tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC March 22, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
♪ >> good evening to you, or maybe morning. i'm ari melber with francis rivera. our life coverage continues as we track two major stories right now. in the last 30 minutes, nbc news projecting bernie sanders is the winner of the utah caucus. bernie sanders picking up six delegates in the democratic caucus. we're also watching a l of other races. here you can see the gop caucus in utah with 40 delegates, this is still too early to tell. you see ted cruz with what looks
like a commanding lead, but only 2% in. we are up live right now, keeping an eye on that republican caucus, a place where cruz could even it up with trump. and the democratic caucus in idaho, also too early to call. and rachel maddow mentioning overwhelming turn-out there. and tolooking to arizona, nbc projecting hillary clinton a projected winner there. donald trump cleaned up arizona early tonight and this was expected, but it is big, 58 delegates in the gop primary, and he gets, yes, all 58. that's one of those winner take all states that are so important, francis. i want to bring in our panel with live coverage here because we got a lot to get into. rick tyler, formerly of the ted cruz campaign, and maria theresa kumar, also with us, raul reyes,
an msnbc contributor. let's talk about the idea that donald trump is still doing very well. and while we at nbc news are not projecting anything yet for your former boss ted cruz in utah, even if you factor that in, by my calculations, at 2:00 a.m. in the morning, east coast time, even if he gets that, he would still be down 276 delegates, ted cruz would, even if he wins utah tonight. your thoughts? >> well, look, i think that ted cruz has a better chance of denying donald trump the majority than he does get the majority himself. but that's a real possibility. and so we'll have to let this thing play out. i think the race now shifts to wisconsin. it would appear to me that ted cruz is going to win utah. i'm getting some reports that he's getting 50% in all the counties that have been reported except for one. so that looks decisive for him in utah.
i know nbc news hasn't called it yet, so we'll wait on that. and then two weeks until wisconsin. if there's a stop trump movement, it's got to succeed in wisconsin. they have two weeks to do it. >> go ahead. >> it's also interesting when you put into play with that on the other side. you have this race tonight, many of these races where you factor in early voting, you factor in the long lines, the large voter turn-out, in some cases, why we're still waiting for idaho into the wee hours of the morning or late night. let's factor how that comes into play in this race, and especially when it comes to -- on both sides, you have donald trump, who is getting up there with the math, but nearing, you know, cleveland and what could be a contested convention. on the other side, as well, with hillary clinton, there's still time for bernie sanders, even though with this win, kind of giving her that advantage even more so. there's still more to come as far as those primaries and where
those delegate counts can come in. >> we were basically in the green room chatting about how quirky early voting is, when we were talking about rubio starting this morning with 47,000 votes, and he ended the night in arizona with close to 70,000. so that means roughly 23,000 folks still voted for him even though he's not in the race. he came in third. kasich is still running. that said, bernie sanders has been able to move hillary clinton to the left of a lot of policies she didn't want to embrace, including immigration, and this idea of free education for community colleges. he's really been someone that's trying to be a bit of a guiding principle on where the democratic party at its conscience wants to be when it talks about the majority of this new group of american voters, when we're talking about young latinos, african american, asian, single white females and young millenials. this is the emerging majority
that bernie sanders is appealing to. that said, arizona showed him he hasn't made enough of a dent in the ground zero immigration debate with the latino vote. it might be too late for him. >> and what maria is saying, bad for john kasich, if he's losing to a guy that's out of the race in marco rubio. but also bad for ted cruz who wants to be the unifying opponent to trump. >> and to be the unifying opponent to trump he's got to make a case to get out of the race. and people are still voting for people who are not in race. ben carson got almost 8,000 -- more than 8,000 votes in arizona tonight. and so these things can make a difference. kasich just doesn't have a mathematical possibility of getting to the convention. and even if nobody gets through there with a majority, it's not going to be john kasich. it's going to be either donald trump or ted cruz. i think the convention is not going to go outside of those two
people. >> as we're seeing now and you're saying this, kalily as a guy who was with the ted cruz campaign, does he have a path, and what is it? >> well, steve schmidt was talking earlier this evening about all the things that can happen in a campaign. look, there's two weeks until wisconsin, you know, is there really a stop trump movement? will they mobilize? will they find the magic formula that's going to stop trump in wisconsin? and if they do, then they've got another week until new york. and then they're going to have another week until all the new england states -- >> it's a lifetime in politics. >> something could happen. >> well, something could happen. it was interesting too and i don't know if you want to just put a little bit of interesting trump color in this, as we always do, as we do every day. and the back and forth with the tweet of trump mentioning something about -- the first
version was low blow, or something to that effect, cruz using melania's shoot in the gq magazine and you went to spill the beans on your wife. that tweet was later pulled, replaced by another one. what do you make of that and obviously in this day and age where we have the backdrop of what happened in brussels and their take on that. and then you have this kind of -- what some may call a side show when it comes to the donald trump tweet. >> well, look, there's no accounting for donald trump tweets. the image that was put out there apparently didn't come from the cruz campaign at all. and donald trump said that it did. and ted cruz refuted that and then defended his wife, which i think was the right thing to do. but you're right, this all comes in the backdrop of what happened in brussels this morning. and i think that's something that could change this race now for donald trump. he's been very strong on immigration, and he does exude
power as a strong leader and he could do very well, given the events. but on the other hand, and as we saw at a-pac, he has relatively little knowledge in foreign policy and how to handle these things. i think ted cruz could show himself, you know, this foreign policy knowledge that we need a strong leader, that not only is strong, but who knows exactly what to do and is averse in these things. >> rick, you bring up an important point. if donald trump wanted to talk about what he said at a-pac last night, he would have let that play out. in politics, you give it a day or two. when he tweets like that, it's to get the chattering class and those of us in the media to turn to this salacious story line, which rick pointed out, wasn't even sourced to the cruz campaign. when in fact, at a-pac just this week, donald trump was saying, we should have a weaker nato,
which is headquartered in brussels. he called for a state called palestine that doesn't actually exist, but there's plenty of debate on that issue, but he had his facts wrong. so it seems we're in a cycle where donald trump seeing, this doesn't work for me, quick to pivot to other topics and he has a media and social media platform that plays into that. >> and what we're seeing now, this is very much a part of what we have come to know and cover as the trump phenomena. after paris and san bernardino, donald trump, that's when he was floating the idea of temporarily banning muslims, all sorts of ideas that in a different presidential cycle would have been derided as very simplistic, a turn-off to the voters. but those terror attacks and his response, which were, in a certain sense, juvenile, seemed ill-prepared, his numbers went up. and there's a theory, i was reading an article on the study out of vanderbilt university
that says, in times like we're living in now, with this terror threat. there's a certain segment of the electorate that become so scared, so driven by fear, that they're willing to consider theories that normally would have been off the table. and that extends to candidates too. >> it's funny you say that, we could have had this conversation after paris. >> exactly. >> he's going back and underscoring his take when it comes to interrogating detainees, saying i would want to water board. >> he's doubled down on these things other candidates have been forced to disown. and each time a mini controversy comes up, he's able to move the narrative aside. interesting to see him agreeing with ted cruz, that we'll patrol and secure muslim neighborhoods as well. kasich is the one pivoting and saying how about president
obama, president obama as far as him being in cuba and staying for that game, that was the criticism that we heard from john kasich. but here's also the president responding to it. let's take a listen and we'll talk about it on the other side. >> it's always a challenge when you have a terrorist attack anywhere in the world, particularly in this age of 24/7 news conference. you want to be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation. but the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people's ordinary lives. what they can do is scare and make people afraid. and disrupt our daily lives and divide us. and as long as we don't allow that to happen, we're going to be okay. >> i'm a little surprised that the president is going to a baseball game when i believe he should -- had i been president, i would have cut short my visit. >> interesting also how the president says, you know, this is dividing the nation.
you can see the division there when it comes to the gop and the presidential hopefuls and how that division is shaping up and what happened in brussels and when it comes to foreign policy. and the point you were making, ari, in saying, while this is going on, the issues at hand, then we have a little bit of a distraction, or a lot of a distraction on the side. >> and maria, i know you were earlier speaking to that, having the president say he's doing diplomacy, engagement, the republican candidates have responded to this by doubling down primarily on the arguments they've previously made. of course there's a lot of evidence in europe that while you have to deal with security and the refugee crisis in turkey and all other states have been debating that furiously, there's not a realistic way to shut down all borders and do it in a way by religion when security experts say that's not the safest approach. >> that's a bad thing. and that's putting it as simply as possible. in a time where people feel
isolated, the idea that we are going to become an isolationist country, the fact that we are not going to be a leader in the world stage, and actually define the future of the 21st century, by deciding that we are not only going to close our borders, but we're not going to talk to certain people, that's absurd. the fact that what we need right now is not only leadership, but we need to engage with the folks that we see as maybe our most unlikely allies. in large part because the majority of these terrorists are no longer nation states, but they are cells around the world. and the better way to do that, to get the intelligence that we have, that we need, in order to destroy isis is by making sure we're in those communities and having these conversations and making sure it's a two-way street. the fact that the president was there at a baseball game in cuba, it wasn't that he was at a baseball game, it was that he was in cuba, engaging with a communist country that we've severed ties with for decades. that's the story. and until the republican party
can actually come around and recognize that in order for us to beat isis, we need to have a level of engagement and be in those communities who right now may know information but are too afraid to talk to us. >> and rick looks like he wants to get in. so stay with us. [ laughter ] >> he'll have a lot of time to do it while we wait for idaho. >> we're waiting on two big states that are going to be significant. we're watching races that have not been called tonight, including the republican contest in utah and keep you posted as the results roll in. >> and on this discussion, we'll delve more into the terror attacks in belgium, we'll take you live to brussels with the latest on the manhunt and the investigation and we'll do that when we come back. we needed 30 new hires for our call center.
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it is 2:17 in the east coast, 7:00 a.m. in brussels, and as residents are waking up after a day of horror. three blasts leaving at least 31 people dead, injuring up to 230. right now a massive manhunt is under way for one suspect. authorities believe the man in the hat here on this airport surveillance tape is at large. the other two, wearing one glove and wheeling baggage trolleys are believed to be dead. a glove hiding the hand holding the detonation device. overnight, raids conducted across belgium have turned up a bomb-making factory, complete with chemicals used in explosives, as well as nails, bolts and also an isis flag. >> nbc's claudio lavanga is live for us in brussels. what's it like as they wake up this morning, and what do you
know about the investigation today? >> well, it's about 7:00 here in belgium. as you can see behind me, there's cars driving to work. people are just waking up to the day. what it looks like here at the airport at least, you can see behind me, where the attacks, or two of the attacks took place yesterday, well, that is closed down today, and we don't know when it's going to re-open. but further away, down in the central brussels, well, life should go on as normal. at least this is what the belgian prime minister would like it to be. because yesterday he said that the transfer system will run normally apart from a couple of lines that will remain closed. the bus will run, the schools will be open. but we'll have to see really how many people will dare to get on the transport system, to get on buses, on the subway. because obviously they will know
as well that there is one of the terrorists that is still on the loose, is still on the run. and the authorities are actively looking for him. as you mentioned earlier on, he's the guy in the back hat who's explosive device allegedly did not detonate. but this is a belgium that was in a way prepared psychologically that something like this could happen. this is a country that for the last four months has been on a threat level number three, meaning that an attack could potentially happen, following of course the paris attacks and discovery that a number of people in that commando came from molenbeek in the suburbs of brussels. but certainly there was a lot of shock when that actually happened in the fashion that it did happen. >> you mentioned the preparation. you're dealing with a relatively small country in a region that has been rocked of course by terror recently.
what does this manhunt look like? how hard would it be for someone to just disappear right now? >> well, as it has been proven with salah abdeslam in the past four months, it seems to be fairly easy to disappear here in brussels. when salah abdeslam left paris and he went back to brussels, nobody expected him to just hide in molenbeek in brussels for four months with the authorities -- without the authorities finding him. the interior minister said there were hundreds of police officers on the hunt, and there were speculations all over that he was in syria, that he was in morocco, that he was in germany. and in the end, they found him steps away from his family home. so as you can see, it's not that particularly difficult to hide in brussels, in molenbeek, possibly because there is a network of people that would aid them and would offer shelter. but of course this is something
that the authorities have been criticized about. not only that they could only find salah abdeslam four months after he disappeared right at their doorstep, but also that something like this could happen in targets like airports or subways, on a subway station that was right next to the eu buildings, that in a way, you can call them predictable. >> claudio, i want you to stay with us, as obviously we're on the story all night. but we are going to pivot back to the other big story in the united states. we have a call here, nbc news projecting that ted cruz is the winner of the utah caucus. nbc news projecting that ted cruz is the winner of the utah caucus, winning all four -- excuse me -- getting 18 delegates there, as i was going to mention, 40 delegates total. this is obviously a significant step for ted cruz. utah was not a state that was going to have mass
participation. that's an organizing event. the cruz campaign has claimed they were predicting this, the campaign manager saying that this was a place where ted cruz could pick up some delegates. and i'll tell you, this is a night where the donald trump march towards the nomination, as a matter of math has continued. he wins more delegates in arizona, he's done well, but we know it's not just math. it's also momentum and it's a question of who does well in conservative states. this is a place where we can again say right now, here's the totals there. of the delegates won tonight, donald trump with the big 59. ted cruz now 19 and that could grow, because it's based on the math out of utah. but that puts ted cruz up on the board. it gives him an argument that there are places where republicans are active and he's going to be doing better there. i will give you the total too and get your thoughts. 744 is the total trump delegate math, going to 1237 to clinch.
anything short of that could be an open convention. ted cruz up to 446 delegates. >> there's also the psychological factor in this win and him paving the way for the next big contest too and what that may bring in, as we begin and turn into april with wisconsin and that race. i want to bring in rick tyler and maria theresa kumar. rick, talk to us a little bit about this win. i asked you earlier, how does he stay in, how does he pave his way? and especially with this win and denying donald trump, even though with the delegate count that he has, denying donald trump these delegates. >> well, it's an important win. 40 delegates is quite a bit. even though in arizona, trump got 58. so he netted 18 plus. widened his gap a little bit tonight. but it's significant in that it does keep the momentum going, and the other thing to remember, two weeks until wisconsin. again, if there's a stop trump
movement, they've got two weeks to organize it and put it together and see if he can be stopped in wisconsin. if trump were to lose wisconsin, it would be very difficult for him to get the 1237 necessary to take the majority of delegates going into cleveland. >> and rick, looking at tonight, though, here we are moments out from this announcement, basically nbc projecting utah, what does that mean for ted cruz and how does the delegate math work? your old boss was saying they might get all the delegates. >> looks like he's going to get more than 50%. if he gets more than 50%, acrding to the rules as i understand them, in utah, he will get all 40 delegates. so right now, it looks like he's in the 60s, so it looks like he'll get more than 50%. >> maria theresa, rick has been talking about the two weeks until wisconsin and the stop trump movement and their efforts as we've seen earlier again with the tweets, attacking donald trump and his wife. what can be done?
what can we see as far as something that is tangible and not abstract, as far as this movement -- stop trump movement that will make a difference in the next two weeks, that rick is referring to, that needs to happen for ted cruz to really capitalize on this momentum? >> i think in a traditional election, two weeks is a lifetime. and you can make a lot of changes. but i think if we were going to see a stop trump movement, it would have taken effect a long time ago. i think that the republican party is having a fight with itself, and trying to figure out what their identity is, and what their future holds. and trump has very much been able to consolidate sentiment of this country and tap into something that not only the republicans weren't ready for, but the democrats aren't ready for it either. often times, i think what you're going to see move forward is almost a come to jesus moment in the republican party and have kasich say -- have a conversation with him to say, will you drop out now, because
cruz needs the momentum to challenge trump in a fair manner, if it comes down to the convention. >> and rick, i want to give you the final word before we go to break. what is the theory of the case of why ted cruz won utah, and why would that argument go towards him doing better in the rest of this calendar? >> well, the reason he won utah, utah is predominantly a mormon state. it's a predominantly very conservative state. ted cruz's evangelical values match those of conservative mormons. i think that's the reason. i think this is the one state probably that mitt romney helping ted cruz really did help him. because romney won the state with 93% last time around. so i think those are the primary reasons. now, the math does get harder for ked cruz, especially in the northeast, where we have new york coming up in three weeks, and then a week after that, we have all the new england states, plus pennsylvania. but as i say, a lot can happen
between now and then, and if there is -- look, there are a lot of people who are putting resources together to stop trump. we'll see if they can be successful. >> that is the word here as we have been reporting. ted cruz winning the utah caucus here late on the east coast, 2:30 a.m. on the east coast. we'll have more with our panelists on an important election night, balanced with the terrible news coming out of brussels. and we have our reporters live on the ground there, so we'll go back to that story as well when we come back after this quick break.
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>> it is 11:30 p.m. in idaho and nbc news for the first time tonight can name a projected winner. you see it right there. bernie sanders, the project winner of the idaho democratic caucus. nine delegates awarded. that's a rough estimate based on what is obviously breaking news. bernie sanders again showing in states where he can organize, even in what are considered conservative leaning states there, in idaho, a big win for him. and this is interesting. this is the first time that we've seen tonight bernie sanders overtake hillary clinton in tonight's delegate totals. 46-43. you see it there. now that is just a slice. 149 at stake total, and as we've been reporting, hillary clinton remains far out ahead in the overall lead, but this is, with everything else going on, this
is a good night for bernie sanders organizing. idaho, projected winner, 11:32 p.m. in idaho right now. i want to bring in by phone bill denser, who is a political reporter for the idaho statesman in what has been a little bit more political action than idaho usually sees in the primaries. walk us through why this night has been different than other nights. >> well, yeah, thanks. it certainly has. i don't think there was any anticipation there would be this kind of turn-out for this race. 27,000 people preregistered throughout the state to participate. and that was more than the last record year of 2008, when 21,000 participated. and here in boise, which is the biggest center in the state, there are about 9,000, almost 10,000 votes cast tonight. the line out the door was three, four hours to get in. the caucus in this area started
two and a half hours late, about 9:50 local time and we just got the final results from the second ballot here, about 15 minutes ago. >> you look at idaho, the kind of state it is. people think of it as pacific northwest or northwest, but it is very rural. it is sparsely populated. it is not a place that is considered by conventional standards democratic socialist territory. why do you think bernie sanders did well? >> well, i think sanders has shown that he does well in caucus states. that was certainly true here. bernie made two visits here. he was in idaho falls, the eastern part of the state and he was here in boise yesterday and he brought 7,000 people to see him. and i think that really charged people up. the crowd here, definitely a pro-bernie sanders crowd. as the crowd came in, you could see clearly that was the margin of bernie supporters to clinton
supporters. they were rocking, happy, and very charged up. >> seems like we're hearing some of that in the background, with the crowds out there. but consider the massive turn-out at these caucus sites for tonight and astounding to think that some wait said as many as three hours there. did you get to talk to some of the caucus-goers and why were they so adamant? where daily life needs to happen, i'm sure dinner time, families to get to, homework for the kids. what were they saying to you as far as why they would stand still in a line for three hours to make sure that they would go to that caucus? >> you know, you really hit on something. because the folks we talked to, they were standing in line, but they were happy to be there. they kept saying it's been three hours, but i'm glad we're here. it's a really important race. the sanders supporters said things like we know he's the underdog, so every vote counts and we're here for him. the clinton supporters were here, they were much quieter and a much more sedate group, but to
a person, there was no bad blood, there was no complaining about the lines or the wait. it was kind of a cool night here tonight. especially when the sun set, people were out there for three hours in their shirt, were beginning to get pretty cold. >> a big night for idaho with a lot of turn-out. 11:36 p.m. idaho time, bernie sanders, the projected winner. and as i mentioned, that victory puts him overall above hillary clinton for delegates won tonight thus far. but the night continues, bill. thank you for joining us by far. i know it's been a business reporting season for you. >> the other story we're following which shadows pretty much in bridges, the big story of the caucus and primaries tonight with hillary clinton and her big win in arizona. in her victory speech tonight, not mentioning bernie sanders, but targeting ted cruz, donald trump.
>> looking ahead. >> looking at their take, as far as what they see, and their take on brussels, saying that the last thing we need are leaders who incite more fear. so certainly the other big story we are following, especially with the hunt still on in brussels, for a suspect wanted in connection with the terrorist attacks there. authorities want this man here in the hat, he's at large right now. alistair jamison is live in london and fill us in on the latest in the investigation, especially when law enforcement, investigators are telling the media that they do not want to, as far as reveal and tactical operations, as far as their search. even though they have some raids that have produced, i believe, some bomb-making equipment, a factory, in fact, among other things. >> that's right. and brussels waking up today a city in mourning.
normally what happens after such a terrible terror attack, we wake up on the second day and there is the clear-up operation, the recovery, the people attending vigils. we've had all of that, but also in this extraordinary situation, there is still this manhunt going on. this is a city that has been more or less on lockdown since the paris attacks which were carried out by a cell based in a district in brussels. despite numerous terror raids and arrests over the intervening four to five months. bear in mind, in addition to those who were killed, the bombers, who blew themselves up in the paris attacks, some 18 others have been arrested since then. and this is before the recent raids and the capture of abdeslam and the latest terror attacks in brussels. so people are waking up all around europe asking, really, how many others, how many other jihadi units are still out there and on the run? and they're also waking up to headlines like this one in
today's lond times, bloodbath in brussels and police on the lookout for this suspect, who they believe fled the scene of yesterday morning's airport attack, which caused devastation in the check-in area. in the brussels airport this morning, they've said the airport will remain closed for another whole day. no more flights in or out, which shows the extent of the destruction that was caused. last night, as you mentioned, some of those raids carried out on a house in brussels, found bomb-making equipment, and isis related materials. nonetheless, no sign so far of this missing suspect. and the belgian interior minister speaking to nbc news, acknowledged there is real fear. people will be scared, but he promised, they would keep on looking out for people and that the country would remain on its highest level of alert, guys. >> certainly with a sense that the fear may continue with this not being over.
appreciate the update and thank you for that. of course we'll have more on these two big stories, as far as delegate count and see where we stand after tonight. and also the big story as well as brussels is waking up nearing 24 hours since those horrific attacks. we needed 30 new hires for our call center. i'm spending too much time hiring and not enough time in my kitchen. (announcer) need to hire fast? go to ziprecruiter.com and post your job to over 100 of the web's leading job boards with a single click.
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>> we are back with a live update for you. two big wins on the 2016 trail. this is all happening this hour. you see there, idaho goes to bernie sanders. 18 delegates awarded. he's now with that state won more than hillary clinton tonight. and that's not all. we've been following a lot of western races. in utah, ted cruz now has won the utah republican caucus. that puts him on the boards tonight trailing donald trump. a big win, and we are going to update throughout the night, because as francis and i have been discussing, he could get all the delegates from that state if he goes over 50%.
here's your global picture and why it's still donald trump's race to lose. 744 delegates as of 2:43 a.m. east coast time. ted cruz trailing with 46 there. in the democratic primary, even more lopsided. she's on her way. in striking distance really of the 2,300 you need to clinch this nomination. >> this is certainly something we are all watching here at home. but for the rest of the world, certainly watching that other breaking story, being 24 hours since that attack in brussels. and now the manhunt after three blasts killed 31 people. joining us now is nbc news counterterrorism analyst and member of the flash point global partners team laith alkhouri and also joining us, former cia analyst jack rice. appreciate you both being with us, late at night, or early in the morning as we delve into this. thinking about brussels as we're approaching the 8:00 hour, and 24 hours since these blasts. and you were talking about a
community, a city, a country there that is in the grips of this fear, given the fact that the security and intelligence that is being reassured by the interior minister at one point saying, you are safe, you are safe, and yet we see this after paris. talk a little bit about that. and with some pushback from the interior minister saying, you know what, the intelligence has been criticized, but this happened and that fear still is gripping this community and this country. >> you know, look, the country has been plagued by the rise of radical elements for a long time now. this is kind of the culmination of that, specially post isis expanding into syria and attracting so many different jihadists from around europe. just from belgium alone, the estimates are between 550 to 600 jihadists from there have joined isis on the ground. some of them have returned back and authorities were aware of that. it was just very hard to pin down who came and who left.
the other elements is that this goes back to the two years ago, the attacks on the jewish museum there. the attacks on the raids that took place post january 2015 attacks in paris, "charlie hebdo." the other attacker obtained weapons from belgium and so on. it's flagged with arm deals, it's flagged with communities that are marginalized, but also the intelligence-sharing is a big problem. >> let me bring in jack rice, former cia official. obviously isis has a three-front war. there's a ground war in syria that is conventional. there's a terror war, looking at attacks like this, that target civilians, and violate fundamental norms and treaties that we've agreed to, and there's an idea war. put that context for us in what we just saw in the last day here. >> if we look at what's going on specifically in brussels, obviously this is part of that
war. and that's very clear, but you can make the distinction between what we're seeing in brussels, versus what we saw in san bernardino. philosophically what we've seen from isis is an extraordinary effort, something we never really saw from al qaeda, but their ability to reach out and motivate those to actually act not because they're directly connected, but rather because they're motivated, to simply step up and do things, hence the san bernardino issue. the fight that's taking place there is something that the u.s. intelligence officials are still trying to grapple with. at the same time, with the actual front-line operations that we're seeing in places like brussels, is a completely separate element. and to fight those two side by side is very difficult, let alone what isis is doing on the ground in northern iraq and in syria. >> interesting that perspective, because you also factor in when it comes to isis-inspired attacks, or isis's operation overall, the chatter.
we know they're savvy when it comes to social media, going dark, encryption and all of that. but was there sense that there was chatter of this? you think about the timing, after paris, after the arrest of abdeslam and knowing that that may have been a part of a network of 30 and they may have just accelerated these attacks in light of that arrest. how does that come into play from what you're hearing there, especially when it comes to this being as early or recent as two weeks ago? >> isis has made it clear, that this is a binary fight. that you're either with us, for our cause, or you are with the u.s.-led coalition, you are with the western countries, you are with the crusaders. you mentioned encryption and chooter and social media. isis media units have moved to much more secure encrypted platforms to distribute propaganda. using platforms like telegram which are hard to track and conduct surveillance on. you can have encrypted chatter that are essentially impossible
for law enforcement to actually eavesdrop on. but, you know, if the grand scheme of things, really, belgium has been a target for many jihadists and what we saw of raids on a number of apartments that took place throughout the entire past year and a half and taking out some terrorist suspects and arresting a number of others, but the community remains -- there's a sense of protection for a number of those radical elements, especially in the neighborhood of molenbeek. so authorities have to zoom in on those neighborhoods and kind of -- >> let me stop you here. you're saying authorities need toed zoom in on that. >> that's correct. >> but that could happen after the arrest, after the paris attacks, where we saw many of these raids happening. and that's where we're seeing a disconnect with the intelligence, with law enforcement there, that many are asking, how in this day and age can that happen, and also the fear that it could happen again?
>> if i could jump in on that point too. there's a distinction. we can look at what was going on in brussels and there's a comparison, actually within the united states, where i am in the twin cities in minneapolis. al shabaab has been shockingly successful at recruiting in the twin cities. we've seen almost 20 different young men who were young, disenfranchised who were targeted by that organization specifically, generally speaking through the internet and through connections and been recruited to go to mogadishu and actually fight. so we've seen this ability to reach in and motivate, but the response needs to be something very specific. and that's the ability to reach back into that community and that's what's important here. >> also very tough considering the soft targets we're seeing more and more. we'll talk about that much more because i know you're going to be with us throughout the evening, the morning here. and we'll continue this
24 hours after three explosions that killed 31 people. and injured dozens. hundreds more. an american couple inside the brussels airport when the bombs went off, found themselves ducking for cover and then running for their lives. nbc's kelly cobiella has their story. >> reporter: a packed departure hall, then suddenly smoke, debris, and screams. in the middle of it, american jeff hoffman. >> there was dust and there was debris, and there was this smell. >> reporter: a consultant for nato, living in brussels, was dropping off his girlfriend for a flight home to the u.s., bag tags printed, luggage paid for, and then the blasts. >> the first was the screaming. >> reporter: jeff felt the shock wave and pushed her under a ticket counter. then the second explosion. >> it was dead silent. my thought at the time, that's one that's two, three's coming, maybe even four. given what we know about what happened in paris, i thought there's a good chance i'm going
to start hearing rifle fire. >> reporter: he saw a single soldier and made a run for the door. shareen behind him. >> among the debris on the ground, what you're seeing were people, lying and not moving. >> it's a tragedy, the bodies, the blood, the destruction. that's stuff i wouldn't wish on anybody to see. >> jeff's brother-in-law survived 9/11. in istanbul, a week before a suicide bomber killed tourists in january, and now this. >> i lived. shareen lived, but i saw people coming out who were not going to live or were going to be in a remarkable amount of pain. those people are going to have their lives forever altered and in some cases, i'm sure there are loved ones who left this morning and are not coming home tonight. >> and still to come, late breaking news, bernie sanders and ted cruz pick up wins overnight and donald trump gets closer to his clinching number.
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