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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  December 31, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PST

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protesters stormed the u.s. embassy in bagdad. a tense scene involving live bullets, teargas. what sparked their calls of death to america and how president trump is responding. significant new developments that could impact the impeachment fight. a new court ruling could answer the question would president trump's former national security adviser john bolton testify before congress? several democratic candidates are closing out 2019 on the campaign trail as they sprint towards the first contest in iowa. we'll head live to the hawkeye state ahead. we're live in boston where senator elizabeth warren is marking exactly one year since she became the first major candidate to enter the 2020 race for president. we still have a long ways ahead. we'll start with breaking news from bagdad, everybody. it has been a long 24 hours where hundreds of rieriron-back protesters have stormed the u.s.
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embassy in the iraqi capital. the demonstrators shout, quote, death to america, broke down the u.s. embassy gate, getting into the u.s. compound. they smashed security cameras and set fires. president trump responding angrily writing on twitter this. quote, iran killed an american contractor, wounding many. we strongly responded and always will. now iran is orchestrating an attack on the u.s. embassy in iraq. they will be held fully responsible. in addition, we expect iran to use its forces to protect the embassy and so notified. >> joining me is ali arouzi and nbc's hans nichols who is in florida and travel being the president. ali, we know about the fortified zone, the green zone, heavily fortified. talk to me about how it is these iranian-backed demonstrators were actually able to breach the
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barrier? >> yasmin, as you mentioned, it is a huge zone. earlier in the day these protesters, shia militia protesters backed by iran were holding funerals for those fighters that had been killed in those air strikes. once those funerals had finished, the numbered gathered and gathered and marched towards the embassy, apparently uninterrupted by any security forces, and before a very short period of time were outside the outer layer of the u.s. embassy. it didn't seem particularly hard for them to reach that area. it's actually breaching the embassy that's a much bigger task. as you mentioned, it's a huge embassy. it's on 100 acres. that's roughly the side of the vatican city. i think, if i'm not mistaken, it's the u.s.'s most expensive embassy built in a war zone at the time.
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so it's very heavily fortified. one has to put into perspective that the protesters that broke in there probably broke in one or two layers of embassy and they weren't able to go much deeper than that where u.s. personnel probably are. it's still of great concern that they were able to march into the so-called heavily fortified green zone and show up right outside the embassy and cause that kind of damage. >> ali, talk to me quickly about the state of the ambassador and staff as well. i do believe, and what i'm hearing, is currently they are in lockdown but not yet evacuated. we know historically in situations like this, it's often times they're evacuated, but keeping emergency personnel on the ground and all non-essential employees evacuated. what is the status currently of the embassy employees on the ground there and the ambassador? >> well, the ambassador apparently is not there. we've heard from u.s. officials that he was on schedule to leave
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for the holidays which makes sense. but obviously there are other staff that are there the whole time. those staff are in lockdown somewhere in the embassy. no decision has been made to evacuate them. and from what we understand, the safest place for them is deep inside the compound in lockdown. as we mentioned, it's a heavily fortified embassy. there's many, many layers to breach before protesters could get to those staff members. they are deep inside the compound, somewhere in lockdown, and i don't believe they're going to be evacuated yet. the situation doesn't seem to be growing out of control. in fact, it seems to be quieting slightly, so they'll probably wait it out until they see how the evening unfolds. >> we're hearing from one u.s. official estimating around 6,000 protesters, there were around
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6,000 at the demonstration site. hans, talk about the tweet from the president in which he blamed iran. we know secretary of state pompeo spoke with the iraqi president as well. what are you hearing from administration officials in general about any u.s. response with regards to this attack on the embassy in bagdad? >> reporter: it's clear they're holding iran responsible. what's interesting about the president's rhetorical flourish on twitter, he's involving himself in iraqi domestic politics, talking directly to the people of iraq saying if they want to be free of iran, take control of their government, now is their opportunity. that is intervening in a very tenuous situation domestically in iraq. remember the government is a caretaker government. it basically has collapsed when you have a prime minister in name only taking care of the government. the interesting thing about this, ali, the very people that the president needs to make sure the embassy is in some sort of
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safe environment are the people he seems to be criticizing. you have the call from mike pompeo to the prime minister of iraq indicating that he really holds them responsible. ton opini on top of all this, you have the direct response to iran, the president saying they will be held responsible. that was accelerated by stephanie grisham saying the president will respond basically when and how he decides to. it wasn't a question of the. it was a question of some sort of response. the president isality his golf club. early in the morning he was receiving updates. when we get anything new, we'll come back to you. >> the exact tweet from grisham, the wording and choice, it will be the president's decision on how to respond. it's not an if. it's a when. hans nichols, stay close. i'll talk to you later in the hour. joining me is former
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ambassador to iraq, afghanistan and syria. concerning 24 hours or so, you think this as well. i want to get your take overall on your biggest concerns right now and what you've seen take place over the weekend and the escalation in iraq. >> thanks for having me. i think ari got it right. this is not an imminent or immediate threat to our folks in the embassy right now. the embassy is very well constructed, very hard to get into. the outer perimeter wall is designed to block car or truck bombs, massive attacks. it is not an anti personnel barrier. that in itself is not a problem. we see what happens next. it's clear to me yasmin, that we're in a period of extraordinary turbulence in
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iraq. i don't think anyone can predict what the next steps are. while it is technically true that the iraqi government is responsible for the safety of diplomatic personnel and missions, this is a government without a great deal of power, and we would be well advised to do more to strengthen their ability to project sovereignty rather than take them to task. >> it seems to me as if ambassador, as you're reading through what's taking place and hearing the conversations pompeo is having with the iraqi government and also reading through the conversations and watching the press out of iran and the conversations that iran is having with the iraqi government, that iraq really is being used as a pawn here for these two countries. are they the real victim here? >> there are so many ways to slice it. that is certainly one of them, that they do not have agency as a government in their own
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country, that iran is acting unilaterally. we've certainly seen that. so is the united states. it reminds me too well of the lebanon i was in in the early 1980s where we saw the same lack of agency on the part of the government and we paid a fearful price, the bombing of the embassy. i was there in 1983. six months later, the bombing of the marine barracks. it's worth noting that the same protagonists that we faced in beirut at such horrible cost, of course, are very present in iraq, iran and its subordinate militias. >> you talk about historically, bringing up beirut which is fascinating. we're hearing from former national security adviser john bolton tweeting today. keep in mind john bolton is very much someone who believes the u.s. should go to war with iran send is a proponent of regime change. he says the attack on the u.s.
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embassy in bagdad is straight from iran's playbook in the 1979. we must protect our citizens from iranian belligerence. is this a flashback, possibly the start of something much bigger as we saw in 1989 with the iranian revolution? >> in 1979, of course, it was iranians who took our embassy. it is iran that is behind a segment of the iraqi shia population that undertook this attack. we've learned a thing or two since 1979 and indeed since the bombing in 1983. we understand about secure facilities, secure buildings. these protesters in bagdad are not going to be able to cake walk into the embassy building. but i would hope that the iranians may have learned a thing or two as well. if they restage 1979, they will
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have zero support anywhere in the world, and more than that, they can then expect frankly massive retaliation from us. so they would be very well advised to issue an appeal for calm, to talk to their proxies and to dial this back. they will not gain at all by escalation. i do note in that regard that the grand ayatollah sis stan any, the leading figure in iraq for shia muss lums, while condemning the attack we carried out on hezbollah, also calling for calm and restraint. and i think shia muslims in iraq and everybody else would be well advised to listen to him. >> ambassador ryan crocker, thank you very much. appreciate your analysis. still to come, how the attacks in bagdad may open another conflict zone in the middle east. with the senate trial expected to begin next month,
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democrats want key white house officials to testify. one republican says she's open to the idea. you're watching msnbc. we'll be right back. ♪
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only with xfinity xfi. download the xfi app today. welcome back. a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by former national security adviser john bolton's one-time deputy charles kupperman. he was asking for a ruling on whether the white house could legally block him from testifying before congress. kupperman filed his lawsuit after he was subpoenaed to testify in the house impeachment
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inquiry. the judge ruled the question was, quote, moot, because the house ultimately withdrew its subpoena but warned kupperman might actually reappear before the court if congress issues another subpoena. as of today, this could clear the way for bolton to testify, whether before the house or in a senate impeachment trial. joining me, jeremy peters, "new york times" reporter. edmund siegfried. jeremy, let's start with you. this is huge news. it broke last night around 5:30 p.m. or so. i was talking to neil katia on "the beat." he said this is a must for bolton, completely clears the way for bolton to testify. what do you make of it? is this a major game-changer? is this clearing the way for him? >> the hard part is going to be getting 51 votes in the senate to approve his testimony, compel him to testify. there could be a scenario in
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which president trump and his lawyers decide to take this all the way to the supreme court, whether they can compel him to testify. senate republican leader mitch mcconnell has made very clear he is in lock ststep with this whi house. the idea that any dam is going to break open and there will be defections of republicans or some type of star witness, ala watergate that will blow the lid right off of this is probably a bit far fetched at this point. >> it seems, evan, as if john bolton wants to testify. heard him in the npr interview last week where he said, i've got a lot of information, but waiting on the decision with regards to the kupperman case. we got that decision here. it seems as if he's wanting to in a way clear his name. >> first of all, the decision yesterday, it was dismissed because the subpoena was withdrawn. it wasn't really saying, yes, you have to testify, ruling one way or the other. if there is a subpoena issued
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again, we will absolutely see this -- >> it doesn't say you have to, but clears the way. >> it doesn't exist currently, but it will exist if they issue subpoenas because we're back to square one. >> i want to pick up on jeremy's earlier point talking about the votes in the senate. if you listen to the susan collins of the world and the lisa murkowskis, they're wanting to find a deal on witnesses. i don't think they would be doing that without implicit understanding from mitch mcconnell that he's considering that. somebody who has worked in the senate for a long time, these senators are very picky with their words. the fact that collins said that on public radio, i believe, and murkowski signaled she would be willing to deal with witnesses here, i think that's significant and might signal some other -- if there are any republican moderates left, other republican moderates that they might be willing to support a vote for witnesses as well. >> you're forgetting this is an
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impartial jury. the senate will be 100% political in this trial. susan collins is up for a tough re-election. she has to bring over more moderate democrats who have helped hernd want to see she's fighting for it. >> i'm glad you guys bring up susan collins because we happen to have that sound. let's play that and talk about it. >> this new story shows all four witnesses that we've requested, mick mulvaney, john bolton, michael duffy and robert blair were intimately involved, simply put, in our fight to have key documents and witnesses in the senate impeachment trial, these new revelations are a game-changer. >> i am open to witnesses. i think it's premature to decide who should be called until we see the evidence that is
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presented and get the answers to the questions that we senators can submit through the chief justice to both sides. >> joel, you basically had chuck schumer saying this is a game-changer. these people must testify. you hear susan collins, incredibly vulnerable right now, tough re-election ahead, come november. >> chuck schumer nows how to count. he doesn't have enough votes to remove donald trump from office. probably never will. he does have enough to force a trial that includes witnesses, that will include very damning testimony. he knows he can apply pressure to sclins, lisa murkowski, ben sasse, cory gardner. those folks would have to consider voting for a rules package that included witnesses. that's what schumer is pushing for. >> jeremy, you brought up something earlier. you said the president could take this to the supreme court if he wanted to block john bolton from testifyingment i
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want to expand on that a little bit. that could feasibly see a logjam for the white house. that wouldn't play well politically for him here. it seems like the white house and the president is hiding something keeping john bolton from testifying if he's willing to do so. >> it absolutely could. it wouldn't necessarily play all that well for the president. i think it puts a lot of the republicans who are up in 2020 in a bit of an uncomfortable position. that's exactly what chuck schumer is doing. he didn't get to where he is as the leader of the senate democrats without looking out for where he can add seats to their minority. come 2020 that's going to be very tough. susan collins is in the toughest race she's ever faced. ultimately how much pressure will she be under at the end of the day? i don't know that her vote to convict president trump wins her back any of those moderates given how angry they were over her vote for justice cavanaugh. i think maybe it could put pr s
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pressure on somebody like joni ernst. at the end of the day, i think it's just pressure. the idea that joni ernst or tom tillis or cory gardner or any of these people are going to break with the president, i think is just a fantasy. >> also, it takes away attention from the fact that manchin, jones, from the democratic caucus might want to break with democrats. >> happy new year you guys. >> happy new year. >> right now senator elizabeth warren is speaking in boston exactly one year since jumping into the presidential race. we'll head there live next. plus, with just over a month to the iowa caucuses, new polls are adding a new twist to the question of which democratic can take on the president. we'll speak to senator cory booker live from the hawkeye state coming up. this is msnbc. this is msnbc. a lot of folks ask me why their dishwasher doesn't get everything clean. i tell them, it may be your detergent... that's why more dishwasher brands recommend cascade platinum... ...with the soaking, scrubbing and rinsing built right in. for sparkling-clean dishes, the first time.
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welcome back. this morning, 2020 democrats are making one last campaign swing before the turn of the new year. right now massachusetts senator elizabeth warren is rallying supporters in boston exactly one year since warren became the first major democratic contender to jump into the presidential race. want to bring in nbc's mike
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memoli tracking the warren campaign in boston. good morning and early happy new year my friend. talk about elizabeth warren marking one year into her campaign. what's she saying? >> reporter: yasmin, i draw all the plum assignments. one year ago i was standing in elizabeth warren's driveway a couple miles from here as she was the first big name democratic to get into this 2020 race today she's marking the end of the year with a speech at the old south meeting house in downtown boston. this speech is intended to serve a number of purposes. one, it's an opportunity for her to raise the stakes of election. she's prepared to head back to the senate and be part of a likely impeachment trial. she's going to tell the audience here of supporters that moments like this in american history, moments of real crisis, our leaders have stepped up not by acting small but by thinking big. that's been the core of her message. this is also an opportunity to really begin what advisers say
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is going to be a closing argument phase of the campaign. she may have to spend a lot of her time in the senate, but she'll also do her best to spend a lot of time on the trail and transition her message from her plans and try to paint a picture of what a warren administration will look like. >> we're also hearing from corey lewandowski also making a major announcement this morning. talk to us about that. >> reporter: the trump campaign manager at the start of his campaign in 2016. he had been thinking and openly mulling over a run for senate in new hampshire. in the last few minutes he tweeted saying after much consideration i've decided to forego the campaign. my priorities remain my family and ensuring that president trump is re-elected. an interesting coda to all this, jeanne shaheen is the democratic senator from new hampshire, in
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her last election she beat scott brown. he lost his last election to elizabeth warren. so everything comes back full circle. >> mike memoli, thank you. it is just under five weeks before the first votes are cast in the iowa caucuses. and when the clock strikes 12:00 tonight, it will mark the unofficial official start to what will be a marathon sprint to the white house. right now in the hawkeye state, new jersey senator cory booker is making his pitch to voters, including a six-figure ad. i want to head over to iowa where nbc road warrior vaughn hillyard is standing by with the senator himself. take it away. >> are you being talked to? >> yes, we're being talked to. tell the senator we're being talked to. >> exactly. we're heading into a house party, just outside of des moin moines. i want to start off the conversation on a serious note. overnight, the u.s. embassy in
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bagdad was stormed by protesters, many of them were part of an iraqi-backed militia, but backed by iran. when you're watching what is unfolding in iraq, taking the trump administration's foreign policy aside, what would a president booker be doing right now? we still have about 5,000 troops in iraq. >> everyone on the planet should know, if you attack american troops, you will be met with resolute resolve to continue our troops and continue to stand strong in our mission. that goes without saying. we all should be thinking about and praying about our troops and the iraqi people who are dealing with this kind of violence. that said, pulling back the lens a bit, we need a strategy. this is a president who has been doing foreign policy by impulse, by tweet and not an overall strategy to bring our troops home and to make sure we create an environment in the middle east that's not worsening. we see that. since he pulled out of the iran deal, we see from yemen to
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syria, we see what the result is of his chaotic foreign policy. we've got to make sure we have a larger strategic vision that involves getting our troops home safely and securely. >> you saw an air strike that the u.s. conducted, multiple, that killed 24 of the iranian militia in iraq. what did you think of those air strikes? it was in response to a u.s. citizen being killed. >> again, if you attack american citizens, you will be met with the strength and resolve of the united states of america. we should be clear on that, 100%. this is not a time for equivocation. we must protect our troops. if you come after an american, you will be met with that kind of strength. but again, this is not a point in time. we have a longer arc of history going on for the last few years where we have a president who has not shown any kind of overall strategy for the safety, security and return of our troops as well as the peace and stability in that region.
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>> this is all going on overseas. there's an impeachment trial that could be underway in the senate, but also we're 34 days away from the iowa caucus. the presidential campaign. you've been in this race for 333 days. at this point in time you haven't qualified for the january 14th debate in des moines. andrew yang called for polls to be done out of the states here. do you agree with him? what would your message be to the dnc? >> let's be clear, we're seeing local media covering it. we're surging in iowa. in a state where most people haven't made up their mind we're one of the most popular campaigns in the state. we're picking up county chair people and local mayors endorsing our campaign. we're seeing the signs of a surge. the problem is there hasn't been a poll in iowa since early november, kamala harris has dropped out. a lot has changed. i don't understand the dnc. clearly, anybody here, look at
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overflowing house parties, the energy we're getting, people see we're one of the campaigns most likely to upset in iowa. >> what would be your message? >> i'm not arguing with the ref. when i played football in stanford, my coach said focus on your mission. i'm playing hard every day hire. we're the top campaign in iowa for percentage of donations from iowa women. i do not understand, the debate right before the caucuses, one of the campaigns clearly that's the most competitive, not to have me on the stage makes no sense. again, not arguing with the refs. i'm focusing on the game. our ground game here is better than anybody's in the state. >> 333 days you've been in this race. 34 days left. you went on the television airwaves yesterday in iowa. the first images that you see are photos of you back in newark, the place that you were mayor. because there's only 34 days left, i'll be more straightforward in my question. right now in iowa looking at
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polling, pete buttigieg, the mayor of south bend, indiana, is ahead. folks looking to him seeing those poll numbers, tell them 34 days out, why you, the former mayor of newark, should be the selection of theirs. >> again, polls here have never predicted who would win. usually iowa is a place for upsets to happen. we haven't seen a poll here since early november. >> why you over pete buttigieg? >> i will not even talk about pete buttigieg. this isn't the time for democrats to attack other democrats. this is who i am. we created impossible change in new jersey's largest city, transformed it, from its education system, creating tens of thousands of jobs during a recession, bringing people together. working with republicans across the aisle. went to washington, d.c., the only major bipartisan bill to pass under this president is one i led from the democratic side for criminal justice reform. you want the guy that brings people together, revive the obama coalition, we'll need black and brown voters to beat him. i'm the best person not only to
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beat donald trump, but make sure north carolina, south carolina, georgia, arizona, we have the record turnout we need to get mitch mcconnell back to the back benches. >> where are you headed now? >> an incredible house party. >> a house party outside of ankeny. >> this is the way you campaign in iowa. the way i beat the machine in newark, grassroots, getting people energized. a number of house parties. this is the way to do it in iowa. >> senator, thank you. >> i've got to love -- >> yasmin, that's senator cory booker. >> i have to love the way that he played football at stanford. a lot of people in the studio didn't know that. fantastic interview, vaughn, appreciate it. i want to turn to to fillippe reines.
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i want to get your reaction to what we heard from the senate? >> i had the same reaction. he made news by saying he played football at stanford. as soon as i finish here, i'm hitting wikipedia: when we started, we had 25, 26 people that wanted to run for president. at the end of the day, all but one are going to lose. it's going to take a while for that to happen. you've got 34 more days to iowa. i think the distinction -- cory booker is a great senator. we would do great if he was our nominee, same with amy klobuchar, same with pete buttigieg. i'll -- i'm eat not going to name all 18. i'll deal with it on twitter later. the difference s i think there's a lot of comparisons made to howard dean in 2003 where people thought he was this juggernaut and iowa upended the race and exposed him for not being the solid front-runner. there's a few differences here,
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in that you have four very solid front-runners. you have obviously vice president biden, elizabeth warren, mayor buttigieg and elizabeth warren. the odds that one of them would stumble and none of the other three pick it up seem very far fetched to me. the other thing to remember in 200 p is that howard dean lost iowa and it didn't become a free-for-all. john kerry won and really never looked back after that. >> i want to get you to weigh in on what the front-runner, former vice president joe biden said when asked about a possible running mate and saying he would consider a republican. let's take a listen to that. >> the answer is i would, but i can't think of one now. no, no, no, no, no. i'm serious. here is what i mean. let me explain that. there's some really decent republicans that are out there still. but here is the problem right
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now, the well-known ones, they've got to step up. >> he would but can't think of one philippe. >> i think joe biden grew up in a world where you sat across the aisle from people that you might have liked better than others. the problem is i don't think we live in that world anymore. the question is, whether democratic voters, primary voters want to hear that as opposed to, i'm going to pick as a vice president -- don't forget. he also said he would pick a woman or a person of color. i think of those three attributes. i'm not really sure if he means a republican black woman. if he doesn't, he needs to square what he's looking for with what the primary electorate is looking for. >> philippe reines thank you. american air strikes kill dozens in southern iraq. the president puts the blame on iran. what this means for america's involvement in the greater
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middle east coming up next. you're watching msnbc. g msnbc. hi i'm joan lunden.
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bagdad. defense secretary mark esper releasing a statement this hour saying additional u.s. forces will be sent in to support personnel inside of that embassy, and calling on the iraqi government to fulfill its international responsibilities to help keep americans in the area south. also hearing that from secretary of state mike pompeo.
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a defense official telling nbc news approximately 100 marines will be deployed. hans nichols is with the president in pooecwest palm bea. also want to bring in colonel jack jacobs, medal of honor recipient. hans, this is a new development since we spoke at the top of the hour. >> gives you the sense of gravity, seriousness. they're planning to send 100 additional marines from within the middle east, centcom. there are apache attack helicopters up in the air. that's another indication of how seriously the pentagon is taking this. there are a lot of forces in the area, over 40 to 50,000 in the entire middle east. i would note there's a marine unit, a fighting force that lives on top of a big deck, amphibious assault ship that is steaming east through the
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mediterranean. it could be there in a couple of days. it gives the sense of the force the u.s. could bring to bear, taking this very seriously. we're here traveling with the president in south florida. the president went to his golf club which is fairly standard. he usually stays there for a couple hours. it's a beautiful day, a perfect day for golf. the president has left mar-a-lago and he was there for less than an hour. that could be an indication they're planning next steps. as we know, the president has been clear on twitter holding iran to blame, saying iran and tehran and the leadership in tehran will be held accountable. >> i don't know a lot about golf. i do know you don't golf for less than an hour. that's usual afour or five-hour game. colonel jack, i want to go to you on this next one. this is somewhat reminiscent of over the summer when there was major escalation, some minimal troop deployment as well. there was the shooting down of the drone and a lot of back and forth between iran and the united states, all surrounding the jcpoa.
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what do you make of the most recent escalation we've seen over the last 72 hours and the latest statement from mark esper? >> i don't think the administration is going to shy away from continuing attacks on the militias who are proxies of iran. but i think that the administration's principle objective is to blunt the encroaching influence of iran strategically in the region. to that extent, these tactical situations from time to time will react to those. but i think the administration is looking longer term at preventing iran from continuing to influence the region. to that extent i think you're liable to see lots more sanctions on iran, sanctions on individuals, both among the militia and inside iran, and also sanctions on actors,
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countries and companies who skirt the restrictions on iran. i think we'll see lots more of that in order to influence iran to back off. >> colonel, you've got sharif meeting with lavrov on monday, a mutual condemnation of these attacks on iran saying they together are focused on regional stability. you have russian president vladimir putin calling president trump over the holidays for thank him for helping thwart attacks. is russia playing two sides of the coin here and ultimately playing the united states in this situation? >> well, yes. this is typical russian modus operandi. they've been influencing and trying to extend their influence in the region as well. to do that, they've gotten closer to iran and vice versa when their objectives coincide, and you can see what's happened,
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especially since the administration started out by saying, suggesting and saying directly we were less interested in stability in the region than withdrawing troops and withdrawing our influence from the region. it didn't take that to get russia involved, but surely russia and iran are working together to extend their influence in the region against our interests. >> hans nichols, colonel jack jaco jacobs, thank you. happy new year, by the way. take warning. a look at the rise of hate speech and attacks? the united states and how they might impact the 2020 presidential election. you're watching msnbc.
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welcome back. the man accused of stabbing five people at a hanukkah celebration in a new york suburb is now facing federal hate crime charges of officials say the suspect had searched online for hitler-related topics. our guest is a political reporter for npr who covers culture and demographics. ruth marcus is editorial page director at "the washington post."
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the weekend stabbing illustrating a pretty ugly fact in this country, hate crimes are definitely on the rise. the fbi hate crime report for 2018 released just last month found attacks motivated by bias rose to a 16-year high in that year alone. what is your sense as to why this is happening now? >> that's a really big question that probably has a lot of different answers. and i think we need to think about the role of social media. i think we need to think about the ability, as you saw, if you read the complaint against the man who is charged in the attack, the ability of social media not just to incite these kinds of feelings but to provide information. he was googling zionist synagogues near this place or near that place or what are companies that are big companies
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that have been founded by jews. and i think you have to also talk about the broader nature of the way we talk about other people and people that we disagree with, starting at the top with our president, though obviously i'm not saying he's responsible for this. and then i think we need to talk about different forms of hate crimes. anti-semitism is one that's particularly persistent and this one illustrates that it comes from multiple different sources. there is white supremacist anti-semitism. there is antise se-semitism fro left. this man is african-american and seems to have a history of mental illness. so there is so many -- it's such a stew of hatred that i don't think you can point to one thing. but i think we can all agree this is a really sad and unfortunate place for us to be in as we start a new decade.
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>> and speaking of anti-semitic attacks and sticking with that, of religious-based crimes, more than 50% were anti-jewish. congressman nita low ew and davd harris write in a column in "the new york times," "we need to recognize this as what it is, an epidemic. we must acknowledge there are multiple ideological sources feeding this paroxysm " -- sorry, i'm mispronouncing that -- "paroxysm of hate. some critics look to exploit the issue to undermine their political opponents. that is no way to deal with anti-semitism. there is no one size fits all profile for the perpetrators of the attacks." what is your sense here, in hearing this? >> so to talk about the politics a little bit, one of the things i found particularly interesting
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over the weekend is the canvas of how folks responded. you heard a number of high profile leaders including the president coming out and speaking forcefully, condemning these attacks. some house democrats were critical of president trump for insufficiently speaking out against anti-semitism. they point to a long history of comments from the president, saying he needs to come out forcefully and condemn this. one of the questions i have as we move, as ruth notes, into a new decade and a new election, whether we'll hear more difference from democrats seeking the presidency this weekend, who really stuck to sending condolences and outrage but not pointing any fingers and suggesting what the cause for this horrible attack was. >> ruth, as we see more of these incidents happen, and this uptick in hate crimes, will this be a major issue in 2020 and should it be a major issue come
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2020? >> i think what's happening to our society and the ability to disagree with any degree of respect and civility should be a major issue. and obviously when you get to violence and hate crimes, it's even more, and everybody should be talking about it, candidates and others. >> thank you to you both and happy new year, by the way. coming up, the u.s. embassy attack, president trump blaming iran as protesters storm the u.s. compound in baghdad. cut. liberty mu... line? cut. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. cut. liberty m... am i allowed to riff? what if i come out of the water? liberty biberty... cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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that wraps up this hour of "msnbc live." my friend geoff bennett picks you want coverage from washington, d.c. we keep doing this, we keep tossing back and forth. >> it's the best part of my day, yasmin, great to see you. great to see you as well. i'm geoff bennett on a busy day in washington. under attack. the u.s. embassy compound in baghdad was stormed by protesters. this morning the president put iran on notice, tweeting the country will be held fully responsible. plus trial and tribulations. the impeachment battle heath up over the holidays as president trump accuses democrats of doing anything to keep joe biden from appearing before the senate as democrats push for administration officials to testify. and the roaring 20s. moments


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