tv MSNBC Live With David Gura MSNBC October 28, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. we have just arrived at the top of the hour. i'm going to go to pittsburgh to my colleague who has been on a tougher assignment. >> reporter: across the street from the tree of life congregation building in a neighborhood of squirrel hill. 11 people dead. six injured and today a community mourns. >> we as a society are better than this. we know that hatred will never win out. we will get through this. we will pull together. we will support our jewish
community while we support our muslim community. as we support our christian community. that's what pittsburgh is about. this is a welcoming city. this is the city, if this shooter believed that what he would do would somehow take away our strength in our diversity, he is completely and was completely wrong. >> our responsibility is to provide comfort for the community and healing and support. for the people who suffered losses, and for the community as a whole because i feel we all jewish and non-jewish have suffered a loss here. i want to get you up to speed about what we know about the suspect. he was charged with 29 counts including using a firearm to commit murder. he will appear in court tomorrow. the raid happened after fbi
agents interviewed him at the hospital where he remains. squirrel hill, a suburban neighborhood, once home to mr. rogers is reckonning of what was unimaginable. the youngest on that list, 54. the oldest, 97. that list includes a husband and wife and two brothers. joining me from pittsburgh is matt bradley. he has the latest out of this city. he's been stationed outside the hospital. what's the latest you're hearing about those victims who have been hospitalized. >> reporter: we have been talking to a lot of these victims. the relatives and family members but as you mentioned four of those people who survived were at the hospital behind me. this is the university of pittsburgh medical center and those four victims are with standing a lot of very profound trauma wounds. two of them are police officers. one of them is in his 70s and doctors say he will have the hardest recovery and that could take several months. i spoke with the doctor who is
in charge of trauma here at the university of pittsburgh and he told us about how the victims will be recovering. he said this will be a very difficult recovery for all four of these patients and most of them have sustained multiple gunshot wounds. that 70 something-year-old he had multiple gunshot wounds to his abdomen. that will be a very long recovery. because the police officers who were shot received gunshot wounds to their extremities. it's much easier if you're a younger man than an elderly person. there's going to be a lot of attention on that recovery for the next several month, maybe even years. we've been talk to family members of the victims killed and this just a body blow. a lot of the people say they don't think they will be able to recover. people who grew up there, don't move that far from home.
it's such a tight knit community. what i've been learning about the victims is there's a strong strain of public service among all of them. many of this continued to volunteer, helping out disabled people, helping out refugees. those disadvantaged well into their later years. one thing that really stood out among all of these 11 victim s a deep and abiding faith in judaism even as they entered later years in life. >> thank you very much. local and national faith leaders are grieving following the synagogue shooting. pope francis expressed his closeness and called the deadly attack an inhuman act of violence. joining me is director of religious action center. nice to speak with you. you're based in washington, d.c. talk about your decision to come up here. the reasons for doing it and what you've done over the last few hours.
>> as you just read the names of those who we lost and as rewe reflect on those injured, nose of us who represent the national denomination, i represent the largest, the reform jewish movement. felt it was important to show up and be present. i just came from the university of pittsburgh where i spent the afternoon with the students there. they are grieving and afraid because this is a time not only of the suffering of the losses but a fear in the jewish community. >> talk a bit about solidarity. what that means in the context of what happened. you came from that ceremony at the university of pittsburgh. what do people say about what needs to happen here in. >> this is an unprecedented moment of solidarity. solidarity among the american jewish community. solidarity with people of all faiths. you just mentioned the pope. we heard from muslim americans and muslims across the world.
we heard from our christian brothers and sisters. we are all truly coming together. one should note this wasn't just an act of terror. it was directed at a synagogue that had been working with a very important refugee settlement agency and the perpetrator named he didn't like the synagogue was supporting this group of migrants, asylum seekers because he said it threatened some sort of general si genocide. >> you're hear having this conversation. what would you add vievise the international conversation needs to be. >> very important. the scripture that was read tells the story of abraham and sarah who sat in their tent with the flaps open at all sides so they could welcome the stranger. our synagogues can't become bunkers. the whole point is that sin
goings are suppo -- synagogues are supported to be houses of the people. we need to be communities and nations of welcome. we need to worry about the widow and stranger and orphan. we need to worry about all those suffering. we need to show solidarity and protect the jewish communities everywhere and come together, all of humanity to reclaim the soul of our nation. >> in will be dwhothose who wile a new vulnerability. your response to that. is that a vital, vibrant conversation? >> we need to have the conversation about how to protect the safety and security of all of our folks just as we did after the parkland shooting and school shootings and now we see shootings in churches. synagogues are places that are
supposed to be places of refuge and welcoming. we have to balance the need to protect those and defend those who come to find comfort and those who have the open doors of welcome. the climate and rhetoric of degrading other humans that would give rise to such acts of violence and terror. >> has that conversation been happening? what affect do you think this will have on the conversation? >> we're having the conversation. we need to elected leaders to make it clear. remember, it's only been 14 months since neo-nazi thugs marked through charlottesville chanting jews will not replace
us. in that story, that morning there were three white nationalists, neo nazis standing outside the synagogue with rifles. >> i'll ask you how you're processing all of this. you don't live in this community. you're visiting this community. hearing about the history of the community. how are you processing what happened here yesterday? >> these are my friends. the rabbis of this community. i'm the father of four daughters. i have to make the same decisions that my friends and neighbors are making about whether it's safe to bring them to subside school. it's painful because we're mourning the loss and the people who gave their lives and we're mourning the loss of the innocence that it's safety to go to our synagogues and be fully
jewish and american. >> is there a pessimism. are you optimistic that change will be good. how do you feel about that? >> my grandma came here at 16 years old to escape the brutal violence. she came here as a 16-year-old with nothing because she believed in america. i believe in this country and i believe that we will come together and we will overcome this. >> thank you very mump fch for time. i appreciate it. coming up, the president's reaction to yesterday's synagogue attack. the latest from the white house, next. attack the latest from the white house, next my ancestrydna results revealed
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when you have crimes like this, whether it's this one or another one or another group, we have to bring back the death penalty. they have to pay the ultimate price. >> that was president trump reacting to the massacre of 11 vimgs victims at the tree of synagogue. during a maga rally last night the commander in chief doubling down on how suspect should be
dealt with. >> the jews have endured terrible persecution. those seeking their destruction, we will seek their destruction. >> joining us now is jeff benne bennett. he covers the white house. let me get a sense of the evolution of president trump's commentary beginning with a tweet. >> reporter: even beyond this. i think we have seen the president employ a particular strategy this week that's been marked by political violence. the first thing he does is he condemns the act. usually when reading and then he tries to create distance between himself and the perpetrator of said act and in the case of this heinous ooact in pittsburgh, he going a step further. he's screaming the resulting policy conversation on his terms. yesterday when hef was asked if the shooting asked a need to
revisit the gun laws, the president said no. that has little to do with it. he then pivoted to something entirely different saying the nation should look at its laws surrounding the death penalty. he brought that up on his own. take a look at what he had to say about that issue and the suspected pittsburgh gunman. >> he was no supporter of nine. his anti-semitic tweets, people have seen them. very anti-semitic man. his thought process is sick. we have to bring back the death penalty for people like this. >> reporter: in the same comment the president said he was no supporter and said we have to bring back the death penalty. it's an entirely separate debate about whether the death penalty is an effective deterrent especially for deranged people. allies of the president are rejecting any link between his
harsh political rhetoric and a rise in violence in the u.s. in a week where we wea avowed trump supporter sent pipe bombs and after this unspeakable act there's people of good conscious who say it isn't enough that what the president says after a tragedy. that's not what matters. it's the environment created by the totality of his rhetoric that matters most. >> my colleague jeff bennett. thank you very much. i want to turn to jeremy peters. he's an msnbc contributor and reporter for the new york times. jeremy, let me start with you. picking up on what jeff and i were talking about. the seeming unease with which president trump is approaching this. there were so many changes to his tone over the course of the last 24 hours.
>> that's right. the afternoon when he kind of pulled it together and read from that scripted speech condemning anti-semitism and the mass murder that took place yesterday. by the end ofrt nig the night h retweeting a conservative commentator who was reporting conspiracy theories about the bomber in florida. this inability the president has to express empathy and show the solid, steady leadership that people have come to expect from their presidents in situations like this. i don't think people really expect that from president trump any more. there's been enough of these tragedies since he's been president that we know the play book from which he operates. i know his supporters don't expect it nor do they want it. the rally that you were showing clips from yesterday, jeff
bennett and i were both there and one of the most striking things is when president trump turned to the crowd and said i'd like to tone it down a little bit. i'd like to ask your permission to tone it down on this solemn occasion. the crowd responded with a resounding no. they didn't want him to do that. they pleaded with him not to. when he said he thought about cancelling the speech out of respect for the victims, again, people cried out from the crowd, no. we're glad you're here. thank you for coming. the kind of normal behavior we have come to expect from presidents in times like this is not something that i think people want to see out of this president. at least among his hardest core supporters. >> it strikes me what we're talk about is the feed back loop the president is looking for. not only did he retweet, he
weighed in on the world series. it's about context. it's about realizing, i suppose, the magnitude of what's happened in the context of so much else. >> i think that's exactly right. we have been talking since president trump was running in 2016 that the republican party was increasingly becoming the party of trump and the party of very little else other than the party of trump. we see that in his rhetoric. in their midterm strategy where they are focusing on the base voters and pushing to the wayside middle of the road voters. not going to the areas that voted for hillary clinton or that only voted for donald trump. the strategy is about appealing to these people who love president trump no matter what he does or says. what i'm looking for and thinking about whether or not this rhetoric will affect the midterms is the president's approval rating moving forward. we have seen time and again dips after things like charlottes which i will like he failed to
be this national healer. people may not be looking to him for that but the country as a whole, there's some people who will be voting on november 6th who are still looking for that. i would look to whether or not president trump's approval dips below 40. there's a big difference between 35% approval which was in the range after charlottesville and a 45% approval which is almost close to the 46% of people who voted for him in 2016. >> jeremy, you're so good looking at republicans and there's been for the last two years, a group within the republican party that's been hoping for change. optimistic this president will be perhaps more presidential. he will do less of the bombast and more of the traditional governance. are those folks giving up on him at this point. we have ten more of these rallies on the schedule. no indication that in light of what happened yesterday, in
light of the week we had, he intends to change any of his campaign strategy heading into the midterms. >> i wouldn't expect him to change it at in the point andic what republican leaders have gotten good at is looking the other way about this kind of behavior. condemning it with words and tweets but out of the other side of their mouth saying the policies are good. we like the judges. we like the economy. look at the stock market. regulations. it's a list they revert to. they can name five or so things, policy wise, that president trump has done so they don't have to talk about his personal conduct. >> let's look ahead to the midterm elections. what can we expect in terms of how this changes the tone. maybe not at the top. >> the tone from the president as jeremy mentioned won't
change. we'll see the situation where the president will say at the beginning, i'm being nice or toning this down and he will say something later like attacking hillary clinton and maxine waters by name after they received bombs or turning to the fake news media and harping on us in way he knows is not the right thing to do in this moment but is politically savvy for himself and his base and the republican party moving forward. i think it will be a lot harder for house republican candidates to explain away the president's rhetoric at a time we're seeing so much violence in the span of 72 hours alone. >> thank you very much. my thanks to jeremy peters. mark, i want to get your read on this cultural moment.
give us a sense of where things are in terms of cultural political climate in this country. as always, you and your colleagues set out to do something and things tend to change as the week wears on. what changes this week? >> i don't know if we can understand a week like this. words are inadd kwequate. we don't have a crime where worshippers are murdered as they are worshipping in their houses of religion. we're trying to lower the heat. the circus this week went to georgia and florida and we're really exploring issues of race in the south and where we are today compared to where we were and in the middle of that discovery and exploration, we had the bombings and the murders. there was already -- we already had a racial overlay and things we're looking at.
part of what we see is that we have a culture today in america where grievances sort of encouraged. if you have a gree vooievancgri want to blame somebody it's okay. those are big questions we have to figure out as a society and culture. it is a time when the president has to step up. that's what we need presidents to do. this is a time when we need that elevation. we need kind of an electronic blanket to throw over the entire country to absorb this grief. we're looking to the president to see what he does and take the right steps and hopefully he'll do that more so. the plroblem is when you campain on division, you govern on division, it's hard to have the
credibility to do that when you haven't done that. as cory booker said, i'm a prisoner of hope. i'm not going to give up because this guy will be president for two more years, at least. this is a time when he needs to be presidential, bring the country together and i'm not giving up because he's going to be there for a while. i hope he'll rise to the occasion. >> i've been talking to leaders of the local community, talking to the mayor of this city, talking to religious officials as what happens next and without exception every one i've talked to said there needs to be conversation. there needs to be better discourse among all of us. are you seeing any signs permeating through the wider american population? >> i do. i hear it a lot. what i don't like to see is when these things happen. we had three significant events this week. the last two i'm thinking about
you, can almost hear the partisans reacting to say it was a trump supporter or he was anti-trump from both sides. that's like -- that's the partisans. you get out in america, people are deeply wounded by all of this. we look another all the the data and talk about how partisan and poisonous the country has become. they want better. they know we can be better. we have a bad stretch going here. it didn't start with donald trump. it probably won't end with donald trump. we have a lot of work to do. when we get out of the suburbs and the country, i see people that are committed to that long term. >> i want to play a clip from
tonight's episode. >> does it surprise you in 2018 that we're still playing racial cards? >> the answer is yes. almost every major social change, the public's way ahead. they know this is not who we are. they know that the way we talk to one another, the way the president talks. it's beneath us. >> all right. there you are. weighing in on these issues. what should we take away with that? >> that he wants to bring it up. he's spent a lot of time around the oval office as vice president. he understands this moment, i think. he understands the broader history. the importance of the office. the importance of elevating our
discussion. you could hear it there. he's been a long time figure in american public life and he's taught a lot about thiese issue. >> thank you very much. up next, we'll have more reaction from the pittsburgh community as we learn more about the suspect in yesterday's synagogue shooting. that's coming up right here on msnbc. that's coming up right here on msnbc. we still need glasses on table ten. ♪ he'd be proud of us. a family business should stay in the family. see how lincoln's insurance solutions can help protect your family, your business and everyone who counts on you, at lincolnfinancial.com your business and everyone who counts on you, and i heard that my cousin's so, wife's sister's husband
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the approach that we need to be looking at is how we take the guns, which is the common denominator of every mass shooting in america, out of the hands of those that are looking to express hatred through murder. >> that's the mayor of the city. welcome back. i'm standing across the street from the site of that deadly shooting of pittsburgh shooting. he will make his first court appearance on monday. authorities searched the subject's home and vehicle this morning while the probe continues into his online activity. i want to bring in an msnbc analyst. a former justice department spokesman along with harry
litman. he grew up here. i've been thinking about you. i want to get your reaction as somebody who came of age who grew up in this community. >> david, it's been unreal seeing the sort of picture behind you and thinking what a huge part of my world it was growing up. i know one of the victims. i know many people are touched in the community. later i was in the office that will be bringing the charges tomorrow. i think it will be making a slow pivot toward the light making the most of this and trying to be constructive in what is now a kind of very difficult to process tragedy. almost every one i know has been
affected in some personal way. there's a sense of unreality about it but i think people's resolve is building to really be constructive in the wake of it. >> you cannot of state the closeness of this community is so evident to me having been here only for a few hours. i want to ask you about what scott brady had to say. you mentioned your former job there. you saw the criminal complaint that was unsealed today. your reaction to what's on those five pieces of paper. >> yeah. i mean the immediate reaction you think of is -- he'll be appearing for the first time tomorrow. you wonder if there will be any issue of competence or insanity. state and local law enforcement will be very united of building a picture of the shooter. social media, searches of his home, car, et cetera.
we'll have a rich tapestry of the tricrime and how he came to enter the synagogue. they'll have to first find out a lot more about who this guy is. >> where do things go from here? the investigation continues in the building behind me. the vehicle belonging to the suspect is being searched today. his apartment was searched last night. your sense of where this investigation is at this point. >> there were people he connected with in line. who may have known there were some chance he was likely to do this. we have to move from
conversation about what happened to what we can do to prevent similar incidents. we saw three events in the last other. it's clear there is a right wing domestic terrorist movement and the federal government needs to respond to it in the way it's tried to respond to home grown terrorism over the last few years. there was a program launched in the obama administration of high priority from the president on down to the attorney general and department of homeland security to target that kind of islamic extremism. i think it's clear we need to see that same kind of movement to target and kind of prevent homeland terrorism from occurring in a way that takes on new recruits and takes on the ideology and tries to prevent people from being recruited before they can turn to violence. >> jump in if you would.
>> i want to say pittsburgh has the infrastructure in place for this. as matt mentioned, there was when i was in the office an initiative for out reach between the muslim community and the jewish community. the religious leaders in the community of all stripes and state and local law enforcement have pre-existing relationships. there's already a table they've been around and they will have the infrastructure to try to make real progress of just the sort that matt is outlining and really critical. >> matt last question to you. there's a conversation happening about the death penalty because the president keeps talking about it. the attorney general talks about it as well. your reaction to that happening at this moment. this is something that president trump has talked about in the past. he brings up the death penalty and perhaps a more liberal application of it. >> i think it's pretty likely that jeff sessions will authorize the justice department
to seek the death penalty here. we have seen him increase the use of the death penalty or the authorization to seek it. no one has been execute maryld federal system since 2003. it's not clear they could carry it considering the difficulty of obtaining the drug cocktail they use. whether it's justified or not and people disagree over that, it's not a deterrent to these crimes happening. it's not going to deter someone recruited or self-recruited into this kind of hatred and choosing to turn violent. if we truly want to solve this problem, we'll have to look at ways of counter this ideology. just trying to expand the use of the death penalty has never been shown to be effective deterrent. >> thank you very much.
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massacre that took place behind me. squirrel hill in pittsburgh. officials are expressing their shock. joining me now is democratic state senator jay costa and rick fitzgerald. tell me a bit about this neighborhood. what drew you to it and what others should know? >> i think folks should know is a wonderful community. a very welcoming community. a diverse community that recognizes we all get along here well. i think that's what i would want people to know. what drew us here is my family moved here some 15 years ago. my father and mother decided to come here. largely for the schools. it's been nothing but the wonderful experience for our family. >> you talked a lot about the jewish community here. this is a diverse community in this neighborhood. there's a real closeness to this community. >> it really is.
it's jewish community, christian, muslim, hindus, a atheist. it's a great community to rise a family. young and old live together. it's very walkable, very safe community. i think that's one of the things that kind of torn the heart out over the last couple of days is we had this happen. i don't think people would realize what happened right here in squirrel hill. >> i imagine you're thinking about what needs to change policy wide. how the city is handling this. how it will be handled at state and national level. rich, where are you in that process of just reckoning with what happened in. >> this one thing i saw is we all worked together.? in. >> this one thing i saw is we all worked together.in. >> this one thing i saw is we all worked together.n. >> this one thing i saw is we
all worked together.. >> this one thing i saw is we all worked together. >> this one thing i saw is we all worked together. we were all here working together. our law enforcement and first responders, you heard the stories of what they did. as we go forward and comfort the families of the these 11 victims and help them. you'll see an out pouring. we work together here in this region. that's a big part of what we do. >> what are you hearing about what happens after this? outside the personal where people are. >> spending time with the families, i think the conversation needs to shift to a conversation about our policies in pennsylvania. my colleagues and i and the democratic caucus, we have to take a strong look at some of the things related to, for example, reasonable gun control measures. i'm a firm believer that's a conversation that must take place. we learned the incident that saw the types of weapons being used. there's no reason for them to be in hands of private civilians.
that's the number one thing we have to talk about. figuring out ways to work with mental illness programs along those lines. making those investments. in pennsylvania we spent $60 million in our budget to do school safety measures. largely limited to our schools. with need to go back and take another look to make sure we do these type of investments. that's the conversation i think has to take place next. >> rich, we talk about the national dialogue. you were talking about the diversity of this community. the degree to which people get along here. what can we learn from schoolgisquirrel hill? >> i think the national dialogue is about building walls. we build bridges. we're a welcoming community. we want people to come here from all over the world and the
country. you're seeing pitburg ta ining off again. it's part of our economic development strategy but also the right thing to do. >> a city of bridges. appreciate you taking the time. coming up, i will talk to man who has opened his doors to members of the community as they try to heal in these days and weeks to come. and weeks to come. >> tech: at safelite autoglass,
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because the sky has no limit. . i'm david gura in pittsburgh. our coverage continuing. joining me now, rabbi david gibson. he's been there for more than 30 years, just a few blocks away from tree of life. the synagogue has decided to open its doors. walk me through what you have been up through today, the conversations you've been having with other jewish leaders. >> about 150 jewish leaders gathered earlier this morning to get an update from the fbi special agent in charge and to find out about the situation of the crime itself and the perpetrator. frank leer frankly, what was happening with the officers who were shot
trying to protect the jewish community and then waiting for finally getting the list of those who were killed. because we're such a close knit community so we can rally around those families and give them all of the emotional support they need, but also the spiritual support they need with respect to their funerals and their mournings customs. >> talk about when you heard from the medical examiner, he talked about doing his job as quickly as possible, respecting both civil law and religious law. what happens next for members of this community? >> as soon as the bodies are released from the medical examiner, they'll be given to a jewish funeral home or other appropriate authorities who can properly care for the body and prepare it for burial. jews believe in burial in the ground as quickly as possible. we don't wait. we try to commit the body to the ground and there's a set of customs for the mourners to fulfill to help them along an
established path of ritual and comfort and community so they know they're not alone and they know that they are cared for and that their prayers go up not just to god as individuals, but as a community. >> you're hearing from your congregation. what are they saying about security? we're not sure. it's too early. it's not even 36 hours since the incident. we're still absorbing it. none of us wants or synagogues to become armed camps. none of us envisions a scenario where there has to be an armed guard to be given permission to enter a synagogue to pray. that very visual is antethetical. we are making sure our people are savor i won't come and be offered the spiritual been fitz our tradition offer. >> lastly, let me ask you about this community. we are standing in one pillar of this jewish community. you occupy another pillar just down the street.
talk about that, the degree to which this community operates. >> this community is extraordinary, jews who live in the city cycled out to suburbs over a period of decades. most of the largest single concentration is here within the city. i live in the city two blocks down the street. my kids went to city public schools. we were proud of the fact when we went down the street we run into people we know. walking two blocks could take minutes when you catch up with all the families you know. in addition to that, there is another element of increases diversity. where there might have been only delis, there are now noodle shops and middle eastern stores and people have an incredible interest in welcoming those people. we're a very welcoming community. we're very peaceful. the terror that was inflicted
au on this community is at odds with who we are and how we live our daily lives. >> that is it for me. i'm david gura. as we leave you, i want to spotlight the names of the men and women who lost their lives yesterday. our coverage continues right here on msnbc. [stomach gurgles] ♪when you have nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea...
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good afternoon. we're going to start the day with the widespread shock and grief following yesterday's massacre at the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh, the deadliest attack on the jewish community in u.s. history. right now the white house flag is at half staff in honor of the 11 shootings victims. six people were also injured in that attack, including four police officers. in pittsburgh stronger than hate, that's the message today. a design based on the steelers helmet logo inserting the star of david was on display. at hines field today where a moment of silence was observed before today's game. last night mourners outside the white house gathered to pay their respects and try to comfort one another. >> every jewish person's worst