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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  August 21, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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" and right now, collision course, for the second time in only three months, an american warship in from seventh need is on a collision course. a massive 100 square mile search is under way for the 10 missing sailors. today represents a national pause and the secretary of state says there will be a full investigation. >> the broader inquiry will take a look at all related accidents, understa incidents at sea, he is going to look at all factors, not just the immediate one. america's longest war, the president speaking to the nation tonight, to reveal his much delayed strategy for afghanistan and pakistan. despite slamming the war as a candidate, the commander in chief is expected to increase troop deployments for now. >> we can't control the politics
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in afghanistan, if we think we can solve that, you're wrong. and the total eclipse begins in just over an hour, as eclipse mania builds across the nation, people are pouring into the oregon down where the lights go out first. >> today because 100,000 people have shown up, it is the fourth largest city in the state. president trump is back at work in the white house today, preparing for a prime time address, for the troops in ft. myers. he's expected to announce he's adding as many as 4,000 troops to the force in afghanistan. that was a decision that was authorized, in fact, several months ago, but then put on hold by defense secretary mattis. the military strategy speech comes amidst another tragedy for
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the seventh fleet. a search continuing for 10 missing sailors when their destroyer, the usa "john mccain" was -- the u.s. "fitzgerald" was involved in a collision just a few months ago. the commander of the navy fleet is speaking out. >> this is the second collision in three months and the last in a series of incidents at the pacific theater. this trend demands more forceful action. as such, i direct an operational pause be taken in all of our fleets around the world. >> and we have this all covered for you, joining me now is nbc's kristen welker, and former nato
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speak chief. and first to you courtney at the pentagon, how do they explain, i guess it's too early to know what went wrong, but this is the second potentially fatal accident, the search still under way, but it is a fatal accident for the pacific fleet. >> and the first action with the uss "fitzgerald," we still don't even know what caused that one, so we still don't know what happened with the "john mccain." it was pulling into port in singapore when it collided with a merchant vessel. as you know, 10 navy sailors remain missing, and 10 more were hospitalized with nonlife-threatening injuries. when light comes in a couple of hours, we expect some u.s. navy
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divers to go below the water line and see what area was impacted. there were multiple birthing areas that were impacted so it's possible that sailors could have been asleep at the time of theism pact. >> and the u.ss "john mccain" i not named for senator mccain, it was named for his father and grandfather. you can probably only imagine the protection, the gps, the radar that is available to these ships, how does this kind of thing happen? >> we should remember that these are extremely busy shipping lanes, andrea, this is not a ship just in the open ocean with maybe one or two other ships around it. this is like a highway, think of it as an eight-lane highway, the ships are moving at high speed. but none of that excuses this. as we say at the naval academy,
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the right response here by the navy is, no excuse, sir, and to start figuring out exactly what's happened. so i think the chief of naval operations has it exactly right. you've got to hit pause, do a deep dive on what's happening, particularly in the surface n e navy, these are not submarines that are clashing these are surface ships on the surface of the ocean. the navy really has to look at itself really hard. it's been decades since we have had sailors killed in a collision at sea, to have two in three months is unimaginable. this is going to be a moment of real soul searching for the u.s. navy. >> and i want to get to the main topic that we are all thinking about today, which is afghanistan, and the president's much delayed strategy announcement and without doing it with steve bannon in his ear
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in the white house, on the sort of outside, right back at breitbart today, but this announcement from all reports, will be at least the 4,000 troops that mattis was previously authorized to deploy. but with some kind of larger strategy for this reason. >> reporter: that's right, andr andrea, the goal tonight is toe map out the big picture strategy for afghanistan. we expect him to announce more troops to be deployed to the region. and he will specifically focus on pakistan, he's also likely to announce stepped up training on afghan forces, so they can protect their own homeland. this is a significant shift for a candidate who was very clear on the campaign trail, who was opposed to expanding u.s. presence in afghanistan, you can
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go back to 2013, when he expressed his opposition to that. and to your point, this comes with the ouster of steve bannon, his chief strategist, who was also opposed to expanding the united states presence in foreign wars, afghanistan, in particular, of course we know on friday, president trump huddled with his national security team, his defense secretary at camp david and they talked about the various different options for dealing with afghanistan, steve bannon wasn't at that table and hiss ouster was announced very shortly after the president sat down to have those discussions, but i anticipate he's going to make it very clear tonight that this decision comes after a lot of deliberation, including that critical meeting at camp david on friday, andrea. >> and we are calling, president trump, then, before he was even a candidate, tweeting about afghanistan in march of 2013, we should leave afghanistan immediately, no more wasted lives if we have to go back in,
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we go in hard and quick. rebuild the u.s. first. here we have a strategy for both afghanistan and pakistan. he is completely rejecting, we understand, at least according to our report iing the steve bannon approach, which is to turn the war over to mercenaries, at a cost of some $10 billon that would have gone to eric prince, who is from the devos family, the brother of betsy devos, the education secretary. that's what bannon had pitched, it didn't go through the national security process, but it did go to the desk of the president, but it was soundly rejected by the military. general? >> it didn't make any sense at all, legally, practically, so i'm not surprised he put it aside. the hardest part of this whole exercise is what are the objectives to be achieved, the
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political objectives? we reduce terrorism as a center in afghanistan, we're trying to build a unitary federal state. we have had 100,000 troops there, we have had tremendous economic rebuilding programs, and by the way, a lot of it works, there was a road map, tv stations, roads, a lot of those successes have been lost in the last two years, so i think general nicholson said properly without security nothing is going to work and this thing's going down the tubes. i'm sure the president will announce some broader perspectives, but we have been working with pakistan, in the central asian republics all along, we have allies in there. so i think the bottom line is, do we pull out? absolutely not. do we re-enforce significantly?
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not politically viable in the u.s., so we're just going to try to hedge our bets and stumble along and that may be the best we can do. >> and john mccain had a plan according to senator tim kaine who was on "morning joe" today, i want to bring you that interview and talk to you about that on the other side. this is tim kaine this morning. >> we're going to hear from the president tonight what is at stake and why does the united states need to continue to be invested in afghanistan. to put it bluntly, what happens in afghanistan stays in afghanistan, so there's no spillover effect in pakistan or other countries in the region that can come back and harm us. >> david, what can they do? what other options are there that make any sense, that are politically viable and that make
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sense in the region? >> i think at the end of the day, the problem was this president did not want to be the president who pulled out, who gave up on afghanistan, he walked away, he certainly was urged by the generals to stay committed, the haunting memory of the u.s. departure from iraq followed by the rise of isis is a basis of this decision. here's what i see, there are two nuts that we have never been able to crack in this afghanistan commitment, there are tens of hundreds of thousands of troops, and pakistan has continued to be of supply and support for killing americans in afghanistan and pakistan. i see no evidence that that's going to change. the second is the corruption of pakistan, pakistan is just a fragile state, we pour money into it and it just gets more corrupt. this is something h.r. mcmaster,
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the security advisor worked on directly. how is that going to be fixed? i'm sorry, it's caused nation building and that's the precise thing this president didn't want to do. >> there are all kinds of ach analysachbl analysis going around town. the former president, obama, for an on again off again strategy and then you have the criticism from some of the former advisors including bannon of general nicholson and the president himself of general nicholson, and of course general mattis coming to his support, he's in charge of afghanistan. so how do you thread this needle if you're president trump? >> first of all, you rely on the advice from the team around you, he is an expert, h.r. mcmaster
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is, and when i had strategic responsibility for afghanistan, i asked for h.r. mcmaster, then a one-star general to come and work on the corruption chief. you've got jim mattis who famo s famously was the first one on the ground after 9/11. and number two, work with the allies, we should continue to pressure our nato partners to come with us, if we're going to put 4,000 in, we're going to look for 4,000 from our european nato allies. number three, i these we can make some progress with afghanistan, with david's point, it's the nut we haven't been able to crack and we're going to have to able to crack that nut. and the rise of the islamic state in afghanistan and whether that can be part of ultimately bringing the taliban to a
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negotiating table as they see a competing entity. it's an unbelievably complicated situation, as you' eeheart from general mccaffrey, we're going to see -- >> and what about negotiating with the taliban, is there any appetite in the current national security team to do what had been envisioned under president obama to sit and talk in the emirates and talk about this strategy for afghanistan? >> reporter: i don't see that as the forefront of this strategy, but i think it continues to be something they're looking at, not ruling out. but i think tonight you're going to hear a key focus on pakistan and training afghan soldiers so they can defend themselves.
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i also do think you're going to hear talking of booting out corruption and this goes back to president obama, that was a key part of the strategy of his. and i point out that the white house is not holding a briefing before hand so there will likely be some surprises from tonight's speech. >> what about within the military, about training the afghan army, because we had so many episodes where the afghan army turned against us and is that still an issue or do they still believe they have turned a corner with the afghan army. >> they're often called green on blue incidents and there have been several of them this year alone. i hate to characterize the u.s. military as any kind of a monolith, but the afghan
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military, everyone from the generals on down have become frustrated with them. i know they have become a better military in the last 10-plus years since the u.s. started training them. but they're still rife with corruption, there's still problems with a lot of afghan soldiers who can't read, there's still problems with them going absent for long periods of time and that's partly because of the lifestyle there in the country. one of the things we expect to hear tonight is it may not be a big change from what we have seen. the big change that i think we're really going to see and hear tonight is this is now president trump's strategy in the war in afghanistan. this is now his war, this is a war that obviously president george w. bush, he took it on in 2001 when he came in, or started it when he came in, and president obama inherited it. now this is the trump strategy, in june, he tried to get secretary mattis to take on more of it when he delegated some
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authorities to secretary mattis, he said you now have the authority to deploy more troops to afghanistan without the white house signing off. and secretary mattis, now that we know how many troops the commander in afghanistan wants, we know what general dunford and the other generals want, what is the way to go in regard. but mattis has continued to decline to send the troops before the form making of the strategy. this is president trump's strategy, president trump tonight with this speech takes ownership with this war. >> he's getting buy in, with john kelly who has an intimate relationship with afghanistan, with this war because of the sacrifice of his family. david ignacias, john kelley cost a son and his other son marine
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heading into afghanistan now. this is something that is so, so deeply personal with the chief of staff, that you can understand why steve bannon is no longer in the white house for one thing. >> general kelly and every family of every soldier who's died in afghanistan wants to believe that the sacrifice was for something, that it was leading to something good, it wasn't leading to just walking away. so i understand that. i think the one important difference that we'll see tonight is that where president obama when he announced that he was adding 30,000 additional troops in a similar decision at the beginning of his presidency, at the end of 2009, made it time based, he said the troops would begin coming out and then he named a date certain. this will be conditions based. and essentially what i think the president backed by kelley, backed by mattis, backed by
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warriors is going to say to the country is, you just have to be patient, this is our longest war, it's in a stalemate, we're just going to have to hold our ground and amend the things that are working. that's very different from booumbooum obama -- president obama's tone which is we're going to do this and then stop. >> we'll talk later about the decline in his polls, his trouble with his base, the lack of moral authority, if you will, according to many republican critics and you've got congress coming back and they want to take some ownership here, especially the senate armed services committee, of course missing their leader john mccain right now. kristen? >> reporter: that's right, and i think when you bring up former president obama, andrea, it underscores just how challenging and complicated this is, of course he campaigned on a promise to pull out of iraq and
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afghanistan and so that was very controversial when he announced that decision to add more troops. important to point out, what david ii ii iici ii iicic davidicic -- >> every i let you go, i just wanted to share with everyone that john mccain has issued a statement from arizona about the uss "mccain." our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the troops that are on the-he writes our sailors who risk their lives every day in combat and in
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training deserve no loesz. i expect full transparency and accountability from the navy leaders as they conduct the associated investigations and reviewed, that from the chairman of the armed services committee, you can understand fully why this is so personal and so important to him as well. and just as the admiral was saying to us, they really need to find out what happened. thank you very much, admiral, courtney, kristen and david. ousted steve bannon says he's got his hands back on his weapons and a warning to his old colleagues. and president donald trump to watch the eclipse with on the white house lawn with the first lady. you can keep it right here on msnbc for complete coverage on the solar eclipse, that is astounding, stay with us.
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sds
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. and we have breaking news, new developments around the dead deadly van attack in barcelona. there has been a suspect captured or arrested or shot, bring us up to date. >> reporter: that's right, the last suspect, the final fugitive of the dozen jihadis that the police have been looking for has been shot dead in a town outside of barcelona.
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the man who actually drove the truck on thursday and killed 13 people here. as you can see, it's now more or less back to normal. but he was a fugitive for the last four days. here's what happened, the 22-year-old moroccan drove the van and crashed the car near the end, and then fled on foot for about 90 minutes through barcelona. he was caught on c krrk tctv, h hijacked a car and carjacked the driver, he parked the car outside of barcelona and he has been hunted by police here over the last four days, there were thoughts he might have actually crossed the border in france, but now it seems he's been shot dead in a town just west of barcelona.
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and as we continue to follow a lot of news today, we continue to follow the eclipse from washington. and the president will be watching the eclipse from the truman balcony. when the president gives his speech tonight, you will not hear him turning that over to the mercenary force, that had been recommended by steve bannon. prince would have earned $10 mi million a year from this proposal. bannon has returned to breitbart and is promising a scorched
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earth policy with his former colleagues. mike, great to see you again, is steve bannon outside the west wing or is it -- >> he'll be noisy at breitbart news, but he won't have any power. if you look back, he hasn't had any power, he had a huge influence on the president's rhetoric, that often gets the president in trouble. so i think bannon will be very happily in the news and noise making business at breitbart, attacking all his enemies relentlessly, and the question now is what are all the secondary effects of that. we know bannon will get all the
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attention, and we know the president hates that. and the second, the attack on the establishment, that causes the establishment to fight back. >> and in terms of that civil war, is he going to open the first or second or third battle in that civil war, the president? arizona tomorrow, going up against jeff flake, he's already signaled some support for kelly ward, primary challenger to jeff make. and potentially pardoning sheriff's arrest pie yo. -- arpaio. >> i think the president is happiest at a rally of his faithful, in campaign mode, attacking both sides, attacking the democrats, attacking hillary clinton, even though she's not running anymore and attacking the republican establishment.
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that's a topic guaranteed to get a standing ovation from trump's base crowd. so i think it's almost like a drug the president's on and as we see these new poll numbers from those key midwestern states that nbc maris did, the collapse of the states that delivered him the presidency. he might go on a path of self-indulgence in arizona, but he's got to find a way to gain political strength. >> we see the live pictures coming from the west coast as this already incredible solar event begins. that is really the story. the nbc maris poll showing him under water in michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin. the most precipitous drop in pennsylvania where he had those three states margins that put him over the top of the
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election, with so many people saying they feel embarrassed by him. how do you view that? >> it's real trouble. he won those states which cast i believe about 17 million total votes, combined by 100,000, or a hair less. he doesn't have any room to lose anything there. the one thing that i worry about is a free republican as a need to change back to president trump on the trade issue, and he'll get back on the trade war business which might give him some of the support that helped him get that hat trick in those three democratic states. so the president is in one of those tough political situations where he might go back to the music that got him there, but it
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will further alienate himself from the rest of the party that he needs to get anything done. >> the lack of the ability to get anything done, blame it on congress. and we're rallying around the eclipse. so thank you, mike murphy, as we watch the extraordinary pictures we're beginning to get on the event. and change of republican view, they're not going to be do the speech at mar-a-lago, stay here on msnbc for special coverage on a celestial event only on msnbc. don't let dust and allergens get between you and life's beautiful moments. switch to flonase allergy relief.
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welcome back. we are of course tracking that trip in silverton, oregon that will now proceed across the country. there is new fallout today from the political response from the violence in charlottesville. the zoo saying it's moving it's upcoming annual fund-raiser from
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mar-a-lago. moderator of washington week on pbs and political analyst gene cummings, robert costa, let's go with your reporting first on the way the president has been isolated. we had the american cancer society dropping out of mar-a-la mar-a-lago, you have now had the cancellation of the kennedy center appearance by the president, because he's afraid of what the audience will do so he's trying to avoid further embarrassment and the business community has been the biggest blow of all. >> corporate america has been waiting for tax reform, and when they look at the president's agenda, they get more uneasy. the one thing we may not be isolated from is from foreign policy hawks which seem to be at
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this moment ahead of an address looking forward to an escalation of troop level. it's what mattis was authorized to do in june, but now he said, immediately he wants the broader strategy. he wants buy in from the commander in chief. >> he definitely does, the president has gone out of his way to say, this is yours, general, you take care of it, you take the lead on it. and now they have the president having to own it tonight with his speech. and, you know, afghanistan is just very difficult, 16 years there, there are many people who wonder whether we should be investing even further in it, obviously the pentagon thinks so, the alternative is not good at all. and general nicholson, the head of the war in afghanistan, now that bannon is out, and mcmaster seems to have solidified his
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control for the time being. >> trump during the campaign was very anti-war in afghanistan, but once he's in office, he's reversed himself. the politics would have been better if he had called for a full withdrawal, that would have helped with his base who are worried about more wars abroad. but he opted not to do that and took the establishment position here. >> the left and right, many people i speak to on both sides would be in favor of a full withdrawal, but the more establishment argument from the military is that he's ignoring the sacrifice of all those who have served. >> and there's also advise and counsel from the military that a full withdrawal would lead to more terrorism that afghanistan would collapse in terms of its government, and so the president is being told by many of his adviso advisors, my sources tell me this, if you want to win, there's never going to be a total win in afghanistan,
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militarily or in terms of the country's stability, but at least you can try to prevent, with a few thousand more troops more chaos from happening. >> jean cummings, the political fallout has already been severe. we were just talking about the three western states that put him over the top, now he's going to go to those states and campaign against jeff flake, an incumbent republican. >> he basically is come paining against jeff flake, they only have a two seat majority, every senator matters, and what's really exciting for some senators, if you look back, flake was a yes vote, so flake was with the president. so even if you're there on policy, you're not immune. so it sends a really chilling signal to the rest of the senate. and when you talk about isolation, you should keep in
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mind he's now isolated from the senate republicans he needs to pass hiss own agenda. >> key thing talking about military policy is the last thing he wants. can he resist tomorrow going back to his fired up, attacking the media, can he avoid that tomorrow? >> that does it for this abbreviated issue of ""andrea mitchell reports." our coverage of the full eclipse comes after a short break. stay with us. whoooo.
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♪ taking care of business . and a good afternoon to you. welcome to an event 99 years in the making. i'm craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york. and for the next two plus hours, we'll be bringing you live coverage of the first solar eclipse since 1918 to travel the full length of this country and it has already started in the westernmost parts of oregon. a live look there, people gathering across the country, to witness this historic event, which should, it should in just over two hours from now in the palmetto state in south carolina, and whether for the most part appears to be
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cooperating in much of the country. for those of you not in the path of the solar eclipse, fear not, you will be seeing a partial eclipse. we have teams fanned out all over the country, we also have astro physicists and former astronauts to help us break down what we will be seeing this afternoon. this is similar important, we will not be looking directly at it. let's start with our man there in south carolina, "today" show co-host al roker standing by there for us in charleston harbor, mr. roker, what is the scene down there, sir? all right, looks like we're having some technical issues there with al. mr. roker, do want by, let's get out to jacob, on the west coast, he is in magis, oregon, that's about in the middle of the state there, jacob, what's the scene
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there? >> reporter: craig, it is really an extraordinary thing to see and an extraordinary thing to be a part of. here in amerimadras, the sole bt town in the great state of oregon, today, with people showing up to see the eclipse, it's the biggest city in the state. there's basically a tent camp that has grown up here, where people have come and spent the night in the leadup to this. last night it was bumper to bumper just to get in here. but the reason, as you said that we have a partial solar eclipse right now. we are between the coastal and the cascade mountains, that means that the skies are just about crystal clear blue with a
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little bit of cloud cover, a little bit of haze. perfect conditions to see, to see a once in a lifetime event. you see people putting on glasses, like these i have right here, i can't see a darn thing other than the sun, but the sun right now through my naked eye, but through these very protective classes, it looks like a crescent moon. the sun will get more blocked until we reach the time of 10:19 local time here. so it's just a matter of minutes, 24 whole field behind me, the totality in this region. it's going to be like sunset, and you kind of get the chills just being out here, craig. >> we're going to be checking
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with you. let's get back to al roker now, charleston harbor, north carolina, al is there because this is where this thing is set to end in a couple of hours. al, what is the rest of the country going to be seeing very shortly and the difference between these partial eclipse and a total eclipse? >> the partial is going to start and make its way across the country, we have all right started to see it in or can, and the weather in the western part of the country is going to be terrific, you're going to see some unfiltered sunshine, even though there is some smoke and haze in the pacific northwest, so not a problem there. and as we make our way to the east, you'll see in the upper plains, central plains, fair skies, not too shabby, looking pretty good. as we get into the midsection of the country, for example
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carbondale, illinois where kerry sanders is, they'll have a good we'll of sunshine. and when you get closer to the east coast, that's where we're going to start to see more problems, nashville look north carolina, looking good. but as you get closer to the coast, columbia, and then on into here in charleston, we're going to see more clouds, chance of some showers. right now our chaulouds overhea some blue sky, but showers and thunderstorms just offshore. we're going to continue to track this. the interesting thing, i think, about this, craig, even though in space the shadow travels at a constant rate, once it comes on to the continental united states, it actually -- changes speed. when it hits the pacific northwest, it's traveling at about 2,400 miles per hour. as it gets to the middle of the country, say, for example, carbondale, it slows down to about 1,400 miles per hour. that's where you're going to have the longest totality.
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when it gets here to charleston, south carolina, it speeds up to about 1,500 miles per hour. right now we're on the deck of the "uss york town." they had 65 to 75 scouts spend the night here, and it's back -- there is the bridge, looking at the -- right now the charleston harbor. and we're starting to see a lot of boats coming in. so folks are going to be watching this from the land and from the water. >> that bridge named for the famous name down there. al, it sounds like this thing is going to move from oregon to south carolina in about an hour and a half, is that right? >> yep, just about 90 minutes to go, 3,000 miles. 14 states. it's a pretty amazing -- and i think that's why it's brought so many people together. for 90 minutes, we don't -- it's not about anything else, but we're all united, looking up
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toward the sky. and i think that's pretty cool. >> al roker, don't go anywhere, sir. do stand by for me there in charleston. let's get to carbondale, illinois. al just mentioned carbondale. this is the city where we're going to see the longest duration of totality during the eclipse. this is southern illinois. the town of carbon detail going to be dark for roughly two-and-a-half minutes. a little after 2:00 this afternoon. and they brought out their cheerleaders there, and we also brought out marianna atencio. >> reporter: craig, you can sense the excitement. a group of young ladies who want to say hi to you. do we want to say hi to craig? >> hi, craig! >> reporter: they're going to be performing inside the stadium behind me, where 15,000 people are going to be watching this eclipse together, craig. and i want to just talk to two young ladies here. this is josi. josi, you're jos
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josi, you're a shaker. how exciting is it to perform right after totality? >> it's really, exciting. we're just excited, because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. we haven't seen a total eclipse yet in our lifetime, so we're excited to see it. and we're excited to go and show all these people what we can do. >> reporter: and you're going to be showing people from all over the world, right, jamie? are you nervous? >> i'm a little nervous, but this is very special for us to cheer and shakers and something we have never gotten to do before so we're excited to show everyone what we're all about. >> reporter: do you girls have your glasses ready? >> yeah. >> reporter: okay. and it's estimated, craig, according to state police, 120,000 people have descended on this college town of 26,000 people. so these girls are going to have a big crowd to perform in front of today. and, of course, they want to say bye to you, bye to craig. and watch our coverage on msnbc. back to you, craig. >> all right. tell the ladies, thank you. we'll come back to carbondale in just a minute. totality, 2:20 eastern time.
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gadi schwartz is in central, wyoming. and we understand that totality there is going to be, let's see, what, around 1:45? give it to me. what is it? >> it's going to be about -- it's going to be about two-and-a-half minutes, too. a while ago you heard a murmur from the crowd because the sun and moon are starting align. you throw these on, you can't see anything else other than the sun. but behind me, you can see this ridge starting to fill in with a lot of different people. and as we look out, you can kind of see a haze. some people earlier today were complaining because of the wildfires burning a couple states over, saying this is not a picture-perfect day. other people were saying this is going to make the eclipse even better, because it gives it a little red tinge. there is never going to be an eclipse like this again. people have come from all over the place. we have blake and reed here. you're from denver, right? tell me, what does it look like when you look up? >> it looks like someone took a bite out of the sun. >> reporter: really?
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how about you? what's it looking like for you? >> it looks like someone took a bite out of the sun. >> reporter: wow. all right. and so are you guys going to sit here in these comfortable chairs and watch that for, what, the whole hour, two hours? >> yeah. >> reporter: is this better than a movie? >> pretty much. >> reporter: how about you? >> yeah. >> reporter: yeah? cool. and we've also got my family. they came up from new mexico. i've got noah. noah schwartz. he's been telling me a lot about the eclipse. noah, come over here. you were telling me earlier about your favorite parts of the eclipse. what are they going to be? >> totality and then the diamond ring and bailey's. >> reporter: what is totality? >> totality is where the moon completely blocks out the sun. and bailey's beads is where there's bits of sun coming out of the moon's valleys. >> reporter: very cool. thank you so much, noah. >> and the diamond -- is where one giant bailey bead is coming
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out. >> reporter: we're related even though he can beat me at chess at 8 years old. the sun is starting to be blocked by the moon. it's exciting to know this is going to happen across the country and we're all going to see the same thing. craig? >> give that kid a contract. sign him up. gadi schwartz, casper, wyoming. dylan dreyer is a little nervous. >> you don't need us. you don't need me, sam. you just need him. he knows it all. >> what's the word? there had been a lot of concern about cloud cover in parts of the country, especially in the path of totality. >> it is pretty amazing, though, that the cloud cover is only in a few areas across the country. when you're talking about a total eclipse that goes from oregon to south carolina, you would think there's going to be several areas that won't see it, just because of the nature of weather. but it's unbelievable to think that from oregon to wyoming, right down through nebraska, stretching over into most of missouri, we are looking at clear skies. i mean, it is totally clear in
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oregon. totally clear in casper, wyoming. and we are looking at just the ideal conditions for viewing this total eclipse. now, as we move east a bit, we are still looking at mostly clear skies. again, smoke is kind of obscuring things a bit but just enough so it creates that reddish tinge to that total eclipse because of the light. we do have scattered showers and storms just north of kansas city. kansas city, you might luck out and see more than you originally thought because of the fact that those storms are staying just to your north. then we go right down through columbia, through carbondale, paducah, kentucky. we have clear skies. you go through most of tennessee and most of south carolina. we're looking at clear skies. the tricky part will be right where al is, in charleston. there are scattered showers and storms around, and there are a lot of clouds. but these are those popup showers and storms. so you might be sitting in that one area where all of a sudden the skies open up and you can see the totality of this ecli e
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eclipse. so really we are just genuinely lucking out with the weather and being able to see most of this total solar eclipse. it's awesome. >> and even folks, dylan, who don't live in this path of totality that we keep referring to, they're going to see something. >> yes. >> they're going to experience something. >> the entire united states will see a partial eclipse. and if you're in that zone, you'll see the total eclipse. so go outside wherever you live and try to catch it, because the weather actually looks ideal through most of the country to see it. >> to be clear, this is something we were talking about last week on the "today" show. eclipses happen on a fairly regular basis. what is it about this particular eclipse that's so unusual, that's so unique? >> you have to think of the orbit around of the moon around the earth. the way it wobbles, sometimes it projects this shadow up into space. sometimes it's in the poles, in the desert, the earth is 70% ocean. so a lot of times it's out over the ocean. the fact that it is crossing from the northwest united states to the southeast and we get to
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see the entirety of this total eclipse is what makes it something we haven't seen in almost 100 years. >> and again, as you pointed out, what's even more amazing, i guess, the 70-mile-wide swath that stretches over the united states. by and large, everyone is going to get a pretty good show. >> a pretty good show. and the fact it travels in 90 minutes from one side of the country to the other is -- it's wild. i'm without words. >> and that -- that is also historic. >> yes. >> that is also unprecedented. what part of the country do we suspect will have the best view of this thing? >> the best view? i mean, pick a spot, oregon. casper, wyoming. my brother lives in anderson, south carolina. i told him, go outside and see this. because it is going to be ideal in western south carolina. nashville looks great. really, so many places will see ideal conditions. >> all right. and this will be the last one we get like this until, what, 2024, is that right? >> yes. that won't be coast to coast. it will be like texas to maine. >> all right.
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dylan dreyer, good to have you around for the course of the afternoon. trying to contain yourself. >> let me go outside ask see this thing! >> no, you can't leave. you can't leave. dylan, thank you. we'll come back in a moment and get back to all of our correspondents in just a few moments, as well. it is right now, though, 1:00 on the east coast. that means we are roughly 20 minutes away from folks in mad res, oregon, becoming some of the first to experience what happens when the moon completely covers the sun. this will be the first total eclipse visible in america since 1979. it will be the first since 1918 to cross the entire continent. the moon's shadow will start in oregon. it will spin across the country this afternoon, along the path that you see there, covering some 14 states, just over 12 million people. many of whom are about to

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