tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 25, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PDT
covering breaking news this evening. you're watching the streets of albuquerque, new mexico. continuing to watch the protests there. and donald trump held a rally there earlier tonight. and protesters took to the streets earlier during that rally and stayed on. let's go to the scene and howie jackson, who has the calmest voice out there. i have to say. some unmodulated. i'm watching you run. and you don't run out of breath. and you run and start over again. you're quite calm in covering what could be a tricky situation. >> thank you. appreciate that. we're back on the street where the police have really quieted things down. most of the protesters, almost
all of them, virtually all of them, have dispersed. we're trying to get a picture up so you can see it for yourself. the number of police officers you saw earlier, there's a handful. there's a handful of people on the sidewalks. but it appears the protest, the demonstration, has ended at this point. police are out in their riot gear. but the officers on horseback have turned and gone back to the convention center. what we saw tonight, and we saw your guests talking about this. not nearly the thing we saw in chicago, or some of the other trump rallies. this is a protest that escalated a little bit. with people throwing rocks and the pepper spray and some of the smoke canisters. we heard it from some of the interviews we did with folks out
there, how the protests began. people coming out, upset with trump. upset with immigration policies. none of that the uncommon, with a trump event. we moved outside and people were diverted from the entrances and the exits, of the trump supporters at his rally. we saw the protests escalate outside into the video you've been seeing. at this point, it's 11:00 or so, local time. it's later. >> watching the film earlier tonight, hallie. >> you're seeing what happened. a very different scene. and much quieter. it appears as though things have calmed down considerably. albuquerque police, about 30 minutes ago, chris, said they thought the bulk of the demonstration was over. who were left were people trying to be disruptive. but those folks have headed out. a couple of random pebbles being
tossed. >> a great report. hallie jackson summarizing the evening. we're back in new york. we have jacob for another report. he's on the other side of albuquerque. give us your summation of the evening. >> reporter: as hallie said, the protest is dwindling. we're seeing in the distance, the officers on horseback. they've been trying to get ahead of the protesters to get ahead of those who walk or protest. i don't know if you can see this or hear that. but the rest of the protesters are here, behind this dumpster. knocking over dumpsters. some of the protesters told me they're going to go until the cops get tired. notably, there's only about 50, 60 of them, compared to several hundred we had at the start of this. and again, it started with several groups of protesters who wanted to be peaceful. they said, they had a big plan about how they were going to
calm things down. then, it just got out of control. they lost control on those who had come in and were more aggressive, took over. throwing things at police. for a number of hours, we had a back and forth. it seems to be swindling, as hallie reported. >> it's not hot out there? 75, 80, the temperature? jacob? >> chris, i'm sorry. i didn't hear your question. >> what's the temperature? >> how hot it is. it's cooler. during the day, it was 85 degrees. probably right now, it's 65, 70. >> nice night. thank you, jacob. great reporting by our teams tonight. it was great having you on. i'm glad nobody got hurt. with me on the set, joan walsh, jamil smith and jim reid. i want you to give me a summation of this in a way that captures all of the bases. >> we're looking at a long, hot
summer. wherever donald trump goes. he eggs them on. it helps him to be him. it allows him to be the carnival bark eshg. >> making your point, was the guy from his team, where they like to mock the people there. >> i see a lot of people expressing their humanity in the face of a candidate who has really built his candidacy on denouncing their humanity. yeah. they're the few people out there not out there to actually protest. at the end of the day, they accomplished the goal. they got on tv and got their issue s aired. >> the three people were great. >> they had grievance. they're speaking out against someone who is attacking their community. i want to pick up on something earlier, this could be something that brings, the clinton and sanders' campaigns together. there's a real contribution by the sanders campaign. that young woman said she supports bernie sanders.
that's all important. and hillary clinton has to learn from the urgency we see on the streets and the desperation that we see. there's a role for peaceful protests. but it's going to be time, we can't see some version of this on the democratic side in philadelphia. it's coming to be time where the two wings of the party come together to defeat that man. and i hope people are seeing that, as well, tonight. >> isn't this a dispiriting elections along those lines? the only thing that unites either party is the opposition. if you had to say the only thing that unites -- >> i wouldn't say it's the only thing that unites. >> you did say? >> did i? >> looking at this, they will oppose. >> president obama, when he comes off the sidelines and campaigns, that will unite people. >> you're right about obama. his numbers are up. >> he is itching to come off the sidelines. he detests this man.
and i think he's going to remind democrats what's at stake. there's positives that will bring people together, not nearly the negative. >> let's talk personal politics. if i were barack obama, the first african-american, went to harvard law, columbia, raised his kids perfectly. did everything the most right wing guy in the world has said you should do, and did every one of those things perfectly, and somebody said, can i see your papers, mr. president? can i see your i.d.? >> that's this guy. >> can i see your reason, your justification for being in this country. i want to see that. i would think he's going to remember that. who did that to him. and that's trump. >> donald trump is the embodiment of the backlash against the obama moment. he embodied it. he mounted it. >> with birtherism. >> his ridicule of the president's transcripts. he wouldn't have been smart enough to go to harvard.
>> is that what he wanted? i thought for a while, he had a wilder theory, that obama didn't exist. >> yeah. >> that obama never went to the schools. that there wasn't somebody named obama. >> yeah. >> no one knew him in school. what was that theme? >> he was voicing, i think, the anxiety of barack obama meant a demographic shift that made them angry, anxious and uncomfortable. he verbalized it. and now, he's running for president. >> you may agree on a percentage. i think i'm a lower percentage. i think it's a percentage of our country, 10%, 15%, that want to bring the books out, to show the kids when they go to high school, and grade school, here's the list of our presidents. and there's no obama there. >> yeah. there are some. >> or an asterisk underneath. snuck in the country. >> to me, it's a comfortable
role, that trump served when he was doing the birtherism stuff. he is telling these people, this guy may have gone to harvard and colombia. may be doing all of these things right and being enormously successful. >> and never tried to clean up. and never tried to clean up. >> right. >> went back to his community. >> he's not better than you are. he's not smarter than you are. >> how do you get to that? >> i was a black kid who went to an ivy league school. i went to the same school trump went to. i understand what it's like to be judged for your very presence at one of these schools for your success. >> what is he trying to say about how obama may have gotten into harvard law. he may have been selected at the editor of the law review in a blind test, that had nothing to do with affirmative action or anything. he got it in a mind test. that's how we got to be. how do they deal with that fact? >> the facts don't matter.
facts don't matter. a black man at harvard, there's no way he deserves to be there. >> all right. isn't that something? this comes back to bite you. by the way, trump doesn't want to talk about this. >> anymore. >> that's served its purpose. >> he still won't say conclusively, that he's now satisfied. >> i don't think -- if you get near him, try it. i don't think anybody has hit him with that one. >> you tried it. he won't quite go there. he will never cross the line and say, you're right. i tried it. i saw the long form. >> his whole approach is never explain, never complain. never apologize, ever, ever, ever. it's part of his thing. you think he's going to go back, i did research on the subject. and raphael cruz's father -- >> he wasn't little marco. >> the guy, no love for. some of the guys, if i were ted cruz, i wouldn't forgive him. >> a lot of them are. >> he called my father a friend of castro's.
early tonight at that rally in albuquerque, donald trump addressed some protesters who dom straited inside. let's watch that. >> we have all night. let's just say, we have all night together, folks. it's a lovefest. we have all night. all night. you know, the safest place to be, anytime in our country, is at a trump rally. it's love. believe me. it's love. it's love. >> i don't know what to make of this. they do love each other, those people in that crowd. they love what they're doing. they're having the time of their life. and outside, they don't like the message at all. >> they are making people feel good. robbie jones calls them nostalgia voters. let's back to that time. >> when?
>> the 'ooh 50s. >> i don't like that. that's the feeling that everybody can have it. >> not appealing for someone like me. though. >> yeah. >> that's the caveat. >> i don't know that we all want to go back home and just raise kids and leave our jobs. i don't think you're saying it. >> not saying that. >> i want to tell you, i'll give the speech. when i was growing up, in a city, philadelphia, you could come out of high school, and get cs, be a regular person. the a students have a job somewhere. get a c average. get a job at the bud plant, the boeing plant, and raise money to get your kids through college. the wife didn't have to work. you could go to knights of columbus, have fun. bowling friday night, like my father did. play some golf on the weekend at a public course. you weren't rich. but life was pretty good. and the reason it was, we won
world war ii. and we come back to a dilapid e dilapidated europe. >> the nostalgia for that is broader than the race stuff. it appears to a nostalgia. >> if you grew up in my neighborhood, and grew up in ro park. >> and some of the bernie sanders support is about that, too. americans that feel that no longer exists. there's a desperation. >> did you see the report the other day. when he went out to western pennsylvania, to aliquippa. and there was nothing but a plane. there was not even rebel left from the vac toirs. >> nice restaurants. >> not a lot of jobs. >> it doesn't create jobs for a lot of people. >> exactly. that's what the anxiety and the
anger and the rage is about. there's different flavors of it. but no one has proposed a way to replace what we had. you can't get back there with manufacturing. we were competing. >> get out of this business and to something. >> you want me to form a thinktank. i will form a thinktank with you. >> bernie says free health care for life. and university, public education free. these are good proposals. maybe there's ways to finance some of this stuff. but i don't know how it re-ignites an economy for working people. an economy that has jobs for the person coming out of high school. technical skills with it. you can go to work. >> you talked about infrastructure. >> reunite the country by rail. just start building. >> right. >> that's where trump is right. jfk is a dump. and penn station is a dump. >> cleveland hopkins. >> a dump. >> don't get me started.
we can start rebuilding them. and by the way, memorial brej here. and did you see the picture? there's a tunnel that looks like, outside of the iron walls, is the water. that's going to come in if this starts leaking. that's the only way to get to new york. >> the idea of a bullet train. you and i agreed. >> why does the right hate that? >> they don't want the government involved. they think the private sector is the only way to go. rick scott killed a 20-year plan to build a bullet train. >> you get on the train. you put the diet coke and it sits there. japan, the same thing. trains that run without rumble. you get on the amtrak and think you're on a buck board. you can't stand up on the trains. >> that's right. >> and this is america.
we used to be state-of-the-art. >> that used to be a bipartisan belief. >> build, build. >> the democrats want to build. but nobody trusts them with the money. and the republicans, they trust them with the engineering but they don't want to anything. that's the conundrum. we have 30 seconds now. tonight's big message is a little trouble. but not much a little message from the protesters. this is going to get worse. thank you very much, joan walsh. i try to summarize opinion here. >> thank you. >> a bit of disputation. our coverage will continue after this. and this is "hardball."
republican primary tonight. but his victory was overshadowed by the democrat stragss that happened outside of his rally in albuquerque. protesters yelled shut it down and throwing rocks and bottles at offers. officers dressed in riot gear tried to contain the crowd outside. as we've been reporting, no injuries of officers yet. but they have used smoke grenades. inside the convention, to where trump was speaking to about 8,000 supporters, security officials escorted out protesters that tried to disrupt trump's message. when we return, we will join the rachel maddow show, already in progress.
last summer, not long after donald trump got into the presidential race, two reporters from the daily beast, reported on some of the darker personal allegations against donald trump. and in the course of reporting that story they received this response from donald trump's lawyer michael cohen. i'm going to quote him. "i will make sure that you and i meet one day and i will take you for every penny you still don't have. and i will come after your daily beast and everybody else that you possibly know. so i'm warning you, tread very f'ing lightly because what i'm going to do to you is going to be f'ing disgusting. you understand me? you write a story that has mr. trump's name in it with the word "rape" and i'm going to mess your life up for as long as
you're on this frickin' planet." that story by "the daily beast" recounted an allegedly violent incident involving donald trump and his then-wife ivana trump in 1989. the incident was detailed in a 1993 book called "lost tycoon: the many lives of donald j. trump." the book recounted a deposition from the ivana and donald trump divorce in the early '90s in which ivana trump did use the word "rape" to describe what had happened one night during their marriage. the book depicted her as the victim of a "violent assault" saying she felt violated by her experience. for the record, after that story appeared last summer, ivana trump basically disavowed that central claim. she said the story was "without merit." but it did lead to donald trump's lawyer warning that what he would do to anybody reporting on that allegation would be, and i quote, "f'ing disgusting." now in that set-to with "the daily beast" donald trump's
lawyer michael cohen also told those reporters that it is not legally possible for a person to rape his or her spouse. he said, "of course, understand that by the very definition you can't rape your spouse. you cannot rape your spouse. and there's very clear case law." there is not very clear case law. that was total bull pucky. you can rape your spouse. but that was not just some guy spouting off at a bar, right? that's donald trump's lawyer. and he still is donald trump's lawyer. and today that same lawyer was on cnn making allegations about bill clinton's sexual history and hillary clinton's allegedly personal role in making it all somehow worse as bill clinton's wife. >> what's the joke about the allegations that he had -- >> i'll tell you. >> improper relations with women, ruined women's lives, had his wife go after them? >> the person who called all of them the worst was hillary
clinton. the great enabler. he's a little hint for them. donald trump is this uber billionaire real estate developer, possibly the greatest negotiator in the history of this planet. he'll never come out with his first offer in real estate right off the bat. meaning if she thinks that this is bad, right, this is nothing. he's not coming out with his strong from day number one. >> remember, this is the same guy who to "the daily beast" said, tread very f'ing lightly because what i'm going to do to you is going to be f'ing disgusting, i'm going to mess up your life for as long as you're on this planet. same guy. now he's on to this part of the story. the trump campaign is launching a coordinated effort with the candidate himself, with his lawyer who you just saw, with his best friends in the media, and in terms of paid campaign materials including a new instagram video featuring the voices of two of bill clinton's
accusers from the 1990s, which
was released by the trump campaign yesterday. >> very nervous. no woman should be subjected to it. it was an insult. >> he starts to bite on my top lip. i try to pull
away from him. >> that video released by the trump campaign after an interview a few days ago with a fox news host named sean hannity in which the candidate himself took the accusations further than even his very eager host was initially willing to go. >> what about what clinton's done? how big an issue should that be? i looked at "the new york times." are they going to interview paula jones? are they going to interview kathleen willie? in one case it's about exposure, another groping, fondling, touching against a woman's will -- >> and rape.
>> one of the new pacs supporting donald trump is called the rape accountability project for education pac, an acronym chosen because it spells out r.a.p.e.p.a.c. they've hired one of the bill who accused bill clinton of sexual misconduct in the 1990s. this is now on. we were told if donald trump was the nominee this was going to happen. this is how they would run against hillary clinton. but it's now no longer a possibility. this is now on. it's a whole campaign effort from team trump. >> we're essentially talking about the fact that we have a war on women being waged by the democrats. at least against the republicans. that's the accusation. and yet we have the person who is the lead of that fight on the part of the democrats is in fact a person who could not control the sexual predation that went on in her own home. >> that is how the trump campaign is running donald trump for president. that's what he has to offer the nation. the clinton campaign has said this is the gutter, they are not
getting in the gutter, they will not respond to this, they will not go there. but donald trump and his whole campaign in an organized way is there. the trump campaign is no longer floating this line of attack as something they might try. they're running with it full bore, all aspects of the campaign. you'd think opening up this line of attack, this kind of attack, would also inherently open up donald trump's whole past. because there are decades-old allegations against him as well. when bill clinton came under withering public scrutiny in the 1990s donald trump himself remarked at the time that he himself, had he been a politician, he could never withstand that kind of scrutiny. >> once you run for president -- did you ever think about that? >> people want me to. >> what about you? >> i don't like it. imagine how controversial i'd be. you think about him with the women, how about me with the women? >> how about me with the women. donald trump speaking with chris matthews in 1998.
but now, if it is going to be clinton versus donald trump in 2016, this is the way that donald trump has decided to run. the trump campaign and the trump organization have threatened to go totally nuclear on anybody who hits them on this stuff in donald trump's own life like the donald trump lawyer telling that reporter at "the daily beast." i'm warning you tread f'ing lightly because what i'm going to do to you is going to be f'ing disgusting. that's the way they want to fight it. obviously if you were in a fight like this you'd want it to be one-sided. you'd want to be the one launching these sort of mud missiles, right? you'd want to be launching them and you'd want people to be too scared to launch back at you. you'd want it totally one-sided. you'd want it to be that way. when you're the target? the way hillary clinton is the target right now? why would the clinton campaign agree those are going to be the terms of this fight, that this is going to be a one-sided fight? this is almost unbelievably ugly stuff. does it require an answer?
big show still to come tonight, still coming up we've got a surprising on-tape admission from the head of the republican governors association and why she is not right now doing something you would otherwise expect her to be doing. that's on tape, that's coming up. also life during wartime gets way more kinetic than it has been. a live report from our pentagon producer. and brian fallon from the hillary clinton campaign joins us live next.
campaign did not intend to spend money on ads in california unless the sanders campaign jumped in first. today the sanders campaign jumped in first. >> what choice do
californians have in this election? the biggest one of all. you have the power to choose a new direction for the democratic party. to break the back of a corrupt system of campaign finance that keeps a rigged economy in place. to stand up to wall street and make the wealthy pay their fair share. to fight for due tuition-free colleges and universities. california, it's a long way to washington, but you can send them a message they can't ignore. i'm bernie sanders and i approve this message. >> a new direction for the democratic party. that's the new bernie sanders ad which is running in california. that's notable for the content of its ad which you saw. also notable for its existence. there's a real open question right now as to what kind of financial resources the bernie sanders campaign still has. especially when they need now to
be competing in a big expensive state like california. just for perspective sake, even though california wasn't in the crucial last spot in the calendar in 2008, it was a super tuesday state in 2008, even so, barack obama and hillary clinton both spent about $6 million on tv time in california in that race eight years ago. california is a hugely expensive state to run in because it's so big that you really do have to run on tv and because the tv time is so expensive. the sanders campaign was known to have less than $6 million on hand in total at the start of this month. so there was some thinking that he couldn't run any california ads even if he wanted to. apparently though we now know they've got the scratch. because here's the ad and the sanders campaign says it's spending about $1.5 million to run it in l.a., san francisco and sacramento. there's no word yet on whether this ad buy today from senator sanders will mean the clinton campaign will respond in kind. the two candidates both campaigned in riverside, california, today and tonight. actually just a couple of miles
apart from one another. but while the sanders campaign today released its new ad touting a new direction for the democratic party, the clinton campaign released this today against donald trump. >> this is an economy that can't find the bottom of bad news. >> ten years of saving, completely gone. vanished. >> the biggest crash of household wealth that we've ever had in the united states. >> i sort of hope that happens. because then people like me would go in and buy. if there is a bubble burst as they call it, you know, you could make a lot of money. >> we don't know if the clinton campaign is going to be doing tv advertising to run against bernie sanders in california. we do know that this appears to be the first large-scale
coordinated all-in effort by the clinton campaign against donald trump. joining us now to talk about this latest strategy is the national spokesman for the hillary clinton campaign brian pallen, nice to see you. >> thank you for having me. >> am i right this is the first all hands on deck trump-focused effort? >> more or less. i thought that this was an important moment to highlight. i think that it sort of puts the lie to this idea that donald trump is on the side of the working class. there's been no shortage of attention on all the divisive statements he's made. i think the fact that he's in over his head on foreign policy is well documented. but i think he got a free ride during the republican primary on this idea he's running as a populist, especially on trade issues, that he somehow represents the working person. i think from his tax plans to his opposition to a minimum wage increase to the way he's conducted his business affairs, there's plenty of reason to question that. >> it's interesting the way he responded to this ad from you guys today, by basically saying, yeah, i'm a businessman, i make
money whereever i can. in a bad market i can make a ton of money, we need more thinking like that in politics, people who make the bev a bad situation. he doesn't appear shy about what you think is going to be embarrassing to him. >> that's right. to me this comment is worse than the 47% comment that was such a groundswell in the 2012 campaign with mitt romney. because it's not just showing sort of that he detests working-class people, but he's actually relishing the idea of profiting off of people's misfortunes, people who were having foreclosures happen to them. yet he didn't react as if it was a gaffe, he didn't attempt to take it back. if he had the political press corps would have been quick to say, that was objectively a bad day for donald trump. instead because he peddles this narrative, yeah, i meant to say that, and in fact that's what i'm going to put that approach to work on behalf of the american people. people are second-guessing themselves and wondering, maybe being greedy is good in 2016. and our theory of the case is, no, greed is not good. just because you're shamelessly greedy, it's still not good.
>> it does seem i can follow this through line through different points of contention. on taxes there's the issue whether or not he's going to disclose his taxes. but he's also already bragging about how little he pays in taxes. >> yes. >> how smart he's been about evading taxes. he's very proud of that. he's proud about the number of times he's used bankruptcy law in order to make more money for his companies. he's proud about the fact that he's offshored manufacturing jobs for his clothing lines because that's a way to make more money and he knows how to do that. his rejoinder is the same. yeah, and i've made a ton of doing it, i'm a winner, i know how to work the system so i can shut down those loopholes but also don't you want somebody this conniving working on behalf of this country? his rejoinder does have appeal if you like the idea of him as a winner that would make our country great again. >> this has caused them to say, how are you going to deal with this? up is down, black is white. he can brag he pays zero in taxes and his poll numbers go up.
that worked in a republican primary, he gained a plurality of support because he told people what they wanted to hear in terms of repealing to people's worst instincts in terms of misogyny, bigotry, condoning violence at his rallies. when you appeal to that segment of the electorate they're going to forgive statements like about taxes where he's bragging about paying nothing in taxes. general election is a different story. independent voters are not going to take well to this. i think a lot of people that are commentating about the campaign to come are drawing the wrong lessons from the primary and applying them to the general election. i think people's initial instinct was right, it will be in the general election, when it comes to independent voters. >> on the issue how the trump campaign is comporting yourself they're already full bore in terms of bringing up sex scandals from the 1990s and attacking hillary clinton on the
basis of her husband's personal misbehavior. they're not shy about this at all. they appear to be gearing and up they appear to be making this a central part of how they're going to run against her. i know that your campaign position is basically, we're not getting in that particular gutter, we're not going to respond. are you really just going to let him run free on that for six months? >> we don't actually fear that this is resonating with the voters in any way. i think that the lesson that he drew from the republican primary was that he could bully his way around and put fear into his opponents, chris christie, marco rubio, jeb bush. and he felled them one after another by essentially playing mind games with them, trying to get under their skin. oozing this machismo factor. i think he's going to use the same tactics, bully hillary clinton into making a mistake or backpedaling or shying away from him, being passive. hillary clinton has shown from the beginning of the launch of donald trump's campaign that she's not going to be shy about calling him out. unlike the republicans who couldn't challenge him on any policy questions, she's been
ferocious about challenging him on his plan to do mass deportations, his opposition to pay equity, his opposition to a minimum wage increase. we are not turning the other cheek when we refuse to get into the gutter with donald trump, we're taking it to him every day, including today, spotlighting his heinous statements in support of rooting for a bursting of the house bubble. we are taking the case to him as you heard today. with the symphony of surrogates across the country today drawing attention to some of his biggest misstatements. so we're not going to be relenting in that. people shouldn't mistake that, our refusal to get in the gutter and litigate these absurd allegations about vince foster that have been investigated five times two decades ago. you shouldn't mistake that as thinking that means we're being passive in the face of donald trump's absurd approach to this campaign. >> brian fallon, national spokesman for the hillary clinton campaign. it's a shame you haven't been here on set with me before, please come back. >> absolutely, thanks for having me. >> it will just get worse from here, i promise.
one of the things that we pay for as taxpayers, not often but it happens, is that we pay for instructional or propaganda leaflets to be dropped from airplanes onto foreign soil. i say instructional or propaganda because it's not always easy to tell those things apart. for example, your taxpayer dollars this past week funded this leaflet which was dropped by the thousands out of airplanes onto the ground in a specific city in syria. you see how the color scheme works here? the idea is that people are supposed to run out of the black and white lock lip tick scary city on the right, they're supposed to run to the left toward the green, toward the full color of the world outside that scary city. the billboard-type sign that's falling down in the black and white region next to the isis flag, what that says is "the islamic state, the state of raqqah, checkpoint."
the writing on the top on the left-hand side says, "this is the time that you've been waiting for for a long time. it's time to leave raqqah." raqqah is the city in syria that was captured by isis three years ago. it's isis' stronghold, de facto capital for the islamic state in that part of the middle east. when the u.s. started dropping leaflets in raqqah we got a look at those leaflets quickly. we knew the u.s. was dropping these but we didn't know why. obviously they're telling civilians to flee that city, telling them it's time to go. was that a legitimate warning of a big military offensive that was about to happen against raqqah? or was this just a psy-op, psychological propaganda operation to worry isis, to unsettle them and get them nervous? in the press anonymous pentagon officials said it was just propaganda, they said they were messing with isis, and no big operation was actually planned. but now today it's apparently on. rebel groups including the ones
supported ostensibly by u.s. military training, they've apparently joined up with a huge number of kurdish forces, 25,000 to 30,000 kurdish troops, to start what appears to be a large-scale military offensive against isis' capital city in raqqah, in syria. today those forces are reportedly still 30 to 40 miles north of the city of raqqah. but they're reportedly headed in and they've been knocking isis forces out of small towns along the way as they go. so apparently this leaflet wasn't kidding. the fight for raqqah, what isis claims is its capital city, that fight is apparently on. and simultaneously the other fight that is on is the fight for fallujah. the name fallujah has a lot of resonance here in the united states because of the huge number of mostly u.s. marines who were killed and wounded fighting there in the early days of the iraq war.
the fiercest house-to-house fighting the u.s. has been in since vietnam. it was the first iraqi city captured by isis in iraq. before isis decleared itself to be a caliphate, isis has been occupying fallujah for 2 1/2 years. the longest-held territory in iraq. and the fight is apparently on in fallujah, too. the fight to take back that city from isis got under way yesterday. that offensive is being carried out by iraqi forces and also by shiite militias that are backed by iran. that's a bit of an issue for the united states military, the involvement of the iranian-trained militias, explains why american forces are not taking a direct roll. they have offered up apache helicopter gunships for the fight in fallujah. but iraqi forces in the iranian-trained and iranian-armed militias, at this
point, they have reportedly surround fallujah and are firing into it. so, these are two big fights under way, simultaneously, right now, against two totally key places held by isis. one started yesterday, in iraq, in fallujah. one started today, in syria, in raqq raqqah. what appears to be a major assault on isis' hometown, the capital of the caliphate. these are big fights, big offensives, for two important isis-held cities. what do these mean for our war against isis? were they planned to kick off in parallel, to force them to fight in two countries, two big cities, on two fronts? and what does this mean for the american involvement in this war? hold that thought. we have a live report, next.
so, this is what part of the fight against isis looks like right now in fallujah, in iraq. this is one of two brand-new, major military offensives to try to take back the longest-held isis city in iraq and the main stronghold held by syria. and hitting isis where they live, right now, simultaneously. joining us is courtney kubi. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me.
>> two, big offensive. fallujah is the longest isis-held city in iraq. raqqah is the capital in syria. did we expect that both of them would have major military offensives against them to try to take them back at the same time? >> no. that's somewhat surprising. there's been a different impetus for each other. fallujah, you've seen recently, a number of high-profile, deadly attacks against baghdad in recent weeks. the iraqis believe those have been planned and carried out from fallujah. it's a new incentive for them to go in and root out. they've not entered fallujah yet. they are continuing to strike it from outside the city. raqqah, the battle really hasn't actually begun there. it's the beginning of the beginning of them going into raqqah. so, these thousands of syrian democratic forces, syrian-arab coalitions and syrian-kurds,
they have miles to go. it will be a slow march to raqqah to take the city. >> do u.s. officials believe that the size of the offensives and the way they are structured, are likely to be successful, in terms of how dug in isis is and how they might defend the two places? are the fights going to push them out? >> in fallujah, we'll see what we saw in ramadi. where isis had created boobie traps everywhere. they booby-trapped everything in that city. and ramadi was virtually destroyed, much of the city, by air strikes, by fighting. i think we will see something similar to that in fallujah. they're very dug in there. there are civilians still in the area. one of the reasons i think there's been a little bit of early warning on this, is they're hoping that isis will flee as they have in some of the smaller cities recently. and that it won't be as fierce of a battle as what we saw in ramadi. >> courtney kube.
donald trump's first campaign fund-raiser was tonight in albuquerque. he's following that up with a rally in albuquerque. the republican governor in new mexico is also the chair of the republican governors association. when donald trump said he would be coming to town tonight, governor martinez said she would not attend, for one simple reason. >> everybody wants to know if you will be attending donald trump's rally tomorrow. >> no, i will not. >> what's your reason? tell us why. >> i'm really busy. >> the chair of the republican governors association is really busy. she previously said she would be too busy to attend the republican convention this
summer, until someone reminded her that she has to go because she's chair of the republican governors association. she will have to go to cleveland. but she does not have to come out of hiding while donald trump is in her town. not yet, at least. not yet at least. "first look" is up next. it's wednesday, may 25th. right now on "first look" a donald trump rally in new mexico brought the protesters out in force. but is this just a sign of things to come for the republican front-runner? multiple massive tornadoes rip through the midwest. and america's one time tv dad turned defendant and facing a possible ten year prison sentence if convicted. muscle cars put to the test. which ones are the safest? a newly crowned winner of "the voice." "first look" starts right now. good morning. thanks for joining us today. i'm betty nguyen. violence overtook