tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 22, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
talk about as the war of words between the white house and a congresswoman continue over a fallen soldier. we're taking a deeper look into the mission into niger that left four soldiers dead. the fight over the soul of a gop continues with the harsh response from steve bannon to former president george w. bush reveals the fault lines that threaten president trump's agenda. your money or your rights. that's the choice hurricane harvey victims are facing in texas. the breakdown on all of that straight ahead. we begin this hour with the continuing political fallout from the ongoing feud between president trump and a florida congresswoman. the commander in chief attacking representative wilson again today tweeting new insults calling the lawmaker whacky and a disaster for democrats. the congresswoman is not shrinking from this fight.
and she's now going after chief-of-staff general john kelly for mischaracterizing her comments and she's demanding an apology. >> the character assassination that he went through to call me out of my name an empty barrel and yes he does owe the american people an oa pollgy for lying on one of their congress wim. >> she's now joined in that demand for an apology by all the women of the congressional black caucus and to talk more about this i'm joined with david corn and let me begin with you and i want to start with this feud. is it being blown out of proportion or do you agree with congresswoman wilson or general kelly that an apology here is owed particularly from the chief-of-staff to the congresswoman? >> well, it is being blown out of proportion but being blown out of proportion by the president of the united states with an assist from john kelly. what's really important is what
you were just discussing with yasmin. it's what happened to the families. yesterday we watched sergeant johnson's family lay him to rest. and it just to me completely mind boggling that the president of the united states keeps tweeting about this feud he has with the congresswoman who i'm sure he didn't even know existed before this began. what happened -- what's happening between her and him or her and john kelly is really not the issue here but it's really up to the president and to john kelly himself a general who should know better to make this not about a feud to be able to say in this moment when we are noting the sacrifice of these families and these men who perished that that's the important thing and to put this feud aside. if the president can't do that, he can't lead this country. >> let me ask you this, robert, let me play you this clip from my sit down interview from
wilson. take a listen. >> this is going to be trump's benghazi, trump's niger and they need to concentrate on what happened and what is happening. >> so we know how much of an issue benghazi became. it became a political issue during the campaign in 2016, obviously investigation after investigation. do you agree with her assessment that this is being characterized or could potential become a benghazi-like situation for president trump? >> i think possibly so because we don't have all the answers. can we step back for a minute and remember that americans lost their lives and can we also recognize that we as a country are having this country on a sunday evening about the president of the united states getting into a twitter fight with a member of congress? this is just beyond the pale. i thought we couldn't get any lower but here we are getting even lower. if i was in the white house and frankly even if i was a member
of congress and i had the ability to talk to my colleague from florida i would say, please, be quiet. please let the families and all the families out there mourn with dignity. the more you talk about this, the more political it becomes but also the more laughable and the more sadder it becomes. these are peoples' lives at stake here. here we are having a conversation about who said what and whether it was on a speaker phone or twitter fight and someone call a whacky congresswoman and the other person calling a president a liar. we're better than this. what difference does it make and this is so frustrating these are elected officials having this conversation on national television? please. this is beyond the pail. >> david, i'm going to ask you both to stick with us. you guys raised a lot of very important questions and i think that's worthy of having this debate and that is about the mission in niger, breaking down a few of the big questions right now. what do we know about the mission and what happened to
those four americans who sacrificed their lives? the larger issue of america's presence in niger and west africa and who we're there to actually fight throughout the region and more importantly, it raises questions about the global battle against terrorism. where else are u.s. troops that we might not know about currently stationed around the world. i want to bring in my panel john mcglog decline, visa williams and tommy sours a former green beret. it's great to have all three of you with us. let's start with the mission itself if i can, mr. mclaugh lynn. the senior aid that was in this briefing earlier this week said it stemmed in part from a massive intelligence failure. this was reportedly designated as a low risk mission. some will say there's no such thing but it certainly ended with what appeared to be a well coordinated ambush involving as much as 50 insurgents. what you know about these chaotic events so far, does this
sound like bad intelligence on what these soldiers were prepared to do and what they were getting in to? >> the charge of a massive intelligence failure is the default reaction that most people have when something bad happens in some part of the worl and there may have been a shortage of intelligence here. obviously there was if there had been good intelligence, they would've anticipated the attack. now that said, anyone whose looked at this area and followed it overly a period of time is not surprised that something like this happened. look at where niger is, just look at a map and you see it's landlocked country surrounded by touched by at least six other countries all of which have ungoverned areas. >> yeah. >> and the area where this happened is right on an old smuggling route that runs up thorough algeria.
i've worked on some issues there and i can tell you that is a very dangerous part of the world. so it could have been better intelligence but my point is this is one of the real hot beds of jihadism in the world. >> we'll get into that. i don't think a lot of americans even knew about that but tommy let me ask you this, there were questions about whether the soldiers were intentionally delayed in the village by people they may have at least needed to trust, tribal elders they work with in scoping that area out but not necessarily a major threat for them. from your experience, how often are special forces put in situations like this where they're asked to trust the local population but not necessarily know the risk in doing so and what they may be exposed to? >> well, all the time and i think americans should be more surprised when they find out that we don't have special forces in a country. we're in 138 countries is what
is revealed and i've been on dozens of missions like this and green berets are trained for this. we work by, with and through local indigenous forces and we're always working in ambiguous environments. i know there's been debate about was there enough qrf or air cover. green ba raise operate in operations like this all the time and there's an advantage to it. when you can go in, you speak the local language, you show up in pickup trucks, you can go fast and stell think in a way you can't if you show up in an armored vehicle. some of these one of the sergeants speaks three languages and that's a unique capability within special operations. >> let me ask you really quickly about this operation since you've been on some of these in the past. are there chances you call naub if the mission was to do surveyance or train the forces but then you see enemy fighters on the other side and then suddenly decide to launch a raid, is that something that
could have happened? we've seen the word raid used sometimes. we see the word that they were just on a routine mission sometimes. >> green berets are part warrior, part diplomat, part teacher and linguist. some days i would operate in my cam fauj and my body armor and hit on a raid and then you collect intelligence from that. green berets need to be very adaptable. i'm very grateful that we have them and to lose four of our best is a true tragedy. >> speaking about that, really quickly, the fact that the body of sergeant johnson was recovered two days later found a mile away from the ambush site, does that raise red flags for you? >> well, certainly leaving a come rad behind there's a lot of discussions about actions that need to occur. so much of this last week has been about words and tweets and just all these words back and forth. i want this week, if you want to honor these green beret talk
bakss. you can talk about them as the men they were. you can talk about the mission they're on. you can do a lot of things but if you want to honor our quiet professional you don't do it with words or actions and that's what i hope we focus on this week. >> speaking of actions, ambassador williams let's get your perspective on what is happening right now in niger itself as we heard from the director, the country's dealing with boko haram in the east but this happened in the western part of the country. some are saying it belongs to a group that is affiliated with the islamic state. how serious is terrorism in niger and in that region? >> well, i think you've hit on a really important point. it had been a little oasis of relative stability but you're right, all along all of its borders to the south, to the east, to the northeast and to the west, you have really ungoverned territories that are peppered with loose affiliates and very strong affiliates either to isis or aqim and
subgroups there of. the incidents that we're talking about that took our four soldiers and there was another incident just yesterday, those are happening along the western border with mali which has been problematic for quite some time. within niger itself, especially along these border areas, are there terrorists that might go back -- that go back and forth, certainly but niger has been outstanding in the region as a country that has not -- that has consistently fought against and pushed out jihadis are extremists that are trying to establish basis within their territory. >> if i can, i just want to play you this sound byte from senator graham. this is what he said this week. take a listen. >> the war is -- it's beginning
to morph as we suppress the enemy, they're going to move. they're not going to quit. i will say this about the operations and i can't give the details, they died in the defense of america. this war is getting hot in places where it's been cool. and we got to go where the enemy takes us. >> so this war is getting hot in places where it's been cool. is africa you think the next patle ground where terrorists groups are now trying to rear their head? >> i think it's an actual -- it's not the next battleground. it is the battleground. there are places in africa. it's a huge continent and the challenges are varied but certainly there are -- terrorists are already trying to find a way. they are being pushed out. that's part of the success that we and our ally coalitions are having but they're being pushed out and they are looking for other spaces and there are countries and areas in africa that offer that space which is why it's so important that we
had the kind of operation that we do have with the nigerion military in this instance because they're trying to combat those same forces. they align with us in that terrorism fight. >> if i can -- >> let me just -- tommy, give me one second. we'll come back to you. before the last two weeks, most americans i would have to say probably did not know that we had troops in niger. we have a graphic that shows how many countries as tommial was pointing out that have american troops operating in almost 138. sir, do you believe we're overstretched when it comes to the war on terrorism and a big part of that is because the authorization for the use of military force pasted by congress right after 9/11 has not been an issue of debate in this country so you hear from senators like graham and others that they simply don't know that they have troops in these countries? >> we are overstretched. we are definitely overstretched. just two context points that
relate to that, in 2013 extremist took over the northern part of mali and the french had to go in there in a major operation, which is the u.s. assisted and then left troops behind, the u.s. did after that calmed down. it never really has gone away all together and the second big context point that relates to your question is, in the context of the progress we've made against the islamic state we have to remember that the islamic state, although it's losing his cal fate in syria and iraq had a global strategy. it had a central front in those two countries. it had a regional front in north africa and the middle east and a global front that extends all the way to the philippines in asia. so what we're seeing now is the evolution of that strategy as they move out of that central front into africa and the middle east and we will be increasing
over stretched as we try to keep up with that, very different from al qaeda. >> yeah, absolutely. they have global reach with alkieda. tommy, say what you wanted to say? go ahead. >> you look at the region and chad you have 30,000 soldiers fighting, in niger you have 6,000 soldiers fighting. so i'm not drawing the connection between the deaths of these folks and the withdraw of chad or putting chad on the travel ban but those are some of the actions. those are some of the discussions that we really must have this week. >> all valid questions and ones that the politicians will tackle. thank you all so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you. straight ahead, the war for the soul of the gop. the latest salvo is a forceful collaborateback from steve bannon from veiled criticism from george bush. >> thousands never before seen
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welcome back. president trump will be on the phone with the house republican conference later this evening. on tuesday he's headed to capitol hill to join the senate republican policy lunch. he'll see some friends there as well as some of his most frequent targets on twitter, these are all people he'll need to pass his tax ut can plan but, of course the president thinks his insults will be no big deal. >> do you worry that this bickering and feuding gets in the way of your agenda? >> no and miemz it helps to be honest with you. so we'll see what happens in the end but i think actually sometimes it helps. sometimes it gets people to do what their supposed to be doing. i do believe we have the votes for health care at the appropriate time and i think that we're going to have the votes for taxes and i will say the fact that health care is so difficult, i think makes the taxes easier, the republicans want to get it done.
so sometimes it helps to insult the people you want to be working with. we want to welcome to the conversation vivian salama. vivian, let me begin with you. political reporting, the biggest fear among republicans when it comes to the issue of taxes, the president will do something, say something or tweet something that will under cut their work and i got to ask you is that a legitimate fear when you go on and call somebody like senator bob corker little bob corker? >> we've seen it repeatedly. every now and then the president will take issue with somebody on the hill whether it's a democrat or republican and he will go after them. he's taken a very coercive approach to his deal making abilities on the hill and now we're a good nine months into the administration, there's a lot of anger that's going on, a lot of resentment where the
president because they know if they don't necessarily see eye to eye with him on something, they could be a target of a very public attack. so this is obviously creating a lot of attention between lawmakers and the president. we hear about it constantly from staffers on the hill. we really don't know how to approach this because anything we try to say, any kind of constructive criticism we give the president, he doesn't take it that way. he takes it as an insult and a pushback to everything he's trying to do. it's going to be interesting to see what comes out of this meeting this week. >> david, let me ask you about the democrats. they're probably watching this with some delight that the republican party is feuding among themselves. is there anything the democrats can actually do when it comes to the issue of tax cut. can they play a role in any of this? >> they could come up with a bipartisan tax plan pretty easily, i think, if the president wanted to talk to them about that and didn't go with his $1.7 trillion deficit tax
cuts for the rich plan. so they aren't in the driving seat. the driver's seat -- so they're standing by i think and waiting. one big problem here is that the president has demonstrated time and time again in these quick nine months that he doesn't really care or even know that much about policy. health care, tax cuts. these are difficult policy matters particularly if you don't want to add to the deficit or want to keep your promises not to raise taxes on the middle class. so he has shown that he's not able to engage with either republicans or democrats on the nitty-gritty and thus it's really hard to cut any deals if you can't talk about the substance. >> robert, there is this ongoing feud among republicans between the establishment and the soul. we've been referring to it as the battle for the soul of the gop, it came from president george w. bush earlier this week and reaction from former chief strategist steve bannon. listen to this tasting if you
will. >> identify as a nation unlike many other nations is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. this means that people of every race, religion, ethnicity can be fully and equally american. it means that bigger tree or white supremacy in any form is blass sophie in any form. >> president bush embarrassed himself. there's not been a more destructive presidency than george bush's. >> so you heard steve bannon. those are strong words obviously people on his base may agree with that but whose party is this? is it george w. bush's or the bannon's? >> it's the conservative american peoples party. please correct me if i am wrong, can you give me one, just one, one conservative idea that's original that comes from donald
trump's mouth? can you think of one conservative platform that donald trump has put forth that he has put forth from an intellectual standpoint? i can't think of one. this is not an issue between donald trump and george bush. this is an issue between what true conservatism truly is. when you listen to president bush, he was being very intellectualized and talking about the goodness of america. i've yet to see president trump do anything remotely come close to that. so let's just call a spade a spade here. if you want to call donald trump a conservative, that's fine. but please give me an example as to where he's championing a conservative idea that is emanated from his mouth? >> some are saying economic nationalism that's something steve bannon that championed but vivian, let me ask you this and lindsey graham and others have
weighed in about whose around president trump and they say that steve bannon since they're out, graham says he's hopeful on "meet the press." let me get your reaction really quickly to what robert was just saying about the soul of the gop here. >> we keep on hearing all this talk about an emergence of a third party and this is really a fight for the soul of the republican party where you have on the one hand a moderates who, you know, may kind of have mixed views about social issues and then you have the people on the far right who are obviously more in the steve bannon camp who really get fired up and he speaks directly to their anger and drives them to vote, motivates them to vote. you have this very interesting thing happening right now where you have president trump attacking lawmakers on the one hand and steve bannon operating as this operative outside of the white house. he could generally be far more effective on the outside of the white house because now he's unleashed. he could say anything he wants
to. he's not constrained by the office. so it's going to be very interesting moving forward to see who he targets on capitol hill and elsewhere and really the effect he has on the party as a whole going into 2018. >> there's no doubt -- there's no doubt that there is a good relationship still between steve bannon and president trump. robert, vivian, thank you for joining us. david, stay with us for a moment because i wanted to get your thoughts on one more story this week. president trump says he has no plans to blocked the release of never before documents on the killing of john f. kennedy. the documents were set to be made public this coming thursday unless president trump blocked the release on grounds that it would harm national security. david, i know you've written extensively about this. you've done a lot of research on the first release of jfk documents more than 20 years ago for a book about the cia and more recently you've written about how it eventually on
believing the official version that lee harvey oswald was the sole shooter in this. is there anything in these remaining documents that would change your mind? >> i would be very surprised if there's anything in these documents that changed some of the basic understanding of what went on with the jfk assassination. people are acting as if this is the first time these documents like this are being released but they started being released back in 1994 because of a law passed in response to oliver stone's film jfk and they've been coming out in batches ever since. i remember spending days and days at the national archive going through the first batch several thousand records and for historian they're really fascinating. they tell a lot about the cia, the one big thing that people are looking to for these batches of documents, they may give information about lee harvey oswald's visit to mexico two months or so before the assassination when he went to the cuban and soviet embassies and still a lot to be found out
about what the cia and the fbi knew about this and perhaps they covered up what they knew about oswald before the assassination. >> i can assure you that it is something we'll be talking about in the days ahead if those documents are released and the questions they may raise. looking forward to your thoughts on this subject next week. a stand on the sidelines approach to a fight between two allies in iraq may have left an opening for iran in the country. and beyond. we'll have the breakdown on that for you. in tonight's we said, they said how the international media is covering the harvey weinstein story. >> they are. he used to be the hollywood king and now he's the hollywood pervert.
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on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪ welcome back. time now for we said, they said where we look at how the international media deals with stories that are making headlines here in the u.s. and tonight the harvey weinstein scandal. some very different reactions from country to country and we begin in france where the debate tackles head on french attitudes towards sexual assault and
harassment there. take a listen. >> your reaction first when you saw the weinstein scandal break. >> i made the pool of so many women have been victim of harassment in the street, in their family and in their job. >> a very different reaction in italy, a country where the former prime minister were met with a nod and wink by many. the italian actress slammed by newspapers in her newspaper for having the audacity to accuse harvey weinstein of rape. india encouraging film actress to quote nail those vial men who have done a harvey weinstein on you. a product of bollywood herself weighing in on the controversy. >> i think that happens not just in india and all over the world. it's just the power of a man trying to take away a woman's
power. >> the scandal also hitting a raw nerve in egypt a country where sexual abuse is rampant. speaking out and sharing their stories. activist moana safe tweeting i don't know of any female friend of mine who has not been a victim of sexual harassment and definitely me too. in neighboring israel, the country's largest newspaper dedicating its front page to the hashtag us too. in china, head in the sand approach sparked an i don't think so. claiming sexual harassment is just a western problem and not an issue in the communist utopia. that sparked a massive backlash. the newspaper actually pulled down that comment. that's we said, they said for this week. now this. >> we don't like the fact that they're clashing.
we're not taking sides but we don't like the fact that they're clashing. >> so that was president trump on monday talking about the battle between iraqi government forces and kurdish fighters near incur cook and while the u.s. wasn't taking sides iran definitely was alongside the iraqis against the kurds to help retake areas around the oil rich area of incur cook. we have so much strategic issues to discuss and one that could ultimately lead to the very thing the white house has actually said it wants to do, which is prevent iran from getting stronger in the region in increasing its influence. certainly something that's going to impact iraq and syria as well. let me start the conversation with former ambassador nicklaus burns. it's great to have you with us this evening. the situation obviously between the iraqi government forces and kurdish fighters and allies both of them in the fight against
isis has been somewhat of a challenge for u.s. officials. the u.s. department officially saying it's a misunderstanding between the two sides. it's obviously we all know much more than that but do you think from a 10,000 foot view the u.s. is currently mishandling this situation between two allies? >> i think we have to acknowledge this is a very difficult situation. it would have been for any american administration. we have trained the kurds, the peshmerga and trained and supplied the iraqi army. it's difficult to stay neutral but also difficult to take sides. i do think the trump administration could have been much stronger diplomatic here to prevent the iraqis from going in the way they did against the wishes of the peshmerga. it would have been far better in hindsight to have an agreement between them worked out and you've just seen over the last couple minutes the iraqi's now saying they want to have a dialogue with the kurdish government, the kurdish regional
government. the u.s. should be voft in that, not militarily because diplomatically. we should want to see this very turbulent time in iraq proceed peacefully as far as that's possible and not violently. >> one individual that was not on the sidelines that this unfolded was iran. very visible during the fight according to multiple sources who spoke to nbc news. taking a large share of the credit for removing some kurdish forces from expanded territory around occur cook. how influential do you think and the iranian government is now into sewing this division between the iraqi government and the forces of kurdistan. >> he's very aggressive and the shia militant groups that have been trained and in some cases supplied by the iranian government they're right up there in the front lines with
the iraqi government in this -- in taking over kirkuk and thousands of kurdish civilians have fled the greater kirkuk area to seek protection and in one reason are these shia militant groups. i thought that secretary tillerson was very right to say that those militant groups should be withdrawn. they should go home in his words. i thought he had a reason to say that. i hope that's a good warning from the united states. >> so in hind sight, was it a mistake for the u.s. and we know this that the american governments turned a blind eye to the rise of these popular forces that were backed by iran although they were fighting alongside u.s. iraqi forces against isis. did we make a mistake in letting them become too powerful in that country and now trying to rein them in? >> a decade ago were killing american soldiers with sophisticated roadside bombs and americans have not forgotten
that. it's been difficult for the united states in iraq. we've been proceeding with this rule against the islamic state both in mosul and now in raqqa and syria. i must say there is undue excessive iranian influence in baghdad. if you add to that what the iranians are doing, this power play in syria, the trump administration needs to have a strategy not militarily but diplomatic to try to push back against the iranians in both places. this is a period of historic instability as syria is pieced back together after this brutal civil war, as iraq is. we should want to be part of this, "the washington post" had a very convincing editorial this morning saying we need to be in the middle of it diplomatic to counter the russian, iranian actions. >> thank you sir for joining us. i want to turn now to our panel, christopher dickie from paris and robert mali the vice
president for policy at the international crisis group. thank you both for joining me. robert, let me begin with you in the point i was asking the ambassador about iran. just a couple weeks ago the u.s. was very clear. they want to stop iran's expansion across the region. just this week iranian forces i should say iranian backed forces inside iraq quickly hofd in on kirkuk and really pushed the iraqi central government against another u.s. ally the kurdish forces. are we seeing the exact opposite of what the u.s. administration wanted to do here? >> it's easier said than done. iran is very good at exploiting chaos and disorder. iraq -- the reason iran is influential in iraq other than the fact that they are approximate country is because of the invasion occupation. they were called upon iran to help them in their own struggle. same in syria. same in yemen. same in lebanon and same today
when it has to do with the kurds. in all these cases it's when there's chaos, when there's struggle and conflict, then iran can come in because there are always some parties that need its help. if iran is punching above its weight today, squeeze it back to a natural size, you got to ends the conflict. that's what needs to happen. the rest is just talk. >> chris, this is not the first time that united states are packed two sides that are directly opposite to one another. we've backed the turks who are also fighting against the kurds, we've back the iraqi government and the kurds. how is this being played out in europe? are they looking at this from the same perspective of once again the united states finds itself on the opposite side of the same conflict? >> well, i think they're always trying to figure out what the americans think they're doing in the middle east because the americans are backing a lot of different sides, only to discover that the enemy of my enemy is my enemy a lot of the time in the middle east.
and i think that they would love to see some coherent policy visa vee iran. they understand how aggressive iran can be but on the other hand europeans are aware that iran is part of that neighborhood and the united states is not. the iranians are doing what they're doing, yes, to expand their power but also to protect their regime by making sure that the neighbors, whether it's afghanistan on the one side, iraq on the other, syria, that they are not going to be basis for hostile powers that want to attack the iranian regime. that's the core reason they do what they do. it's not just because they're evil and want to expand and exploit chaos and they're just much better at it than the americans. right now the americans don't have a lot of cards on the table. we can talk to -- ambassador burns can talk about getting into the middle of it and then what? with what? there isn't anything to work
with there. >> we saw the u.s. try to get in the middle of it. there was this initiative that they're trying to launch to win sauds and wrestle it away from iran. is there any chance that's going to be successful to try to win over iraq from iran into the lap of saudi arabia? >> it's a pipe dream. there's so many reasons for it and to hear u.s. officials say iran should be out of iraq, iran could answer, what about the u.s.? the u.s. should be out of iraq. iran is in iraq for many reasons. they're neighbors. many iraqis have asked for the irans help, the militia we heard about are pro-iranian. they rose up to fight against isis. the notion that we are going to tell the iran or that the saudis that's fantasy. what we can do and try to do is
reduce iran's influence but the notion that we are going to be able to push them out we got to take that out of our minds. >> did we make a deal with the devil in allowing these iraqi militias to have such a powerful foot hold in the fight against isis and now they're pretty powerful compared to the iraqi central security forces? >> but, bob, mali was exactly right. they rows up to fight isis and why did they rise up to fight isis because the entire u.s. created armed trained army of iraq collapsed in the face of isis. that's when the militias rose up. and what were we going to do as the united states? we didn't have any assets on the ground so of course we made a deal with the devil. we needed somebody to fight isis. >> i feel like that's the question we always ask ourselves. what was the united states supposed to do? we could talk about this for hours but i appreciate both of your time this evening.
>> thank you. your money or your rights? how some hurricane harvey victims are being asked to surrender some of the first amendment rights to get the help they desperately need. kasie hunt breaks down all the political stories of the week that's at 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. i've always wanted to create those experiences for others. with my advisor's help along the way, it's finally my turn to be the host. when you have the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant. ameriprise
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time now for the global checkup. a look at stories making headlines. we start in cairo, egypt where funerals were held this week for some of the 54 security officers killed in a raid. egyptian president promises a crack down in the wake of the massacre. a typhoon in japan did not stop shinzo abe for winning an historic third term. tensions are rising in catalonia, spain. protesters gathered outside a police station in barcelona after the spanish government announced new measures to take
control of catalonia. the movement intended to halt. in quebec, canada, a law requiring women who wear a burqa to show their faces when receiving public services. defenders of the law says the legislation includes all face coverings and sno the meant to target muslims. finally in paris, former nba star kobe bryant paid a visit to the sports hall where he told reporters he would turn down an invitation from donald trump to visit the white house. >> just ahead from texas to somali, we dive into the stories that may not have caught your attention this week including how two families are coping with loss after a deadly attack abroad and why it was barely mentioned back here at home this week. and i couldn't wait to get my pie chart. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american.
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the five living former presidents were together in texas last night appearing at an event for hurricane relief for not only for texas but also florida, puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands. president trump sent a video message. meanwhile, in what may come as a surprise to many hurricane harvey victims in the houston suburb of dickinson are finding that to get relief money, they actually have to agree not to boycott israel. i know it sounds kind of crazy but it stems from the bill that governor abbott signed into law back in may. he pretty much said that anti-israel policies are anti-texas policies. joining me now is gloria brown marshall, associate professor at the john j. college of criminal justice. great to have you with us, professor. let me begin by asking you, aside from politics and policy is this a violation of free speech and the first amendment? >> definitely. >> why so? >> because people have a right to boycott, people have a right to protest.
what's what -- that's what a boycott is. >> can the state say these are policies if you want our money then you have to abide by our laws? >> no because that could be for anything. they can bring back slavery in our state and say you have to abide by our rules. we are allowed to have free speech even as individuals. in this particular case, these are people in need of shelter. so they have to choose between the shelter and their constitutional right and that's not what -- not what the constitution is about. >> we went to the website for the application for dickinson. but what i'm curious to ask you about, if there are provisions. you can see one of the conditions that says does not boycott israel during the term of this agreement. that was from the application if you wanted the relief. are there any other things that we may sign every day -- we don't always read the fine print of various contracts we are signing whether it's online or what have you. is this a common practice that
we don't know about it? >> not really. there are common practices like an arbitration has to take place within a certain amount of days or weeks or months and we have statute of limitations on how long you can take after an assault or a contract in order to bring a case. you have those type of things the fine print in documents. but as far as someone saying especially the governor that you cannot boycott or -- you know, keep in mind, boycott is saying i'm not going to buy from a certain -- you know, company. that's your choice as an individual. what really gets me, we're talking about texas, you know, don't mess with texas when it comes to freedom of speech and liberties, et cetera. now they're undermining the freedom of speech and liberties of their constituents there. and the last part of it is, how are they going to enforce this? you have on the one hand the people who may accidently decide that they're going to buy locally and not buy from an
israel related company. on the other hand you have people who will challenge this and say i am not going to buy from israel and now you're going to have to come against me. $250,000 fine and even possible -- >> very quickly, do you think there's a way to get this law overturned? do you know of anyone who is going to challenge it? >> the aclu is challenging it but think of the time, effort and energy they can be using on something else. they're challenging this law. on their face they know it's unconstitutional they're saying, sue me, we'll take it to the supreme court. >> it's surprising it got passed without a lot of fanfare. thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. before i go tonight, when americans are killed in a massive terrorist attack overseas it's usually big news here in the united states. but it wasn't this past week. more than 300 people were killed last weekend in a terrorist blast in mogadishu, somalia. two were fellow americans.
they got very little attention so we'd like to give them some right now. one was a somali-american in his 0s -- 30s from ohio. the second one, he fled somalia and settled in bloomington, minnesota, in 1998. he worked as welder and he hoped to work for the u.n. rebuilding his homeland. that's in fact why he was in somalia looking for work at the time of the blast. a memorial was being held for him today and earlier this week his family talked about the loss. >> he was a great man, he worked so hard. >> he was behind a -- he leaves behind a daughter and two sons. he have the kind of father that even on his final trip kept checking in on their kids, their grades, homework assignments from overseas. there was no hash tags or monuments or buildings didn't light up in the colors of the somali flag.
no national mournings or tributes but two families leaving with the grief of the loss of their loved ones. that will do it for this sunday. you can reach out to me on social media. be sure to join kasie hunt at 7:00 p.m. but first up it's "meet the press." ♪ it's not just a car, it's your daily treat. ♪ go ahead, spoil yourself. the es and es hybrid. experience amazing.
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this sunday. credibility. president trump and the lack of civility in politics. a week that began with a fight over what president trump said to a grieving widow. >> sarcastically he said he must have known what he signed up for. how can you say that to the grieving widow? >> i didn't say it at all. she knows it. >> and ends with two former presidents criticizing the current one. without mentioning him by name. >> our politics seem more vulnerability to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. >> if you have to win a campaign by dividing people, you're not going to be able to govern them. >> my guest this morning on