tv MSNBC Live With Jose Diaz- Balart MSNBC December 15, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PST
trapped in the containment model. and also we found out trump burst through another ceiling. he's gone from the 30s into the 40s. >> like the internet, here to stay. >> hey, if it's way too early, it's "morning joe." what's next? >> msnbc live is straight ahead. have a great day. and good super tuesday morning to you. i'm jose diaz-balart. we are just hours away from the final republican debate of 2015. and what a debate it's expected to be. it's been a little more than a month since the last debate. so much has happened, there's been a terrorist attack, climate change, protests about the fractured relationship between police and minority communities. as can you imagine, the debate is the hottest ticket in town.
and the man at the center it have all growing even stronger, new polling this morning shows donald trump reaching new heights over his gop rivals. he's at 38% in a "washington post"/abc news poll. that he wi that's up 6 points in just a month. let's get to hallie jackson and peter alexander up early in las vegas. good morning to both of you. hallie, this is the first time cruz will be pretty much center stage along with trump. >> yeah. >> there's going to be some attacks we presume between these two candidates? >> reporter: one would think, particularly given what we've seen from donald trump over the last weeks, donald trump right there next to ted cruz. one of the things that we're looking at this morning is this new polling out ahead of debate night, ahead of fight night tonight showing some significant numbers for donald trump when it coombs to that head-to-head matchup with ted cruz on a
couple of key pop titopics. and interestingly trump tops ted cruz when it comes to the best personality but not nearly as much. i think that personality topic, this idea of being likable, is an area where you may see donald trump go after ted cruz. we've seen it already, he doesn't have the right temperament to be the commander in chief, to be a leader. this is an area where ted cruz could be vulnerable. you've seen trump come out and be a little warmer and a little funnier and his softer side. something we see on the campaign trail but a national audience may see tonight. >> is there a possibility that trump attacking cruz could actually make him more, i don't know, mainstream? >> you nope what's been
interesting to watch is the different strategies between donald trump and ted cruz over the course of the last week. donald trump quickly went after ted cruz, him referring to him as a maniac during his days in the senate. ted cruz had some fun with that, put out that clip from foot loose, another clip from the movie "tommy boy." so he's trying to make himself seem affable, which i think some people who know him well in washington within the beltway may take issue with that. they say his character has been an issue. there have been critics that date back to in part of george george's campaign. but the benefit that cruz has with so much focus on donald trump right now, it's increasingly made ted cruz an affable figure in the campaign. i don't think you'll see as much potential fighting between trump and cruz where you may where the
real substantive policy issues exist, like trump and marco rubio. >> let's talk a little bit about rubio. in the past consensus has been that he has done very well in debates, however, that hasn't necessarily translated into coming into the first tier. >> and that's kind of the rub, right? you look at how his -- he's gotten some momentum. you've seen that post-debate boost in the polls but it hasn't necessarily translated into voter support on the ground. now, the campaign sense is slow and steady, play the long game, there's still 48 days to iowa. the strategy, i don't think you're going to see much of a change. i agree, i think the rat have
ratcheted up the rhetoric, really pushed each other hard to point where both have i oted to attacking the other. >> and chris christie is back in the race as far as this debate is concerned. what's his role going to be? >> not only back in the race but back on the main debate stage tonight. he's improved dramatically in new hampshire. we counted the number. he's invested a lot of energy there, he's performed well in the debates, even breaking out from the lower debate, early debate stage. this time he'll stand alongside his competitors and he'll be one to watch. >> peter alexander and hallie jackson in las vegas for us this
morning. thanks for being with me. for more on this very important debate tonight, let go to steve kornacki, good morning. >> good morning, jose. all eyes will be on senator ted cruz in that debate. cruz showing the fund-raising power and support among voters seeking an anti-establishment candidate that could carry him deep into the primary season. one potential roadblock for cruz is a potential clash. trump has been setting his intentions on him on stage. rick, thanks for joining us. let me ask you first, we were just talk about it with some of our reporters there. the idea of marco rubio, he's almost been telegraphing it. the idea that he we know this
lab debate focused heavily on national security. marco rubio saying ted cruz has isolationist tendencies, he's voted to cut defense spending, voted to end that bulk collection of phone data. will will the response be when marco rubio says you've been weaker on defense than i have? >> marco rubio has been on this for three weeks and has done nothing to advance in the polls. nobody believes that ted cruz is somehow an isolationist. what they do believe is he's strong on national security. people say he has, despite what washington might think, he has the best temperament to be president. i understand why marco rubio wants to come after him but ted cruz is very strong on national security for sure. everybody believes it.
>> the polls have you moving up into first place in some cases in iowa. you start getting more attention, maybe more attacks from your rivals. donald trump is the wild card tonight. we're not sure exactly what he's going to say or who he's going to direct it at. he made a comment about ted cruz. i want to play it here and ask for your reaction to it. >> i am an evivevangelical, i'm christian, i'm a presbyterian. i'm a presbyterian. i do like ted cruz but not a lot of evangelicals come out of cuba, in all fairness. it true. not a lot come out. but i like him nevertheless. >> i'm curious, rick. a lot of people trying to parse that statement. when you hear that statement, what do you hear? >> i hear someone who found out he's in second place in the polls. ted cruz has worked iowa. his father's a pastor.
he is a baptist. we've met with hundreds of pastors, dozens and dozens of different faith meetings. ted cruz is rock solid on his faith. i'm not sure what donald trump is trying to get at but have i no worries. we have over 100 pastors sign on board with ted cruz in iowa. you don't usually have faith leaders signing on in those numbers and say they believe ted cruz is going to make a difference for the country. >> ted cruz has talked a lot about not taking what he says is the media's bait and going after and making attacks as donald trump has done? >> ted cruz will defend his record but i don't think you'll see him pick up the markshed
potatoes and get into a food fight. ted cruz is a fiscal conservative, a social conservative and he's a national defense conservative. he wants to protect this country and keep it safe. that's the issue right now is national security. people believe he would keep the country safe. >> rick tyler with the cruz campaign out there in las vegas. thanks for the time. >> looking forward to it. thanks. >> jose, back to you. >> thank you very much. terrorism and national security are certainly a big concern in many polls. a new "washington post"/abc news poll shows the economy is still the single most important issue for voters. >> good morning, jose. for many voters it is still all about the economy. and one thing seems southern, we can expect the candidates to trash president obama's record
thong. we'll thought we'd take so let's start with the glass half full. let's talk about jobs. unemployment rate. the headline number has been slashed in half since its recession peak of 10%. it's now at 5%. that's a level most economists call full employment. in the recession, the americans lost 8.million jobs, we've now gained 13 million jobs. another bright spot, more than six years into the recovery and the federal reserve is about to raise rates tomorrow or so we expect. they're going to do this for the first time in nearly a decade. jose, this is a vote of confidence in the economy. the stock market, wall street, well, it has gone side ways this year. and it not supposed to be the president's job to ensure the
rear is and now to the glass half empty kind of things. and, yes, the economy is growing but it's growing pretty weakly. the gross domestic product has risen an average of just 2% since fwn and when it comes to jobs, turns out there's plenty of slack in the labor market. but the labor force participation rate, that's at its lowest plefl in a knew whew decades because people have been dropping out of the workforce. the real unemployment rate is a lot higher than historical norm. that's because people have given up looking for work or settled for part-time work because they couldn't get a full-time job. what's driving these dals is not
exactly animal spirits and a healthy economy. these are deal driven by convoluted texas look at the dow and dupont merger this week. these are companies looking to merge, cut costs and jobs as well. jose? >> olivia, thank you so very much. that 5% employment is full employment, unless you're looking at the african-american community's unemployment or latino community and that's something that we have to work on. in baltimore deliberations are under way in the first trial of a police officer accused in the death of freddy gray. after spending time yourself a -- the military says he will
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a baltimore jury is deliberating the first of six trials in the death of freddy gray. ari melber joins us from washington, d.c. let's talk about what the jurors have been doing. >> the jury got back to their work this morning at about 8:30 and they have already sent the court word that they've got questions. so they are assembling on the second floor here at the courthouse. we don't know what that question is. if we get it to you, we'll bring
it to you. they deliberated for about three hours yesterday. they had a number of questions, including they wanted a transcript of officer william porter, the interview he gave to police investigators where the prosecution said his answers were far different than when he took the stand in his defense in this case. the central question is whether officer porter should be held criminally responsible for his role in all of this in freddy gray's injury and his ultimate death. the defense said while this is a tragedy, the officer did his job. he did not call medics in when freddy gray said he couldn't breathe and he did not put a seat belt on him when they had trouble securing him. seven african-americans, five whites on this jury, four black women, three black men, two white men and three white women. a lot of numbers here to relate
to you, jose. >> ari, one of the unique things about this trial as ron was saying is -- well, maybe not unique but unusual is the person who is on trial took the stand. what kind of an impact does this have on a jury's decision making? >> well, it is unusual, jose that isn't a violent crime, you don't usually see the defendant take the stand. we do see in cases with so-called sympathetic defendants time they do take the stand. i think officer porter taking stand is significant here, precisely because this is a case about omission, about what he failed to do or didn't do the prosecution saying those failures are criminal and led to the death of this young man, but having officer porter take the stand and explain his mental state of mind, what he was thinking, his view of it was
very important. second i would say because of of the specific -- inconsistencies with the stories he told about that night. we do know very little about what the jury is thinking at this early stage, but as ron reported, we know they are looking at those initial statements. >> ron, any idea how long it's believed the jury will take to reach a verdict? >> well, the judge says he'd like to see this case wrapped up on thursday the 17th, but of course the jury is under notime tab -- no timetable to finish up their work. i spoke to a law professor and he seems to think the jury will finish up today. >> ari, we've talked about this. you said that the outcome of this trial will precedence.
what if officer port ser convicted of some of the charges but not for all? >> the key question for the remaining cases is whether the first trial sets the tone through it's verdict of the view that the officers here were responsible for this young man's death,for freddy gray's death. that's not just for baltimore. that is around the country. there are only annually five officers indicted in a year for deaths of suspects in custody. that's rare to begin with and guilty verdicts are even more rare. so that would set a precedent for the other cases and evidence could carry over. on the other hand, i spoke to several other prosecutors, there's nothing automatic. these are each individual trials. an acquittal of this officer goes to his particular role in what he did or didn't do.
it doesn't automatically say anything about the remaining officers. the next trial of the driver faces more serious charges, second degree murder. that's under way in january. >> all right. thank you both for being with me. appreciate your time. and the break, we'll look at some of the headlines making news this morning and more incredible video out of oklahoma. a driver goes through the front entrance of a hotel. investigators say this was no accident. we'll tell you the reason the driver gave. plus in a galaxy not so far, far away, the world premiere of "star wars: the force awakens." reviews pretty positive so far. no spoilers here. details on the big night, though, next. looking for 24/7 digestive support?
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spending the rest of his life in prison for walking away from his post. they -- the prisoner swap that freed the 29-year-old man in may of 2014 has come under heavy criticism. but on monday the white house stood by its decision. >> the bottom line for this matter is that sergeant bergdahl was an morning citizen who put on the uniform of the united states military. the commander in chief feels a responsibility to everybody who puts on the uniform we're not going to leave them behind. >> jim miklaszewski joins me this morning. >> there would be a hearing by a military officer and all of
those on any jury, it would be a jury truly of his peers, they would be active duty military personnel. under the code of military justice, there's a rule that prevents any kind of command influence. for example, if a high-ranking general says i think he's guilty, that would be considered command influence and could throw out the charges altogether. unfortunately for bergdahl, he's involved, too, now in a political battle between the republicans on capitol hill and the white house, first over the release of those prisoners and then the defense attorney for bergdahl has accused congress, republicans on the senate and house armed services committee, of creating their own kind of command influence. in one case john mccain, the senator, declared that bergdahl is clearly a deserter and
deserves to be punished. again, the criminal justice system is going to do all it can to have a speedy and fair trial for bowe bergdahl but there's a lot of political issues that are boiling up now that could in fact, according to his defense attorney anyway, affect the outcome. >> and so the question is that that jury of his peers, the military peers of his, if they, you know, hear what politicians are saying that could have a legal bearing on this case? >> it shouldn't and probably wouldn't, but you can imagine that a defense attorney would seize on that. because when mccain said that bergdahl was clearly a deserter, he also said if he's not punished, he would conduct hearings on capitol hill to determine why.
there's no one more in command than the u.s. military than congress, particularly the chairman of the senate armed services committee. nevertheless, bergdahl allegedly committed what is probably one of the egregious offenses in the eyes of the u.s. military and that is walking away from your post, abandoning your post at the time of war. >> thank you very much. we will have more on the political battle jim talked about in our next hour. >> interest rates may be rising following the highly anticipated federal open market committee meeting that kicks off today. the historic two-day meeting will decide whether to raise interest rates in a decade. it will review final report on inflation, housing and production before making the call. >> and check this out. a disgruntled customer driving
his truck into the front desk. the employees dive out of the way. police say the man upset that his credit card had been declined. he wanted to prove to the hotel staff that he, quote, wasn't bluffing. the 96 6 the 962-year-old man is now hel on a $1 million bond. >> and several people are facing charges for allegedly trying to climb the tree. and two people tried to interfere. they were also arrested. police are still investigating the tree incident. >> and the force is officially awakened in hollywood. the stars all came out for the world premiere for the latest
installment of the star wars legacy. >> it's surreal. it's pinch me time. from the moment they said they were going to do it it's hard to believe. and it's hard to believe that tonight we're here. >> i feel surprisingly relaxed. this is an environment that -- i'm a star wars fan. >> the red carpet wouldn't be complete without storm troopers and r2d2 and c3po. we'll have much more when we talk about it in our next hour. but after the break we head back to vegas. we're going to talk about who has more at stake, trump or cruz? everywhere, every time and 2% back at the grocery store,
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the stage is literally set for tonight's republican debate with ted cruz and donald trump pretty much going at it. everyone will be looking for a clash between the two candidates. trump appeared to throw the first punch against everyone. >> let me just tell you, if that were against three people, i'd be happy because that would mean i won pretty much. right? but this is 15 people! a couple have left, a lot are going to start leaving, which would be nice. it would be nice to have some more time to talk. it's so many people. there's so many people. and many of them don't have a chance. you say what are you doing? just go home and relax. go home and relax. >> with me now is msnbc political correspondent kasie hunt. and april ryan. who has more at stake tonight, trump or cruz?
>> reporter: jose, good morning. we're all looking to see what will happen between a clash between two of them, up heard trump setting expectations saying everyone is going to be coming after me. so this might be a difficult night. it will be interesting to see how aggressively trump goes after a cruz and to see how cruz handles it. all indications is that cruz will meet that with humor. you've soon him turn it around. we gotten hints from cnn from debate moderators behind the scenes saying this is going to be a very confrontational evening. i also think you need to watch cruz and rubio. while cruz has steered clear of attacking trump in public, he has not steered clear of going after rubio. i don't ge the sense that either one of them will shy away from that tonight. >> april, we're 48 days away from iowa. is this kind of like the last
shot for a lot of these candidates that aren't cruise or trump? >> search so. i have someone like chris christie, who will use this as tracks, and he will use it as traction. and then you have rubio, who is trying to get his numbers back up. and carly fiorina will try to make it so she can look palatable in the numbers again. she's going to try to fix her missteps from a couple of debates ago. you have a lot of people on that stage. and jeb bush, poor jeb bush, he's never gained any traction. he's going to try tonight. tonight is huge. we have an issue in this nation that's the number one topic, the issue of isis and lone wolf.
these candidates are going to show their prowess when it comes to foreign policy or not. also, ben carson is going to try to bring his numbers up as well. >> there's no question his numbers have gone up since his proposal to temporarily banish m muslims from the united states. >> behind the scenes the republican party is almost having a crisis i would say. there's a lot of concern in the party about a potential trump nomination. we do know that some of these leaders have had conversations behind the scenes about the possibility of a contested convention. the idea you might have a few candidates going in that have enough delegates to potentially
compete on the convention floor. at this point they're still waiting and hoping there is a candidate who can step up and take on trump. the party is not willing to do it themselves but none of these candidates on the flip side have shown they're able to do it. in fact the opposite is true. you've soon candidate after candidate try to take on trump, only to end up farther than where they started. >> i know behind you is a fake venice but the cold is very real there, isn't it? >> ilt very chilly in las vegas. i'm sorry we couldn't get in a gondola here. i'm a little worried it going to freeze over. >> just hours before republicans take the stage in vegas, hillary clinton will lay out her own plan to fight home-grown
extremists and rat ka -- we go live to kristen welker. >> you'll recall that a month ago hillary clinton laid out her strategy to fight isis in the middle east. this speech will be about fighting isis at home. as you pointed out, jose, this is an area that has struggled with radicalism. she's going to counter her attack. this is a little bit of what she had to say back in november.
take a listen. >> we know that intelligence gathered and shared by local law enforcement officers is absolutely critical to breaking up plots and preventing attacks. so they need all the resources and support we can give them. law enforcement also needs the trust of residents and communities, including in our own country muslim americans. >> reporter: and clinton is going to try and draw some sharp contrasts with republicans on that point, particularly of course donald trump who has called for a ban of all muslims coming into the united states. she has called that type of rhetoric dangerous to national security. she's also got to walk a bit of a fine line. president obama has been criticized for not being tough enough on isis. she was his former secretary of state. she has to be very careful. she's likely going to come out as being stronger when it comes to fighting isis. if you look at the polls, she
beats trump, she beats cruz and the next big test for democrats will come this saturday. that's when they face off in their next debate in new hampshire. >> after the break, we're going to take a close look at john kerry's trip to moscow. what's a stake? is everything you make of it. this winter, take advantage of our season's best offers on the latest generation of cadillacs. the 2016 cadillac ats. get this low-mileage lease from around $269 per month, or purchase with 0% apr financing. chuck, i know i have a 798 fico score, thanks to experian.com. kaboom... get your credit swagger on. go to experian.com. become a member of experian credit tracker
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the united states agree this is a threat to everybody, to every country, that there is no negotiation and they leave no choice but for civilized nations to stand together and to fight and push back and destroy them. >> joining me now, former ambassador mark ginsburg, who also served as a middle east policy adviser. good to see you. >> good morning, jose. >> kerry says he hopes for real progress, but as long as putin is fully supportive of the assad regime and situation of ukraine and other places, is there any real progress that can be made? >> well, yeah. let's drill down a bit because despite what mr. kerry said all is well and good between russia and the united states and isis, that's not the issue. a couple of days ago there was a conference of all the syrian opposition to try to form a united front of that opposition in order to launch a more
cohesive strategy on syria. kerry is trying to weave the needle and thread together to permit the opposition to co h s cohesi cohesively into another peace conference. and then the second issue is whether or not the russian air force is targeting isis and the indiscriminate use of russian air power that's killing civilians and the united states is trying to avoid that. >> it seems as though, and i want your thoughts on this, now that saudi arabia is engaged in a battle in its own way in a battle for their own future in the battle with yemen, adoes tht
show there's a power vacuum in the middle east right now? >> oh, my gosh, jose, the hoover vacuum cleaner hasn't stopped running, sucking all the air and oxygen out of what essentially was cohesive middle east policy on anyone's account at this point. the fact of the matter is the united states is sending ashe carter, the a second to turkey and saudi arabia because there's insufficient turkish support for the coalition. saudi arabia has always been willing to die to the last american. without major arab boots on the ground, in order to cut the caliphate in two, air power alone will not solve the problem. mr. kerry knows that, mr. carter
knows that and blatedly. >> turning back to politics, social media has been playing a major role in the presidential campaigns. our senior edge tore for digital content is here. cal, good morning. >> good morning, jose. as we prepare for tonight's debate, we thought we'd take a look at what people are googling. it's very instubtive on who the candidates are and how we view them. this hour, it's bush versus trump. it's okay. so let's start with trump. some of these are pretty fun p funny actually. number two and number four are what did trump say yesterday and what did trump say now? >> for bush people are more issue oriented, though he has a a problem with what political
party is jeb bush involved in and what party is jeb bush running for? when you go to trump, you see a list of the things he's been issues within the candidates trump, immigration, muslims, isis. when you go to jeb bush, the number three issue people want to know about is donald trump. that's not a good sign at all. trump will look to capitalize on this and even people talking about him as much as they can. still ahead, it is beginning to look a lot like winter, at least in the rockies and northern plains. up to 15 inches of snow has fallen in the salt lake city area. the weather channel's mike seidel is live there -- next.
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the weather channel's mike seidel is in holladay, utah, just outside salt lake city. is there more snow, mike? >> reporter: not much more here. by the way, it is warmer in boston this morning, jose, than it was in boston on july 4th. that's how wacky this weather pattern is. it is going to be cooler in the northeast before it warms up again as we head toward christmas. when we last joined you we had five, six inches. now we have 16 inches of what is, they call, champagne powder. look at these scenes. you can just kind of shake it off these evergreens. ski resorts have had one to two feet. thousands will head back up there today. the same storm has dumped at least six inches of snow around the metro area. quite a bit of wind there, and earlier ground stops slowed things down. so far out of dia they've canceled in and out of dia at least 250 flights so check with your air carrier. in salt lake city they're deicing, seven flights canceled.
all of those -- you guessed it -- between here and denver. so snow wraps up here and the storm will head up through the plains. if you're in the northern plains along i-80 and i-90 look for certainly accumulating snow later today and tonight. jose, by the way, cooler air heads into the northeast. it will warm back up here over the weekend but for christmas week itself, again, warmer than average temperatures by a large amount east of the mississippi as we head towards christmas eve. back here in the west we get the dip in the jet stream and potentially more snow here in salt lake city and through the wasatch front as we head towards christmas eve. a lot ahead on this very busy tuesday. donald trump getting ready to occupy center stage once again at tonight's gop debate. we'll look at how the field may go after the front-runner. we've been watching secretary of state kerry in moscow, he's moments away from a meeting with russian president vladimir putin. we'll see if progress can be made on, among other things, the war in syria.
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we have breaking news out of los angeles. the school district is confirming to nbc affiliate knbc the potential closure of all schools. students that are already at school are being sent home. according to knbc, police officers will be highly visible around all schools today. there is no word yet on why this is happening. a press conference is scheduled for later today. but so far, that's all we know. we will keep you updated and bring you more details as soon as we get them. once again, coming out of los angeles. welcome to the second hour of msnbc live. i'm jose diaz-balart. all eyes on vegas there morning as the republican candidates for president gather for their fifth debate with fewer than 50 days to go until the iowa caucuses, the field continues to shift. but at the top, a new national poll shows donald trump still ahead of everyone else and growing his lead.
last night at a rally in vegas the front-runner went on the offensive. >> i'll be honest, i think tomorrow night is going to be big. oh, ooh. and they're all coming after me. i heard today -- i'm watching, i'm saying this is like crazy! who's going to attack trump first? will it be this one? you know, he's taken down seven so far. so we're watching television before we're hearing all these announcers saying who is going to take on trump tonight? who's going to hit him hardest? i would say bring them on, who cares? but i will say, this will not be like an evening in paradise for me, do we agree? >> hallie jackson and katie tur join me from vegas. ladies, good morning. katy, once the trump campaign telling you about how they're getting ready for tonight's debate? >> they're doing much of what they always do before debates,
donald trump will be reading up on his material, then taking the stage. they don't do this sort of debate prep that other campaigns do. they don't have a pretend stage with pretepid candidates and firing off lines. donald trump remains true to himself whenever he does these debates and his lines come from just basically research and articles that they've been getting up with throughout the entire election season. so the idea that donald trump is sitting there and doing that sort of focused debate prep that we've come to see other candidates do, come to know that that's normally what's expected at these things, it is just not the case. >> hallie, tell me about cruz. right? he's really coming up now. he's going to be closest to trump, at least on the podiums. there are a lot of possibilities that he and trump go at it. >> absolutely. because we've seen that already over the last few dauz, jose, leading up to tonight's debate. we've also seen something from
ted cruz that i thought is interesting, that is a refusal to at least so far take the bait from donald trump. donald trump's come out talking much more aggressively about cruz than we've seen in the past. these two have had more like a bromance thing that seems to have turned more into frenemies. that being said, there is an understanding or may be an understanding among both campaigns that a trump versus cruz cage match tonight could only stand to benefit establishment folks like marco rubio. right? somebody who can sort of stay out of the fray, come off looking like maybe the more principled candidate which is why i don't know that you're going to see quite those fireworks that some folks are predicting tonight between dump a donald trump and ted cruz. if trump attacks, cruz will defend himself, probably on policy but not personality. >> talk about policy. national security has been really kind of back in focus, paris, then san bernardino. terrorism the number one concern of voters in our nbc/"wall
street journal" poll. these candidates all focused on that. how can they kind of discern or be separated from the rest of the pack when they all have policies on terrorism and none of them are actually president. >> but they do have legitimate policy differences on where they are when it comes to things like national security, jose. when you look at this debate, the first one after paris, the first one after san bernardino, you will see some of those folks draw policy differences. for example, chris christie who campaigns very hard on his leadership after 9/11 in his state and something he talks about basically every day on the campaign trail. i expect that he will discuss it tonight in an opportunity for him, by the way, to be on the main stage again after being sort of relegated to the undercard last go-round. this is a moment for christie to come out and show that he can capitalize off his surge in new hampshire, the fact that he's up in the polls there. when you ask the question what candidate might take it to donald trump tonight? chris christie might be a good
bet. >> katy tur, does trump have the ability to reshape the electorate? obviously with the differences of like president obama was able to do in 2008, and then actually get that passion and excitement to transfer into votes. >> well, we have to wait and see for that. when you go to his rallies, in new hampshire, south carolina, iowa, across the country, phoenix tomorrow, he gets thousands of people. anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000, 12,000 people so he certainly has energized a group of people out there who would not have otherwise been so energized in politics. people come out and say they've never voted before, that they didn't think that they were going to vote or they don't like the establishment but donald trump has awakened something in them, they feel that he's speaking to them directly, that he will protect them, he'll speak for their values, speak for their interests when he gets into office, they hope. so if he's able to take that base of support that he's been able to gin up across the campaign trail and bring it to the voting booths, then, yeah,
he's going to awaken a new portion of the republican electorate. a lot of people are saying that he's bringing to the limelight, to the forefront, a lot of really conservative and more extreme values of this republican base that they haven't acknowledged up until now. they're okay to come out and say that we don't necessarily trust immigrants that are coming to the country, we want to figure out exactly what's going on before we allow them in. all this extreme rhetoric donald trump has been coming out with, many in the republican party are saying that they agree with and if he is able to transfer that agreement into votes, then he's going to have a really formidable time. the question is whether or not when they get there they're still going to believe that donald trump is best for the job, that he still has the temperament for the job, that he believe he's going to be good for this country. we're going to have to wait and see about that because this is just an unprecedented primary season and everybody's predictions so far have fallen short. they just don't understand or can't figure out exactly what's going on. but we're going to wait and see. we have february 1st. we're less than 50 days now up
at february 1st which is the first caucus in iowa. >> katy tur and hallie jackson, thank you both for being with me this morning. for now, more on the final outlook of the gop field before the debate. msnbc host and political correspondent steve kornacki. >> jose, here's something else for donald trump to consider if he's thinking about going after ted cruz tonight or going after more on campaign trail in the days ahead. doing so, at least doing so the way he has been doing so, so far, could cost him a key component of what has been his base, and that is conservative talk radio. we always talk so much about that divide in the republican party between the establishment and the anti-establishment forces. the anti-establishment forces really get their power from the big-time conservative talk radio figures, people like rush limbaugh, mark levin, laura ingraham. well, donald trump started going after ted cruz a few days ago. he went after him saying he was a little bit of a maniac when he came to the senate saying you got to work better with other
people. attacking him that way. that has not sat well already with conservative talk radio, that line of attack against cruz by trump prompted rush limbaugh on his show yesterday to say this about trump. >> this is no different than what the media would say about ted cruz. this is no different than what the democratic party would say. i mean this is what the republican establishment would say, for crying out loud. i mean this is akin to saying, "i'm the guy who can cross the aisle and work with the other side." so he's decided to go after cruz here in the way the establishment republicans go after cruz, in the way the media goes after cruz, in the way the democrats go after cruz. he's essentially put on his john mccain hat here, saying i'm donald mccain and i'm the guy that can cross the aisle and work with the other side, ted cruz can't. >> that was rush limbaugh yesterday afternoon. later in the day mark levin,
another conservative radio host said that trump had "really screwed up this week big time." so again, all these controversies donald trump has gotten himself into this year where the republican establishment has turned its guns on him. a key source of defense for trump has been conservative talk radio. but in going after ted cruz and in going after him this way, he could be endangering that, jose. >> steve kornacki, let's see if that turns out to be true or not, because so far it's been teflon don, the whole way. >> they like ted cruz on conservative radio, too. we know that. >> good point. steve, thanks. national security and the economy are the top two concerns of voters heading into tonight's republican debate. among all voters, the economy is the number one issue according to a new "washington post"/abc news poll. but it is a different story when you break it down along party lines. i'm joined now by msnbc business correspondent olivia sterns. olivia, good morning. >> good morning, jose. indeed it is a tale of two parties according to this new
nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. 58% of republicans say national security/terrorism is the number one issue facing the country. their top concern versus just 12% of republicans who say actually, it's the economy and jobs. now compare that to what the democrats are saying -- 33% of those we polled say the economy is the country's number one issue and just 26% of democrats say it's actually security. that said, we can't expect republicans to trash the president's record on the economy, so we thought we'd take a look at the arguments sorts of for and against it and let you decide how you think the economy is doing. but before we do that, i'll send it back to you. >> thank you, olivia. matter of fact, let's go right now to los angeles, a los angeles school district is having a press conference. >> i made a decision to close all of the schools. i have alerted all six superintendents. they have been alerted. i've asked them to have their
operations people talk to plant managers at each school. i've asked the plant managers to lock the school. and if they see anything that is out of order, to contact the police. not to touch anything, not to do anything, but to, if they see anything out of line, to contact the proper authorities. we made contact with our early education centers because these are our young children. we made contact with our special education to make sure that those who are not as mobile as some of our special students are taken care of. we have made contact with our adult education school. we have made contact with hour charter schools because the board of education has
responsibility and the district for all charter schools. so i've asked that they be closed also. i think it is important that i take the precaution, based on what has happened recent ly and what has happened in the past. i have asked the chief to be working with the city police department and the sheriff before the day is over. i want every school searched to make sure that it is safe for children and safe for staff to be there on wednesday. i will issue a statement late this afternoon after the chief, the chief superintendent has informed me that schools have been searched and it is okay.
i will keep you informed ongoing during the day if there are any situations. one key issue i've been worried about is children who walk to school. we have a great many of those, so i've asked the principal to make sure that those children are at a specific gate so they can be given instructions, kept together, and so that we can make contact with parents to pick up their children or to make sure that they get home safely. not independently. home safely. making sure that their parents are notified. we have sent a connect ed to all parents letting them know of the action i've taken. i will answer some questions after the chief and the board president speak with you.
chief? >> superintendent, before, can you start just with the beginning for the couple of people who arrived late. >> good morning. steve zimmerman, chief with the los angeles police department. i just want to reiterate what superintendent martinez already stated. earlier this morning we did receive an electronic threat that mentioned the safety of our schools. as a result of that threat, not only los angeles school police department -- >> sir? >> excuse me. >> can you start again? >> i'm going to continue on. as a result of that threat, the los angeles school police department, as well as los angeles police department and the fbi were notified and right now the threat is still being analyzed. in an abundance of caution, as
superintendent martinez has indicated, we have asked is to close our schools today until we can be absolutely sure that our campuses are safe and until it is deemed safe by law enforcement and concurred with our district officials, which we believe will be able to occur by the end of this day, we will keep those schools closed. the investigation is ongoing. i'm not going to get into the details. i do want to say this. this is important. the threat that was received, as far as the l.a. unified school district is concerned, pertained to the l.a. unified school district. i know there's been many calls. i can tell you that we know of no other threats that we're aware of unless other agencies have gotten into specifics outside of lausd. that tip pertains to the threats that we got to our schools only. we do not know any other
information about any other threats within the county or region at this time. as i indicated, law enforcement will continue to evaluate the threats. >> chief, would you introduce the chief? >> i would like to introduce assistant chief jorge villagas, in charge of operations for l.a. school district pd. >> good morning. i'm an assistant chief of the lapd and chief of operations. as was mentioned earlier, the school district received a
safety threat that we're in the process now of validating or vetting to determine what, if any, validity it has. as you can imagine, we take all threats seriously. nothing's more important to us than the safety of our kids, especially those that are coming to and from school that haven't been notified yet of this safety threat. we're doing everything we can to ensure that we conduct a thorough investigation into that threat and will be working with the school district, as well as with the fbi to ensure that the public is informed as much as we can provide, as soon as we can provide it. >> this is steve zimmer, president of the los angeles board of education. >> good morning.
my name is steve zimmer, i'm president of the school board of los angeles unified school district. i'd like to speak, if i could, directly to families and employees. we are taking this action in an abundance of caution to make sure that every child in l.a. unified school district, and every employee, is absolutely safe. right now we ask parents and families if you have not yet sent your children to school, please do not send them to school. if they have already been dropped off, we will have families meet their children at the reunion gates of all schools. i want to be very clear. we need the cooperation of the
whole of los angeles today. we need families and neighbors to work together with our schools and with our employees to make sure our kids are safe throughout the day. we need employers to show the flexibility that a situation like this demands. and we ask you to show the maximum possible flexibility with your employees who are primarily mothers and fathers and guardians today in this situation. at our school sites, we have asked administrators and plant managers to report. we are asking for teachers and other support personnel to stay
home today. once again, i want to reiterate on behalf of the entire board of education our support with superintendent, with the chief of police, the actions that we are taking today are swift and they are appropriate given the situation that we are in and we ask for the patience and the cooperation and support of the city. the education of our kids is incredibly important. the only thing that's more important is their safety and the superintendent has acted in regards to that safety this morning. i'd now like to introduce our deputy superintendent for operations, dr. tom melendez desanta ana who will make a statement in spanish. >> could we ask a couple of questions before you do that?
>> yeah, sure. >> give us a little bit more about the nature of the threat, why you feel this is so serious that school has to be canceled? >> i think later in the day after they continue the investigation and vetting, as you heard the chief say, with the fbi, we will make a statement. but not at this time. >> was it a broad threat affecting all the schools or -- >> it was a broad -- it was not to one school, two schools or three schools. it was many schools. not specifically identified. but there were many schools. that's the reason i took the action that i did. >> the chief mentioned an electronic threat. what does that mean. >> it was a message. >> was there any threat made to buses? we know all the buses were kurnd to the yards this morning. what can you say to that? >> there was not threat made to buses. the reason they were returned is because we are not picking up students.
it was to students at school. nothing more than that. to at-school students. yes. >> you mentioned some details or shared regarding backpacks and other packages. can you elaborate on that? >> no, i can't. the chief, after he's met with the city police and the fbi, he will be making further statements on why i made the decision i made. >> of 900 campuses, you are unable to say if these are elementary schools, high schools? >> let me tell you, i can't take a chance. all schools i've asked to be searched today by the appropriate people and appropriate people are not necessarily teachers or support people if there is a problem. i want to -- our chief of police
working with the city police and working with the sheriff to develop a plan. we have six districts to work systematically through every one of those schools. some of them are very large schools. some of them are schools with three and four rooms to them. but i want every school, every early education center, every adult school, i want them searched and a report made to me and to the board of education that it is safe. >> many faculty members arrive early well before 7:00 a.m. are all campuses being evacuated for anyone that was on campus? >> they have been told to go home. >> what happens to kids who may already be at school? are you telling parents to come pick them up now or -- >> yes, there is going to with connect ed. board president reviewed that with you that they have been asked to meet at a certain gate. the principal to be there.
the plant manager to be there. no child to be left alone. i know it is cold. we're making every effort to see that we get the notification to parents as soon as possible. but i am not taking the chance of bringing children in a place in to any part of the building until i know it is safe. >> chief, can you clarify then. this is all students, teachers, staff, all personnel, everyone involved in your campuses? >> at the campuses, yes. that is what i've done. yes. >> incorporates everyone. >> yes. >> can you give us a little context? i know you can't go into the specific threat but a little context for our parents at home. how many threats does the school district get? how rarely would you get a threat like this? >> this is a require threat. we get threats all the time. >> yeah. what i want to ask you then is why was this one -- >> let her finish.
>> i was just curious this one why it got this type of response. >> i think the circumstances in the neighboring san bernardino. i think what has happened in the nation. i think what happened internationally. i as superintendent am not going to take the chance with the life of a student. remember, we do get individual threats. we do evacuate schools. we do lock down schools and do not release students until we notify parents. so what we are doing today is no different than what we always do except we are doing this in a mass way. >> you mentioned earlier, we know it is early, but at this point for people watching right now -- i know an update will come later today -- but where do we stand for even tomorrow? >> i have no comment on that. i told you that i will release the statement before the end of the day. [ speaking in spanish ]
>> i'll translate for you this morning with the questioning and news conference. i think it is important that we continue listening in to what they say. "please keep your young children at home. right now all the schools of the district are closed. we are taking the maximum precautions to make sure that your children and that your family are safe. right now we have no details about the issue. only we ask you that, please, today, 15th of december, you maintain your children home. the school district and schools are closed. superintendent of schools is working with all the authorit s
authorities, and if children get to school, they will be sent home. we are going to try that the children stay united together, but it is important -- very important -- that if you have not yet gone to school, please keep them together. now in the schools, if they're already in the schools, there is one specific door where you must go to receive not only information, because schools are closed in los angeles, also. we are giving voice to the independent charter schools -- it's very important that the charters, especially for little kids, as well as for adults -- high school, middle school, secondary school -- all schools are closed. even adult schools. thank you. authorities in the district received communication that
right now are being investigated. the information that the superintendent and the president of the school board received, they decided that, along with authorities, that based on what we now know about the details of this threat, it is necessary to close all schools today. >> we'll have a statement at the end of the day. if parents have questions please call our hotline at 213-241-2064. again, 213-241-2064. [ speaking spanish ] >> yes, they're just repeating the number. >> just giving that number in both english and spanish. it is now 7:27 in the los angeles area. and if you are just tuning in, the district has closed all the
schools. it is asking for students that are yet going to school to stay home today. it is also asking that all of those students that have already been dropped off or who have been taken to school be picked up by a family member, including someone that is directly related to that student. pete williams is live in washington for us. pete, the superintendent was saying that it was an unusual threat. unusual indeed is the closing of the entire l.a. unified school district schools. >> well, it's a reflection of the sad reality of the times we live in. it was, according to the information we've gotten, e-mailed to a school board member and was specific in that it mentioned specific schools. now clearly there's an element of a bomb threat to this because the school board superintendent was talking about having to search all the schools. so that's a give-away that that's one nature of the threat, though we understand that there
were some other things attached to the threat. it's a difficult situation for school administrators when you receive information like this. if you choose to ignore it, and then something does happen, obviously you could never live with yourself. on the other hand, the fact is that almost all of these threats turn out to be phony. we just went through this a couple of weeks ago with a threat that closed a university in illinois, and it was determined to be a student who phoned something in as something of a joke. most of these -- very few actual attacks are preceded by a threat for the simple reason that people don't want to blunt the effect of their attacks. so that's what the statistical evidence would tell you, that very few threats turn out to be real, but you ignore them at your peril. we're told that because of the
specificity of it they chose to act on it. you can certainly understand why, despite the enormous inconvenience now and disruption that this will cause. now in terms of what's happened investigatively, the los angeles police department is going to try to figure out where this call came from -- sorry, where this e-mail came from. the fact that it is an e-mail gives them something of a leg up. they can try to trace it back now. that's exactly what happened in the case we had a couple of weeks ago with this university in illinois. they were able to trace it back. i would be surprised if, before the end of the day, they haven't traced this one back as well. but as i say, it is a reflection of the times we live in. we just had the attack in san bernardino. school attacks have become a huge issue. so you can understand, in a way, i guess, why school officials decided to do this. >> pete, i mean there's no doubt that, as you say, if you don't act, you do so at your own peril. what is, pete, very kind of
unusual -- and it was the superintendent saying that it was an unusual threat. is it because it is so specific, pete? >> yes. and because it listed several schools and was explicit about how the attack would be carried out, we're told, or attacks would be carried out. made some other references that, frankly, i think it is best that we not report to discourage copycats here. but just because of the wording of it, sort of picking up, if you will, on the zeitgeist right now, they put all those factors together and decided to take action. >> san bernardino changed a lot of things, and among the things it changed is precisely how you deal with a threat like this. there are reports these two terrorists in san bernardino had plans to attack possibly other places, other larger places, possibly even including something like this. san bernardino's changed things. >> yes, i think so.
of course, other school shootings, other mass shootings as well. go all the way back to columbine changed things. you can sort of understand why they are doing this but i would hope that by the end of the day they'll have put this to rest and maybe schools will re-open tomorrow but that's to be determined. >> pete, thank you very much. stay with me, jim cavanaugh is a former atf special agent in charge. jim, thank you very much for being with me. pete is talking about that that there has been a number of things that have changed our way of dealing with what are threats. but san bernardino certainly has the most recent one. jim, it's unusual -- this is such a large school district. we are talking about 640,000-plus students here. >> right, jose. i've searched many buildings for bombs and stood on top of some live bombs. it is a very difficult situation for a district that big, as you point out, and as pete points out. many times threats are just
threats. but you can't go by that and that's what the school administrator is doing. look, what eric rudolph put the bomb in olympic park in atlanta, he telephoned it in. there's a bomb in centennial park, you have 30 minutes. there was a huge pipe bomb filled with dynamite and a timer that went off 25 minutes later. so it is not always so that it's not a threat. but as pete -- i mean not real. but as pete points out, most of them are just threats. but this is smart money today in today's climate for them to do this. the way is building is searched like this, it is not the bomb squad or the fbi or the atf that can search these buildings. it's the people who are there every day, the bomb squad's help and the atf and fbi help. so that's how it works. baups t because the reason is, when you walk into a school as a law enforcement officer, you don't know what's supposed to be there. you don't know what's there every day. so i don't know if this box over here is full of stationery that
you put over there yourselves and i can't search every box in every classroom. so the way we normally do it is we get the people that work there -- not the children obviously, but the students, staff and faculty and we go through safely with them to say is this is this yours? what's this? then if you items that weren't there or something suspicious, you can take care of it. then the school can secure their space. when there is a lot of stuff laying around, you need to clean that up. you don't neat clutter around classrooms. same thing with school bus drivers. walk around, make sure it's locked at night, secured and nobody can get on board or slip something on. those are just some things that we normally do. >> i am thinking, jim, the fact that it is tuesday and not mobbed, because if it were monday the weekend would have been a kind of schools would be for the most part empty. tuesday means that yesterday
there was school and pretty much all of the schools at the l.a. school district. and so people were there yesterday. but is this just because of extreme caution? because i was struck, jim -- i don't know if you were -- by the superintendent saying it was an unusual threat. i know that pete was talking about what that means. >> right. exactly. well, it was an e-mail threat so that's the sign of our times. years ago all the threads tended to be on telephone, telephonic threats. sometimes they were mailed. now of course they are e-mailed. as pete said, law enforcement is going to try to track back that ip address. in schools at every level we've often found that those threats were from students because they wanted a school release because they were failing a class and didn't want to go to an example. but you can never dismiss that. as i say, there are cases where bombers call first or threaten first. and again, you can't always guarantee that the information that's coming to law enforcement is coming from the perpetrator.
sometimes if it was a real threat, it could be coming from a person that lives with them, girlfriend, wife, spouse, a person who's got cold feet, and they could be giving you details, this is going to happen, because they want it stopped. so in the most likelihood, it's a threat with no action behind it. but i think the school board, the police are taking the right step today in the world climate we live in. certainly with san bernardino, just "next county over, they've got to do that today. but hopefully, like pete said, they can scrub it all, give everybody a little more process to think, and maybe they can get school back tomorrow. >> if you're just watching us now, at 7:36 a.m. pacific time, all los angeles school district campuses have been closed this morning. if you've already taken your children to school, you have to figure out a way to pick them back up because all of the schools are closed today.
if you're thinking of taking your child to school, don't do so. the superintendent of schools also asking that employers be be flexible today. if you are at work and hearing this or watching this, we're asking that employers understand that your primary responsibility is with your family. and if you're watching this at home as you -- i know you do, and you have parents that speak spanish -- [ speaking spanish ] there's a number for you to call. jacob soboroff is also in the area right now. he is at an elementary school in los angeles. jake, i know you are joining us now via the internet. what are you experiencing there? >> reporter: good morning, jose.
i'm oin the silver lake neighborhood in neighborholos a. this entire street in this neighborhood would normally be filled up with parents and students coming in to school. but i was actually stopped by a gentleman who works at the school with a walkie talkie and had radioed i was in videoing. there's obviously heightened security. people asked to stay home. los angeles school district is the second-biggest school district in the entire nation. 600,000-plus students. hundreds and hundreds of schools. as you just said, multiple languages. i think dozens of languages are spoken in the los angeles unified school district. this is affecting los angeles county which is much bigger than los angeles city. we are talking about 12 million people in the county of los angeles. again, hundreds of thousands of students and none are here at this tellmentry school this morning. >> i think that's probably going to be the case for the remainder of the day. once again, 7:38 a.m. are you seeing -- because
they're asking that students that are already at the schools be -- congregate in a specific gate where the parents can pick them up. you aren't seeing any movement in where you are at least, right? >> no, i'm not. i'm going to walk right now as i talk with you down the corner to see if there are any parents starting to come in. again, normally at this time of day this street would be starting to fill up with parents and -- students of parents and their kids coming to school. obviously the message has gotten out. we'll see in a little bit, the crossing guard is no longer at his post where he was earlier this morning. so it's very quiet here outside this school and i think that's because of this alert that's gone out from the lausd. >> jacob, thank you very much for being with me. we will stay close to each other this morning as we continue to cover this breaking news out of the los angeles area. los angeles school district has closed all of its campuses. talking about 640,000-plus
students that today are not going to be going to school. we're seeing different images from our helicopters and from our live locations throughout the los angeles area with students that have been told today is not a day to be at school. go loam. jo go home. joe fryar joins me from hollywood, california. >> reporter: good morning, jose. as you've been reporting there was a bomb threat which apparently the school district has deemed credible. it was e-mailed to at least one school board member and that is what has prompted this concern. the fact that they are canceling all schools at this point might lead us to believe that they don't know which school has the bomb threat at this point. it is unclear. it is also unclear to us which school board member received this threat but they are clearly taking this very seriously when you are talking about such a giant school district. more than 900 schools. this impacts more than 600,000 kids. of course, it is now about 7:40 in the morning.
so as this happens, some kids may have already been on their way to school. those buses probably won't make it to the school. they're telling everyone to stay away from schools right now. buses that have the no picked up kids yet probably won't be picking up kids, and those that have been dropped off at school, parents are being told to pick up their kids and so-called reunion gates, these are special locations away from the campus that parents know to go to. they're supposed to bring i.d. to make sure that they can verify that they can picking up their child. obviously this is going to cause a lot of chaos throughout los angeles this morning as many parents are probably heading to work and you have something that's affecting the entire school district, this massive school district. we are hearing that we can expect to see some sort of bomb sweeps at school buildings across the school district this morning and emergency operation pz centers have been set up. i believe the school district's going to hold a news conference in about an hour and 15 minutes. hopefully at that time we'll get a better update on the very latest information as to what's happening.
jose? >> thank you very much. we'll keep that news conference, as soon as it occurs, we'll be bringing it to you live on msnbc. joining me on the phone, sean henry, president of crowd strike services. thank you for being with me this morning. so let's talk a little bit about this. the fact that 640,000 students are being sent home or being asked to not come to school this morning in los angeles because of an unusual or rare threat. what do you see? >> well, you don't really know what the scope of the threat is. i thought it was very interesting, jim was just talking a moment ago, while i've heard some people actually say it is probably a hoax, i don't think that in today's climate you really take it that way. i think in an abundance of caution the school district is taking some enhanced actions. and if you try to determine what the source of the intelligence is, they said it is an e-mail that came in. but it very well could have
been, again, it is important to highlight, notness sterile nece perpetrator but perhaps somebody who's aware of something, a co-worker or something of that nature. so the school with today's climate and the enhanced threat, we are coming cloele ining clos holidays, often times there is an uptick in threats around the holiday season in the united states, so the school really needs to take this action. this is really going to be a pretty laborious effort when you talk about the number of schools there. to do the type of search that is really required in a situation like this to ensure all is clear, it is quite labor intensive and will take a lot of resources and a lot of time. i think closing the school to allow authorities to do that at this point is really a prudent action. >> i'm glad you bring this up. i'm sure a lot of people are saying, this is exactly what the person that is sending this threat wants, to close all of
the district schools. to have 640,000 students inconvenienced, to have the patients and family members of those 640,000 students involved. it is going to take a -- but this could very well be a tip by someone who is not involved in a potential act, that is calling in this information to help authorities. so this has to be taken very seriously and it is important that we all tell you about this because -- i'm even seeing a lot of folks saying, why are you giving so much importance to this? why? because the entire school district has been closed down and they think it is an unusual threat and they are acting. i think acting now has never been more important! >> yeah. any time you get any type of a threat it has to constantly be evaluated and you have to look at the totality of the circumstances. when i was with the fbi we were constantly receiving threats and you've got to prioritize how you
sort these things out, how you respond, how many resources you apply to a particular threat. i think in this case when the superintendent gets this threat, he or she coordinates with law enforcement authorities. they look at the totality of the circumstances. how much specificity was in the e-mail. when did it come in. what specifically are they threatening. then weighing that with kind of the gravity of the existing climate that we're in. again, kind of enhanced security on the heels of what happened just a county away two weeks ago and continued threats that we received. some of the fbi warnings about other organizations that may be levying threats here domestically. so the authorities have to look at this, look at the totality. you've got to prioritize and make a decision. i can tell you that were the authorities not to take any action and just kind of shrug this off as a non-threat and something were to happen, people would be criticized and somebody
could get hurt. so again, kind of an abundance of caution i think on the part of the authorities after look being at all the circumstances, jose. >> sean, stay with me. we'll take a short break but covering this breaking news out of the los angeles area. the los angeles school district has decided to close all of its campuses. 640,000-plus students affected. there is a in um ber i number t. 213-241-2064. . 213-241-2064. if you have a child that is already been dropped off at school, you need to turn around and go pick that child back up. i'm going to do this in spanish because i know we have a lot of spanish language parents out there that have their children in the schools. [ speaking spanish ] this is brad.
breaking news this morning -- all of the los angeles unified school district campuses closed this morning. they will continue to be closed throughout today after what school officials identified as an unusual threat received pertaining to the school district and mentioning more than one school. the 640,000-plus students, k through 12, and some adult education, all impacted. it's very important that if you are in the los angeles area or coming up now almost on ten minutes to 8:00 a.m., you know that if you're listening to us on the radio there, if you've dropped off your child to school, turn around and go back and pick that child up. if you're on the way to school -- don't. turn around and go back home, leave your child with someone. family member. but all of the schools in the los angeles unified district school district are closed after
what officials are describing as a threat received specifically aimed at the school district. there is a school -- a number that the school has put out there. if you're on -- in your car, listening to us, the number is 213-241-2064. if you have a child at school or specific places in that school there are places to go specifically to go and pick your child up. it is a threat and right now nothing more than a threat. but one that has prompted school officials to close all of the campuses. the number again -- 213-241-2064. [ speaking spanish ] cal perry has been monitoring social media. cal, what's the very latest? >> so social media at times like this can double as a public
service. i want to pull up the la school district twitter page. they are being very transparent with information. one of the things i want to tell people who may be listening to link up with your child, please bring an i.d. you'll meet them as a reunion gate. for viewers listening outside of los angeles, these reunion gates are predetermined locations that parents will meet their kids if something like this happens but the school district wanted to make it clear, please do bring an i.d. as we look at the scale and scope of this, people on social media are worried about how they're going to balance work today. so many parents are leaving work so people are trying to cluster together and figure out a way to take care of the kids together. this is also perhaps why we got the announcement before 8:00 in the morning to try to cut down on that. people want to be at home today, obviously looking at their loved ones. if you have access to twitter, go @laschools. they are putting out a minute by
minute update on what people can do to help the situation. i want to bring in a congresswoman who represents the los angeles area region. thank you very much. i know you grew up in l.a. you went to l.a. schools. right? >> absolutely. the whole time. yes, i did. >> i think it is important that everyone heed the school by school officials. it is a threat, nothing more than a threat right now, but i think it is important that people heed the call. >> i absolutely agree with you. i have to tell you that i will applaud the leadership, the superintendent, the president of the school board, obviously taking action like this is a very drastic action. you know, what your listeners should know is that in los angeles you are talking about over 1,000 schools. 900 schools, 187 charter schools. so this was a massive effort and i'm sure that this was a very credible threat. otherwise they would not have taken such a drastic action. >> or at least, congresswoman, what the officials are saying --
that it was an unusual, a rare threat, and they do receive threats all the time. i mean we were speaking with our experts in this broadcast. they get threats all the time, but this is a specific threat that they found unusual and rare, rare and unusual enough to prompt the closing of all the district campuses. >> right. they have to act with an abundance of caution. so i really don't doubt that they did the right thing. >> congresswoman, thank you very much for being with me. i so appreciate your time. joining me on the phone, sean henry, retired executive assistant director of the fbi. sean, it is important that people realize this is nothing more, but nothing less than a threat, a threat that school officials decided was important enough, significant enough, or unusual enough, to close all the district schools. >> i think that's right, jose. i think that your listeners and the american public have to
understand that we're in very challenging times right now. some of the things that we've seen in the last few weeks over in europe and here domestically, some of the threats that law enforcement, the joint terrorism task force or the fbi are evaluated, the intelligence they're collecting, their responsibility is to protect the american public. we constantly are telling people, see something, say something. and we have to expect when somebody in the public or an official in the public sees something or gets something that causes some concern, that they're going to evaluate that in coordination with law enforcement authorities and they're going to have to make a decision. again, i go back to what you said a number of times, they said this is something very specific or it's very unusual. but you've got to evaluate these things until the totality of where we are and the day and age that we're in today requires us to take these things seriously and we've got to evaluate and prioritize. that's very, very important.
so we'll see in the coming days what was actually in that message and what the authorities did and we'll learn from this. but again, abundance of caution, important to evaluate and the authorities i think are on their way for a long road ahead here in the next day or so to clear these schools. but likely the appropriate decision. >> thank you very much, sean henry, ju henry. just wrapping up, all of the los angeles unified school district campuses closed. 640,000-plus students have been asked to go home. the number on your screen is getting very, very clogged. if you don't have a child or student involved in this, don't call that number. and if you do and you can't get through, be patient. bottom to line is, if you dropped off your child, go back and pick him up. if you're listening to us on the radio, it is time to go pick them up. it is a threat, nothing more, nothing less. [ speak something spanish ]
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hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall. we are following extraordinary breaking news out of los angeles. right now all public schools in the nation's second-largest city, the second-largest school district in the country, closed. and students from kindergarten to 12th grade are being sent home due to what's being called a credible terror threat. now the district includes nearly 700,000 students and more than 1,200 schools. a press conference in the last hour the district superintendent that the the threat involved multiple schools and closures was was ordered out of an abundance of caution. >> it is important that i take the precaution