tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC November 17, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PST
because the salad there is always served with the original hidden valley ranch. 9:00 a.m. on the west coast, 12:00 noon in the east. i'm brian williams. among the headlines at this hour, two stories out of the white house. number one, president hollande of france will visit the white house this coming tuesday for talks with president obama. secondly, the white house will have a conference call tonight with u.s. governors concerned about the refugees who are due to come to this country. in other news, on the terrorism front, starting in france, it all has to do with the manhunt now. we have richard engel standing by in paris. we have keir simmons standing by
in brussels. richard, first to you. >> reporter: well, there's a new report from the associated press that french investigators are looking for multiple suspects, as many as two who may still be on the loose. they say according to the a.p. that one they believe was actively involved in the shooting. earlier today, french authorities found what they are describing as a safe house, hotel on the outskirts of city, a low budget apartment style hotel. a french newspaper released some images from inside that hotel. shaky cell phone camera. it showed syringes that may have been used to help assemble some of the suicide vests. it showed a room that was left in something of a hurry, left in disarray with a pizza box, food still on the table, mattresses tipped over on the floor. this is still very much an ongoing investigation. where we are right now is we are in front of the bataclan
theater. this is of course where the most tragic part of the massacre took place, where people were inside with the gunmen, trapped inside with the gunmen as the militants began to open fire indiscriminately, then they blew up their suicide vests. this is a memorial here. you can see a lot of people have come to look, to take pictures, also to pay their respects. if we pan over here, you can see a group of people have come, they are lighting small torches, holding flowers, and saying the french people are united against extremism. this place, this country, the city of lights, has become a city of memorials, of candlelight, of torches. people are still coming to the terms that the city was attacked, they worry that it could get attacked again. french officials have said that isis which is the group now blamed by the president of the united states and by france, carried it out and they think that isis is not over, that it wants to continue a wave of
international level attacks like the one we saw here in france. >> richard engel outside the bataclan music venue in paris. richard, thanks. cal perry has been combing social media looking for new pieces of the story. i understand you have new video. >> new video showing the night of the attack. this is cell phone video we have just gotten. the location here is the restaurant right around the corner. you are looking there down the alley that runs behind the bataclan club. i want you to hear the sound of sirens, obviously. you will hear some gunfire here shortly and another explosion. gives you the sense of the terror. you will see people taking cover next to the cafes, staying away from the glass. we are obviously pixelating the bodies there on the ground.
brian, this just gives you a sense of the panic, the chaos that existed that night behind the alleyway in that club. >> absolutely. we recall there were gunshots audible outside along with about five flash-bang grenade concussions inside as the raid was started by french authorities. and as life kind of returns to normal, and being that everyone these days has a device on them, so many different angles of this have emerged. to andrea mitchell now. i should explain, we have lost our connection with keir simmons in belgium. we had hoped to go to him for an update on the manhunt. perhaps you will be able to speak with him during your hour. >> will do, brian. thanks for all of that. russia today hammering raqqah for the first time. the headquarters of isis of course in syria retaliating against isis after russia confirms suspicions that its airliner was brought down by an
isis bomb last month. the strikes are raising concerns at the pentagon today which is doing a bomb damage assessment at this hour to see if the russian bombs have also been hitting hospitals and other civilian facilities avoided by u.s. air strikes. at the same time, back home, fierce political battles today by republican presidential candidates and governors. joined by the new house speaker, paul ryan. questioning how syrian refugees to the u.s. are vetted. to talk about all this and more, i'm joined by senator tim keane. senator, thank you very much. first of all, how significant is it that russia is now going after isis head-on? we had been questioning whether they were really going after isis, whether their bomb raids were against anti-assad groups that are supported by the u.s. and others, but now they are really taking on isis. >> i think it's very significant and it is positive. we don't have a lot of overlap with russia in the way we look at the world, but they now
understand in a deep way the depravity of isil. they are now taking big steps to try to counter isil. the more nations we have that see this threat and will act against it, the stronger we'll be in the battle. >> and senator, you have been one of the leaders calling for a congressional authorization. initially the white house was reluctant, then the white house did propose one but congress has been unwilling, refusing to vote on this. democrats as well as republicans not wanting to be put on the record. it's been 2001 or after 9/11, 2002, when we had the last congressional authorization. isn't this a war? doesn't it require congressional approval? >> absolutely. this has been a war since august 2014 when the president started the bombing campaign against isil and there really isn't any current statutory or treaty legal authority for the war. congress has the responsibility under article one to declare war
and frankly, members of congress, both parties, both houses, have wanted to criticize the president but not vote to authorize the war or stop the war or refine what the president is doing. but i think the events of last week, the downing of the russian airliner, the attack in beirut, the horrific attacks in paris, and now claims that isil wants to do attacks in other cities including washington. congress may want to hide from this but congress can't hide. isil is not going away. i think it is time and you see a growing willingness and understanding in congress that we've got to be more engaged. >> a couple of quick points. i was talking to your colleague, dianne feinstein, yesterday. she said she has never been as worried in looking at the intelligence since 9/11, as she is today. at the same time, jack brennan, the cia director, blaming a lot of this on the dark side, on the problems on surveillance that have been, he believes, tying intelligence's hands. a broad acknowledgment from all
of my sources that we had no idea that isis had this capacity. the airliner, beirut, paris, the external threats. yet john kerry today told my colleague lester holt in paris and we will play more of that and talk to lester in a bit, that we knew this all along, this was not unexpected. there's a real disconnect here somewhere. who's right, who's wrong? >> there is a disconnect. look, while i'm blaming congress for not authorizing the war against isil and feel we need to, i don't think the administration has done a good job of laying out a clear strategy that encompasses the three elements that have to be put together. there is the war against isil. there is the ongoing civil war in syria because of the atrocities of bashar al assad and there's the worst humanitarian crisis since world war ii with the fleeing of syrian refugees. these things are all connected. while the administration and the u.s. are taking steps, writing a big check to humanitarian aid or working with the kurds in iraq
and northern syria, we are doing a series of things, there hasn't been an articulated strategy that really brings these three crises together and suggests a direction for dealing with it. then that leads to all this back and forth and somebody says we have intel and somebody says we don't. that's what an authorization debate would give us. it would force the white house to articulate a strategy. it would subject their witnesses to painful cross-examination from members of congress to make sure the strategy makes sense. it would lead to a debate and a vote that educates the american public. an authorization debate will force that strategy to come together and that's what we need to do. >> did we underestimate isis? did we know all along they could attack a major western capital like paris? >> to me, it wasn't a surprise. i'm not on the intel committee so i don't see every bit of intel that an intel committee person would, but i'm on armed services and foreign relations
that isil would want to conduct such an attack and have the capacity, i'm not surprised at all. actually, paradoxically, these kind of attacks might become more likely to the extent they see themselves losing ground on the battlefield. last week was also a week where the coalition made gains in sinjar in northern iraq, made gains against raqqah, cut off key isil supply lines in the main battle space. as isil feels like it's getting hammered on the battle space, they are likely to do things like this to try to sort of distract attention from battlefield losses. none of that is a surprise to me. i'm a little bit surprised that administration officials would claim they hadn't contemplated this. >> senator tim keane, thank you very much, sir. we have got keir simmons in brussels on the manhunt with talk the a.p. is reporting additional suspects. what can you tell us today? >> reporter: we are just hearing
that mohammed abdeslam, the brother of salah abdeslam who is of course on the run and the police have been searching for him in this very district, his brother has spoken to a television network, french tv, we think, and has asked his brother to turn himself in. now, we know that one of the brothers was arrested and then released and made a statement very close to here. one of the family houses or apartment at least is just across the square here. a few days ago, he said that he was innocent, that they said they hadn't had contact with his brother and that his parents were shocked by what was being reported about his brother. then today, a source in the belgium prosecutor's office, official source, suggested that they think that perhaps what had happened is that salah had been gone -- had been picked up by two men who had driven from here
to paris, picked him up the morning after the attack and brought him back here. you will remember, of course, that there are those reports that three men were stopped at the border by police after the attack but then were freed. yesterday, we saw a police operation under way in which they closed off some streets, searched houses. we know from officials that they were looking for salah. they still did not find him on that occasion. by the way, just before we came to air, there was a belgian police helicopter flying very, very close overhead right by the roofs. we have no clue what they were doing. but it gives you a sense that that operation continues and now that operation continues in this very district. so either they are, you know, drawing at straws or they have some information that leads me to believe that he may still be in this area. remember that they have warned the public not to approach him. they don't appear to know exactly what his role might have been in the attacks but they do consider him dangerous.
>> keir simmons, we will let you go and continue your reporting. obviously a continuing and breaking news situation there. secretary of state john kerry in paris today met with french president hollande. after hollande had called international response to isis incoherent and divided in his speech yesterday. the french in general are dismayed over what is widely considered to be a defensive reaction by president obama yesterday. >> reporter: how could the u.s. expectations of the west be so wrong? >> i disagree we didn't know they had this capacity. we certainly -- >> reporter: that they could blow a plane up? >> sure. they have gained great expertise over a period of time and they have some people in isis who have been fighting in the terror network for a period of time. they have access to c-4. they have access to explosives. everybody knows that. they are making ieds every single day. >> reporter: you weren't surprised by what we saw in paris? >> i was shocked by it.
not surprised. i find that we all know because we are following the threat streams that any individual who wants to strap a suicide vest around them can walk into any public event in most places in the world and blow him or herself up and destroy people with them. so that's the nature of terror. that's why terrorists are called terrorists. they spread terror. they are trying to sow fear and intimidate people. and yes, we have known this. >> nbc's lester holt with john kerry. lester is with me now after sitting down with secretary kerry earlier today and asking him about the criticism of the u.s. by many in france. what was your take-away from that? it seems that the administration is reasonably defensive today. >> reporter: well, i think part of it is mentioned to represent the united states, this difficult time in france, but also to reassure france president hollande has expressed
concerns about the lack of a cohesive international policy toward isis, especially as it comes to the relationship between the u.s. and russia. as you know, he will be meeting with president obama next week. he also hopes to meet with president putin to discuss this and try to get the two on the same page so there's great concern. clearly this is a time here in france that the president is saying we are at war and they turned on and watched the president's news conference yesterday, president obama's news conference, in which he essentially was saying we are going to stay the course. is that a disconnect? not clear if it's a full disconnect, but clearly two countries seeing this in a different way today. >> indeed. you also asked secretary kerry about the refugee situation, because there is such a political backlash against the refugee flow from syrian refugees in particular to the united states, with republican candidates, republican governors lining up and saying they don't want refugees here, and the
speaker of the house today joining in. let me play a little bit of that part of your interview. >> since 9/11, we have allowed 785,000 refugees to come to the united states of america. all vetted, all screened. out of the 785,000, 12 people were found to perhaps be problematic with respect to potential terror and they were arrested or deported. so we have a very capable ability which we now have to probably heighten and increase even more and it will probably go slower and cost more money. but the united states of america shouldn't turn away a mother and a child who have been driven out of their homes and perhaps had another child killed in the process and made their way over land or sea to seek refuge. >> lester, i was just talking to state department officials and intelligence officials, and they say that every single syrian
refugee is interviewed by homeland security overseas and they compare with the fbi lists and biometrics and with the counterterrorism center, so this is really slowed to a trickle. we don't have a million person migration here. we have had maybe 2,000 in the past couple years. >> reporter: it was interesting to hear the secretary, my question to him was you've got these governors now who are saying no, we don't want the syrian refugees. i said can they even do that. it took him awhile to even try to answer that. he essentially said well, they certainly have the right to ask the questions. we don't want to bring in people who have not been fully vetted. but he never specifically said whether they have the absolute right to turn -- to close their doors to these refugees. he was also clear he doesn't want to antagonize those who hold this position so he was more or less holding out this idea that most of these people,
they have all been vetted, very few have ever slipped in and that it's really an act of compassion to not close the door on people who have faced such difficult times in syria. >> it's fascinating because it's now becoming part of the whole immigration controversy, part of the republican campaign as well. we will hear a lot more on it. lester, thanks so much for taking the time. we'll be watching "nbc nightly news" and watch lester holt live from paris tonight, the rest of that interview with john kerry. up next, closing those borders. more than two dozen governors now refusing to take refugees from syria. do they have the legal right? the top democrat on the house intelligence committee telling us what those fears are all about. before i had the shooting, burning, pins-and-needles of diabetic nerve pain, these feet grew up in a family of boys... married my high school sweetheart... and pursued a degree in education. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor and she prescribed lyrica.
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republican governors and presidential candidates, house speaker paul ryan in one of his first official acts today demanded a halt in the flow of syrian refugees to the u.s. in order to have a republican-led task force examine the vetting process. >> our nation has always been welcoming but we cannot let terrorists take advantage of our compassion. this is a moment where it's better to be safe than to be sorry. so we think the prudent, the responsible thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect of this refugee program in order to verify that terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population. >> but what are the facts? numbers show the so-called flood of refugees from syria to the u.s. is more like a trickle. in fact, state department records show less than 2,000 -- fewer than 2,000 refugees from syria have been admitted to the u.s. in the last two fiscal years. california congressman adam schiff is the top democrat in the house intelligence committee and joins me now. thanks very much for being with us.
do you see a reason for this pushback against the refugees? have you looked at the process, the vetting that goes on, homeland, fbi, counterterrorism center, which we are told takes place? does it work? >> well, the system does work. it has protected us. but look, i understand the fear out there. what happened in paris is terrifying and safety has to come first and indeed, it does come first, which is why as you point out in the last two years, we have only had about 1800 refugees from syria. it is a very long, multi-year process of vetting that is extremely rigorous. but americans while we want safety first and insist on safety first, we are also a very compassionate people. we don't turn our back on mothers and children who are in need and the victims of persecution around the world. it's part of the proudest tradition of this country. we need safety but we also want compassion. there's no reason why we can't have both. >> dianne feinstein, your california colleague from the
senate, was on the show yesterday and expressed real concern about the level of security here in the u.s. right now after paris and after the isis video yesterday. let's watch. >> i don't want to make everybody nervous but i feel the same way i felt before 9/11, that something very well could happen here. >> do you share those concerns? >> well, listen, i can well understand those concerns. she and i share the same position as ranking members on intelligence. we are bombarded with bad news all the time. i will say this. in the immediate aftermath of paris there is a risk of copycat attacks in the united states, not likely of the scope in paris but nonetheless, people who have been home-grown radicalized here in the united states acting out, lashing out in the wake of these attacks. what concerns me, though, frankly more than that at the moment is still the specter of what we have seen now confirmed by russia and that is a bomb on
a plane. i still believe that our airport defenses are inadequate. it still distresses me greatly that when we test the tsa largely they fail those tests. if there was one vulnerability i would say we ought to focus on, it ought to be the airports. >> do you think the u.s. intelligence community was aware of the capability of isis, because when this first happened on friday, some of the officials were telling our colleagues that this looked more like al qaeda because isis had never shown that they could do this kind of coordinated attack overseas. >> well, certainly in isis' first year of existence they were very much focused on building their caliphate, on holding ground. now in their second year, they are opening a second front against the west. we have seen over the last year multiple plots in europe to attack western targets, many of them frankly targeting france. france has been western target number one for isis largely i think because they view the united states as a much more difficult target to reach. so we have been aware of the
plotting and the planning. nonetheless, the fact that isis could carry off an attack this massive, this coordinated, with this kind of lethality is shocking to all of us. >> adam schiff, thank you very much. thanks, congressman. up next, french president hollande is coming to washington. he will talk to president obama. you're watching msnbc. its official, i work for ge!! what? wow... yeah! okay... guys, i'll be writing a new language for machines so planes, trains, even hospitals can work better. oh! sorry, i was trying to put it away... got it on the cake. so you're going to work on a train? not on a train...on "trains"! you're not gonna develo? no i am... do you know what ge ? your loving toh stimulates his senses and nurtures his mind. the johnson's scent, lather, and bubbles help
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because the salad there is always served with the original hidden valley ranch. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night,blind. and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit your24info.com. many of the french newspapers today are picking up on the gap in the rhetoric between president hollande who is meeting john kerry here this morning and president obama. president hollande is really pulling the united states to do more. you heard president obama yesterday saying we're giving more intelligence, more quickly, more often to france, but really for the french, collective defense, they are emphasizing that. that's an obligation under nato. they want to see the u.s. doing more.
>> nbc news chief global correspondent bill neely earlier today from paris. highlighting what he describes as big differences between the french and american governments on the steps against isis amplified by comments from president obama on monday. >> we have always understood that this would be a long-term campaign. there will be setbacks and there will be successes. the terrible events in paris were obviously a terrible and sickening setback. even as we grieve with our french friends, however, we can't lose sight that there has been progress being made. >> white house communications director jen psaki joins me now. great to see you. i want to ask you about the president's communications because there has been a lot of criticism that he didn't express urgency, he's staying the course. he said he's intensifying the current strategy but a lot of people, democrats as well as republicans, dianne feinstein
most notably on this program yesterday, said the strategy isn't working. >> first, i think everybody across the country heard the president on friday night go out quickly and say this isn't just an attack on the people of paris, but an attack on humanity. that's absolutely how he feels. it's not just about rhetoric to him or to us. it's about actions. you saw the president announce yesterday increased intel sharing with the french. we have done thousands of -- launched thousands of attacks against isil in their safe havens in syria and iraq and we are going to continue to do more. but this is a strategy and an approach that isn't just about rhetoric. it's about having a specific comprehensive strategy. that's what he was explaining yesterday. but i have worked for him for a long time. no one should question his passion, his concern about keeping the american people safe and continuing to lead in the world on going after this terrible terrorist group. >> secretary kerry told lester holt today that it was not surprising, it was shocking that
paris happened, but not surprising, that the u.s. had certainly known that isis had that capability. that contradicts what i have been told privately by other u.s. officials. >> well, andrea, i think we are constantly assessing as you know what their capabilities and their capacity is. this is a terrorist organization that has done some of the worst damage, done some of the most horrific actions, beheading americans, attacking people across the world, and we are constantly assessing that. look, i think secretary kerry, who i also used to work for for a long time, is just conveying we knew how terrible they are. we knew that their capacity to do harm to the world, to do harm to innocent civilians was very high, very strong, and that's why we are taking every step we can take to address them. >> michael hayden, former head of the cia and head of the nsa, was on "morning joe" today and he is among the critics, granted a republican, former military man, but this was his assessment of the strategy.
>> i think our current effort is underresourced and overregulated. we need to take some of the limits off of the capacities we now have. 36 hours ago we destroyed about 100 tanker trucks that the islamic state was using to fuel their treasury. we could have struck those trucks on thursday. the fact that we struck them on sunday suggests the kinds of limits that our forces had been operating under. i expect those limits to be lifted. >> are we now changing the rules of engagement and being more aggressive in the way we are going after isis? >> well, first, i think it's important with all due respect to your guest there, i think for people to understand that military leaders on the ground, that military commanders, they follow a process of rules of engagement that includes assessing whether a target is one that we can reach, whether it's one that has the individuals or the assets in place, so it's an issue i would
really warn people against playing back seat driver on. this is an issue going after isil where we have evaluated, we have scrapped programs that didn't work. as you know, we ended our train and equip program that we were working towards for a couple of months. we have refocused on areas where we think things are working, going after the isil target in libya. we went after jihadi john. we helped equip kurds on the ground. we are continuing to invest in areas where we think things are working. but it doesn't mean that taking additional military actions is going to solve this problem. that's why it needs to have a multi-faceted approach. >> finally, you worked at the state department, you are familiar with the process, the vetting process. can you respond to the republicans who are calling for a halt, the governors who said don't let syrian refugees in, they're not vetted, donald trump said they're not vetted at all. can you respond to that? >> i certainly can. first, the president's focus is on keeping the american people safe and we certainly understand that that is the focus of
governors as well. but there's a great deal of misinformation out there about our refugee program, how it works. it is the most stringent and strict and thorough process applied to any traveler trying to get into the united states. that is a process that is lengthy. it's obviously -- it takes some time for refugees to get in here. i think you have been talking a bit about how only under 2,000 have been let into the united states at this point in time. it's a process that includes our intel community, our national security team, the dhs, and it's one that we are going to continue to educate and have conversations with officials from around the country on. we also shouldn't forget who we are as a country. the president spoke to this. there are refugees coming from war zones, that's who refugees are, who have been coming for decades, if not longer. people who have contributed to society and become incredibly important members of this country and we can't take a step
back and not let the vulnerable people in populations around the world into this country. that's the core of who we are in america. >> jen psaki, thank you very much. good to see you. still to come, paris is standing strong, plus the amazing survival story of one pregnant woman and her reunion with the man who saved her life. ? hey! how are you? where are we watching the game? you'll see. i think my boys have a shot this year. yeah, especially with this new offense we're running... i mean, our running back is a beast. once he hits the hole and breaks through the secondary, oh he's gone. and our linebackers and dbs dish out punishment, and never quit. ♪ you didn't expect this did you? no i didn't. the nissan altima. there'a fun side to every drive. nissan. the nissan altima. innovati that excites.
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outside the bataclan theater just behind me, actually on this side street. they were acts of heroism and ultimately of survival and a reunion. just a warning, some of this may be tough to watch. chaos in the street outside the bataclan theater. people pouring from a side door of the concert hall, desperate to get away from the horror. the sound of gunfire heard clearly. people seen dragging bodies. a man who appears to have be struck in the leg hobbling away from the scene. hanging from a second story window, a woman. sir, sir, she says, i'm pregnant. as the woman dangles, slowly inching over to a man above her, the video pans to the scene below. bodies near the door. the sound of more gunshots. as people rush from the scene, the sound of their footsteps echoing through the street.
again, the woman pleads for help. after nearly two minutes, hands reach out to pull her to safety. i held out my hand, says 34-year-old sebastian, who shared his story with french radio. he said she was going to let go. one can't watch someone die before their very eyes. there had already been too much of that. after saving her, the two were separated. over the weekend, this message began making the rounds on twitter. asking for retweets to help the woman in the video find the man who helped save her life just to say thank you. it didn't take long. a tweet confirming she had found the man and noting quote, the rest of the story is theirs. so i have to tell you that woman has made it very clear she really doesn't want media attention. we are of course respecting her privacy. sebastian, after doing an
interview with a paper near his hometown and also with this french radio station, also said he wanted a bit of a break. in that radio station interview he said he was due to speak by phone with the woman that afternoon and he was really happy to know they had been reunited. we are here at the bataclan today and it is one of the most emotional memorials i have seen since we arrived on saturday. i think that's because many people for the first time are able to access this area, remember it had been cordoned off for so long with the investigation happening here. there is a lot of raw emotion we have seen here since we first arrived this morning and continuing into the night as a memorial here grows. >> erica, nothing could be more emotional than that moment captured and they deserve their privacy. better for them to understand their indelible connection without the rest of us. thank you so much for bringing it to us. up next, destiny and power. with presidential historian john meacham. some cash back cards love to overcomplicate things. like limiting where you earn bonus cash back.
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president obama is being widely criticized, especially in france, for calling the horrific attack in paris a quote, setback. while saying he will not change his strategy. how important is communications to being commander in chief? jon meacham joins me, the pulitzer prize winning author of "destiny and power, the american odyssey of george herbert walker bush." it's the first authoritative examination of george bush's life and presidency, including access to the former president and barbara bush's diaries. welcome, and congratulations. what an extraordinary achievement. let's take a look at the whole question of presidential communication. you had president obama yesterday and he sounded as though he were sticking to his course, not changing strategy, calling it a setback but saying progress had been made. in the context of what you have seen in covering presidents, particularly george bush 41, was that a mismatch with the scale of the event? >> there's an analogy on august
2nd, 1990, you remember well when saddam went into kuwait, helen thomas asked the president twice whether he was contemplating intervention. he said i am not contemplating intervention of any kind. three days later, as he grew more concerned about the situation, he said memorably, this will not stand, this aggression against kuwait, and it's arguably the most memorable phrase of his public life. he wasn't sure that first day exactly what the scope of the problem was. i think president obama probably has a greater degree of certainty, at least the scope of the problem on terror, and i would hope and think that the president would speak more clearly and more consistently as well, more often, i should say, about this. i think it's an amorphous threat to many americans. we have seen it become all too
real in paris and it requires a great deal of presidential explanation. >> it seemed as though the president was being defensive, responding more to his republican critics than to the situation, and they are defensive about whether or not they have missed warnings and why they didn't realize that isis was capable of this. >> i think that what would really be helpful here is the president to use the bully pulpit in a kind of fdr way. remember back during world war ii when fdr wanted to explain the relation of each theater, one to another, he asked americans to go buy maps and he would do it on the radio and rand mcnally ran out of maps. i think there's a moment here where an explanation of what the strategic environment is, what the options are, why not convene a national conversation, a national debate about this as opposed to simply asserting one policy is working or one policy is not. >> in your book, you made a lot
of headlines by reporting bush 41's concerns about dick cheney and the way cheney changed. involving rumsfeld you write the big mistake that was made is letting cheney bring in his own kind of state department. i think they overdid that but it's not cheney's fault. it's the president's fault. he ultimately did fault his own son while he didn't disagree with the invasion of iraq, he disagreed with the way it was then carried out. >> you know, 41 and 43 were closer together on the substance of foreign policy than many people imagined at the time. what is very clear is that the president, president bush 41, was uncomfortable with his perception of cheney's role and with his son's hawkish rhetoric. he didn't like the phrase axis of evil. but to 43's credit, when i took those comments to him, president bush 43 said well, my rhetoric could get pretty hot at times, but as he joked, at least they
understood me in midland. it was a cultural and generational difference. >> what do you make of the current bush presidential run by jeb and the problems that he as arguably one of the most qualified candidates is having in counteracting donald trump, and the other outsiders who come to this from outside the world of politics? >> well, that's what's so interesting. i almost think just off the top of my head, i think you could deal with one factor on the road but having two wild cards, having donald trump and ben carson, it scrambles the calculus in a way that you have been watching this a long time, too. i don't remember a year where you had two uncontrollable forces. trump, you kind of understand. trump can be, you can see him as kind of ross perot figure,
carson represents a slightly different force. i think governor bush, whether it's about 80 days to iowa, a couple more, then new hampshire, i think he continues to try to make a stand here but it's been far more difficult for him to break out in these polls than i would have thought. >> now you have mitt romney writing an op-ed yesterday seemingly trying to inject himself into the foreign policy debate, almost saying look at me, i'm here if you all default. there is a candidate who has run before and knows how to do this. >> there's a lot of rotisserie politics going on right now. folks trying to figure it out. you know, it's an interesting question. we have had these two parties have been roughly the same for a long time. maybe it's time for a kind of realignment of some sort.
it's a big complicated country. we only have two parties. so you know, it's early days on that. >> as barbara bush said memorably, there needs to be more than two families or something to that effect. jon meacham, the book is extraordinary. thank you so much. to be continued. up next, standing with france. a look at london's wembley stadium as the soccer team prepares to play later today. proud of you, son.
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>> they are bad guys, daddy. yes, he said, but there are bad guys everywhere. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." after visiting leaders on capitol hill earlier today, tomorrow on the show, the french ambassador comes to us. we will speak to him and remember follow the show online on facebook and on twitter. my colleague thomas roberts is next live from paris.
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the hour's breaking news, couple developments out of washington. the word that president hollande of france will be coming to the white house on tuesday for meetings with the president. word that the white house will be conducting a conference call tonight for concerned u.s. governors about refugees from syria coming to this country. but a lot of the news has come from overseas on the terrorism front, chiefly along the lines of aviation. let's go to tom costello in washington. tom, it was the russians today who said that definitely a bomb had taken down that commercial airliner from isis. >> that's right. i'm double-checking the translation, in fact. russia's security agency saying samples of sand taken from the crash site in addition to samples from the actual fuselage of that metrojet plane indicated that an explosive was used. they discovered traces of what they believe is