tv MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts MSNBC November 25, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm PST
today, he wanted to speak to the american public. he acknowledged that the world is a dangerous place right now and said there's no information of any threats against the homeland at this time. and he said, basically, you enjoy your holiday. if anything develops, we will let you know. here was president obama a short time ago. >> now right now we know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland. in the event of a specific credible threat, the public will be informed. we do think it's useful for people as they're going about their business to be vigilant. >> i think the key word in describing the president's intentions with this statement was to try to reassure anxious americans. he said it's understandable that there are real fears in this country, anxiety is given after what we have seen take place in paris and mali. and his hope is as people head
into the holiday, they stale vigilant but enjoy themselves. there are a lot of counter terrorism officials working overtime to keep them safe. >> peter alexander at the white house, thank you so much. now to our colleague, tom costello at union station in washington, d.c., where homeland security jay johnson is about to speak to reporters. and tom, what do we expect to hear from the secretary? >> reporter: i think we're going to hear more of what president obama said a short time ago, and that's really calling on everybody across the country to remain vigilant but to go out to enjoy this thanksgiving period. on a beautiful sunny day here in washington, d.c., we're right outside union station here. and the tsa, as you know, doesn't just conduct roving checkpoints at airports, they also do that on or at union stations around the country, at railroad stations around the country, as well as with drains. and then, of occur, amtrak police are responsible for amtrak trains. but this is really part of the entire security picture we have seen nationwide. if you see something, say
something. everybody trying to be on a little bit of a heightened state of security. we have seen at the airports where there are more canine patrols in airports, more explosive swabbing of hands, and just a higher more full lenient security, thomas. but the message again is that they don't have any intelligence suggesting that there is an immediate threat to security here on the u.s. homeland. >> nbc's tom costello live at union station. tom, keep us posted on what the secretary has to say. and again, those comments are going to be coming from jay johnson, expected to speak moments from now. we'll have those remarks live. now we'll move on to luke russert live from reagan national airport. luke, explain what you're seeing there, is it increased security? heightened sense of travelers on alert? what's the sense? >> reporter: yeah, hey there, tom. it's definitely enhanced security. and it's coming at you in a few ways if you're going to travel through the airport today. number one, tsa says for domestic flights, usually get
there an hour ahead of time. today they say two hours. why is that? well, when you go through the tsa line there's going to be extra screening, more people taking aside, a closer look at medicines, liquids and gels. whatever you bring through your suitcase. make sure it is properly packaged to give yourself time to get through. the other thing we're seeing here today, thomas, is the increased show of manpower. i have seen a few local security officials holding large automatic weapons, walking through the terminals of this airport. saw one man who was detained for questioning because he had a lot of gels in his bag. he was taken to a separate room. definitely going out of their way, the security officials here and across the country, that they are vigilant and have their eyes peeled and are looking for anything to be suspicious. if you are traveling today, make sure to give yourself plenty of time. as one security official told me here, just roll where the process. it's for your own safety. >> slow and steady. luke russert at reagan
international airport. now to jacob rascon, what are people seeing there at the airport? >> reporter: you are seeing increased checkpoints and more bomb-sniffing dogs around. more than 2 million people are expected to travel through lax this holiday, this thanksgiving holiday. that's a record here at lax and makes it the busiest airport in the nation over the thanksgiving holiday. there was a threat, in fact, of a winter storm. a lot of people worried about that here. and that storm still is active dropping more than a foot of snow in parts of the west, but right now delays and cancellations are nonexistent as one airport official recently said inside. so far, so good. they have known that lax has been a target in the past of attacks and of threats. as recently as 2013 he had a lone gunman come in to open fire. and they are well aware of that.
the local police chief said they are hyper vigilant, especially after what happened overseas. and they are also asking passengers here to arrive two to three hours early just in case. thomas? >> so jacob, passengers you've had an opportunity to speak to, are they saying they are getting there that quickly? or being more risky in their departure times? most of us about 90 minutes we'll get there in advance. two to three hours seems extensive. >> reporter: it is. and it's three hours for international flights. and so far, so good. what we haven't seen, we have not seen that much backup to get here two to three hours early. but they come in waves. it is not as busy right now, but in an hour it picks up and is ba packed. later this afternoon it will be packed. ed arrive two to three hours early. so far they have not had any issues. >> jacob rascon at lax, appreciate it. we have taken you through the airport whip. now we look at the roads.
we turn to sarah dalap. with 90% of travelers hitting the roads, the big question is what people see as they fill up, gas prices. how are they looking? >> reporter: exactly, thomas. the gas prices are the los they have been since 2008. right now the national average for a gallon, $2.15. here in atlanta we are under that at this particular gas station. $1.99 per gallon is making drivers very happy. >> this is amazing. since we are not traveling in the air, this made a little more cost effective to travel by the road. >> reporter: and today is expected to be one of the busiest travel days on the roads of the year as people cut out of work early or get out at 5:00 and want to make it to their destination tonight. tomorrow, thanksgiving, the actual holiday, expected to be one of the best. traffic will peak in the afternoon between 1:00 and 4:00 as people try to make it to the
thanksgiving table. of course, getting there only is half the battle. you have to come back at some point. sunday is expected to be the busiest and problem-filled day, especially between the hours of 1:00 and 6:00 as people really try to cut it close to squeeze out the last few minutes of the weekend with family. saturday expected to be the best day, they recommend that you get up and get a head start out the door. beat that traffic even on saturday. like i said, expected to be one of the lightest days of the weekend to travel. >> really is amazing when we think about this being under $2 at $1.99. i see a lot of the cars behind you, trucks and suvs, we have seen a couple sedans rolling behind you right now, but the majority of the gas guzzlers, the drivers of those cars have to love this. but let's talk about what those folks getting on the roads are going to see, the prices of hotel rooms for those that may have to stay overnight somewhere, sarah, has that seen a market decrease? what are you hearing? >> reporter: we are not seeing the same effect in hotel rooms and rental cars, thomas. those are actually up a little bit.
hopefully for people who don't have friends and family to stay with, the decrease in gas prices will help even out that increase in lodging, rental cars, perhaps, with the low gas prices, you don't want to drive your gas guzzler, do a rental car and put the wear and tear on that. those are up, too. so hopefully equaling out over the weekend as people travel. let me also point out that the number, 50 million people, expected to travel this holiday weekend. that applies for people traveling 50 miles or farther from their home. so it really does add up. >> it certainly does. nbc's sarah dallof outside of atlanta there, thank you so much. appreciate it. you know, with the increased security in travel warnings issued as the thanksgiving holiday gets underway, we want to find out from you, ask you, have you altered your travel plans because of the attacks in paris? so the pulse is live right now, go check it out. pulse.msnbc.com. we'll have your remarks, your thoughts coming up later this hour. again, the pulse is live. and just to point out, those
remarks that we're awaiting from homeland security secretary jay johnson are expected to take place any minute at washington, d.c.'s union station. we'll take you there live as it happens. and we have more coverage of breaking news right here on "msnbc live" as the leaders of france and germany will meet this more for the first time since the terror attacks in paris. all of this as chilling news surfaces that the ringleader plans more attacks in the days following friday the 13th. plus, back here at home developing news out of chicago. that city bracing for more protests, demonstrators taking to the streets last night. all of this erupting over graphic and disturbing video showing a teen shot 16 times by a police officer. why did it take more than a year for the video to surface and come to light? ho, ho, hello... can you help santa with a new data plan? sure thing...
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welcome back. within the hour france's president hollande and angela merkel are meeting today to discuss efforts to build an allied coalition to fight isis in the aftermath of the paris attacks. this comes as france's national assembly approved the air strikes against isis in syria. now 24 hours after hollande meeting with president obama in washington and one day before he heads on to moscow to meet with russian president vladimir putin, all of this is taking place. and this is all running a parallel track while the international manhunt is on for suspected terrorists, mohamed abrini and salah abdelslam. we are also learning a memorial service for the victim of the
attacks is scheduled for friday. but i want to take you back to washington's union station where jay johnson is about to speak. let's listen in. >> good afternoon, everybody. as i get ready to catch my train on one of the busiest travel days of the year, i'm honored to be joined with chief hanson of amtrak police and chief dine of the chief of the capitol police here. as the president said a few moments ago, we continue to know of no specific credible threat of a plot on the u.s. homeland by a terrorist organization. however, those of us in law enforcement, homeland security, the intelligence community continue to been vigilant to
work overtime, to monitor what's happening here in this country and for public safety. we are working overtime to protect the homeland to evaluate and re-evaluate what we see. we also want to encourage the public at the beginning of this holiday season, to be vigilant yourself and to be aware. if you see something, say something, has to be more than a slogan. and so this holiday season, this thanksgiving weekend, i'd like everybody in the public to express thanks to those in law enforcement, in homeland security and certainly ourist military for keeping us all safe. i have time for a couple of questions.
yes, sir. [ inaudible question ] i can't comment on specific cases, we are in contact with our mexican partners in homeland security and law enforcement continually. so it's something we're monitoring very carefully. i am aware of the case you referred to. involving families but can't comment any more specific than that. yes, sir. [ inaudible question ]
in april i put out a directive to tighten up airport security, specifically around those who work at airports. fewer access points, more continuous random screening of airport personnel and we're evaluating whether more is necessary right now. that's something that i and tsa have been focused on as recently as today. given the differential in sizes of airports, you take atlanta, for example, there's something like 63,000 people who work in atlanta. so there's no one size fits all solution for every airport in the u.s. airport security is something that tsa works in collaboration
with the local airport authorities, the city, the mayor, the commissioner and the security people at the airport. and so -- this is something that we began to focus on earlier this year and continue to focus on it. [ inaudible ] we know of -- we in the u.s. government know of no specific credible threat of a terrorist plot to the homeland. what we are focused on and continue to be focused on as we have before paris are potential copycat acts, similar to things that occur overseas, we are
focused on the lone actor as well. and we've seen some of that overseas and here in recent months. and so this is something that our law enforcement community, the fbi does a very good job of detecting, investigating, interdicting and prosecuting. and we're going to continue at this. but we are vigilant. we are aware around the country at different events. basically there's a reinforcing of existing security measures. and it should be obvious to the public that there's a heightened presence in places like here, like union station here at airports, other places, other public events, other public gathering places. and so there's a heightened presence by law enforcement, by security personnel. but, in general, we want to encourage the public as the
holiday season begins to travel, be with your family, celebrate the holidays, go to public events, go to public gatherings, but be vigilant and be aware. thanks a lot. >> there we have secretary jeh johnson giving brief remarks at union station in washington, d.c. i think for anybody that takes the train on a pretty regular basis, recognizes that type of look for someone that's about to jump on the amtrak with a raincoat over one arm and briefcase in the other. he's about to jump on his train. one thing the secretary pointed out, there's no specific threat right now, so if you kind of pull that apart, you realize that while they don't have any specific intel about something that's taking place, this is a major travel time. and the u.s. has always been a target, but they don't have anything specific. but we all expect to see a heightened presence at airports or train stations or public events as the secretary just
said. joining me assistant former agent in charge of the fbi, nypd joint terrorism task force, john burelli. your reaction to that, the secretary set a reassuring tone about the fact he's about to jump on the train. you can, too. >> and he should. i think it is important for people to be aware, if you're traveling, if you're attending a major event like the macy's parade or whatever, be aware but don't be paranoid. don't cancel your plans. the situation here is much different than in paris. and in paris we saw at least a couple of operational cells with the very robust kind of support and logistic network. they were well armed, they had explosives, they had a level of training and possibly even a level of command, control or communication with isis and syria. that is a much different situation than here. not that that can't happen but it's not likely. the more likely scenario is that we would have some kind of a lone wolf type maybe trying to steal the headlines. >> yeah, you mentioned the lone
act or the lone wolf. don, thank you so much. we'll go to my colleague gabe gutierrez live in paris. i understand you got information on abdelslam and the new name abrini. but you had someone just walk behind you, hollande and merkel, president hollande visiting the shrine there at la republique. >> reporter: yes, gooecd evenin. just a few minutes ago we hat president hollande and angela merkel walk behind me here at place de la republique. authorities have been searching for salah abdelslam and we don't have any more information on where he is right now. the last authorities heard he had gone into belgium.
but authorities are now searching for him and also another alleged accomplice, a belgian authorities issued an international arrest warrant for 30-year-old mohamed abrini seen a few days before the paris attacks captured on surveillance video at a gas station with abdeslam. and now both are on the run and considered by police to be armed and extremely dangerous. right now both of them are the most wanted men in europe. back to you. >> and interesting, so they remain, the german chancellor and the french president, behind you, gabe, can you still see them? and how big is their security detail? for folks at home knowing this is a growing shrine that has amasked since friday the 13th. this is a very open space and public space. >> reporter: that's xeaktly right, thomas. you were hearing and you know this has become a gathering place for people that want to pay their respects to the victims. and now they are off in the distance and have moved away.
it is hard to see from the camera position. we do see heavy security in and around the area, but people have been allowed to come relatively near to them. and i cannot see from my vantage point if they are still there. we do see several people with their cell phones taking videos, although, again, from my vantage point i cannot see if they are still there. but again, thomas, the french president francois hollande and germany chancellor angela merkel arrived here to give a news conference within the hour. and this has been a very busy week for francois hollande. obviously, not only several days ago meeting with british prime minister david cameron and also with president obama yesterday. his meeting today with chan chancellor merkle. and later to meet with russian president vladimir putin. >> if they come by, don't feel bad to try to grab them. yell out a few questions and get my ear. we'll come back to you right away. but yeah, it's a big week for
president hollande, especially as france is continuing their own war against isis right now and looking for allies with germany with russia, with the united states as they move ahead to try to defeat isis once and for all. joining me now is white house correspondent laura hame. what is your reaction to hearing that angela merkel and francois hollande are there at la republique. are you surprised by that? >> no, i'm not surprised because i believe they are going to try to go to bataclan and republique. francois hollande and his time were talking about this and the fact that they have a lot of people while trying to come to paris that want to pay respect to the victims. and they don't know what is going to happen next week during the climate conference when more than 100 head of states and
prime minister are going to go to paris. it's said to be absolutely amazing. already i know that from 4:00 in the afternoon until the following morning you won't be able to go to paris because they are going to close major highways. it's like in new york, if you come from laguardia you cannot go inside there because they are going to close the road. a lot of people from all over the world are expected to come to paris and go to the bataclan and we see what is going to happen. again, people of france are really, really moved by what you see from all over the world related to the attacks in paris. >> and if we can put that shot back up again, guys, because it is interesting to me that this is the first time i have seen any type of security official, obviously, this is someone who is keeping eyes out for president hollande and angela merkel, the german chancellor, a
security person is standing under the statue of mary anne as people gather underneath. but let me get the specific information that you have been able to gather about your investigation, the sources that you have about who is the true architect of the paris attacks? >> reporter: yeah, there's a question going on that is a real interesting question among the investigators. and it's, what this really abaaoud that was the mastermind behind the attacks. they discovered that he was moving a lot during the evening of the attacks in paris. and something two people told me over the phone when i spoke to them about the fact that he went back to the bataclan after the attacks. according to the investigators and according to his cell phone to look at what was happening. and they are wondering inside
the investigative team, why if you are the architect of the attacks you travel so much inside paris during the attacks. why you want to go back to the bataclan to see what is happening. there is also another element that they are looking at. i'm sorry, it's going to be very gruesome and horrible, but the bataclan when the men arrived know that, in fact, it was really a hostage situation and they spoke inside the bataclan and told them to kill them. so the french were talking to him and they were told to kill them. >> one of the survivors that i interviewed, she talked about the fact that she was able to
hear the exchange between the attackers having grabbed someone's cell phone inside the bataclan and yelling out a telephone number for the police and then to ring that phone to communicate back and forth during the wave of the attacks. there were certain groups able to escape at first and then a secondary group. but just to remind everybody, abdelhamid abaaoud was killed a week ago in the raids. we'll let you get back to work. let us know if you dig up new information on his background and who the real organizer is. i want to bring you back to the u.s., information that we have now from nbc's tom costello who is at washington, d.c., union station. that is where we just saw jeh johnson about to board his train. and tom, it seems pretty unique to have the secretary come up with his raincoat and briefcase and say i'm about to jump on my own train and you can, too. a message of reassurance. >> reporter: it's all about the imagery. he looked casual with his
raincoat and briefcase and was jumped on the amtrak train to head back to his home. he is from the new york, new jersey, area. so he's headed back there for the weekend. i think the message is to reassure the country that the authorities are on the job but there is no, as repeatedly was said, no credible threat they are aware of to suggest an imminent attack on the u.s. homeland. but the optics there were important. i think the fact that he is boarding an amtrak train and not sitting at the situation room here at the white house in washington is very important. listen, the other important point here, and you may have heard my questioning of the secretary, it's a theme that we have seen repeatedly expressed. a concern expressed by homeland security experts and airport security experts. and that is that remarkably 11 years after 9/11, every airport worker in the country is not screened when they go to work. in fact, only three or four airports require all of their employees to be screened when they go to work. for the vast majority of airport
workers in this country, the people who are running the baggage belts or who are loading with the catering onto planes, et cetera, the people working in the restaurants, they are not required to go through a security checkpoint every day and not necessarily required to have their bags checked every day. and that is a concern that many security pros have expressed to us about if you have an insider who is radicalized by an isis-type organization, the fact that they are not checking everybody remains a top priority and a top concern. >> nbc's tom costello reporting from union station. thank you so much. still ahead for everybody, more coming up on the busiest travel day of the year. the heightened state of security at airports across the u.s. this is just the reality of the days that we're living in, folks. this is not the drive-up theater. some people are tweeting me about this and driving up heater, but no, this is what is going on in this country. a short time ago president obama wanted to make sure that folks out there who are nervous and
afraid don't feel that way this holiday season. >> as americans travel this weekend to be with their loved ones, i want them to know that our counter terrorism, intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement professionals at every level are working overtime. show your love and support for your community's small businesses. rally your friends and family to shop local on small business saturday november 28. the speed of thought. can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul? can a business be...alive?
♪ everything kids touch during cold and flu season sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox. so as americans travel to be with their loved ones, i want you to know that homeland security, the fbi and security are working overtime continually monitoring threats at home and abroad, continually monitoring and working to protect all of us. >> so that is president obama earlier today, moments after a national security briefing updating americans on the homeland security situation in the wake of the paris attacks. millions are expected to fly
this holiday weekend, we're giving you a live look right now from seatac international airport. aaa putting the number at about 3.6 million, that's about the same as last year. joining me now, john pistol, the former administer of the tsa and president of anderson university joining us via skype. john, you hear the president talking about there is no specific threat, and we hear jeh johnson also talking about that and we remain vigilant, more than a slogan of see something, say something. what should flyers be aware of? >> flyers should anticipate that there will be some, perhaps extra time needed at the airport because what tsa and airport police will be doing is some additional random, unpredictable security screenings, such as additional law enforcement officers who might be on random patrols or additional bomb-sniffing canines. and passengers may experience a swabbing of the hands and
property of or for explosive residue. things like that, allow more time because of the increased numbers coupled with the greater scrutiny. >> let me read you something, john, from the wall street journal that says the belgian government has been stripping or blocking clearances of people working at the brussels airport because of past connections to people who left for syria. that means that there could be this fear that they've got people working on the inside, some have said that may have been what brought down that russian airliner. so we heard from our tom costello that there is an issue with people being properly screened that work within the airport. they are not screened, the scrutiny is not there after 9/11 as you would expect. so how does the u.s. better handle these concerns? >> well, i think it's important to distinguish between what happens at the 450 airports here in the u.s. and those, let's say 275 airports around the world that have nonstop passenger service to the u.s.
the u.s. has a robust system for vetting and checking every airport worker for criminal history, terrorism watch list, which many countries don't even have, and then an immigration checklist. one of the challenges is that if it's updated on a regular basis, so an airport worker at minneapolis who later went on the watchlist or had a criminal record, was that pushed to the airport authority that works in concert with tsa to update those records. but the insider threat that you refer to for the russian airliner out of sharm el-sheikh is a real threat that airport workers look at every day to assess their airport workers. >> john pistole, thank you for taking time for me. happy holidays to you. >> thank you, same to you. also on the minds of americans, the question how authorities here would respond to attacks on soft targets, we're talking about malls or
restaurants. scott cohen is in san jose, california at santana row, one of the big open air malls. so scott, what are you hearing about how preparation is going into getting these softer targets ready for black friday and the holiday season? >> reporter: well, thomas, there's no shortage of vigilance and a lot of it is things that you don't see but there is certainly communication between the malls and authorities. and as you said, this is santana row, it's an upscale outdoor mall. it's in the heart of silicon valley. but yeah, unfortunately in this day and age, it's also the kind of place that you might imagine is a soft target. but as you can see and as we found, there's no shortage of shoppers who are unwilling to suck co succomb to fear. >> obviously with sporting events and shopping there's a fear of terrorism, but i'm not going to letter roarism determine what events i go to or
shopping for my family or loved ones. so not going to happen. >> reporter: the nation's largest mall operator is simon property group. we spoke to them and in a statement they said, simon is regularly in communication with the department of homeland security and is an active member of the fbi's domestic security alliance. the policies and procedures have been safety act certified and designated by the department of homeland security as effective anti-terrorism measures. so a lot of what you don't see when you go out shopping in the holiday season is that these mall operators are in very close contact on a day-to-day, sometimes hour-to-hour basis with homeland security for potential threats. international council of shopping centers is forecasting about 3% growth in the holiday shopping at the malls this year. about half a billion dollars up from last year. now, that forecast came out before the paris attacks, but fortunately it has not been revised. thomas? >> nbc's scott cohn is
reporting. with the president taking the steps to keep the homeland safe, we have the state departments warning for travelers worldwide. we wanted to ask you, based on this information, have you altered your holiday because of the paris attacks? i want to take a look at what people are saying on the pulse. and the percentages are 11% at yes, 89% say no. and the plans are locked in place. keep the votes coming in, pulse.msnbc.com. and we'll have your results later throughout the hour and next. turning now to developing news out of chicago, the windy city bracing for additional protests today. coming up, we'll have more on the newly-released video. and it does show the death of a city teen at the hands of a police officer. then we're going to take you back to france. and look at this, this is striking iconic imagery of french president francois hollande and german chancellor
angela merkel forming an alliance against syria. let's listen in. >> -- i would like for the gesture of solidarity. >> we're going to monitor these remarks. again, we just had nbc's gabe gutierrez on site there talking about how the german chancellor and the french president just visited that growing shrine there in memorial of the 130 people lost on the friday the 13th attacks. we'll take a quick break and be right back after this. . i'm on 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
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german chancellor angela merkel. gabe gutierrez is joining us live from place de la republique. talk to me about the expectations angela merkel has said to support their allie of france. >> reporter: the german chancellor and the french president were here just a few minutes, less than ten minutes or so, amid very heavy security. they came here and laid some flowers here at this memorial and had a moment of silence. and also spoke with the mayor here. this is very high stakes, as you mentioned, the french president hollande has been meeting with world leaders and met with president obama yesterday. and he's expected to meet with
russian president vladimir putin tomorrow. this is all to build a stronger coalition to fight isis. and german chancellor angela merkel earlier today expressed solidarity with the french people, committed germany's 650 troops to fight in mali which was the site of a terrorist attack a few days ago. but this gets complicated because germany says there are two separate issues here, one is the issue of fighting terrorism and then also the issue of the refugee crisis, which has been a huge debate here in europe. germany is sticking by its open door policy whereas france is, especially after the attacks a few weeks ago, many of the french people have said they want tighter immigration controls when it comes to the borders here in europe. as you can hear behind me, sirens, not necessarily out of place here in paris, and maybe hard to hear me, but the
increased security situation here remains very tense. the french interior minister says that since the paris attacks, there have been 120,000 troops and police officers deployed throughout the country. another 11,000 are expected to be deployed here to paris for the next week's u.n. paris summit. so the french president and german chancellor holding a joint conference after paying respect to the victims in paris. >> gabe gutierrez reporting from paris, thank you so much. we'll be back with more right after this. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox. we heard you got a job as a developer!!!!! 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.
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all right. so welcome back, everybody. an update on the situation. as you all know, there was a russian fighter jet that was shot out of the sky by a turkish missile. turkey claims it operated within their airspace. the aircraft was on a mission to bomb isis targets inside syria. we are getting word that the turkish military has released
the reported warnings that it sent to this russian aircraft. now, russia has said that this was shot from behind. it was never warned. that they were not instructed that they were involved in turkish airspace and that they were not going to be interfered with again on the mission to bomb isis targets in syria but turkish authorities releasing this audio. again, turkish officials say that they did warn that aircraft that had two russian service members in it, one of which who died and the other parachuted out, did warn them in advance. much more on this in the next hour. we're following the latest developments out of chicago after a release of a video showing the deadly shooting of a black teenager by a white officer. we'll only show a small portion of it. you can see 17-year-old laquan
mcdonald with a knife in his hand appearing to veer away from two of the officers and within seconds officer vandyke starts to shoot and mcdonald falls to the pavement. total of 16 rounds fired and most striking the teen on the ground. autopsy results showed drugs in the system. jason vandyke is charged with first-degree murder and the attorney said he felt threatened. after the dash cash video was released, hundreds protested in the streets. officials say demonstrations mainly peaceful. five people were arrested. joining me now is jamie calvin, a journalist one of the first to learn about the existence of that dash cam video and contributor and former prosecutor seema eyre joins me here at 30 rock. how are you able to get the video. tell us what happened. >> i initially a colleague and i got a tip several weeks after the incident from a city
official, from somebody within the city government, saying that the reports that had been in the newspapers about what had happened on october 20th of last year to laquan mcdonald did not remotely coincide with the reality. he said it was a horrific shooting and let us know that there was video. he also gave me enough information that i was able to track down a civilian witness to the shooting who gave an account, an extended, detailed account that completely aligns with what we have now all seen in the video. so i think this whole story starts with somebody within the city government who just trusted the capacity of the investigative agencies to really vigorously investigate this case. >> now we are at this point, first-degree murder has been charged. >> right. >> against this officer vandyke but it's incredibly hard to
prove in cases. >> it is. >> have they set the bar too high? >> they have but here's why. number one, it's easier to negotiate a plea when you're starting point is murder 1 opposed to murder 2 to then get a plea of murder 2 or manslaughter. the only reason is because the d.a. waited so long, almost 14 months to prosecute and she wants to show that she is overly confident, almost comp satding for hiding that video. >> what about federal charges? >> that could be next. i want to point out that the d.a. kept saying that they were parallel investigations. federal. that doesn't make any sense. doesn't make any sense to me as a practitioner. you can charge him federally and you can charge him with the state and nothing stops the other party from investigating. but i do think it's more likely second-degree murder. >> jamie, you were one of the first to look at the autopsy report of mcdonald is this when you realized that the original account wasn't adding up?
>> yeah. i mean, what we now know is that the city within hours of this incident, the city and i assume at the highest levels, remember, ferguson dominates the news when this -- >> was happening. >> 0 curse. >> yes. this is the worst thing to happen in your city at that moment. and had to be a matter of concern, you know, all the way to the top of the city. within hours, they had all of the information that we now have about what had happened. there were witnesses. both police witnesses and civilian witnesses. there's the video. and the autopsy was conducted the next morning. 8:30 the next morning so the city put out a press release and it was then elaborated by spokesperson on the scene from the police union that is just an utterly false narrative, that the young man and in a crazed condition lunged at the police.
>> we know the autopsy seems to show angel dust or pcp in his system. thank you. i'll speak with the family attorney in the next hour. stay tuned. the fever. an even bigger deal? everything you miss out on... family pizza night. the big game. or date night. why lose out to the flu any longer than you have to? prescription tamiflu can help you get better 1.3 days faster. that's 30% sooner. call your doctor right away. and attack the flu virus at its source with prescription tamiflu. tamiflu is fda approved to treat the flu in people 2 weeks and older whose flu symptoms started within the last two days. before taking tamiflu tell your doctor if you're pregnant, nursing have serious health conditions, or take other medicines. if you develop an allergic reaction, a severe rash, or signs of unusual behavior, stop taking tamiflu and call your doctor immediately. children and adolescents in particular may be at an increased risk of seizures, confusion or abnormal behavior.
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make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox. hi, everybody. i'm thomas roberts. just over the last 20 moneys, following the late-breaking news developments about the turkish incident that happened where a russian military jet was shot down and the turkish government sharing what it says is a warning to the russian fighter jet. [ speaking foreign language ] >> all right. so this is difficult to hear but bear with me, they say change your heading over and over again. that's the voice. repeatedly saying that phrase. now, this incident caused major
tensions to rise between russia and turkey. one pilot was killed by militants after ejecting. the other was rescued and taken to a russian air base in syria. this was a russian fighter jet that was taken on a bomb mission to target isis holds in syria. they crossed over into turkish airspace. the ap reporting that russian president vladimir putin ordered air defense missiles deployed to their base in syria. correspondent richard engel is live for me in istanbul, turkey. richard, how heated has this gotten between the leaders of russia and turkey? it was disputed by russia that there was any warning given. >> reporter: oh, it is getting more heated, more disputed and more complicated with every passing hour it seems. so you just played a short while ago that clip that turkey says reflects the warning given by
the turkish air force to the russian jet to change its course, not to approach turkish airspace, that it was in danger and turkey is presenting this as evidence to say we did what we would normally do to protect our borders. we advised an approaching aircraft it was in danger and it did not need the warnings and paid the consequences. that's the tush irk argument. now, the russian navigator who ejected out of the jet that was blasted from the sky and survived, not the pilot who was killed as you mentioned when he hit the ground and was attacked by a militant group, but the navigator says he didn't hear a warning at all. so, it's hard to know who to believe. do you believe the navigator saying he heard nothing or the turks with the argument? an expert, several experts said it is possible that both sides are telling the truth but that they simply were not using the same frequency so the
communications could have been transmitted but weren't received. but that is possible but the two sides have also put out other conflicting data. the turks have put out what they're calling a radar map tracking the russian jet's trajectory. its flight path showing that it crosses over a slip of turkey hanging right over the turkish border. russia put out its own flight path showing the jet not crossing into turkey. so to answer your other question, your first question, yes, there is still very much a dispute between moscow and ankara. >> obviously turkey is trying to defend itself in the position it took to fire on this russian fighter jet. this has happened before. >> reporter: that's what they said before. >> correct? >> reporter: well, turkey says it's defending itself but others are criticizing turkey for
having gone way too far that even if the russian jet crossed briefly into turkey, it wouldn't warrant this kind of response, a nato country hasn't shot down a russian jet or a soviet jet for that matter since the 1950s. so, many people are saying that turkey had an ulterior motive. the russian foreign minister today accused turkey directly of planning this mission, planning to shoot down a russian plane and that it was just simply waiting for the right time to do it. so turkey says it was defending itself. >> really quickly, though, does a timestamp defend the turkey's argument? they could have been trying to communicate on different chams and never went through but wouldn't a timestamp prove when they communicated that message as to when the shots were fired to take this fighter jet out of the sky? >> reporter: there is so little
trust right now. we have radar images from two different countries that show different trajectories. a timestamp on a scratchy audio recording does not seem to be like anything close to enough to calm the tensions right now between turkey and moscow. the russian president vladimir putin has effectively for two days running accused turkey of being in bed with terrorists and the russian foreign ministry and putin advised them to not come to russia and n turkey and not here. there are now -- there's a lot of deep-seeded tension that this incident brought to the surface. >> the original mission of the russian jet to drop bombs on isis targets within syria. >> reporter: ah, that is also disputed. russia says it is to drop bombs
on isis targets in syria. we have spoken to rebels in the area. turkey says that it supports the rebels in the area and both turkey and the rebels in the area say there is no isis presence in that particular part of the country. there is al nusra front and other groups but not particularly isis. so, that is really at the heart of this matter that you have turkey and russia disagreeing over which targets should be attacked inside syria with russia saying it's fighting terrorists with turkey saying that it is bombing sympathetic rebel group that is are simply trying to take a stand against the government of rush why's ally bashar al assad. >> richard engel putting together the puzzle pieces for us, thank you, sir. i appreciate it. as richard is talking about the tensions and escalating between russia and turkey over the downing of that jet the president of germany is in paris
today showing solidarity with french president francois hollande and the people of france today and in paris we have this joint press briefing where hollande and the chancellor wrapped up a news conference and hollande is trying to build this allied coalition to fight isis in the aftermath of the paris attacks and her's just part of the briefing. take a listen. >> translator: germany would find it possible to act even further, we think that that would be very helpful in fact struggle against terrorism. given the responsibilities that i have, given what went on on the 13th of november, i believe i have to encourage the entire world to concentrate its efforts and help in helping us. >> nbc's gabe gutierrez is live for us in paris. gabe, this is a really big diplomatic week for the french president moving in circles with david cameron in the beginning
of the week and then here with president obama and now angela merkel there and then moving on to moscow with the russian president vladimir putin. talk about, though, the relationship, the importance of having angela merkel at his side on this diplomatic round-up. >> reporter: well, hey there, thomas. as you mentioned in the last hour, both leaders making their show of support very evident showing up here to the plaza de la republique to pay respects to the victims of the paris attacks, a moment of silence and playing down flowers here before heading to the news conference. in that news conference, several things came out of it. first, that french president hollande said that we must do all we can to deescalate the situation following the downing of that russian plane near the turkey border and he said that europe must do everything it can to accommodate refugees closer to their country of origin,
that's a dispute going on between several countries in europe now that want tighter immigration controls following the paris attacks. german chancellor merkel is sticking by her open door policy. she has said that they have pledged to take many more refugees and many of the other countries and in france there's been a push recently and over the past couple of months for right wing party here to limit the number of refugees that france takes in. german chancellor merkel also said she'll respond to france's request to do more to fight terrorism and fight isis so it's unclear exactly and not going into details with. that earlier in the day, however, germany pledged to send 650 troops to mali which is a french -- former french colony and the site of its own terrorist attack a few days ago and this is a day where french
president hollande and merkel showed great solidarity or tried to here in the wake of these attacks and as you mentioned, thomas, hollande heads to moscow to meet with russian president vladimir putin tomorrow. back to you. >> nbc's gabe gutierrez in paris for us, thank you. in the aftermath of attacks that happened in the city of light, president obama is urging americans to go about and enjoying the thanksgiving celebration without fears for their safety. so surrounded by the national security team, the president sought to reassure the nation there is no imminent threats here at home. >> now, right now, we know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland. in the event of a specific credible threat, the public will be informed. we do think it's useful for people as they're going about their business to be vigilant. >> be vigilant.
nbc's peter alexander joining me from the white house. did the president succeed in calming nervous americans, being specific about the fact there's no credible or specific threat? i think we all realize that the u.s. is a target at all times. [ no audio ] >> reporter: and the president did recognize some of the criticism, the sense that this white house may not have been in step with the sense of an xi xi and the fear of americans and hi said it was understandable to feel that way and a rare public statement next to the advisers of department of homeland security, fbi, his attorney general, as well as others, the president basically said we'll do the worrying. you do the enjoying this holiday and if you see something, please let us know. of course, if we hear anything, we'll let you know, as well. here's some of the president a short time ago commending those who are looking after america. >> so as americans travel this weekend to be with their loved
ones, i want them to know that our counter terrorism, intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement professionals at every level are working overtime. they are continually monitoring threats at home and abroad. >> reporter: he said the law enforcement teams are vigilant, relentless and effective. all an effort to try to help americans feel more comfortable about enjoying their holiday while there are others looking after them here, as well. >> peter, remembering their hard work, at the white house for us, thank you very much. so we have this news to report. five people arrested last night as hundreds protested the killing of a chicago teen. laquan mcdonald. at the hands of a police officer. video of that shooting made public last night. shortly, i'm going the speak with the mcdonald family attorney in this hour. and then talking more about the security concerns, how they're resonating around the u.s. as we all know this is a very busy, busy travel day.
and the start of a busy travel season. we'll check on the preparations for the annual macy's thanksgiving day parade as president obama offers the words for reassurance. >> americans should go about their usual thanksgiving weekend activities. spending time with family and friends and sell bratding our blessings. threat of terrorism is a troubling reality of our age. we are both equipped to prevent attacks and we are resilient in the face of those who would try to do us harm. ♪ ♪ it's the final countdown! ♪ ♪ the final countdown! if you're the band europe, you love a final countdown. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do.
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made the comments before hopping on a train at union station for his own holiday travels. >> what we are focused on and continue to be focused on as we have before paris are potential copycat acts similar to things that occur overseas. we are focused on the lone actor, as well. and we have seen some of that overseas and here in recent months. >> nbc's justice correspondent pete williams joins me from d.c. now and we had earlier the president telling americans to go about the holiday thanksgiving activities but also emphasize that we need to be individual about the, also the secretary pointinging out see something, say something and more than a slogan. what does it all mean? >> in terms of being vigilant, i think it depends on your line of work. one thing for a policeman, a letter carrier, a flight attenda attendant, somebody that provides security at a building or the airport, but on terms of
just the rest of us, what it means is they want to i think kind of tamp down anxiety and same time say, we need you to be the eyes and ears f. you see something that bothers now, out of place, looks weird, tell us. and this fbi bulletin that went out to law enforcement officers earlier in the week touched on this and gave an example. the example they gave came from -- thomas, came from the spring of a bicycle race planned in frankfurt, germany, and just before a clerk in a hardware store in germany called the authorities and said there's a couple that keeps coming in here and buying hydrogen peroxide. the hardware store clerk knew apparently that's a chemical for making explosives. the two arrested. it turned out they were members of a radical group. a fully done pipe bomb and the kind of thing the fbi says can be very important to police going through these tense days. >> pete williams reporting for
us in d.c. sir, thank you and happy holidays. >> same to you, thomas. >> thank you. luke russert is live from reagan national airport. luke, what are we seeing about increased security getting close to almost rush hour as folks are closing out this day before heading off? >> reporter: yeah. hey, good afternoon there, thomas. very busy travel day the day before thanksgiving. and we have seen here at reagan national airport, as well as airports across the country, enhanced security and that's directly attributable to those attacks in paris. tsa says if you're going to travel today and throughout the thanksgiving holiday, give yourself some more time and going to see more enhanced screening of liquids, gels, more people taken out of line for patdowns. they said this is all part of what they have to do to keep the country safe. we spoke to some passengers today in line said, look, i expected this after what happened in paris. it's honestly something we'll have to roll with overall.
now, in terms of what you see at the airport, just talking from experience here today, thomas, see a lot of security officials, some carrying automatic weapons, a few on mountain bikes and really trying to have a show of manpower, if you will, they're here. they're vigilant. that they are around and they're here to keep everybody safe so if you're traveling, give yourself some time. go through the proper protocols and expect to see personnel around the terminal vie you spoken to anybody early and surprised that they're moving faster than they would or people feeling that they really are there and making it through with that type of delay? two to three hours expected ahead of time. >> reporter: yeah. honestly, people that i have talked to they said, look, it is the wednesday before thanksgiving. we jump into this expecting anything. >> right. >> reporter: a lot of people said to me, thomas, last year was so much worse because you
remember covering the horrific weather stories of people to deal with and said the beautiful weather on the east coast is something to look forward. i'll be interested to see the next hours and the folks that went to work today get off and start taking the flights and busier and probably where we'll see more of an impact here on the delay, thomas. >> nbc's luke russert, thank you. happy thanksgiving. still ahead, human errors, results of an investigation into the air strike on a doctors without borders hospital revealing that it was an avoidable accident according to pentagon. plus a preview of tomorrow's big meeting between french president hollande and russia's president vladimir putin amid the growing tensions in the complex war against isis. there's only one egg that just tastes better. fresher. more flavorful. delicious. only one egg with better nutrition... like more vitamins d, e, and omega 3s. and 25% less saturated fat.
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during red lobster's ultimate seafood celebration. with jazzed up new dishes like the decadent grand seafood feast and the ultimate wood-grilled feast why wait to celebrate? so hurry in, it ends soon. so after four days on lockdown, brussels is slowly starting to return to normal. the students back to class and
metro partially reopened and troops on the streets as authorities on the lookout for two suspects in the paris terror attacks. keir simmons live for us in brussels. what have authorities said, how have they briefed the update for the manhunt? >> reporter: add a third person to the list of suspects, ever-growing list of wanted jihadists who they fear are part of a terrorist cell, been saying now for days is targeting brussels here or perhaps another city in europe. they say that one of the suspects was with salah abdeslam in a vehicle, they were seen at a gas station together on the way to paris two days before those attacks. now, that, of course, is adding to the list of concerns folks have that perhaps these attacks could have been prevented. a local mayor, thomas, saying she was given in the months before the attacks an official
list of extremists, her office didn't know what to do with it. at the same time, the people are beginning to get their lives back together as you can see behind me, the subway open and people taking the children to school again. people are shopping. very simple things like the morning commute, like taking your children to school, turning into an act of defiance saying we will not be frightened by the terrorists. >> so, where does it stand in terms of the threat level in the city itself is still at a four and the rest of the country is at a three? >> reporter: right. exactly right. and that level -- that threat level of four still means that they consider an attack to be imminent. i think what they are going to -- the officials here what they're gong to feel like they have managed to do with over 1,000 raids across belgium and france is disrupt any terrorist cell that might have been making plans. it is a pretty common practice amongst intelligence security
organizations that you don't always try to bring your suspect to court. you just try to put them off balance. that may well be what they think they have achieved here. that also, by the way, brings intelligence because if you make your suspect feel insecure they may do something unexpected and make calls they didn't plan to and monitored and more information. the hope is that that's what they have achieved. at the same time, confidence, thomas, is fragile because of all the questions about how these suspects were handled in the period running up to paris. >> yeah. the easy evasion of it all. thanks so much. i appreciate it. next, back here at home we have the shooting death of a chicago teen, laquan mcdonald. i'm going to get reaction from the mcdonald family attorney now that police released video of the incident. something his mom didn't want to have happen. plus, we'll get you up to speed on all issues pertaining to your holiday travel, car,
plane or by rail. and that as you hit the road, finding out from you whether or not you altered your travel plans because of what happened in paris. so the pulse is live. go check it out. pulse.msnbc.com and then the preparations for macy's thanksgiving day parade and that's straight ahead. lind. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit your24info.com.
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reaction continues to pour in following the release of a chilling dash cam video showing the deadly shooting of a black teen in chicago by a white police officer. we have hillary clinton releasing a statement short time ago reading in part, quote, as criminal charges proceed in this case we also have to grapple as a country with broader questions about ensuring that all our citizens and communities are protected and respected, the loss of so many young african-americans taken too soon should reaffirm our commitment to press forward for progress. this video released last night. a warning for everybody.
if you have seen it, you know. it is disturbing. we'll show a brief part of it but you can see 17-year-old laquan mcdonald walking on a four-lane street with knife in hand appearing to be veering away from two officers arriving on the scene. they draw their guns. within seconds, officer vandyke starts shooting. mcdonald falls to the pavement. a total of 16 rounds fired, most of them striking the teen laying on the ground. autopsy results showed drugs in mcdonald's system. jason vandyke is charged with first-degree murder. his attorney maintains the shooting was justifiejustified. after the video was released hundreds protested. officials say demonstrations mainly peaceful, however, five people were arrested. joining me on the phone for his first network interview is jeff neslund, attorney for the mcdonald family. thank you for joining me. >> thank you. >> so explain to me where did you involve yourself legally
with the mcdonald family? because as we know the city revealed they paid out $5 million to the family. were you a part of that negotiation or a part of that process legally? >> right. i was. my partner michael robins and i represented the estate of laquan mcdonald which consisted of his mother and younger sister, a minor, and we represented them. we did extensive investigation into the shooting. ultimately, acquired a copy of the dash cam video via legal process, a subpoena, in the probate proceedings and negotiated the settlement in april. >> jeff, how had it been explained to you legally, the mcdonald family, about laquan's death? >> well, listen. everyone agreed who has seen the video it was not a justified shooting.
>> no. but before you got the video, how are they justifying what happened to you and the family? >> oh! right. you know, the story that came out the night of the shooting mainly by the police union in chicago were just patently false, that laquan lunged at the police, threatened the police and that he was shot once in the chest and that was -- is proven to be just completely false. >> so again, the city -- >> that was the official -- that was the official statement that came out from the police union. and that version was not corrected at all until the settlement was announced and approved by the chicago city council. >> to give the context of timing of all of this, ferguson was basically blowing up while this then happened in the city of chicago. this is something now coming to light, 14 months later. the mcdonald family didn't want this video to go public. laquan's mother especially didn't want it to go public.
why? >> that's correct. two reasons. she did not want to see and has not seen the video of her son's execution. and what mother would want to see that replayed and now on the news constantly. secondly, the family from the west side of chicago and there was a real concern of public reaction if the video went viral. so the family did not want it released and we, you know, represent the family so that -- we agreed with. >> we know that it was a journalist we spoke to in the last hour, one of the first to call on the city to release that video through foia request. they know it's out and covered about laquan's death an how are they reacting? >> you know, they understand -- first, they're still in grieving and his mother's in counseling and but she understands that the
truth had to come out and she understands that the video would be used in the prosecution of the officer. so it's really kind of a mixed reaction. we are relieved and thankful that finally charges have been brought against the officer and that the truth is out there and now the whole world knows what happened to la qun. >> jeff, local station in chicago reports that the officer who fired the shots had at least 20 civilian complaints against him, four are open investigations and none of the other led to disciplinary actions according to wmaq. what does laquan's mother say now that charges are moving forward in what do they want the see happen? >> obviously, she wanted him prosecuted to the full extent of the law and in ill ill first-degree murder with a handgun would carry a minimum of 45 years. and the illinois department of corrections. so she's, again, relieved that finally charges have been brought and that's important first step. >> when's the opinion of why it
took prosecutors 13, 14 months to bring charges? >> well, it's a great question. we are certainly happy that charges have been brought but i can't understand why it took so long. there were eyewitnesses, civilian eyewitnesses and i understand i'm a former prosecutor, my partner's a former prosecutor. so we understand that witnesses had to be brought in front of the grand jury and certainly don't want witnesses to testify as to what they saw in youtube. want them to testify from their memory but, you know, as 13 months seems like an awful long time. >> jeff neslund, thank you, sir. we appreciate your time. >> you're welcome. want to turn now to events unfolding overseas. more now about what's taking place after those attacks in paris. we have tomorrow on the calendar, french president hollande traveling on to who is cow for the scheduled meeting with vladimir putin and part of
a tour of allies to coales and defeat isis. there's impediments and includes the support for syria's president bashar al assad and the fallout of that russian warplane shot down by turkey, a nato ally. i'm joined now by the senior foreign adviser to france's minister. you were there yesterday when president lol haend met with president obama. what is your take on that meeting and whether or not president obama was influenced by president hollande saying france is at war. >> i think he made an emotional statement in support of france reflecting what the american people are feeling so in terms of, you know, practical terms, obviously i think we can expect stronger cooperation between the united states and france. both on counterterrorism and on
the ground. and i hope the french aircraft carrier will be soon joined by, you know, u.s. aircraft carrier and that, you know, there will be more strikes against isis-controlled areas. >> we know that charles de gaulle repositioned in the mediterranean and over 20-plus aircraft fighter jets on board to carry out the bombing missions between syria and iraq. but philippe, coming to the fip lo mattic divide of what president obama wants and a president putin wants, how do they meet in the middle? because they're at opposite ends of the spectrum coming to bashar al assad. >> you're quite right. i mean, on one hand, you know, everybody wants to get rid of isis. on the other hand, putin has his own agenda so that's why it's useful to talk to him and i believe the americans are also talking to the russians. but obviously, france has a part
sort of a capital of goodwill if you want. wealth of goodwill because of what happened with the dramatic events in paris. so there is also a portion of the european public opinion that thinks we should be talking more to the russians even though there's also the ukraine crisis and other things going on. so i believe, you know, the hollande visit tomorrow which just followed a meeting with chancellor merkel is also part of this as you called it a grand coalition and i believe, you know, we should be starting talking about the future of syria. it's difficult after such dramatic events, difficult when people are shot on the streets of europe but, you know, it's good to have this bilateral and hopefully this will lead to a grander alliance against isis. >> philippe lecorre, thank you, sir. i appreciate your time. as we turn to events back here at home, we have thanksgiving getting under way.
it is officially on. yep. yeah. sorry. it's not on for me yet. i'm still at work. nearly 47 million americans traveling 50 miles 0er more. take a look at the live pictures on the left. interstate 93, in massachusetts. and then on the right, interstate 90 in cleveland, ohio. 90% of travelers are going to be driving to their destinations and many are heading to new york city for the annual macy's thanksgiving day parade. msnbc's chris pollone on the upper west side where they're blowing up the balloons and while they have on, looks like some things are started to be filled up. talk about security concerns because this is always a major event but things are a little bit edgier this time around. >> reporter: right, thomas. obviously, this is the first major event in new york city since the paris attacks happened a week and a half ago and the nypd is taking extra
precautions. let's show you when's going on here on 7 th street. if people have concerns, they're not showing them. you can see the balloons filled up. this is scrat from "ice age" and then looking down and see adventure time, hello kitty and the kool-aid man so preparations are well under way and for a lot of new yorkers this is as big a tradition as the macy's thanksgiving day parade to see the balloons being inflated and if you can see just off to the right here on the sidewalk along 77th street, there are many, many people out today. i would say if there's anything that's affecting how many people are coming out today, it is not fears of terrorism. it is the mild weather. it is really a sunny, beautiful day today. temperatures are in the low 50s. supposed to be even warmer tomorrow and there are a lot of children out here today enjoying watching this going on. the nypd says they will have extra police officers, some
1,000 officers out here including specialized terrorism teams along the 2.5-mile route. police commissioner bratton says he is bringing his grandchildren to the parade and telling people to come to the parade feel safe to do so. thomas? >> no. very nice to see all those people out there, chris, waving and with the kids and the hello kitty and the kool-aid guy. thank you. all right. so two turkeys but only one is going to be put out to pasture. yes. we're talking about the presidential turkey pardon. after the break, to the white house for the time-honored tradition of the presidential turkey pardon. yes, survivor for turkeys.
all right. don't want to miss. this is the turkey pardon. which turkey is sent out to p pasture? which won't? >> there's competition to win their way into the white house by the turkeys. some of you caught that. well, today, i can announce that the american people have spoken and we have two winners. their names are honest and abe. i confess that honest looks like good eating but this is a democracy. abe is now a free bird.
he is totus, the turkey of the united states. yes! is he attacking you? my political director is getting pecked by totus. i want to thank the chairman of the national turkey federation, dr. douglas, as well as farmer joe headen, who personally raised this turkey in california's central valley. america is, after all, a country of second chances and this turkey earned a second chance to live out the rest of his life comfortably on 1,000 acres of open land complete with a barn called the white house on turkey hill. which actually sounds pretty good. if for some reason abe can't fulfill his duties to walk around and gobble all day honest
is in an undisclosed location ready to serve as the totus line of succession. yeah. oh boy. >> okay. that's funny. >> by the way, can i just -- i'm going to publicly thank malia and sasha for once again standing here with me during the turkey pardon. [ applause ] they do this solely because it makes me feel good. not because they actually think that this is something i should be doing. and, you know, as you get older, you appreciate when your kids just indulge you like this.
so i'm very grateful. where was i? later today, michelle, malia, sasha and i will take some of the less fortunate turkey brothers with us, they will have been packed and frozen to help serve a thanksgiving meal to homeless veterans here in d.c. and it's a reminder -- [ applause ] it's a reminder not only of the spirit of giving during this holiday season, but our national obligation to make sure all those who serve and sacrifice for our country have a place to call home. my administration considers this one of our top priorities. making sure that we're bringing about the reality of zero homelessness for our veterans. and i want to thank the turkey farm to donate them for the seventh year in a row.
[ applause ] it is hard to believe that this is my seventh year of pardoning a turkey. time flies. even if turkeys don't. >> that's good. that was good. >> i thought it was pretty good. i -- you think it's funny, too, don't you? i know some folks think this tradition is a little silly. i do not disagree. i've got to listen to my critics say i'm often too soft on turkeys. and i'm sure the press is digging into whether or not the turkeys i have pardoned have really rededicated their lives to being good turkey citizens but i do enjoy this opportunity to wish america a happy thanksgiving. you know, we go through challenging times and, you know,
so often the news of the day, you know, can make folks discouraged but the fact is that we live in the greatest country on earth and we are blessed in so many ways, most of all, because we have families and friends and people we care about. we look out for each other. we looked out for our neighbors and our friends. we're grateful for the brave men and women of our military who serve all around the world and for the families that miss them. i'm especially grateful to have the privilege and the honor to serve as your president. so, i'm also grateful for the fact that the bears are going to beat the packers this weekend. with that i hope that everybody has a very, very happy thanksgiving and i now am going to go over and with the power vested in me officially pardon this turkey. [ applause ]
on the pardoning table. staying away? >> yeah, we are. >> all right. yes. all right. don't interrupt. by the power vested in me, you are here by pardoned. give abe a round of applause. he's a natural! thank you so much. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. great to see you. >> thank you, sir. >> all right. see you guys. >> thank you.
>> all right. i don't know how you follow a turkey pardon act like that but that was fun to watch and gobbling on cue and luckily abe is free bird. honest is backup. like the miss universe of turkeys. we have a spare. i'm joined now by msnbc host steve kornacki giving us the background on this. i just want to say, you know, because the press, we don't cover malia and sasha and asked for respectful distance and so funny to see them looking at their dad like you are so uncool and drag us out here seven years in a row. what's the history? this is fun. this is unique. but there is a background for it. >> yeah. it's a fun thing. the tradition goes back a long ways of presidents being presented with turkeys for thanksgiving. the thing was for a long time they never really knew what to do with them and a lot of times they wouldn't actually eat them
or donate them to a soup kitchen or something. the pardoning idea actually came about by accident. ronald reagan was president. this is in the late 1980s and the problem was there was a scandal brewing in the reagan administration and at his press conference right before thanksgiving, sam donaldson, known for hounding ronald reagan, he starts asking him, plp, plp, are you going to pardon point december ter, north? olver north, the figures there. he didn't like the question, didn't want to answer the question. the turkey there and said maybe i'll pardon this guy instead. that's where the whole idea of pardoning the turkey came from in 1986. >> peter alexander at the white house. we have talked different times today, peter, nothing about a turkey yet but it seems as if the president had decent jokes for the turkey pardon. what can you tell us? >> reporter: you could say it's another as colleagues discussed another blow to honesty in the white house and losing out to
abe here. by the tale of the tape, honest actually had abe by a fester a. quarter inch taller and a quarter pound bigger and none of that matters. they'll both be pardoned and celebrating the rest of their life off of a thanksgiving dinner table. i think as you noted when's always most striking on a day like this is opportunity to look at sasha and malia obama, now 17 and 14 years old. how they have grown in the seven years the president has been serving this country. >> no. they look like lovely young ladies who put up with their dad's corny jokes during this time every time and nice when you have beautiful weather and lucky for honest and abe. peter, thanks so much. want to go over now to brian williams with breaking news that concerns the legendary football player and broadcaster frank agriculture ford. >> that's right. it makes it an a bittersweet and unusual story on the air with. frank gifford not on a beloved
member of the extended nbc family, he was beloved to all of us who love nfl football. and i'm going to read for you in its entirety a statement just put out by the gifford family. after losing our beloved husband and father, we as a family made the difficult skigs to have his brain studies in hopes of contributing the advancement of medical research concerning the link of football and traumatic brain injury. while frank passed away from natural causes this past august at the age of 84, our suspicions that he was suffering from the effects of head trauma were confirmed when a team of pathologists recently diagnosed his condition as that of cronic traumatic encephalopathy. we decided to disclose our loved one's condition to honor frank's
legacy of promoting player safety dating back to his involvement of the nfl player's association in the 1950s. his entire adult life frank was a champion for others. but especially, for those without the means or platform to have their voices heard. he was a man who loved the national football league until the day he passed and one who recognized that it was and will continue to be the players who elevated this sport to its singular stature in american society. during the last years of his life, frank dedicated himself to understanding the recent revelations concerning the connection between repetitive head trauma and its associated connietive and behavioral symptoms which he experienced firsthand. we miss him every day, now more than ever and find comfort in knowing that by disclosing his condition we might contribute positively to the ongoing conversation that needs to be had. that he might be an inspiration for others suffering with this disease that needs to be
addressed in the present and that we might be a small part of the solution to an urgent problem concerning anyone involved with football at any level. the gifford family will continue to support the national football league in its recent on-field rule changes and procedures to make the game frank loved so dearly and the players he advocated so tirelessly for as safe as possible. that is the statement from the gifford family. of course, our friend kathie lee gifford and their children. frank gifford as i said beloved by those of us as fans of the game and especially those that root for the new york giants but also all those years as part of the announcing corps on monday night football. he early on transcended the sport. he grew up a poor kid in california. and was propelled into success starting at usc by his shear
physical gifts and then was the toast of the town playing football in new york. the play you're watching right there was one football fans even if they weren't alive back then knew by heart. frank gifford, the giants playing the eagles and chuck bednaric of the philadelphia eagles, one of the last if not the last nfl player to play all 60 minutes offense and defense, he was a center on offense, he was a line backer on defense, he leveled frank gifford. now, it was for years debated. he thought it was a clean hit head on and for the record so did frank gifford. but frank gifford lost the entire 1961 season. he was knocked out on the field. he had a concussion. there's a famous still photo of
chuck standing over frank gifford that was also misconstrued. he was really celebrating with a well-known expletive what he thought was the successful end of the game. he was not taunting the unconscious frank gifford. concrete charlie got his nickname because he was a concrete dealer in the offseason and well deserved. he was a brick wall of a man. that hit ended at least one nfl season and because we're talking about repetitive red trauma, it certainly i think will be found to have contributed to this result. we read of today. we are joined on the telephone by veteran sports columnist mike lupaka and, mike, we have a major motion picture about to come out over christmas about this sport, millions of us will
watch, thanksgiving night in our house means at least some of us will be watching the green bay-chicago game. it is a part of american life. and yet the dangers of this sport thanks to science are becoming better known. >> yeah. they are, brian. and, you know, the movie is about dr. bennet omalu who's a brilliant forensic neuropathologist and the first person diagnosed was an old steeler of mike webster who at the end of his life living out of his truck and in train stations and when doctor began to study his brain tissue, we found the kind of damage that, you know, he had only found previously in people with dementia or by the way people who had boxed for a living. and now obviously, we know more about this than we ever did before but that hit that you just showed, i mean, it's a vivid memory. i grew up a giants fan in
upstate new york and teammates would say later, they thought frank was dead in what moment. he was stretched out flat on his back and in the world where we discuss con suggestions so often, brian, because it's better for business than calling them what they are which is brain wounds, that was really the first famous concussion in nfl history. >> so if you're the nfl, mike, this is a tough one. it's a violent game. players have only gotten bigger, stronger, faster. we've seen head to head hits. we saw quarterback of the rams as recently as last weekend punch drunk, staggered and allowed to stay in the game. what do you do? we have also seen design changes to helmets as recently as these last two years. but what do you do if you're this league and really pop warner at the local level little kids is your feeder league several years out? >> you know,