tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC November 16, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm EST
. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," in from the cold, david petraeus goes to the hill to tell what he knew about the deadly benghazi attack and when he knew it. >> general petraeus's briefing was comprehensive. i think it was important that added to our ability to make judgments about what is clearly a failure of intelligence. >> congress arranged for him to come and leave without having to face the guat lent of cameras in the wake of his resignation over that scandal. >> you can blame it on us. we wanted to spare him that. you know, for any, you know, wait that you did i apologize. there's a lot of suffering going on. >> certain amount of -- sure. all of us in the room have a
great regard for him. i've known him nine years now. i actually urged him to run for president a few years ago. >> and democrats use that hearing to rally around susan rice. >> to say that she is unqualified to be secretary of state, i think, is a mistake. and the way it keeps going, it's almost as if -- >> and the middle east on the brink. israel and hamas exchanging fire as casualties mount. amid talk of all-out war. >> will continue to exercise this prudence and self-restraint while defending our citizens against terrorism. >> opening round, president obama and congressional leaders kick off talks to avoid the looming fiscal cliff. >> what folks are looking for and i think all of us agree on this, action. they want to see we are focused on them, not focused on our
politics here in washington. >> the framework that i've outlined in our meeting today is consistent with the president's call for a fair and balanced approach. to show our seriousness we put revenue on the table as long as it's accompanied by significant spending cuts. >> i can say on the part of my members that we fully understand that you can't save the country until you have entitlement programs that fit the demographics of the changing america in the coming years. >> the president also had a special message for the speaker. >> tomorrow is speaker boehner's birthday so for those of you who want to wish him a happy birthday, we will -- we're not going to embarrass him with a cake because we didn't know how many candles were needed. >> yeah, right. >> but we want to wish him a happy birthday. >> that's 63 candles and one for
good luck. the president did give him a bottle of 1997 brunelo retailing for $125. "parks and recreations" gets her moment with the vice president. >> this isn't happening. this -- this isn't real. >> no. it's happening. i'm delighted to have you here. on behalf of the president and myself i want to -- be. >> oh, mr. vice president. i am deeply flattered but there's no way i could take over madam secretary's position. i want to say thank you. >> you're very welcome. you're very welcome. you're very welcome. >> you're very handsome. >> well done. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. there's a career there for somebody. for the third day on a serious note, israel and hamas are trading fire with fire ringing out in jerusalem for the first time. so far israel's campaign has been limited to airli strikes b military officials are
considering a ground campaign as well. martin fletcher reports on the latest developments from tel aviv. martin, to you, what are you hearing from israeli officials? >> well, the attack on jerusalem really is a bit of a game changer. nobody expected the palestinians to be able to target jerusalem. it's a long way from gaza, 65 or 70 miles. the idea that the palestinians could launch rockets at jerusalem with of course its arab population, the rockets landed in between bethlehem and jerusalem. officials here are looking at that and the second attack today on tel aviv and saying, this has a to be stopped. the israeli leaders repeating they'll do anything, whatever it takes to stop the rockets at israel. what's next on the agenda? well, it has to be all hints are every indication is looking at a ground invasion of gaza. it hasn't been ordered yet, but all preparations ready, andrea. >> and speaking of preparations
as i understand it when the rockets were fired toward tel aviv you and your colleagues had to take cover. tell us what happened? >> well, i mean, we took cover the same as everybody takes cover. everybody who has been killed by these rockets, not only in this -- in this round of violence but any time, if you don't do what you're told, go to the safe place, you will get killed. everybody that didn't get killed was because they didn't go to the safe place. that's what happened yesterday. the siren went, we ran, bit of excitement, filming everybody, but i would like -- wouldn't like to point attention to us. the whole country is facing this. palestinians in gaza, they don't have the sirens, they don't have the save houses, be the bomb shelters. this region, it is the civilians as usual suffering. >> and amman, in fact, not only civilians in general, the population, but the children, the fatalities there among the
palestinians in gaza, tell us what's happened so far? >> absolutely. it's nightfall in gaza. we've heard the sounds of air strikes behind us. you can hear the explosions and probably hear one now as we hear a fighter jet flying abovep. that's the kind of explosion you will hear systemically throughout the course of the night here in gaza. it sends shock waves of fear to the population of 1.5 million people here. as martin said you don't hear air sirens you don't give people a chance to run to shelters or bunkers. this is the reality of what the people will be living under the next several hours and as long as this operation continues. to put that in the context of how everything here is unfolding, people are afraid. you talked about the children being killed. six of the 23 people that have been killed so far in these air strikes have been children. now a part of that is because gaza is densely populated. israel claims to be carrying out precision strikes on specific targets. the reality of it is, when you hit a building in gaza, a car that may be carrying of somebody
of interest to the israelis you're not just decimating that car, you're decimating a street, a block, a house. that's why there's so many civilian casualties as a result of the israeli air strikes, not just here in gaza city where we are but in the southern parts. every part of gaza is being subject to this type of attack we heard behind us. >> what about supplies and food? at least this time so far, we understand that people in gaza have enough food, enough supplies, there is no blockade as it were, but the u.n. workers have left, the relief workers have left. what is the situation in terms of just daily life now in gaza? >> well, there are definitely shortages on a few fronts. one the fuel shortage. the fuel shortage has been predominantly supplied by israel. we understand there is a shortage of that in this territory, particularly in the northern part. that affects the electricity supply as well. and it also affects people's ability to cook gas and such.
there are shortages of food because the farmers are unable to access their land. we spent the part today in a business busy market asking venders what they noticed. prices have gone up through the roof because it's more expensive and difficult. hospitals here are strained but they say right now are fine in terms of the medical supplies. of course if there is a ground invasion and a spike in civilian casualties they will be very much under strain as we've seen in the past. andrea? >> our team there, martin fletcher and amman mohyeldin, thank you so much. joining me for our daily fix, "washington post" columnist and editorial writer ruth marcus and nbc capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. kelly, you're on the hill where david petraeus came and went under amazing security. it wasn't really security. really public relations security. the -- diane fine stein the chair of the senate intelligence committee said blame us. we think that there's been enough suffering going on and didn't want him to have to run the gauntlet. >> to give people per spiketive,
we have heads of state, sometimes multiple heads of state, talked to law enforcement personnel, members, media of congress, everyone hears the same words unprecedented. seems that diane fine stein is willing to take the responsibility, saying it was her decision to spare him being seen on camera because they wanted the value of what he could say. it also would seem it's a sign of respect for his many years of service. he came to do his job, whether or not he's seen on camera, is another matter. it really was extraordinary. the content is news making as well today, andrea, in trying to get some of these ongoing debates settled. we don't have definitive answers by any means but i've talked to members of both parties who were in these briefings and some things coming forward, that yes, susan rice was using the unclassified talking points that were given to her, that is in wide agreement. we're also hearing, though, that david petraeus is saying he knew from the beginning this was terrorism at the same time,
there could have been others at the location who might have been unrelated to specific terror plot which may have been part of why there has been talk of a spontaneous demonstration. i was told both things could be true. the question some republicans are raising is, why then was there so much apparent emphasis on the video spontaneous demonstration if, in fact, it was known all along that there was terrorism involved. there are disputed points of view on this and perhaps dianne feinstein says when we get to the point where there can be be public hearings we'll get more clarity. the talking points had originally been broader but when they determined and it was a broad range of intelligence agencies that decided on the talking points they narrowed and so what susan rice and others talked about was from those unclassified talking points that doesn't mean they weren't aware of terrorism in a secure classified setting at that time. >> this so reminds me of what
happened back when we were debating the iraq war and wmd and ruth marcus, the classified version -- of the assessment and the unclassified version. and there was a difference. not just in quality, and content, but a difference in the emphasis. that strategic difference made the difference between going to war and not in terms of who voted for war. >> it's also having flashbacks to that period also, because reminiscent sent in the sense of an administration official, colin powell, condoleezza rice, asserting facts that turned out to be different than the facts that evolved being held responsible or not being held responsible for it. obviously been suggestions and questions about why senator mccain is so deeply opposed to the notion of susan rice as secretary of state when perhaps he was less out for blood or whatever when it came to colin
powell or condoleezza rice. >> let's also talk about david petraeus. you've written about this and you've witnessed so many of these washington dramas. >> this one seems different in scale because it involves intelligence be because it involves figures of such a high level. because it has somehow ensnared the nomeny to become the allied supreme commander, john allen, perhaps fatally flawed because of the embarrassment over this. we don't know if that will proceed. how do you assess what happened with david petraeus? >> well, it's different in scale in the sense, one sense it's larger because it involves the -- the revered almost figure, but also smaller in the sense that some of these big players brought in are so questionable and the fbi agent with the shirtless photo -- >> because now explained as a joke. i've watched it myself. >> the twin sister with the
custody dispute. i mean really, stephen colbert last night said the story jumped the shark and brought susan lieu ki on to keep it going. it's a story of hubris combined with flawed people with a modern story of technology ensnarg all of us. >> we have to run. you went to harvard, you know the drill. a story in "the washington post" that paula broadwell just from the get-go, enters the masters program -- enters the ph.d. program, leaves with a masters. questions about resume enhan enhanceme enhancement, her academic work not being up to par. >> it's a terrific story by my colleagues. read it on washingtonpost.com they would want me to say. it raises questions about her determination and and her ability to really work the system. >> ruth and thanks to kelly o'donnell who will be on the hill tracking everything that happens up there. and the other big story that kelly is following that we're all following is the fiscal
cliff. the talks. joining me now to discuss the congressional leaders meeting is chris van hollen, ranking democratic, ranking members of the house budget committee. thanks for waiting while we talked about all of this that is happening in washington. >> a lot going on, indeed. >> the real story. of course that is going to face every american is whether our taxes go up, whether huge spending cuts take place and whether this will precipitate potentially another recession. i do have the feeling from what -- do you have the feeling from what you've heard from the speaker there is a solution and he will be able to garner enough votes on the republican side of the caucus and you on the democrat to try to avert this? the house is where the action is. >> they had a constructive meeting at the white house. the president and the top four congressional leaders, republicans and democrats. there was a spirit of cooperation today. the challenge is ahead because while everyone is committed to working to avoid going over the fiscal cliff for the reasons you
just mentioned, obviously the devil is in the details. and trying to find compromise, but everyone is committed to doing it and continue to work over this thanksgiving break to get the job done so we're not hanging by a thread here december 31st. >> there was an op-ed in the "wall street journal" i think today from jim baker, former treasury secretary and former secretary of state, and very esteemed in terms of negotiating deals and he suggests delaying everything until march, but coming up with real mechanisms and enforcement mechanisms that sound something like a grand deal where you would have to have spending cuts and the tax increases balanced out to assure all sides that you're not going to just let this thing go and never deliver on the spending cuts and that would satisfy republicans. is that something some kind of mechanism that you could all envision? the problem with that is if you
go into march it makes it difficult with respect to the tax issue. because we really -- >> in terms of the irs. >> we have to have some sort of certainty as to what the tax rates are going to be next year with respect to the -- next to the alternative minimum tax, that actually becomes an immediate problem in january since we're actually having to fix that for the year that we're in right now. so, certainly there are parts of this discussion that can be done in the first three weeks of march but we have to settle something as to what the tax rate is beginning january 1st. and so that part of it is very difficult to postpone and if you postpone it there's a risk you're kicking everything down -- the can down the road and that would not send a good signal. >> in fact, congressman, you make a very important point because the irs has said that if you don't deal with it by december 31st, they can't program the alternative minimum
tax and other taxes so people would get their refunds in time on time in april. -- march and april. >> that's right. there are a lot of the republicans would like to delay that whole conversation for a couple months to begin to take the pressure off the need to raise revenues. we just came off an election where there has been a big issue, it's been a central part of the conversation, the president has been very transparent in his plan and i know there are some of our colleagues that would like to sort of delay and delay and allow the pressure to go out of the balloon so they don't have to deal with it. we really have to come to some agreement between now and the end of this year on that tax issue. otherwise, we do go into next year and i just think it's untenable from a policy point of view, but politically untenable, for republicans to tell the country on january 1st and january 2 ndnd and january 3rd nobody in the country will get
tax relief until they give wealthier americans higher income americans this bonus tax break. i think the president will be very clear if we get to that point and we don't want to, we get into january, he's going to be going to the american people, i would hope, and telling them exactly what is at stake here. >> chris van hollen -- >> hopefully everyone will recognize this problem before you get to the waterfall and at least the spirit of the discussion today at the white house was very good. >> well thank you very much, chris van hollen, our congressman from maryland and the lead democrat on the house budget committee. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> and up next, nbc news terrorism expert michael leiter on what we have learned from today's petraeus hearings. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. r's starts with ground beef, unions, and peppers baked in a ketchup glaze with savory gravy and mashed russet potatoes. what makes stouffer's meatloaf best of all? that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. let's fix dinner. ♪ [ snoring ]
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immediately that the attack on benghazi was an act of terror. contrary to what the administration said initially. >> he made it clear that there was significant terrorism involvement and that is not my recollection of what he told us. >> he put together the information. he personally didn't brief susan rice. >> and we have these pictures we just received of david petraeus arriving back at his home. he left the hill -- arrived on the hill and left probably coming in through one of the tunnels from one of the adjacent buildings but had no contact with any reporters. there was a scrum out there. as you can see he's arriving at his home in the virginia suburbs. and still has a security detail understandably. this is the first time we've seen the former -- and you see him now going in to a back door. this is the first time we've seen, as i say, the former cia director.
joining me now is michael leiter, nbc news terrorism expert and former director of the national counterterrorism center at the cia. you've had long experience working there and you know what this agency is going through right now. it's extraordinary. they announced yesterday inspector general's investigation into whether david petraeus used his security detail, his planes, the facilities of office, resources of the agency, to further, to advance this relationship which we now he has acknowledged was paula broadwell. >> they did announce that. i think they made clear in that announcement this was completely precautionary. they were not suggesting he had done anything wrong. they thought this was right in light of all the news and attention that's been cast on the cia and as you say, this makes it a very difficult time for the cia during incredible international upheaval. >> we'll talk about in a moment. i want to ask you about the conflicts consensus on what benghazi was. petraeus, by all accounts,
testified today he knew it was terrorism and, you know, once mortars and rpgs are involved as diane fine stein said on our air right away you knew it was terrorism. your sus sesser at the counterterrorism center testified to that within days. at the same time susan rice is getting pillarried for coming out what we're told following the talking points of an unclassified document which was a consensus document from the intelligence agency which leaves many that cover this community say why is there such a ponder russ process? it seems as though common sense and reports from the field get boiled down, get watered down, if you will, and when it is delivered on television by officials, it no longer matches the reality because when you boil something down to that extent -- >> sure. you lose content. >> you lose content. >> a couple things are going on here, andrea. first there is, i think, a lot
of parsing going on about whether this is a terrorist act and what the motivation for the terrorist act was. and i think as you said, when we saw early on the relative organization of the attack on the consulate, it was pretty clear that this was a terrorist act. it was politically motivated violence by substate actors against noncombatants. >> the president used that phrase the next day in the rose garden. >> the question becomes what motivated it. that is still a bit of a difficult question to answer. whether the video played any role at all, maybe it didn't, but at the time that was an open question. >> there could have been two separate motivations, initial attack -- >> and the follow on. >> the fatal one on the cia analyst. >> there is a lot of fog of war at the beginning of this event and i think people who are looking at it from the start say this looks like terrorism, what caused it i'm not sure. the second piece you and ruth marcus noted before, which is always dangerous, having
classified information and then having to talk about that publicly because you lose nuance, you lose context, and those unclassified statements often appear to be misleading, but what they're really doing is protecting the sensitive information which is in the classified realm. that's why we've run into this trouble in these situations in the past. >> talk about paula broadwell. someone who meets the cia -- at the time he was in charge of the war in afghanistan. meets him at harvard in 2007. she is a candidate, a dissertation candidate. she didn't get her ph.d. she leverages that into a biography. it raises some eyebrows in the field because she didn't have the background to be able to do that kind of biography. now we hear today that she, in fact, tried to propose herself as the convener of a red team to help general mcchrystal reanalyze the afghan war and he, apparently, rejects that because he didn't think that she was up
to the -- she didn't have the background. >> not to unfairly carry your question, but i have to admit my interest lies much less in paula broadwell who i don't know. >> i understand. >> much more on david petraeus who i'm happy that everyone is giving the recognition he deserves for 37 years. my, you know, it's a tragedy what's going on here. >> you've worked with him. >> i've worked david. i think highly of him. this is unbelievably regrettable and difficult for the cia and him personally, but this is a talented man who protected this nation's security for 37s recog that. the second position is how much does this take for the white house. during turbulent international times and the cia badly needs stability, it's got great leadership in the acting director michael morrell, it is a solid organization that will continue to do well, but this is a real loss because david had put in some reforms at the agency who was moving ahead on that and losing a director after
only 14 months really makes advancing that reform much more difficult. >> michael leiter, thank you so much, our terrorism expert, someone who's been there and understands what is going on in these institutions. up next, palestinians speaking out. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. >> time for the your business entrepreneurs of the week. kathleen and susan are encouraging customers to shop local. they created the monthly ladies night in the magnolia park area of burbank, california, to boost sales staying open late. make sure to support your local retailers on november 24th for the third annual small business saturday. for more watch "your business" sunday morning at 7:30 on msnbc. [ female announcer ] today, jason is here to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits, but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others,
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and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. prime minister was in gaza trying to show solidarity for the palestinians living there. joining me is the executive directors of the jerusalem fund and palestinian -- palestine center i should say. thank you very much for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> there has been, you know, there are rockets firing in both directions. an unprecedented, according to israel, unprecedented number of rockets being fired by hamas towards now jerusalem today and tel aviv. and it's escalating and we hear israel has closed three main roads around gaza. it could be preparing for the
kind of buildup that would be another ground defensive into gaza. >> yeah. >> how do we deescalate this? >> we need to recognize that rockets in both directions as you suggested, is part of the problem. there's no parody between both sides here. that's an illusion. talking about one of the largest, most powerful militaries in the world, the israeli military acting out against a largely civilian palestinian population. which they work to colonize for centuries who are now acting out in frustration. there's no military solution to this. there's no way to achieve objectives for either side through use of force. i think what we've seen over the last days clearly demonstrates that. what we need now immediately is a cease-fire. but more important than that, once the cease-fire does occur we can't take our eyes off the situation. we can't only pay attention to gaza once palestinians start responding to israeli incursions
with rockets. we need to condemn each and every violation that occurs, not only once the situation gets hot, the reason this keeps occurring is because we forget about it once it's out of the headlines. we need to keep paying attention. >> surely it has not been in the headlines and that is the fault of u.s. leadership, israeli leadership, palestinian leadership, american media as well as the world media because the israeli/palestinian negotiations have completely stalemated and partly the arab spring meant that the focus of attention was certainly in sky r cairo and tunisia and other places. is this partly a victim of what's happened for the arab spring, the impetus for change has moved on? >> i don't think it necessarily has to do with the arab spring really. to be honest with you, what's been lacking is courage of leadership. we've seen in the international level, international diplomatic level, large agreements on what
needs to be done to move this situation forward except for the united states which has played unfortunately a very obstructive role in international forums, objecting to, you know, preventing israeli settlement expansion when it comes to moving, you know, the negotiations forward and so on. so, you know, we need to could some soul searching here in washington to -- about what role we can play. the first and most important thing i think we can do is tell both sides, particularly now the israelis who we have connections with, that this needs to stop immediately. >> but finally how can you get the hamas to guarantee that the rockets will stop firing towards jerusalem and tel aviv? >> if you look at the dynamics of fire over the past few years, what we've seen is when the israelis work with third parties like the egyptians to talk to hamas and talk to the parties in gaza the rockets have dropped significantly and almost stopped completely. at the same time, israeli violations and incursions continue. the only way to solve this problem is by diplomacy and
talking to each other. the use of military force, which the israelis seem to think can solve all their problems, is simply not going to work. >> thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. >> and up next, pul lit zer prize winning author jon meacham on his biography of thomas jefferson. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. oh, let me guess --ou see this? more washington gridlock. no, it's worse -- look, our taxes are about to go up. not the taxes on our dividends though, right? that's a big part of our retirement. oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worked hard to save. well, the president and congress have got to work together to stop this dividend tax hike.
in his new biography thomas jefferson the art of power jon meacham profiles a president that provided over a hyper partisan nation divided over the role and size of the federal government. sound familiar? joining me prize winning historian jon meacham. how do you do it? you just finished jackson it seems. >> everyone i write about, i don't have to call. you have to make phone calls and report and -- >> and you just have to get to read all of the original letters. >> i read things. that's right. >> you write brilliantly.
congratulations. >> thank you. >> what can we learn from thomas jefferson, whatever you learned, what surprised you? >> what surprised me was how political he was. like a lot of people, you're involved with colonial williamsburg, you know this well, that jefferson is seen as this man of the renaissance of ideas philosophy. he wanted us to think that putting on his tom stone, declaration of independence, university of virginia. from 14he was in public office d seeking it and a hard nosed politician that believed so strongly in america and in the american revolution that was his principled belief. but he would cut any deal short of compromising that fundamental tenant. >> and his ability to compromise, and to work with different factions, what can we learn about that? what should we be learning as a model for our behaviors?
>> you know, this sounds -- may sound minor but he believed it to be an important public virtue. i think the president needs to use the white house more. i think that the president's house, every night, congress was in session, thomas jefferson had congressmen down to dinner. and i'm not saying that, therefore, there was every bill passed but it made it harder to demonize the other guy when you've sat down and eaten with them and had a kind of personal connection. that doesn't happen as much here anymore as you well now. you have a lot of folks that don't move here to live here. you have a president who frankly is -- can be aloof from time to time. and so the power of dinner is important. and i also think trying to recover the word compromise from being a dirty word, i think is a really important thing. because america would not exist
without compromise and without a system that enables us to argue, but not necessarily resolve, things for all times. >> i've heard stories about democratic leaders on the hill who have never set foot in camp david, and past presidents used to use camp david a lot as a way of leveraging and just socializing and making people feel more familiar and therefore more approachable when it comes time to compromise. >> george h.w. bush, he got a polaroid one step camera and had all the members of the house down and they sat on the lincoln bed and he would take a picture even though it wasn't a good picture the president of the united states had taken it. it built up an enormous amount of goodwill. one of the jefferson examples is funny, and feels as though it could have happened yesterday, a new hampshire federalist senator who began life thinking -- began his political life thinking thomas jefferson was evil. he comes down to washington. jefferson starts having him to dinner. over the years, he begins to
soften, begins to see him as a dazzling conversationist, as a man at least his heart's in the right place even if they disagree. by the end of the two terms, they're exchanging gifts of pecans and giving speeches to each other about how they will plant trees and think of the other and the legacy. again, it's not going to produce paradise on earth, but politics is about the one or two hard votes you give your opponent when you need to give him the benefit of the doubt. in the past four or five years we haven't had a climate that gave us those one or two hard votes. and if we can get back to that, we'll be making progress. that's what jefferson did. >> and that's what we could learn among many other things. jo jon meacham, "thomas jefferson the art of power." i'm so excited to be reading this. >> he was secretary of state. >> one of the great portraits in the state department among the
many. thank you again, my friend. now to our amr moment. washington's latest soap opera gets the susan lucci treatment as the colbert report presents "general hospital." >> oh, this is far from over. stephen. >> susan lucci. >> oh, yes. and there's more. general petraeus has developed amnesia and -- and can't remember that he's pregnant. by his own evil twin. w who's in a coma. and is my lover. >> that doesn't make any sense. >> how dare you! >> how did you do that from over there? >> don't you remember? i was in a boating accident and
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marie callender's. it's time to savor. >> how dare you! and joining me now with more details on general petraeus' testimony at the closed door hearing, missouri senator roy blount, a member of the intelligence committee. senator, thank you very much. there has been talk by some on the house side, peter king among others, that general petraeus testified that he knew right away that this was a terror attack in benghazi. is there a disconnect between what he says he knew and what the white house would say? >> well, i think so and i've thought so the whole time. i was in a different briefing on the senate side than peter king was on the house side. >> right. >> i don't know exactly what they said -- >> is that consistent with what he told you all? >> it is. it's consistent in he said there were involvement of terror groups in all likelihood and
what was happening and what congressman king was saying he said and that's what i remember him saying to us about the same time on september 13th. >> senator finestein came out saying it was not fair to pillarry, her word, susan rice for using the unclassified version of talking points that had been prepared for the house intelligence committee and agreed on by consensus of all the intelligence agencies, that is not a fair hit on her to say she's not qualified to be secretary of state. some of your colleagues, lindsey graham and john mccain have been outspoke on this point. what say you? >> there is a lot of questions to be answered here yet and one would be if susan rice has lots of briefings just like i believe she has access to the president's daily briefing information, what did she know and was she giving information she knew not to be accurate. there's a difference if all you're doing is talking from the
unclassified talking points, which means you can find most of this in the newspaper, and that's all you know, or if you know something that clearly is different than what you're telling the american people, she may just know exactly what she said and at if that's the case, i'm wondering why five days later, she's the person the white house has out there saying things that clearly was not in agreement with the cia's early analysis of what had really happened. the one thing that the cia did say, andrea, was early on, was it looks like there was a demonstration before all this started. now we know there wasn't a demonstration at all. we saw the surveillance video tapes yesterday, everybody agrees there was no demonstration. we actually had people at that facility that were in germany the next day because we got them out of there, why didn't somebody ask them if there was a demonstration or not. the idea that the fbi and the cia couldn't figure out for 14 days -- in 14 days whether there was a demonstration or not is
pretty amazing to me. >> and what ability the inspector general, the cia inspector general's investigation into david petraeus into whether he used the general's speculation into david petraeus to further his personal relationship, the affaiaffair. do you think that that's appropriate? what was his demeanor today? this was an emotional time for this man who had to leave office. >> his demeanor was what you would expect of him. he's very professional about the senate intelligence committee. i think there was incredible confidence in his leadership at the cia and his openness with us about intelligence information and activities. i think it would be safe to say that on both that the entire committee showed lots of regret that he was having to leave this job. somebody else is going to have to decide later whether his judgment was something that ought to be questioned as to how he used cia resources. i'd be even more shocked if that
was the case. >> and do you think he had to resign, and should the president have accepted it? >> i don't know enough to know that. based on what i know, i wouldn't think so. clearly, this is not someone who is subject to blackmail. he's willing to have all this information out there. that's the logical reason you'd say this person should step aside. there's more of that story to be told, and i'm sure we'll hear what it is. >> thank you so much, senator. thanks for being with us. what political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours is next right here on "andrea mitchell reports." ♪
of democracy and human rights. you may recall the president had a visit from the lady in the oval office earlier this year, the lady being ang sung and he's going to be in cambodia. apparently, and you might have pictures of this, he's -- sorry about that. how he's only in cambodia for a short amount of time that the embassy there is doing something creative to make it feel as though he's hit all the major hotspots in that country. >> and, in fact, we have some of those pictures there posing a flat obama against the various tourist sites. i'm not sure how that is go over with the state department and diplomacy to re-emphasize the point that the president is only dropping by. thank you so much. we wish him safe travels, of course, and jonathan, thank to
you and have a great weekend all of you. it's been a busy and difficult time. that's it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." monday barbara lee and los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosa. tamron hall has a look at what's next on "news nation." >> in the next hour we're following breaking news on the middle east conflict. air-raid sirens blast through tell aaviv for a second day in a row as palestinian rockets hit israel. we have new comments from prime minister benjamin netanyahu, plus two live reports from the region. the latest on general petraeus's testimony on capitol hill. petraeus says the cia knew what happened in benghazi was a terrorist attack. why congressman peter king says he doesn't recall what he said the first time around. more republicans distancing themselves from mitt romney's comment blaming his loss on so-called gifts from the president to key voters. how easy will it be for
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