tv Meet the Press MSNBC November 15, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PST
oh! ah! alright, i'm putting you in charge of the holiday party. (vo) get rid of cable and upgrade to directv. call 1-800-directv. this sunday morning, a special edition of "meet the press." terror in paris. france's 9/11. how did it happen? what signs did french intelligence miss? dot we need a new strategy to confront isis? and can we prevent the terror from reaching the united states? we'll talk to our correspondents on the ground and an eyewitness to the theater massacre, top government officials, and an expert on terrorism. plus, terror in the campaign. >> this is america's campaign. >> the democrats debated last night and jeb bush joins us this morning. do the current events lessen the appeal of the outers.
joining me are eugene robinson. andrea mitchell of nbc news. jennifer reuben of "the washington post" and jeff greenfield of politico. welcome to sunday and a special edition of "meet the press." from nbc news in washington, this is a special edition of "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning, here is what we know about the attacks. which pope francis yesterday called a piecemeal world war iii. this is the current death toll and the number of wounded in the series of deadly attacks in and around paris friday night. france says three teams armed with assault rifles and suicide vests carried out this attack. authorities have identified one of the concert hall attackers as a 29-year-old french citizen of algerian origin. it's believed french security had been aware of him and his radicalization since 2010, but he was never actively investigated. we also know one of the other
attackers entered europe through greece and was registered as a refugee in serbia. not yet clear if he was a syrian. now, a number of arrests have been made in the belgium capital of brussels leading the french to say this is a terror network. president obama, who is at a meeting of the g-20 in turkey this morning called the paris atrocities an attack on the civilized world. >> we will redouble our efforts working with other members of the coalition to bring about a peaceful transition in syria and to eliminate d.a.s.h. as a force that can create so much pain and suffering. >> d.a.s.h. another name for isis and isil that you hear from many officials. what is obvious now is the war with isis has entered a new phase. october 31st, what appears to be a bomb takes down a russian passenger plane in egypt killing 224 people on board. isis claims responsibility as
revenge for russia's air strikes in syria. thursday, dozens of killed between who suicide bombers struck beirut in the deadliest attack in that city since the end of lebanon's civil war. again, isis claimed responsibility for the attack. and then, of course, there was friday. attackers wearing suicide vests and carrying out coordinated attacks with assault rifles slaughter scores of people and bringing terror to the heart of europe. we're covering this story and its security and political implications here and at home. we'll start with richard engel on the ground in paris. richard, let's start with the investigation itself. the french continue to say this is isis. the united states stance on this is simply we don't have information to contradict this. what more do we know? >> reporter: well, the investigation is continuing, and it is expanding internationally. there have been arrests in belgium, a french minister just told me there's a connection to greece, that one of the syrian
passports, a syrian passport did pass through greece. this is a syrian passport that was found by one of the attackers. a greek official told us that the syrian passport went through greece and that syrian passport was then later registered in serbia as part of the refugee trail. there have also been people questioned and detained in germany. family members of attackers arrested here in france. so this is an investigation that is widening. people here are not -- do not believe this is a situation where there were a lone group of seven or eight attackers, that they had support and they had support in many countries. >> let's talk about the under estimating of isis as a potential global terror network. for years for the first part of this war against isis that was declared by the western wold, the assumption was isis did not have these kind of ambitions similar to al qaeda. i understand you say actually that is not the case. they've always had this ambition.
explain. >> reporter: isis has always been an incredibly ambitious organization. i think what we're seeing right now is an evolution of isis. one very senior expert in this country described it to me like this. isis started out establishing its own base, consolidating its support at home, declaring a caliphate in iraq and syria. then it moved to phase two, exporting all of its branches mostly into the islamic world, mostly into places where the arab spring has failed. now we're seeing phase three. it's moving international, getting more sophisticated claiming responsibility for downing the russian plane, the bombing in beirut. stage four would see isis moving even further west trying to carry out an attack in the united states. yes, u.s. counterterrorism officials have been under estimating isis. they never thought it had this kind of capability. when paris first happened, u.s.
officials told me they thought it was going to be al qaeda because they thought al qaeda was the kind of organization that looked abroad, looked to carry out complex attacks. remember, the president once described isis as the jv team. if it was the jv team, it is no longer the jv team and probably hasn't been for quite some time. >> and when you underestimate that probably means you're getting bad intelligence. what is our situation? we're not getting good intelligence about isis because if we were, wouldn't we have a better assessment of their capabilities? >> reporter: when you talk to investigators here, it's not a question of not getting good intelligence, it's that there's too much intelligence. there are simply too many people. there are probably 3,000 to 5,000 people just in france that officials are concerned about. you have thousands of people a day moving along the migrant trail.
one of the most chilling aspects of this situation is that possible connection to the migrant trail. i was just in greece yesterday. most of them have no documentation. the greek officials are trying to take them in, offer them humanitarian assistance, but, frankly, people have no idea who they are. so if someone left to join isis in syria or iraq, that would be a good way for them to come back under the radar and reintegrate themselves into society even before anyone has a chance to find out. so, yes, it is an intelligence failure, but it could be a situation where there's so much intelligence and that the traditional means are falling behind. >> richard engel in paris on the ground for us. appreciate your reporting and as always, sir, stay safe. just before we went on air, i spoke to the french justice minister. she's the equivalent of the u.s.
attorney general, and revealed that the french authorities know who the bombers were and are working in cooperation with belgium, spain, and germany. i then asked her if france will escalate its war against isis in syria. here is her answer. >> it's an act of war, and it is a war, and it is a war against civilian people. it is a war against our shared values. it is a war against what we are, and what i observe is that they will give orders to young people to kill people and to go to deaths themselves. >> earlier this week president obama said isis had been contained. a phrase he's probably regretting right now. and even that was a retreat from an earlier declaration and position when he said the u.s. aim was to degrade and destroy isis. joining me to talk about the u.s. response to the attacks and the strategy going forward is ben rhodes, deputy national security adviser for the president and he's traveling with him in turkey.
mr. rhodes, welcome to "meet the press." >> good to be with you, chuck. >> let me start with french president hollande called this an act of war. does the president concur that this was an act of war and does that change america's footing? >> we absolutely agree that this was an act of war, and our hearts go out to the people of paris who suffered this terrible attack. the fact is, chuck, we've been at war with isil for some time, over more than a year now we've conducted thousands of air strikes. we provide arms to forces who are fighting them on the ground, but this is going to be a long-term campaign to disrupt and ultimately defeat isil and we're going to have to continue to redouble our efforts in partnership with allies like france. >> you know a year ago president obama said isis could not be something -- was something that could not be contained and in an interview days before these attacks, he said isis had been contained. can you say that they have been contained in iraq and syria when they've escalated to potentially
three terrorist attacks in the last ten days with the russian airliner, beirut, and now paris. that is not a contained organization. >> well, chuck, the president was referring very specifically to the question of isil's geographic expansion in iraq and syria. they had been on the march in both iraq and syria for some time but starting a year ago we were able to halt that expansion and we've actually been able to push back and reclaim territory from isil in both iraq and syria including most recently in an operation with our kurdish allies on the ground in iraq where they were able to take the strategic town of sinjar cutting off a key supply line between the capital for isil and syria and mosul which has been a principal base of operations in iraq. we have been able to apply pressure and take back territory, but at the same time, of course, we are seeing isil aim to project power beyond the boards of iraq and syria, most tragically in the attacks in
paris. >> what is it that you guys have gotten wrong in underestimating isis? >> well, chuck, i think we very clearly understand the threat from isil, and the fact of the matter is when we launched our air campaign, the president was very clear that this would be a long-term effort. this is a different type of terrorist enemy that aims to hold territory, that is drawing thousands of recruits and that's why we've been in this effort launching again thousands of air strikes. recently targeting isil leadership including jihadi john in syria, the leader of isil in libya. we're in this for the long haul. we're very clear-eyed about the threat we face and that's why we have a coalition of 65 countries with us in this countryer effort, many of whom are in turkey at the g-20 who the president will be seeing in the next two days. >> do you believe the strategy the president is implementing is working? because to a lot of people, democrats and republicans, there's not enough of a sense of urgency. it doesn't seem to be working, and if anything, isis looks like
they're more ambitious than ever. >> well, chuck, clearly there's going to have to be an intensification of our efforts, and what we've been able to do is look at what has worked in the application of the strategy and what hasn't. what we see working is being able to get equipment, arms directly to the fighters on the ground like the kurds in northern iraq, like the forces we partnered with in northern syria, backed by our air power, and what we're doing at the g-20 in part is seeking to gain additional contributions from some of our coalition partners so that we're able to bring more force to bear on that effort. >> does the president now have any pause about bringing syrian refugees into the united states? >> no, chuck. we have very extensive screening procedures for all syrian refugees who would come to the united states. there's a very careful vetting process that includes our intelligence community, our national counterterrorism center, the department of homeland security, so we can make sure that we're carefully screening anybody who comes to the united states. let's remember though, chuck, we're also dealing with people who suffer the horrors of war,
women and orphans. we need to sort out how to focus on the terrorists we need to keep out of the country but i think we do need to do our part to take those refugees who are in need. >> are you prepared for france to invoke article 5 of the nato charter? an attack on one is an attack on all. >> that's a decision for the french to make. what we have made clear to the french is we will be shoulder to shoulder in this response. they are in our military campaign in iraq and syria. clearly they want to energize their efforts. there's a french two-star general at centcom who will help that going forward. we will be able to intensify our strikes against isil in syria and iraq to make clear there's no safe hecaven. >> ben rhodes, traveling with the president in turkey. mr. rhodes, thank you for coming on "meet the press." >> thanks, chuck. and we now have video that appears to show the beginning of the attack at what was an eagles of death metal concert in that
theater. the pops of sound at the end of the video appear to be the first gunfire, and a warning. the video may be disturbing. ♪ >> again, we're going to run it one more time. you will see the drummer and the guitarist there, both of them of the eagles of death metal band, they sit there and you watch essentially their running for cover. again, we haven't fully verified the video but it appears to be just that. in fact, speaking of that concert hall, we have remarkable first-hand account from a survivor of the shooting spree. her name is teresa. she described the unfolding horror to our chief foreign correspondent, richard engel. >> we heard gunshots and terrorists stormed into the
concert hall and were shooting madly around everywhere, and we all dropped to the floor and tried not to move and not to be hit so there was gunshots. they said at the very beginning something -- they mentioned syria in french. stay down or we'll shoot you. don't move, stay down, and they still continued to shoot. that was next to a guy that got shot in the head that fell on me, so i was covered underneath his body. just stopped moving. i just did not move. that was the main thing. like those that were around us, we tried to give them the message to not move. there was another guy hurt that was complaining a lot, so we tried to whisper to him to not make a sound. at some stage there was a grenade that was thrown or two.
it was explosion and more shots and more shots and more shots. >> what were you thinking this whole time? >> i was just thinking do not move and i was thinking about my boys. i thought might this be it and will i ever see them again and will i be the next shot. from one minute to the next it's just like every time you hear the shots you think, okay, is this me? and if i'm hit now, am i going to be able to be quiet or, you know -- >> so you could see the police storm in. >> well, they didn't storm. they came very slowly. i saw their guns at first and they were moving in very well protected and they were also like -- we kept saying don't -- because people were starting to raise their hands, help us, shouting get us out of here. at some stage they said whoever can, if you can walk, crawl, whatever, out, out, out, out now. >> when you came home, your boys were there. >> my boys were there asleep, safe.
>> what was the first thing you did when you came home and your boys were there. >> well, i just hugged my boyfriend and jen i went to see them and cleaned myself. >> you were covered in -- >> i was completely covered. >> that was teresa sharing her powerful firsthand account of her attacks in the theater. our thanks to her. she essentially had to play do he had to survive. we'll have much more on this special edition of "meet the press." up next, do we need a new strategy to defeat isis, and if so, what is it? strategy to beat isis? and if so, what is it? ♪ (vo) you can check on them. you can worry about them. you can even choose a car for them.
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collaboration with our allies, but also our role in the world, yes, is also to confront evil when it rises. we took out the safe haven in afghanistan, but now there is undoubtedly a larger safe haven, and we must rise to this occasion in collaboration and with alliances to confront it. >> i don't think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of iraq led to the massive level of instability we are seeing right now. i think that was one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the modern history of the united states. >> we'll have much more on the democrats and how the events in paris may impact the race for president overall and also coming up later in the show, former florida governor jeb bush joins me. does the attack change republican voter attitudes towards those two outsider candidates? we'll be right back. two outsider candidates?
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we are back. the fear after the horror of par paris, that something similar to take place here. to discuss the threat of isis what happened it poses to the united states i'm joined by michael lighter who served in the counterterrorism agency. and from texas michael mccall, chairman of the house homeland security committee and just two months ago put out a report, a bipartisan report, called combatting terrorist and foreign
fighter travel. congressman, thanks very much. michael lighter, let me start with you. we thought only al qaeda was capable of some sort of global reach. what did the intelligence committee that you are a member of consistently underestimate about isis? >> well, it's not actually clear to me on a strategic level the intelligence committee did get this wrong. i think there have been a lot of warnings that isis wasn't just going to stay in its caliphate in syria and iraq. i think tactically the intelligence committee in france and the u.s. missed this attack, clearly missed the attack in egypt. people who have been watching terrorism for a long time knew isis would never be satisfied staying in the levant. >> how do you explain the obama administration's policy here? >> that's where we have the real delta. you have the intelligence community saying they won't be satisfied staying there. they will ultimately come to the west, but then you have a policy which, frankly, isn't sufficiently robust and muscular to really defeat that enemy as it starts to move to the neck
stage. >> chairman mccall, this report that i referenced earlier, i want to quote from it, gaping security weaknesses overseas, especially in europe, are putting the u.s. homeland in danger by making it easier for aspiring foreign fighters to migrate to terrorist hotspots and for jihadists to return to the west. ben rhodes, one of the president's closest national security advisers, says they are confident of their procedures in dealing with refugees and how they screen these folks in. you and your democratic partners here, this was not just your report, this was a bipartisan report, you seem to believe there are a lot of holes. explain. >> there are a lot of holes, gaping holes. there are a lot of foreign fighters. this was a foreign fighter event. we have 5,000 foreign fighters in europe that have traveled to the region and come back. this is what happened in paris. we've had hundreds of americans who have traveled and many of them have come back as well. i think that's a direct threat. when you get to the syrian
refugee issue, we think two of these terrorists were actually syrian refugees. this causes a grave concern on the part of policymakers because we don't want to be complicixli sit with a program that could bring in terrorists into the united states. i disagree with ben rhodes. i have been briefed by the fbi and homeland security and they tell me this can't be properly done. >> you noted this in the report, that there is no international database and the report actually blames europe essentially, that there's not enough cooperation with some of our european allies. can this get up and running fast? >> well, it has to. i mean, i think france is -- they know what the threat really is. the european parliament needs to pass legislation to, for instance, pass eu citizens past a watch list. you can fly in from istanbul in turkey and not even be checked
past a watch list going into europe. when you talk about visa waiver countries that could potentially come to the united states with western passports, that's where the homeland gets implicated. >> the panel is also here. way nt to bring everybody in. eugene robinson, columnist for "the washington post." my colleague at nbc, chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell, jennifer reuben with "the washington post" and jeff greenfield, a former correspondent. jeff greenfield, you wanted to pop in with a question. >> question is this, everybody seems to want a robust response, nobody wants to put american combat troops, but if isis in iraq and syria is something more like a state at this point, are we kidding ourselves? can this be done without a large infusion of american combat troops? >> michael? >> i think the answer is no. we may not need the same number that we needed when he first went into iraq, but we need more troops to push the iraqis faster. we need more than 50 special operations forces in syria and
we have to make clear that they don't stand a chance against us and right now we are basically playing even and that helps the movement beyond syria and iraq see that this is an attractive army to fight for in paris -- >> you said playing even, you mean that containment line that the president used. >> absolutely. we are not overwhelming them with force. >> andrea? >> congressman mccall, ben rhodes said we are arming foreign fighters. he's talking i guess about the peshmerga, but the failure has been the failure to stand up the syrian resistance against assad. where do you stand on that? what should the administration do now that paris has happened? doesn't this change the whole equation? >> i think paris changes everything. it should galvanize it's entire world behind our efforts to defeat and destroy isis, not just to contain them. that's been the policy of this administration has been containment only when the president said that isis has been contained, i would hate to see what isis looks like unleashed. i mean, we've had three major
external operations and the latest being in paris, the russian airliner. these traditionally look like more sophisticated al qaeda plots. we're realizing isis has the capability not just to establish the caliphate but then expand this mission beyond and conduct external operations. we need to have nato coalition forces in there. we need air strikes that don't have rules of engagement behind them, and we need to have the sunni arabs putting skin in the game to protect their own backyard and their own religion. >> jennifer. >> i think what we see here is a complete divorce between what is necessary and what the president and the administration is willing to do. they have this vision they are ending wars. they are not ending wars. they have a vision they will do a lightfoot print, they will let the countries in the region handle it. that is faltise.
what we see now is this imbalance of what we will need, which i believe is a significant american force, and what they are willing to do. what is telling is the person they put out to talk to the shows is ben rhodes, an administration white house official, not a national security person, not someone respected in the national community or in the international community. they are fighting a political pr battle, not a national security battle. >> gene, did you have a question? >> yeah. my question is given what jen just said, given that there's an obvious reluctance on the part of the president to go further, for congressman mccall, have you seen any indications from the administration, from the white house that attitudes may be changing in the wake of paris? >> i think maybe reluctantly they will change. i think they have to. what happened in paris was so horrific on such a large scale that we can't afford not to respond to what happened and i do think you're going to see the
nations coming together soon, talking about what is going to be the nato coalition response to this, the arab league of nations need to be a part of this as well. it's got to be under u.s. leadership with special forces embedded. i agree with michael, we're not going to put 100 u.s. combat troops on the ground nor should we, but this has to be a policy of defeat and destruction and not this containment issue that's been going on for two years, and i can't think we can brush it aside any longer. we've got to deal with it at its core or we're going to continue to see these terrorist attacks not only in europe but what i am most concerned about is an attack against the united states in the homeland. >> congressman mccaul joining us from texas. appreciate it. you put out this report, i know you have it there, people should read it. combatting terrorist and foreign fighter travel, a bipartisan report from capitol hill. michael leiter, you're stuck
sticking around with us. when we come back, jeb bush joins us about the fight against terrorism and a presidential campaign that may see itself shaken up by the events in paris. i want to share with you this photo. this is u-2 laying flours outside the bataclan concert hall. they canceled a concert last night out of respect for the victims of the paris attacks. it's more than the cloud.
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terrorism, needs to be called out. >> you can say what you want, but if they had guns, if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would have been a much, much different situation. >> if we take in thousands of people from that area, it would be almost malpractice for the global jihadist not to infiltrate them with their people. >> i am angry that just yesterday morning our president against all evidence declared isis contained and took a victory lap. isis is not a jv team, mr. president. they are not contained. they are at our shores and they measure their victory in body count. >> this is a clash of civilizations and either they way or we win. >> coming up, one candidate you didn't see. governor jeb bush, he'll join me after the break.
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joining me is former florida governor and a presidential candidate, jeb bush. governor bush, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you. >> let me ask it this way, ben rhodes believes we are at war. the french president says we are at war. there's wars that are tactical and then there's a war against an ideology. how do you defeat an ideology, governor? >> well, you take it to them in syria and iraq. you destroy isis and then you build a coalition to replace this radical islamic terrorist threat to our country and to europe and to the region with something that is more peace-loving. we have to be engaged in this. this is not something you can contain. each day isis exists, it gains new energy and more recruits around the world. >> you know, everything is a divide here. there's democracy, there's security and stability. so, for instance, in dealing with isis, our coalition partners like turkey and saudi arabia they care more about getting rid of assad than they
do dealing with isis. should the united states essentially change its policy and put the pause button on getting rid of assad? >> i think we need to do both. you don't see isis and assad fighting each other. the fight is with the remnants of the syrian free army. we need to build that force up which is not what's happening. this is viewed as a law enforcement exercise by the obama administration. we should declare war and harness all the power the united states can bring to bear both diplomatic and military, of course, to be able to take out isis. we have the capabilities of doing this. we just haven't shown the will. >> what is it you would like to see the president do? set the campaign aside here. in the next two weeks you want president obama to do what, governor? >> declare a no-fly zone over syria. directly arm the peshmerga forces in iraq. re-engage with the sunni tribal leaders. embed with the iraqi military. be able to create safe zones in syria. garner the support of our europe
pi european allies. lead. that's whey want him to do. he has the capability of doing this. we have the resources. this is a threat to western civilization and we should consider it that way. >> what do you tell an american public who says, you know what? the iraq war, afghanistan, we've had a lot of blood and treasure. nothing has changed in the middle east. we had a terrorist threat before 9/11. we now have a terrorist threat now. what policy works because we've tried different. we've tried intervention, tried toppling dictators, tried nation building. none of it has worked. what do you tell the m.a.s.h. public? >> i tell the american public a caliphate the size of indiana garners strength each and every day if it's not taken out. 30 to 40,000 battle tested soldiers that are organized to destroy our way of life. my heart goes out to the people of paris, and this will continue on. we have to be in this fight. there is no other option. and this threat can be contained
but more importantly it will never die unless it's destroyed, and the policy of containment isn't going to work and it's a policy of incremental just running out the clock so the next president has to deal with this. should i be the president of the united states, i promise you that i will. >> some of your closest advisers or who you've put on paper are people that were members of your brother's administration. a foreign policy in the middle east that essentially the american public rejected in 2008. why should they trust you to bring back that same foreign policy? >> the world is going to be dramatically different in 2017 than it was in 2000. we need to be focused on the future, and this is a threat to western civilization. there's no way to deny this. this is how they're organized, and containing isis isn't going to work. taking it out, we have the capability of going it and the focus ought to be on the future, not the past. >> is this -- do you believe that -- what do you say to voters that right now they want outsiders and they don't care that they don't have a lot of
experience. do you think what happened in paris should change the mindset of the republican voter and what's your case to them to make them do that? >> look, i think as we get closer to the primaries, people want to know who can sit behind the big desk? who has the judgment and the temperament to lead this country? and if you listen to some of the candidates speaking about syria, for example, they are all over the map. i laid out a strategy two plonts ago at the reagan library and it's the proper strategy i think to destroy isis and to have change in the regime related to assad so that there can be peace and security in the region and lessening the threat to our own national security. >> would you trust donald trump or ben carson as commander in chief right now? >> i don't know. the words that i hear them speaking give me some concern, but that's why we have campaigns, chuck, as you know. everybody will have a chance to lay out their visions. i'm more concerned about hillary clinton thinking that the united states doesn't have a leadership role in this.
that's my big concern. if you listening to the democrats debating. >> so you agree with governor o'malley. >> about what? >> that this is america's leadership role, that they have to -- this is america's fight more so than it is the world's fight. >> it's both, and i think governor o'malley probably agrees with me that we need to lead. if he's suggesting that, kudos to him. we need to lead. we cannot lead from behind. we have to take a leadership role to inspire our arab partners in the european countries, nato allies, all of them together, create a strategy, act on it, unleash a strategy on isis and we will be successful. >> let me go to the refugee issue. would you -- do you believe we should still try to accept some of these syrian refugees and if not, what do you do with them? >> the great majority of refugees need to be safely kept in syria which means the safe zones need to be serious. we need to build a coalition
that can fight both assad and isis and give people safe haven. i do think we have a responsibility to help with refugees after proper screening and i think our focus ought to be on the christians who have no place in syria anymore. they're being beheaded. they're being executed by both sides and i think we have a responsibility to help. but ultimately the best way to deal with refugees is to have a strategy to take out isis and assad and act on that strategy immediately. >> it does sound like to do safe zones in syria, it will mean boots on the ground. >> absolutely. and it ought to be designed by our military without their hands tied. we ought to know exactly what it will take, and we can't do it alone. i think that's an important lesson from history, but we need to lead. but for the united states, who is going to take the leadership role? i think having a no-fly zone will be an important part of this and there are many other things we need to do in concert with our allies. >> governor bush, talking to me
from miami this morning. appreciate it. stay safe on the trail, sir. >> thanks, chuck. >> you got it. some quick reaction from the panel. looks like you all want to jump in. go for it. >> well, first of all -- >> what did you hear? >> what i heard is a quick attack against hillary clinton, and even though she did better than i think her two colleagues on the national security. so she opened up some lines for the republicans to jump in. she refused to talk about radical islam. she said it wasn't necessarily america's to lead. so she was playing diplomat, and i also heard her last night saying that she disagreed with the president about containment. so she's already distancing herself -- >> but the two of you, jeff and jennifer, were whispering when i asked the question about donald trump. >> yes, i was waiting -- i can hear the bush advisers say, for god's sakes, remember nancy reagan, just say no, no, donald trump. >> you're nodding your head. >> it's absurd. he's making the argument these people are not equipped, they don't have the knowledge, don't
have the experience and yet when asked the question would you trust them as commander in chief, the appropriate answer is no. what's interesting is i think he is also going to expand that argument. it's not just carson and trump that have the problem, it's people like ted cruz who refuse to, for example, back the enforcement of the red line, opposed to putting ground troops on. has called syria a civil war. there are a lot of candidates, not just the most extreme, the most ignorant ones but a variety of others who are very vulnerable. i think jeb bush will exploit that but he should do that really putting the screws to those people. >> he's afraid to take them on because what he has seen is what happens when you go after donald trump. >> also, there's a large portion of the republican electorate that doesn't want to put boots on the ground. >> how can you not pollwise? it's about 60%, 70% are in favor. >> i think there's something of an air of unreality about the discussion. you know, there are estimates that it would take 30,000 to
40,000 troops. boots on the ground. people, not just boots, people, to get rid of isis. now, that's the private assessment. >> not just get rid of them -- >> they say 30,000 to 40,000. >> it's clear and hold. >> somebody has got to come up with those troops and so who it supposed to be? and the answer was if you decide to do it, it's going to be the united states. >> michaelleiter, what did you hear from governor that would say, okay, what do you think he got right and got wrong? >> two key points. one, assad remains the core of this problem. until we really have a good strategy to get rid of assad and what comes after, isis will continue to prosper. the second is many of the policy solutions he suggested, the no-fly zone, the safe zones, those are hard. for the past three months they've been a whole lot harder because of russia and what putin has put in the region. russians flying combat missions,
advance russian weapons systems. that means our ability to operate is that much less. >> i want to go back to the politics. first of all, what we've learned, whoever said politics stops at the water's edge needs a gps because it's obviously not true. the second thing is this is another example of where we're going to find out if the law of gravity politically has been repealed. if there's one thing that you'd think conventionally would drive people away from people like trump and carson is, oh, my heavens, there's a serious ex shen shall threat, we need somebody who knows the turf. every time we have made that assumption up to and including that thursday night lonesome roads facing the crowds rant, it turned out the voters said no. >> very briefly we're talking today, you heard from congressman mccaul about having russia in the air. what kerry was acknowledged in vienna is assad is not going to go. >> you brought up the rant.
let me show this because before paris, i think there was some people that thought, oshs, is this the beginning of the end? here is what trump did to carson. >> he took a knife, and he went after a friend, and he lunged. he lunged that knife into the stomach of his friend, but lo and behold, it hit the belt. it hit the belt. and the knife broke. give me a break. >> he also cursed. he insulted iowa voters. >> and he says that paris is a gun control issue. >> that was two days later. >> i think that jeb bush, the ower folks who have been making some of these arguments about russia, about assad, are really going to have to man up and really are going to have to take it to these people who are really not speaking any logic or speaking from any position of authority. i think when donald trump says something like this, you don't really hear from the bush campaign an instantaneous
response. >> you better go after them. >> the key to this and i think we've been missing this for month is for the trump supporters, what they say is, fine, look what the experts did. >> yeah. >> and that in some ways for them ends the argument. >> right. >> i'm not going to end the argument but i'm going to pause the argument. we'll be back with a moment with our "end game" segment with more on the democratic debate including a decision by hillary clinton to defend wall street and inno contest 9/11. whatever you're doing, plan well and enjoy life... ♪ or, as we say at unitedhealthcare insurance company, go long. how you plan is up to you. take healthcare. make sure you're covered for more than what just medicare pays... consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company... the only medicare supplement plans that carry the aarp name,
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leaving you free to focus on what matters most. time now for "meet the press" "end game." >> as the big voice just said, it is "end game" timing and the panelists here, a little more on the democratic debate and andrea, i know you want to jump on this but let's play the clip first. this is hillary clinton, she's getting attacked by bernie sanders for taking so many donations on wall street. here was her rebuttal to sanders. >> i represented new york on 9/11 when we were attacked. where were we attacked? we were attacked in downtown manhattan where wall street is. i spent a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. it was good for new york, good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country. >> a 9/11 defense. >> it reminds you of rudy giuliani when he was running for
president and it was 9/11, 9/11, 9/11. it was so dissonant and clearly that is being picked up by a lot of people. >> i have to say does this matter? >> i want to show a quick excerpt of a focus group. >> of the three candidates on the stage tonight, who do you think is more capable of dealing with issues like terrorism? hillary, bernie, or o'malley. how many would say o'malley? okay. how many would say sanders? how many would say hillary? the entire group. >> that kind of says it. >> these are democratic voters. >> she's the secretary of state. she was a senator. >> everything on the resume. >> she speaks about it knowledgeably. you can agree or disagree with her policies but you don't think she'd be lost. >> i think these are democratic voters, and of course three, frankly, they have a point, but the question is in a general
campaign, does someone like a jeb bush, does someone like a marco rubio, someone like a chris christie who gave a fiery speech yesterday take her on and say, know, madam secretary, you were secretary of state. you were the one saying al qaeda was on the run. you supported the president in all of these policies. you're responsible. and she better have a better explanation than what she gave during the debate. >> one thing we know i think that when people feel threatened, whether it's war or terrorism or even crime back in the '80s, the political compass tends to swing right and it tends to swing to secure. and the fact that she was there, whatever the merits, compared to her opponents and xart compared most of the republicans is an advantage. but i do agree or at least i think we have to hold our fire. i have been thinking for this entire campaign that it is possible that all the laws of political gravity are in suspension and if that's the case, you may find people who say the insiders didn't know what they were doing, it's time for something outside. >> michael, you worked in
moments like this. are those democratic primary voters right? >> i think in fairness she was stronger than the president. she was with david petraeus and others in 2011-2012 saying let's get more involved in syria. from a counterterrorism perspective broadly certainly on the bin laden raid and oshs, i think the secretary was very, very strong. i think she understands the limits of u.s. power. i think, frankly, with he all know she's more hawkish than the current president. >> one counterintuitive theory about the outsiders versus experience and insiders is in times of crisis, we don't know whether voters largely will go for the big man, the strong man theory, and that donald trump for all his lack of experience in this field may be appealing to people. i think we've all been wrong all along in this campaign and as you say, the laws of conventional experience and gravity may not hold. >> and we don't know how personally threatened voters feel either. when -- we were making assumptions and i kind of -- i
really felt what happened in paris a lot, but i'm just not sure how people are going to feel that this year. >> did everything change, jeff? you know that feeling. everything changes for 48 hours. >> a, only time will tell. but i do have a serious point. the one word no one should use about these attacks is senseless. the isis people knew precisely what they were doing and where they attacked. >> this was not random. >> and i think the problem that hillary is going to have is as you say, she is more hawkish than the president, but right now she is in a democratic primary so does she try to reappear or reapply that distance or does she continue to hug the president close? >> all right. you just got the last word in there. terrific panel. peshl it. that's all we have today. we'll be back next week because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." sunday, it is "meet the press."
good afternoon. i'm chris jansing. this is msnbc's continuing coverage of the terror attacks in paris. let's get you caught up on the latest. it is 9:00 p.m. in paris where we are waiting on a press conference from the french interior ministry. a few hours ago we saw how much paris is a city on edge. a crowded plaza where people started running and screaming in panic. turned out to be a false alarm. right now there is an intensive manhunt under way for this fugitive. french police believe he is