tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC March 23, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
trump campaign you don't want to see mrs. cruz standing up there doing what she did today. >> she was very forceful and strong. she said donald trump has said all sorts of things in this campaign and a lot of them haven't turned out to be true. she held her ground and this whole drama became much larger than it ever would have been, but let's take one quick thing. donald trump whenever the news has gone away from him makes it come back to him. >> he loves claiming victimization. >> he does. >> i don't think we're going to get the ending that we got in 1828. i think things are going to be okay. great to see you here in had studio, not on the tonight on "all in" live from brussels. >> how would you define a muslim neighborhood? >> the investigation continues in belgium as a call for patrolling muslim neighborhoods starts a political firestorm in the u.s.
>> it's wrong. it's counterproductive. it's dangerous. >> tonight, democrats respond to ted cruz. >> loose cannons tend to misfire. >> and the republican front-runner mulls the nuclear option. >> i'm never going to rule anything out. plus big news for the republican plot to stop donald trump. >> we shouldn't accept ugliness as the norm. >> inside last night's voting de debacle in the deserts and the latest on the attacks in brussels when "all in" starts right now. good evening from brussels. i'm chris hayes. live from the place de la bourse, people have been gathering all day after yesterday's attacks. nbc learned the two brothers who detonated suicide bombs in brussels khs alid and brahim kbrks akraous were involved in paris providing a safe house for those who carried out that attack.
law enforcement officials tell nbc news belgian authorities had poor knowledge the attack here was being planned though it was not specific enough information to permit them to stop the horrific bombings of the metro and airport that left 31 dead and 300 injured. belgian and u.s. officials now say they are certain the man on the left in this airport surveillance picture najim laachraoui, the suspected bomb maker died in the attack. confirmed dead is brahim bakraoui and brother, khalid, who died in the metro bomb. the man dressed in white is believed to have fled the scene at the airport. meanwhile the bloodshed in brussels continues to reverberate through the american political system and the campaign with gop presidential front-runner donald trump today mulling using nuclear weapons against isis. >> so you would rule in the possibility of using nuclear weapons against isis? >> well, i'm never going to rule
anything out. >> right. >> i wouldn't want to say, even if i felt it wasn't going -- i wouldn't want to tell you that. the fact is, we need unpredictability. when you ask a question like that, it's a very -- it's a very sad thing to have to answer it. >> trump's biggest rival and closest competitor for the nomination ted cruz continued to stand by his call to, quote, empower law enforcement to patrol and secure muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized. in other words, to single out the nation's 3 million muslims in neighborhoods in which they live, a policy many see as unconstitutional. >> when you talk about patrolling muslim neighborhoods, would you require some suspicion of radicalization before you patrolled the neighborhoods? >> what i'm talking about is focusing law enforcement and national security resources on areas, on locations where there is a higher incidence of radical islamic terrorism. >> cruz today repeatedly cited even touted a now disbanded program in new york city to monitor muslim neighborhoods and mosques as an example. a program that involved police
at one point sends an undercover agent on a whitewater rafting trip and paying undercover officers to sit in cafs frequented by muslims drinking tea at taxpayer expense. according to a former supervisor in that program. new york city police commissioner bill bratton who shut down the program in 2015 today described it as a total waste. >> what both he and other candidates are talking about this idea that we disbanded this critical intelligence-gathering operation, not one single actionable piece of information came out of that. >> so you're suggesting it might not even work? >> it didn't work. it didn't work. >> ted cruz, who was in new york today, also got slammed for his call to monitor muslim neighborhoods. >> doesn't know what the hell's talking about to be quite frank with you. i took great offense at that statement. i have almost 1,000 muslim officers in the nypd. ironically when he's running around here, we probably have a few muslim officers guiding him.
>> speaking in argentina, president obama pointed out that what cruz is calling for is a lot like the situation in cuba which he visited earlier this week. >> as far as the notion of having surveillance of neighborhoods where muslims are present, i just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance. which, by the way, the father of senator cruz escaped for america. the land of the free. the notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense. it's contrary to who we are and it's not going to help us defeat isil. >> democratic presidential front-runner hillary clinton also hammered cruz for his proposal and republicans like donald trump for supporting it. >> when republican candidates like ted cruz call for treating american muslims like criminals and for racially profiling pre
prepredominantly muslim neighborhoods, it's wrong, counterproductive, it's dangerous. >> president obama urged reason and calm in the face of terror and violence. >> we are approaching this in a way that has a chance of working and it will work and we're not going to do things that are counterproductive simply because it's political season. we're going to be steady, we're going to be resolute and ultimately we're going to be successful. >> joining me in brussels, my colleague and friend ayman mohaldin. you've been reporting all day. big developments many terms of putting the pieces together of what the connection was to the paris attacks which i think people from the first moment this happened suspected, it looks like we have good confirmation. >> we're getting confirmation of the connection between paris as well as what happened here in brussels. but in addition to that, we're
getting confirmation to the individuals involved in this attack and syria. you look at the big picture of this, the microcosm of this particular attack in brussels, and paris, it really is a cocktail of the worst scenario that u.s. and western law enforcement and intelligence officials are concerned about. you had individuals, some of them born here in belgium, radicalized, traveled to syria, learned their craft, learned how to make bombs, getting battlefield experience, bringing back that knowledge in addition to what they know about this country and getting around in europe to evade capture, evade detection, and plan out these two attacks. that has to be a major cause of concern and they don't know how big of a group this situation is. >> you know, there'ses so many strings to this, it can feel almost overdetermined, right, people talk about the kind of marginalization of the muslim population here in belgium, particularly, which has all sorts of particular problems because it, itself, is a divided state against itself. talk about the syria aspect. in many ways, all of the
longstand grievances, tensions, about integration of immigrants into european societies have been around for a while. what's new is that people can go to syria, train operationally and come back as fighters. >> and here's the problem is that is also being used for political purposes to paint those who are migrants and refugees with a negative brush. they traveled to syria based on the fact they were born here. turkish officials have told belgium and dutch governments that we captured an individual who's a foreign fighter who's one of your nationals and sent him back -- >> bakraoui. >> we sent them back to you yet you didn't do anything with him once we returned him back to your country telling you he was a foreign fighter. so the concern is syria as a country has now imploded. there is a war going on there. there are people by the thousands by some estimates in europe traveling to this war zone, learning the craft of making bombs, explosives,
fighting then using the knowledge with the ability to move freely to come back here and plan the types of attacks we saw in paris and in brussels and you have this unfolding with a humanitarian crisis that is now as i said being exploded for political purposes where everyone's saying we can't let them in, can't let them in and overlooking the internal problems we have in our countries. >> just the operational capacity that is at play here, i mean, you had abdeslam, he called his buddies, made it past the border, he's here, a 20-minute stroll from where wire standing for months. that boggles the mind. >> one, we're seeing a pattern emerge where brothers are involved or at least close network of individuals and this is often referred to -- >> tsarnaev brotherses, the "charlie hebdo" attacks and this attack. >> a also here the bakraoui brothers. one of the interesting things, what's often referred to as the pipeline phenomenon.
takes one individual from this community to create a pipeline from where he is in his radicalization process and where he wants to bring others into that process. once you get that pipeline established as we've seen in communities like molenbeek in brussels or elsewhere in europe, that becomes extremely difficult to tap into and try to break. it allows individuals to actually evade capture for four months with a network of people that we have no idea how big or how small it is. >> i mean, the question now becomes for european counterterrorism officials, i mean, you have, you know, a variety of policies they're now floating, right. the french prime minister was here today. i was watching him address the european commission about registries on travel and things like that. i guess my question to you is, what, you know, are there -- is there a low-hanging fruit for dealing with this or is it just better counterterrorism work? >> you know, i've spoken to a lot of people who will tell you you're fighting an ideology, you can't fight an ideology with bombs and bullets. there's long-term and short-term objects. have to improve security,
improve intelligence, have tighter controls of what's taking place in these communities in this country. building and fosters relationships with the communities and community leaders. you have to address the source of the ideology and requires long-term commitments to principles from countries where some of this marginalization is taking place, where some of the civil wars are taking place. you got to push for more democracy in the middle east to get these countries to become more stable and dampen the ideology and dry up the swamp of the ideology. >> it does feel standing here walking through molenbeek watching the drama play out in the european union, refugee policy in greece that just passed, there's this force at the door and europe attempting to essentially wall itself off from it, but there is no walling. i mean, we hear donald trump talking about a wall. there's no wall here and no possibility to solve the problem with a wall. >> listen, i was speaking to a belgian national today. he was saying, like, what can you do in this particular situation? you cannot go to war with your own country. >> that's right. they're belgians.
>> they are belgians. that's the point some people particularly in the u.s. are not necessarily recognizing. these are not external factors. they have external causes for what they're doing, but they are actually members of our societies, of our countries and have to figure out a way to address the comprehensive issues. >> ayman, always great to have you here. thanks for all your good work, man. appreciate it. joining me now, democratic representative keith ellison of minnesota. let me ask your reaction to watching this debate play out around ted cruz's proposal. >> well, first of all, chris, i'm so brokenhearted for the people of brussels. my sympathies go out to them. i think it is incredibly sad their tragedy ends up being a political football in the united states and people like ted cruz and donald trump try to exploit this in order to make electoral gains. i mean, the fact is what both trump and cruz have said is reprehensible, wrong, unconstitutional,
counterproductive and bad policing as bill bratton made very clear. it's bad policing. doesn't help us get safer but it does undermine the rights of u.s. citizens and residents. i'm from minnesota. i'm a few blocks away from where he might be talking about in terms of muslim neighborhoods and i can tell you this neighborhood is full of excellent, hardworking, patriotic people who love this country and make it better all the time. i'm offended for them. i'm offended with them. and we're not going to let go of our american value system just because cruz is scared and doesn't want to actually do the hard work of making america safe but would rather just scapegoat a religious minority. >> you know, we have now seen a variety of isis attacks in europe and the u.s. over the past year. the most severe ones here in europe, of course, san bernardino, which appears to be isis-inspired if not isis
directed in an operational sense. do you have faith, that god forbid if there would be to be an attack in the u.s. on a scale like here, in the american political system to not completely lose sight of these sort of core values? >> yes. i do believe that we will deal with the problem in a forthright, sensible way. think the greater majority of americans know and understand that panic and scapegoating is not going to make us safer. what we've got to do is have greater amount of integration, build relationships, we've got to, you know, make sure that we're monitoring people who actually are showing signs of radicalization, not just their religion, but actually doing things that raise legitimate concern. and it's important to have great relationship within the muslim community. so i, you know, there's reports out there that have shown that as many as a third of the
attacks or potential attacks have been reported and thwarted by muslims. and, of course, as we both know, chris, the greater majority of domestic terrorist attacks are not by muslims at all, they're by people like timothy mcveigh, so, you know, we got to understand terrorism as a generalized threat, various ideologies that drive it, but, to, i think we can get through this but people like trump and cruz are not helping. >> are you concerned about putting the genie back in the bottle from the perspective of rhetoric? i mean, it's just been striking to me how normalized things in, you know, prominent figures in american political life now talking in a generalized way about muslims as a group that if people talk that way about jews, about the blacks in that way, that we would rightly recoil in horror. it would violate some very important and justified social
taboos. do you worry about where the rhetoric's gone? >> yes. i'm actually pretty concerned about the rhetoric. as you know, there are these open calls about the muslims, but ted cruz as one of the foremost haters as a top adviser, frank gaffney is one of his, treated like a legitimate political adviser. this man according to the southern poverty law center is a primary chief hater and the moral equivalent of david duke. so we are at a critical stage and real cause for concern, but it's not just muslims. remember, trump started out talks about how mexicans are bringing drugs and crime and some are rapists, moved on to making horrific statements about women. actually trump did say "the blacks," and maybe has made racist statements over the course of time. we are -- the political discourse has gone down on the extreme right, and they've exhibited features of fascism,
quite frankly, and have caused great concern but i think vigilance is what's required here. calm and making sure that we adhere to our american values. i mean, quite frankly, there have even been attacks on the press, chris. reporters beat up. breitbart reporter, even a conservative reporter, beat up at a trump rally. we're seeing ugly signs but we will get through this because i believe that the american people are going to hold onto the values that have made this country great. >> i should note that reporter was grabbed, she said grabbed by the campaign manager for the trump campaign. showed bruises. i wouldn't characterize it as beat up just to be clear on that. representative, are there republicans you feel like, colleagues of yours that you feel like you can still sort of work with on this issue or talk to? does it feel like that party has been so co-opted by this kind of language there's not much entrance there?
>> let me tell you, i go work out every morning at the members wellness center where people are just working out, trying to stay in shape, and i have informal conversations with republican friends all the time. many of them know that this is not acceptable. in fact, publicly, paul ryan made a statement sort of rejecting this ugly rhetoric, i believe, today. so it's not as if all the republicans are following them down this ugly, dark path. i would simply encourage my friends, we can argue about taxes and spending all you want, but can we say that we're not going to scapegoat and demonize americans based on religion? a lot of republicans are sick of it, too, but it's time for good people to stand up and be counted. that's what time it is right now. >> representative keith ellison, always a pleasure. thank you for your time tonight. appreciate it. >> yes, sir. >> much more from brussels to come including my conversation with a woman who runs a counterextremism project here in brussels and was on her way to a conference about jihadi
radicalization at the moment that she heard about the bombings. plus, the explosive of choice for isis in europe. >> three, two, one. that was just one tablespoon of tatp. there were over 30 pounds of it found during the raid of the house in brussels where the taxi driver picked up the airport attackers yesterday. plus president obama calls for americans to continue about their business as he is attacked for doing the same, attending a baseball game in cuba. those stories and much more ahead. stay with us. distract you.
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cases seen here being pushed by men authorities identified as the attackers, estimated to weigh 44 pounds each. today the belgian federal prosecutor confirmed another type of explosive was found at the apartment where the airport attackers departed tuesday northern. investigators found more than 30 pounds of tatp, a highly explosive unstable material that can be used alone in a suicide vest or a bomb or as a booster to ignite a fertilizer-based bomb. known as mother of satan, tatp is the explosive most recently used for bombs in suicide belts in the november terror attacks in paris. they were used in the 2005 london metro bombings and was unsuccessfully used by the so-called shoe bomber richard reid in 2001. according to "the new york times" this is what one tablespoon of tatp can do to a laptop. keep in mind belgian authorities found at least 30 pounds of tatp at the apartment used by the attackers, nearly 1,000 times the amount used in this video. authorities also found dozens of liters of raw ingredients for making more of the material.
it's done in a volatile and dangerous process that involves cooking and drying chemicals found in over the counter products such as nail polish remover and bleach. according to "the guardian" the amount of raw material found in the apartment could have produced ten large bombs. senior u.s. counterterrorism official says it's unclear why they had stockpiled so much of the explosive. whether or not it was supposed to be used in yesterday's attacks or in future attacks.
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april 5th. wisconsin's own paul ryan, speaker of the house today gave a speech before nearly 200 congressional interns and though he did not name names, he criticized the current state of political discourse. >> politics can be a battle of ideas, not a battle of insults. it can be about solutions. it can be about making a difference. and so sometimes today we see a politics that is degrading, a politics that is going to the base. the bases of our emotions, of what this unifies us, not what unifies us. what really bothers me the most of politics these days is this notion of identity politics. that we're going to win an election by dividing people. >> the latest dustup between trump and cruz started with a stop-trump superpac putting up a facebook ad featuring trump's wife, melania. trump tweeted "lyin' ted cruz just used a picture of melania from a "gq" shoot in his ad, be careful, lyin' ted, or i'll spill the beans on your wife." ted cruz pointed out he was not
behind the ad and to repeatedly defend his wife. >> even for donald, though, he reached a new low. it's one thing to attack another candidate. it's another thing to come after my wife. she is used to dealing with bullies and donald trump doesn't scare heidi remotely. >> some folks noticed that in an interview, cruz's defense of his wife was so similar to the president played by michael douglas in "the american president" that a mash-up was born. >> and if donald wants to get in a character fight, he's better off sticking with me because heidi is way out of his league. >> you want a character to debate, bob, you better stick with me because sidney ellen wade is way out of your league. >> which then gave trump the opportunity to tweet "lyin' ted cruz steams foreign policy from me and lines from michael douglas, just another dishonest politician." cruz's wife, heidi, appeared largely unconcerned with trump's threats including during an appearance in wisconsin.
>> i don't measure myself or a campaign on social media. as you probably know by know, most of things, many things that others say are not based in realities. >> today another wisconsin heavy hitter governor scott walker said cruz is the only real alternative to trump though he stopped shy of endorsing cruz, but former presidential candidate jeb bush did today endorse cruz as has the political arm, club for growth, which has never been endorsed a presidential candidate. timely a brand new poll has ted cruz in the lead right now in the crucial winner take all state of wisconsin. joining me now, msnbc political analyst robert costa, political reporter for the "washington post." robert, what was this paul ryan speech about? what was the play here? >> this was about insulating congressional incumbents. there's a party on capitol hill and then there's the party at large. and those members of the house, members of the senate who are up for re-election this year, they don't always want to point to
trump, the presumptive nominee in many of their minds. instead they want to point to someone else. ryan is offering himself as someone who's more civil, more wrapped in the cloak of ideological conservatism. >> you don't think -- there was some speculation that this is him essentially trying to position himself as the possible contested convention savior. as he was, we have to say, during the -- when john boehner retired and the house republican caucus was in crisis and he was essentially drafted against his will to be the speaker. >> it's unlikely. i've spoken with most of ryan's inner circle in the last few days. privately they say he was very reluctant to take the speaker's gavel. he did do it. he is more ambitious than sometimes he lets on. at the same time, this is not some chess game going forward the cleveland convention. he wants to set a new tone for a party he thinks is veering off course. >> the problem, though, of course, is the nominee, of course. they can give as many speeches as they want, but they're now headed toward a situation which
even though cruz did very well in utah last night, net, net, he came out 18 delegates behind donald trump who expanded his lead by that amount. wisconsin does seem like a possible turning point, if nothing else, narratively if cruz is actually able to win that state outright on a night when that's the only state in play. >> it's caused a lot of anxiety within the high command of the republican party because when you look at the calendar, there are many gaps in april and that if cruz doesn't come out of wisconsin with a victory or at least a bounce with a close second place, he has to wait around for new york and for pennsylvania and so what conservative movement activists and cruz allies are doing is trying to target that walker network that came out for him in the recall election that's a very engaged republican electorate. but there's a worry if you look at wisconsin, it has some rural conservative areas and it's in the past gone for businessmen. the current senator, ron johnson, up for re-election, he was an outsider, a businessman who won in an upset in 2010 and
so there's really a different feeling among digit quarters of the wisconsin gop about how exactly this could play out. >> well, and you've also got the situation now where out of sheer desperation i think is the best characterization, people like jeb bush and the club for growth and all sorts of folks are rallying behind cruz as the only way to stop donald trump from getting 1,237. they're rallying behind a guy who basically threatened default on america's debt, shut down the government against a will of the huge part of the republican party leadership, and just today is calling for monitoring muslim neighborhoods, so it's hard for paul ryan to sort of give that speech to the republican establishment to try to distance themselves when this is the person who they have no control over that they are now attaching themselves to. >> and so spot-on, chris, because when you look at the headline, "jeb bush endorses ted cruz" it's important to understand the context. allies of bush, he's not mock maiking many public appearance, not stumping for cruz at least at the moment. there are not a lot of plans for a series of fund-raisers. the establishment is coming to
cruz but is not doing so enthusiastically. it's a reluck tant ground swell, he may be the only one left. this is the problem for cruz, he's picking up endorsements but doesn't have a lot of electricity around his candidacy. >> and that seems to me why wisconsin becomes so crucial because you can imagine that in a very contested race, some real marginal effort, whether it's from scott walker who remains quite popular with the conservatives, hardcore conservatives particularly in wisconsin, the kind of folks who might vote in this primary, with enough effort from the right voices, you can imagine them kind of pushing him over the finish line. it remains to be seen whether they're willing to do that. >> pay attention to those milwaukee suburbs. that's the heart of the wisconsin republican party. scott walker's base. there are similarities between he cruz and walker. use is very well organized. we saw that in utah. we've seen that in previous states.
if he can have an organization in the milwaukee suburbs, you can perhaps see that helping him rise. look at arizona and states with suburban population, it's tough to see how trump is going to struggle in wisconsin. >> robert costa, thank you so much. remember when the supreme court gutted a key part of the voting rights act? last night we got a look at what that actually means on the ground on election day and it was not pretty. soup and sandwich and cannonballs and clean and real and looking good and sandwich and soup and a new personal best. and a little help and soup and sandwich and study group. good, clean food pairs well withnything. try the clean pairings menu. at panera. food as it should be.
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we do not know how many thousands of people who wanted to vote yesterday in arizona did not vote. we don't know if they wanted to vote for bernie sanders, hillary clinton, donald trump or whoever. we don't know that. in the united states of america, democracy is the foundation of our way of life. people should not have to wait five hours to vote and what happened yesterday in arizona is a disgrace. >> yesterday, thousands of people in arizona's maricopa county waited in line for three, four, some five hours to vote. five hours. some voters didn't even get to cast their ballot until midnight, hours after the polling places were scheduled to close. how did this happen? well, the county, which is po 30% latino and the largest in the state by far decided to slash its number of polling location by 70% to save money. this is the map showing the proposed polling locations for the 2012 elections. this map shows the proposed polling locations for 2016.
most counties in arizona yesterday had enough polling places to average 2,500 or fewer eligible voters per polling site, maricopa county had one site per every 21,000 voters. now the mayor of phoenix, a democrat, has written attorney general loretta lynch asking the u.s. department of justice to investigate what took place in maricopa county to ensure all voters are treated equally under the law. arizona is one of nine states fully covered by section 5 of the voting rights act effectively gutted by the roberts supreme court. polling locations, like, say, getting rid of 70% of them would have needed to be precleared by the justice department. now, however, officials in arizona can basically do whatever they want. last night we got to see what that looks like. at mfs investment management,
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it's been less than 48 hours since a series of devastating attacks ripped through the heart of belgium right around where we are now standing. we now know at least two of the men responsible for born in the country they attacked killing at least 31 people. earlier today i got a chance to speak to roberta, the executive director of the european foundation for democracy which works on countering violent extremism in belgium and throughout europe. we had our conversation as we walked from the memorial behind me in place de la bourse, the heart of brussels, to molenbeek where salah abdeslam was caught last week. during that walk, roberta told me the remarkable story of her group's decision to hold their anti-terror conference while a terror attack was unfolding in her city.
>> we got a call from a colleague who said i'm on a bus, there's just been an explosion at maalbeek train station, i'm safe but i'm going home. we were uncertain. among the organizers, we were discussing debating whether we should do the conference or not. we had all our speakers who came from outside belgium. and we thought we should go ahead. so we did the conference. instead of the 150 people that registered, only 40 people showed up. >> so you did the conference on combatting radicalization -- >> yes, jihadist radicalization. >> in the wake of -- >> when it was happening. one of the comments we all made was that when we knew it was coming. we knew that, we've heard now for year, potential since 9/11, it was not a matter of if but when and now it was happening. >> the u.s., of course, we're having an election right now and one of the striking, i think
disconcerting things for a lot of americans is the fact, a rise of some version of americans, nationalism like that. yesterday you had, you know, calls for muslim ban reiterated by donald trump, ted cruz talked about surveilling basically securing and surveilling muslim neighborhoods. from the perspective of someone who's on the ground working in this field here, how do you hear that? >> surveilling muslim community, what does it mean? i really think what a state has to do and the duty of security system of the state is to carry out a task as in trying in their respective constitutions. it's not about surveilling a community. certainly intelligence apparatuses need to have intelligence on the ground. wherever they fear or they know there's a either plans, or even before. there has to be an awareness of radicalization taking place, but
this is not surveillance as in terms of security. training educators and social workers. allowing them to understand, recognize the signs. allowing them to engage with young people. so we go back to the concept of prevention. dealing with surveillance is almost at the level of battlefield. what we need to do is make sure that these people do not radicalize. >> the neighborhood we're in has very high el investigated levels of unemployment. elevated levels of arrest and incarceration. in, you know, in the suburbs outside paris, that's the case. there is, throughout europe, the descendants of people brought here largely as laborers here in belgium to work in coal mines. >> yep. >> who are, you know, at the margins of the state in terms of the economic opportunity, the social bonds they have. >> it's true. the only difference is that i, we talk about the case of
belgium and immigrants who came to belgium to work in the coal mines, as an italian, i am aware of large italian community that was settled down. here we cannot help having, asking the question, what is the difference? why don't we see this kind of phenomenon? there is a reason. that is religion does play a role. the way it's been misinterpreted, misused, or used by those who have an ideology and i'm sorry for going back to these elements, but that's a unifying factor. >> but to me, i mean, again, also race, it seems to me. the fact of the matter is the bonds of solidarity that europeans extend from a frenchman to an italian are different than the bonds of solidarity that extend to a tunisian or moroccan. >> yes -- >> that seems so -- >> certainly there are some aspects and reactions that are
instinctive. >> right. >> at the same time, i work with so many people who have immigrant background or come from north africa on africa or the middle east, and they're totally integrated. >> right, right. >> they feel concerned. they are the ones who come to me and say you're not racist, we are scared. by the way, radicalization, foreign fighters, terrorists, who are the first victims? >> always. >> muslims. still ahead, how the president is defending his response to the terror attacks in brussels. stay with us. there's no one road out there. no one surface... no one speed... no one way of driving on each and every road. but there is one car that can conquer them all. the mercedes-benz c-class. five driving modes let you customize the steering, shift points, and suspension to fit the mood you're in...
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there's no more important item on my agenda than going after them and defeating them. the issue is, how do we do it in an intelligent way? >> that was president obama this morning in argentina, defeating isis is his number one -- according to critics the president's decision to address yesterday's terrorist attacks in brussels while also continuing his planned historic visit to cuba, where he attended a baseball game with president castro, amounted to leadership malpractice. >> 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. i would have flown home. >> while our friends and allies are attacked by radical islamic terrorists, president obama is spending his time going to baseball games with the castros. >> this man's job is to be the leader of the free world which means the leader of nato. this man is communicating from a communist country. i mean, how absurd is that? >> this has become something of a predictable pattern. the president presents in the wake of a terrorist attack, measured, clear eyed and resolute response, the republicans find a way to dismiss it as insufficiently tough or symbolically lacks. a speech today at stanford university, hillary clinton laid out her plan to counterterrorism and seemed eager to seize on some of the extremist rhetoric coming from republican candidates. >> we need to rely on what
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that so often you have a situation in which the criticisms of the president tend to focus on symbolism and rhetoric rather than necessarily policy, particularly these moments in the wake of these mass tragedies. >> you know, i have two thoughts on that. the first is arule nation on the word we use to describe this tactic. this is terrorism. we call it terrorism because the enemy is trying to strike a level of fears in americans that actually isn't commensurate with the actual threat that we face. they're trying to terrorize us and so the question is, what do you want from an american leader? i would suggest that you want an american leader who's actually going to use the kind of rhetoric that right sizes the fear. that doesn't actually feed into what the terrorists want which is our country running around and having irrational-sized fear compared to the actual threat that we face. and the second is on your point about the lack of policy differential. i mean, the fact is is that none of the remaining republican presidential candidates actually have any substantial
differentiation from the president when it comes to how we fight isis. none of them are propoing to put in 100,000 more troops. none could be bombing at any greater rate than the president is. engage in an unconstitutional discrimination against a religious minority, aside from that there really isn't any difference. i think that's something to try to mask by drawing contrast simply on symbols. >> there's also, i think, the sense right now particularly with respect to policy in the middle east and particularly as it pertains to syria where the president famously had an adviser that said the motto for the administration is don't do stupid stuff then he was criticized for that and even hillary clinton one point said not doing stupid stuff doesn't amount to a foreign policy. there is a sense of it does feel untenable what's happening right now. i mean, even if you just look at the refugee crisis in europe, extend this out, this war keeps going on. it keeps churning through
hundreds of thousands of dead and spreading jihadism around the globe. i mean, is -- what are we doing to -- can we interrupt it? >> yeah, well listen, i know it's not satisfying to be told by the president of the united states that this is a long, hard slog, but what we're trying to do is learn from our mistakes where we thought that a quick hit, whether it be against the taliban in afghanistan, or against saddam hussein in iraq, was enough. we, unfortunately, didn't do it in a means that it was effective in long term. the reality is we have pushed back isis over the course of the last year. they have 30% less territory than they do today and if you read reports, we're on the precipice of knocking them out of mosul which is their historic headquarters. now, of course, this actually necessitates that they bring the fight to places like europe and they try to goad us into feeding this narrative that the east is at war with the best, but we're trying to do this right even if it takes a little bit longer
than people would like and learn from the lessons of when we had quick strikes that were satisfying at the outset, shock and awe, that actually made us less safe in the long run. >> you know, it's interesting you note that because one of the things that folks have been telling me and there's a great interview with an isis defector about this actually being a strategic turn away from the battlefield in iraq to do these kinds of attacks. that in some sense is terrifying but also signifies they're having a harder time in their home base. >> no consolation here, but there are two narratives that are critical to isis' continued growth. one is inevitable growth, physical geographic growth of the caliphate and second, the idea that islam is at war with christianity. that first narrative isn't available to them like it was before because their territory has dramatically shrunk. so the second narrative is now more important than ever. thus, they are hoping, they are praying that we make stupid moves in the wake of these attacks in europe so that they can say, see, this is really
about our religion, this is really about them trying to get us. we can't fall into that trap. >> all right. senator chris murphy, thank you for your time tonight. i really appreciate it. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. there's a lot going on in the world right now so this is going to be a packed hour. there is news still breaking tonight about the manhunt for one of the missing attackers from the brussels terrorist bombing. there's also news tonight that one of the bombers who was killed in the brussels attack may have been a crucial participant in the paris terrorist attacks last november. we're going to have details on that ahead including talking with one of the best reporters in the country whose full-time beat is covering isis, the group that claimed responsibility for brussels and paris. there's news about the presidential candidates and president obama, himself, continuing to respond to what happened in brussels.