguson. yesterday, missouri governor jay nixon announced the appointment of the only african-american to his cabinet appointing daniel eisen to be director of the state's department of public safety this after nixon's move to put highway patrol ron johnson in remembering cha of the response was credited with helping to de-escalate tensions. now there are calls for congress to adopt some broader race-based broader responses to the arrest in ferguson such as mandatory racial biance training, the appointment of a police czar at the doj and requiring laurment agencies to hire forces that are as diverse as the communities they serve. the problem with racism in america, quote, is not so much over races, the larger problem say broad amount of people who
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harbor unconscious, attitudes that result in discrip nat tore policies and behaviobehavior. everyone is a little bit racist? the good news he writes is that prejudice is not immutable and training and policies can surb their impact. case in point, police cameras which he accountability, a stance begins to get support in congress. >> i think it's time for us to really think about whether or not we should be giving any federal funding to any local police jurisdiction unless they have agreed for the police officers to have dash cameras and body cameras. >> joining me now is new york times columnist nicholas christoph. nick, it's good to have you here today. >> good to be with you. >> what do you mean when you say everybody is a little bit racist? >> i think we tend to explore these issues through the prism that the villain is the, you
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know, the white supremacist out there. the cop really has it it in for plaques and i don't think it's really right. if you look more broadly, doctors give more pain medications to whites with broken legs than blacks withec broen legs. the whole employers are 50% more likely to recruit a person with a stereotypically white name than one with a stereotypically plaque name on the exact same resume, and i don't think that these people are kind of overt racists. i think these for the most part are people who believe in racial equality and think well of themselves, yet we internalize the kinds of cultural mores and when you test them through various psychological tests you'll find that people have a preference for -- for hiring whites and often these include
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african-americans and they absorb the same kind of cultural preferences. >> i think this is something that is very hard on talk about because the word racist is so incredibly powerful in american life to say that people have racist attitudes if they don't feel them is seen as sort of a conversation ending insult. you did something interesting in the column was that you talked about one of the tests that you took that was quite relevant to ferguson and talk to me about the video game. >> sure. a psychology professor now at the university of colorado at boulder set up a video game that you play online. i have a link to it from my column and essentially you're in the role of a policeman and under great time pressure you are confronted by a series of men, some plaqublack, some whit some holding up guns or a cell phone and wallet and you are meant to shoot somebody with a gun and to holster your weapon when the person is holding a cell phone, for example, and
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look, i believe in deeply in racial equality, of course, and yet i found that i shot plaques who were holding guns more quickly than whites holding guns and i holstered my weapon more quickly confronted by whites than blacks and this is broadly true across just about everybody who takes that test including african-americans. >> and what do you do, what is the next step then? i think you have this hopeful point in here that this is not immutable, these things can be addressed through technology and policy. what do you think the single biggest thing in policing that would matter? >> i think we need to sort of talk about these issues and to understand this and, so, for example, in hiring i think there are an awful lot of people who are doing recruiting and hiring who don't perceive them as biased at all, but in fact they are disproportionately, they are more likely to choose a greg
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than a jamal for a callback. if they were principled and more likely to suspend, you know, this 7-year-old black kid than a white kid who, you know, looks more like their own children, and i think that we need to start by examining our own biases internally. i think that would help and this kind of training for teachers and for police officers would help, as well. we also need other mechanisms and body cams and car cams are a step toward that. i also think we need to confront the reality that the time to intervene with someone like michael brown is not when he's 18 years old and he's being stopped by a white police officer. it's when he's a kid and to support educational initiatives and teenage initiatives all of the way along so that it doesn't reach that boiling point and potentially deadly confrontation point as it did. >> and, quickly, how important do you think it is for police departments to represent the
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racial makeup of their communities? >> i think that we're finding that that is absolutely necessary, but it's not sufficient, and so we need to have police forces that build trust with their communities and one way of doing it, one critical way of doing that is to have a demographic makeup that corresponds to the people they're policing, but it's not enough. we also need training and i think there's some issue that the beat cops are more sensitive to the issues and the big problem is often those officers who are on special teams and often are much more likely to behave in profoundly prejudice ways. >> nicholas christoph with the new york times, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> that's all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. eastern. the ed show is up next. >> good evening, americans and welcome to "the ed show" live from new york. we start tonight withic braing
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news out of the nfl. the league is toughening its stance on domestic violence and sexual assault. the league has been under heavy criticism for letting domestic violence o fenners off tooese ease pep it's sht surprising, domestic violence is rising in america. one in four women will experience domestic vealence in their lifetime. 1.3 million women are victims of physical arc buice of their partner each year. one-third of female homicide victims are killed by their partner. with those numbers and recent incidents in the nfl the league is going to take action. it happened today, nfl commissioner roger goodell has come under fire for how he dealt with ray rice. rice hit his fiance at a new jersey casino and was caught on camera dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. rice received only a two-game suspension and that caused a great deal of outrage. goodell today wrote a letter to owners admitting that he failed in disciplining the