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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  April 8, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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imagine where it will take you. hello, everyone. i'm yasmin vossoughian. is the president starting to look at foreign policy and in the wake of this week's developments, what does assad look like. and clashing roles in the white house. can they make peace or will one of them have to go? we begin with nbc's kelly o'donnell who is near the president's mar-a-lago estate. the president has sent a letter to congress about his actions on thursday. what more can you tell us about that? >> reporter: good to be with
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you, yasmin. this is an opportunity for president trump to lay out the legal basis for the action that he took. we know congress has to play and role and that didn't happen in this case before the attack on the airfield in syria, so the president outlining what he believes is his legal authority in this letter to the leaders of the house and senate. he gives it first the play-by-play of what went down the other night at 8:40 p.m. talking about the forces going into syria. he said that he did this in the foreign policy interests of the united states, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations as commander in chief and chief executive. and the united states will take additional action as appropriate to further its important interests. this is, in some ways, a standard thing the white house would do to inform congress. in light of what happened in the last few days and the knewness of the trump presidency, it gives us a chance to hear why
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and how the president believes he had the legal basis to take this action and talks about wanting to use this strike to degrade the capability of the bashar al assad to use chemical weapons. so it's significant for those reasons. it gives congress a chance to see what the president and the white house believe was their legal power to do this and, of course, there may be debate going forward about whether this was enough or appropriate. we know that congress was informed. certain leaders of congress at about the time of the attack. they were brought in, as is often the case, with military action. this is an official document that also takes us behind the scenes. yasmin? >> kelly, do we know anything more about the timing of this letter? is it possibly because we've been hearing calls about the legality or the questioning and the legality of these strikes? >> i don't think it's that complicated in that it would need to be signed by the president. it takes a little time for that.
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the white house would need to be prepared to argue the legal basis by which the president made this strike and that's what they are laying out here. so it's not unusual that it would take a couple of days for this sort of a formality but what is interesting, is itt givs a sense that the president was trying to prevent the use of the chemical weapons and that was a strategic interest and using the key phrase vital national security interest. that gives him wide latitude under the constitution to take this kind of action. yasmin? >> we'll talk to a congressman later on in the show who questions the legality of the strikes. kelly o'donnell in palm beach for us, thank you. meanwhile, russia is condemning the missile strikes on its mid-east ally. calling the strike illegitimate and a violation of the policy. bill neely is in moscow with
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more on the upcoming visit by rex tillerson this week. >> reporter: there's no question that this visit by rex tillerson, the first visit by any senior trump official to moscow will be significant and it will also be a challenge for rex tillerson, even though he's known here and personally honored in the past as a businessman by vladimir putin. he's due to meet the russian foreign minister sergey lavrov. i suppose one question is, will president putin signal his displeasure of the united states by refusing to meet rex tillerson. he needs to tread a pretty fine line. he wants to be tough and tell the russians exactly why the u.s. launched those missiles on the air base but he also wants to accomplish one of the key aims of donald trump's foreign policy, which is better relations with russia. and that has to start with his first visit here. he's already been pretty tough with the russians, remember. so there could be a frosty
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reception because a couple of days ago he said that russia was either complicit in sear yaz chemical weapons program or it was incompetent because it didn't know that syria had chemical weapons at that base. so tough words from him. he will come here from the g-7 gathering in italy and he will want to bring here a united message from the west and interestingly today the british foreign secretary, boris johnson, has canceled that visit saying that he wants a clear and coordinated message to be sent to the russians. and that message will not be delivered by rex tillerson himself. the russians, well, they have been delivering their own messages again today. the foreign ministry spokesperson has been talking about rex tillerson's visit and talking about that air strike and she said the air strike is
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not part of washington's strategy because washington lack as strat yegy in syria. she says the only thing that is predictable is the unpredictability of the foreign policy. that missile strike was a tactic. it was sending a message to the russians but doesn't represent a strategy. so donald trump still has to convey to the world, never mind the russians, what he wants to do in the long term. what is his political diplomatic strategy towards assad and towards ending the war in syria. those are questions that he hasn't yet answered. those are questions that the russians will be asking rex tillerson when he comes here next week. yasmin? >> while all eyes are on that meeting, my thanks to bill neely
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in moscow for us. there are many editorials in this weekend's paper asking questions like, was it worth it, what's next and what authority does the president have to carry out these air strikes? a reaction on capitol hill is mixed between democratic and republican lawmakers applauding the military strike but questioning its legitimacy. take a listen. >> i want to applaud the president for taking action. it was justified, it was necessary. >> i think they're illegal and unconstitutional. >> we, as the american people, should be concerned when any president of the united states launches an illegal and unconstitutional military strike against a foreign government. >> joining me live to discuss the congressional role, representative brad sherman, a member of the house foreign affairs committee. thank you for joining me. appreciate it. i spoke with my colleague, kelly o'donnell, about this letter that the president put out. he talked about how the strikes were vital to the national security of the united states and that the u.s. will take
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additional action if needed. your reaction? >> well, i would have hoped that that letter would have bound the president to follow the war powers act, something his predecessors have not officially bound himself to do, but it is the law of the land and that defines what a president can do without congressional approval and what approval they have to do. basically, anything over 60 days requires congressional approval. unfortunatelily, president obama didn't follow that when it came to libya. hopefully trumpb will declare that he'll follow the law in the future. this event didn't take 60 days. it took six minutes. i think the president was acting within his authority but i don't know what he plans to do he ought to consult congress. >> do you agree with the action of the strikes on syria?
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>> we have three objectives in syria. one is to protect the syrian people. the second is to destroy isis and the third is to protect the chemical war which is prohibited chemical weapons. i think this action was a prudent step only with regard to one of those actions and that's to protect the chemical warfare convention. assad should realize these weapons are counterproductive for him, that if he uses these weapons, he'll pay a price and i think we have to give tremendous credit to president obama who got 2 1/2 million pounds of these toxic weapons out of assad's hands and two international authorities for destruction. we can only imagine how many
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hundreds and thousands may have died if we hadn't gotten it out of his hands. obviously he kept a portion out but 2.5 million pounds were removed from his hands. >> congressman, a lot of people are urging diplomacy after these strikes. considering what you just talked about, these chemical weapons being taken out of his hands, can we even trust the path of diplomacy at this point? >> there's limited trust when you're dealing with individuals. you can trust the fact that if 2.5 million pounds of gas is delivered to authorities, that's 2.5 million pounds less of those chemical weapons but obviously he cheated. obviously he's killed people with the portion of the gas that
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he still has. but if we only conduct diplomacy with the people we trust, we won't be able to deal with the tyrants that we have to deal with. coming up, a russian warship spotted in the mediterranean headed towards two navy destroyers. we'll go live to russia with their reaction to the strikes in syria after this break. sound wa. let's talk asset allocation. -sure. you seem knowledgeable, professional. would you trust me as your financial advisor? -i would. -i would indeed. well, let's be clear, here. i'm actually a deejay. ♪ [ laughing ] no way! i have no financial experience at all. that really is you? if they're not a cfp pro, you just don't know. find a certified financial planner professional who's thoroughly vetted at letsmakeaplan.org. cfp. work with the highest standard.
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brace yourself! this is crazy! [ tires screeching ] whoo! boom baby! rated pg-13. [ screams ] welcome back. russia has dispatched a warship to the eastern mediterranean sea heading to two u.s. navy destroyers. the russian ship, part of russia's black fleet, is armed with cruise missiles. claiming to show flights
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resuming on the airfield that the u.s. targeted while the russian foreign ministry says a call between secretary of state rex tillerson and sergey lavrov was held in which lavrov said the u.s. air strikes, quote, played into extremists hands creating additional threats for both regional and global security while emphasizing that syria used chemical weapons is, quote, not consistent with reality. joining me is pentagon correspondent courtney kubie. is the positioning of the warship warship a show of force or -- >> it's not uncommon. the ship that moved from the black sea into the med and started steaming east on friday. it's not uncommon for it to operate in that area. it's also not uncommon to operate near u.s. ships in the mediterranean and other areas. it dubts mean that there's any kind of a provocation or
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confrontation. it's most likely just russian posturing and, candidly, the u.s. does it as well. it doesn't mean a confrontation is coming. >> the russian posturing, posturing what? >> well, the u.s. just had a show of force, for all intents and purposes in syria. remember, russia is syria's largest and strongest backer, syria being the syrian regime of bashar al assad. the "uss ross" is in the mediterranean still and fired off the tomahawks into syria here homs to attack that air base. it's not uncommon for other ships either to operate near each other frequently.
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>> courtney kube, thank you. the president's decision to bomb the airfield comes with a history of him opposing further entrenchment into a conflict in which he said, quote, there was no upside and a tremendous downside. in fact, here's what then candidate trump had to say about engaging in the syrian war just a week before election day. >> hillary and our failed washington establishment have spent $6 trillion on wars in the middle east that we never won and that never end. now she wants to start a shooting war in syria in conflict with a nuclear armed russia and could lead to world war iii. >> so now the president says it was the images of dead innocence that moved him to act. as a globalist president trump sur planting the nationalist president trump that stormed his way to syria and will the action lead to a further effort? joining me is secretary of state
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for john kerry and barry mck mccaffrey. thank you for joining me. i appreciate it. john, i'll start with you. showing you some of the instances in which there were many, in which president trump tweeted against military action in syria. is trump breaking with his nationalist agenda here that got him elected? >> well, i -- >> go ahead, john. >> sorry. >> go ahead, john. >> thanks. i really appreciate being on. look, people who try to provide a coherence to what the trump administration is doing on foreign policy and there are things that it looks like president trump believes and cares about and seems to believe he is very aggressive with terrorists. he thinks some of the partners
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and allies are doing enough. these are themes that he keeps coming back to. in terms of coming up with a narrative about his doctrine or overall agenda, he's on too many sides of too many issues to be able to impose that sort of coherence on what he's doing and the latest example is what he's done in syria, which is not just at odds with what he said in the campaign but quote/unquote that he gave to president obama when he implored him not to launch strikes. >> does he need to change his overall agenda in that region with syria? >> well, first of all, i think john is entirely correct. there is no strategic sense to what's now going on in syria from this administration nor i might add in the last one. i worked very senior levels in three administrations and if you think a strategy is a conceptual architecture that guides action with a budget that backs up your strategy, i'd probably rarely
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ever see any strategy in u.s. government. we have a very impulsive action by the white house. probably sensible. it may well have deterred future use of chemical weapons, which is a bizarre choice anyway. at the end of the day, it didn't change anything strategic on the ground and it's unlikely that the white house will get us engaged on the ground in a significant way. >> well, in speaking about policy in syria, a lot of people saying, look, president trump is able to level these strikes in syria but still has this view on the immigration ban when it comes to syrian refugees. hillary clinton being one that echos that thought. let's take a listen to her and then we'll react after. >> we cannot in one breath speak of protecting syrian babies and then in the next close america's doors to them. >> john, does they have a point? >> she absolutely does.
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particularly, she has a point because the way in which the trump administration has explained the president's about-face on the issue of military strikes is that he was confronted with images of human suffering. and i think all of us saw those images and they were real and powerful. they are far from any of the images that have emerged since the syria crisis began, including the suffering of now upwards of 15 million people who have been displaced by this conflict. many of them outside of syria. many of them looking for a third country in which to reset tell. the fact that the president has entirely shut down the syrian refugees admissions program to the united states while at the same time assad is using chemical weapons on the people of syria and the united states is, for the first time, is a degree of inconsistency that will lead to more. >> during the obama presidency, it was reported that the question a lot of times that the administration was asking himself was what would happen next if we leveled a strike
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against syria. do you believe the trump administration asks themselves that question and talk about the ripple effects. the worst case scenario involving not only russia or syria but israel and iran and iraq. >> it's a pretty vague order. >> it's involving a huge percentage of the population displaced internally or externally. the solution to that humanitarian crisis is not moving them to germany or the united states, it's providing adequate resources out of the european union and the united states to stabilize those populations inside jordan and turkey where they are suffering and huge misery. i think equating 60,000 syrian refugees to the united states doesn't answer the problem.
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now, what next in syria after syria comes apart? it's a permanent civil war. it's primarily shia versus sunni. the kurds are on a third side. we have russians, turkish military in there. it's an utter mess. assad will never be welcome back as the head of state of this largely sunni country. so i think at the end of the day there is not a strategic national interest in syria. there is a north korea, iran, russia, china, so we're going to have to be very cautious on what we do there. >> so to come to some sort of resolution in syria, you need to involve, general, all of those entities. >> well, i'm not sure but assad was a moscow puppet and they'll choose the next head of the
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government in syria. that's nonsense. the outsiders play a role, harmful or helpful. the iranians are in there in a major way. there is a lot of foreign actors on the ground and syria but that's going to get thought out between people who are cruel and hate each other with good reason. so i'd be cautious about the united states or others can engineer a solution in syria. >> we're going to talk about this for the next hour or so but we've got to go. thank you for joining me. next, we'll head to sweden. new details of the deadly truck attack. what the authorities are saying about the person under arrest and what they found in the truck after the attack.
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sweden. a device was found in the hijacked truck but they are not saying what it is. the suspected driver is a 39-year-old man from uzbekistan who is under arrest and expected to be in court next week. they are not ruling out that several people could be involved in the attack. today, the country's crowned princess and prince visited where four people were killed and 15 others injured. sweden's prime minister visited the site and declared monday to be a national day of mourning. so far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. coming up, a closer look at the role china will play not only in trade but in the crisis in syria and north korea. that's next. per roll more "doing chores for dad" per roll more "earning something you love" per roll bounty is more absorbent,
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welcome back, everybody. president trump's decision to use military force in syria mark as dramatic shift of foreign policy. what happens if assad is out? cal perry is here to break it down for us.
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cal, a lot of factions here to talk about. you've spoke to assad in the past. what has he said then and now what are you seeing? >> he was a darling in the middle east. he was going to make peace with israel. that's what he told me when i interviewed him in 2008. it made world headlines. this was the man that was going to change the region. and then it all fell apart because his troop opened fire on troops in dara. the civilian population wanted reforms. they didn't want assad. this is the mess he's left in his wake. in the red, we have controlled areas from the syrian government. this is code for what the russian army controls in red. these areas here are still contested areas. this is where john mccain would love to see the safe zones. this is the area controlled by the kurdish population which has their own priorities and rebel-held areas here. keep in mind, you're talking
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about 100 rebel groups, none of them agree on just about anything. they are all backed by different sovereign nations be it iran, iraq, be it any country really in the world. this has become the world's playground. it used to be lebanon. now it's syria. they are interested in these two port stits of tartu s&l a and tarkia. >> let's talk about syria, russia israel, iraq, iran. what could happen if israel says, you struck us, united states, we're going to strike israel, so on and so forth? >> that's the concern. the battle space moves from here to here, to the mediterranean sea. there are russian ships flowing
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into the med. you've mentioned lebanon and iran. lebanon has the shia militia, hezbollah, which controls the southern half of the country. the reason they back assad, they want to move weapons back and forth between iran and lebanon. so your domino effect is the right one. the u.s. lashes out at syria. russia lashes back at the u.s. in the mediterranean. we look at then another sort of regional war scenario like 2008 and you have the americans fighting the russians, the lebanese step in, they go into syria, iran comes in and then the big dramatic x factor which we haven't even talked about is saudi arabia. you're absolutely right. >> the general when i asked him earlier said it's a tall order. it certainly is a tall order. i've got to say, cal, those pictures of you, wow. were you 12? >> yes. very young. >> msnbc's cal perry, thank you. thank you. president trump says he's
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making headway with china, his first face-to-face meeting with xi jinping has resulted in a 100-day plan to improve trade. their talk was side tracked by air strikes in syria. china is opposed to sanctions against syria. some are framing the u.s. attack as a signal to beijing that the u.s. is prepared to act against north korea without china's help. trump says he's considering all options and nbc news has learned that the national security council has presented him with controversial military options if the diplomacy fails. one includes targeting north korean kim jong-un for assassination and covert action aimed at sabotaging the nuclear program. i'm joined by meredith. thank you for joining me. i appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> what do you think of these options i've just listed? >> the chinese are not going to
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be fans of those options, for sure. and regardless of what plans might like out into the public, what you can largely expect going forward, at least with the trump administration, is more of a ratcheting up of pressure on north korea. they are going to try a variety of different things, working with china where it can, working with other partners where it can, working alone when it has to to try to bring even more pressure to bear on north korea, to see how far it can get there. the three options you presented and the threat of a unilateral strike that has been tabled by the secretary of state, i would not expect to see that at least in the first year as the new administration tries out various diplomatic tools to illicit change in his behavior. >> tillerson has not said that diplomacy has failed. >> well, still, what you just
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saw at mar-a-lago is president trump and president xi trying diplomacy again. the dialogue will be chaired by both presidents and underneath that dialogue, there will be four different tracks. one of them is a diplomacy and security track that you can expect that north korea will be discussed within that track. so while no concrete outcomes came from this summit, what did happen is both sides reaffirmed their commitment to nuclearize the korean peninsula and find a peaceful solution to the north korea issue and i would expect that in the coming three months or so you will see an uptick in activity as both sides try to chart out how they are going to approach discussing north korea, what are the parameters of that conversation and what are the various tools that might bring
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to bear. >> we'll have to wait to see how that develops. meredith, thank you. a look at the horrific effects of a chemical weapon attack. we'll speak with a man who survived an attack and his message for president trump. stay with us. to do the best for your pet, you should know more about the food you choose. with beyond, you have a natural pet food that goes beyond telling ingredients to showing where they come from. beyond assuming the source is safe... to knowing it is.
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and pampers' superior protection so you'll see fewer leaks and they'll see their first underwear pampers easy ups, the easiest way to underwear. pampers welcome back, everybody. this week's chemical attack in syria drew the world's attention. heartbreaking images showing children gasping for air and aide workers trying to save as many lives as possible. joining me is dr. john torres. i appreciate you joining me on this. >> you bet. >> when you saw the images coming out of syria, immediately you thought nerve agent chemical attack? >> i'm an emergency room doctor. a couple of things are happening. there's no other injuries on the bodies. it wasn't a trauma.
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their pinpoint pupils is the biggest give away, a nerve agent and there were a lot of people that were involved in this and people died because of it. those clues say it was some kind of nerve agent involved. >> from what i understand, children are more susceptible. the two twins, a heartbreaking photo being clutched by their father. the father obviously survived. the children did not. >> right. and that's the biggest thing, is that children are more susceptible because they are smaller but nerve agent in general is very, very deadly, especially sarin or vx, a more powerful one. these are pesticides on steroids. a single drop can kill somebody. an infant, it's more likely to kill them as well because their bodies are smaller. people in the area can die from this. other people may not be as close and may not have issues. it's very, very indiscriminate and that's one of the big problems. >> i found what was interesting is the sad reality that a lot of the syrians, they knew how to deal with this. they knew what to do, to take
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the clothes off and spray them with water. what are other things that people need to do? >> that's the biggest thing. take the clothes off and decontaminate the person. but atropine is the chemical to use to get these people safe. these people are going to die because they are going to suffocate. their muscles start spasming and they can't breathe and that's usually how they die. some people take huge doses of atropine so in situations like this, hospitals run out of this medication. as they run out, more and more people end up dying because of it. >> i want you to stand by with me because i want to bring in a survive of the 2013 sarin chemical gas attack in syria. that attack claimed more than 1400 lives, including hundreds of children and president obama -- and dared president obama to act after his infamous red line statement.
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kassem eid, thank you for joining me. talk to me a little bit about your experience, your ordeal. >> thank you for having me. on august 21st, 2013, around 5:00 a.m., i started hearing rockets coming from damascus. seconds later, i hit the ground while i was trying to figure out what was going on. i lost my ability to breathe. i felt like my chest was set on fire. my eyes were burning. each and every part of my body s in a lot of pain. i wasn't able to breathe, to scream, to do anything. so i -- my normal reaction was to beat my chest over and over and over until i got my fresh breath. i started screaming in agony trying to wake up my friends. seconds later, the neighbors started screaming as well. i ran to the street to see what's going on only to find this scene that i always
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describe as judgment day. i saw men, women and children falling on the ground. the terror, the confusion was unbearable. i saw a little boy who was suffocating. i tried to help him and after seeing a lot of barbarism of the assad regime, a lot of bodies burned alive, that look on that boy's face was the most terrible thing i've ever seen in my life. i tried to rescue him to the field hospital. when we got there, i lost my conscience. i was in a coma, my heart stopped. i was dead. they gave me atromine, gave me cpr, placed me between the dead bodies. my friends saw me moving. it was god's will that brought me back. i woke up to see the assad
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regime. i helped investigate the incident because of my english skills and because i was a survivor. they examined the rockets, they took blood samples and we were all standing and waiting to see the response. especially after president obama's remarks about the red line. again, i always say that the most painful memory about that attack is watching president obama failing his promise and letting assad walk away once again. it was a heartbreaking moment, not just for me but for millions and millions of syrians who had suffered for such a long time and they thought that this is it, that eventually obama is going to do something.
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but unfortunately nately he didn't. >> i can't imagine the memories seared in your mind and that will be seared in your mind forever. do you have any symptoms now that you've experienced from the attack? >> to breathe, to concentrate, to see for a couple of weeks after the attack. to be honest, until now i didn't do a full check for the chemical weapons attack. i was limping for more than two years under siege and we only had one field hospital which was just a basement in a building. after i left and came to the states, i was too busy trying to get help to syria and to check myself. but i can say that most terrible
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affect of getting gassed is the terror. it's the memory. the chemical weapons, it's a weapon of terror. the whole point of using chemical weapons is to terrorize people, to make them know that there is no place for you to hide because during the bombardment, people go into the basements and to the lower levels but when you use chemical weapons, the gas is heavier than air so goes to the lower levels. that's why you always find that the most casualties during chemical weapons attacks are basically women and children because we usually keep the lower basement and send the lower levels for women and children because we think it's safer. so until now, three, four years later, i'm still suffering, still wake up at night and still scream. >> kassem, what message do you
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have for president trump? >> i want to thank him with all my heart. i have a lot of friends from syria asking me to thank him and telling him that what you did was a message of hope, that for the very first time you held assad accountable. we also want to tell him, please, sir, syrians want to stay in syria. establish safe zones in syria. please stop assad from using the traditional weapons. take out assad airports. he's still using barrel bombs. he's still using his aircrafts to bomb hospitals and kill civilians. today he killed more than 50 civilians with traditional weapons. please, stand up for the russians. stand up what they are doing in syria is unacceptable. >> kassem -- >> people are getting killed for more than six years. >> kassem, i'm very sorry that i have to jump in. i wish i could talk to you for a very long time but i do have to go.
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i appreciate you sharing your story with us and sharing your voice and i'm very thankful that you survived that attack and that you're able to talk to us today, honestly and openly. thank you, kassem. >> thank you. >> just really quickly, we have literally about 20 seconds left, but you survive an attack, you're going to feel it the rest of your life. >> you're going to feel it and psychologically you're going to feel it like he's talking about. it's one of those things that will never leave you. in his case thankfully he made it, but i can only imagine what he saw. it's indiscriminate, women and children, everybody, people running aware they're going to fall down and die. it's a bad chemical. >> yeah. just hearing his story kind of hits you hard, right? >> it does. >> dr. torres, thank you. >> you bet. do you play? ♪ ♪ use the chase mobile app to send money in just a tap, to friends at more banks then ever before.
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because the time to think about tomorrow...is today. go long. welcome back everybody. there is a deepening divide between white house senior advisor jared kushner and chief strategist steve bannon and it's making new headlines this weekend. now a source familiar with the situation confirms to nbc news a meeting between the two men and white house chief of staff
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reince priebus has been held. it follows reports that bannon and priebus could soon be out as part of a west wing shakeup. but sources close to bannon tell nbc news the president's chief strategist is not going anywhere. joining me now to discuss, national political reporter for politico and eliza collins of usa today. gabe, i'm going to start with you. bannon opposed the strike on syria, kushner supported it. we obviously know how president trump felt about it because he decided to go forward with it. is the white house trying to say there's nothing to see here, but there's a sign bannon could be falling out of favor with the president, especially considering his removal from the nsc last week. >> that's exactly right. this is within the umbrella of a lot of broader changes that have been happening around the white house, one of them is bannon being removed from the national security council. but i think what we're seeing here is just another elaboration of a lot of internal politics that have been happening over the last, you know, 12 weeks of this presidency. they're clearly still trying to work out exactly where everyone
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fits in. but what we're seeing is really an example of the broader questions surrounding trump's candidacy when he was running for president because a lot of the people that supported him thought he would be something like a traditional republican, more hawkish on foreign policy, and a lot of folks wanted him to take a different posture here. so what we're seeing is yet another example of internal republican infighting. i don't think we can read too many tea leaves yet to say because he did strike syria that means that bannon is falling all the way out of favor, but it certainly points in that direction. >> eliza, it's been a rough couple of months for the trump administration. as we sort of get going with this new president. do you think someone needs to take the fall here? >> i think that -- i mean, trump would probably like people to be talking about gorsuch, who was confirmed to the supreme court on friday. they had a little tweak to the health care bill that they're billing as a success. last week was actually a pretty good week in terms of donald trump's presidency. you know, the syria strike which
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he got bipartisan praise for, i think that's what they would like people to be talking about. but president trump kind of thrives off chaos. his white house, his campaign, he went through multiple campaign managers, so i'm not exactly sure, you know, if they're looking to blame one person. but i do think they would like the conversation to shift. >> gabe, bannon backed the immigration ban among other immigration policies. what's to happen if for instance bannon were to leave? >> well, i think there would be a serious question about what that means for trump support because obviously most white houses we don't see this much focus on internal, you know, where certain aides stand. this is something that's pretty unique to this white house. it is so early though and bannon is someone who's been so influential to trump's thinking not only during his time in the white house but during his time again campaigning that we might start to see a certain shift towards other folks in the white house towards them having more influence, whether it's jared kushner or gary chon. >> we'll have to see if there's a rejiggering of the white house
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and what moves forward in what happens the next few weeks. thank you both for joining us. that's all for me this hour. i'm going to be back with you at 5:00 p.m. eastern time. richard lui picks up our coverage from here. stay with us. had. the classes, the friends, the independence. and since we planned for it, that student debt is the one experience, i'm glad she'll miss when you have the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant. ameriprise before fibromyalgia, i was a doer.
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with the accel deep deck to mow faster, better. take a test drive and save up to 250 dollars on select john deere residential ztrak mowers. and a good saturday afternoon to you. i'm richard lui live in new york city. just in to us here at msnbc, a new letter to congress from president trump after the fact defense of his military moves in syria. the details of that letter coming up. plus, a new response from russia. we have the translation of a frank phone call between the u.s. and russia. plus, in the last hour president trump tweets, he explains the intended targets of those air strikes in syria, aircraft runways included. all righty. we'll start off with this, new round of condemnation this afternoon from moscow over the u.s. missile strike in syria. this as it claims bashar al assad's chemical attack on men, women and children which horrie

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