tv MSNBC Live With Tamron Hall MSNBC November 24, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST
ignored multiple warnings that it was violating turkish airspace. a u.s. military spokesperson says that turkey did issue such a warning to the russian pilots, but russia has a much different account of the story. right now though, nato's scheduled to begin holding what it is calling an extraordinary meeting to discuss the implications. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel joins us live from istanbul. richard, before we go to the white house, which obviously president obama and french president hollande certainly discussing this latest development, it adds to the complexity. and here now you have very tough language coming from vladimir putin regarding what we watched. >> reporter: well, the russian president effectively called turkey an ally of terrorists and saying that what turkey did was a crime. other officials in russia saying that turkey would be severely punished for this. it all goes to the fact that there is no coordinated strategy
with regards to syria. you have russia -- france, the united states all bombing different targets in syria. you remember several weeks ago an american plane had to change its course so that it didn't collide with a russian aircraft. there doesn't seem to be a clarity of purpose, not a clarity of message. and we have these incidents like we saw today. russia says that its jets were flying a combat patrol, a counterterrorism mission, and that they were inside syrian territory when they were fired on by turkish f-16s in an air to air missile. turkey, however, has a different version of events. turkey says that the russian plane violated turkish airspace, flew in to turkey and that after it was warned ten times over the course of five minutes and didn't respond, that the russian plane, an su-24, was engaged and shot down. one of the pilots, according to
are rebel group that we have spoken to, was killed. rebels claimed that they shot him, one of the pilots, after he ejected from the plane. the rebels firing from the ground and killing him as he was hanging from his parachute trying to find a place to land. fate of the other pilot unknown. but this -- it all goes to the fact to where we're going next, with to that meeting at the white house. will all of these incidents, will the incident in paris, the terror alert in brussels, this horrible border incident where you have a nato country now firing and downing a plane, a russian plane, under disputed circumstances, will all of this be enough to come up with some sort of unified plan or at least one that doesn't have such risks. >> but, richard, as you did at the top of your report here, you hit to the key of this issue, different strategies with different countries and their focus not aligned. i mean even though vladimir putin here says that there will
be significant consequences to the actions taken by turkey this morning -- by the way, thelooki see the flames shooting out of the plane before it crashed. but in reality, that's part of the concern, what russia's agenda is, and that adds to the complexity of whether or not the united states can bring in russia, can bring in france. we saw the action taken by david cameron with the uk wanting to take a forward role with the air strikes. but what is russia's agenda? is to to keep assad -- which is clearly their agenda now -- in power or to align forces with the coalition after that russian airliner was downed? >> reporter: well, if you look at this incident that happened today, it reveals all of the different layers of complexity and all of the different competing agendas in one particular tragic and very explosive incident. the russians were flying a combat mission in syria. they may have, if you believe
the turks, gone into turkish airspace. actually the u.s. military has confirmed that that russian plane did violate turkish airspace and was warned. but the bombing mission that russia was on, the combat counterterrorism mission that vladimir putin described was being carried out in an area where there is not a large isis presence. instead, the people operating in that area, syrian rebels, some are pro-american. they are ethnic turks which is one reason turkey has been so aggressively watching that border area. turkey has a motivation here to attack russia in that particular area because russia has been bombing fellow ethnic turks. and it is an area that where the syrian regime is trying to make advances. so under the umbrella of what russia calls its war on isis, it is also carrying o you the a war to defend the regime in places where isis does not have a presence. >> richard engel, excellent reporting for us.
now to nbc's kelly o'donnell at the white house where we mentioned president obama and hollande are meeting. we're waiting for are that news conference to begin in about a half-hour. nevertheless, you think about the incredible nature of all of this as these two presidents are meeting, the situation playing out with turkey and russia, kelly. it's also been pointed out by our colleague, peter alexander, who covers the white house with you the language, the striking difference in lang after the terror attacks in paris from what we heard from hollande saying that france is at war with the quote from president obama at the time destrcribe beg the attacks as a "terrible setback." >> reporter: and that measured tone is something that we might see in an interesting way today, because side by side these two presidents will be addressing these issues and we'll have a chance to see if the president uses the reference sort of "the bad guys with good social media" strategy versus the way hollande has been talking about it. we also expect from talking to advisors that the president will likely address the issue with the russian plane, if that is
not addressed through the news conference, then they are prepared to give us more information as the day progresses. so expect that to be part of the conversation here. perhaps even unprompted as the two leaders will make statements as they begin here today. part of what we think will be happening is that this conversation between the leaders will in some ways be the social context of wanting to extend sort of the sympathies and good wishes of the american people, and then more practically what sorts of things could be exchanged or worked on together. the u.s. would like to have more access to information about europeans coming in to the united states. is that something that hollande can help with. then of course, hollande wants additional resources to try to battle isis after his country's been hit twice in one year by these militant fighters. >> kelly, you can also speak to the politics on capitol hill as it relates to this. obviously the president has stated his strategy and it does no the include more boots on the
ground, the number of special ops there now is the number that the president has indicated we will keep, at least at this point. but you have to factor in members of congress and you have here this french leader wanting the united states to have a larger presence, a stronger presence, and we know that there are members of congress who do not have the stomach for a bigger investment, a bigger footprint for the united states in syria. >> reporter: well, what's complicated this certainly, tamron, you're right, there are many on capitol hill really in both parties who don't want to see a greater presence of u.s. ground forces. but at the same time, there are other avenues that the u.s. could pursue with using air power in a way that not only is running these sortie missions but in fact could enforce a no-fly zone or increasing these number of operators who are in limited supply, those units that have highly skilled technical and lethality of those special operators who the president has
put at no more than 50. there are, however, different voices, including those in the democratic party. and that's where this gets interesting. when you have dianne feinstein of california who has been the top democrat on intelligence for a long time and is a respected voice in this area, and others who are saying the u.s. strategy is not working. she's not advocating for more troops but she's saying the strategy is not working. so then what can the president do and certainly the president's announcement about more special operators was before these paris attacks. so we may see that he will get some different military advice and then how will he deal with that. but politically there has been a change and the public is, through their representatives, raising greater anxiety about the possibility that isis could leave just syria and iraq, reaching europe and perhaps the u.s. >> you mention the military advice. a number of experts who have been on this program and on msnbc have said the only way to
truly defeat isis would include people on the ground and that adds in to exactly what will hollande request from this president and we'll hear from both of these men in about 30 minutes from now. thank you very much kelly o'donnell. now to the state department and its issue of a worldwide travel alert for u.s. citizens as millions of people prepare to travel over the holidays. u.s. officials are sending an alert to local police agencies telling them to be on the lookout for possible copycat attacks here at home. for more on that, let's go to nbc's justice correspondent pete williams with more on what the state department is saying in this warning, pete. >> reporter: tamron, good day to you. this is a warning to americans already overseas or people who will be traveling overseas for the holidays. the state department says this isn't based on any new intelligence but they note that terrorists have in the past several months attacked sports stadiums, theaters, markets, airplanes. it notes that in the past year
there have been terror attacks in france, mali, denmark, turkey, nigeria and on a russian airliner. so it says americans overseas should be extra vigilant when in public places or using transportation. it advises avoiding big crowds, especially at holiday festivals. to some extent this is the standard advice that the state department gives out every year at this time. but it is getting more attention and it is somewhat more specific in light of the attacks in paris. in terms of the fbi dhs bulletin that went out last night, it adds some new details about what the government is learning about the attacks in paris but for the most part it tells local law enforcement when what any would already know if they're watching or listening to the news. it repeats the advice that's been in these bulletins for the past several months, that the biggest concern in the u.s. is home-grown extremists who are inspired by isis to carry out attacks here. it's worried about copycat
attacks. people who are spurred to action by the attacks in pares thinking now is their moment. it is the hardest thing for law enforcement to detect, especially if these people are kt aing on their own. and of course, police here have already been on extra vigilance because of the attacks in paris. so i doubt that this bulletin will lead to much of a change in law enforcement here, but it is an attempt to keep them up to date. >> pete williams, thank you very much. to talk about the latest developments on all fronts here, joining me now, live from paris, former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. under president bill clinton, bill richardson. he's also former governor of new mexico. ambassador, thank you so much for joining me yet again here. let's first assess what's playing out here with turkey and russia. obviously the timing of it with this meeting with president obama and president hollande is all, as richard engel reported, from turkey, this is all an effort to pour these countries and this adds to yet another problem in doing that.
>> well, it's going to complicate two factors. one, president hollande is going to want more u.s./russia cooperation in the fight against isis. this is going to make it very difficult, this incident. secondly, i think it shows the fragility of bringing a coalition together. you know, i know russia probably violated the airspace, but i think turkey can't be dismissed as a country that doesn't share the blame. turkey is not helping with the kurds. they're not opening a humanitarian corridor. what you have is putin and erdogan, two very unpredictable leaders with their own agenda. but certainly the short-term effect is going to be to complicate building an alliance, a coalition, a wartime coalition, which president hollande really wants. i mean he is not popular at
home, but he is -- his popularity is increased because of his war time actions here in paris. he's going all over the world to build a coalition to respond to these terrible attacks on the french people. and he deserves some support. but this is going to complicate his effort, not just with president obama but also as he goes around europe and russia to try to build this coalition. >> sir, to your point as you offered up the critique regarding turkey and its involvement, russia as well, you have the situation in the uk where david cameron went to his parliament to back air strikes in syria. they said no. he's now gone back again. but to have the french president come here to the u.s. and ask for president obama and the u.s. to step up its pressure on syria, you have the white house and the administration saying, listen, we have been pulling our weight here.
it is the rest of the world perhaps who now take this isis threat seriously after the paris terror attacks and what we've seen in belgium, but the u.s. with be whether you think the air strikes have been effective or not has certainly stepped up in a role far more than any other country. >> well, i do think that president obama and the u.s., they have helped the french in the target of that capital of isis. there is increased military coordination. i suspect there will be more air strikes. my view is that we should have a no-fly zone. i know it is a little risky, but i think that is needed. i think that support eventually for a no-fly zone is going to happen. i think that it is inevitable that it happened. but president hollande i think deserves enormous credit for trying to unite this coalition. but in the end e, the american people, even in europe, don't
want to put ground forces. the ground forces are going to have to be it you aturkey and t. this is where i think turkey is not helping. they're bomb being the kurds. they're not opening the humanitarian corridors. this incident with russia possibly could have been avoided. you know, they're not stepping up. so i think the key is to build a broad coalition. but now with france participating in air strikes, that is very, very useful to this coalition and hopefully britain will do the same. >> to your point, after his visit in the white house -- to the white house, hollande will then travel to meet with putin and angela merkel. so to your point, he is attempting to pull together this coalition at a time -- a very tricky time now with the news we woke up to today regarding the development with turkey and russia. ambassador, thank you so much for your time. it is incredible to have your insight on these things. thank you. coming up, we are awaiting that news conference with president obama and french president francois hollande at the white house. they are meeting right now in
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good day from msnbc headquarters in new york. i'm brian williams. we have an eye on the east room at the white house which just at this moment is filling up with guests. they have opened the doors and people are filing in. the french and american president corps members will be down front. we are waiting to hear from president hollande of france, president obama of the united states. andrea mitchell, our chief foreign affairs correspondent, will be watching and listening with us. andrea, an interesting trip by the french president. here we are two days before the
american thanksgiving. he goes on from here to russia. meantime, he leaves behind a continent with a lot of fear and a lot of confusion. >> and his own country in shock. president hollande is really filling a vacuum that some would say has been created by other leaders, including our own president, because he was, unfortunately for himself, he was in this asian trip when the attacks in paris took place. many people in france, including president hollande, i am told, feel very strongly that president obama's initial reactions were not up to what was expected when he referred to it as a setback, the attacks in paris. this is a big challenge now for president obama. he's going to be expecting better intelligence, i'm told, from the europeans. we have long been asking tsa in particular for better passenger vetting, better passenger lists of flights coming in to the u.s., particularly because in 38
european countries, brian, there are visa waivers. no visas are required for all of these europeans coming in to the united states. and this according to intelligence an congressional officials who have been briefed on this is a far bigger threat to the united states than anything that you could imagine from syrian refugees who are vetted individually from 18 to 24 months. that is the big ask from the united states. from president hollande, he wants to see more special forces, u.s. and french special forces, forward based, on the ground in syria, calling in air strikes, better targeting air strikes. these are special ops. more than the 50 that president obama has authorized. that is one area that they are definitely going to explore and you could see an announcement or at least leaks coming from the white house later today. but there has been some commitment given to the french president. what president obama also wants is a message to vladimir putin. he was front and center, yesterday in iran meeting with the ayatollah khomeini.
he is going to be meeting with president hollande on thursday. and in between, president hollande is going to stop in berlin for dinner with angela merkel. so he has really got the trifecta and trying to line up broad european support. he knows he will not get nato support for military action, nato authorized against isis but he is trying to create this new coalition and also a political coalition to try to do something about assad, and on that, vladimir putin so far is holding firm that this has to be counter isis but not counter assad. >> andrea, as we watch this sea of humanity take off their winter coats and get settled in the east room, you and i have talked about the following topic and you i have both separately interviewed our military experts about it, and that's the idea of forward air controllers. it is thought that these air strikes, without forward air controllers, people on the ground, members of u.s. special
forces, kind of phoning in the air strikes, and then reporting back the bda, the battle damage assessment, what had it hit, was it successful, was there collateral damage. a lot of folks in the military say you can't have an effective air campaign without that component. >> you'll hear president obama and other u.s. officials saying, look, we have had 8,000 sorties against isis in the past year. that said, many people are questioning the effectiveness of it. just in the last ten days since the paris attacks, we see that american planes are bombing tankers, fuel tankers. well, they had those target sets before paris attacks. they stepped up and got a lot more aggressive. they changed the rules of engagement after paris. the reason they hadn't done it before is they were concerned about collateral damage, about civilian damage. the way around it they say creatively they came up with leaflets. they're dropping leaflets
warning the drivers of these fuel trucks to get out of the way, the american bombs are coming. and get out of your trucks and run, basically is what these leaflets say. so that's the way they now say they are getting around the fact that they don't have these forward-based air traffic controllers and what hollande is going to say is, look, we have trained with you. nato has had joint training ops between the american and french forces. we'll put our people on the ground if you put your people on ground and do it now. this is what, by the way, hillary clinton and others, both democratic and republican sides in the senate have long been recommending with be that there be more people on the ground. and that creates risks. as you know, this president has been risk averse. he was elected against hillary clinton in the primary, he won in part, because he was against the iraq war. he has been psychologically and politically and in terms of his commander in chief role very much against expanding military engagements.
he wants to withdraw, not engage, in general, both in afghanistan and iraq. and this is a real test for him. a lot of people say it goes back to 2013 when he ignored his own red line and did not take military action strikes against bashar al assad after assad violated that red line and used chemical weapons against his own people and that basically signaled to the arab leaders that barack obama, to put it bluntly, the way they talk to me and to you at off hours, is not a man to be trusted when it comes to military engagement. they need to fix that now and the question is what is the president willing to commit to publicly and more importantly privately when he meets with president olopped today. >> andrea mitchell hoping both leaders keep it brief today as her broadcast is scheduled to start at 12:00 noon, straight up. former ambassador mike mcfall is with us from palo alto,
california. ambassador, as a man who last served in the post of u.s. ambassador in russia, and knowing that hollande's next stop on the u.s. you thanksgiving day is a meeting with putin, first of all we are starting to hear some people wonder about the so-called single-bullet theory. wouldn't an assassination of assad have spared the world, spared this region so much trouble. we don't tend to like to discuss such things in the united states, but here we are. and tell our viewers the theory you're pushing regarding assad himself. >> well, i'm a little skeptical of the one bullet solves everything. there are lots of historical examples where that didn't turn out to be true. i know the administration believes -- and i support them -- that at the end of the
day to have real chance of defeating isis, you need a political solution in iran between the so-called moderate opposition and the assad regime. and a scenario in which assad eventually has to go, that he cannot be the leader of that new political group that would come together. elements of his regime can be. i think that's an important distinction that people sometimes forget. i think the americans are ready to cut a deal with anybody as long as it is a political coalition. >> paint the atmospherics for the meeting between hollande and putin and what both sides want on their agendas going in. >> i think the agenda just changed a lot with the downing of the russian plane by turkey. putin is furious about that. his aides are furious about that. if you watch russian television,
they think that this is a nato attack on russia. it is being portrayed in the russian television as turkey's defense of isis. that's the way it's being phrased right now on russian television. so i think how they manage that, how they try to diffuse that i think things have gotten a lot more complicated as a result of that attack today. >> so it diminishes whatever perhaps hollande was hoping to extract from the meeting. >> absolutely. i mean in two respects. first of all, there was a lot of hope just 48 hours ago that russia would finally turn its air power against isis. most of their air strikes have not been against isis, they've been against other opposition groups. they call them extremist terrorist groups. we call them elements of the moderate opposition. and turkey has been a primary supporter of a lot of these
groups. that's now gotten more complicated. the idea that putin is going to turn towards isis now after this attack i think he's going to look for revenge. he's going to look to attack the people that the turks support. and then secondly has been the argument about assad. putin, as you know, has always been an advocate for saying he needs to stay in power. turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of assad within the nato alliance. the hope that maybe we were going to bring those two positions closer together as a result of this tragedy today got a lot tougher. >> and then you have this patchwork air war. richard engel came on at the top of the hour to . to remind everyone, russia, france and the u.s. conducting the air war, though with very little, if any at all, coordination. >> well, there's been some efforts i know between the
americans and russians to coordinate. that has progressed rather healthily in the last several days. but russia has repeatedly violated turkish airspace. this is not the first time. why they're flying up there, by the way, is evidence that they're not attacking isis. there are not very many isis attacks where that airplane was shot down today. russia's been rather arrogant about it. the turks say they warned them ten times and they kept ignoring their warnings. so they decided to take this act. and, you know, my experience with president putin, there is going to be some kind of reaction to this. i don't know when and how, but it is not like they're just going to say, well, this was just an accident, we need to move on in our coalition to fight isis. that's not the way president putin thinks and i think we should be prepared for some kind ever retaliatory measure. >> prepared we are. thank you very much, former
ambassador mike mcfaul, joining us today from the campus of stanford in california. as you look at the east room, we're waiting for the front row to fill up with dignitaries, staffers of both presidents. we're waiting for both presidents. our live coverage will continue after this short break. you have two choices; the easy way or the hard way. you could choose a card that limits where you earn bonus cash back. or, you could make things easier on yourself. that's right, the quicksilver card from capital one. with quicksilver you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere. so, let's try this again. what's in your wallet?
how fast were you going? were there any witnesses? how much damage was done? the only thing they don't ask is, are you okay? at liberty mutual, we never forget that policies are about people. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. we are back with some news to report, breaking news out of chicago, where police officer accused of shooting a black teenager 16 times has just been charged with first degree murder. officer jason van dyke turned himself in to authorities this morning. this was the scene playing out in chicago. the shooting though happened in october of last year and has since sparked city wide protests. police say officer van dyke fatally shot 17-year-old laquan mcdonald after he threatened officer with a knife and slashed the tires and windshield of a patrol car. now the officer maintains he feared for his life.
the confrontation was all caught on the police dash cam video. an attorney for mcdonald's family says the video shows the teenager holding a small knife and walking away from officers when one opened fire. that video will be made public tomorrow after a judge ordered police to release it. van dyke has been on administrative duty. he's set to appear at a bond hearing this afternoon. both state and federal prosecutors are investigating this case. brian, this would be the first time a chicago police officer has been charged with first degree murder in 35 years. the mayor of that city, rahm emanuel, a man we all know very well, has spoken out about this as well so you have a major u.s. city now bracing for this video to be released tomorrow in wake of this officer now being charged with first degree murder. so a lot of potential developments out of chicago. there's been a call for calm from religious leaders, from city leaders as well. but now this breaking news, this
officer now charged with first degree murder. >> and a lot of people in that city waiting to see that video tomorrow. tamron hall, thanks. back to the wait in the east room we go for president obama and president hollande of france. as we take a look at the crowd filling in, let's bring in ron fornier, former white house correspondent, now with national journal. ron, i'd like to ask you to repeat a point i heard you make on "meet the press" and "morning joe" and it's about, god forbid, if the united states gets hit again. a recent opinion poll showed 81% of our population believes we will be hit again in a substantial way. but you make a point about our leadership and our people and the changes since it last happened. >> yeah, thanks, first for having me on.
great to see you again, brian. >> thank you, ron. >> i haven't gone to bed since 9/11 without being thankful that we haven't been hit. it's obvious we're going to get hit again eventually. when you look at this last week, if you take it as a reflection of how our republican and democratic leaders are capable of leading us at a time of crisis, i've got to worry about the fact that the next 9/11 could be the beginning of a great unraveling for us. our leaders certainly aren't capable of being adults. they haven't shown that on either side this last week and a half. and even we as a people, look at how we have changed. we're much more polarized, both geographically and even intellectually. we tend to get information only from sources that we already believe in. we don't want to hear the other side. we don't want to have an open mind. i put myself -- i put all of us in that category. it is not a partisan view. it is a sociological observation
i make. with social media, it is so much easier for us to divide ourselves from each other and to get into the different camps and put on our blue jerseys and our red jerseys. so until and unless we have a leader who can rise above that and show us that we can be again about a cause greater than ourselves, i really worry about where we're headed once the you-know-what hits the fan again. >> so the rise of the electronic device, in part, is going to make it tougher for us in the immediate and prolonged aftermath. >> yeah. eventually the next great president's going to figure out how to reshape the bully pulpit. like roosevelt did with radio, like lincoln did with the telegraph, like reagan did with television. the next great president's going to figure out how to use this new media to bring us together as a nation. right now because we are in the beginning of this technological revolution it is balkanizing us.
this president, for all his strengths, has not figured out how to use new media to bring us together. he figured out how to use it to get himself elected twice and to get an african-american elected for the first time in this country's history. that's a great thing. what he did in 2008 on that one day was amazing. but he hasn't figured out how to do that every day and bring us together to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. boy, is it going to be necessary the next time we're hit. we saw what president bush did. a very uneven performance that first week. but in ways he reflected what we are going through that whole week and it ended with him on the fire truck rallying us to a cause. now obviously in the months afterwards we were heading down -- heading into a war under false pretenses that's kind of led us to where we are now. but he was using -- at least in that first week, he was using his ability as president to
bring us together. i'm hoping president obama has what it takes or the next president the next time we're hit has what it takes to bring us together and not divide us which is what's happening in our politics today. i got to say, the republicans in particular, i'm not very much into false equivalencies and trying to mitigate one side because of the other, but the republicans in particular have really been horrible. their rhetoric has been bigoted. their rhetoric has been largely false. it's just the kind of thing that hurts their brand. but more than that, it hurts this country. >> we're talking with ron fornie rechl fornier, certainly among the fastest and better writers in the days when we were covering president clinton. >> thanks. >> i walked out of this building last night past automatic weapons and police head to toe in kevlar. you've got a fair number of them in washington. there's a travel warning for all
americans leaving this country to go anywhere, period. we're two days from thanksgiving and as i mentioned, the poll i saw most recently just north of 80% of people think there will be a substantial terrorist attack against our country. >> i can remember coming back from the ap bureau on k street, walking the eight or nine blocks to the white house on the night of 9/11 and passing tanks in the streets of washington and thinking, with life would never go ba being to normal again. well, after a while it did. and we did pull together and see our way through it. we've been awfully lucky and good that we haven't been hit since. i think some credit has to go to president bush and certainly president obama and the people working for both those men in the intelligence community and at the pentagon that we haven't been hit before. but life really has changed. we can't -- there is a new normal, and again, what happens
when we get hit like paris did. can we pull together or not? it really worries me. >> ron fornier from the headquarters of national journal in washington, thank you. it is always a pleasure even when the subject is the one we've been dealing with today. another quick break, we'll come back, go straight live to the east room where we await both presidents. the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. stay strong. stay active with boost. now try new boost® compact and 100 calories. when i was sidelined with blood clots in my lung,h. it was serious. fortunately, my doctor had a game plan. treatment with xarelto®. hey guys! hey, finally, somebody i can look up to... ...besides arnie.
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talking to us before such an event. chris, i was thinking of the roller coaster paris has been through, just that first sunday we watched, a day that started out with sadness, and then feelings were buoyed and ended with a stampede through the streets after fireworks. then in the intervening days, the mood was improving until word yesterday they had found a discarded suits belt in a suburban neighborhood to the south and west of the city. >> reporter: i think that there continues to be here, brian, this pervasive sense of unease. it is the same kind of unease we see reflected in the polls that we just talked about in the united states. but you're right, just as things seemed like at the start of the work week things were settling back a little bit, perhaps people were going about their lives. a street cleaner finds a suicide belt amid trash in a suburban area south of paris and the police are still waiting to tell
us where did it come from, could it be somehow tied to salah abdelslam who is the most wanted man in europe. he is the one person who is part of this core group who is still on the run and they don't know where he is. we just got new numbers here, brian. 1 t 233 police searches they have conducted over these last 11 days. 165 people they've taken into custody, more than 200 arms. but they still don't have answers. and you still have another major city in virtual lockdown in brussels, belgium. here, everywhere you go -- i went over to a market today to see what it looked like on the street. it was raining but it was virtually empty. you saw large groups of police, military, who are heavily armed walking these streets. so you have a city who is constantly reminded, whether it is what they see walk being into a grocery store and someone is
checking their bag, or what it's what they hear on the news about the threat that continues and someone still on the loose that has changed life here dramatically, brian. >> chris overnight for a domestic audience at least -- "the new york times" posted an article that some people were pushing back against these emergency measures. you now mentioned that the number of doors kicked in, whether literal or figurative, has now topped 1,000. and the emergency measures are due to continue for months. do you think the french people will say after a fashion, enough, we think weaver've stra too far from the ideals of our society. >> reporter: early on, without a doubt, the people were very supportive of this. now you are starting to hear m rumblings of a couple of questions. the first one is, what are you really producing? we had obviously the one raid
that killed the mastermind. but beyond that, what are you getting out of this? what kind of intelligence that may be leading you to break up potential future plots. but in addition, it is very different here in france than it is in the united states and muslims have often had a very difficult time assimilating, and that is part of what is behind, many people believe, what has turned people to isis and to other terror groups and the concern is that if police are allowed to just randomly, without any warrant, without going before a judge, 1,233 times in recent days, break into people's homes, predominantly in muslim neighborhoods, does it just add to that sense of lack of assimilation. does it actually push them further, exactly what we are trying to avoid, toward these terrorist organizations. and so i think slowly, but surely, it's going beyond now civil libertarians who are starting to ask some questions here, brian. >> chris jansing who will now
listen to the remarks of the french president while in paris where it's evening now coming up on 6:00 p.m. chris, thank you for joining us. now to richard engel, who h covered various conflicts for us. i'm told we have lost our connection to richard engel. we are going to talk to former general wesley clark, former supreme allied commander of u.s. forces in europe. general clark, you are often talking about united states armed forces, the classic criticism fighting the last war, both in terms of training and materiel. at the same time, it is not uncommon these days to hear talk that we are in our next world war, we are in the middle of an asymmetrical slow motion world war. the question is, what would you like to see, what do you think you need to hear from the
american president at least at today's event? >> we know what to do militarily about this in the near term, brian. what we need to do is we need to go after the isis forces, we need the forward air controllers in there to be able to call in the air strikes and so forth. but the real issue here is political. what can we do politically to bring the opposing sides together. that is what's the future of syria. is it a unified state or is it a broken up state, and will religious minorities be respected. will there be a place for christians, or will there only be sunni. what kind of sunni. until we can pull together a political agreement that defines the shape of the future of syria, we are not going to be able to resolve these inherent conflicts between the saudis, the turks, the iranians, the russians, bashar al assad's people and so forth. i would like to hear the way
forward politically today. we don't want to commit military forces and risk lives and the treasure of the nation if we don't know what the end state is. the problem in iraq was we didn't have an end state. we hadn't done our political thinking to get it through. this is the time to put this together. so it's easy to focus on the military but it's not the right answer at this point. the question is what's the political shape and that's what the jousting is going on in vienna, that's the jousting going on between turkey and russia with the shoot-down. the question is, will bashar al assad stay and if so, for how long. there will be a united syria, will iran dominate the syrian space and encircle turkey and cut off saudi arabia? how will this all work out? the united states is probably the only power that can lead this, and the united states may have to put its chips on the table in terms of a greater military commitment, like a
no-fly zone, to do this. but all is leveraged, everybody's got conflicting motives and conflicting objectives. this is a really tough one to sort out but it needs to start at the top, not at the bottom with military men on the ground in syria. >> general, i know you say russia can't lead it, but president hollande, when we see him leave washington en route to talk to putin on thursday, our thanksgiving, is going to get an earful from president putin. >> there's no doubt about it. and president putin's got other things on his mind. he's got the cut-off of electricity into the crimea so ukraine or at least some in ukraine are making a statement that he's not going to get crimea free of charge. and he's got the shoot-down to worry about so some in russia are going to say what are you going to do about turkey. and the russian press and lesser figures in russia are already suggesting that turkey's siding
with isis on this. so everybody's conflicted. i think the first reaction is always to send in the military and the air strikes. that's clean, that's neat, drop a few bombs, but that's not going to solve our problem on this. what we really need is an agreement where we scope out the future of syria, and we cannot get rid of all the people associated with bashar al assad. there's got to be a syrian structure left that can pick up the garbage and operate the municipal utilities and so forth. you can't get rid of everybody who worked for bashar al assad. he can leave but then you've got to provide protection for the christians and the other minority sects in syria and at the same time, you have to respect sunni wishes in the area. so this is the kind of agreement that john kerry and president obama should be working, they should be leading this. it doesn't have to be done in public. but until it's done, all of the
military activities are basically froth. it's something to appease public opinion. it may have some impact. i'm happy we destroyed the oil carrying trucks that we're doing. if we can cut off funding to isis, that's great. but it's politics first, know what the objective is before you commit to military forces. >> on the left of the screen, the east room of the white house. the french delegation has come in to fill in their portion of the front row, including the military aide to president hollande of france. we are waiting for the american delegation to do the same thing, presumably that will be followed by both leaders. general clark, you just mentioned the shoot-down this morning. for those who have not seen the news or seen the video, we will roll that in now. this was the turks flying
american-made f-16s shooting down a russian jet with a pilot and co-pilot inside. they say over turkish air space. general, as no one needs to tell you, this kind of thing, it's kind of i guess falls in the fog of war, but it happens when tensions are high. >> true. but you can't be sure, brian, that it was accidental on either part. i know russia has consistently violated turkish air space in this area. they are doing it to strike non-isis resistance forces to -- that are resisting bashar al assad. the turks have repeatedly warned them not to do it. so whether this was a deliberate provocation by russia or deliberate signal by turkey to start listening to us, can't tell. but maybe it was fog of war but i would be surprised.
these actions tend to happen under control, pretty tight control. >> for those just joining us as well, u.s. defense officials are telling nbc news that it's not clear that this russian jet was indeed over turkish air space, to echo what general clark was saying. but the russian-made aircraft shot down by turkish american-made f-16s and this is part of the complication of this conflict. russia, france and the u.s. are flying sorties, missions over this piece of real estate in syria. the turks are also in the air as we learned in spectacular fashion today. you see there the east room. we have received the two-minute warning that both presidents will be out within a two-minute
period. we should see the remaining seats in the front row get filled in. we have been talking to wesley clark, andrea mitchell who would normally be coming on the air two minutes from now at the start of the noon hour eastern time, andrea, one more preview for those just joining us of the tone you expect from both of these men. >> i think you are going to see great accord and amiability, support. they will emphasize their agreements rather than their differences but there have been tensions. the french not liking what president obama said when he was overseas about the paris attacks, not thinking that we are aggressive enough and wanting a better coordinated response involving russia, the united states and france, and that's very hard to do as long as russia is trying to prop up bashar al assad rather than agreeing to go after isis primarily. >> a lot of people were surprised to learn that president hollande had made these plans to leave his country this soon after the attacks but
this is -- he hosted david cameron just yesterday in paris, then this visit to washington, then he flies almost clear halfway around the globe again to go speak with putin. it's important work, because of the challenge the french president was handed when the attacks went down in paris and it explains a huge military -- i'm sorry, international press contingent in the east room today. andrea, the meeting with putin as i was saying, with general clark, will be fraught and could be very colorful. >> indeed. but of course, putin and france have closer relations than do the united states and putin. you see the vice president coming into the room there, by the way, on the other side of the split screen. so we think the president and president hollande will be coming in very, very shortly. another thing to point out is that president hollande is
facing political pressure from the right wing coalition there and also from former president sarkozy. he has been enhancing his political stature with his response. there you see the presidents. >> 12:00 noon exactly in the east. both presidents, u.s. and france, making their way to the stage. >> please be seated. president hollande, it has been an honor to welcome you to the white house before in happier times than this, but as americans, we stand by our friends in good times and in bad, no matter what, so on behalf of the american people, i want to once again express our deepest condolences to you and all of the people of france for the heinous attacks that took place in paris.