tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 14, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
re... and plants needed to give my shop... a face... no one will forget. see what the power of points can do for your business. learn more at chase.com/ink we are back and on a night when we understand a lot of americans are tuning in to this network and the news in general for news about domestic politics, this instead is what we are covering and let's back this up so we can explain what we are going to show to people here. this is hard to watch even though it doesn't show any of the carnage that followed. the new video we have just received right here, there's the truck moving slowly. it appears police motorcycles were catching up with it as if to say no vehicular traffic on
this road. people are watching fireworks. it then starts to accelerate and this is the grisly portion of this. you can see what even appear to be dismounted police running after it with the reflective stripe on their jackets, and then the horror. you see the confusion in the crowd as people start running the other way. but conceivably, it's easy to watch this and assume tt police were on to this, at least a wayward driver was doing something wrong, going where he shouldn't have been in a truck of that size. we are then led to believe that he accelerated. you can almost see the back of the container in a zigzag pattern moving from side to side through the crowd as if to cause the most death and destruction.
grisly business, awful thing to watch. thank goodness it doesn't show more than it does. and yes, there will be, already has been much worse video come out of there on social media. there will be, given how many cameras were in use there because of the fireworks, there will be much more that comes out later tonight. but a grisly act in nice, france tonight, where there is an enormous number being quoted of dead and injured. let's just say the mayor of the city was likely correct when he said early on on social media there are dozens of dead in a very comparatively low tech and apparent terrorist attack using a lorry, a container truck with
separated cab that on a street that appears to have not had vehicular traffic, somehow found its way on to the seaside promenade that runs along the mediterranean. again, bastille day, 14th of july, in effect the french independence day, fourth of july for them, where like the united states, people go to fireworks displays in the evening. but the world has just witnessed yet another terrorist attack. acting in caution, the mayor of nice and the police there have asked people to clear the streets, to go home, especially the area where this happened, not to pass along rumors or even graphic video. they have been put under a localized state of emergency, emergency operations are being followed by french police and we assume a good number of military who were on post there, have
been on post in france during the terrorism era. you see the graphic there, nice in the southeast corner of france on the mediterranean. often the port or gateway city, including by air, to a lot of the more fabulous and famous resorts along the coastline. some of the most exclusive and priceyest places on earth. a lot of those vacations begin and end in nice with a major airport hub there among the airports in france. but apparently tonight, a truck we have reason to believe it was driven by a single male individual. police are saying in the euphemism they often use, the suspect, the driver was neutralized, i.e., killed, although the search continues
for other people who may, may be involved. of course, everyone is hoping there is no other attack planned or connected with this. kevin is a witness who was there in the crowd and saw the truck plow into the crowd tonight. kevin, first of all, where are you from? >> sure. it's a tricky question because i lived in nashville up until the end of june and i'm moving to denver. i'm kind of doing a celebratory six weeks around the world. i have been in nice for two nights now. this will be my third night. i'm traveling out of the country on sunday. >> so set the scene for us starting with the atmosphere before this happened, then what you saw. >> sure. so as you know, and said, it's bastille day here so there has actually been a military procession throughout the avenue, just several hours prior
to the fireworks show which were at 10:00. and so we had gone to that, then gone down to the beach for the fireworks show. the fireworks show started at 10:00, ended around 10:20, and as the fireworks ended, people started trickling back up to that main avenue where thousands and thousands of people were just standing there walking around, mingling with friends and family, and i ended up right there approximately one block away from where all of this happened, and i looked up from my phone to the left and saw what i can only describe as just a tsunami wave of human beings running in complete terror and panic in my direction. so my natural instinct was to just take off and start sprinting in that direction. i'm a pretty nimble sprinter so i was catching up to people in front of me who didn't know that anything was happening and we were all just screaming at them run, get out of here, run, and
you know, i was waiting to catch my breath, restaurants were closing their shutters, not letting people in, locking themselves in because they were equally panicked. my air bnb, which was two and a half blocks from where this has all taken place was on the other side of the attack so we had to do a sort of semi-circular route to get back here. once we got here, nobody in the air bnb had any idea that anything was happening. everyone said oh, it was probably nothing, just a car accident, people freaked out because of all that's going on in france right now. then as the news started trickling in and everything has sort of begun to hit home for me. i really can't believe it. >> we were getting ready to go on the air, 6:00 eastern, with an hour of political coverage because of what's been the dominant political story here at home in the states, and i remember, i said to someone let's hope and pray that this
was merely the brake failure on a truck or maybe it's wrong, as first reports often are, but it certainly looks from this new video that we have been narrating especially since you have been talking, if you look very closely, you can trace the rear of the white container, the back of this truck, it doesn't go in a straight line. not only is it obvious that right here it picks up speed, it takes this gruesome turn and then you see the crowd behavior that you were just talking about, people who had been milling one moment and then react the next by running every which way. >> yeah. i'm telling you, i'm literally looking at the video right now for the first time. the faces that i was seeing were the people that were literally right there. because i knew, my instinct told me this is not right. something very, very bad is happening. katy tur, who is someone i have
known my whole life, i went to high school with, i called her and say something's going on in nice, france, i need you to figure out what it is. and she, you know, now that's why we are here talking where we are. i literally can't believe that that happened right next to where i was. there's potentially reports of a hostage situation. i don't know if that's unfounded but that's at the meridien hotel which is literally right in front of where i was standing when we took off sprinting. so all of this is within a three-block radius of not only where i am right now but where i have been all day. >> the hostage reports are apparently, we are hoping they remain unfounded. obviously, if you are on a six-week tour, then you did so as an american mindful of the world around you and which nations had an elevated risk. you are also in what can be
called the resort coastline, the mediterranean resort coastline of france, where you are probably cognizant of how much security there is compared to the u.s., but terrorism is not top of mind during a night of fireworks. >> right. well, what's funny is that that very much weighed into my travel plans on this trip. actually, early on my plan was to go to turkey for two of those six weeks and that plan got k kiboshed as a result of all that's going on there recently. in my mind during this trip i was actually just in portugal for the euro cup finals, then came here from there and while i was there, i was thinking okay, the euro cup which was held in france just ended, if there were to have been any terror attacks it likely would have been during that period given the large crowds that were developing during that period of time, also ramadan just ended and i know
isis had put out -- had told their followers to go out and wreak havoc during the month of ramadan. in my mind i was thinking okay, not only has ramadan ended but the euro cup has ended and furthermore, like i said, there was this police demonstration all day on that exact avenue and as that demonstration got out, there were american military personnel there, french military personnel there, tanks, people with assault rifles. i actually felt pretty darned safe standing there knowing that i was surrounded by police officers. actually, the moment that i took off to start sprinting, one of the first people i saw was a police officer with a gun in his hand heading the opposite direction towards what was happening. so i do play things safe as a general rule and i actually thought this area of the world would be safe right now. i'll tell you, i'm pretty excited to be getting out of here soon. >> an american traveling
overseas who was tonight in nice for the july 14th bastille day fireworks, kevin, thank you very much for getting in touch with us and it's good to have someone from home kind of narrate even though it's an awful experience you have been through, but to hear it through your eyes. thank you very much, especially for your presence of mind. here's a story that combines what we were talking about earlier, this intersection of domestic politics that we have been covering all day and the story of terrorism that has come at us tonight from nice, france. quoting from the twitter account of donald trump, in light of the horrible attack in nice, france, i have postponed tomorrow's news conference concerning my vice presidential announcement. that from donald trump tonight. it was to be at 11:00 a.m. here in new york. this is -- this was issued at
7:09 p.m. another american we can turn to to talk about the situation in nice is our own correspondent, janet shamlian who is nine miles away from where this attack took place. presuming you have been watching and listening to local media, what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, i first want to let you know about this area. the promenade des anglais where this attack happened, i spent many bastille day celebrations down there on the promenade des anglais with the fireworks. i would liken it to michigan avenue in chicago on the fourth of july, where people come to the lakeshore by the tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, where you cannot get a hotel room, where you start your day looking for parking at
noon for a 10:00 fireworks show because of the sheer crowds this event draws. and let's be certain about this. a lot of people who are down there this time of year are americans. it is a big draw. and it attracts people from all over but there's a big american presence there. and it is along that promenade des anglais, it's a party. i would call it a michigan avenue in chicago type setting for the fireworks and the celebration and there are musicians and there are families with young children and in fact, our own family just made a conscious decision not to go down there. we are in an area, the foothills, nine miles from nice, but if you got in a car, it
would take me 40 minutes just because of the roads as they are here. but it is, for anybody who knows this area, it would seem a likely target, i have to say that, because of the sheer mass of people that it draws to the waterfront. >> janet, this last piece of video we have been narrating is tragic to watch, in part because it certainly appears, we will learn much more in the days ahead, it certainly appears that perhaps one motorcycle cop and other dismounted police running as fast as they can suspect something and are on to something and are trying to stop this truck as it plows into the crowd. >> reporter: well, what's interesting is how it got there in the first place. that it was there certainly raised the alarm. they close those streets early and often on the promenade des
anglais and they would start shutting them down midafternoon. how did it get through any barricades and certainly, when it went through barricades or through a cordoned area, that would raise the alarm of the police. i will say that having been here now for a bit on vacation with my family, the area is on alert. we had the euro cup finals in paris a couple days ago, portugal versus france. a lot of people stayed away from that thinking that it was a possible target. and while there are celebrations in paris, this spot in nice along the waterfront is ripe for the picking. i hate to put it that way. but it is just an attraction for families and tens of thousands of people on this night every year. >> janet, here you are, a u.s. based television correspondent
that means in the modern era almost by definition, you have covered your share of sad aftermaths of terrible events under the label of terrorism. i know you traveled a ton back and forth to france in your life. what has been the big change you have noticed say post bataclan or just in the last two to three years from landing, taking off, getting around, going through airports and the like? >> reporter: let me tell you about this location again and say that it is where i was scheduled to fly out of at 6:30 this morning france time which is 12:30 eastern new york time from the nice airport. the promenade des anglais where this happened is just a few miles from the airport. the nice airport in fast couple years has gone from being a very
kind of casual summer spot to a fortified airport like many other. and it looks a lot like paris now which for anyone who has traveled through paris knows how stringent the security is and how often you see police with automatic weapons slung across their shoulder. nice has become that way. it looks more like london and paris and having come to this region for many years because miof my family ties to the south of france, it's a different world in this part of the country. >> your initial point served to kind of warn us that when we do learn more, we have got these wild estimates of as we have put at the bottom of the screen, 60 to 70 people dead and we are
hoping and praying this is kind of fog of war confusion and a greatly inflated number, and the truth is far less than that. but your fear would be that any number, this is so popular with americans, any number would include, there's a good possibility, the good fear of including americans in that number. >> reporter: americans and families and children. this has been considered an event. you come here and they're selling beach balls on the street for kids who are going to go into the mediterranean the next day. it's a big event and there are tens of thousands of people, but it's very much family from all walks of life and all nationalities. on the plane coming in here, i would say there were more english speakers than french speakers which gives you an idea of the people who are traveling here this time of year.
>> as you have been talking, we have seen what looks like a vine video on a loop of the truck. another view, another vantage point, what appears to be the view from maybe the outdoor lobby of a hotel at ground level. you see the truck at a high rate of speed going from the right of the frame to the left and again, matching your description, almost everyone you can identify in the picture is in tee shirts, polo shirts, shorts. they are on vacation where they have family and children with them. it's just a horrible turn of events, a horrible scene there. janet shamlian is obviously an american based nbc news correspondent who happens to be by her own estimate about nine miles outside of where this attack took place. janet, what will happen now to
people wanting to move around, head to the airport? we just had the previous american guest say that frankly, he was very glad he had travel plans out of there on sunday. >> reporter: and i'm sure that i won't be traveling with my daughters now on a 6:30 flight out of nice. as i stay here to report this for nbc news. but i imagine even they may be delayed because it seems to me that the airport would go on lockdown out of security concerns. we are six hours ahead of eastern time so there would be no activity there at this time of day. but this is not just a holiday today. this is a weekend in france. you can't get a hotel right now on the promenade des anglais and
many of them in this area specifically where this attack took place are the types of hotels that cater to an american crowd, meaning they are the hilton chain, marriott chain, westin chain. so we can only hope that as you indicated that the death toll is much less than estimated so far. but this is the biggest weekend in nice that they have all year. bar none. i will be making my way down there. you know, these are small little towns that kind of dot nice. as you move to the west, antibes is the next major big town, after that is cannes and after that, st. tropez. all of those people in all of these communities generally travel through the nice airport to and from along the auto route there. i can't imagine anything but
that things are going to be on lockdown. >> that hideous term we have all come to know, the area is full of soft targets, crowds of folks trying to enjoy summer vacation. janet shamlian reporting live for us from nearby the location of this tragedy tonight in france. cal perry in our newsroom monitoring everything else coming in. cal? >> according to the -- what would be the equivalent of the mayor of nice, i'm just going to quote from his twitter page, this is the worst tragedy in the history of nice because more than 70 victims have already died. we are ready to say at this point at least 70 people have died in what we know is a deliberate attack. the french government not using the word terror yet. there will be a statement coming up. the other thing that's circulating on french tv, and we have heard this from some of our witnesses on the ground, there's a lot of bad information out
there. there is no hostage situation in nice. we have called the hotels. this is the only incident that is taking place in france and we have confirmed that. so there's a lot of misinformation out there. the other thing we can expect to hear to prepare our viewers when we do hear from french officials, important to keep in mind that the state of emergency that has existed in france since the attack in paris is still ongoing. it was due to be lifted on july 26th. it's probably fair to say that will be extended. right now, the headline, french officials at least 70 killed in this attack. >> cal perry in our newsroom, thanks. boy, wish we didn't have to pass along those grim numbers. ayman mohyeldin is with us in the studio. you have been gathering as well. >> yeah. one of the things obviously in this digital age is how quickly images have come out. the french police have actually put on their verified twitter account asking people to stop distributing, stop
recirculating, disseminating videos. the social media videos we are seeing. we are not putting them on the air but it's giving you a sense of given the fact this was such a tourist destination and so many people were out there, and that it was such a day of celebration, you can imagine how much social media now has been inundated with images of what has happened there. so much so, to the point that the national police in france are asking people to stop circulating those videos out of respect for the families and their victims and it's an indication that this is a very dire situation, not just for the country but for the family members who are still learning about this and people still trying to get ahold as we heard cal report earlier, officials asking people to stay off the phones as they work their way through the scene and secure the situation. >> you can see how it happens. people especially raised in a culture to just post everything, post what you witness, post what you're living, they are trying to say in effect please remember what it is you're posting here. we have had a terrible loss of life. >> yeah. absolutely.
it cuts both ways. on one hand, so much of the information that we are getting is directly from social media and directly from eyewitnesses. people who are giving us information. but at the same time, you can imagine that it is creating a bit of a chaotic situation for police as this kind of virtual echo chamber reverberates with accounts of either a hostage situation or multiple attackers or people on the run or another vehicle or whathave you. all of that stuff is very difficult to filter through certainly for police and certainly for the journalists and certainly for the family members who are watching this, especially if you have family members that are traveling overseas and you are trying right now to get ahold of them and trying to make sure they are okay. a very difficult situation indeed. >> our terrorism expert, malcolm nance, remains with us. put this into a kind of timeline perspective. people just joining us are thinking there has been so much of this, i can't believe it has
happened again. >> well, it's unfortunate that we find ourselves back at this point. and also, using such an unusual technique. over the last two years, it appears that france has been inundated with a series of attacks starting with al qaeda of the arabian peninsula's "charlie hebdo" attacks in 2015, moving on to the attacks at th bataclan theater and the stade de france last november which killed over 130 innocent civilians. this is a continuum. you go to the brussels attacks. as of right now, we know it's an attack. the question is, is it a terrorist attack, by which group, al qaeda of the arabian peninsula? al qaeda advocated this type of attack as far back as 2010 in their magazine where they wrote take your cars and use them to strike down your enemies. israel has seen over 48 attacks
in the last three years killing 29 israeli citizens and wounding over 100 of people taking their cars or trucks from their businesses and just running over civilians. someone has clearly been inspired by this methodology and has decided to use it on bastille day here in nice. >> it's that that leads you, you were the one who cautioned us earlier that we were hoping and praying that it was a disgruntled individual, that this wasn't as bad as it turns out to be. it's that that leads you to think this is at minimum, an inspired individual and at worst, directly affiliated, directly linked. >> absolutely. looking at the circumstances of what's been going on in france for the last ten months, there has been a virtual lockdown. french intelligence has been kicking open doors and rousting
all the usual suspects in order to shake up terrorist cells which may have been operating there. or at least to get people who were actually being inspired who may be thinking about things to give them indicators, by getting on the phone, by trying to reach out to foreign countries. however, an attack of this type using a vehicle which is very common, tractor trailers, you know, it's literally in the mind of the attacker to determine when and how he's going to do that. and it's virtually impossible to get that unless you have some indication. as you saw in the video, the police actually tried to pull him over at the barricades and that was his cue to accelerate. so the fact that he was zigzagging through the crowds, all of these are literally the same methodology that were used by the attackers in israel. it's just a question of what's the ideology behind this individual's attack. clearly, they wanted a very high body count. they wanted it done in
spectacular fashion. they did it on the fourth of july, the independence day of france, bastille day, and a significant location. i have been right at that spot in nice and it's a very crowded spot even when there is not a festivity going on. so this could be an individual or could be a one or two-man group who were inspired or directed. that's what the forensic analysis is going to tell us over the next couple of days. >> malcolm, that i presume starts immediately and french police will be the first to know if this fans out, if they are looking for anything specific as a result of this? >> absolutely. they are going to go right now, within the first minutes, the counterterrorism forces and intelligence teams related to the french intelligence are going to be right in that truck, first identify the attacker. backtrack where he lives, where
he came from, who his family members are. go into the mobile phones, start immediately breaking down the recent numbers that this person called while explosive ordnance disposal goes through that vehicle and determines. ayman made a very, very good point earlier. we don't know what the payload of that vehicle was. it could have been concrete blocks just to give you more momentum and energy as you go on to the sidewalk, or it could be explosives and there's an explosive train in there that didn't detonate. all of this is being performed right now on this vehicle and they are going to again, as we saw in paris, as we saw after brussels, they will kick down the doors of everyone ever associated with this individual. they are going to work this backwards to see if it links out to anyone who is a known associate who may have been involved in terrorism before or whether this is a clean skin operative who was inspired by an al qaeda magazine or by someone who may have, you know, radicalized this individual and
then brought them here to carry out this attack. >> again, what a grisly business. malcolm, thank you. we have just passed the 7:30 p.m. hour in the east coast. it's 1:30 a.m. locally in nice, france. the scene of the latest terrorist attack in our world. these are some of the social media videos coming into us. some of what we have found posted that we can show you. you see the reflection of the individual taking these pictures. looks like a hotel or apartment one or two stories above the street. a container truck of the shorter variety, not quite translating to the 18-wheeler type, there you see it in the united states, the scale is a bit different in europe. this appears to be slowed, it appears that cops on motorcycle and on foot are on to it.
they give chase but the truck accelerates through apparently a barricade meant to indicate pedestrians only, no traffic along the mediterranean there. thankfully, all we can see is the scattering of people because of the terrible carnage estimated now, between 60 and 70 deaths. janet shamlian, who is close by, was reporting that we should remember the large number of american tourists who tend to be there, certainly go there for what is france's july 4th, the bastille day celebration there was a large fireworks display along the mediterranean coast there tonight. the mayor of nice initially said in a statement there were dozens killed. everyone was hoping and praying that was not right.
it appears that was right and then some. this individual truck, individual driver, apparently earlier reports that the driver had been engaged by gunfire. again, people hoping that on a night of fireworks, that was heard in error but that appears as well to have perhaps been correct. that is the aftermath picture we have thus far of the cab of the truck where it finally came to a rest. people in nice, france are being told to get off the streets, to stay indoors and as ayman mohyeldin was reporting earlier, being asked not to post certain videos, especially of the gruesome sort, being asked to edit what they say and post on social media. there is a strategic reason for that, of course, to control rumors and not to make the
police job any harder, but also, there are matters of taste. this in the end is going to be where several dozen people met their end during a holiday in france tonight. ayman mohyeldin remains with us. you have been watching social media yourself. >> yeah. one of the important things obviously in the wake of this is going to be tracking social media for militant groups, terrorist groups, see if there's any claim of responsibility out there, if there's anything credible out there. obviously us and all our producers are working on those channels that we usually monitor and it's safe to say as of yet, there hasn't been a claim of responsibility. but what we are seeing or at least certainly what i'm seeing, isis supporters and followers celebrating and praising this attack and others, calling on fellow followers to do the same. this in itself is obviously troubling. as we will see in the coming hours, if there is a claim of responsibility, something similar to what we saw following the bangladesh attack, there was an immediate claim of responsibility and that pointed the direction as to who was
behind this particular attack. this has not yet happened yet here. we are monitoring that situation to see if there's any legitimate or credible claim of responsibility but as of yet, we have not seen that. in the past we have seen terrorist groups like isis quick to claim responsibility for it. there's always a little bit of caution between a credible claim and an opportunistic claim. they may see this and say oh, this is obviously the magnitude of this, the significance of this, the ripple effect of it, they want to jump on that. that's what we are beginning to see right now among some of their followers and supporters, the celebration of this as a terrorist attack by those accounts. >> in a moment we will go back to bob franken, who is in nice, france. first to the newsroom. cal perry has new information. >> yeah. just to pick up where ayman left off, a french official has called into french television and reported that light arms, quote light arms and explosives have been found in the truck. so that brings us one step closer to an act of terror. >> all right.
cal, thank you. as promised, the american veteran television journalist bob franken, who was in touch with us from nice until we lost communications with you. i think the cell phone circuits just got choked off. what have you been able to learn in the intervening minutes? >> well, what the view is now on all the streets that lead into the promenade des anglais, the street where all this happened next to the mediterranean, there are police standing with automatic weapons, preventing all vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic from getting on to the promenade itself. it is completely closed down. earlier, of course, at the aftermath of the bastille day fireworks display, you had the truck and the grisly truck racing police barriers, then striking down dozens and dozens of people. i saw more than a dozen in fact
knocked down. police, on the other hand, were worried about some further attack so they were trying to get people down to the beach, which is a few steps down, to the mediterranean beach. in the meantime, of course, everybody was fleeing in the other direction. thousands muof people were fleeg for obvious reasons and had been exposed to a terrible, terrible amount of violence. there was speculation from the beginning that it was terrorism. it now seems to be confirmed by a variety of facts that that was the case. >> bob franken, who is in nice. christopher dickey is now with us on camera from paris. christopher, what is likely to be the ripple effect as far north in france as the city of paris? >> well, i just walked here to the studio through the streets of paris and there were police cars all over the place. there was a whole long line of them rushing down the avenue just below the arc de triomphe.
there are people sitting out in cafes as if nothing has happened but i think at the level of the government and the security forces here, certainly the tension level is extremely high. we are going to see a lot of police and a lot of soldiers on the street here. >> have the french been forced to give up any of their traditional civil liberties, right to privacy type stuff, since the bataclan attack? >> yes. the government has been gradually moving in on civil liberties with what has been called sometimes the french patriot act. it's making it easier for them to monitor conversations, easier for them to interrogate people when they arrest them, easier for them to generally try to crack down on terrorist networks or people who might be connected with terrorist networks. but the police force here has
proved to be unable on several occasions to keep track of all the people they suspect as potential jihadists. that's what we saw with "charlie hebdo." that's what we saw with the bataclan attacks, the november 13th massacres. that's what we saw in brussels. all those people were people that the police have had an eye on before and yet they somehow lost sight of them before the terror began. >> christopher dickey and as you speak, we are seeing again, these pictures. this one came in to us a few minutes ago. we were in the middle of another conversation. people presumably back in their hotel lobby just off the promenade. we should remember in addition to the dead, there will be a number of wounded and injured. there was also this tremendous rush of people, people tripping and falling, we can presume, as
they ran away from the danger. probably it usually takes awhile to occur to people just what has happened. you're not all together -- somewhat in disbelief, we should put it the other way, that this has happened, especially right in front of you, especially there on a holiday, on a warm night with your family. matt bradley is standing by in london for us. matt, what can you add? >> well, one of the things we have been seeing is that actually, the former head of the -- former mayor of nice, now the current president of the nice region, he tweeted actually that they have set up a psychological cell, for anyone who is seeking aid in the region. they can call a number and seek some assistance. this just goes to show that a lot of the victims we are talking about, he tweeted earlier there were more than 70 victims, they can actually reach out and seek assistance from the
french national police and from french authorities. it was really poignant seeing this official tweeting earlier. he tweeted just a couple of hours ago some pictures of the attack and himself, a picture of his face actually looking at some of the images of the celebrations on the frpromenade desanglais and then tweeting how this is the most dramatic damage to afflict nice in history. so for him and for many people of this region, this is a really poignant moment. this is not just -- this is not just an attack that's affecting the victims themselves but psychologically, it's affecting the residents of nice, of this city that's really used to a lot of celebration, especially at this particular moment. it's used to tourists, used to people who are there to celebrate and now they are having to seek psychological assistance. >> it also looks like every first responder for miles and
miles around has been called in. they may very well have a shortage of helicopters and ambulances until they get their arms around the scope of this. matt, thanks. regarding the police work that is evident or can be assumed in this video, let's bring in former atf special agent in charge, jim cavanaugh. jim, what do you see in these pictures? >> well, like you have been reporting, i think one of the things i see right away is just what you said, a motor cop trying to stop this slow-moving box truck, a straight body box truck moving down the street. i noticed the truck has no lights on. i didn't see any taillights on it, i didn't see any headlights on it. although that street has street lights, there's a lot of shadows and you know that would contribute to people not really even realizing what's happening. they can hear the sound of an engine but where is it, it's coming at them in complete
darkness. of course, you reported the zigzagging of it, the deliberateness. malcolm talked about could it be isis, could it be al qaeda. i think all those are still yet to be learned. but just working with the criminal mind for a long time and of course, the terrorist's mind, terrorists are all criminals, what struck me immediately was within the last 24 hours, the president of france announced that he was deploying the aircraft carrier charles degaulle in the fight against isis. my police mind went back to well, isis declared -- deployed their aircraft carrier today. they don't have missiles, they have a body belt, the body bomb. they don't have an aircraft carrier but they have a big truck. we don't know who's behind it but it was just a reaction i had. some things i did notice as well. pictures from sky news showed the front of the truck, it was riddled with obviously police bullets that were coming from
the right side into the windshield and a picture of -- from the guardian had a clear picture of four police officers with long guns behind a palm tree who were probably the officers that stopped that vehicle from the angle of the shots and where they were deployed. it looks like they probably knocked the radiator out which is common in these kind of things and you can see all the coolant on the ground, killed the driver. so what happens now. i think you talked about it, malcolm, ayman, cal, what's in the back of the truck. because whatever's in the back of the truck is going to be a big job. you can't just open the door. you have got to have bomb disposal take care of that quickly, carefully. the guy could have had a detonator hard wire detonator, remote control detonator, even, to detonate an explosive payload in the back and was killed before he could do it. you have to very carefully
render that truck safe as we say in the bomb business, render it safe. that's going to take a little time to get in there and do that. of course, what's happening behind the scenes is the white collar investigation, the sweeps, the intelligence, who is this guy, what's, you know, i like to say basics, get his wallet, his computer, his phone. who's he connected to, where is he, where are his accomplices, you know, and shake it all down. they have a lot of people to do that. we are not seeing that happening but that's happening at a frenetic pace in nice and across france, i'm sure. >> if we are looking for any blessing, isn't it that the entire rear of the truck didn't blow, as far as we know, wasn't full of explosives, wasn't a rolling bomb? apparently they found some explosive material and small arms back there. >> right. which may indicate that the driver wanted to just keep driving and maybe shooting and driving and shooting.
just to make as much death and destruction as he could. the french police stopped him, you know, i don't know how far he drove through that crowd, but he wouldn't have to drive very far with headlights out against a mass of pedestrians to cause a whole lot of death. they were able to get the windshield shot out and stop him. big vehicles like that weigh so much, they are so heavy, they are hard to stop. if they killed the driver, that would do it. when you shoot out a radiator, it doesn't immediately stop but if the engine's revving pretty hard, it can stop not too long after that. but likely it stopped because he was killed. but he might have kept driving and driving until somebody could get in front of him. these officers got in front of him. the motor cop was trying to get in front of him. and they got him stopped. >> jim cavanaugh, thanks. i don't know how complete this could be, i don't want to spread
false hope, but the state department is saying there are no americans among the dead. we grieve for the loss of life no matter who the victims are tonight. but let's continue to hope that is correct, attributable to a state department spokesman. i'm reading this. we have no information at this time u.s. citizens were injured or killed in the attack in nice. we are in contact with local authorities seeking more information. so it is early yet. brian is with us as well, a veteran of the national security council of the state department, of the pentagon, has been studying this kind of thing for many, many years. brian, what sticks out to you right now? >> well, the type of attack here is something that we have seen in other countries, including in israel. when i saw this, i thought about some of my friends in jerusalem, when they were experiencing similar types of attacks and a wave of these attacks, how a
truck or vehicle which is something that is so ordinary, when it's used as a weapon, can sow constant fear in your mind. so that's one point. it seems ordinary but it has an extraordinary impact and that's a key point in why i think these maniacs use these tools. i think a second is the news that there were weapons in the back, grenades, perhaps arms, offers an opportunity for law enforcement and intelligence to try to track where those weapons come from, because obviously, there are serial numbers and things like this. so there's no way to fully prevent these types of attacks but the more information we get like that, that's granular, can actually help the french and others keep themselves safe from the types of networks and you know, it's just a devastating type of attack. obviously conducted by somebody who is filled with hate, to
instill fear and to get us talking about it constantly. i think the main point before we get all of the facts and information is to express our solidarity with the people of france and just the tragedy that this represents. and just the t that this represents. >> and brian, to your first point, we were saying early on, it really -- it really matches the definition of terrorism. if for the rest of today, for the rest of today, or always, people from nice to paris to new york to kansas city for that matter, look over their shoulders at the truck driving by next to them and wonder if this is the one that's going to hop the curb and do terrible damage. >> yes. and you know, the danger, because this attack just happened a few hours ago, and we're all talking about it, and it's out there in the media. the danger is that we know about the self-radicalization phenomena. individuals with psychological problems that see something like
this and then get ideas. so there is, i think, in the next few days, a real risk of copycat. you know, people either may be formally part of networks, and this is terror networks, or themselves, just disturbed individuals. and that's where i think that's the sick point that i think some of these terrorists try to make in using ordinary things like vehicles in this sort of way. and i think the important thing we need to do is to try not to sum kum to that fear and think about, what can we do, like investigate the facts of this attack and try to enrunravel th terror networks that are present. france has about 1,800 fighters having go from syria to iraq, and we don't know that there have been two other major attacks in the last year and a
half in france, and those two earlier attacks claimed by terrorist groups, you know, it's -- we don't know yet, but france has a much bigger problem, as we've seen in the last year and a half, than america does. but we all need to be vigilant. >> we have another correspondent to go to. before we do, though, let me turn it around, though, as a question to you, and ask, this is the part that scares people witless. what can you do? because as we've seen now again, there's nothing scarier or more dangerous than a deranged individual, in this case, with a bad idea and a truck. >> yes. i mean, look, the unpredictability of events like this is like many things we have in all of our ordinary lives. and i think the most important thing at this moment is -- i mean, my reaction is, i'm not going to change anything that i'm going to do. i'm planning to go to egypt for
my work and travel through europe on the way there. i think it's very important not to succumb to that fear. the second is to be vigilant. obviously it's hard to predict with something like this, but if somebody knew this driver of the truck and we get more facts of this, be vigilant about all of this, but you can never be a hundred percent safe. the last point, brian, is, you know, obviously at a time in direct reaction to something like this, we're all scared. we're wondering whether this phenomenon could spread. but remember, we have done a really good job, especially in this country, keeping ourselves safe. that there are crazy terrorists like this, that are out there, trying to sew fear. and the biggest risk is, i think, if we fall into this trap of succumbing to that fear and not reminding ourselves that we can actually keep yourself safe. we've done so for the last 15
years, relatively so, since the 9/11 attacks, and we need to keep our wits about us. >> as everyone reaches for a piece of wood, brian katulis, thank you very much for that. let's return to laura haim with canal plus, the french network. laura covers the white house in this country for them but has been in touch with her sources back home in france. laura, what can you add? >> again, the emotional aspect, brian, and also the political one. in terms of the emotional aspect, it was absolutely horrible. people in nice are in shock by what happened, and they're all telling you that the truck really wanted to kill a lot of people. it's like to be in the united states, to watch the fireworks on july 4th, and suddenly you have a white truck, which is spinning, zagging, going to your family, which is running on the bodies, that's what people told me, and you don't know what to
do. i spoke with the owner of a restaurant, and he saw some people who are trying with their hands, with their simple hands, to stop the truck, but the truck was too quick, and there were unable to stop this truck. >> a lot of people are also talking about the families who went into the water to hide because they were afraid of what could happen. it was a panic scene, and then the police arrived. the police was already on site, because as you know, since the bataclan, since "charlie hebdo," there are a lot of rumors, a lot of threats against the french society. so you had some police officials inside the crowd, who were ready and they were extremely quick to stop the driver, to kill him. there was, according to the people i spoke with, only one man involved, but inside the truck and the other truck, they found some grenades and also
they found some weapons. there's now the political aspect of it. the french president, because it's bastille day, and there's a tradition in france where the french president speaks. the french president is now with the prime minister and they're trying to get a lot of information and to see what the next step is going to be. >> laura, thank you. what a terrible image of those families heading into the water, which, of course, was the nearest safe haven for them. and we're quite sure that before this story is over, we're going to learn stories of tremendous heroism and bravery by the french officials. either military or police who ended up firing the rounds to stop this driver and stop that bloodshed. as we mentioned to our viewers here, we are so often is the case. we have the intersection of two major news stories. prior to this terrorist attack, the news all day long was the
countdown to tomorrow morning's announcement and debut of whoever the individual was chosen by donald trump to run as number two on the ticket. two things have happened tonight. number one, several news agencies, this one included, have gotten what passes for a confirmation that it's going to be mike pence, governor of indiana, as number two on the trump ticket. but then donald trump himself turned to his twitter account and announced that, out of respect for what we're following tonight in nice, france, he was going to put off the press conference tomorrow morning at 11:00 here in new york. for an update on all of it, though, let's end this hour by going live to katy tur at her familiar spot outside trump tower in mid town manhattan. katy, did we get that all about right? >> you did. and governor pence is going to have to withdraw from his
re-election bid for indiana. he's currently in a tough fight in indiana for re-election, by noon tomorrow. so the decision has been made. and in order for governor pence to be the decision and to follow through with it, he's going to have to withdraw, and that paperwork will be filed and we'll have a confirmation that comes from somewhere outside of sources in the trump and pence world. that's the tricky thing when it comes to donald trump, everybody around him can say that a decision has been made, and we've heard from pretty much everybody around him that a decision has been made, but then he will go on a national news show and say that he has not yet done so. but that is the official position of the campaign right now, that they have not finally or formally decided who they are going to pick. despite that governor mike pence is in new york city right now. he flew here from indiana, just a couple hours ago. landed in new jersey at teeterborough airport and then came into manhattan. unclear what he will be doing tonight, but we do believe, from
various sources, that he was scheduled to be with donald trump tomorrow at that 11:00 a.m. news conference, which, of course, has been postponed, and allows donald trump to tease out this news for a couple more days. but many people inside the campaign, breathing a sigh of relief. they feel like pence is the one that will balance out the ticket in the way that governor chris christie or newt gingrich could not. >> to katy tur's point, this is donald trump on a phone interview from the last hour -- but i haven't made my final, final decision. i mean, i've got three people that are fantastic. so the beat goes on there in politics. we have just plowed over the normal hour airtime of chris matthews tonight because of this confluence of breaking news. and i wanted to go to chris while we still can and, chris, hear from you about just what we've been witnessing here. >> well, this is the world we live in now.
and for whatever reason, france has become the epicenter of all this terrorism now for months. if you include belgium, so much of it has been in the very important continent of europe. it's all about that. a lot of arab people live in that countries, especially in france. some are assimilated, some are not. there's a lot of anger against these immigrants, and anger from the immigrants. it's a cauldron. and to see a beautiful city like nice, at a time of national celebration, by a truck, out to kill people, to maim many others, but to kill so many people so quickly in cold blood, looking in their faces through the windshield and killing them, because that's what you want to do that day. and here at home, i must say something about this decision by trump, if it is mike pence, he's managed to really pick a rose here. because he could have made some very serious mistakes if he had picked gingrich, i k,