tv Velshi MSNBC August 21, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
america is evacuated all the brave afghan who aided america during the war. the reassurances in biden's rhetoric appeared to be in contrast to the situation unfolding in afghanistan and especially in kabul in and around the international airport. where chaotic scenes continue to play out. yesterday for at least an 8-hour span, the chaos included no evacuation flights taking off because qatar we are evacuees were initially sent reached capacity. nbc news learned on a briefing call defense secretary lloyd austin acknowledged reports of americans harassed and beaten by the taliban as they tried to escape the country. even though part of biden's evacuation strategy is an agreement bide american america has with the taliban to get americans and others to the airport. the taliban is in possession of billions of dollars in u.s.
military weapon as and equipment. including two black hawk helicopters. joining me now helen cooper. the biden administration has been criticized for its strategy, its planning leading up to the fall of afghanistan. and now a major part of the evacuation strategy is this agreement with the taliban. on thursday here on msnbc you described the feeling inside the pentagon as, quote, a level of despair and depression i haven't seen in a long time and people are angry and distraught. are there concerns inside the pentagon the administration is being, i don't know, outplayed by the taliban? >> well, the administration -- thank you for having me. the administration is trying to walk a really fine line right now, which is what you are seeing. they have agreement taliban commanders, including the -- some of the commanders close to
hamid karzai international airport that they will let in afghans -- afghan allies of the united states who are desperate to get out of the country, that they -- and more pb specifically americans trying to get out of the country. the administration is pinning a lot of its hopes on those. but at the same time you see the exact same image -- they're seeing the exact images on the streets of kabul and getting the same reports you're getting of instances where some taliban fighters are harassing, beating up, i mean at the airport, you see lots of scenes we have lots of reports of people at the airport getting beat up by taliban fighters. so the same kind of -- they don't necessarily have the same kind of command and control structure over their own fighters that the united states must walk. for the administration, though, they don't want to go out and say taliban stop beating up our
people, et cetera, et cetera in a very forceful way, lest they alienate the commander who are helping. they are stuck in limbo where they are not directly criticizing the taliban because they want to keep the little bit of cooperation they are getting flowing. but at the same time, you know, they end up in a position where they're seeing -- paining this happy picture and the reality on the ground is anything but. >> after that 8-hour halt at the airport yesterday, evacuation flights have now resumed. the pentagon now says that flights are heading to countries other than qatar, including to ramants air base in germany. a total of 11 aircraft arrived there. you have tens of thousands of more people who want to be evacuated. do we know yet? does the pentagon have a plan
where any plan to send the thousands of people still coming out of afghanistan? what are you hearing? >> the pentagon has bases -- designated three bases here in the united states i think ft. bliss, ft. leeann one other one i can't remember off off the top of my head where they could take afghan refugees. but it era that very story says everything you would ever want to know about the united states, which is a nation of immigrants, and is -- the country that went to war in afghanistan and yet because of the bureaucracy and because of how hard it is to get. >> yes. >> a visa to the united states, and how hard it is to get refugee status here, the sort of hoops you have to jump through, the fact that we're filling up qatar and then looking at other countries to help us out with this influx is kind of crazy. we have plenty of space here. we have bases to take them. we have places here that we could take them.
but it becomes a matter of the state department wants to vet all the people. that's part of the reason why you see thousands of people at hamid karzai international airport not let in because they haven't been vet the. you have all the people who have been vetted being let in but not taking them -- they're in the- there is no place to take them because qatar -- you can see why yesterday said we've taken thousands now. we're full. look to somewhere else. >> and also you have people like steven miller engining up anti-refugee outrage in the u.s. helene, thank you so much. >> thank you. a rogue's gallery of donald trump allies swearing up and down that if the ex-president was still in office he would have presided a perfect exit
from afghanistan. and he would have gotten all the interpreters and translators out safely. that doesn't sound true. but there is someone knowing it's not the case and she was there in the trump administration when the issue came up. elizabeth troy who served. there were cabinet meeting about this during the administration where steven million miller they would undermine anyone working on solving the special immigrant visa issue. pence was fully aware of the problem. we got nowhere because trump and steve. miller had watch dogs at doj, and state. that made it more tralg calking she went ton to say quote the fear of people across the trump administration to counter enablers was palpable.
olivia troy joins me also director of the republican accountability project. olivia thanks for coming on this morning. for our viewers please elaborate your role in the special immigrant visa process for the previous administration and the exact road blocks you say you ran into. >> hi, nice to see you again. i served as former vice-president pence's homicide adviser and counterterrorism adviser. in that role because i was detailed from dhs i have significant understanding how the department works, now uscis works, the process for vetting works. i had worked on the executive orders that were issued under the trump administration during my career as a intelligence offers officered at dhs when trump was elected. i have seen this process the entire four years while i was in the -- you know as a career person and working around the administration while trump was in office. what i will say is this when it came to the topic of refugees especially, considering all the
anti-immigration policies being executed under the trump administration and everything that stephen miller pop gaited and pushed the refugee conversation was one of the toughest. it's a known thing across the united states government across people who worked on in issue that we were walking on eggshells whenever weld have the discussion. and these meetings were held working groups across the national security councils where people have state department dhs, many people were very vocal. the pentagon especially was vocal about the s.i.v, 32 people iraqis people in movingants helping our troops who still were waiting for years in the pipeline and then it slowly starts to slow down to a trickle. that is because the resources on the program were being gutted and moved around elsewhere. like i met with organizations. i met with refugee resettling organizations who work on the process. they would come to me and say, we're not seeing the contracts. we're not seeing the funding. what's happening here?
and so there was a clear delineation of what was exactly going on which is why it's so frustrating to me to watch these revisionist history narratives happening right now with some of these people that are pushing this rhetoric or saying that trump would have solved the problem. >> when we talk about some of the people, olivia a lot has to do with white nationalism, let's be honest. racism. stephen millers with a road block to afghan refuge eries in the white house. he was trying to get gin up and i refugee sentiment. >> exactly the case. if that were not the case you wouldn't go into these meeting and he would go off on where people would shocked at what he said. you can't be stephen miller and say -- he continues to make the statements publicly still today. but in the meetings he would say, what is it you want? you want a bunch of literally
rocks and sands across the united states. i'll never forget the comments because they were military officers, career intelligence officers like me who served on the ground these people were our life lines we kwont have done it without them. and these people deserved to come to america. we deserved to protect them because they protected us. we wouldn't have been able to do anything without them. >> and a reminder to viewers stephen miller is the great grand child of jewish immigrants who fled belarus and came to the u.s. the hypocrisy is calling. mike pence wrote an opinion piece for "the wall street journal" in which the biden administration disaster withdrawal is a foreign policy human humiliation under like anything our country uned caused allies to doubt dependability and emboldened enemies to test our resolve. he said weakness arouses evil. and speaks volumes about the
weaknesses of mr. biden. according to you mike pence knew what a mess it was in the trump administration inside afghanistan and yet still carries water for trump, tells lies on his behalf even now. >> he certainly nails it when i sates weakness arouses evil. we saw that in the trump administration. weakness by some of the major senior political people surrounding trump that led us to the situation pap and that contributes to the situation that president biden deals with today. i think, you know -- i don't know why mike pence continuing to fall in line with trumpism. i do know he did follow in issue closely, because he has a son in the military. he has a son-in-law in the military as well. he understand willings the importance of thisway the general said. at times i know we pushed back things like pompeo would say who fell right in line with people like stephen miller. i don't know. i have no -- no excuses and no words for why mike pence refuses
to come forward or change his tune. >> i suspect it's because -- i suspect it's because he is did he lewded and can still run for president in 2024. always a pleasure olivia. thank you for your insights. >> thanks for having me. next, the agony of watching the botched evacuation efforts in afghanistan, knowing there is little you can do to get your loved ones and interpreters out. i'll speak to two people who are not giving up. and terror in an age of social media, how the taliban using sophisticated social media practices for political gain. plus, as more children fall victim to the coronavirus, republican leaders are politicizing their health and safety. you're watching "velshi" on msnbc. do not go away. i" on msnbc. do not go away power, we can harness the energy of the tiny electron. we can create new ways to connect. rethinking how we communicate to be more inclusive than ever.
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whose personal story is our country's story, desperately trying to get friends and loved oneses out of afghan. he served two tours of duty in offing aants and worked as a civilian aid worker in 2006. working to get interpreters he worked with out of the country. thanks for joining me. during your deployment you met two people who worked as interpreters prior to the taliban taking control. you were helping them with their special immigrant visa applications. unfortunately those didn't come through in time. i believe they're in hiding. what can you tell us about your ongoing efforts to get them to safety? >> well, so even before this all kicked off i was trying to help them get their special immigrant visas. my friend, big, he had not applied because his -- well he had applied in 2015 and was originally just either rejected
or i don't know what. but this was right before the trump administration. so it very well might have been the muslim ban or their illegal stalling of the s.i.v. process that held him back backup and now come to 2021 and i had to help him apply completely all over again from scratch. and we are waiting on that. and all of a sudden the taliban took over. and now he had to abandon his home. he is now in hiding. he had to split up his family to try and lessen the chance that they would all be killed. and they are hiding at relatives' homes now. he can't work. >> awful. >> he had no access to money. he was working -- he was a very
accomplished attorney, working for the government. and of course now he can't work, so they have no income. i've been -- luckily we figured out a way -- yes. >> i was going to say, you've been on the ground in afghanistan. you've seen what it's like there. you're seeing the security situation right now and some of the images out of kabul airport. what do you want to see the biden administration do right now to help your friends and others? >> well, right now i -- i have just heard word that they have completely closed the gates to the airport. and before that they were not letting anybody in who didn't have a u.s. passport or green card. so they weren't letting in any of the former interpreters for hours before that. now i hear the gate's closed for the next 12 hours, for some vague security reasons. so they need to open the gates
right now. they need to stop messing around with paperwork. my friend still has not received a go ahead to even come to the airport. they need to grant all of these people all of our allies humanitarian parole and just let them come to the u.s. and then the -- the airport itself is secure. but the area around it is not at all. there are taliban checkpoints. my friends are afraid to even try to get to the airport because they have been searched before at taliban checkpoints. luckily they were able to escape that. but they -- they don't want that to happen again. and the u.s. right now is doing nothing about that. you know, we have a huge troop presence there. but nothing is being done to -- to secure some kind of safe
passage. >> well, we can only hope that that safe passage is secured for people who helped you and colleagues on the ground, helped this country. we'll have to leave it there. thank you for your time this morning. coming up at 10:30 eastern, the pentagon is holding a news conference. when that gets underway msnbc will bring it to you live. but coming up next, students are starting another school year during a deadly pandemic. this time around, children seem to be at higher risk of getting seriously ill. that's next on "velshi." that's next on "velshi." your mi: stand up to moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. and take. it. on... ...with rinvoq. rinvoq a once-daily pill can dramatically improve symptoms... rinvoq helps tame pain, stiffness, swelling. and for some rinvoq can even significantly reduce ra fatigue. that's rinvoq relief. with ra, your overactive immune system attacks your joints.
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republican-led governments seem almost opposed to the what's in the public's best interests. as of wednesday u.s. hospitals treated an average of more than 1,200 kids a day, twice the number they tended to at the end of july. in texas, the president of a medical center in houston says that 18% of his facilities' new covid case this is month are children, which is one out of almost every five patients. in mississippi nearly 25,000 students have had to be quarantined since the start of august due to covid exposure. and in the last two weeks close to 6,000 of those mississippi students have tested positive. that's according to the state's own data. plus more and more school districts in florida are imposing classroom mask mandates in spite of the threat from governor distant toys issue financial sanctions against those who defy his ban on mask mandates. hey, all in the name of freedom, though, right? joining me now is dr. irwin red
lenner, the director of the national center for disaster preparedness. doctor, thanks for coming on the show this morning. if it were up to you, how would school districts be handling the covid crisis? >> well, the idea is that whoever is handling it, we need to to be a, mandating vaccinations for all teachers and adult workers at every school, we should mandate masks for children, especially in younger grades when it's filled with kids under 12 not eligible for the vaccine at all. and we should follow all of the public health rules. if a school district has to confront a governor whose cravon political agenda or ignorance about the disease is in their way, they need to figure out how to go it on their own. i think president biden promised to support school systems that
are willing to go ahead and institute their own mandates. and those schools need to do that. it's really for the safety and wellbeing of our children. and couldn't be more critical at this moment given all the data you just cited. >> you tweeted on thursday about florida's handling of masks in schools. and i quote, allowing kids in school without mandating that all teachers and staff be be vac vaccinated is reckless and immediate threat to safety of our children. desantis's policies based on presidential aspirations amounts to gross criminal negligence. lock him up. you work in public health. is this the first time in our lifetime we are seeing american politicians be so openly brazenly willing to sacrifice the health of american kids for the sake of partisanship and politics? >> well, i mean, i think the evidence is pretty clear. i mean, not that i know whether or not -- i'm not a lawyer i
don't know whether or not he can be taken to court. but from a public health point of view and for the harm he has been causing many, many children, and others for that matter, in the state of florida, he needs some reckoning. i don't know what it should be. but it sounds like what a layman might think of as criminal negligence to be so blatantly opposed to the things we know will save lives. i just -- i fail to get it. maybe, you know, something else will come out. but in the meantime we need to call him into account. >> yeah, it's -- it's appalling. pfizer and moderna have been working on clinical trials for kids under the age of 12. and looks like pfizer will have enough data by the end of september to support emergency use authorization for its vaccine in kids 5 to 11. what do you have to say to those who confuse emergency use authorization with some sort of untested experimental drug that we shouldn't put into our kids?
>> well, it's a really good question. and i think what we would tell those people, what i do tell the people all the time is the emergency use authorization is not a shoddy, second-class way of approving a drug. it's a drug approval process that is absolutely required in a time of emergency. it's not like they -- the pfizer or moderna have issued a new drug and are saying let's get it done for tomorrow. it's still a pretty grueling process, really. and all kinds of tests, trials and assurances that the drug or the vaccine in this case will be safe. knows are underway. and there will be no emergency use authorization until a lot of people, a lot of experts are satisfied that it's both safe and effective. i think it's coming. can't come soon enough, in my view. >> and you are a pediatrician. what do you say to those people, even the liberals saying even now well kids are low risk and
schools aren't superspreaders. what yoes response. >> well that's old news. kids used to be relatively low risk. i'm actually just writing about this today. but the fact is that we've had an explosion of cases in children that have put many in the hospital and many in intensive care units. so that -- those old views about kids are protected are gone. we need to move on from that and under the reality of what we're -- what we're dealing with. this delta variant has caused tremendous amount of trouble with rapid spread in communities and especially communities that are -- that are unvaccinated or undervaccinated. in those communities where there is low vaccination rates and a lot of community spread. >> yes. >> everybody and particularly children are in danger. >> they are indeed. dr. irwin red lenner thank you for your analysis this morning.
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derek face staffing shortages and child care costs rise. and it might be holding parents back from returning to work. nbc news senior business correspondent stephanie ruhle has more >> for working mom portia she can't afford full-time care. >> it's costing more than my mortgage. >> it's up 30%. >> i'm trying to find if i can do a combination of derek at a different location, hiring in-person care and starting my day earlier to watch her. it's actually horrific. >> for the 27 million americans who need child care in order to work, it's a hefty expense. for young children averaging $250 per week. or $13,000 a year. that cost could rise as four out of every five child care centers say they don't have enough staff. and some are paying more to hire workers. >> the biggest challenge right now is finding and retaining high-quality staff. >> during the pandemic more than
a third of workers lost jobs and some never returned to child care centers that pay around $12 an hour. >> this was always a challenge for the child care industry. child care providers are really notoriously undervalued and underpaid. but things have gotten worse as these child care facilities are now having to compete with higher wages offered by a lot of large multinational corporations hoot are also facing worker shortages. >> rose curbing overseas 11 child care centers in new jersey. >> we had close a number of of programs and our rooms. >> how come? >> because we don't have enough staff at this time. we're down about 50 staff in early childhood ed -- education. and we are down about probably 40 to 50 staff in school age child care as well. >> wow. >> to find workers sheance inned starting pay by $2 an hour, until she has more staff, the waiting list of nearly 40
families will likely grow. the federal government provided over $$53 billion in relief for child care and early education. president biden wants 450 billion as part of his build back agenda. including capping child care costs for families. investing in child care centers and raising the minimum wage for workers to $15 an hour. >> if we don't find relief somehow, whether it's governmental or business, it will have long-term effects on our business. and how families are able to continue working and continue improving their communities. >> thank you stephanie ruhle for that reporting. okay. enough of the doom and gloom for one moment, because my colleague tiffany cross is going to bring us comedic relief on the cross connection. tell us who you have lined up this morning >> that's right, mehdi. funny man the entertainer degi la ray wanted to flip the script and give you something to
different to consume. you know about female friendship i was a die hard sex in the city fan and the new show johnson highlights the bond between a group of black men friends since childhood and are now navigating their complicated adult lives with humor, of course. so we have all of that. we're getting to some serious topics of course. but we have all of that coming up in the second hour of cross connection. i'm delighted to share the screen with you this morning. i hope we can do this in person one day very soon. >> i hope so too. and i have to say as a parent, cedrick the entertainer was great in madagascar. i loved him in that. say hello to him from me. thank you have a great show. >> thank you. >> make sure to join her at the top of the hour. join tiffany at the top of the hour for the cross connection here on msnbc. most americans of a vern vintage remember two distinct eras of american society, preand
post 9/11. this author argues most things happening since 9/11 can be traced back to that date. even the rise of donald trump in our politics. that's ahead on "velshi." don't go away. n "velshi. don't go away. we can explore uncharted waters, and not only make new discoveries, but get there faster, with better outcomes. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change-- meeting them where they are, and getting them where they want to be. faster. vmware. welcome change. it only takes a second for an everyday item to become dangerous. tide pods child-guard pack helps keep your laundry pacs in a safe place and your child safer. to close, twist until it clicks. tide pods child-guard packaging. i'm still wowed by what's next. even with higher stroke risk due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem.
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that's because you all have the same internet. xfinity xfi. so powerful, it keeps one-upping itself. can your internet do that? the 20th anniversary of 9/11 is fast approaching. and it's even more poignant this year given the situation in afghanistan. after 9/11 and the launch of a so-called global war on terror, xenophobia and specifically islamaphobia became rampant in the u.s., in politics, media and public life. we had to be protected from the dangerous brown hordes at our borders. it helped donald trump to be elected president. spencer ackerman author of the aclaumd new book, reign of terror, argues the u.s. handling of 9/11 opened the doors to the
age of trump and trumpism. he writes, quote, trump recognized that the 9/11 era grotesque subtext, the perception of non-whites as mar audioers, conquerors from hostile foreign civilations what is its engine. the author joins me now. spencer, thanks for joining me this morning. you open the book with the story of oklahoma city bomber timothy mcveigh and how white terrorists have been treated diplomatly than foreign terrorists. i was thinking about that. and friday a man charged with threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction. how different the reaction from politicians and pundit it's would have been if he was a brown dude with a big beer and black flag? >> yeah, well said, mehdi. so first off, there would have been calls to remove him from
trial to execute him. there would calls to perhaps detain, possibly without charge. there would have been immediate demands to investigate all of his associates. there would law enforcement going to all of his associates. and then also to their associates. there would have been calls to pass new laws that expand the remit of government surveillance and prosecutorial power to in order to make sure that people who might have remotely given funds to organizations that he was also associated with would have been there -- basically an effort to criminalize not just him not just his immediate associates that might have contributed to his plot but also people assumed to be in some important sense like him from where his ancestors were from and so on. we see the war on terror in his politics by those it exempts.
when we look at the exception we can better understand the rule and how it works. >> indeed. instead there's been silence from vast chunks of our political and media sectors. you write, spencer, trump's indistinct for violence extended from his rallies where he offered to post bail for those beating up protesters. the path blized by the white supremacist for steve king, trump ambled down it. how in the post-9/11 era do we get to the point where white supremacy has violently unapology etically taken center stage. because there are cold war era hocks and neoconservativives and liberal interventionist to sign up to the war on terror. but never signed up to the open and ugly racism of the trump agenda, did they? >> no, but they facilitated it. the war on terror is a tragedy.
it's not so much a conspiracy. it's the story of very old and ugly and deeply ingrained forces in american history finding renewed expression and pathways to power based on in atmosphere of fear and civilationle anxiety. ultimately, the people who don't want a war on islam, who think that's disgusting, who don't want torture and don't want the rather baroque abuse sees of the war on terror nevertheless give knows who do every opportunity and tool they could possibly want. it's important to reckon with that. >> it is so important to reckon with that. i'm not sure that reckoning has happened. but this has been a week of reckoning, spencer. stick around, stick with me. after a quick break, we're going to carry on this conversation, talk about afghanistan, the taliban's media blitz, the social media blitz. and former fbi agent clint watts will be joining our
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mark zuckerberg was just 17. but as "the washington post" points out, today's taliban is sophisticated and uses social media practices that rarely violate the rules. spencer ackerman is back with us and clint watts, former fbi agent and national security analyst and author of "messing with the enemy: surviving in a social media world of hackers, terrorists, russians, and fake news." clint, let me start with you. the tactics overall shows such a high degree of skill that analysts believe at least one public relations firm is advising the taliban how to focus on key themes, much like corporate and political campaigns do across the world. are you surprised, clint, how savvy the taliban is online? >> no. i think we sometimes forget, mehdi, that the taliban, even going back 20 years was a very effective communicator inside afghanistan. separately, they've been working
and sending out envoys for years to places like qatar to do negotiations. they've been behaving more like a state. they have scaling and organization. there's a distinct difference between what the taliban looks like and what you see from al qaeda or isis. they're using coordination. they definitely may be getting support, some professional services, but they're not the online mobs that you would see of al qaeda and isis because their content really isn't that engaging, not in the way we used to think of most extremist groups. >> clint, i have to ask, you worked for the fbi, you worked counterterrorism. did you support the biden and trump withdrawal plan, the decisions to pull out all troops from afghanistan by the end of this month? >> mehdi, the first thing i wrote publicly in 2007 was about how we should not do a surge in
afghanistan. i've always thought that it was not going to end well. i thought the war should've been wound down five to six years ago. but in a much organized -- more organized way. i think the way it's been done starting from the start of 2020 where the trump administration started making unilateral moves that were very consequential to what we see now. the biden administration flat-footed. this was going to be the case. you pick an artificial time line of september 11, 2021, without having a plan to do that. >> spencer, you've written this book, "reign of terror" about the 20-year war on terror. you reported from afghanistan. what do you say to people who say we just needed some more time? we just needed more time to do this. i assume you're skeptical of that claim? >> yeah.
i would say that no 20-year war is won in year 21 or year 22 or year 23, and that what we have to understand is that the strength of the taliban is a result of the war. it is how the taliban ultimately reamassed power, control, updated their tactics, techniques, and procedures, and ultimately gathered strength. the war didn't hurt the taliban. we've gotten used to a parade of generals claiming that the war was stalemated when we quickly see it was not, in fact, stalemated it makes now to consider any year previously that we would have perhaps withdrawn, ultimately the taliban wouldn't have been as strong as they are now. this was no ability for the u.s. to win the war. the only thing that would have made today's reckoning less horrific is ceasing to have fought the war long ago. >> yes.
but unfortunately, that didn't happen. last night on all in, i said the case for domestic terrorism is greater than foreign jihadists because they don't have certain members of congress or a certain ex-president. am i wrong? >> that's absolutely correct. domestic extremism on scale is worse than international terrorism. yes, we should be watching and seeing what's going on in afghanistan. but right now in this country, the number of plots, the number of i want that we see, particularly at capitol hill and other locations -- we got anti-mask protests, anti-vaccine protests, people going back to work, unemployment benefits ending. this is a powder keg for domestic extremist and attacks going into the fall and i'm just hoping that law enforcement and homeland security -- they seem to at least recognize it now as
opposed to a year ago. i'm hoping they can stay in front of this because it's definitely a top concern in terms of homeland and national security in many ways. >> spencer, almost out of time. last word to you. some civil libertarians say we're going to use the failed techniques and tools on the war on terror to go after domestic terrorism. is that a concern you share? >> it is. we should not have a war on terror on what we're calling domestic terrorists. it doesn't work. it will amplify their propaganda and inevitably these tools will be used against other americans once the allies of those, quote, unquote, domestic extremists get back into political power. i just want to say real quick, the determine "domestic terrorism" is a terrible term. we should call things what they are, white supremacist terrorism, nationalist terrorism, fascist terrorism. that's what exist. that's what we're talking about. we're not talking about domestic terrorism and we can't conceal that. >> well said, totally agree with
you. spencer ackerman, clint watts, thank you both for your insights this morning. appreciate it. that does it for me. thanks for watching. my friend maria theresa kumar is sitting in for ali tomorrow. you can find me on msnbc every sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. tomorrow i'm joined by mary trump and climate activist greta thunberg. "the cross connection with tiffany cross" starts right now. good morning, everybody. lots of breaking news this morning. but we begin "the cross connection" with that frantic exodus out of afghanistan. now, we're expecting an update from the pentagon shortly and we'll bring it to you here live. new this morning, the u.s. embassy in kabul is warning american citizens to not travel to the airport unless specifically instructed to do so. now, this is due to potential security threats outside the
gates. this latest alert comes after president biden responded to questions about security yesterday. >> the military has secured the airport, as you mentioned, but will you sign off on sending troops into kabul to evacuate americans who haven't been able to get to the airport safely? >> we have no indication that they haven't been able to get in kabul through the airport. we've made an agreement with the taliban thus far they've allowed them to go through. it's in their interest for them to go through. >> u.s. military aircraft evacuated at least 13,000 people since the taliban took over kabul last week. now, as the u.s. scrambles to find new evacuation routes for the refugees, the desperation to leave is palpable. this is a baby being passed to u.s. soldiers. the military says that baby has been safely reunited with family after receiving medical care. while outside the walls of the kabul airport, people pleaded at the gates to be let in, and