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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  November 25, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PST

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we need to uphold the ideas of who we are, as well. rest of the world is watching right now. it's the terrorists trying to divide us, extreme language is trying to divide us. what we're saying here in louisville is we don't buy into that. we can be a safe and compassionate and welcoming city same at the same time. >> that is all in for this evening. rachel maddow starts right now. >> thanks, my friend. >> thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. there's a lot going on in the world right now. not just in a broad sense i mean today. there's a lot going on. richard engel live from turkey tonight after this almost unbelievable and unbelievably serious news that turkey shot down a russian jet today. we've also got the latest from paris and from brussels where there's new news tonight on both the paris terrorist attacks, and on authorities' expectations for some kind of impending terrorist attack in brussels. we've also got, i will warn you, a story on the presidential race tonight that is a little bit disturbing. this is a story for which even at this moment, we are still
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awaiting comment from the candidate in question because it is a story that absolutely requires some kind you have explanation from the candidate. it's a story you will not hear anywhere else. we've got it here exclusively tonight. that's au ahead for tonight's show, but we start one year ago tonight in ferguson, missouri, it was one year ago exactly when the local prosecutor in st. louis county ambled up to the microphone beak in the middle of the night after there had been weeks and months of protests over the police killing of an unarmed african-american teenager named michael brown in ferguson. one year ago tonight, the local prosecutor there gave a long rambling statement about why there would be no criminal charges brought against the officer, the police officer who killed michael brown. that was a year ago. well, tonight, exactly one year later, it was chicago. but the announcement today was that there would be charges brought against a police officer in the shooting death of 17-year-old laquan mcdonald.
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laquan mcdonald was killed by a chicago police officer over a year ago. autopsy results obtained by the president showed he was shot 16 times. and that some of the shots appear to have been fired into his back. now, there has been a criminal investigation into the shooting for more than a year now since it happened. the fbi and the justice department have also been looking into this shooting. the police officer who shot laquan mcdonald has been on desk duty for the last year while these investigations have been under way. we now know from prosecutors themselves what prosecutors now say they know about this case is a pretty jaw-dropping list of circumstances. prosecutors in chicago say there were eight police officers on the scene when laquan mcdonald was killed. eight officers on the scene. but only one of the eight police officers fired his weapon. that police officer they say started firing his weapon
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approximately 30 seconds after he arrived on the scene in his patrol car and only six seconds after he exited his car. again, he is the only one who fired. when he fired, he emptied his clip into this 17-year-old. he shot those 16 bullets. it reportedly took 14 to 15 seconds in total. all but the first one or two of those 14 seconds the teenager was lying down in the street. and again at least some of the shots were fired into laquan mcdonald's back. only two of the bullet wounds in his body are linked to the time when the young man was thought to have been still standing. the other 14 were shot into him while he was laying on the ground. he was shot in the scalp, in the neck, in the left chest, in the right chest, in the left elbow, in the left forearm, in the right upper arm, in the right hand, in the right upper leg, in the left upper back, and in the right lower back. prosecutors knew all of that before today. and now the public can see at least one angle at least one view of what happened in that shooting.
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and i'll tell you, we are only going to this once not like wallpaper. we're not going to show this as background noise. we're going to show this once. it is graphic. if you do not want to see it, you may want to close your eyes although i will describe it. the tape is from a police dash board camera released tonight by the city of chicago. mayor rahm emanuel said had he not seen this tape before it was made available to the public tonight. but investigators obviously had seen it as they have been looking into the shooting for more than a year. the tape has no audio track other than an odd singing hum that vaguely tracks the police siren. the audio track is not of use in terms of disconcerting what happened. the video shows the police car moving through the streets of chicago. the police car hits its lights and sirens and starts speeding around traffic to obviously get to a call. the tape shows cars moving over to the side of the road, getting out of the way. a couple of minutes into the
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video, you see other police cars in the view of this camera clearly responding to the same call. and then you see when they arrive on scene, you see a man in the road. that's 17-year-old la cowan mcdonald. he's walking in the street. you can see something that appears to be glinting in his right hand. police say that was a small folding knife. you see officers to his left. he's walking and then spins around and he is falling because he has been shot. and then the shots keep coming. 16 shots. an empty clip. prosecutors say la cowan mcdonald never spoke during that whole altercation. never spoke to the police officers before one of those officers emptied his clip into that young man. now, you might have noticed we have blurred some parts of that video basically out of respect because it shows the exact moment of this teenager being killed. his family did not want this video released at all. the family put out this statement tonight.
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"as we have said in the past while we would professor that the video not be released we understand that a court has ordered otherwise. we ask for calm in chicago. no one understands the anger more than us but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful. don't resort to violence in laquan's name. let his legacy be better than that." the statement from his family tonight as this videotape of laquan mcdonald's death has been made public. now, again, the timing here is crucial for understanding not just what's happening in chicago right now but the overall trajectory of what happened here and why this is a national story. investigators have had this video for more than a year. the city council of chicago in april agreed to pay a $5 million settlement to laquan mcdonald's family because of the shooting. but it was not until today that they finally did bring charges against the officer who fired those 16 shots. they charged that officer you see on the left side of your screen, they charged him today with first degree murder. and now he has turned himself in. this is the first time a chicago
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police officer has been charged with first degree murder in 35 years. but after more than a year since the shooting happened, it is hard to believe that the timing here is a coincidence. murder charges for this officer were announced today. the video of the shooting was released publicly tonight. chicago had been holding on to that tape for more than a year. the only reason the tape got out tonight was because of a freedom of information act lawsuit filed by a local independent journalist that led to a local judge ordering the release of that video by tomorrow at the latest which appears to have set today's news, i guess, in motion. that journalist who forced the release of the tape joins us now from chicago. his name is brandon smith. thank you very much for your time tonight. i appreciate you being here. >> thank you for covering the story, rachel. >> yeah, well, thank you for letting us cover it with their evidence that we never had before. i have to ask you, i understand that a lot of other journalists
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and a lot of other interested parties had wanted the release of this video. what led you to file this lawsuit and did you know in advance that you'd have a good chance of succeeding? ing. > i -- i didn't know whether we would succeed but when we starred making our arguments, i kind of figured that we might. it was really disturbing to me and my activist friend william calloway, he helped me kind of determine what i should be filing about exactly. it was disturbing to us both that a lot of requests for the video had been denied including those by the chicago tribune and other major media organizations. and months had gone by. they were denied. and no one really picked up the mantle and pursued it. there are a couple of ways you
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can pursue a denied foia request. one of them is go to the illinois attorney general and the other is to sue in civil court which is what we did. >> does the tape, now that you have seen it does it show what you thought it would show? there were witnesses who said they had seen at least part of what went down in a way that didn't comport necessarily with the statements particularly from the police union. now that you've seen it, does it show what you thought it would show? >> it does in a way. there was a lot of description in the media of what the video showed by people who had seen it. but really description doesn't speak to -- it doesn't really speak to the injustice of it all. like a video does. i mean, it was really quick. the cars pulled up. the officers jumped out. they may have said something there off camera. but just a few seconds later, they shot laquan. >> let me ask you, brendan, about tonight. i understand at least i've been
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told tonight that you've been meeting with laquan mcdonald's family. if that's true, can i just ask, i don't want to ask you to speak for them. >> no. >> i just want to ask, i know they didn't want this tape released. i wondered about what those conversations might have been with you tonight. >> i had planned to meet with them tonight some plans changed and i didn't get to. the take away i think is that they have the right to not want their son to become like the poster child for police reform. and i hope it doesn't. i hope the video is just one more reminder of all the kind of aggregate police brutality that we have here in chicago. in the past five years, i there 300 people have been shot by about chicago police. 70 of them fatal. 7-0.
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and ipra, the independent police review authority found all of those were justified except maybe two or three. and only one officer was punished. so that's the kind of question that i would have asked rahm emanuel tonight at his press conference because of some technicality, i wasn't allowed inside. and it was funny. someone asked the my question for me and he kind of dodged it. my question so rom would have been, what are you going to do, mayor, to change this culture of violence perpetrated by police that resulted in 300 shootings over five years. >> independent journalist brandon smith whose lawsuit forced the release of this police shooting video today in chicago. thank you for joining us. i really appreciate it. >> thanks, rachel. >> i will say it does seem pretty clear that the city made this decision to announce these charges against the officer just
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ahead of the tape being made public. we are showing there scenes from chicago. protests are continuing tonight in chicago. nobody exactly knows how the community will reacting to have both the april of the shooting released and also news that this officer has been charged with first degree murder. but i will note again that this is the first time in 35 years that a police officer in chicago has been charged with capital murder. that's under way in chicago right now. meanwhile, this was the scene in minneapolis today. hundreds of people gathered outside the city's fourth police precinct in minneapolis. there are five police precincts in minneapolis.
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the fourth one is located in the northwest part of the city. and demonstrators have been gathered there for nine days now. every day, following the shooting death of a 24-year-old african-american man named jamar clark. he was shot and killed on november 15th, after an alleged altercation with two minneapolis police officers. police say jamar clark was a suspect in an assault that night. they say that he tried to interfere with paramedics trying to treat the victim of that assault. they say jamar clark then proceeded to fight with police on the scene. in the end, he was shot in the head. and pronounced dead at the hospital the following day. the two police officers involved in that incident have been named. although they're apparently still on the job. there are a number of on going investigations as authorities try to determine exactly what happened on november 15th in minneapolis including a state investigation into whether or not jamar clark was handcuffed when he was shot. which is what several eyewitnesss claim. there's also a federal civil rights investigation under way one requested by local authorities after the start of these persistent daily protests in minneapolis. every day since the killing. it's been protesters associated with the black lives matter movement camped outside minneapolis's fourth police precinct demands among other things that police release any cell phone video or surveillance
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video that might exist of the scene of the shooting. in addition to candle lit vigils and rallies held outside the precinct house in the 4th precinct, last week, there was a confrontational demonstration when 51 people were arrested during a march down interstate 94. on wednesday, protester who's police say were throwing rocks were hit by police was high volume pepper spray. the timeline since the death of jamar clark has, i have to say, followed a similar pattern to the days following other recent police-involved deaths. there's enough of these now that there's a patterns in terms of community response. the protests, the demand for video evidence, the back and forth between police and protesters, the calls for multiple investigations, tensions have been high around the shooting in minneapolis. much like they were in ferguson a year ago and in north charleston and in baltimore and in new york and on and on and on. minneapolis has followed a very similar pattern over the last week and a half except for one
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weird detail. protesters have said during their sort of campout at the 4th police precinct, heavy said in recent days one of the unusual things that has happened on the outskirts of their daily protests is the appearance of basically anti-protesters or counter protesters or maybe you'd call them provocateurs or in the internet word you'd call them trolls. people turning up who are not part of the black lives matter protests but videotaping the protests. they're sometimes wearing macks while they will do it, refusing to answer questions who they are. they periodically have ben been engaging in ways with the protests are this in ways that made them worry what these people were up to and what they were doing there. this has discussed by the protesters and happening at the scene of these on going nightly minneapolis protests. on thursday it rose to the level where the minneapolis police department actually issued a warning to all demonstrators asking the demonstrators
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themselves to please be vigilant saying that they, the police, had intelligence that some kind of group might be trying to cause a disturbance amid the protests. so on thursday, police started asking the demonstrators to keep an eye out for anyone or anything that seemed out of the ordinary to them. that was thursday. the next day on friday, black lives matter in minneapolis posted this video of two masked men one of whom at one point in the video brandishes what appears to be a handgun. he describes it as a loaded gun in the video and in the video, these two men are discussing their plans to go to a candlelight vigil outside that preliminaries police precinct the previous night. they say this was a -- this was the posted on friday. this apparently is these men on thursday night talking about
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going down to that protest with a loaded gun. they used white supremacist language, a lot of profanity. it's not all totally intelligible. black lives matter says they found that threatening video along with an online conversation between members of the internet site for chan among people who apparently plan to come armed to that vigil at the precinct. they posted this video as a warning to watch out for these guys. it appears that some provocateurs or counter protesters did continue to show up to the vigils. here they are in this video posted by another black lives matter activist. it doesn't appear these sort of counter protesters did anything at that rally other than make racist comments and kind of troll the activist behind the camera taking images of them. that's the backgrounds that brings us to the very dramatic events of late last night when the a group of masked men apparently approached the protest area outside the police
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precinct and witnesses a they refused to say why they were there april group tried to escort them away from the main area and then they say the men started shooting at the demonstrators only a block away from the police precinct house. but gunfire happened. five people were shot. one person was shot in the stomach. despite the injuries all five people who were shot are expected to survive. the one shot in the stomach had surgery today. police say they have three men now in custody in conjunction with the shooting. they're all white men aged 21 to 26. they at one point arrested and released another suspect, a 32-year-old hispanic male. police say they're working with the fbi on this case although they have not released any of the names of the men in custody. but what we are seeing in this case, reports of people trying to approach and provoke and troll these activists involved in the protest, this is an unusual thing. we have seen a pattern how these
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protests and incidents happen in american cities. this is an unusual thing about the way things have gone down in minneapolis. we don't know yet till we hear more from police but it may very well have contributed to the shooing of five people in minneapolis last night. and now tonight and today, even larger protests follow-on protests in solidarity with the protesters shot last night and protests are still looking for justice for that young man who was killed by police. this was today in the streets of minneapolis. watch this. that's lactaid. right. 100% real milk, just without the lactose. so you can drink all you want... ...with no discomfort? exactly. here, try some... mmm, it is real milk. see? delicious. hoof bump! oh. right here girl, boom lactaid®. 100% real milk. no discomfort and for a creamy and delicious treat, try lactaid® ice cream
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as i mentioned earlier, we've got richard engel here live in a moment. nbc news chief foreign correspondent coming up in a second. one quick thing in advance of that discussion. as you know, in the city of brussels in belgium, schools and businesses and public transportation have been shut down since this is weekend while security forces have carried out a ries of raids looking for suspected terrorists. in belgium, they are planning to reopen brussels schools tomorrow. but look at this. authorities now say tonight that a big soccer match, a europa league game an hour outside of brussels will be played as planned on thursday but it will
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be played before an audience of zero. local authorities say they cannot spare enough officers to provide the necessary security for that match. they're not going to let anyone at all into the stadium but they're still going to have the teams play the game. if you are looking for normal, we are nowhere near that yet.
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this is called a toe missile. toe is spelled tow, an acronym that stands for tube launched optically tracked wire guided missile. tow missile one of the most widely used missiles in the world for more than four decades
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a foundational u.s. military weapon against thanks and other armored vehicles. so the u.s. army has used these missiles for quite some time. early last year though they became an important foundational military tool for another group all together. thanks to a not very covert cia program, tow missiles were delivered to certain vetted syrian rebel groups to help them fight against the syrian president. youtube is flooded with videos of syrian rebels using the missiles to fight armored vehicles belonging to the syrian army. they've been so effective rebels dubbed them the assad tamers a play on the word assad which means lion. so tows are the lion tamers used by the syrian rebels. it's reported those missiles were used by syrian rebels today but today that fact is getting a lot more attention than usual because those american missiles were reportedly used to destroy a russian helicopter. earlier today, a russian su-248 super sonic bomber was launching
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strikes against targets in northern syria. russian president vladimir putin says the strikes were against isis targets but u.s. defense officials say they were targeting some anti-assad rebels some of the same rebels who have been armed with american-made missiles. it was while on that mission that neighboring turkey says that a russian jet crossed into turkish air space. turkey insists it issued ten warnings over a five-minute period for the pilot of that russian jet to get out of their air space and pull away. u.s. defense officials tell nbc news tonight the russian aircraft was "in turkish air space only two to three seconds, a matter of seconds before a turkish f-16 fighter jet fired an air-to-air missile at the bomber which took down the plane. video taken at the border of the two the countries shows the jet policemen meting to the ground. the two pilots did managing to eject but they floated down into
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hostile territory. russian ministry of defense says one of those fighter pilots was killed from ground fire by rebels. they posted a video online showing them celebrating around that supposed pilot after he's dead. the story doesn't end there. in order to try to rescue their crew from that jet, russian soldiers deployed two helicopters to that area inside syria and that's where the tow missiles are believed to come in. rebels say they fired upon at least one of those russian helicopters possibly with a tow missile. the rest of the russian team managed to make it out safely. so tonight, bottom line, at least two russian soldiers are line. a russian fighter pilot and another russian soldier sent in to rescue him. the whereabouts of the other fighter pilot, the other crew member on board that jet, the jet that was shot down, we still are not clear on the whereabouts of that other person from the jet. today in a joint news conference with french president he
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hollande, president obama said that turkey has a right to defend its territory and its air space. but he also said something else. he said today's incident points to an ongoing problems with russian operations in syria. he said the country is operate too long close to turkey and that conflicts like this one would be less likely to occur if russia directed its efforts not at syrian rebel groups but instead only at isis. today the head of nato called for calm even though this is the first time a nato country has shot down a russian or soviet plane since the 1950s. mission against isis in syria was already complicated. today it got even more so up next we're going to talk with one of the few people in my world who helps me make sense of incidents like this. richard engel is here next. stay with us.
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we've got a coalition. of 65 countries who have been active in pushing back against isil for quite some time. russia right now is a coalition of two. iran and russia supporting assad. >> president obama at a white house press conference today saying that the u.s. is part of a coalition of 65 corrupts operating in syria right now. while russia is a coalition of just russia and iran. that press conference today came after a russian fighter jet was
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shot down in syria by f-16s from our nato ally turkey. joining us now from istanbul is richard engel, nbc news chief foreign correspondent. thank you for being here. i have to ask you first, does the turkish explanation for why they shot down this plane, does it hold water? does it make sense? >> reporter: not very much, frankly. turkey aid that it -- there was a violation of its air space than has been confirmed by nato, by the united states. but a few second violation on a border that is hardly airtight doesn't necessarily seem like the kind of thing that would prompt a violent reaction from turkey especially in this climate where the world is trying to pull together. where there's so many calls for a unified strategy against isis. and then turkey does this very provocative move destroying a russian plane for the first time a nato as you mentioned earlier,
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first time a nato country has done that against the russians or the soviets since the 50s. so why did it do it? that is a question a lot of people around the world are asking. and analysts i've spoken to, a u.s. official that i've spoken to has another reason. says it is not just about this violation of the air space a few second violation, that this goes to a much deeper conflict between turkey and russia and goes to deeper divisions within the strategy on syria. and it basically goes to the targets. and i can tell you what it is if you want. >> yeah. part of what i understand about this is that the turks are really mad about the, you know, we're mad about non-isis targets that russia is hitting because we think they're bombing the people who the united states has been trying to help. the turks you are mad at russia because russia has been bombing
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targets that include basically turks in syria who don't seem to be involved in one side or the other of the assad fight. is that right? >> exactly. and that's what it's all about. that's what it's all about here. we complain about that they're bombing non-isis targets. and one of those non-isis targets is a rebel group, a rebel group in the turkman mountains where this incident took place. and not surprisingly, because of the name of the mountains, the majority of the people who live there are ethnic turks. and turkey as the greatest turkish nation which feels itself as the defenders of the turkish people, the turkish ethnic group has been complaining very vocally to russia. there was a protest in istanbul, sort of a failed protest but a protest nonetheless. the protesters went to the wrong embassy and started throwing eggs at the wrong consulate. but that's another story for another night and is equally bizarre. but there have been protests here against the bombing of the
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turkman people there. so at the wasn't so much of a surprise when today, that russian jet quickly buzzed into turkish air space and turkey mobilized and used it as a pretext, if you will, to attack the russian jet to send a message to russia that it won't accept the bombing of the turkman people and as a message to nato that it needs more attention. military analysts think that this kind of action was probably preplanned, that turkey had a design in place that eventually when border violation liking this took place and there have been borders violations like this in the past, that it was going to react to send this message. >> it's stunning. it's one thing for turkey and russia to have a fight in the corner of the schoolyard. when turkey is a nato ally, it suddenly feels like a much
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smaller school yard for us to be on the edge of this. richard engel, chief foreign correspondent. up live for us in the middle of the night in turkey. thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> absolutely. >> we've got much more ahead tonight including a story you will not see elsewhere that's out of the presidential race that is also vaguely a story about terrorism but of a very, very, very different character. we've got that here tonight. you will not see it anywhere else. stay with us. just about anywhere you use sugar, you can use splenda®... calorie sweetener. splenda® lets you experience... ...the joy of sugar... ...without all the calories. think sugar, say splenda®
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your loving touch stimulates his senses and nurtures his mind. the johnson's scent, lather, and bubbles help enhance the experience. so why just clean your baby, when you can give him so much more? got an update for you on our story from the top of the show tonight. pictures from moments ago. we've been continuing to watch tonight crowds in the streets of chicago where people are reacting to the city' release of a videotape of a police officer killing a 17-year-old chicago teenager named laquan mcdonald last year, the teenager was shot 16 times by the same officer. on the occasion of releasing that tape, the city also announced today the officer who fired those shots will be charged with first degree murder. the first time a chicago police officer has been charged with first degree murder in 35 years. as these protests continue tonight, we have seen some reports that some of the protests have been tense at times. nobody really knows how this is going to play out over the course of tonight. but look at this.
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>> we're going to be all right. we're going to be all right. we're going to be all right. hey, we're going to be all right. hey, we're going to be all right. hey. >> what they're chanting is from a kendrick lamar song that says if god's got us, we're going to be all right. we're watching the streets of chicago tonight. we will keep you posted as we learn more. >> hey, we're going to be all right.
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who likes to talk politics with your family at thanksgiving, don't do it, over the holiday break this week, there is nevertheless a good chance you find yourself having a conversation about isis. the issue of the paris terrorist attacks will come up. and your conversation will inevitably drift into exasperation, sad and probably angry exasperation. what are the options? right? what can actually be done. everybody wants to do something but what's something?
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what can be done that we know how to do that would have a real effect against isis that itself would not cause some other more terrible unintended consequence. and that is something that's actually within our power to do as americans. what real specific things can be done? this i predict is where your conversation will go. sometime in the next few days. and then i predict you will start talking about this man. his name is adam szubin. he's young looking but not that young. he's a harvard lawyer that worked in the george w. bush justice department and at the u.s. treasury for years. what he does is stop money from getting to international terrorist groups. al qaeda, al shabaab in somalia, isis. when the the u.s. government wants money to stop getting to leaders in countries with sanctions on them like iran or russia or moammar gadhafi in libya, adam is the guy they turn to to figure out how to turn off the spigot. the u.s. is not great at everything we try but we've gotten good at bad inning down the financial hatches so bad
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guys can't move money internationally anymore. he is our country's expert as the doing that kind of counter terrorism work. in april, president obama nominated him to be the undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes at the u.s. treasury department. that was april. in july, president obama went to the pentagon and in a speech about tactics we can use against isis he expressed beak disbelief that congress had not yet aced to confirm szubin, the person in charge of going after isis's finances. so nominated in april. in july the president is exasperated. his nomination had been pending for months at that point. since then, in september, the senate was finally persuaded to get off its pitard and host one hearing on the nomination of adam szubin. he faced no opposition at that
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hearing. the republican chairman that have committee pronounced him and i quote eminently qualified for the job for which he had been nominated. nobody is against him or thinks he's not the right guy for the job. everybody agrees this is a good job. everybody agrees that the u.s. government ought to use its power to go after isis' money. we now how to do it. we know it would have a real effect. it's one of the few things we know we can do without the possibility of some terrible unintended consequences and it is in our power to do it as americans. but the united states senate cannot be bothered. nobody's confirmed to be in that terrorism financing job in the treasury. nobody's against president obama's nominee to have that job. but senator mitch mcconnell and the republican leadership in the senate haven't felt like holding an he vote on him. it's been 222 days since he's been nominated. what's the rush? tick-tock, no reason to hurry. and so happy thanksgiving.
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i hope it goes great. turns out adam szubin is going to be at your thanksgiving table at least in conversation this year. he won't be there in person but he will definitely be there in name. adam szubin. why can't that at least get done?
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for whatever reason, and completely defying beltway pundit common wisdom, republican presidential front-runner donald trump has not only reclaimed but strepped his lead in the polls since the terrorist attacks in paris.
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since paris, donald trump's doing great. the one candidate who seems to be deflating recently in the polls is ben carson. and as carson deflates, there's another candidate, a third candidate who pretty clearly appears to be capitalizing. picking under the support that ben carson has been losing. and that candidate it turns out, that candidate and his campaign, they are now evoking the issue of terrorism on u.s. soil. in a way that is very, very different than everybody else in the race and very, very different than the beltway press is prepared to cover, as best as i can tell. this is a sort of disturbing and slightly mind bending story. it is about candidate ted cruz. have you not heard it anywhere else. but it's next right after this. you forgot the milk! that's lactaid®. right. 100% real milk, just without the lactose. so, no discomfort?
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okay, this is a doozy. on the weekend of july 25, 1987, san diego police and federal atf agents were involved in a surveillance operation. they got a tip from an informant that something was going to go down at a specific site in suburban san diego. they staked out that site and waited. it looked like the informant got it wrong so they called off the stake out, except for one detective. he went home but then he had what he called a bad feeling, so after the stakeout had been called off, this one police detective just felt wrong. he got out of bed in the middle of night and went bad to the location. sure enough, about 3:00 a.m., someone pulled into the parking lot of the site they had been staking out, walked over to the building where the police had been watching and that person put down what turned out to be a bomb at the door of the building. the person then got back into the car, started to drive away. the police detective stopped the car a short distance away, arrested the man who had placed the bomb. the man was, weirdly, wearing a
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woman's wig. he was also carrying a handgun. a few months later, that man gave up his co-conspirators in the bombing plot, including a woman who helped plan the bombing and the bomb itself and the disguise for the bomber. this woman had procured gunpowder and some of the other supplies for the bomb. she also obtained the wig and she provided the wig to the bomber. the bomb was not only the real deal, it was of substantial size. investigators say it could have done real damage. the only reason is it didn't go off is because after the bmer lit the fuse, the fuse blew out in the wind. the building they tried to blow up that july weekend in 1987, it was a clinic that did abortions. and the woman who provided all the bomb-making supplies and the wig was a radical anti-abortion activist named cheryl sullinger. she went to prison for two years for that plot. and when she got out, she stayed part of the radical anti-abortion movement. she's in it for the long haul.
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a few years after she got out of prison, another radical anti-abortion activist named paul hill assassinated a doctor in pensacola, florida, a doctor named john briton. he killeds him along with a retired colonel. he also wounded the colonel's wife who was acting as a clinic escort. paul hill was arrested after those killings. he was convicted of capital murder. again, cheryl sullinger was out of prison herself by then. when it came time for paul hill to have his sentence brought to bare, when it came time for paul hill to be executed by the state of florida for those murders, cheryl sullinger put out a statement saying he should have been able to argue that the killing was justifiable homicide. she also co-authored a book which castigates the u.s. government for not putting abortion providers to death in this country. for not killing abortion providers.
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quote, in addition to our initial guilt in government, we've abdicated this responsibility for the blood guilty. this responsibility rightly involves executing convicted murderers including abortionists for their crime in order to expunge blood guilt from the land and people. cheryl sullinger's co-author op botha book and on the statement about it being justifiable homicide to murder the florida abortion doctor, her co-author in both of those instances on the book and on the statement is this guy, troy newman. he's the president of the a group called operation rescue. and whether you are involved in the politics of abortion or not, you probably have a clear idea in your mind of what operation rescue is. in the 1980s and '90s, operation rescue was widely known for protests like the summer of mercy protests they pulled off in wichita, kansas. these mass physical blockades of
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abortion clinics. operation rescue has a hard time pulling off protests like that anymore. now operation rescue does stuff like troy newman going out to california this past summer to inform caliifornians that he had figured out why there's a drought in that state. >> so, some of what they do is slightly on the goofy, if apocalyptic side. blaming the california drought on abortion being legal in california. but even when they're inadvertently goofy, operation rescue has always been deliberately intimidating. the reason they were founded, their specification reason for being has been a strategy of personally harassing and individually targeting doctors,
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while also, honestly, being associated with, and defending people who kill or try to kill such doctors. cheryl sullinger, the convicted clinic bomber is operation rescue's senior vice president. they now to this day maintain a website dedicated to putting up pictures of individual doctors who do abortions and putting up addresses scene how to find them. in 2002, operation rescue moved the headquarters of their national operation to kansas specifically to target one particular kansas abortion doctor, dr. george tiller. when another radical anti-abortion activist, in fact, killed dr. tiller in 2009. when police arrested him after the killing, they found on his dash board, a piece of paper with a phone number on it for operation rescue, specifically the rescue for cheryl sullinger at operation rescue. that said, she and troy newman have denied having any substantive contact with the man who killed dr. george tiller.
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well, this past weekend, one of the groups is that reports on the activities of way out there folks like cheryl sullinger and troy newman, people for the american way. this weekend, they sort of lost their minds. they saw their own proverbial hair proverbially spontaneously come bust. when a joint press release was issued by troy newman and leading republican presidential candidate ted cruz. said ted cruz, quote, i'm grateful to receive the endorsement of troy newman. we need leaders like troy newman who will stand up for those who do not have a voice. ted cruz is having kind of a moment in the presidential race. donald trump is obviously winning in the republican contest overall, but ben carson is on the decline and it seems like ted cruz is taking dr. carson's evangelical supporters. the latest poll ted cruz is in second place in iowa at 23%. that puts him only two points behind donald trump. ted cruz is having a moment. in the coming days we're going to have more on this show in terms of ted cruz's relationship
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to one religious leader as calling for the death penalty as the own just penalty for the crime of homosexuality in this country. but right now, ted cruz's courtship of the hard right evangelical base includes the co-author who maintains the public abortion doctors names, addresses and photos and says not just executing, but also vigilante abortion doctors is, at least arguably justifiable homicide. we reached out to the ted cruz campaign for comment. we have not heard back. i dpaerly hope that we do. we will keep you posted if we do. but this is one of the stories i recognize the beltway media doesn't have the feelers out for. as hi lift in the polls is driven basically entirely by very, very conservative religious right voters. this is part of understanding why and this is one of the things he should explain to
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people who may have justifiable concerns about who he's building his campaign on now. that does it for us tonight. fo. "first look" is up next. it's wednesday, november 25th, and right now on "first look," ahead of one of the b busiest travel days of the year the fbi tells police across the u.s. to be on the lookout for paris-style copycats. hundreds protest in chicago, following the release of a video showing the police shooting of a 17-year-old. the officer facing first degree murder charges. a second isis attack in france may have been thwarted as tensions rise between putin and obama over that downed russian fighter. plus the mystery of a newborn baby abandoned at a christmas nativity scene. and some nasty weather that could cause havoc for travelers. "first look" starts right now. good morning, everyone, thanks for being wi


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