tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC December 12, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PST
with nikki haley after she said the women should be heard. and 18 days under the harsh blair of the mueller investigation, nbc news reporting on the focus on michael flynn's short tenure inside that west wing. the 11th hour on a monday night begins now. and good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. as we start a new week, day 326 of the trump administration, and it is the eve, of course, of alabama special election for the u.s. senate. the race for a senate seat in the state of alabama which has attracted global attention and the involvement of the two major national political parties, of course. starting just hours from now, really, alabama voters will go to the polls to decide between the republican candidate, the ousted judge roy moore who has since been accused of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls or the democratic candidate doug jones.
roy moore has indeed denied the allegations made against him. the candidates both held rallies at just about exactly the same time tonight, a chance to deliver their closing arguments to voters. >> we've had this history in the past of going on a road that has taken us down a path that has not been productive for this state. it has caused us to lag behind. it is time that we take a road that's going to get us on a path of progress, that everybody deserves. [cheering and applauding] >> this is the last rally before the vote on tuesday. and we're not going to stand by and let other people from out of state and money from california control this election. [cheering and applauding] >> this election for the people of alabama, we dare defend our right. >> both campaigns, both parties brought in air support in the form of surrogates tonight. former white house strategist steve bannon was in midland city for roy moore.
>> you know what they're doing? you know what they're doing, they're trying to shut up president trump and judge moore. judge moore is a good man. good -- judge moore is a righteous man. [cheering and applauding] >> and judge moore, they've tried to destroy judge moore. >> nba star and alabama native charles barkley was in birmingham for doug jones where he also talked about judge moore. >> there's no way possible this guy should, number one, be in an election. [cheering and applauding] >> i mean, that's no way. i mean, it's unbelievable that this guy is still in the race when people in your own party say they won't vote for you or support you. i am begging and urging everybody to get out, call all your friends. we got to at some point, we've got to stop looking like idiots to the nation. >> both the current president and the former president recorded robocalls for their respective candidates.
the polls in the race have been volatile. a new fox news poll is generating a lot of chatter tonight because it shows doug jones leading roy moore by ten points, 50/40. other recent polls have shown a much tighter race with roy moore ahead by a few points. the prospect of moore arriving in the senate has created something of a crisis of conscience for a lot of his fellow republicans, including the current senior senator from alabama, republican richard shelby. >> there is a time we call it a tipping point. and i think so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip-drip-drip, when it got to the 14-year-old story, that was enough for me. i said, i can't vote for roy moore. the state of alabama deserves better. >> doesn't matter if you're the senior senator or a lifelong republican. notably, shelby was mocked at tonight's steve bannon event for
his comments on roy moore. bannon also took aim at mainstream republicans. >> to mitch mcconnell and senator shelby -- [ booing ] and condi rice, and corker, all that establishment up there every day that doesn't have -- that doesn't have trump's back. you know they don't have his back at all. what they want him for is that corporate tax cut. that's all they want him for. as soon as they get that tax cut, you watch what happens. there is a special place in hell -- [cheering and applauding] -- for republicans who should know better.
>> that special place in hell line was assumed by a lot of folks who saw it and maybe even acknowledged by bannon there to be trolling the president's daughter ivanka and what she had originally said about roy moore. some of those mainstream republicans in congress are very concerned about the idea of a roy moore victory come about this time tomorrow night. >> roy moore will be the gift that keeps on giving for democrats that will define the 2018 election, at least 2018. and to think you can elect roy moore without getting the baggage of roy moore is pretty naive. >> i didn't have to withdraw my endorsement of moore because i didn't endorse him in the first place. >> i think roy moore is an abomination to the republican party, and that's one thing republicans and democrats agree on. >> after all that, time now for our lead off panel as we start a new week. as i said, peter baker, chief white house correspondent for "the new york times." kimberly atkins, chief
washington reporter for the boston herald. and robert costa, national political reporter for the washington post, moderator of washington week on pbs. robert is just back from an extended trip to alabama. all three of our start-off guests are msnbc political analysts. and, robert, you having just come back from your travels get to go first. i know a lot of folks are asking you various forms of this question. how close is this? there's three major polls, some of them with better methodology than others. in short, there is a poll to match your opinion of this race, whoever you think is ahead or tied. and walk us through the prospect of a moore win and a jones win if you would. >> brian, polls only tell so much of the story in a complicated race like this because when you're on the ground in alabama talking, especially to suburban republican voters, business minded republicans, you see how close so many of them are willing to come up right to the line to vote for the democrat doug jones. some of them at this 11th hour,
down in alabama, they are deliberating still. can they vote for someone who supports abortion rights? or is that too far of a bridge to cross? republicans are enthused at this late moment because president trump is in the corner of roy moore, trying to rev up that base in the state. the stakes are enormous and it's really at this point a jump ball because president trump has put his political capital on the line and the 52-seat senate majority is also on the line for the gop. a lot at stake and at this moment the top party strategists on both sides are telling me they really are not sure if suburban voters like we saw in virginia in november will really flip, even in the deep south, because they have moral concerns and also economic concerns about what roy moore would mean for the state. >> well, peter baker, let's do something the president loves. let's speculate, having watched luther strange go down, but in
fairness, the president peppered his speech that night with the possibility that luther strange might go down. what happens to the president's political clout coming off what robert just said if, indeed, we are covering a roy moore loss tomorrow night? >> yeah, if you're the president of the united states, you don't want to go 0-2 in alabama. particularly strong republican state. the previous embarrassment during the primary was one thing. this would be far bigger. he's invested not only himself and his own capital in this race, he has gone against every national republican pretty much of his own party, and he basically dared them and said, fine. you guys can go against roy moore. i'm sticking with him. that's a huge rift with the national party. i think he would be obviously embarrassed if he loses. on the same token, if he were to win, if roy moore were to win, that's a big win for president trump. he will say, i'm the one who brought him back from the brink of disaster.
he wouldn't have won had it not been for me. and that's a reasonable argument. that may in fact be the case. i think president trump has made it possible for republicans in alabama who might have been on the fence to say, well, maybe i will stick by moore since the president is. >> and, kim, right where peter left off, that is all true, and donald trump will say that and will publicly claim credit in his own way if roy moore wins. but a lot of folks see the biggest danger that a newly empowered steve bannon will start seeding the political clouds with his candidates, a la roy moore all over the country. >> that is right. republicans are really afraid of what the ongoing effect of a roy moore win in alabama will be tomorrow, that steve bannon will be empowered to start backing even more challengers, people who are not perhaps any more well vetted beforehand than roy moore was. people who one republican
strategist described to me as crackpots, running for office across the country, scaring away other people who would be seen as more qualified republican candidates in 2018 and beyond, and having this really sort of give steve bannon a big victory in this ongoing civil war of sorts that we see playing out. not just in washington, d.c. now, but around the country, and making it very difficult, not to mention having roy moore in washington making it very difficult to get anything done. and, you know, as senator graham pointed out, in an election year, being a very big distraction at a time when republicans are trying to hold on to fairly slim majorities in both houses. >> robert, the stories that they have come after roy moore with, sexual harassment and worse, if you were exit polling tomorrow night outside some half a dozen sample precincts, what percentage of the vote do you think you'd come away with people saying, those stories moved my vote, it affected my
vote? >> it's important to begin by stating that those are credible accusations by the women against roy moore. many of them reported by my colleagues at the washington post. however, as a reporter, being down there on the ground, it's also fair to say as an observer reporter that some people do not believe the allegations. they do not believe the accusations against roy moore. i do see in my reporting is a divide, a divide between some republican voters who say they do not believe the media, that they will stand by moore because disbelieve the media itself as an institution, has lost some of its influence and some of its credibility. there are other republicans who believe the accusations are entirely credible. and where that divide is, and how many people are on each side in the gop in alabama is really going to be a determining factor in this race because senator shelby and others talk about how huntsville and mobile and birmingham have all this economic growth that's on the
table tomorrow. but it's also a moral question for many of the voters i've spoken with. >> so, peter, could you make an equal kind of a lawyerly case that no matter who wins tomorrow night, it will have an equal amount of impact on 2018? >> well, look, you know, we always try to judge these special elections, these off year elections as harbingers of bigger elections to come. and a lot of times we're wrong. but i do think in this case, you know, some of the themes and some of the discussion points that we're having right now will play out into 2018. we've seen that in the past where some candidates got caught up saying things or having been accused of things that were embarrassing or scandalous and it did have sort of a spill over effect into other races, not because it necessarily reflected on other candidates, but other candidates were forced to answer questions they might not have
wanted to answer. you have in terms of 2018 a whole series of candidates all across the country getting ready for their own races for the house and senate having these uncomfortable conversations with strategists right now. what have you done in the past, what are people going to say about you? is there anything in your closet we need to worry about? that's going to affect recruitment, that's going to affect who the strongest candidates available in the races. it's going to affect the conversation no matter who wins tonight. -- tomorrow night. >> kim, i'm going to play a comment without comment of roy moore's wife who talked tonight. i'm going to play it because it is already starting to get into the cable television conversation, and then hopefully on the other side i'll ask you a question completely unrelated. but let's listen. >> fake news will tell you that we don't care for jews. i tell you all this because i've seen it also. i just want to set the record straight while they're here. [cheering and applauding] one of our attorneys is a jew.
>> so, kim, here we are all four veterans of the fake news business. let's talk about the stakes for the gop. is this truly lose/lose if they win they lose, if they lose they lose because of the unknown what happens when the people send a duly elected senator roy moore to washington? >> i mean, i think to an extent. i think that republicans are genuinely concerned about roy moore coming to washington, about his scandal, his controversy really tainting the republican party more broadly. i think we have to wait and see. i mean, if it's a situation where -- remember, there were a lot of republicans who were uneasy about donald trump when he was a candidate for president and distanced themselves from him then. and now are working to put forward his agenda and pass it. so, once roy moore gets here, if
he becomes more of a, you know, reliable 50th vote for key pieces of legislation, we might see some of that disgust fade. i think ongoing especially as this conversation about sexual harassment continues, i think it is going to become an increasingly big problem for roy moore if he's here, just like it's becoming an increasingly big problem for the president and we'll have to see how history judges them both. >> perhaps the folks at home can tell kim is the one laura mong the four of us. and i think we threaded that needle rather a adroitly, with thanks tonight to our lead off guests peter baker, kimberly atkins, robert costa. really appreciate you joining us on the eve of the election in alabama. still ahead for us on a monday, the latest on the russia front. what 18 critical days may reveal about the white house and possible, possible obstruction of justice. and up next, the calls today for president trump to resign as women accusing him of sexual misconduct share their stories. some of them again. the 111th hour just getting started on a monday night.
the environment is different. let's try again. >> three women who have accused donald trump already of sexual misconduct renewed those claims today. speaking out publicly and calling for the president, as you heard, to be accountable. >> i am hoping that this will come forward and produce enough pressure on congress to address it more than just for their own members, but to address it in the president. >> the president has in the past denied the allegations against him. those comments came a day after nikki haley, one of the highest ranking women, of course, in this administration, as u.n. ambassador, said every woman should have the opportunity to speak out, even those who have accused trump. >> women who accuse anyone should be heard. they should be heard and they should be dealt with.
and i think we heard from them prior to the election, and i think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up. >> not surprisingly, this topic came up at the white house briefing today and things got contentious. >> i wanted to ask you about the women who came forward today against the president. they first were on a television show and then they were at a press conference, and they said that he should resign and then also that there should be a congressional investigation. >> look, the president has addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations. and this took place long before he was elected to be president. and the people of this country had a decisive election, supported president trump. >> the president told howard stern in 2005 that he had walked
into a teen beauty pageant dressing room where he said that teen contest ants had no clothes on because he could sort of get away with things like that. is that not an admission of sexual harassment? >> look, the president spoerk about this directly. i don't have anything about this on the process. >> can you stand here 100% without a doubt of uncertainty, the women who came forward and accused the president of sexual misconduct, do you have any problem wrestling with this? >> i am here to speak on behalf of the president. i can say the president has responded. >> well, with us tonight to talk about this, jill colvin, white house reporter for the associated press, and shannon for bloomberg news, we welcome both of you back to the broadcast. shannon, just talk -- talk about the timing of this. talk about the, the meaning and the moment and the wait and the impact of seeing these three women and hearing their stories, in some cases all over again. >> it certainly is in a different environment and different context than it was in the election season. there are a lot of issues going on. of course our consciousness as a nation is much more focused on this. however, i still, you know, don't know if this would even at this moment change a lot of people's minds necessarily who voted for president trump
because a lot of those people knew this information, knew who he was. you had the access hollywood tape out there. even in a different environment, i still think the people who supported this president filth felt it was for issues bigger than someone on the moral high ground. it was about immigration, the supreme court seat. even despite this environment, i don't know this is going to stick any more than it did now. >> indeed, it is pointed out 63 million people who heard the access hollywood tape or certainly knew what was on it voted for donald trump. jill, your colleague, our friend jonathan la mere wrote today about the president's reaction to what he must view as friendly fire, and that's nikki haley's comments. >> absolutely. nikki haley is already someone who was in some corners of the administration viewed a little suspiciously because people are curious about her ambitions and from what we've been told, the president and his staff were really caught off guard by her comments today. the president was furious that she got up there and said what she did, taking that subtle hit at him as it was interpreted by many. there is also growing concern within the white house now that just in this new environment,
despite the fact that the president has such a loyal base here, there is still growing concern. every single day it seems like every hour, you've got new accusations being leveled, people being fired. people under fire in the media and congress and all different realms of life, these accusations taking on different meaning. especially with the race of roy moore how this will impact the president. >> indeed, we are reacting in real-time to a societal wave, the president having been elected to office is now in this odd position of hearing again the role he plays in this conversation. >> exactly. and, you know, you have the president who chose here not only to tacitly endorse roy moore, but to go out there campaigning for him, which doesn't give the president much
moral high ground. you hear questions sarah sanders has to answer and she's standing there up in the podium and all she can really say is, look, the president has denied this and the people voted for him anyway. you know, you can say that and you can repeat that answer a whole bunch of times. but when you listen to those women and hear their stories, i can only imagine we're going to be hearing from all those women again and again. it is i think 16 women in total who came forward during the campaign with elections and i do wonder what impact that has on especially women, the suburban women who voted for the president and whether it changes their perception of him. >> and, shannon, indeed, that briefing room today yet again was a tension convention. and i -- is there any reason you have to believe that doesn't continue, that the president doesn't get heckled questions about this at every availability? >> until some other scandal supersedes it, i suppose, until we're back to russia or north korea or who knows what else is around the corner, because i
mean, the stories come and go so quickly. things that would dominate a week of news dominate a morning. so, i mean, while this story about sexual harassment, sexual misconduct across the country across all industries, it has had a really long life by our 2017 news cycle standards. i just -- i do still feel like it is something that this president is not going to be -- is not going to be damaged by. i think it is something that is going to continue to bounce off of him. i don't think that's what he was elected for, to be sort of a role model even or a moral authority or guide post this this country. it was about jobs, immigration, military, strength. you know, those were the issues. people knew what they got when they voted. >> two of our great friends from print journalism, jill colvin, shannon petty piece. thanks for joining us this monday night.
coming up, an examination of an 18-day period during the first days trump presidency -- first days of trump's presidency could be critical now in the mueller investigation. we'll have an nbc news exclusive report when we come back. an important message about health care reform. most americans must have health insurance by december 15th... or pay a tax penalty. even if you already have insurance, now's the time to cut through the confusion and
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did you direct mike flynn to discuss sanctions with the russian ambassador prior to your inauguration? >> no, i didn't. >> why did you fire him if the information hadn't leaked out? >> i fired him because of what he said to mike pence, very simple. >> special counsel robert mueller is trying to find out when president trump learned mike flynn had lied to the fbi. julie ainsley and carol lee of nbc news report mueller is zeroing in on what happened in the days before flynn was fired. they write in part, quote, special counsel robert mueller is trying to piece together what happened inside the white house over a critical 18-day period that began when senior officials were told that national security advisor michael filibuster was susceptible to blackmail by russia. that warning, you'll recall, came from acting attorney general sally yates who testified before congress under oath that she told the white house counsel don mcgahn on january 26th that mike flynn was
vulnerable because he misled the vice-president and others about the nature of his conversation with russian ambassador sergey kislyak. >> would you tell the white house? >> so, i told them, again, there were a number of press accounts, of statements that had by made by the vice-president and other high-ranking white house officials about general flynn's conduct that we knew to be untrue. we also told the white house counsel that general flynn had been interviewed by the fbi. mr. mcgahn asked me how he did. and i declined to give him an answer to that. i remember that mr. mcgahn asked me whether or not general flynn should be fired, and i told him that that really wasn't our call, that was up to them, but that he with were giving them this information so that they could take action. >> even with that warning, the president kept flynn on as national security advisor until he was fired 18 days later on february 13. again, from nbc news reporting, quote, multiple sources say during interviews mueller's
investigators have asked witnesses, including white house counsel don mcgahn and others, who have worked in the west wing to go through each day that flynn remained as national security advisor and describe in detail what they knew was happening inside the white house as it related to flynn. well, here to talk about it, julia ainsley, coauthor of that report and nbc national security and justice reporter, and jeremy bash, former chief of staff to cia and pentagon. he's also an msnbc national security analyst. julia, first from your colleagues here, terrific work yet again. >> thank you. >> my question would be for viewers, especially who don't follow at the molecular level, underscore why these 18 days matter so. >> yes. i'd be happy to. especially in this investigation we need to make sure we kind of zoom out and put all of this in context each time. so, the reason why robert mueller is so focused on these 18 days is he's trying to understand what the president knew about flynn's interview with the fbi.
on january 26, sally yates who was acting then as attorney general, came to the white house chief counsel don mcgahn and told him that flynn was lying to senior officials at the white house, like pence, based on those press accounts. and he also -- she also conveyed he had had an interview with the fbi. mcgahn, as you just saw in that testimony, asked sally yates how flynn did, and she wouldn't say how he did. she didn't think that was appropriate. but it is obvious that was of interest to the white house, and most lawyers would tell you that mcgahn likely then went to flynn and said, so, did you lie to the fbi? that is key, if mcgahn and then trump knew that flynn had lied to the fbi, especially at the time that president trump then pressured jim comey to drop the
investigation into michael flynn, that could be a key that mueller could use for an obstruction charge against the president. >> and, jeremy bash, at the risk of repetition, what are all of the ways donald trump could have learned that mike flynn, his guy, had lied to the fbi and underscore for our viewers what it would take to put together an obstruction case here. >> well, the president could have directed mike flynn to lie. that's first. he could have learned that mike flynn lied from don mcgahn. he could have learned that mike flynn lied from mike flynn. and possibly what really happened across those 18 days, brian, was that there were numerous conversations inside the west wing about how precisely to thwart the fbi's investigation into the russia matter because they came from mike flynn, that surely meant they were going to come interview others. they were probably going to come interview steve bannon. they were probably going to interview kellyanne conway, reince priebus, others, maybe even the vice-president, maybe even the president. there probably were numerous strategy sessions that maybe the president presided over, maybe he was briefed upon, at which they discussed, how do we get the fbi off of our trail? and when you put the president
atop a large discussion, a large meeting, an ongoing role in a meeting, that in effect is sitting on top of conspiracy to obstruct justice. >> julia, you report that the d.o.j. assumption was that flynn would get canned right after sally yates dropped this bomb in the west wing. what is the status of mueller's investigation into exactly why 18, why it took 18 days? >> so, the status as we know now is that his team has been questioning people who were in the white house during those 18 days. a lot of those people are in the white house now, like chief counsel don mcgahn. he's trying to figure out a lot of what jeremy just ran through, kind of who knew what when, and what conversations transpired around this time and why it took 18 days for flynn to be fired. of course, the timing we well know now is because of washington post report that came out right before his firing. so, it is looking like in retrospect what they really did was they fired him because they
realized they had an image problem. it wasn't to preserve the integrity of their white house. justice officials said, yes, they expected any president to get rid of their national security advisor as soon as they found out that he had lied to federal agents. >> and, jeremy, what else that might have been embedded in julia's reporting today did you pay attention to especially? >> i just think it's crystal clear now based on her reporting and reporting of her colleagues at nbc news that the president approved of mike flynn's conduct. he approved of the secret deal that mike flynn launched into with the russians. he approved of mike flynn's misstatements, his lies to the fbi. that felony. and he approved of the effort by his team to cover up that activity and to work together to thwart what the fbi was really looking at. >> thank you both for joining us and needing to take a step back as we do occasionally and update people on the incremental developments.
a lot of them thanks to julia ainsley. julia, thank you. jeremy bash, thank you as well for coming on tonight. coming up, the one tweet from president trump today wasn't about the attempted terrorist attack in new york. it was instead to dispute the volume of television he watches every day. one of the reporters who broke that story and many more of the details with us next. we are back with that after this.
so, i want to start by saying that early this morning i turned on the television. i listened to a bunch of stuff last night on television. did you see her on television the other night? i watched him yesterday. i heard him on television yesterday. on television. so, today i'm in the plane and i see on television. i'm watching television at my holiday inn express. the next day i saw it on
television. >> i saw it on fox. in fact, i saw it on television this morning. i look on television. last night on television. every night on television. you saw it today on television, right? how would you like to be me watching television? >> man loves him some television. that was president and then candidate donald trump admitting to getting information, as you might have heard, from watching television. a "the new york times" article published this week into the life and presidency of, let's face it, the first reality television star to be elected president. it says, quote, before taking office, mr. trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals. people close to him estimate that mr. trump spends at least four hours a day and sometimes as much as twice that in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no holds barred wars of
cable news and eager to fire back. the president, as expected, fired back today on twitter. saying, quote, another false story this time in the failing north county times that i watch four to eight hours of television a day. wrong. back with us, peter baker of the aforementioned new york times. peter, there is some sensitivity in attempts to depict his day. we have heard him kind of brag as recently as his presidency of reading so many documents, reading a lot of documents, spending a lot of time with documents. the truth is his television viewing habits, whether they're four hours, whether they're eight, affect everyone down the chain. >> well, they do exactly. they're sort of an early warning signal to his staff what kind of mood to expect him in over the day when they see what he'd been watching, what he's tweeting about from television in the early morning.
it's part of his daily routine even in the oval office where he has a 60-inch set, what he calls a super tivo tracking different cable shows. even if he doesn't have the volume up, sometimes during meetings or while reviewing papers, documents, he'll keep the tv on, check the scrolling headlines underneath to see what is going on. as you point the out with your montage, what he sees affects what he says out in public. it's in addition for his twitter feed and helps shape his understanding of political and policy world he's inhabiting. >> i want to show you what mike barnacle said on twitter tonight. i've never seen your article, three of you on the by line, quoting 60 advisors, associates, friends and members of congress. so, mike barnacle says, excuse me, mr. president, but while you were changing batteries on your remote clicker, the nyc subway stop at 42nd street was attacked by a bomber. sorry to trump your tv time. thought you'd want to know. and again, that's the risk of
these depictions of what is a true reflection of how he spends his time, peter. >> it is why he's sensitive to it, obviously. when we sent in some fact checking questions to the white house and mentioned some of these findings, he got mad about it. he was on the trip to asia at the time and very shortly after learning about the fact checking questions about his television consumption, he wandered to the back of air force one talking to the reporters. i read a lot of documents, i don't have much time to watch television. nobody understood at the time why he was bringing it up then. but it was in reaction to the idea he does in fact watch a lot of television. what is interesting of course every time he says i don't watch a lot of television, pretty soon in 24 hours he shows he does. gosh, how awful it was i had to watch cnn because i couldn't watch anything else in these international hotels. nobody forced him to watch cnn either but he chose to because he wants to. he gets a charge out of it to
some extent. it gets him riled up for the day. some of his friends suspect he specifically watches some television hosts, some television programs he knows will make him agitated because it kind of riles him up and he likes to be riled up, battling the forces against him is part of who he is, part of his political person a. >> and let's be honest, we can trace so many of his tweets to a segment he just saw on fox and friends in the morning. what a great piece of work you shared with your two colleagues. peter baker, thanks so much for sticking around to talk about it. we appreciate it. >> thanks, brian. coming up tonight, why new yorkers are thankful that a troubled 27-year-old man wasn't better at his task today. more on the story we just mentioned. we'll have that right after this.
terrorist attempted to blow himself up in the new york city subway and only partially succeeded. he apparently secured a pipe from a job site, assembled a makeshift bomb at home, attached it to himself with velcro and zip ties. surveillance video shows him detonating it. the bomber is hospitalized with burns. he received the worst of it. you might say by design. three other people were injured but did not require hospital stays. it happened during morning rush beneath the port authority terminal, and the police and fire response, as you can guess, was robust. he's been identified as a 27-year-old, akayed ullah, a legal permanent resident with a green card. immigrated from bangladesh in 2011. he told police he was motivated by u.s. bombings in isis-controlled territory. he had not been on law enforcement's radar prior to this incident. his brooklyn neighbors, by the way, told "the new york post" he was aloof, weird, and always angry and there was a loud fight in his residence just last night. with us this evening, malcolm nas, veteran of naval intelligence, sperpg v special
operations, homeland security, 35 years of experience in working in terrorism and counterterrorism. malcolm, i almost made you a terrorist. that would have been a shame given your career. are we lucky most of these guys are just amateurs? >> yes, we're very lucky they're amateurs. let's just take a look at today's case. he built this five-inch pipe bomb, apparently didn't do the chemicals right to our benefit. and for the most part he just went up and thought this thing up. of course new york city police is going to be determining whether there were other people involved in this, whether there was a conspiracy, whether he was motivated by individuals or whether he was part of a cell. but what we're seeing right now, and we're very lucky, his amateurish attempt only injured himself. obviously self-detonated this device which he had on his waist. and fortunately nobody else was injured or killed severely. >> why is it always the case
that people tell people as they told the "post" today he was weird around his neighborhoods, he was always angry? and i guess that speaks to the likelihood of being influenced. if someone is working at a job, maintaining a family, compos mentis every day of their life, aren't they less likely to get some hare-brained idea off the web? >> well, you know, the web is a very powerful influence, and we're talking about an ideology here that is near cult level. in terms of how it draws people in, how it allows people to alienate themselves from their own natural religion and their families. just being weird and loud in new york city is certainly not a qualifier but it does give us some idea of his personal internal feelings about how he may have behaved on some issues. i think that when interviews start and people are going to start talking about what did he actually believe, what did he
actually see, you're probably going to find that people who were around him knew that he had these -- this anger towards the issues that he claims he represented isis for. but may not have actually enunciated that he was a member of isis. that being said, you know, you can never predict what's inside a person's mind. they can just go ahead, think up a plot, get the materials, and do it. and the crudeness of this device tells me there's a mental factor here, a mental defect here, because it is nothing like some of the plots that we've seen before, where at least the devices were competently built, they were tested ahead of time, and some planning and forethought went into their missions. >> all of which is why we invite malcolm nance to join us on a night like this after a day like this here in new york. malcolm, can't thank you enough. >> it's my pleasure. >> and coming up after our final break, you can call it a blast from the past. back in the news as part of an aggressive trump administration
alpha-numeric combination b-52 means something very powerful to folks who were around during the vietnam war. the b-52 was the military pride. cold war era. a heavy lift high altitude long-distance bomber that brought us the appropriately named rolling thunder bombing campaign and generally delivered death and terror from the sky several hundred pounds at a time. there it is. eight engines in all under those wings. unbeknownst to a lot of folks, b-52 bombers have returned to the skies, this time over afghanistan. they are part of a stepped-up campaign that was dropped upwards of 4,000 bombs and missiles on taliban targets. their mission, profiled recently by the "new york times," about 75 of the flying dreadnoughts are still air worthy, one tenth of ow former fleet. the planes are old enough to have been flown by the
grandfathers of today's pilots, and their official name, the strattofortress, just sounds like the heady era of their birth and american military supremacy. now they are at work in america's longest war, part of the pentagon's belief that fighting from 20,000 feet will save the lives of american fighters on the ground. and about how the name of the b-52s means different things, entirely different things to different generations, in a later era the b-52s were only weapons of peace and joy and later karaoke. "love shack" and "rock lobster" would not exist were it not for the modern version of the b-52s. for a more modern era. and the iconic vocals of the pride of newark, new jersey, fred schneider. something completely different to end our broadcast for tonight as we start a new week. thank you so much for being here with us, and good night from nbc news headquarters in new york.
it's election day in alabama. polling is all over the map. both roy moore ask doug jones spend election eve making one last push for votes. attempted terror attack. what we're learning this morning about the suspect in yesterday's new york city blast. wildfire in southern california continue. so-called thomas fire fifth largest blaze in california history. only 20% contained. >> >> good morning. it's december 12. i'm