tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC July 18, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
democrats tend to have a, shall we say, messier gathering than the republicans. here's something you don't often hear at the democratic convention. tonight, they are ahead of schedule already. so they are enjoying the musical interlude. we will go down to chris matthews at our ground level studio at the convention. >> thank you. i'm here with kevin mccarthy, the house majority leader. great to have you here. >> nice to be here. i was walking the hallways and you guys grabbed me. >> that's what we do here. i want to get action, i want to get color. let's talk about the very attractive family of your presumptive nominee, all of the kids are amazing. tell us why that's important for the delegates to meet them tonight. >> i think it's very important to show that side of donald trump. and the one thing -- the only time i've ever spent with donald, he always has family members with him. he's very proud of them and i think it doesn't matter if you support him or not, i think everybody is impressed with his family and the way he's raised his children and they are all
pretty remarkable and he wants to showcase that. i think it will show a different side to america. >> you're a father, right? >> i am a father of two, yes. >> let's talk about the miracle of that. because here's donald trump who is a big, uneven, in his sort of behavior in a hundred different ways and yet the kids when you meet them, they are young adults, they are so gentile, proper, well brought up, you would think that they were brought up by jackie kennedy or something. how does that happen? >> there's something there. also, they are in business with him. you've spent time with ivanka and with her husband, the sons, they are all different and you don't see them having problems with so many things that reaches so many families, drugs. there's something about donald trump being a father and i think that's a very good sign to show america of what this family has been able to do and what would it mean if he were to become president, what type of person he is. i think it will show a different
life. >> are you surprised he picked somebody as regular a republican as mike pence? >> no. >> he didn't go with the guys that he likes to hang out with like newt gingrich or chris christie. >> there's going to be a role probably for christie or gingrich in the administration. the thing with mike pence is relationships with the house and senate. he's been a governor so he knows the background there. i think you want to pick somebody that adds to it. i think mike pence does that. and the fact is this, i've talked to a few members who have not been with donald and after picking pence they said i'm going for him. >> i heard that today. and the factor of latinos, african-americans, he's got a real challenge with, moderate women with the suburbs, how does he win them? >> he's going to have to work at it and i think what's really going to happen here is the family is going to make a
difference, his daughter can make a big difference because i think that will show what type of man he was raising her and how did she turn out. >> that's a job ahead. thank you, kevin mccarthy. thank you, brian. >> thank you, chris. jacob is with a special guest we're told on the floor of the convention. jacob? >> reporter: hi, brian. i'm here with congressman steve king, who by some accounts is the most conservative member of congress and also co-chairman nationally for ted cruz's campaign. what did you make of the effort today to unbind the roll call vote? >> we haven't sorted out all of the pieces of this and the moving parts that are there. it looks like there were three states that pulled out of that agreement and we don't know yet which states they were. i would have preferred to see the vote but besides that now, i think the focus is moving beyond that. we didn't get the vote. whatever it is, now we've got to
figure it out. >> let's get right to the first major speaker tonight. willie robertson, ceo of duck commander. >> father, we're so thankful and blessed to be in this country. i'm mindful of my brothers and sisters in louisiana, father, and be with them in their pain. we love you through jesus. amen. >> amen. [ applause ] i've always said that me and mr. trump have three things in common. we're both successful business men although i flew commercial here so i'm guessing he didn't. we both have had hit television
shows. and we both have intelligent wives who are much better looking than we are. are you cheering because we're ugly? it's been a rough year for the media experts. it must be humbling to be so wrong about so much for so long. [cheers and applause ] but i have a theory about how they missed the trump train. they don't hang out with regular folks like us who like to hunt and fish and pray and actually work for a living. heck, i don't even know that they know how to talk to people
from middle america. i mean, when i tell them i'm from louisiana, they really start talking real slow and real loud. let me tell you why i've been on the trump train from the beginning. see, when you're from the south and you grow up with rednecks, there are some occasional disagreements. sometimes those disagreements turn into fistacas. any time i was ever in a bad spot, i always knew my brothers would have my back. and today in a lot of ways, america is in a bad spot. and we need a president who will have our back. [cheers and applause ] and i can promise you this, no matter who you are, donald trump will have your back.
if you're looking for a job or trying to grow a business like i am, donald trump will have your back. [ applause ] if you're a serviceman fighting overseas or a cop who is risking their lives to help keep us safe at home, donald trump will have your back. [cheers and applause ] if you're an average american who feels like you've been forgotten, neglected by far away leaders, that the deck is stacked against you and you just can't win, donald trump will have your back! [ applause ] now, he may not always tell you what you want to hear. you may not always agree.
and it may not always be politically correct. but when your father's phil robertson, i'm used to that, okay in but i'll say this, donald trump will always, always tell you the truth as he sees it. and that's why we can trust him to make america great again as our next president! thank you. god bless you! [cheers and applause ] >> of the "duck dynasty" clan giving tonight's first primetime speech. let's go to robert costa as we wait for remarks from texas governor rick perry. robert, what have you been able to find out about trump's speech and the headliners the next couple of days? >> reporter: donald trump's acceptance speech on thursday will be perhaps the most consequential moment of his political career, a chance to introduce himself to the country. i've been poking around here all day trying to find out who is actually writing the speech. is trump writing it himself.
i've heard that two reagan speechwriters and confirmed this now with the campaign, ben elliott and peter. they are both consulting with trump as he writes this speech. what does this tell us? he's not just going with his populist speechwriter steven miller. he's looking to veteran republicans. we're talking a lot about bob dole and now trump is being looking to reagan. >> robert, in terms of the chaos that we saw on the floor of the convention today, the walkout of some delegations, the they hurt feelings, at one point we saw some drama, ken cuccinelli throwing off his credentials and later saying they cheated. we have strong words about what they say happened. does the trump campaign have any concerns about that? >> reporter: they are not having concerns but they have caused themselves political problems. with the mike pence pick for the running mate, they hope to bring some conservatives along.
but here on the convention floor just hours ago, there was anger, there was frustration, a sense that some on the right didn't feel their voice was heard. >> is there an expectation that is going to become manifest during the rest of the convention, that there are going to be other flashpoints where we see that on display, demonstrations, walkouts, other forms of disruption. >> reporter: it's certainly possible but paul manafort has been defiant. he has not had a healing tone in how he's addressed the anti-trump forces on the floor. this is a trump campaign that's aggressive, wants to push back against its critics and that's riled critics at the same time. >> in terms of the overall decision tonight to have melania trump be the headliner, we've got the night quite official news but pretty well confirmed news now that donald trump himself is going to be introducing her. that's unusual to have the nominee himself pop up on night one, specifically to introduce
his wife. have you give us any insight into that decision or how unprecedented something like that is? >> reporter: it was a deeply personal one for donald trump, according to people close to him. he feels that his wife melania is not often in the public eye. he wants to help introduce her to the country. he knows she's intensely private. she spent most of her days working on her business affairs and working with their son barron, their young son. this is a chance for her with her immigrant roots, her european roots, he doesn't feel that the country knows her so he wants to play a part in that process. >> robert costa, "the washington post," thank you very much. we want to briefly touch on what is coming from the podium, scott baio, the actor, chachi is addressing the convention. let's stop by for just a moment, shall we? >> the policies that make us unsafe. a woman who somehow feels that she's entitled to the presidency, that she's somehow
owed it or we can go for donald trump. [cheers and applause ] a man doing this from the goodness of his heart and genuinely wants to help. a man who knows how to get things done. a man who says what he means and means what he says. hillary clinton wants to be president for hillary clinton. donald trump wants to be president for all of us. [cheers and applause ] so, of course, let's make america great again. but let's make america america again. [cheers and applause ] thank you all so much. god bless.
go, trump! good night! >> nicole wallace is in cleveland as part of our team there, communications director for president bush 43. nicole, let's talk about this raucous that happened earlier today. and on questions of fairness, the democra have had a lock on great tension-filled convention moments over the years from the one finger salute from mayor daily to senator rivacof to the pafl moments between jimmy carter and ted kennedy on stage. this was genuine and spontaneous today and to your mind are there going to be other moments of that kind of thing? >> well, i think there are going to be moments from now until november. i mean, the republican party is actually fractured. it's actually breaking apart before our eyes. so from time to time that would be thrust into full public view because that is what is
happening. i think the campaign has the prerogative, when you become the nominee, you have a lot of control over what happens at the convention. whether or not it bursts through this week again like it did today, i don't know. but the tension is not going away and the campaign, you know, one of the other sort of old adages is when you're in a hole, stop digging. this campaign does not play that way. they found themselves in a hole, in a messy fight on the floor and didn't do anything to sort of rise above. so i think that instinct, that instinct to whack-a-mole, promises all of us that we will be talking about this torn apart, this fracture in the republican party for many, many, many more nights. >> nicole wallace, thanks. remember this republican field started at 17. one of those 17, a man who came into the race with such high hopes and, frankly, a lot of good press out of texas, former
governor rick perry is speaking to this convention. >> with nowhere else to go. we welcomed you into our home. we helped him get the care that he needed. and today, he's like a second son. now, many of you know the battles he fought in afghanistan, but too few of you know the battles that he and thousands of veterans just like him face when they come home. tonight, our commitment is this. making america great again starts by taking care of our veterans. [cheers and applause ]
all right. >> usa! usa! usa! usa! >> all right. thank you. thank you again for having me back. for those of you i've stood before in the past, it's a pleasure to do so again. those of you i haven't stood in front of, thank you for the privilege to do that. really, i mean it from the bottom of my heart. i was fortunate enough in life to be born from a patriotic family, taught me to love this country and the people who make her up unconditionally, to die for any woman and to fight beside any man without hesitation or hopes of individual achievement. that's the way i was raised and that's the way i still walk my
life. for generations, the men and women in my life have served this country proudly, both at home and abroad. my father served in vietnam and although he was shamed out of his uniform, it only solidified his resolve to raise his boys, me and my twine broth brother t this country and its people more than we loved ourselves. [ applause ] in the past ten years of my navy s.e.a.l. career, the first ten was in combat, the last part of it i was traveling around the country, state to state, city to city, town to town, armed only with the memories of your bravest fighters and a story of how hard they fought to protect our way of life. and because i was willing to completely open up my life and speak about the worst week of
it, i was blessed with meeting and seeing one of the greatest people had to offer. and i think it's important -- and i think it's important to say that we've got to make sure that the hell the veterans return from is not the hell to come home to. okay? [ applause ] that's what was promised and that's what is deserved. period. it also speaks volume about my generation and i love my generation, generation x, the x men. it was an honor to fight alongside all of you. even when the system doesn't take care of our boys, the citizens step up and help the wounded and help the fallen. so from the bottom of my heart and literally, please know that i am on my knees every day thanking god for y'all and what
you do for my generation of veterans coming home. [ applause ] i got a chance to -- for those of you that know me, i like to talk about stuff that i've experienced and usually on the worst side of it and best side of it. well, i had a chance to actually spend time with mr. trump and i know he understands what it's going to take to fix this and to -- the only way we're going to keep america safe is to have an elite military. all right? [cheers and applause ] made up of the warriors and prepared by the toughest training that we have to offer supported by the best equipment and backed up by the nation that puts those people in harm's way. every one of us has to step up in some way. we need our leaders to lead by example. excuse me.
they need to lead by example and show the american public that each and every life underneath the flag should be family and treated accordingly. [ applause ] i'm sorry. i'm so used to speaking from the heart, when i have to read this, it goes wrong. so i'm just going to go. are you ready? not only do the leaders have to step up and support us but the family and those of us in here, we step up and we back them up, too. not only that, we hold them accountable for every position and office that they hold. [ applause ] look, either way, the only way we survive this is together. not apart. in order for any life to matter, we all have to matter. you understand? [ applause ]
to my generation, that was for y'all. to the next generation, this is for you. your war is here. you don't have to go searching for it. your people are afraid. i stand among you walking, i was allowed to walk with giants, all right? and now we're looking for the next generation of giants. who among you will love something more than you love yourself? who among you will step up and take the fight to the enemy because it's here. [cheers and applause ] i challenge all of you to fight for this country and for each and every one of us. look, the world outside of our borders is a dark place, a scary place. america is the light. and her people are the goodness that grows from that. she'll always be worth fighting
for and it was my greatest honor to fight for her every day of my adult life. all right? and i just wanted to come up here and thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to serve you for 20 years and i swear to god i'm going to spend the next 20 paying you back. so thank you again. god bless. [cheers and applause ] >> marcus luttrell, retired navy s.e.a.l., the book "the lone survivor," is his account of going through hell in afghanistan. this is the start of the national security part of tonight's program. let's go right back to it. [ applause ]
>> my name is patricia smith. my son sean was one of four brave americans killed during the 2012 terrorist attack at benghazi. sean was a wonderful son, a father to my grandchildren now 10 and 11. he was proud to serve his country with the united states foreign service. the last time i talked to shawn, he told me, mom, i am going to die. all security had been pulled from the embassy, he explained, and when he asked why, he never received a response. nobody listened.
nobody seemed to care. the very next day, he was murdered by radical islamic terrorists. to this day, i don't even know why a computer guy like shawn was sent to benghazi. that night, we lost sons, brothers, fathers and husbands. we lost four brave americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country they chose to serve and the american people lost the truth. for all of this loss, for all of this grief, for all of the citizens of the tragedy in benghazi has brought upon america, i blame hillary clinton! [cheers and applause ]
i blame hillary clinton personally for the death of my son. that's personally. in an e-mail to her daughter shortly after the attack, hillary clinton blamed it on terrorism. but when i saw hillary clint clinton -- she sure is. she sure is. she lied to me and then called me a liar. [ booing ]. >> when i saw hillary clinton at shawn's coffin ceremony just days later, she looked me squarely in the eye and told me a video was responsible. [ booing ] since then, i have repeatedly asked hillary clinton to explain
to me the real reason why my son is dead. i'm still waiting. whenever i called the state department, no one would speak to me because they say i am not a member of the immediate family. shawn is my son. hillary clinton is a woman, a mother and a grandmother of two. i -- i am a woman, a mother and a grandmother of two. how could she do this to me? how could she do this to any american family? donald trump is everything
hillary clinton is not. [ applause ] he is blunt, direct and strong. he speaks his mind and his heart and when it comes to the threat posed by radical islamic terrorism, he will not hesitate to kill the terrorists who threaten american lives! [ applause ] he will make america stronger, not weaker. this entire campaign comes down to a single question. if hillary clinton can't give us the truth, why should we give her the presidency?
[ applause ] that's right. hillary for prison. she deserves to be in stripes. [ applause ] >> pat smith is the mother of a foreign service officer who was -- shawn smith who was killed in benghazi, one of four americans killed in that terrorist attack. her remarks there really bringing down the house. you saw a lot of people wiping away tears, some people outright sobbing as she herself became very emotional there.
we have prepared remarks compared to what she actually delivered. she departed somewhat from her prepared remarks including saying at the end there, hillary for prison, responding back and forth to some people in the audience who were shouting back to her. that immediately following marcus luttrell's also emotional remarks but more overtly on message, straight out political remarks. this is a bold direction for a first night. >> the feel of the night is make america safe again and if we can look at the scheduled speakers, it gets pretty grim until we get to melania trump. the theme hitting again and again, hillary clinton will not keep you safe, donald trump will be strong, donald trump will -- >> pat smith there said she holds hillary clinton personally responsible for killing her son, for the death of her son. >> right. which is an extraordinary thing. because the sort of basis for
that seems to be what hillary clinton did or did not tell her after the fact but i didn't quite make the connection as to why she holds her personally responsible for the death. >> not as a political analyst but as a citizen watching this, i feel so emotionally empathetic for her loss and i don't -- it is hard for me to see somebody grieving that hard put in a position to make a political statement like that. obviously nobody is taking advantage of her. she's speaking on her own terms, saying what she wants to be saying but the combination of the emotional truth and the case that she's making about hillary clinton essentially calling hillary clinton a murderer and saying she should be put in prison for it, that is -- that's playing with a very specific kind of fire that almost is impossible for me to watch, i have to say. >> look, this is the defining of a battlefield that will play out between now and election day. hillary clinton is saying that
donald trump lacks the moral judgment and the temperament to be the commander in chief, not that he is wrong but that he's unfit. that he's unfit to be atop the national command authority, that he's unfit to have access to the nuclear codes. and donald trump is going right back at it. we live in a time of global chaos and donald trump is trying to impeach her credentials as secretary of state. he's going after the obama administration. there are two types of elections, the same or more of a change. you see the change on national security and they have opened this up with raw emotion and with grieving people. >> you both used the word "raw." it strikes me that 10, 15 minutes ago we were talking about bob dole, a very different time in american politics when there were adversaries as opposed to enemies. and, you know, to say that the
nominee of the other party should be in stripes, should be in prison is the kind of statement we're not used to hearing from the state of a political convention. >> this is central to american democracy. it's always the losing party, the losing candidates that give legitimacy to the winner in american democracy and we're quickly headed to a place where no matter who wins this election, half the country will not recognize the legitimacy of the winner. it's not that they disagree, it's that they should be imprisoned and in stripes. >> clinton hasn't said that trump should be in prison. >> well, listen, the rhetoric on the left towards donald trump is harsh. the rhetoric on the right towards hillary clinton is harsh and it's dysfunction in american politics and this tone that is a function of both political parties. >> let's bring chris matthews in from cleveland. >> i'm overwhelmed because i thought that marcus luttrell's
remarks were fabulous and it's from a real warrior. i saw the movie. it's an amazing story about a guy who survived and at one point was generous of saving the lives potentially on the other side and ended up causing the danger that he faced and, of course, bob dole was shot and really maimed for life, if you really understand his injuries, trying to save the life of someone else on the battlefield. i mean, these are two, wonderful stories. and then to pile on to that this gross accusation that somehow hillary clinton had anything to do with the death of chris stevens, the ambassador, she had nothing to do with it. even with the pr afterwards, if it's true, worst case scenario, she didn't have anything to do with the death of our great ambassador over there. i don't understand why the republicans would decide to put this on primetime television and
i think it was wrong. i don't care what that woman up there, the mother has felt and the emotions are her own but for the country in choosing a leader, it's wrong to have someone get up there and tell a lie about hillary clinton. it's not true. it's logically not true. it's manifestly not true, even if all of the arguments about what she said afterwards or susan rice said afterwards on "meet the press" are true and anybody who thinks about it for a second knows it's not true and i think it's wrong that they ruin their evening with this. >> it was an interesting decision on the part of the republican party to go there with this first night making it so focused, especially right at the front of primetime on benghazi. obviously what's happened in terms of investigating benghazi attack, investigating hillary clinton's potential culpability of the attack, there's been almost nothing that's been more investigated in washington, the benghazi committee investigation was longer than almost any other congressional inquiry into anything in the history of the united states, including the jfk
assassination and 9/11 and a lot of people thought the republican party in congress were giving signals that they would release the results of that report, that they would push that up to october, make it the surprise right before the election. in fact, that committee has already presented their reports and they found that she was not culpable, that these attacks could not be blamed on her, nor could the character of the response and the question of whether or not the american response could have saved lives. that has been almost literally litigated. it has been investigated by both partisan and nonpartisan inquiries in washington over and over and over again as a matter of real culpability it is settled but they've put it at page one tonight. >> it was a matter of personal pain. >> yeah. >> it was personal pain which
was projected, frankly, in a way that was not factual. >> i'd like to talk to two people on this very subject. first of all, nicole wallace, through your prism, how did it -- how do you think it played in the room? do you disagree with the assessment of chris matthews on content either? >> yeah, i want to disagree respectfully and politely with my friend and colleague chris matthews. you know, what this woman -- and she has a name. her name is patricia smith. her son was shawn smith and there was a movie made about that called "13 hours." it's an extraordinary story. there are a lot of people in this country who can accept a lot of what rachel and chris have said, that the incident was perhaps not her fault but they do believe -- these families believe that lies were told to them afterwards. the room was silent. you could hear a pin drop.
that speech taken with marcus luttrell speech, the author of "the lone survivor," it was a very powerful moment and mood and the tone has now been set and it elicits such opposite reaction out of all of us tonight, i suppose that's a point but it also reveals the deep divisions in this country and as steve schmidt said, this battle will be fought whether hillary clinton lacks the honesty and integrity to be commander in chief and whether donald trump lacks the temperament to be commander in chief. i doubt after all of this you'll hear this about either of these two people. >> let's bring in adam schiff who was part of the select committee on benghazi. congressman, what do you make of the appearance, what she just said so this earth gathering an conversation you've been
listening to? >> i agree with the comments from "the lone survivor." interestingly, he didn't say anything about donald trump. watching mrs. smith, it was very hard. she's deeply grieving. you have to respect that grief but you don't have to respect the fact that the republican national committee and trump campaign have decided to exploit this tragedy the way they have. we met with most of the family, if not all of the family members. they were divided in their view of the events and i think it's terrible to exploit this terrible tragedy that the republican party would stoop to this. the accountability review board looked into the handling of benghazi. it did not lay responsibility at the feet of the secretary. the benghazi committee, for which i served for more than two years, invested 7 million to investigate the events and buried its report in a final meeting two weeks ago in the basement of the capitol in a
closed session because there was really nothing to report. so i think that this has been politicized in the most blatant way. we've lost a great many people around the world at diplomatic facilities under republican and democrat presidents, a great many under ronald reagan, for example. we've never politicized a tragedy like this and i just think it really is unfortunate to bring a grieving woman before the convention this way. >> congressman, this is rachel maddow here in new york. on that point, the way that benghazi has been investigated, the accountability reviews of different kinds that have happened both with the state department within congress and including the select committee, this massive select committee that you served on, do you feel like there's nothing that can be done in terms of investigating or explaining the events of benghazi that will ever settle the matter because it is now
sort of left the realm of factually what happened there and it has become a political epithat or do you think people will agree and come to understand commonly as a people rather than having a partisan divide? >> i think those days are behind us already. i remember chairman gowdy of the select committee, the only way it could add value is if it was conducted in a very nonpartisan way and if at the end of it we issued a joint report. that would have credibility. indeed, that's what most in the prior investigations did. but if we were going to sim supply put forward two competing reports of those that had a preset view of benghazi one way or the other would look to that particular justification, interestingly, we did put out two different reports but even the republican report wasn't able to corroborate any of the
gop conspiracy theories, any of the stand down orders or any of that stuff. nonetheless, you have it as an article of faith now such that they want to bring it forward on opening night of the convention. they are clearly playing to the base tonight. this benghazi is red meat for them. i just think it's tragic the way they put it forward with a grieving mother this way. >> congressman adam schiff, on the select committee on benghazi, thank you, sir, appreciate having you here. >> thank you. >> let's bring into the conversation someone who knew ambassador chris stevens, one of the four american who is died. we heard from pat smith, the mother of shawn smith who is the foreign service officer who died. we're reacting in part to her very, very emotional, very raw remarks which included her saying that she holds hillary clinton personally responsible personally for the death of her son. she said hillary clinton should be in prison.
richard engel new ambassador stevens and he's been able to follow along from istanbul. what's your feeling about how this has been addressed at the convention? >> i knew ambassador stevens and spent time with him in benghazi during the war. it was a very chaotic time. it was a time where you didn't know which militias you could trust. you were feeling a lot of support one day from a particular rebel group if you were helping them but then if e they didn't feel they were getting enough help, they would turn on you. i think that's what happened here. the u.s. was relying on a particular militia for security and didn't realize how bad the situation had become and ambassador stevens found himself in a situation that really he was unprepared for, the entire embassy setup was unprepared for. so it does talk about a
misunderstanding of the security situation, a misread of how dangerous benghazi was and then a response that whether it was perfect or imperfect has been studied time and time again but that ultimately left an ambassador and three others killed. but to hear this grieving mother and you could only sympathize with her grief, to lay the blame directly at hillary clinton saying that hillary was responsible for her son's death, personally responsible, that doesn't correspond with the facts that i know them and as i've read them in subsequent reports and it does seem to go to a very dark place. >> richard engel, thank you. i know it's before dawn. thanks for staying up in the middle of the night to be with us. a helpful perspective from someone who was there and knew ambassador stevens. >> it was a tragedy the moment it happened. it was a political issue within 24 hours that remains with us.
loans arena. our chief correspondent is the position we call the podium position as close as as close as one can get in the news media to speakers who come and go to the podium. andrea, specifically wearing your other hat, that is as a correspondent who has covered all things benghazi, you yourself have interviewed pat smith, what do you make of the presentation we saw tonight. >> i'm as torn up as everyone else in this hall was. you cannot talk to patricia smith and i've interviewed her many times and not hear the raw pain of this grieving mother. we can't substantiate what she says that hillary clinton did or did not tell tell her at the memorial service or how she has been handle by the state department. the state department just doesn't accept that version but
they're not going to get into an argument with the mother of sean smith, who was a customer expert assigned to the state department facility, not a full embassy. there was a lot of secrecy and confusion about that facility because there was this large cia annex they did not want to describe. as you know, we lost two of the four at the annex in a subsequent engagement in mortar fire that came eight hours after the original engagement. this was a long protracted fight, no forward deployments to rescue them. clearly security failures up and down the line. i think in the first 48 hours to cover up the fact this was cia facility. the state department's mixed messages and susan rice coming out on sunday television and giving a confused scenario was
dictated by the cia that they had this large facility there, they didn't want to disclose it. there was a lot of confusion and some deliberate on vi-- obvuscation as richard engel described it. our ambassador wanted to get back to benghazi and went on an ill-fated mission. >> thank you, andrea. also, looking at this from another angle, our colleague, taking on a watchdog role, bird dog role in terms of the speech, remarks made at the convention and basically fact checking. >> we will have to do more active fact checking at this convention than others. patricia smith's speech is
gut-wrenching but you listen to it carefully it doesn't have any direct linkage to hillary clinton. there is an emotional linkage and emotional objection. she's followed on the stage by two who were part of the security detail and co-authors of the book "13 hours" that became the movie, "13 hours." the linchpin of the drama in that movie is a stand down order not to do a rescue. that has been investigated by every committee. every committee said there was no stand down order. this is the republican report written by chairman, mike rogers, the house republican report saying the committee found no evidence there was either a standdown order or denial of available air support. the committee also found there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks. the committee found nothing that they could lay at the feet of
hillary clinton as liability for these attacks, and for the outcome of these attacks. this convention finds complete liability for hillary clinton but not using any of the facts in here. mark geist and john say in their remarks basically a dramatic and powerful account of what they did, and that's all accurate, then they leap to this point there was a standdown order even though they could not establish that in their testimony to the committee, and then they say hillary clinton failed to protect her people on the ground. that's just and assertion that comes after this long and very accurate description what they heroically did there. if any committee could have found any evidence to support the sentence hillary clinton failed to protect her people on the ground, that committee would have highlighted that, we would have had that before a republican convention. >> let's talk, this sounds gross
but part of your line of work, that is relitigating to a national psychological sampling this gathering to benghazi. >> we are at a time this country we've seen the leadership of the dallas police chief and in new orleans and baton rouge just the other day and louisiana. so we see tonight this emotional argument being made, as lawrence points out is refuted by the congressional testimony that has looked at this. now, benghazi, why were we in libya? did we learn nothing from iraq with regard to that we should have a plan for what happens when the government falls? why were the americans at a fairly unprotected compound in benghazi? these are all legitimate issues. for this to be an effective
political argument it cannot be an emotional argument, it has to be a surgical argument. we are obscuring the surgical argument and the ability to criticize directly on the policy for the emotional side of this. it may work in the hall, but i suspect it does not work with the independent voters out there in the country because it's imprecise at the end of the day. >> it should be noted briefly in terms of the strategy how the trump campaign is handling this, in the middle of pra triatricia smith's remarks tonight, donald trump called in and fox cutaway and spoke to him. i don't know if that was strategic or intentional but that was a decision they made. >> we will cutaway at the top of the hour and be right back.