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tv   The Rundown With Jose Diaz- Balart  MSNBC  April 23, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PDT

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the family picture. >> i learn that you, joe, want a smart gun or believe in smart guns and cecily strong is going to kill it i think. >> she's going to crush. >> it thank you for having me on your show. >> mika came on my show and interviewed so it was so good. >> joe, what did you learn? >> just a giant corrupt quid pro quo. >> it's "morning joe," stick around, "the rundown" is straight ahead. and good thursday morning to you, i'm jose diaz-balart. first on "the rundown," a major day for justice? america. we're following overnight developments in several high profile legal cases. we have updates from baltimore, ferguson and detroit. all cities where law enforcement action is under scrutiny. in boston, the sentencing phase for the convicted boston marathon bomber is resuming as jurors see this video of dzhokhar tsarnaev making an obscene gesture to a camera inside his prison cell. a key player of course, in all those story lines is the nation's top cop. that's where we begin this
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morning. the historic vote by the full senate expected today for attorney general nominee loretta lynch. i want to bring in peter alexander at the white house this morning. peter, good morning. this is something the white house has been waiting for since november. >> that's right. we've witnessed all sorts of delays, all sorts of partisan fighting here. loretta lynch expected to get that vote in the senate. it should happen in the 2:00 hour today. there is a procedural vote that will happen before noon. she would become the first african-american woman attorney general. republicans as you're aware have not challenged lynch's credentials or her record. the biggest complaint for them has been with her support of the president's immigration actions last year that senate republicans said the president was going beyond his constitutional authority. lynch, of course was named as eric holder's replacement, as you said back in november. the path finally cleared for a vote by the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell after the senate approved an anti-sex trafficking measure yesterday. all 46 democrats are expected to
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support lynch's nomination and there will also likely be five republicans who join them including senator's hatch, flake, lindsey graham of south carolina susan collins and mark kirk as well. again, that's expected to take place a little bit later today. shortly after 2:00 p.m. >> peter, we're learning of a major security flaw in the protection of former president george h.w. bush? what can you tell us about that? >> that's exactly right. this is the report that comes from the homeland security office of inspector general. the report just coming out earlier today. basically what it says is there was a problem with the security system, the alarm system at the home, the houston home of george h.w. bush and his wife barbara bush. that five years ago a secret service employee noted that said the system in place was too old and needed to be fixed but for some reason that request was rejected. ultimately in september of 2013 the alarm system broke down all together and it was 13 months before it was replaced. during the course of that time,
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the secret service added another agent to the site to rotate positions around the home and there were no security breaches that took place during that time. this morning i spoke to a spokesperson for the secret service who says that they have already followed up on that and they have gone forward with the recommendations from the inspector general's office. a short time ago i got a statement from a representative for the bush family who says george and barbara bush have total confidence in the men and women of the secret service, the trust in them is as unshakable as it is unbreakable. jose? >> peter alexander. 13 months to fix it. concerning. thank you. we're keeping a close eye on the senate floor. they'll gavel in in just about 30 minutes. but now to developing news surrounding the shooting death of michael brown, the incident that sparked protests in ferguson, missouri and across the country last year. later this morning attorneys for brown's family will announce the filing of a wrongful death civil suit against the city of ferguson itself. it comes a month after the justice department found a
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pattern of racial bias in the city's legal system. we should remind people that darren wilson, the officer involved in brown's shooting was never charged with a crime. lawyers for brown's parents will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. eastern to discuss details of that suit. now to inkster, michigan, where interim police chief vicki jost has resigned effective immediately. her department has been under investigation since this video surfaced showing floyd dent being repeatedly punched during a traffic stop in january. the officer involved has been fired and is facing two felony charges. he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment earlier this week. and now to developing news from boston where court is resuming and the prosecution could rest its case today in the penalty face of the boston marathon bombing trial. this follows another day of dramatic developments. jurors heard more about this obscene jail cell gesture made by dzhokhar tsarnaev three months after his arrest. a deputy marshal testified he saw it while watching a
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surveillance camera but the defense played the video for the jury pointing out that the tsarnaev briefly flashed the gesture and was, it says not sending a message. there was emotional testimony from bombing survivor adrian haslet davis. she and her husband were severely injured. she temporarily lost hearing saying "i couldn't hear myself scream. i thought i was dead." she did something no other witness has done she glared at tsarnaev a few feet away as she left the witness stand. jurors heard for the aunt of chinese garage watts student ling zi liu. they cried after prosecutor's played a video of liu's father imagining what she'd tell them at her memorial service. >> dear dad and mom, don't cry, i love you. if there's an afterlife, i will be your daughter again. let's go to the federal courthouse in boston, nbc's ron
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not mott is there p. >> reporter: we're expecting the government might wrap up the penalty phase. half a doesen or so witnesses expected to testify today. we're expecting to hear more from victims. we have heard from three of the four people killed during the marathon week in 2013. it doesn't appear likely the parents of martin richard, the eight-year-old boy who was killed, are going to testify. last week they wrote that op-ed in the "boston globe" opposing the pursuit of the death penalty. so we're expecting to hear more aggravating factors the government wants to put before this jury and a question some people are starting to ask and a lot of legal experts don't believe the answer will be yes, is whether dzhokhar tsarnaev will take the stand to essentially show any sort of remorse at all. if there's anyone who is the best salesperson for that is perhaps dzhokhar tsarnaev himself. as it stands we expect that the defense once they goetz their side here on monday we believe that they're going to bring up people, some friends of his, to talk about the kind of young man he was before something went wrong with the relationship with
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his brother tamerlan. so a lot left to go in this phase. another couple weeks, jose. >> ron mott in boston. good to see you. now to baltimore where a fifth straight day of protests are expect after the death of a man in police custody. >> no justice, no peace! >> on wednesday, more than 100 people peacefully marched to police headquarters to speak out against the death of 25-year-old freddie gray who died of a severe spinal injury. adam reese has been following the protest from baltimore. adam, i understand there are calls for more independent investigations in this case? >> that's right, jose. good morning. they just don't trust the police here to police themselves despite the justice department inquiry and a local inquiry. they want an independent investigation. about 100 protesters last night made their way tow the western district police headquarters. fourth night in a row of protests. generally peaceful. at one point there was a tense standoff at the gates with the police, some bottles were thrown but the police generally
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restrained themselves. leaders of the protest calling for the mayor and the police commissioner to step down until this investigation works itself out. >> we want justice or it's never going to be no peace. >> we're killing our people and our blood is running in the streets and we're not going to let you be out here on the streets alone. >> if the young man went into the van all right, getsdsuess what? he should have came out okay. period. period. i feel for this family. i feel -- this could be my child. >> reporter: that's exactly what people want to know. what happened inside that van. the attorney for freddie gray's family told me last night they still have not received the reports of the interviews with the five officers that were done on the night of the arrest 11 nights ago. and for their part, the police union says the officers didn't break any laws and they did not need probable cause to make that arrest.
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now we plan on more protests today, tomorrow, and saturday a large one today that will be led by the pastor for the gray family. so we expect to see some family members, including his mother here today. jose? >> adam reese, thank you. we're just getting started on this thursday edition of "the rundown." up next, chris christie tells jimmy fallon he'll let people know if he's running for president as soon as next month. and jimmy asked him about his potential opponents. >> hillary's running, what do you think of these guys? >> all fine americans, jimmy. [ laughter ] >> see you're getting good. this is not the chris christie that i want. >> listen if i run, oh you'll find out exactly what i think of them. >> one of those potential opponents leads the pack in a new poll. we'll have the 2016 headlines for you after the break. and nothing says baseball like snow? some wild weather during the tigers/yankees game in detroit. there's more cold and wild weather on the way for about 14 million people today.
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>> i hate politics where people are programmed robots they all sound like charlie brown's teacher. they all sound the same. they say a lot of stuff about me, they won't say i sound like everybody else. i'll just be myself. if people like it, great, if they don't, i can get another job. >> see, that's what i'm talking about. i want this type of guy out there yelling at people. >> governor chris christie on the "tonight show" last night. the man once seen by many as the guy to beat has seen his popularity plunge in recent months and seeing several of his allies and advisors back jeb bush's likely presidential bid. still, christie is expected to
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announce a presidential run as soon as next month. a new poll shows chris christie running sixth, florida senator marco rubio holds the lead geting 15%. . scott walker slipped slightly but is still in double digits and this morning a accusations of another walker flip-flop on immigration this time over the legal immigration system in the u.s. with me now is benji sarlin and loren fox from the "national journal." lauren, a year and a half ago he was riding high how can he recover. >> i think he's going to make his pitch that he's a different candidate and has a different tone and message. that's what we saw on the "tonight show" last night. that's the environment he does well in going around to these town halls, he seems to connect with audiences. that's what he'll be looking for but he has a long way to go there are a lot of other energetic candidates who showed the poll with marco rubio leading that i think he'll have
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a hard time getting in front of. but an announcement can give you a little boost in the polls so we'll have to wait and see. >> clearly rubio's announcement gave him a bump. benji, tell us about the immigration issue with governor scott walker. >> sure. what's going on with scott walker is that for the most part in this campaign we've had a big debate over illegal immigration but not legal immigration. scott wachner an -- scott walkered said he had concerns about our legal immigration system and whether it promotes american workers. on its own this might not have been the biggest deal but he mentioned he was talking to alabama senator jeff sessions about this issue. now, jeff sessions is one of the senators most associated with the idea we could have less legal immigration in general. that legal immigrants in general tend to hurt workers and drag down wages. that's a boggs that for the most part republican leaders have shied very far away from. business groups a lot of republican donors for example the koch brother, the chamber of
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commerce are very very strongly pro-immigration in general and very, very sensitive to accusations that it drags down workers' wages or ben benefits or working conditions. so this is an interesting turn. i walked to walker's campaign. they stressed he's strongly supporting legal immigration, they said he was against "arbitrary caps that don't consider the economy." but it's noteworthy walker's staff is sending out links to reporters of a bunch of conservative outlets praising his words, many commentators and outlets are strongly against high levels of legal immigration. they've been much more explicit. so they don't mind basking there the praise on this issue. >> lauren how difficult will it were for walker to maneuver himself on if issue of immigration when he seems to have been different sides of the debate depending on the time. >> i think scott walker's
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challenge as with many of the other republicans, the challenge continues to be how do you win in primary and move a general election where you need to win latino voters in states like colorado and states like nevada so i think that will be part of the difficult challenge that system he and others have. but scott walker is going to have to reiterate that a shift isn't a complete flip-flop. i think his staff has done a good job of trying to manage the messaging here but it can be difficult as you move to early primary states where latino voters matter. >> and the general election whoever is in charge is going to have to deal with this issue very clearly. lauren fox and benji sarlin thank you both for being with me. >> thank you. >> thank you. dramatic video of a mexican teenager forcibly removed from her home. there she is being yanked out of her school. she was taken to the united states. the outcry led to an investigation and a reunion. it's a very complicated case.
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she's back home now in mexico with her real parents. plus check out these pictures from outside abilene, texas, as severe storms formed there. more severe weather on the way for today. we'll have that for you next. you know, in any job any profession image matters. i want some gray...but not too much. only touch of gray uses oxygen to gently blend away some gray but not all for that perfect salt and pepper look.
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>> very rough. very rough. i've been flying for 25 years. it's never been that rough. >> first time i've ever felt that way. it was bumpy and there are a few people who got ill. >> happy to be on ground after a long day, yeah. >> a boston ems spokeswoman says two people were taken to the hospital with what are believed to be minor injuries. a different scare for passengers on a united express flight operated by sky west. the plane was headed from chicago to connecticut when it made an emergency landing in buffalo, new york, yesterday after three passengers passed out. the faa says the crew reported a possible pressurization problem but the airline released this statement. "after examination by maintenance personnel and local authorities, there have been no indications of a pressurization problem or any other issues with the aircraft. our investigation is ongoing." the airline says passengers were evaluated by medical responders on the ground in buffalo and were released. now to an odd and horrible case of mistaken identity. it involves two families law enforcement in two countries, and a very confused innocent
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young girl. nbc's natalie morales reports. >> reporter: this is 14-year-old alandra luna screaming as mexican authorities remove her from school, pushing her into the backseat of a vehicle into the waiting arms of a woman all the while yelling "i'm not your daughter." >> in my arms for me it was my daughter. >> reporter: in texas, donatella garcia we certain she'd found her missing daughter since a visitation with her daughter in 2007. but it wasn't her. for more than seven years the desperate mom never stopped searching until, she says, she saw alondra luna on facebook. i was sure when i first saw her, i saw my daughter. >> reporter: she convinced mexican authorities it was her child. they seized her and sent her off to houston.
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>> translator: as you can see i'm in the united states of america. >> reporter: alondra luna was to say the least confused but like any 14-year-old she made a video telling her parents in mexico she was fine and not to worry. >> translator: we'll see each other soon. >> reporter: but the video offer will seizure in mexico caused such an outcry the foreign ministry ordered dna test which is came back on wednesday proving luna was not the the daughter. she was returned home to her very happy and relieved parents. >> i didn't mean to hurt anybody. i just want my baby back. and i was sure she was my daughter. >> reporter: a horrible case of mistaken identity leaving one family thankful they have their daughter back while a mother in texas continues to wait and hope. >> reporter: that was natalie morales reporting. what an odd story. now to weather.
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across the country, the threat of tornados subside today but look for things to get worse tomorrow and into the weekend. a powerful thunderstorm was caught on tape in louisiana. the wind strong enough to bring down trees and power lines. the weather service says this was not a tornado. today there's a risk of strong storms across the center of the country. look at the map. and around the great lakes, we're looking at an unusual cold snap. in fact it was so cold it was snowing at the yankees/tigers game in detroit. these aren't little snowflakes. this is like a real thing happening. didn't affect anybody but it may have, i don't know well we'll have to be the judge of that. two teams scored a combined ten runs in the first inning. also, some spectacular time lapse video to show you out of chile where a volcano has erupted for the first time in more than 40 years. take a look at this. a massive plume of ash poured into the sky. as of last night, no lava had been spotted. more than 4,000 people have been
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evacuated from nearby communities. a 12-mile safety zone has been established. the volcano has also forced officials to shut down schools and suspend fights over southern chile. pretty amazing pictures huh? still ahead, manhunt in paris. investigators are looking for possible accomplices after the arrest of a man allegedly plotting to attack one or more churches. plus yesterday's nbc's kate snow brought us the story of a transgender five-year-old named jacob. it's gotten so much attention online the response has been overwhelming so today kate snow shares a story of malice a, a transgender eight-year-old with a very supportive grandfather who also happens to be a u.s. congressman. skate snow will be with me next on "the rundown."
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hospital for good and move in with his mother full time. but only if a court agrees. nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell has more. >> reporter: good morning, jose. john hinckley is now permitted to spend 17 days a month with his mother in williamsburg virginia, but his doctors say he should be released full time with conditions. the government is fighting back in court. the man who tried to kill president reagan is back in court this morning as his lawyers argue he is clinically ready to be released from a mental institution. 34 years after he shot the president the, a secret service agent, a d.c. policeman and press secretary james brady. in court wednesday, john hinckley's brother and sister testified he is cured, ready to be free to live with their 89-year-old mother in williamsburg, virginia after used of unsupervised visits. >>. hinckley hinckley's brother cited hinckley's decision to leave a movie they were watching when he saw joid didie foster on screen.
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hinckley had written foster before the shooting saying he was doing it to impress her. current and former mental health workers agree he's not a threat. >> i don't think that he's a danger to anyone. >> reporter: but a government lawyer told the judge now is not the time to release the reins noting hinckley has written to other killer ted bund di and charles man son and recently lied saying he was at the movies when he was at a bookstore looking at books on assassination. former reagan aide rick ahern was there. he helped save jim brady's life. >> it's important to remember what this man did. he shot the president of the united states. he condemned jim brady to a lifetime sentence in a wheelchair, a life of pain. i feel he's a threat to society if he should be released from treatment without supervision of any kind. >> reporter: and this footnote there was such a public outcry after the jury back then accepted hinckley's insanity defense congress and many states changed laws to make it much
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harder now to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. a final decision on his plea to be released full time may not come for months. jose? now to a storyline getting a lot of reaction at multiple sclerosis nbc. the parents of transgender children going public with their very personal stories. kate snow brought us the story of five-year-old jacob yesterday. a child born female but says he always knew he was a boy. kate joins us now with the second part of her fascinating series. kate good morning. >> good morning, jose. there aren't reliable numbers on how many children are transgender but specialists say they're seeing more and more kids transition to the other gender at a young age. that usually means a new name new pro nouns, maybe a new school, changing clothing and it all has a big impact not just on the child but the whole family. >> reporter: mike honda is an involved grant pa. he was there when his granddaughter melissa was born. he goes to a lot of his grand
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kid's events including melissa's meets. she's a gymnast. >> they love him unconditionalbly. they know he's a funny, crazy goofy grandpa. >> reporter: back in february honda tweeted about eight-year-old melissa. >> as a proud grandpa of a transgender grandchild i hope she can feel safe at school without fear of being bullied. >> reporter: melissa was born in a boy's body. >> i think a lot of grandparents who are social media savvy talk about their grandchildren all the time. they post pictures about their grandchildren, their families. he did nothing different. >> reporter: except this was different because mike honda isn't just a grandfather -- >> he works with the president and he's a congressman. >> you have a very public job, member of congress you can choose to keep things private. why did you decide? >> i think there's a time when you have to determine when there's a good teaching moment
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and i think that was one of them. >> reporter: eight years ago michelle and travis welcomed a son into the world, but very early their child was insisting she was a girl. >> she chose her name when she was very young. it just felt right to her. >> how old was she when she did that? >> about two and a half three. >> young. >> very young. >> reporter: melissa drew pictures of herself as a princess with long hair then one halloween a family friend gave her a long dark wig. she was six. >> she put it on and she started to kind of pose and realizing, hmm, this matches. >> when you looked in the mirror, what did you see? >> i saw the person who i really was. >> reporter: so last summer her parents sent an e-mail to family and friends asking them to accept her as melissa. and they did. michelle and travis say melissa melissa's personalnalty changed. >> it was almost like a night and day.
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like a release. >> i'm actually the same as any other girl. >> reporter: her school and teachers have been supportive. >> i feel like the people who have known her prior it's just made sense, you're a girl. that's why you've acted -- >> reporter: it explains everything? >> right. >> reporter: melissa hasn't had surgery, she's too young. soon they have to think about whether she'll take hormone blockers to delay puberty. have you thought through whether you'll do anything with her hormones when she's approaching puberty? >> we're not going to jump the gun and rush into things. >> we have a pediatric endocrinologist, we have a therapist, her primary care physician, so we have people who are assessing her and then helping us make decisions. >> reporter: michelle and travis say they just want melissa to have a happy future. and melissa has these words of advice for parents out there. >> just let your child or friends be who they are. >>. >> reporter: pretty simple righting? >> uh-huh.
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>> reporter: melissa's family say they've eleven add lot and they hope their story promotes acceptance for transgender kids. congressman honda, grandpa, told me he believes the country is at a tipping point on this issue, jose. >> and, kate, have you been surprised by the overwhelming response to your stories? >> yeah it's been incredible. on social media we've had millions of people sharing both melissa's story now and the first story we told about, young jacob. it's been pretty incredible. most of it i would say positive. a lot of people saying thank you for sharing something i didn't know much about and a little bit of negative. a little bit of people saying "i don't understand this and i don't understand how they transition so young." >> and then, you know these decisions that parents have to take, right, as you were talking just today. at some time you have to make a decision for your child that's -- as you saw today, they're waiting. they have a lot of help though.
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>> they have help but it's tricky. they would tell you -- that family would tell you, the philips family that this is not easy stuff. doctors and experts would tell you the sooner you start making those decisions if you believe you have a transgender child, if you start younger it's better because it helps them get through puberty and all the other things coming and living as a transgender person e. >> great to see you, thank you. >> you, too. keep it here on msnbc. in the next hour i'm going to talk to a transgender teen who says she was huemiliated at the dmv trying to get her first driver's license. just this week they reached a settlement. breaking news right now, we just found out president obama will be speaking live at the top of the hour. we're working to find out what he's going to be talking about. as soon as i get those details i will pass them along to you. we'll be right back on "the rundown."
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breaking news right now. i'm still working to figure out exactly what president obama will be talking about when he goes to the podium at the top of the hour. when we find out we will let you know. the president is expected to deliver a statement at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. that's 7:00 a.m. pacific time. now to more developing news this time out of paris. nbc news is learned a 25-year-old woman is being questioned in connection with a foiled plot to attack churches in the french capital. the suspect has been identified and police say he's part of a growing terror threat in france. we have the chair of the middle east studies in london. tell us, what do you know about this woman or other potential accomplices in this case in france? >> well jose first, in the last five months the french government has foiled five
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alleged attacks. this is very serious. so this is not the first or last conspiracy on the part of young french men and women to attack the homeland. all we know about the latest case say that have the algerian suspect, 24 years old, has been self-radicalized, he has been or was in contact with a militant in syria. the police found an arsenal of weapons at his home automatic -- i mean weapons, grenades and what have you and also he was reportedly planning to attack churches. two very alarming really developments about this particular attack. the first thing is that the arsenal of weapons, where could he get them? so many automatic grenades and
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other weapons. secondly, the attack this is very unusual, this is very unique churches. al qaeda and its branches usually attack political targets like the french magazine a few months ago or some synagogues because of their hostility towards israel and jews in general. but the attack, the potential attacks on churches really basically shows that the range of targets has expanded and this is very alarming. also i think said achmed the latest suspect, fits the profile of the three frenchmen who carried out the attacks in france a few weeks ago. this is part of a general tendency in france. you have about 1500 suspects who are basically fighting in iraq and syria or basically something to do with militant activities. >> professor, i want to refer to something that's just coming across our desk here on msnbc.
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we're just learning from the white house that adam gadahn the american who went to fight for al qaeda, has been killed. there are also reports, this coming from the white house press secretary that a u.s. government count terrorism operation in january killed two innocent hostages that were being held by al qaeda the americans were dr. warren weinstein, an american held by since 2011 and giovanni laporto being held by al qaeda since 2012. so an operation by the united states military accidentally killed both hostages but also apparently in different operations in the pakistan/afghanistan border area there was a killing of at least one american who had joined al qaeda. this is breaking news that we're following right now but professor, what this clearly
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shows is that these operations that the united states is involved with is are completely -- are very very dangerous. and as the case in last january, accidentally killing two hostages that they did not know were being held by the al qaeda -- they were attacking. >> well, jose this is not very surprising, as you well know. several special operations operations by american forces in syria and other regions in particular, in somalia, basically have not succeeded. it's very difficult. it's a highly complex and highly difficult process. the united states is waging all out war, as you well know. in pakistan in afghanistan, in somalia, in yemen, in syria and iraq. and what does this tell you, jose? it tells you that the theater of operations is expanding. not only you have multiple theaters not only you have al
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qaeda and various branches you have the al qaeda central of osama bin laden, and al zawahiri. you have the so-called aqap they have al nusra front. also you're asking me about france. you have about -- between 3,000 and 5,000 europeans who are fighting in iraq and syria. this tells you about the complexity of the crisis now and how the various al qaeda branches have expanded in particular in zone conflicts. al qaeda and its branchs are social parasites that are nourished in conflict zones in iraq and syria and yemen, libya. and obviously and unfortunately and sadly the propaganda of al qaeda in general has found a receptive home in the heart of western countries, including in london where i am and in paris as well.
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>> and, professor, the other area that is still -- you know we need to refocus on, is the area there in afghanistan and the border with pakistan because as we talk about these other places that are breaking out and you just mentioned some of them you know, this attack that -- a series of attacks in january that apparently kill twotd lyly killed two americans that were part of al qaeda as well as an american and an italian citizen, this all of these attacks also occurred in the border between afghanistan and pakistan. >> you know what i'm going to say, jose might come to you as a surprise. the remnant of al qaeda central are basically positioned between afghanistan and pakistan. the u.s. had the most success in breaking the backbone of al qaeda central there both afghanistan and pakistan.
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most of the damage that the united states has been able to achieve is basically by relentlessly attacking al qaeda central lieutenants in both afghanistan and pakistan even though a nerve center. the most dangerous theaters now are no longer -- i know this might come to you as a surprise. it's now yemen where al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and other branch of al qaeda in iraq and syria libya now, the so-called islamic state or isis has a this ises where the fight is now. yemen, iraq syria somalia and to a lesser extent now libya. so the reality is the complexity of the fight, the struggle itself, because you have so many raging fires and you have civil wars and, again, al qaeda and its supporters basically are
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nourished in conflict zones where basically civil wars and sectarian struggles and social and political struggles tend to unfold. professor, i want to with your permission read the statement bin the white house press secretary. it was released just moments ago as we await the president of the united states, you see the press room at the white house. the president is expected to make a statement about ten minutes from now. we will of course be carrying that to you live. folks at home and professor, i want to read you the statement by the press secretary and it says "it is with tremendous sorrow that we recently concluded that a u.s. government counterterrorism operation in january killed two innocent hostages sheld by al qaeda. our hearts go out to dr. warren weinstein, an american held since 2011 and giovanni loporto.
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it led the intelligence community to judge with high confidence that have the operation accidentally killed both hostages. the operation was targeting an al qaeda-associated compound where no reason to believe either hostage was present located in the border region of afghanistan and pakistan. we also believe two other americans were recently killed in u.s.-government counter terrorism operations in the same region. we have concluded an american was killed in the same operation that resulted in the deaths of dr. weinstein and concluded that adam gadan, an american was killed in january likely in a separate operation where neither was specifically targeted. we did not have information indicating their presence at the sites of the operations. steve clemons is on the phone,
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contributor with msnbc. what we are seeing is that there are a number of operations that are being carried out apparently not only there in the pakistan/afghanistan border by the united states, so many that in this release that we are getting from the white house and expecting the president in about nine minutes from now, a number of different operations cause the death of two americans that were key parts of al qaeda but also the death of two innocent men. >> absolutely. i think that as you frame it what we are getting a picture here is of very robust counter terrorism operation, very bold insurgent activities by u.s. forces to try to get hostages back hostages released. this level of detail hasn't been expressed previously and i think
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that the fact that we are acknowledging that innocent people were killed is an important step forward but it is one of the things that is just part of trying to save people that are in danger. >> we are also getting this from nbc news telling us u.s. officials say the two innocent hostages an american and italian were killed in two separate cia counter terrorism drone strikes. one on the 14th of january and the other on the 19th of january. this is an area that has been a problem and a nest of al qaeda for many years now. >> absolutely. i'm glad that the u.s. has finally acknowledged the death of civilians. in this case american civilians.
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as you all know the obama administration has been waging a relentless all out drone attacks and special forces operations against al qaeda and the militant, taliban extremist in both afghanistan and pakistan. many civilians, pakistanis and afghanys have been killed. this has been a very sore point. it has inflamed both afghanistan and pakistan. this particular statement on the part of the white house i would like the obama administration to acknowledge the side effects and collateral damage that this particular tool the drone war has basically inflicted not just on al qaeda and the key operations but civilians and hostages. >> i want to go to the pentagon. >> good morning.
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senior u.s. officials tell us that the american and italian were killed inadvertently in u.s. drone strikes that occurred in early january. it's not sure there were two air strikes in the area a stronghold for al qaeda militants in afghanistan on both january 14 and january 19 of this year. but it's not clear which of the two strikes or whether the american and italian were killed in separate strikes. we are trying to sort through those kinds of details. there were two strikes on january 14 january 19 aimed at al qaeda strongholds there in eastern afghanistan. we are told that those air strikes were conducted by the cia who have been conducting air strikes both in pakistan and afghanistan ever since the
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beginning of the war back in 2001 there in afghanistan against these terrorist targets. this was a counter terrorism operation according to u.s. officials. and these strikes occurred in early january in the hindu region of afghanistan. >> what do we know about dr. warren weinstein. >> i'm not sure. we haven't really heard too much really about these two hostages. as a matter of fact this is the first that i can recall hearing specifically about dr. weinstein being held possibly by al qaeda there in afghanistan. dr. weinstein was grabbed apparently by al qaeda in 2011 and the italian hostage i believe in 2013. >> the italian hostage we were showing some photos there that
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we have of dr. warren weinstein at different times of his life. this one seems to be a more recent. he has been held by al qaeda since 2011. this just shows there are a number of ongoing operations in parts of the world that we often times don't hear about. it is unusual for the united states to be publically commenting on these types of operations and had to do when they were able to confirm two innocent hostages were killed including one american cystson. itizen. >> and it remains a vital part of cia and u.s. military operations there in afghanistan. when the white house, president, pentagon have been talking about trip withdrawals always point out and the president has emphasized that while some american troops would remain in afghanistan for some period of time to train and assist the
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afghan forces he would also add that some americans would remain for that counter terrorism operation which is ongoing. as the war is winding down for u.s. military there in afghanistan the counter terrorism operation is still well underway. >> the fact that we were talking about giving a list of countries seeing an increase or outgrowth of terrorism, yemen, libya, syria, iraq et cetera. it seems as though one does -- when you are seeing all of this grow you don't think back on what the original area was which was in the afghanistan-pakistan border area. >> i think most americans lost focus on afghanistan for some time. of course the bush administration previously had also lost focus when they
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shifted their attention to iraq which concerned many in the u.s. military who thought that vital critical mission there in afghanistan had been largely ignored or at least neglected by the bush administration during the entire iraq war which dragged on as you know for several years. >> thank you very much. evan coleman from flash point is on the phone as we await the president in just under two minutes from now. what have we learned of this statement that the president will be making in about a minute and a half? >> i think the most interesting part about this is the name adam gadahn here. the oldest known al qaeda operative, someone who appeared as a spokesman for al qaeda going back before 9/11. this was someone, a very interesting figure in al qaeda's
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infrastructure. someone who generated a lot of controversy. there was criticism from people saying why someone who is an american a convert from judaism would be a senior member senior leader of al qaeda. he was always a controversial figure. always unclear whether or not he was having the propaganda effect. it was interesting he managed to outlive even osama bin laden. very interesting to see that. it will be interesting to see whether or not there is direct connection to the hostages that were being held by al qaeda. >> what is interesting in the release that the press secretary gave moments ago as we await the president of the united states is while both were al qaeda members neither was specifically targeted and we did not have
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information indicating back in january. >> and this goes to what we kind of knew about gadahn that the u.s. was not trying to actively target him in a drone strike. it would be interesting to know if the reason he was killed was because of proximity to hostages. that would fall in line with examples we have seen before for example jihad john. he appeared in several videos celebrating the 9/11 attacks on the united states and in videos threatening attacks on u.s. military bases. he is a very interesting figure in all of this.
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and the fact that he is apparently dead now you wonder whether or not there is anyone else within al qaeda who can speak in english. if this is something that isis has mastered, the art of english language propaganda. who from al qaeda will be able to recruit the same way that isis has been recruiting. i want to go to the moderator of meet the press, chuck todd. unusual the president would release this kind of information because these are secretive missions that are apparently going and ongoing. >> they are and we will find out later if there was a reason they needed to release this now with something else about to go public. sometimes you never know what sort of motivates to go public or something like this. the fact is when you have innocents that are killed in a drone strike i think it's the type of thing that is going to
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spark a debate about the drone program in general. is this truly the most effective counter intelligence program that you can do? it's not going to be lost on some people to say if you were going to attempt an operation to get somebody and used humans rather than drones a human would have noted there are hostages here. a drone isn't going to know that. this is a reminder of the limits of the drone program. >> getting human into the area is becoming more and more difficult every day. that is clearly not the focus of these operations. i was interested when you were saying this that according to the statement the operations targeted in al qaeda where we have no reason to believe either hostage was present. there you go on having people in the ground that could have said someone was there. but the two americans that were there, neither was specifically
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targeted. >> it was sort of like it is two separate incidents. the other gadahn was killed in a separate mission. essentially this was one of those -- they stumbled upon this other al qaeda operative. so look the way the white house is presenting this they are presenting this as a way of we need to investigate and figure out what went wrong. i think that is also you are going to have immediate reaction from those on capitol hill. this is, again, going to spark the debate about the limits of the drone program and whether this targeted killing -- there is a lot of allegations that the reason the administration approves targeted killing is because we can't come to a consensus on what to do if you detain these folks. it becomes more difficult in
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figuring out what to do when you detain these operatives. where do you send them and hold them? what are their legal rights if you have them. when they get killed you don't have to worry about those issues. i think this will start a robust debate that needs to happen on this drone program because this is something that has become -- the secretary of navy announced last week when they announced to the last purchase of the f-35 manned jet fighter said it will be the last man fighter jet the u.s. navy ever purchases basically going to an unmanned fighter jet program at some point in the future. i think having this conversation about the limits of drones is going to be something worth debating on capitol hill. it is 10:04. 7:04 pacific time. we were expecting the president around the top of the hour. any minute now we get the
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two-minute warning. casie hunt is at the white house. and casey, what are we expecting from the president today? this press release we have been referring to by the press secretary is unusual. >> the one thing i would point out as we wait for the president to come here and address all of us and the country is near the bottom they point out the president takes full responsibility for what happened in this incident and said he ordered the information to be declassified about the deaths of these two. i think the point that chuck raised is well maybe there are other reasons for why this information is coming out now especially in these kinds of cases the government does tend towards such secrecy. we think there is maybe something else that prompts this to come out. we don't know that yet and this statement says the president
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takes full responsibility for the deaths. i think more broadly this raises a lot of questions and questions from folks on capitol hill and others about our intelligence community. the fact that this happened is a serious blow because they had put significant effort and resources into trying to locate both of these men and to help figure out a way to get them out. this suggests that not only did we misdirect the drone strike. tlt does raise questions about the fact that these unmanned drones really don't have the same set of capabilities as human eyes ears senses. they can't make judgments based on information that they are picking up on the ground. i think it is likely you see a lot of questions raised from capitol hill probably a very robust debate and probably not break down 100% along partisan lines which is something that is unusual here in washington.
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i think you will hear from senator rand paul has made a very serious mark talking about this very issue, whether or not drone strikes are legally allowed to kill american citizens at all. of course, that is the other part of this. they would have had to seek special authority. >> that is interesting. chuck, to add to the conversation that we are having in the press release there is an interesting line. to this end it reads although the operation was lawful and conducted consistent with our counter terrorism policies we are conducting a thorough and independent review to understand how to prevent this kind of incident. it is interesting. it is lawful and conducted consistent with our policies. >> because if they did kill an american citizen without going to the justice department getting legal justification there would be bigger problems here for the reasons that kasie
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brought up. there has always been a legal question when it comes to what happens when american citizen joins the fight on the other side. i think that's why you see that frankly what feels like pre-judicial defense type things. almost like here is how we defend ourselves on this. we didn't realize this guy was there. this american citizen that became an al qaeda operative just sort of happened. and by the way, there is another one that just happened that happened too that had to deal with an american citizen in al qaeda. that is a separate mission. i think this is going to raise all sorts of questions and will lead to what will be some robust congressional hearings. >> absolutely. and back to you very quickly. when looking through this press release so it says there was an
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operation in two different days. 14th and the 19th. then there were these operations in the 19th and 14th of january. some these operations or more the two hostages were killed. and then in what could be another series of operations faruk and gadahn were killed. we don't know two operations four operations six eight or how many really? >> we don't. given the sequence the timing sequence it is hard to imagine there isn't some kind of leak there. it may not be as direct as we think here. it is hard to imagine there isn't some kind of link. if you look at the way we see these folks in terms of the way they have held western hostages it doesn't seem unusual that they actually use american operatives to hold the hostages
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or at least oversee their detention. it may not be unlikely that that is the case. either way, like i said these two individuals are -- it's very interesting. gadahn really is a very prominent member of al qaeda, very unusual person someone we have tracked for a long time. justice department tracked for a very long time. it is interesting because there was the discussion about whether or not he should be targeted in the drone strike or whether or not the fact that he was a u.s. citizen should preclude that. it is interesting to see this outcome especially given the fact that he wasn't apparently targeted. >> we are being told by senior u.s. sources that doctor weinstein and the italian hostage were killed along in one air strike and adam gadahn
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killed in a separate air strikes. >> again, it's fascinating. and we are going to have to see whether or not there is a particular reason for this. i think there is the question about whether or not there is another announcement. this is part of the problem, targeting folks in drone strikes or air strikes or whatever. this came up in the case of kala mueller supposedly killed in a jor jordanian air strike. as we have seen not just in syria or afghanistan but in yemen these operations don't always go as smoothly as we might like. >> thank you so very much for being with me.
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we are expecting any second now the president of the united states to get to the press room there at the white house. you see the different correspondents lined up and giving their concluding statements. what we do know the president is expected to speak about the press release that we got from the white house moments ago. they're talking about -- there you see the president of the united states. this morning i want to express our grief and condolences to the families of two hostages one american dr. warren weinstein and an italian giovanni laporto who were killed in a u.s. counter terrorism operation. warren and giovanni were aid
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workers in pakistan. after warren was abducted by al qaeda in 2011 i directed my national security team to do everything possible to find him and bring him home safely to his family. and dedicated professionals across our government worked tirelessly to do so. we also worked closely with our italian allies on behalf of giovanni who was kidnapped in 2012. since 9/11 our counter terrorism efforts have prevented terrorist attacks and saved innocent lives both here in america and around the world. that determination to protect innocent life makes the loss of these two men especially painful for all of us. based on information and intelligence we have obtained we believe that a u.s. counter terrorism operation targeting an al qaeda compound accidently
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killed warren and giovani this past january. yesterday i spoke with warren's wife elaine and prime minister of italy. as a husband and as a father i cannot begin to imagine the ang wj anguish the families are enduring. i realize there are no words that can ever equal their loss and nothing that i can say or do to ease their heart ache. today i want to say this. as president and as commander in chief i take full responsibility for all of our counter terrorism operations including the one that inadvertently took the lives of warren and giovani. on behalf of the united states government i offer our deepest apologies to the families. as soon as we determine the cause of their deaths i directed
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that the existence of this operation be declassified and disclosed publically. i did so because the families deserve to know the truth. and i did so because even as certain aspects of our national security efforts have to remain secret in order to succeed the united states is a democracy committed to openness in good times and in bad. our initial assessment indicates the operation was fully consistent with the guide lines under which we conduct counter terrorism efforts in the region which has been our focus for years. . based on the intelligence that we had obtained at the time including hundreds of hours of surveillance we believed that this was an al qaeda compound that no civilians were present and that capturing these terrorists was not possible. we do believe that the operation did take out dangerous members
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of al qaeda. what we did not know tragically was that al qaeda was hiding the presence of warren and giovani in this same compound. it is a cruel and bitter truth that in the fog of war generally and our fight against terrorists specifically mistakes sometimes deadly mistakes can occur. but one of the things that sets america apart from many other nations, one of the things that makes us exceptional is our willingness to confront our imperfections and learn from our mistakes. already i directed a full review of what happened. we will identify the lessons that can be learned from this tragedy and any changes that should be made. we will do our utmost to ensure it is not repeated. and we will continue to do everything we can to prevent the loss of innocent lives, not just
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insouthbound americans, but all innocent lives in our counter terrorism operations. today we join their families and friends in honoring warren and giovani, two humanitarians who came from different countries. serving with the peace corps and the agency for international development. he was a loving husband, father and grandfather who willingly left the comforts of home. at the time of his abduction he was a contractor focusing on helping pakistani families escape poverty and give a better life to their children. giovani's humanitarianism took him around the world to central
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african republic haiti and pakistan. like warren he fell in love with pakistan and his people and believed he could make a difference in their lives. giovani's service reflected the commitment of the italian people, our great allies and friends to the security and dignity of people around the world. today is a reminder of bonds of friendship and shared values that bind americans and italians together. there could be no starker contrast between these two selfless men and their al qaeda captors. warren's work benefitted people across faiths. meanwhile, al qaeda boasted to the world that it held warren citing his jewish faith. al qaeda held both men for years even as warren's health deteriorated. they deprived the men of precious years with family who
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miss them terribly. amid grief that is unimaginable i pray that these families will find some small measure of solace knowing warren and giovani's legacy will endure. their service will be remembered by the pakistani men, women and children whose lives their touched and made better. their spirit will live on in the love of their families who are in our thoughts and prayers today, especially warren's wife elaine, their daughters, alicia and jennifer and their families. and the shining example of these two men will stand as a light to people the world over who see suffering and answer with compassion, who see hatred and offer their love who see war and work for peace. may god bless these two brave men and watch over and comfort their families for all years to come.
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>> no questions for the president of the united states today at this very somber statement at the white house press room. jim, we do know there were apparently two different strikes that killed these two hostages and two americans, part of al qaeda. >> reporter: that's right. the strikes we are told by senior u.s. officials occurred on january 14 and then on january 19. we are told the strikes were focused on al qaeda operations and encampments there in eastern afghanistan in the mountainous hindu region. we don't know that the two separate strikes were on the same facility or one on the 14th and one on the 19th and the order of the strikes. but it appears that the way the
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white house narrative has played out here this morning is that two american -- that the american hostage, italian hostage and one american turned al qaeda it appears they were killed in that first air strike and then the second american adam gadahn who also became a very prominent member and spokesperson for al qaeda there in afghanistan and pakistan may have been killed in the separate strike. but as the president indicated they went on good intelligence that this was an al qaeda encampment which in that part of the world is not always easy to locate and focus on particularly with drone strikes. but they had no idea that these three americans including the two al qaeda members and the one hostage and then the italian hostage were there when the air
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strikes were carried out. >> thank you so much. i want to go to andrea mitchell for nbc and host of andrea mitchell reports. the president among things he said today is that the strikes were fully consistent with u.s. guidelines and that they were carried out because capturing terrorists on the ground was not possible in either of these strikes. >> this is obviously an enormous tragedy and also of course a great setback for the counter terrorism operations and the operations the cia has been running in pakistan. these have always been controversial with the pakistani leadership that had only just repaired some damage done by successful u.s. strike against bin laden in pakistan. this is going to be a major
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setback for the counter terrorism program here and abroad. obviously there are a lot of questions to be answered as to when they first learned about this failure, the tragedy of the failure and the timeline of all of this. we know the strikes were in january from what the president had said. there are a lot more details we have to learn. >> it's such an unusual thing to see this. i don't recall a president of the united states ever coming forward and holding a statement like this saying i take full responsibility for this. i am wondering why now if these strikes were carried out in january? >> clearly they did not have the evidence until it had to be fairly recently and had to go through notifications of the families and all the rest. i cannot imagine weeks or months they must have gotten confirmed evidence whether dna evidence or other evidence visual evidence
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of the deaths in order to go public this way. they could not have been sitting on this for a number of months or else they would have a bigger problem than they now have. >> thank you so very much. i want to play part of what the president said moments ago. >> as a husband and as a father i cannot begin to imagine the anguish that the weinstein and laporto families are enduring today. i realize there are no words that can ever equal their loss. i know that there is nothing that i can ever say or do to ease their heart ache and today i simply want to say this. as president and as commander in chief i take full responsibility for all of our counter terrorism operations including the one that inadvertently took the lives of warren and giovani. >> that was the president of the united states just moments ago talking about these series of
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strikes in january in the pakistan/afghanistan border that unfortunately killed two of the hostages that al qaeda was holding including an american dr. warren weinstein. richard engel is standing by in italy. very unusual to see such a public explanation of these series of strikes that unfortunately killed two innocent hostages. >> reporter: i think once the u.s. knew about this there was really no choice but to go forward. al qaeda often looks for propaganda opportunities. just imagine the alternative. let's say al qaeda said it was an american air strike a drone strike that had killed two american hostages and then subsequently the president or some other u.s. official had to come out and say yes in fact al qaeda had it right. that would be a devastating
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blow. it would raise a lot of questions of credibility. there is some precedent for this. if you remember a few months ago there was an american woman who was being held by isis and isis came out and said that she was killed in a jordanian air strike and just showed a picture of a building it claimed was destroyed. they denied it. but if this had been true and as it appears to have been true after a u.s. investigation that these americans were inadvertently killed in a special operations drone strike apparently led by the cia then it would have been a huge propaganda blow. that was something unacceptable. dr. warren weinstein, 72 years old, one of the oldest hostages.
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he had been living in pakistan for seven years and about to go home and working on agricultural development projects. he was having a going away party and then was abducted. giovani laporteo. they according to the president along with al qaeda militants were killed. >> thank you so very much. i want to go back to the pentagon. >> reporter: on a totally different topic senior defense officials are telling us that the iranian convoy nine ships and warships and at least three or four supply ships believed to be carrying weapons after five days of floating up and down off the yemen coast, they turned north and now appear headed back to iran heading off which could have been a pretty critical
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crisis if they tried to run a blockade and the u.s. military engaged iranian military there in the north arabian sea. that problem appears to be over as the iranians appear headed back towards iran. >> and just breaking and you are bringing us this news. that presumes they didn't offload what they had on there before they turned around? >> they stayed just outside of territorial waters which kept them from being attacked by saudis egyptians or if it came to that the americans. pretty shrewd. >> thank you so much. we will continue to count on your reporting throughout the remainder of this hour. we just heard from jim about this potential crisis that has for now been averted just off the coast of yemen. these two iranian warships that are apparently carrying material
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have turned around. back to the news story we have been covering the confirmation by the president of the united states of america that two different cia drone attacks on the pakistan and afghanistan border killed two innocent hostages that were being held by the al qaeda terrorist group. one dr. warren weinstein, american citizen. we have been hearing a little bit about dr. weinstein who was just wrapping up his time in pakistan and was really celebrating his going away party to return home to his family here in the united states of america when he was taken by al qaeda. and giovani laporto.
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the attacks in the month of january by cia-led drones in the pakistan/afghanistan border also killed an american al qaeda leader as well as adam gadahn. steve clements is with us now. steve, this adam gadahn who is a senior member of al qaeda but just political importance of him, the fact that he was an american, the fact that he is dead now is a big blow to al qaeda. >> i think it is a very big blow to al qaeda. i think many others have talked about how messy war can be. i recall that when it came to drone strikes of this sort the president of the united states was briefed nearly every morning for many years by our current director of the cia been on his
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national security team going through and making judgment calls about people on our hit list people targeted and lookinglook g looking at potential collateral consequences. each of the calls by the president he tilted towards trying to have as little collateral impact as possible. you could hear to some degree the anguish in president obama's comments as he kind of revealed the human face and revealed the mistakes made in this particular case. while this was a very important al qaeda target there are always another isis target or another that we have been in the process for many years of essentially taking out the leadership and commanding control of the terror groups. we had this on the day that we began bombing in syria. we went after a number of al qaeda plotters in that particular case. and so this is an ongoing
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process and just messy. >> and taking out these high level suspects and not arresting them or detaining them is something that we were talking to chuck todd about that sthat is a change in policy and has the possibility of collateral damage. in this case an italian and american hostage. and it is collateral damages that we don't hear about because they are not american or italian citizens that are killed in these strikes. i want to play more of what the president said moments ago here on msnbc. >> based on information and intelligence we have obtained we believe that a u.s. counter terrorism operation targeting an al qaeda compound in the afghanistan/pakistan border region accidently killed warren and giovanni this past january.
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>> we were just talking about the fact that the policy of the united states on dealing with these terrorist groups has been as much as possible to attack them from the air with a drone, an unmanned drone where you go in and you strike them and you pulverize them. unfortunately, in this case killing an american and an italian citizen. >> certainly. as you said this was an unusual and a difficult statement for this president, for any president to make there. legally there are several layers to this as you have been discussing under international laws of war there is an emphasize in all operations at reducing collateral damage not having what is considered unnecessary or disproportionate civilian loss of life. that refers to the civilians in the region that are basically
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the local population. it does not refer to what we have here which is sort of friendly fire type scenario where it is not only a civilian but hostages which carries a different repercussion. the third legal layer that comes in is the fact that these drone strikes in general when they have any possibility of reaching or targeting an american bring in a different level of review because there is a different legal standard there. this is really the first administration that has put out memos through the justice department saying they have the authority to target americans. here you have the combination where you have an american who joined al qaeda who is a foreign fighter and a strong national security and legal argument for targeting them and then the tragic mistake as the president said moments ago, the mistaken killing of an american. that is a higher standard here.
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i think giving the info here they have to explain more exactly how they came to targeting and what they want to do about trying to make sure it never happens again. >> just kind of parsing through some of what the president said as well as the press release moments before the president spoke. it wasn't that they didn't think that was a mistake. in other words, they really had good intelligence that that area there, that specific camp or area did hold al qaeda leadership or members. so they attacked. what they did not know is that there also were the american and italian hostage and they didn't know that the two american leaders of al qaeda were present either. what they did apparently know was that was a high value target area. so it is interesting. you talk about it because then do you have to have a different
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legal justification when you go and search and get permission to do it? you just were unaware that there were american and italian hostages. >> no one wants to lose sight of the type of enemy you are dealing with. you are talking about an al qaeda-type facility where they are keeping these hostages. someone might call that potentially a human shield or another violation of the laws of war. there is absolutely no equivalency there. the president didn't in this statement emphasize that. he and his aides emphasized just how evil this enemy is. today, though the note he struck i thought was interesting was how much he takes responsibility and this was an error. even though it is an error related to being aggressive and forward looking in the way they have projected force in that
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region in countries we are not at war with like going into pakistan. that was something the president emphasized. the larger question here is are they getting signature strikes profiling right. they said the signature strike as they look at militants and people who they believe to be militants. this was an error. the larger review question is making sure these don't reoccur. >> if you remove from the equation which one should never forget the orable tragedy of innocent people being killed in the strikes. if you remove that from the equation these strikes were very effective. they took out these two americans that played a very big part in al qaeda's public campaign to continue their reign of terror. removing this and i guess you should never remove it. this is an american citizen held by al qaeda along with an
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italian italian. but this is what happens in war. thank you. i want to go to the white house. kasie hunt has more information on what was carried out in january. >> i spoke briefly to senator john mccain. he like many americans was just learning of the failures that the president announced today. so that tells you a little bit about how closely held this information was until we heard from the president of the united states today. we had seen a statement from congressman delaney who represents the district from where mr. weinstein's family lived and said he is outraged that our government was not able to bring warren home. i think this is going to set the stage for a pretty wide spread debate about just what is worth it in the context of these drone strikes, at what point is the
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country going too far. while i think the reaction at this point is in the early stages it's not necessarily going to break down along partisan lines. senator mccain has been a staunch defender of this drone program and of the use of american military force in the war on terrorism overall. so i think if you listen closely to what he decides to say about this tragedy and whether or not this is something that ultimately served the national security interests of the united states even if it did result in terrible tragic deaths i think is going to be the question that will shape the debate to come. >> thank you so very much. we are going to take a short break and be more with this breaking news story. two innocent hostages killed by an american strike in january in the pakistan/afghanistan border. the area the united states did not know these hostages were being held by al qaeda when they attacked high value targets which included the death of two
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americans that were an important part of al qaeda were taken out in these strikes in january. we will be back with more breaking news story. new york state is reinventing how we do business by leading the way on tax cuts. we cut the rates on personal income taxes. we enacted the lowest corporate tax rate since 1968. we eliminated the income tax on manufacturers altogether. with startup-ny, qualified businesses that start, expand or relocate to new york state pay no taxes for 10 years. all to grow our economy and create jobs. see how new york can give your business the opportunity to grow at ny.gov/business woman: it's been a journey to get where i am. and i didn't get here alone. there were people who listened along the way. people who gave me options. kept me on track. and through it all my retirement never got left behind. so today, i'm prepared for anything we may want tomorrow to be.
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i want to express our grief and condolences to families of two hostages one american dr. warren weinstein and an italian, giovani laporto who were tragically killed in a u.s. counterterrorism operation. >> that was the president announcing the death of two innocent hostages an american dr. warren weinstein and giovani laporto, an italian who were in
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hostage by al qaeda group. moments ago we received this statement by elaine weinstein, dr. warren weinstein's wife. i will read you part of it. it says on behalf of myself our two daughters, son in and law and grandchildren we are devastated by the news and knowledge that my husband will never safely return home. we do understand that the u.s. government will be conducting an independent investigation of their circumstances. and she goes on to say those who took warren captive over three years ago bear ultimate responsibility. i can assure you that he would still be alive and well if they allowed him to return home after his time abroad working to help the people of pakistan. cowardly actions of those who took warren captive and to the place and time of his death are not in keeping with islam and they will have to face their god to answer for their actions.
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mrs. weinstein going on to say that i want to thank congressman john delaney and senator ben cardin for efforts to free my husband. unfortunately, she adds the assistance we receive from other elements is inconsistent and disappointing over the course of three and a half years. she is asking that at this difficult time where we cannot begin to address our pain we ask for privacy as we go through this devastating ordeal. >> reporter: good to visit with you. i think you indicated the sentiment of that family and the sentiment shared here with the administration, their deep regret over this loss of life but it was obviously from the statement from the wife of dr. warren weinstein, the depth of frustration they had with the administration's handling of the
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situation over the past 3 1/2 years since weinstein was kidnapped in the pakistan border region and pakistan itself in 2011. one of the points the president was clear to communicate was the fact that the strike that killed the innocent civilians, both hostages, weinstein and giovani laporto was the fact that it was a mistake despite hundreds of hours of surveillance in that region. i think what will be striking to a lot of people here is that the statement that the white house put out earlier today put back-to-back these two separate strikes, the one that killed the innocent civilians as well as another american. also it included the fact that adam gadahn the prominent spokesperson from al qaeda but adam gadahn was included in that message. some might view that as a way for the administration to make
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it clear they are still conducting strikes that have positive conclusions to them but clearly this is a day of mourning for the sake of the administration as they come to terms with the fact that two innocent lives were lost. >> thank you very much. i want to go to italy with richard engel. let's talk about faruk and gadahn. >> reporter: adam gadahn is the most famous of the two. he was an american. quite young in his 30s. someone who is corresponding with osama bin laden in the early days and decided to join al qaeda join the movement became a translator for the movement and then became one of al qaeda's leading spokes men. he had been in numerous videos. i remember walking around afghanistan and you would see wanted posters by the u.s. military saying if you find this man hand him over and there
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was -- he is reportedly killed in one of those two drone strikes. he is something of a controversial figure among militants. many people in the militant world and isis and other extremist groups credit him or blame him for al qaeda's lack of effectiveness. al qaeda since the death of osama bin laden really hasn't recovered and people like gadahn have taken a more prominent role. some critics of al qaeda say that it is because of him that al qaeda hasn't recovered so much. another thing i want to go back to the statement by elaine weinstein. she was critical of the pakistani military. i am disappointed in the government and military in pakistan. warren's safe return should have been a priority for him based on his contributions to the
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country. instead treating warren's captivity as more of an annoyance than a priority. that was something we consistently heard from the weinstein family. he was taken from his home by a number of captors, seven or eight according to local police. he had started to tell friends and staff at his home that he was planning to leave, organizing a party. it appeared that the militants wanted to abduct him before he was able to leave the country. according to the weinsteins the pakistanis didn't do very much to pursue leads they may have had to find him. >> richard engel in italy we will take a short break and be back with much more of this breaking news. confirmed two innocent hostages killed by u.s. drone strikes in january in the afghan/pakistan border including dr. weinstein,
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initial assessment indicates this operation was fully consistent with guidelines which we conduct counterterrorism efforts in the region. it is the home of al qaeda's leadership. based on intelligence that we had obtained at the time including hundreds of hours of surveillance we believed that this was an al qaeda compound and no civilians were present. >> the president speaking about what happened last january where unfortunately two innocent hostages that the united states was not aware were being held by al qaeda in this compound were
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killed. american dr. warren weinstein and italian giovani laporto. >> i want to go now to london. professor we were on the air just over an hour ago when this news started breaking. we have learned so much since then. interesting, doctor that waw have a criticism of pakistan and also of some in the american government that really weren't helping in giving information to the weinstein family during these three years that they held out hope. >> absolutely. and i don't blame the family at all. i would have the same thing. the take on it is given how classified the american counter terrorism strategy has been.
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the pakistani government is not really well known for his basically receptiveness to such cases. i want to bring a critical note here. i wonder whether the president would have come out if it was not for the two great lives of the american and italian. the fact is there has been no debate on the so-called unmanned drone wars in the united states. the united nations has human rights organizations in the united states and world wide challenge the moral and legal basis. the president today -- and i respect what he said. he acknowledged the mistakes and took personal responsibilities. i want you to know hundreds of mistakes have been made in this particular war. hundreds of civilians, yemeni afghanistan have been killed as
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result of this particular war. we are talking about human beings. the american policy is based on a very simple matrix. the advantages of this particular strategy that is taking out operational leaders of al qaeda i would weigh the disadvantage disadvantages, the collateral damage and human beings being killed. i would say it is basically anti-americanism has been triggered in yemen, pakistan and afghanistan as a result of this particular policy. i hope these tragedies that we have witnessed and heard today would start a debate in the united states as we are doing today about the logic of this particular strategy. >> certainly that is a conversation that we are sure to continue having. professor, thank you for being with me this morning and thank
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you for the privilege of your time. having covered war since 1984 i can tell you the biggest tragedy of war is that there are always innocents that die. that is the unfortunate nature of war. i will see you tomorrow. thank you for the privilege of your time. introducing the citi ® double cash card. it earns you cash back now and cash back later. with 1% when you buy and 1% as you pay with two ways to earn on puchases, it makes a lot of other cards seem one-sided. when a moment spontaneously turns romantic why pause to take a pill?
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we'll pay for a car that's a model year newer with 15,000 fewer miles than your old one. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. we begin with breaking news. just a short time ago president obama revealed new details about a counter terror operation in january that killed two innocent hostages being held by al qaeda. the hostages american aid worker dr. warren weinstein and italian giovani porto. wanted to express his grief and condolences to the world. >> as a husband and as a father i

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