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tv   MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  December 31, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PST

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. good morning, i'm jeff bennet in washington. it is tuesday, december 31sst ad we're looking at protests about ir iraqi to u.s. air strikes that killed dozens of fighters. the militia was responsible for killing a u.s. contractor in it's own attack on friday. jans nichols is traveling with the president in florida, how is
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the president responding to all of this? >> he is squarely blaming iran for this. that is similar to what we heard from mike pompeo yesterday. having the president say that iran is clearly behind that attack on friday that killed the u.s. contractor and injured the four u.s. senate nebraskmemberse is saying their starting the attack. he is saying they will be held responsible. that is a clear warning. the third thing, i think, jeff is demanding that the iraqi government saying they have been notified saying they be held responsibility for anything they do. they basically have a caretaker government. they have said look, other countries should not be
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interfering, we need to take this seriously leave foreign embassies alone. but the interesting relationship here is between baghdad and the white house. there is some frix on how the a missions were carried out. you have to always think about what president's ultimate end game is with iran. he wants conversations and negotiations, but he is clear that maximum pressure will continue. >> thank you for that, i'm joined here by ann who covers the white house for the "washington post." these airstrikes are the most serious political crisis in years. they are spoking anti-americanism giving an advantage to iron.
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iran. >> that's right, you see it taking place in iraq which is caughtly squarely in the middle. they live next door to iran and we don't and iranian influence goes back hundreds of years and in the current context decades. that predates the u.s. invasion of iraq by a good bit. they are an ally of iran and the united states. here we have president trump laying a lot of responsibility on the iraqi government saying you should push back, you should not allow this, and you iran blaming the united states for
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insi insi instagating the conflict to begin with. so ambassador hill, what is your biggest concern about you watch what is playing out right now in realtime? >> my biggest concern is the u.s. government has a kind of cartoon image of what is happening in that part of the world. and essential think is to blame ir iran for everything. there is no dwle is something between the shia and militia groups. it is very maligned influence. do they have any policy worthy of the game. is blaming iran for everything going to suffice. is the idea that we're attacking from the air -- i mean these were f 16s dropping this
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ordinance. this staff and backed militia groups. one has a sense that this is heading to no better place, and the administration has zero interest in real diplomatic negotiation with the iranians apart from demanding a tactical surrender on their part. these are tough times and one worries whether or not the administration has the horsepower and brain power to deal with them. >> we point out that you lived in that building. you helped build it, i don't know if you see see what we're seeing but there appears to be a group of protestors in front of a gait marked rd 2, can you give us a sense of where they are in relation to where there might be staffers. >> this is an enormous compound,
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there is an outer wall, inner walls, i don't think there is any sign that i can see that these protestors have somehow entered into the compound. every modern american embassy is built with this time of break down of security in mind. >> sir, just to -- for give me as you were speaking we just heard an explosion, it might have been tear gas, we're not swhaur it is but there is smoke bill lowing out from the other side of this concrete fencing. what is the latest? >> the iraqi supporters broke down the gate door, stormed the compound. gunshots fired, sirens ringing. earlier in the day hundreds of
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protestors and fighters that assembled near them to condemn air strikes that killed 25 of their fighters. now the militia, they are heavily backed by iran. today's protestors initially held funerals for those fighters killed in those air strikes in baghdad. and from there, they marched through the sprawling u.s. embassy in the heavily fortified green zone. th there was chances of down with the usa. water bottles thrown, flags were pulled down from the walling, now it has taken a more violent and serious turn. guards in the embassy have used tear gas and grenades to keep them from moving towards the main building.
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we're getting reports at 60 or so protestors have been injured by the tear gas and live round that's have been fired. we have not heard of any fatalities, though. as the situation is on going, there is an angry mob of something between 150 and 200 people still warming that initial entrance gate of the embassy. it is starting to get a little dark there but i have been looking at pictures, people set up tents around the compound, those hard core protestors don't show any signs of wanting to leave the area. it will really depend on how the situation will be calmed down. the iraqi interior minister showed up on the scene to try to calm the situation. the prime minister asked the protestors to leave the seen. some left but a hard core group of about 150 or 200 militia
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fighters and protestors. it is not clear if the staff are in the embassy or what kind of danger they're in, but as ambassador hill pointed out, those protections have been put into place to look after staff members there, but it is a very tense situation and it can't be very easy for any of the personnel in that embassy. >> ambassador hill, how are iraq and iran do you think? how will they respond to this apparently tough language from president trump based on the tweet he sent in the last hour? >> first of all to understand what happened in the days and weeks before, we have a very weakened iraqy government. they are weakened by massive protests that were originally in economic terms and now they have gone to more political terms if
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is a very weak stand in government right now. i think what the iraqi government will want to do is incest on it's sovereignty, and the u.s. made little effort to work with the defense forces throughout this crisis. so i don't think that there is a easy way forward. the iranians, this is not that foreign minister that goes around the world and currently in moscow. we're talking about some very hardened extremely radicalized shia who are very much in the game of trying to kill americans. that is a very different situation. again, i'm not sure the u.s. has a real approach here. it is one thing to go after them when they come after us, entirely appropriate, but it is
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another thing to kind of come up with some kind of way forward diplomatically. we have a secretary of state that seems to be leading the cheer leading being a cheer leader for more and more military fi military type action. i think we need a stronger track. >> we just got a new tweet from the former national security advisor john bolten saying the attack in baghdad is straight from iran's play book in 1979. it is a sign of control over shia militia groups, not a sign of anti-americanism. they say they must pay a teep price for their ongoing support for terrorism. help us nut into context. >> that is a positive refrain,
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isn't it. it is not a sign of iraqy ani anti-americanism, but ambassador bolton was a chief cheer leader for the u.s. invasion of iraq. all of those things can happen at once. iranian influence in iraq is real. and to ambassador hill's opponent, the great iraony here is that president trump sort of wants one. it looks a little happ hazard, but he would like to redo the
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deal. or making a relationship with iran. it is clear the u.s. and iran are on a collision course. and he doesn't want that. he doesn't apt fight in the middle east. he campaigned on getting us out of unwinnable wars. he certainly doesn't want it now, he doesn't want it at all, but the question of how to diffuse that, especially when iran is continuing to do what they can, poke little holes in it. >> democrats say a new bomb shell resport a game changer. will it force republican leadership into allowing witness temperature. but first joe biden says he is open to a republican running
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mate, but there is just one catch. stay with us. t there is just on catch. stay with us
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today a number of contenders are spending their philadelphia day on the campaign trail. new polling has good news for one of those front runners, the polls that show joe biden with a
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slight flaed two crucial battleground states. he has a two point lead over trump while in virginia he leads by a four points in a potential match up. president trump leads all of the other top contenders in those states. mike, any reaction from the biden camp to this poll? is there any indication that he will shift his strategy as we count down to iowa and new hampshire. >> his argument about electability has been so core to his message. we saw it in his first television add talking about him bes the most like ly -- we havea
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new tweet in the last hour from greg shultz, it is the past to 270 electoral votes. the biden campaign also announcing today that they hired two new state directors. one in virginia, one of those states where we have new numbers, and general lex states and states that are super tuesday states. but as joe biteen looks ahead, looking ahead to super tuesday, he is trying to gate strangle hold nomination on them. of all of the front runners, she fairs the best in all of the
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match ups, in this poll she is not doing that well. do they worry about these states? >> just as a reminder, it was new years eve in 2018. i was in elizabeth warren's driveway when she became a candidate. you can see them here in the old south meeting house. it is an acknowledgment of what you just mentioned, the fact that early on she struggled with the idea that perhaps she was not the most electable. she going to look forward, asking voters to imagine a world where she is president and that
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she can become president. >> joining me now to weigh in, rick tyler, a republican strategy, lynn tweet, a washington bureau chief, and a professor at winston university. your polling showing former vice president joe biteen beating trump in these states. >> i think we have seen this before, i'm interested in drilling down in the numbers, i would love to see how solid that support it. it seems to me that we need to ask if joe bide listen kpiett the base. the african-american voters, the african-american women in particular, those that set out in 2016 to come out and support them. we know that in 2018 there was a
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large turnout and that turnout reflected a broad coalition of folks that were profregressive thought he was a candidate not quite in line with their politics. so the question is not so much whether or not biden can beat trump, but can biden excite the base and get folks to turn out. that is the question. >> what about that? >> i mason dixon poll, it is a decent sample, 90% of the african-americans supporting joe biden over trump. the on cancel -- candidate that can beat trump, this is not good news. hillary clinton won virginia by five percentage points. biden is winning it by four. this is a president with a 42%
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approval rate, a high water mark of 46% and he has just been impeached. if you trailing hillary clinton's support now, that is not constructive. >> could they replicate that as they try to mount presidential races in other swing states. >> possibly because they had, through the years, an increasingly large number of democratic wins and they have a statement that is heavily populated in northern virginia. this only works if you have red states with heavy population centers. i would look to wisconsin as a place where you can focus in the milwaukee area and possibly try to replicate that.
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you have certain elements. you need a strong suburban swing voter. some other states that you want to flip. one is not one fits all. you have to look at all of them differently and all of the state primaries in that way. for biden it is good news because it builds him up stronger before he gets hit with all of the hunter biden stuff that is just getting in line now to be propelled against him. >> a lot of people are talking, let's lin to it. >> our 21-year-old son said the other night i wonder if joe biden would consider choosing a republican as a running mate. >> the answer is i would, but i
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can't think of one now. no no, look, i'm serious. there are really decent republicans out there still, but they have to step up. >> as you well known, there was a lot of pearl clutching, but that struck me that he is not extremely partisan, he is trying to make a general election argument to be for people who are voting for him. >> i think it reveals the logic behind joe biden's campaign is predicating to a certain understanding of the politics.
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who is the voter of joe biden in the campaign, who is he talking to. it seems to me that we have always found -- we find ourselves speaking to a particular kind of voter. typically a white working class voter, the vote near sitting between the so-called extremes of the right and the left. part of what we have seen in the last two or three years now is our politics have changed. that assumption might not hold. it may seem reasonable to joe biden that he should signal that this is the kind of guy he is. but he just went through that election. he went through that election with hillary clinton where she tried to appeal centrist voters. and we saw what happened. he needs to, instead of trying to signal that, he needs to lay out a plan, i think, to excite the folks that current turn out the polls. the question is not about convincing those that are
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somehow standing between donald trump and the democrats. it bothered me because it reveals an old form of politics in my mind. >> all right, thanks to you. lynn sweet. we have more breaking news president trump tweeting that he will be signing the phase one trade deal with china on january 15th before going to beijing later in the year to bring talks on phase two. the deal reduces some u.s. tariffs on chinese goods in exchange for boothing purchases on farm, energy, and manufactured goods and it addresses some u.s. complaints about intellectual property practices. t intellectual proper practices.
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we're keeping an eye on the breaking news where the embassy in baghdad has been stormed by ir iraqi protestors. they just spoke to them about the attack on the u.s. embassy. the readout says the leaders are promising to keep personnel and property safe. they took to twitter to demand iraq to do more.
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we will monitor the situation on the ground and bring you updates when we get them. chuck schumer is out for a new demand for witnesses to be called an impeachment from trump. there is new details about the tug of war in the trump administration after the president ordered a freeze on u.s. military aid to ukraine. >> simply put in our fight these new revelations are a game changer. the story makes the choice even clearer. will the senate hold a fair trial or will it enable a cover up? president trump, if you're so confident you did nothing wrong, why won't you let your men testify? >> let's bring in greg brouwer. greg, how much does this reporting from the "new york
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times" bolster chuck schumer's argument that the four current administration officials that he wants to see testify at a trial, you have bolton, mulvaney, and two other officials, that they should cross the senate floor and tell the senators what they need to know. >> i think since the beginning it has been obviously to most observers these are four people that are critical witnesses. and if they have exculpatory evidence to what the president apparently did, they would be there testifying at the president's behest. the fact that they're not credits an adverse inference. the democrats have been happy to accept that adverse inference. but now with the additional information, it makes the gop senators look bad like they're looking the other way ignoring what is relevant evidence. >> these new revelations are a game changer, but for him to get the trial that he wants, he has
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to have four republican senators to joint with him. that is how he changing his coalition of 47 democrats into 51 which gives him the authority to make procedural changes. and it looks like he will lose at least one of these republicans for good. let's listen to what senator susan collins told me on public radio this morning about the idea of calling witnesses. >> i'm open to witnesses. i think it is premature to decide who should be called until we see the evidence that is presented and get the answers to the questions that we senators can submit through the chief justice to both sides. >> so she appears to be backing up mitch mcconnell's vision for this trial. mcconnell doesn't want any witnesses because when you introduce live witnesses into a trial, who knows what they will say and you lose control of it. >> that is right and it seems to me a pipe dream to believe these
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four republicans will come over to the democrats side. we know that mitch mcconnell has already declared his position, his view about the whole impeachment. and i just think it is really important that speaker eer pel continues to do what she is doing. with the "new york times" reporting it provides clear justification for her to delay holding the articles over to the signal it will we see what court says about bolten and other folks. i think this is collins giving the illusion that she is open minded, and she is just as partisan as the others. >> i will read this statement, should there be a senate trial? we will analyze the request and
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consultation whether or not the white house determines that constitutional concern prevents his apierce or not, i'm confident that neither of them did anything unlaw enforcement. so that s a lot of words to say yeah, we don't really want to testify. >> i think what should have happened long ago is that these four critical witnesses that have they should not have given testimony. and if, then, their testimony was deemed relevant to a trial there should be trial witnesses. the fact that they were never allowed to testify, and fact that they had no interest in hearing their system is puzzling. >> president trump is going after democrats and joe biden on twitter. i'm not going to read the tweet because it is not that edifying, but do you think the former vb
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is doing a good enough job of making it clear that impeachment is not about trump or joe biden himself? >> i thought when he asked the question at the town hall he didn't steam be completely p prepared. that the idea of power undermines our system of checks and balances. i think that vice president would do well to everybody side that what is at the hart of this is a constitutional crisis, and that it is just a die version fair tactic. we need to keep our eyes focuses and it should be that we're in a constitutional crisis in this
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crisis. >> a man charged in a horrific hanukkah attack. they have writings and research on hitler. stay with us. e writings and res on hitler. stay with us needles. essential for the sea urchin,
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charges. he serarched on his phone for near by temples and phrases like why did hitler hate the jews. he plead not guilty to five attempts of murder and one attempt of particular. cathy park is here with the latest. >> good morning to you. there was a big turn in the ongoing investigation into this attack with the release of the federal hate crime charges and in the court documents we learned a little more about the attack that happened on the 7th night of hanukkah. we learned that the suspect stormed in with an 18 -- machete. one man is still in the hospital with serious injuries. we're told that he is elderly
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and just suffering from other ailments as well. that is still an on going situation there with the victims but when the president apparently left the scene, they uncovered several new pieces of evidence, a machete, a knife, both had traces of dried blood on them and further investigation into the suspect's home uncovered that journal that had antisemitic writings. e had looked up locations for temples and it was just troubling, a big turn with the on going investigation. this was an investigation that includes folks at the local state and federal levels, but we heard from the suspects attorney that says that his client has a long history of mental health issues and here is what he told us yesterday.
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>>. >> my impression from what i read in my conversation with him is these are severe psychiatric issues. what triggered him going in there was a voice that told him to do something there, but nothing that is objective or that you could say he had a prior history at that home or knew someone there or had a grudge against someone there. >> they are also looking at another incident there, another stabbing, and on november 20th, it may or may not be linked to it. he is due back in court on those federal charges on january 13th, jeff? >> kathy part, thank you for that reporting. we're hours from the new year but 2020 is already in full force for the presidential
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election. we're looking at the political story lines shaping 2020 as candidates vie for the white house. ndidates vie for the white house. what's for dinner? (fake gagging noises) ♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win.
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2019 was packed full of impeachment news. as we close out the year, let's look at how the democratic race for president took shame in 2-- shape in 2019. >> a crowded and diverse field. >> i'm filing an exploratory committee. >> you don't get what you don't fight for. >> bernie sanders making it official. >> i'm running for president. >> bernie bernie! >> sanders is facing a completely different terrain from last time. >> on this snowy day. >> i announce my candidacy. >> we knead dreamers in washington. >> that's what we believe. >> i'm corey booker and i'm running for president. >> of the united states of america! >> i'm announcing today i'm
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running for president. >> i'm running to serve you. >> that's why i'm running for president. >> we will take our democracy back. >> join me if you want to get to work. >> i'm on my 40th trip to iowa. running for president. >> joe biden nearly slipped up and declared himself a candidate a bit early. >> i have the most progressive record of anybody running -- anybody who would run. >> i felt these hands on my shoulders. >> and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset and i get it. >> joe biden finally makes it official. >> i can beat donald trump. that's the signal that they're trying to send with this rollout. >> pete buttigieg has big ambitions. >> they call me mayor pete. >> if elected, he would be the youngest president, the first who was openly gay. >> there were times in my life when if you had shown me exactly what it was inside me that made me gay, i would have put it out
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with a knife. >> we're draining the swamp. >> president trump in front of a capacity crowd kicking off his 2020 campaign with familiar themes. >> our radical democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage. >> donald trump has violated his oath of office. he should be impeached. >> sleepy joe biden who is dumb as a rock. >> we need to get rid of donald trump. >> trump is a pathological liar and a racist. >> crazy bernie. >> there was a little girl in california and she was bussed to school every day. and that little girl was me. >> i did not oppose busing in america. >> kamala harris mischaracterize your position on the busing issue? >> yes, she did. >> get the people that are ratist off the sheets. >> buttigieg, black voters, zero. >> two american cities in shock and mourning this hour after two mass shootings in less than 24
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hours. >> yes, we're going to take your ar-14 and ak-47. >> i was imagining it was one of them that got shot. >> that's kind of been the sub text of this campaign, the issue of the concerns about biden's age. >> you just said two minutes ago that they would have to buy in. are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago? >> one day it's joe biden, the next elizabeth warren. >> what should we make of this surging in the polls? >> i don't do polls. we don't want each other's families bankrupted by medical bills. i've got a plan to fix it. >> your signature, senator, is to have a plan for everything, except this. >> the difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something that you can actually get done. >> guaranteed universal -- >> medicare for all. >> it may be a nice idea. >> i wrote the dam bill. >> raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.
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>> senator bernie sanders was hospitalized last night after experiencing chest discomfort. >> he's off the road for a little bit. his appearances have been canceled. >> but he's my bernie sanders. >> i am back. >> i think they've got mr eye on somebody who is currently in the democratic primary. she's a favorite of the russians. >> mike bloomberg started as a middle class kid. >> he launched his campaign with the single largest political advertising buy in u.s. history. >> i'm not a billionaire. i can't fund my own campaign. i'm suspending our campaign today. >> it is a problem that we now have an overall campaign for the 2020 presidency that has more billionaires in it than black people. >> it's the least diverse democratic field on a debate stage so far. >> i have not den graded your experience as a local official. >> you actually did, senator, and it was before the break and
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i was going to let it go because we've got bigger fish to friday here. >> i don't think we have bigger fish to fry than picking a president of the united states. >> this year it is feeling really intense as these democratic contenders try to get a toe hold. >> mr. vice president, why don't you come on up? >> we're live on msnbc right now. we're live. >> bernie sanders, right behind me. >> that's vaughn hillyard in the shot right there. >> behind me is elizabeth warren. >> are you really asking me to tell msnbc exactly what my campaign is? >> if that's possible. >> the president of the united states. >> america does not want to witness a food fight. >> at the iowa state fair, don't eat your way out of it. >> let's just pick somebody, please, and start start this thing. >> you're selling access to the
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president just like he was. >> you're a damn liar, man, that's not true. >> i'm tougher than i look. >> do you want to wrestle? >> hey, hey, hey. >> the bad news is i've caught a cold. nevertheless, i persist. >> he tweeted watching slopy joe biden is so boring. >> he should get a life. >> we don't want to be politically correct. >> he in his account should be taken down. >> it's elizabeth warren. >> i'm sorry. >> thank god this wasn't beto's day to see the proctologist. >> i'm going to get me a beer. >> it's going to be a really long election. >> much respect to nbc producer dan gallo who put together the epic retrospective. coming up, an update on the breaking news out of iraq. dozens of protesters storming the u.s. embassy compound just
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days after weapons depos bombed in iraq and syria. d in iraq i'm leah and that's me long before
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wthat's why xfinity hasu made taking your internetself. and tv with you a breeze. really? yup. you can transfer your service online in about a minute. you can do that? yeah. and with two-hour service appointment windows, it's all on your schedule. awesome. so while moving may still come with its share of headaches... no kidding. we're doing all we can to make moving simple, easy, awesome. go to to get started. that wraps up this hour. i'm geoff bennett. i'll be back at noon eastern. coming up right now, more news with my friend, happy new year. >> happy new year's eve to you, geoff. good to be with you at home. we certainly have a lot to get to this morning. we start with breaking news in iraq, where the u.s. embassy has been attacked by protesters.
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the protests come in response to u.s. air strikes in iraq and syria that killed dozens of fighters from an iran-backed malitia group. the united states blamed the malitia for a friday attack that killed a u.s. contractor and wounded four troops. and president trump just issued a broad warning about these protests this morning. this video shows smoke billowing from the compound where fires have been set as protesters shout "death to america". we have our team of reporters standing by with the latest on what's happening overseas and also the response from the white house. we begin with tehran ali in london. and talk about the level of tension that we're seeing at the embassy. >> reporter: there's a lot of tension there, frances. this isn't something that you normally see. the supporters broke down the embassy gate door and stormed the compound, gunshots were fired, sirens were ringing. fires have been set all over


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