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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  March 29, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT

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round of talks. but has anything really changed in the last five days? really? the democratic national committee getting a mega makeover. the new chairman wg out the entire staff starting from scratch. a former dnc chair is here to talk about how the dems get their party in order. casey, i want to start with you. we just reported in the last few minutes, reports of shots fired. i know you're on the scene and i know the information is coming in quickly. can you tell us anything nub abo new about what's happening over there? >> reporter: this reporting from our own pete williams, a law enforcement official tells him that capitol police fired at a driver of a vehicle that hit a police car at about 9:30 this morning. this of course near the u.s. botanical gardens. the official tells pete williams that the driver also drove
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towards police officers and that they fired at him. the initial reports say that no one was wounded. i want to fill in the gaps from what we're seeing here on the ground. you can see a police car that appears to have its bumper close to ripped off, very visibly damaged. and we also saw police escorting what appeared to be a woman into the back of a police van. that person again appearing to be a woman in handcuffing as she was led into the back of the van. i want to emphasize that it does seem that the incident is concluded nap concluded. that's what i was told by one police officer as u was walking out here. they listen to the same radios and have been getting updates that way. the police officers have been letting tourists and the media a little closer to the scene than they were letting us come 15 or 20 minutes ago. that's another sign that again this incident appears to be anyway concluding.
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just to give you a sense of where we are as well, this is outside the corner of the rayburn office building. one of the three buildgs where members of congress on t house side work every day. it's a busy intersection. a lot of tourists that walk back and forth. the beginning of the national mall. this is a popular time to visit washington, d.c. we see a lot of school groups walking around. they've let the groups walk on to the lawn in front of the capitol where the foot traffic had been cut off earlier. at this point we're still trying to nail down any reports if there were any injuries or anything along those lines. but that's all we have right now for you. >> casey, your mike phone took a bit of a hit when you started talking to us. can you give me the head line one more time, saying this initial report according to a law enforcement official indicates nobody was hurt, at least that's what we know at 10:02. tell me again what you're seeing sort of right off the top.
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>> reporter: that's right. pete williams reporting that initially no one -- the initial reporting is that no one was injured. but this law enforcement official does tell pete williams that capitol police fired at the driver of a vehicle that hit a police car around 9:30 this morning. and again frommy your vantage point is on the street, you can see a badly damaged police car, the bumper appears to be ripped off most of the way. so that, of course, where we stand right now. and again the initial reports that there are no injuries. but of course in te vent that that changes we'll keep you updated. >> casey hunt live on capitol ll. me back us to if and when we learn anything new. we'll obviously keep monitoring this situation just down pennsylvania avenue where where we are now. as this is unfolding outside the capitol, inside the capitol, now developments into the investigations into russia. the embattled chair of the finance committee, devin nunes
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refusing to recuse himself from that investigation despite calls from democrat to do that. you're looking at devin nunes now. reporters caught up with him a few moments ago. i want to play for you what he had to say about the democrats he says not really sirius about this investigation. listen to devin nunes here. >> at the end of the day we're going to get to the truth and find out what's doing a rogue investigation. >> all of it comes as we are getting new reporting as well. multiple sources familiar with the senate intelligence committee say that lawmakers are in talks now with a former british spy, christopher steel to come speak with the members of the committee. still questions about whether or not steel feels comfortable leaving london because of safety concerns but there's a lot happening with that. kristen welker is at the white
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house now to talk about this and health care. if we can, les talk a little bit about the white hou and their response to these cls for dooechb nunes to step aside. we've seen the press secretary say hey, listen, this up to house speaker paul ryan and it looks like paul ryan has confidence in the chairman, right? >> reporter: that's right. press secretary sean spicer hasn't said that devin nunes should step down, despite the fact that you have mounting calls for this to happen. the other thing that remains unanswered here at the white house is who exactly signed devin nunes in and who briefed him. and those remain critical questions. because, of course, the broader probe here is was there any type of coordination between the white house and between devin nunes. the white house has pushed back firmly against any suggestion of that. but bottom line is, they are getting more pressure to fill in some of those key blanks.
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as you talked about earlier, hallie, the senate intelligence committee is going to brief reporters later on today and try to push the conversation forward. but i can tell you privately here at the white house there is some frustration that this has somehow been mishandled and they want the information to come out. they want some of these blanks to be filled in so that they can move on, so that they can refocus on their legislative agenda, things like tax reform and getting an infrastructure bill passed. >> the other big headline that we're following, as you talk about other items on the talked about in a joking manner overnight, this ea that they're taking another stab at health care but there seems to be teeth behind this. can you walk us through what we know about potential new negotiations on health care, who is running the ship there at the west wing? >> reporter: well there may be some new movement, hallie and the key is may be. president trump raised some eyebrows last night when he said
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it's going to be easy and we're going to get this done. we know there are discussions ongoing. we know that steve bannon thhas reached out to moderates to think about the way forward after that bruising defeat. we know that house speaker paul ryan is in talks. we know there's a lot of frustration with the house freedom caucus and that caucus seems to be fracturing. but in terms of there being meat on the bones, press secretary sean spicer was asked about that yesterday and he seemed to indicate that there's not a real strategy in terms of moving this legislation forward yet. but here's the key, hallie. will republicans and democrats start to communicate. so far no indication that that's happening. but we know that house minority leader nancy pelosi has reached out to fellow democrats calling last week a victory but also send me your ideas of how to improve health care. suggesting there's a willingness
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to address key issues. they're not going to go for a repeal and replace package. so there's still a lot of division here but they're not stepping away from the table yet but still no iation is is something that can get done this year. >> kristen welker live at the white house. thank you very much. we want to take you back live to capitol hill where we've been monitoring the breaking news. casey hunt is with us now on camera. i understand you have some new reporting about the report of shots fired. what's up? >> reporter: hallie, i want to reset for you a little bit about what's going on here in the shadow of the capitol. the capitol building right to my left and then over on the other side the rayburn house office building with members of congress work every day. at the end of the street is where this incident occurred. pete williams reporting that somebody in a vehicle drove at a police car and that that police car was damaged. we can see that damage from here.
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there's a car with a bumper ripped off. and they report that the police fired at that vehicle. the initial reporting is that there wasn't anybody injured but we are obviously still keeping a close eye on this for updates. we did see -- i think you may be able to see a white police van there nearest to us. we saw a woman wearing a green shirt being escorted into that police van wearing handcuffs. so it does seem as though the activity at this particular scene has concluded. there does not appear to be any imminent danger to the media. it's a popular spot for tourists walking behind me. so from that perspective, positive development. that's what we now at this stage and we'll keep you updated on what we know next. can you talk about the perimeter here? d.c. is absolutely packed. i can see the roads are shut down. do you know how far they've extended that around the capitol?
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are members of congress still able to get in and out? >> reporter: this area had been initially closed. there's people walking in and out of this office build. this also had been closed. this is the closest that we have been allowed to come to the scene. it's clear they still want to have a perimeter around it. but they have relaxed it somewhat, allowed people to move around a little more freely from when the incident first occurred. further evidence this has wrapped up a and that the police are letting this high foot traffic area continue as normal. >> and no updates, correct, on whether anybody has been hurt in the initial reporting from pete is thatt did not appear that that was the case. >> reporter: at this point i do not have additional reporting past what pete williams has reported. i'm double-checking here quickly for you that we have not gotten any new information and that seems to be the case at this point. but of course we'll keep you
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updated immediately if there is somebody who had been injured. you may be able to see this van is now moving. this is the van that we saw somebody handcuffed and put into the back of this van. it now appears to be driving away from the scene. so we of course will work to talk to the capitol police here on the hill and bring you more information as we get it. >> and i know you showed us a little bit about where you are relative to the capcapitol, relative to the office buildings where lawmakers work. explain how centrally located this is. we're talking about the heart of the nation's capital here. >> reporter: we are. you may be able to see a building here with glass kind of roof. that's the u.s. botanical gardens, the building on the national mall that you can see the best. right behind it the museum of the american indian and the rest of the smithsonian museum.
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if we weren't behind all of these trees you would be able to see the top of the washington monument as well as the other museums here. we're talking a little bit about the tourists. you can see there are coach buses kind of stacked up here in front of the u.s. capitol. if you're visiting washington, this is a place that you would very likely find yourself coming across, maybe crossing this street, independence avenue. it of course is one of the main east/west avenues here in washington. on the other side constitution avenue. they both parallel the national mall. for people who are visiting, we've had quite a few people come up here to ask us what's going on or they've been redirected around this scene by the officers whha set up the perimeter. but yes, very very central, right in the middle of downtown working washington, d.c. >> casey hunt, stay plugged in for us if you can. i want to go now jim k cavanau cavanaugh. as you look at the images that
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we're showing you, put this into context for us. fairly typical response for the capitol police to move fast when something like this happens? >> exactly the way they should respond. a lot of possibilities. we don't have the answers. but sometimes people try to beat the barricades, you know the vehicle barricades, maybe try to drive around them p. and the united states capitol police, 1500 or so officers who protect the capitol and the blocks around the capitol would try to stop that vehicle. you could have a capitol officer ramming the vehicle to stop it or come up to prevent the person from skirting the barricade. and your reporting there at the scene from casey about shots fired at the vehicle. officers could have also, you know, if the vehicle tried to move again after being rammed fired shots at it. so they're trying to prevent anybody from getting through the barricade. >> that's exactly right.
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we've got to be here clear for the viewers. there is a lot of questions about what is happening just down pennsylvania avenue from where we are. what happeith the driver, what happened with the capitol police. where does the investigation go now and what agencies are involved? do you expect the fbi to look into what happened here, given this is such a high profile area and a place that sees a lot of foot traffic, not just from tourists but obviously people who run the country, run the government, members of congress and others. >> right. spot on question. so what happens now is the detectives from capitol police, metropolitan police and all of the federal agencies that work together there, fbi chiefly but they'll have help from others. they're going to take the car and make sure that it doesn't have an explosive in, bomb sniffing dogs. that's the protocol. if they don't alert, then a slow search usually by the bomb squad, capitol police bomb squad. they want to make sure there's
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no trap in there. they're looking for anything that could endanger everybody they protect. if there's nothing found, they'll tow the vehicle for crime scene processing or they could do some light processing even right there. but first they got to make it safe. your question is right on. first they make it safe, the investigation then is all into the person that they took into custody. who are they, why are they there, what was their intent and what was their capability. so the detectives and the special agents will be really looking at that real hard and of course the person is going to be charged, you know, under various violations of trying to break through the security or to ram the car. we don't know all of the events. casey is right there. but they're still unfolding. so as they come in and the charge will be developed by the united states attorney's office right there in the district. >> and jim, this is not the first time that we have seen
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something similar happen here where police are sort of converged around a c that w attempting to get through the barricades, right? i seem to rember something a couple of years ago in this same vicinity. >> right. and even shot people there trying to get through those barricades. you know, when you work there -- and i've worked there twice, i've lived there twice in washington, assigned to headquarters there in atf, blocks from where you are. you're there and when you're there you don't realize sometimes, you're in the middle of a giant magnet. and that magnet is for people who want to do evil things sometimes for various reasons. they can be disturbed mentally, can have a criminal motivation. and the capitol building, the symbol of our democracy, the white house the symbol of our executive power, these are things that draw people. that's why we see the fence jumpers and attacks on the capitol. many years ago we worked a
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bombing of the united states capitol. there's been attacking on the capitol historically over the years. it's not new that people do that. but sometimes these people are one off or it could be something unrelated to the capitol but someone who wants to get around the barricades. we don't have to answer to that yet but we have a good response by the capitol police. whatever was afoot, they stopped it quickly and no one was hurt apparently. >> jim, please stand by for us. i want to go to pete williams who has been on the phone since this happened roughly 40 minutes sore 0 aeg. what haveou learned? what can you tell us? >> reporter: we're a long way from knowing what this driver had in mind. it was woman driving toward the u.s. capitol from downtown, along the mall, along one of the main east/west streets, independence avenue and she hit a police car. and the officers felt threatened, they fired shots, she stopped. we're told that no one was hurt.
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she was taken into custody as you know. you've seen her being load into a police van and she's now being questioned by u.s. capitol police. but we don't know yet whether this had anything to do with the capitol, whether she just was out of control, whether she intended to hit the police car. we don't know any of the answers to those questions. but basically coming at the u.s. capitol along any of the main streets in washington that drive toward the capitol, there are barriers that can be raised in streets. you've seen the pictures. those barriers were put up after this incident happened and they can block access to the capitol from basically any direction. these are all measures that were put in place after 9/11. the security around the u.s. capitol maz increased gradually over the years bit by bit. when i first came to washington 40 years ago, you could
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basically drive in any direction and park right in front of the capitol on the plaza. those days are long gone. there's all kinds of restrictions, all kinds of security around the capitol. and we have to wait a while to find out what she had in mind, whether she was in control, out of control, intended to hit the car, was under the influence of something. we just don't know the answer to any of those questions. that's the main thing, wha did she have in mind. we don't know. it was largely the response of the metropolitan police department here and the u.s. capitol police. but obviously the federal agencies will get involved now and we should know the answer to this fairly shortly but we just don't know yet. >> and pete, any statement yet from the d.c. police department, the metropolitan police department, presumably also there on the scene looking at this, right? >> reporter: no statements yet. and that's fairly typical. you don't usually get a statement until they have their arms around exactly what happened. but it does appear -- we've
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heard from several law enforcement agencies that although the u.s. capitol police did open fire toward this vehicle, no one was wounded. the driver apparently was not hit and no bystanders por u.s. capitol police were hit either. >> pete williams there just outside the capitol looking like he's in front of the supreme court actually. pete, thanks very much. come back if you get in new. just to reset, here's what's going on. outside the capitol building there was a report of shots fired. the report came in around 9:30 this morning. it turns out according to what sources are telling us and according to what the capitol police are saying, a driver, somebody in a car crashed or attempted to crash into this police vehicle, some of those police then opened fire. we don't know how many. the initial reporting at this moment is that nobody was hurt. but we are obviously continuing to follow developments. it is still an active scene. roads around the capitol are
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shut down as the police establish the perimeter to make sure people stay safe. casey hunter is on the scene, reporting that over the last 45 minutes or so police have allowed folks to get closer to the scene. it looks as though the initial incident appears at this point to be over. the question is what exactly happened, what was this driver doing and where is everybody involved at this point as people have been taken away fromhe scene. what can you tell us about color here, people arnd. are there tourists gathering? this is a big couple of weeks here in washington with the cherry blossom festival going on. what it is like where you are. >> reporter: we're learning there is going to be a briefing from police officials, law enforcement officials here nearby the capitol. we do not know exactly when that will take place but it sounds like they're at least getting to the point where they've gathered enough information that they may be able to share some more with us here in the next couple of
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hours or so. i think what you're seeing now you probably can see a tow truck on your screen. i think that speaks to what pete was talking about, that the account of this incident is that somebody tried to ram into a capitol police vehicle and then eventually shots were fired. we did see a damaged police cruiser with kind of its bumper missing on this scene here. and we did see a woman in a green shirt being put into the back of a police van and ev eventually driven away. you may see on your screen there are some barriers that have been thrown up in the road. just to give you a sense of what this road is that you're looking at. this is independence avenue looking to the west. this is a major artery street here in washington, d.c. a lot of commuters drive along here, a lot of tourists in those big coach buses that spring up everywhere, it seems, if you are somebody who lives in washington this time of the year, a lot of
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middle school, high school students come here on their spring break to look at the museums along the mall, capitol building. if you were to be able to see throw some of these buildings, you would be looking straight down with the capitol behind it to the washington monument and the lincoln memorial down at the end of the national mall. this ishe heart of washington, d.c. that's whate' seeing around us. the police have relaxed the perimeter a little bit. they had initially been redirecting tourists in a wide circle around this incident. the barricades are not normally raise. they do have the ability to do that in event something like this happens. but typically this street is open. whereas the smaller streets closer to the buildings, those barricades are up all of the time. it's an indication that they're willing to shut down a major traffic artery here for what has happened. otherwise if you were to look around to the other sides of the incident. you'll see tourists coming and going. you may see people wandering
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through our camera shot with suitcases. a lot of normal activity here at the house office building. it seems as though business is getting back to normal at least and that this incident has concluded. seems like that was the case relatively quickly. as i was walking out here i guess half an hour, 45 minutes ago or so, i spoke to an office whoer had been listening to the radio who said at that point this event had concluded. now a matter of figuring out what happened, was there a motive for what happened and what will happen from here. >> and you mentioned that briefing that is going to be happening represumably in the next little bit. is that from capitol police? from metro police? >> our understanding is that's from the capitol police. but it's possible it could include fferent law enforcement officials. right now that's pretty early word. >> you have been on the capitol for quite a long time in your career. talk about the response to
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something like this. because as we spoke about with jim cavanaugh a little earlier, things like this has happened before. capitol police obviously trained to respond to something like this. >> reporter: if you spend any amount of time here -- i've been work in the can toll building off an on for ten years now. these incidents are more common than you want home to be. they here not frequent by any stretch but i have been standing out here watching something similar play out. it doesn't sound like there was anywhere actually injured here. there was another incident where there was a car involved, a chase, there was an accident. it was actually on the other side of the capitol building on constitution avenue. and that was the outcome there was more difficult than the outcome with this one. but this obviously is something that they are, you noknow, well-trained to spoond to. the systems are ready to be
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sprung to at any moment. we're used to dealing with a visible police presence every time we come to work. this is a place where -- a lot of these officers have been on the beat for years. a lot of the officers that i run into every day in the hallways of capitol hill, they were there when i first started working here and'm sure they will still be working the same beat for years to co. this is a group of people that know their territory very well. they've often spent a lot of time protecting the place. and you know, it's interesting, harry reid, the former leader of the senate, once a police officer, there are a couple of police officers who have gone on to become members of the body that they once protected. yes, it is very -- it's something that they have gotten unfortunately used to over the years. >> casey hunt there on the scene. here in the heart of the nation's capitol. on the phone now is clint van
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zant. thanks for getting on the phone with us. as you heard casey mention, it appears as though this event, this understand accident has mostly concluded. take us to what's happening potentially behind the scenes. hang on one second. we have a press conference that it looks like is happening right now. let's listen in. >> police officers observed an erratic and aggressive driver from the vicinity of 100 independence avenue southwest. while attempting to stop the vehicle on independence avenue, the driver negotiated a u-turn and fled the scene, nearly striking officers and struck at least one other vehicle. a brief pursuit followed until the vehicle was stopped at washington and independence avenues southwest. during the attempt to arrest the suspect, shots were fired. however no individuals were injured during the arrest. the investigation is being conducted by the united states capitol police criminal investigations and office of
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professional responsibility. the investigation is in the preliminary stages and more detail will be released as parented. although preliminary, this incident appears to be criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism and the capitol complex remains open to the public expect for traffic here on independent avenue. >> reporter: any sense of motive? did the suspect suggest they were trying to get into the capitol? >> there's no nexus for terrorism. it was just a traffic stop. >> reporter: do you know what the instructions to this driver were, however shots were fired and where did the shots land? >> we're not going to get into those details. thank you for your time. >> reporter: was it a man or a woman? >> it is a woman. a female. >> reporter: age? description? >> reporter: how old. >> there you're seeing the conclusion of the brief news conference.
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a little information coming out. pete williams, no injuries, shots fired, no confirmation of any details and key here, no nexus to terrorism. pete williams is outside the scene. what do you have? >> we have to be cautious as these initial details are coming. but this does not sound like somebody trying to get to the u.s. capitol. based on this preliminary information that we've been given, that the driver was told to stop and did a u-turn instead of just continuing on. in other words trying to get away from the police, trying to get away from the capitol. and then nearly striking, we're told now, nearly striking a police car, hitting another vehicle, and that's when they opened fire. it may surprise people to hear that the police are on a hair trig near a sense and would open fire in a situation like this where in any other city, if a
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car was told to stop and didn't, the normal practice in most person cities by most police departments is that you don't fire at a fleeing vehicle unless it's an imminent danger to people in the area. now, maybe as more of the facts come out it will appear that she narrowly hit people. but around the u.s. capitol it's a different situation. and if there's any sense of threat or danger, we've seen this before a couple of years ago when a woman tried to run the barricades at the white house and then barrelled up pennsylvania avenue toward the capitol and was not far from where this happened, on the other side of the capitol pr where i am at e foot of the capitol on the mall side at the foot of capitol hill. she was fired at and kept going, was eventually stopped and was -- you know, there was no question there about firing shots. we know it's a car from maryland. we don't know if she's from
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maryland. but the car has maryland tags on it. and so they repeatedly emphasized, as you said, no nexus to terrorism. at least that's the initial thing. they're calling this a criminal case, meaning a violation of traffic laws, a violation to obey the police. we'll know more. it seems a little less of a threat to the capitol now based on the new information. >> pete williams referencing the understand accident from 2013 when a woman was driving her car -- you might remember this -- wards the capitol trying to head into the capitol. capitol police opened fire at that time. let's get back to clint van zant. i know you listened in to the news conference where you learned that the driver did a u-turn in front of the capitol, nearly hit a police car, nearly hit police officers. capitol police opened fire.
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not getting into if they were trying to disable the car, where the shots land nd. but all indications at this point that nobody was hurt and that it was criminal in nature, preliminarily no nexus to tear ri i -- terrorism. the police are trying to find out the motive. seems like that would be one of the key things they're trying to find out. >> one of the things you think about right away, we're told through pete and the presser that it was a female driver. we have a dtan dancy in america to think of terrorism as male instead of female. but we see terrorists in gangs in japan has hve had upwards of% of females who have been the trigger pullers. you can't discriminate
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male/female. but in this particular case it sounds like a tragic violation where the driver skiged where she should have zagged. normally you don't start firing shots until your life is threatened or the life of an innocent civilian is threatened. so the police are going to have account for that. but it appears long story short, it sounds more like someone who committed a traffic violation who then panicked and may have turned the wrong way when she was speeding away, presented a threat and the capitol police responded. and everything else you see is a trained reaction on the potential that it could be a terrorist attack. there have been enough knew mov that have shown terrorists attacks on significant buildings in washington, d.c. they never take a chance. they roll everything they have very quickly. once they find out it's not a
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terrorism act, it's criminal, not directly related to the building, then they shut the reaction down and that's what msnbc has been reporting. >> clint, thank you very much. and again very preliminary here. all of this unfolded just within the last hour right at independence avenue. it's one of the main thoroughfares through down downwashington. it leads right to the capitol. on one side house office buildings where the lawmakers work. on the other side is the capitol building. jim cavanaugh is with us now. i know you're listening to the police communicator for the capitol police as she came out and described what little police know at this point. crucial pieces of information here. most notable among them, very preliminarily, that there appears to be no nexus to terrorism at this point. what else did you hear? what else were you takeaways in what we know so far? >> an erratic driver.
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i was a uniformed police officer and when you get an erratic driver, police center on that driver ratiight away. what's going on here. but they center on it. and then the spokesman for the capitol police said that the car made a u-turn as if to get away from the officers and hit another vehicle. now you have reckless berserk driving. so this gets the officers more in tune. and when you showed the closeup of the suspect vehicle, the small black sedan, it looks like there's a bullet hole or gracing hole in the front windshield. we know there were shots fired, the capitol police said there were, that the officers fired, looks like there's a gracing hole. it takes a lot of force to do
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that. but if you see it, it looks like it mooit might be a grazing bullet shot. what happens in every city also happens in washington, d.c. and that's -- you know, these things happen in every city in america, berserk driver tries to get away from the officers, they try to stop them, there could be shots fired and the person is arrested. this has happened in the shadow of the capitol dome. when it happens there, everything is different because of the world we live in. so the officers' knowledge and reaction is a little different. this person is trying to get away from us right here in the shadow of the capitol dome. what are they doing here? why are they so determined? often it could be just a criminal act, you know, a berserk driver. >> right. >> it could be, you know, people suffering mental distress, domestic violence issues, all kinds ofsonal issues.
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you know, so that could be totally unrelated to the political world. but it just happens in a major city right there on independence avenue as you've pointed out earlier. so i think it's good news though. here's the good news. nobody is hurt. the woman is in custody. they're going to sort through her reasons within a few minutes if they don't already know. those detectives, you know, they're just like journalists. they dig right in. they're going to dig right in with here. they're going to know all about her, know where she lives. they're going to talk to her family, have gone through her personal affects. search warrants. and then that's why they're so calm about it. they have it many hand. >> jim, we're looking at now, what i'm being told, is the suspect being loaded into a police van now. that is the closeup shot, this happening within the last couple of minutes here as we're watching what is developing at the scene. a little tighter shot than the live shot we've been showing you for the last couple of minutes.
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i want to bring in now former d.c. detective and msnbc legal analyst ted williams. walk us through what metro police, what capitol police are going to be up to as they take away the suspect presumably back to police head kwauquarters to out what happened here. >> in a heightened state of alarm. as jim and clint have already represented -- somewhat -- remember several years ago we had a woman and a child who have tried to get through a barricade and there was a shooting. the woman was killed and thank god the child was not hurt. the sad commentary is that there are a lot of unfortunately mentally impaired individuals that do these kinds of things.
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but also because of the terrorist threat, we're in a state of alert. now what is going on through d.c. at this stage is that they want to make sure, number one, that this is a single incident, that it does not involve anyone else. as a result of that, d.c. in and of itself would be in a heightened state of alert. police officers are in the various, like the metropolitan police department, that's the washington, d.c. police department. you have the park, you have the fbi. a tremendous amount of law enforcement agencies throughout washington, d.c. and all of them at this stage would be in a heightened state of alert. >> ted williams there on the phone for us. ted, thank you much. again, somebody who has worked in wasngton for a lo time, giving us some of that perspective. again, you're looking live at the scene on independence avenue. apparently the suspect in this,
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somebody who was driving, described by police as an erratic driver, made a u-turn, hit a police car. but the word from the capitol police, no nexus to terrorism. this appears to be a criminal understand accident. we're going to continue to monitor this. as you take a look of the car that hay parentally has been involved in this. we're going to be back after this break. ♪ i'm so happy. ♪ whatever they went through, they went through together. welcome guys. life well planned. see what a raymond james financial advisor can do for you.
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we are back on this wednesday in washington. ntinng to monitor the breaking news happening down at the capitol. the reports of shots fired. you can see a live look at the scene there. we're following developing news unrelated to this particular scene but certainly related to what's happening here in d.c. and that is the political fallout of a number of big stories that are developing today. so you've got in just a few hours from now top members of the senate intelligence committee set to come out and speak to reports about russia's interference with the election. it comes as three sources with direct knowledge of this tell nbc that those lawmakers are looking at interviewing a former british spy, christopher steel,
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in talks to get him here, although there are concerns that remain with steel about his safety. were he to speak with investigators and any response from the trump administration. it's happening as chairman devin nunes on the house side remains embattled after revelations of a secret source meeting on white house grounds last week. here to talk about it all is our panel. i'm bring in amy linsky, david muir and alex side swal from nbc news. let me play for you what adam schiff and what jim himes, two powerful democrats had to say this morning about all of this. we're going to be listening -- let me parra phrase for you what he's talking about. essentially saying that the fact as schiff said, the fact that directors rebutted the claims of illegal wire tapping by president obama has something to do with the cancellation of the
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open hearing. trying to imply that there are seeds of doubt. what is your takeaway from this and how does tevin nunes respond? >> the post had theort yesterday, nunes cancele the most recent hearing that was supposed to involve intel members on friday just as her attorneys were informed the white house they were going to go ahead and testify even though the justice departments lawyers tried to block her from testifying. >> the white house said hey, we want her to testify. >> the white house said their silence means they're okay with it. that's another explosive allegation. there's no smoking gun but evidence that nunes didn't want something made public. >> yeah. what you see here is you have -- if you step back for a moment, there are three investigations into russia. >> house, senate and fbi. >> that's right. and i think it's fairly clear that the white house investigation has been
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sidelined. >> screeching to a halt. >> now you have two that you have to worry about. the senate could have gone down this group. the same dynamics existed right in the beginning in january, there was some criticism of burr and some sense that he was going to be a little bit in the tank for the white house as well. but you know what? he backed off of that. and the senate has really shown such a -- they've taken a different route which i think has been fascinating. they've got the press conference this afternoon and they seem to be able to work together even though they had the initial doubt in the beginning. >>ouical the intelligence committee can as well. it's not usual that you might see that kind of partisan nature in these two committees, the senate intel and the house intel that are typically a little more bipartisan than you might see. >> these committees operate above the fray of politics because they realize the mandate that they have, which is to
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oversee the intelligence community. we could have relations between snare burr and mark warner have been amicable. that could change. and i think you're going to see democrats increase their call for an independent council or an independent kmiecommission to s let's take this out of congress entirely. >> so far republicans show no indication of moving in that direction, alex. but it's not just republics that are in the spotlight today. it's also democrats. with you exclusive reporting, your scoop about how the chair of the dnc is essentially calling for a staff shakeup, asking for the resignation of everybody who works for the committee. you write a committee advising tom perez on the transition is now interviewing stoof and others as a top to bottom review process to decide who stays, who goes. donna brazile, didn't she do something similar? >> this is routine for a new boss to come in and want to put
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their own people in. they often ask for resignations from everybody to say that decide which of those to accept. this comes after the most difficult years of the dnc in anyone's memory with the wikileaks, the resignation of debbie wasserman schuts, and danah bra zeal and for years people felt that barack obama left le let the party wilt. tom perez, they have a mackenzie style thing where you take a look at this and restructuring everything. you're going to see staff changes, structure changes to the organization, all in the next couple of weeks. you're going to see the vice chairs and the deputy chairs who have not traditionally has a role, they're going to play a role. >> tom perez trying to get the house in order. but he's the third dnc chair in just the last year. he's got this interesting
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relationship, it seems, with keith ellison. would you call it an uneasy alliance? i'm curious what your sources are telling you guys. >> keith ellison was his top accounts, and even people who are critical and very skeptical of keith ellison being brought in as deputy chair, they say they're working together. i talked to tom perez and he said keith ellison is an ideas factory. they get along really well. they've known each other for a while. he'll be key to reaching out to the bernie sanders wing of the party. that's keith ellison's wing. >> i think that's got to be -- anybody who watched the 2016 election closely like we did, i mean, it was such -- the dnc, it was such a nightmare. they really -- you can see they do need to utterly reorient what their mission is and what they do and one would think that their job ought to be finding the next leader of this party that's cracked apart. and that seems to be a roll that they were not planning in '16. >> to talk about that i want to
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bring in somebody that you guys are familiar with, former pennsylvania governor ed rendell. governor, thank you being with us. former, we should point out, head of the dnc. you have been in this position, govern governor. california governor jerry brown said he wouldn't wish this on anyone. tell me what you think about the shakeup of tom perez at the dnc asking for resignations. what do you think? >> good morning. i think the resignations are somewhat ordinary. they need to change the culture. we've become a party that's focused just on our individual constituencies trying to piece them together in a winning coalition and we've been a big donor party. we have to change that, we have to reach out to the ordinary american. the reason howard dean was the second-best chairman in party history was because he came in and did a 50-state strategy.
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we need more than an all-state strategy, we need an every-county strategy. we can't ignore any county in any state and we have to get our message through. our message is one that resonates. take the health care bill. the republicans would have dropped 24 working americans from health care and at the same time give an $800 billion tax cut over ten years to wealthy americans and to businesses. that's not in the interest of the average american. we have to get that to every nook and croonny ncranny in th >> governor, you sound a little like senator bernie sanders who was on this network talking about something similar. listen to what the senator had to say. >> clearly the democratic party needs a top-down overhaul and that means instead of becoming
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dependent on big money interests for campaign contributions it's got to become a grass-roots party. it's got to start speaking and acting and fighting for working people, for young people, people who want to transform this country. >> as tom perez works to chart this new course for democrats, governor, as you listen to what senator sanders has to say, as you think through this yourself, who is the new face of the democratic party? who should that be? >> well, i don't think the -- it can be any one person right now and i think the dnc should not get involved in trying to pick our next leader. i think our next leader will emerge through the process. but i think the dnc has to be a leader in getting our message out and certainly senator sanders has a good message, but i saw that interview. one question he was asked that he didn't really hit head on was, for example, pro-life democrats. is there a place for them in the party? and the answer is yes, there is. one of the best senators in the united states is pennsylvania's
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own bob casey. he happens to be as a matter of religious belief pro-life. but he's not adamantly pro life and he's a tremendously popular person in pennsylvania because he appeals to ordinary working folks. we need democrats like that. we need a broad umbrella with one prevailing message that bernie sanders is talking about. we're the party that looks out for the ordinary guy, we don't look out for special interests. >> governor rendell, thank you very much for joining us here on this program. i want to go back to the breaking news we've been telling you about this hour, the reports of shots fired on capitol hill after what capitol police are calling an erratic driver. kasie hunt is on the scene, i understand you're ere with somebody who watched it unfold. >> reporter: hi, hallie, yes. linda, you and your husband are here from texas and it sounds like you had a scary morning. >> yes, we did, yes. my husband and i were on our ray here to the rayburn building for an appointment with our
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congressman and we were in the backseat of the taxi waiting to get out and saw a car coming toward us, speed by and, i don't know, a number of police cars speeding by past us. >> coming down this hill. >> yes, uh-huh. and our driver watching in his rear-view mirror to watch what was going on, he said "she's running, she's running." my husband and i looked back and saw these law enforcement vehicles converging on this vehicle and we saw somebody running and then we heard three shots fired. of course we didn't know who's doing the shooting or what it was all about. but anyway, it was pretty scary, y yes. >> reporter: did you see there was a car that was damage sfwadd was a car that was damage sfwam? >> i do not see that, no. >> reporter: i bet it was a shaky moment. >> yes, because we didn't know what was going on or who was doing the shooting. >> reporter: thank you very much for your time, linda, we
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appreciate it. a little bit of detail we know according to this eyewitness account this vehicle came down this hill and that's where it ended up here at the bottom of the hill, hallie. >> kie hunt andur thanks to linda as well. wenow the suspect has en put into a police vehicle, likely to be being interviewed by capitol police and metro police as well. we'll check in with cakasie as go to break. time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. nyela bottles her great grandfather's caribbean drink and is trying to build it into a national brand. she says she needs help and she's getting a your business makeover. your business sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc.
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thank you for joining us for this busy hour of msnbc live. we'll be back tomorrow. i'm hallie jackson but right now more with my colleague chris jansing. >> thank you, hallie, i'll let you get off to the white house. it's going to be busy today. i'm chris jansing, we're following breaking news on shots fired at capitol hill and capital police firing at the driver of a vehicle. nbc's kasie hunt joins us live. what's the lest from there ka >> reporter: i just spoke to an eyewitness this-to-this incident who told us that earlier today a car driving erratically game down independence avenue, this is one of the main avenues in washington, d.c. and it was being chased

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