i could talk to these friends all day, but we're out of time. my thanks to rick stengel, harry litman. that does it for this hour. "mtp daily" with my friend chuck todd is next. if it's thursday, it's "mtp daily." good evening, i am kasie hunt in washington in for chuck todd who will be back tomorrow. we have a lot to get to tonight including the 2020 democrats piling on joe biden for his comment about working with segregationists. we've got a presidential candidate coming up in just a moment. plus, one of biden's long-time
allies will be here. but we begin with escalating tensions with iran after iran targeted and destroyed a u.s. military aircraft. just moments ago, congressional leaders left the white house after a meeting in the situation room with president trump and administration officials about iran. the bipartisan meeting comes after iran shot down a u.s. drone overnight in the persian gulf. video of which the pentagon released just a short time ago. iran claims the drone was within its borders. the u.s. says it was in international airspace. president trump tweeted earlier today, quote, iran made a very big mistake! and he repeated it this afternoon in the oval office alongside canadian prime minister justin trudeau. >> iran made a big mistake. this drone was in international waters clearly. we have in all documented. it's documented scientifically, not just words. and they made a very bad mistake. >> how will we respond?
we'll find out. >> are you along to go to war? >> you will find out. obviously, you know, we are not going to be talking too much about it. you are going to find out. they made a very big mistake. >> the incident comes one week after two tankers were attacked in the gulf of oman. attacks that the u.s. has blamed on iran. and three days after the pentagon announced it was sending additional troops and military resources to the middle east. and, yet, president trump who said he doesn't want a war with iran downplayed the severity of those tanker attacks telling "time magazine" they were, quote, very minor. he suggested the shooting down of the u.s. drone might've been an accident today. >> i find it hard to believe it was intentional if you want to know the truth. i think that it could've been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it. >> with me now halle jackson, nbc news chief white house correspondent and kelly o'donnell who covers the white
house and capitol hill for nbc news. it's good to see you both. halle let me start with you since that meeting just wrapped up at the white house. what did we learn about the intentions of this administration when it comes to a response to this drone attack? >> reporter: right. a couple of things, kasie. and i think that what is just as important as what you heard as important as what he didn't say. what we didn't hear. the president did not rule out retaliatory military action. >> hallie, we have to go to the minority leader, chuck schumer who is speaking live now at the capitol. let's listen. >> and not answer any questions. now, i told the president that these conflicts have a way of escalating. the president may not intend to go to war here, but we are worried that he and the administration may bumble into a war. we told the room that the democratic position is that congressional approval must be required before funding any
conflict in iran. one of the best ways to avoid bumbling into war, a war that nobody wants is to have a robust, open debate and for congress to have a real say. we learned that lesson in the runner-up to iraq. we have an amendment supported by every democrat to the ndaa in the senate that's led by senator udol that would require congressional approval of any funding for a conflict in iran. it's supported by all of us. we are asking leader mcconnell to do the right thing and give us a vote next week on the ndaa on that amendment. thank you. >> senator, was there any -- al qaeda? >> okay. kelly o'donnell, let me go to you on what we just heard there from senator schumer. he is of course talking about the broad defense bill that funds the entire defense department. they want to basically attach something to it that would prevent use of funds for any
conflicts with iran. they are saying that the aumf that's covered our war on terror should not apply in this situation. what's your take on what senator schumer had to say there, and also your reporting on what's gone on, on the hill aall day? well, we just also heard from mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader when he returned, and he described the trump administration as taking a measured response. he did not go into the kind of detail we just heard from democratic senator chuck schumer. so, clearly, it is a wait-and-see approach from mitch mcconnell who has resisted consideration of an authorization he used military force in the past. the last one, of course, after 9/11, and that military authorization has dealt with all of the conflict in iraq and afghanistan. and today we even saw democratic senators who were on the floor saying a new vote needs to take place. that is something that has happened before.
and it has been unlikely it is an unpopular vote to take, as you know so well, kasie, to have to put -- although it is a congressional requirement of authorizing war in our constitution to, there have been the circumstances used from the older 2001 aumf, the authorization to use military force, that are argued are still in effect today. so, there is definitely concern from democrats about the president's sort of approach to this, what kind of guidance and counsel he's getting. at the same time, i spoke to lindsay graham today who had a much more aggressive tone. and what he was saying he would encourage the president to do, and that is to have some kind of response to avoid iran taking any further steps. case? >> and, hallie, apologizes for interrupting you earlier, but to pick up there where kelly left off, it does seem as though certainly chuck schumer came back to the capitol thinking that some sort of action here may be imminent, enough that
there is some urgency to try and prevent the administration from doing it without congress saying yes. what's your take on what we've heard coming out of this meeting? >> right. and the senator notably i think said we warned the president, i'm paraphrasing here, not to bumble into war, if you will. i will tell you, kasie, this is not a president who, through the whole of his administration, even on his campaign, wants to get involved in foreign conflicts. that said, it is a moment where he's going to have to make a decision here on how to respond, whether to issue some kind of retaliatory strike. if so, what does that look like or not. i think critically what you heard from president trump was a person, a commander in chief, who is trying to portray strength and defend the u.s. military in the face of what defense officials called this unprovoked attack. but seeming to suggest a way out for iran, pinning the blame not on the entire iranian government but on maybe a misguided general, if you will. as you played at the top of your show somebody loose or stupid who made a mistake, basically
got out of line, got out of bounds. there is skepticism i think in some of the expert analyst community that that is a possibility. but it is the president seeming to give away to say, hey, this is how we want to turn down the temperature a little bit. that doesn't necessarily preclude the option of a military strike, especially what you just heard from senator schumer there. but i do think while there are allies of the president, lindsay dram, who are taking this more aggressive tone, there are others in the president's circle who are not. now, ambassador john bolton, the national security adviser is not necessarily one of them. but the president addressed this saying there are not people in this administration who are pushing me in the conflict. there are people pushing in the other direction as well. >> thank you both as always for your reporting. joining me now is colorado democratic senator michael bennet. he is a member of the senate intelligence committee and a 2020 presidential candidate. senator, let's start with your hat as a member of the united states senate, and the intelligence committee.
the u.s. intelligence, i mean, the pentagon has released footage of this drone being shot down. they say it was over international airspace. what, in your view, is the appropriat me. but we should take this very seriously. i mean, i think the likelihood that this is a mistake is remote. iran knows how to provoke the rest of the world. they know how to provoke us. they are malevolent actors in that region. it is absolutely the case. and it's the reason why i so much regret how the president is approaching this recklessly. i mean, he should never have torn up the iran deal to begin with, which was the nuclear agreement that president obama reached with iran. now we are contending both his blowing up, the next day saying that he doesn't want regime change in iran. he is sending mixed signals to the whole region. so i think it's very important for us to get the intelligence,
to figure out what actually happened and then respond in a way that protects the national security interests. >> what does that mean to you, though? does that mean a military response? this seems if this was intentional, a military action. >> i don't want to say what i think it specifically is, but i think that we need to take countermeasures when something like this happens. >> can you give us any more insight into countermeasures? >> nope. let's see where the intelligence leads us. >> how would president bennett handled this? >> he would have not blown up the nuclear deal to begin with and jeopardize the alliance that we built to keep iran's nuclear program in a box. now we have a situation where they are doing all the stuff iran does from yemen through southern iraq into syria and into southern lebanon. and funding proxies and terrorizing the region and potentially terrorizing us and has the potential now to back
backstop it. they said earlier this week that they are going to start enriching uranium. everybody said iran was a year away from breaking out to a nuclear weapon, the israelis, the u.s., the chinese. now what does the trump administration say they want? they want to get away from where iran is a year away from breaking out to a nuclear weapon it. >> doesn't make any sense. i think we need to be a lot less reckless than he is. >> i'm glad you raised the question of the enrichment of uranium. lindsay graham who has often been on the side of advocating for stronger measures, said he gave the president on some advice about what to do on that particular topic. take a look. >> so i talked to the president this morning. you need to tell the iranians that if they increase their enrichment program for uranium, that would be a provocative act toward the united states and israel, and all bets are off. >> do you agree with senator graham? >> i think it would be a
provocative act. but i think we have put the -- because of what donald trump has done, we have put the iranians in the driver's seat to decide how to provoke us. when we had the deal, which iran was complying with, and every intelligence agency in the world said they were complying with it, our allies said they were complying with it, we had agreement that they were behaving in a way which was moving them away from a nuclear weapon. when i voted for that deal, we didn't know whether iran would comply. by the time donald trump blew up the deal, we knew they were complying. so, lindsay can say what lindsay says, and the iranians will provoke us because that's what they do. but we need to be very careful that this doesn't escalate into something beyond our control. >> all right. so, we've spoken to you now to the extent we can, as the senator who serves on the intelligence committee. but i want to now talk to presidential candidate bennett more directly and of course the big campaign story today is surrounding joe biden, 2020
democrats are continuing to pile on him for comments that he made about working with segregationist lawmakers when he was in the senate. >> why on earth would a democrat speak nostalgically of working with a segregationist? >> a guy working to be the head of our party, which is a significantly diverse and wonderous party doesn't understand or can't even knowledge that he made a mistake. >> i don't think that you should be bragging about working on a bipartisan basis with segregationist. >> i think as he's probably seen today, it'd be best if he used different examples. >> the senators that he is speaking of with such adoration are individuals who made and built their reputation on segregation. the ku klux klan celebrated the election of one of them. so this is a very serious matter. >> in response, joe biden is not backing down. >> how does it feel that your democratic rivals are implicitly
saying that you have issues talking about race? >> they know better. there's not a racist bone in my body. i've been involved in civil rights my whole career, period, period, period. >> senator, should joe biden have made these remarks? >> well, he should never have made these remarks, and he should never have said that cory booker should apologize to him. it's ridiculous. the other problem here is that he keeps saying that if donald trump's not president anymore that everything will kind of go back to normal, and we are just going to be able to work together in a bipartisan way, ignoring the incredible structural problems that face us as a national government. we've had supreme court decisions like citizens united that have captured washington and separated from the american people, decisions like shelby from the supreme court that have made it difficult for people to exercise their right to vote and the gerrymandering that the
politicians themselves have done. these are structural problems that we have to address, i think, in order to get washington to work together. this isn't like the good old days where if everybody could just get along we'd be able to move forward it. >> just isn't built that way anymore. >> so is this a sign of joe biden being out of time with the times? >> i think he is out of time with the times at least when it comes to how this place works. but when they were in the white house, unfortunately for the last six years of the obama administration, that is when the tea party really locked down the congress. and a minority of a minority tirinized the democratic party and immobilized the american government. that's where we are sitting right now. by the way, that all happened before donald trump got here, and mitch mcconnell has been the brains behind all of that. we the american people have to find a way to close over that or beat that if we are going to make any progress. that's why we haven't made progress on health care. that's why we haven't made progress on reforming our democracy. you know, because mitch
mcconnell, the chances of him doing that are no -- i mean, are less than his retiring to berkeley. [ laughter ] i don't think he's going to do that. >> i would be surprised. >> i would be very surprised. he would go there if he thought he could get more judges. that's the one reason he would go. but in all seriousness, this is what we are contending with. and this is the american people's experiment in self-government. this isn't michael bennets or casey hunts. it's the american people. we've got to find a way to get it back and make it work. and in order to do that, we have to respond to the structural problems, the money that's in our politics, the gerrymandering of our politics. >> you have introduced legislation aimed at this. >> i have. >> i am a little surprised to hear you say that, you know, essentially the era of potential civility is over, as you've been somebody who's been a big advocate for that. >> and i am because i believe -- here's what i believe. i don't think i own the monopoly on wisdom, and i don't think
lindsay graham has monopoly on wisdom. but we have been sent here on behalf of south carolina and colorado. the founders created a system not based on the idea that we would agree with me other but based on the idea that we would disagree with each other, and out of those disagreements we would get more durable and more imaginative solutions than if you were just the king and got to decide everything or if lindsay were the king, or i were the king. that's how it's supposed to work, and it doesn't work that way anymore. that we do have to find a way to bring back. i represent a state that's a third republican, a third democratic and a third independent. and i believe i owe representation to everybody that i work for, whether they voted for me or whether they didn't. and most of them think that we should be figuring out a way to work together. i just don't think it's a matter of personality. i think it's a matter of structural assault on our democracy, a structural assault on the right of people to vote in this democracy, a structural -- now a trumpian
assault on the rule of law. all of that stuff has to be contended with i think if we are going to make progress in this democracy. when we are dealing with stuff like iran and we are dealing with stuff like china, these are places that are not inconvenienced by our form of government, which means it's all the more important that we are figuring out how to actually wrestle the challenges to the ground and find a way to come together to do the sort of work that the founders imagined we would do. >> so, do you think that joe biden, as a frontrunner, i mean, he has been running primarily on -- or in large part on electability. and that's, you know, what democrats say they want. they say they want to be president trump -- beat president trump. do you think that this shows that he would have a harder time beating the president? >> we need to beat donald trump. so the number one issue for democrats is electability, as it should be. and important other issue is
that we've got to figure out how to govern the country again. beating trump is necessary, but it's not sufficient. i am not surprised at all that joe biden is the front-runner. he is much better known than anybody else in the field. he was a really good vice president, and he's been a senator for a long time. so it doesn't surprise me that he would have frontrunner status. he is going to have to compete for this job just like everybody else including myself has to compete for it because we need to be able to demonstrate that we can beat donald trump. and i think that's as it should be that this position isn't owed to anybody. i'm sure joe biden doesn't believe it's owed to him. >> do you think he should apologize for what happened? >> i do think he should apologize. and i definitely don't think he should've asked cory booker to apologize. but that's up to him. >> all right. so, to combat all of this, you do have a new corruption, anti-corruption plan, which i think includes the constitutional amendment that we talked about briefly.
what's the rundown on that particular plan? do you think it'll go anywhere? >> well, it's not going to go anywhere as long as mitch mcconnell is the majority leader. that's for sure for the reasons that we were talking about. but i think if the american people, once they see what's in this plan, i think they're going to support it. i mean, it runs the gamut from overturning citizens united to ending political gerrymandering for the benefit of members of congress so that people actually get to pick their representatives rather than their representatives picking the people they represent. it has a lifetime ban on members of congress from ever becoming lobbyists. i have been introducing that for ten years, and i could never get anybody to sign onto it, never. and then finally john tester came on, and i guess he finally decide that he was going to go back to montana. >> why not? >> and now ted cruz and aoc finally last week said that they supported this idea. so i think it's building momentum, and i hope that mitch mcconnell will bring it to the floor. i doubt he will.
so i think that if there's a president bennett in the first week that i'm there, i'm going to encourage the congress to pass this. i think we have to give the american people faith that we're actually paying attention to them. they have given up on this town. they sent a reality tv star to be president of the united states. that is how low regard they have for the institutions that are here. and we've got to find a way to overcome it, not to go backwards, not to go back to some golden day when it all worked well but to go forward in a way that actually can continue this exercise of self-government for the next 230 years. that's what we have to find out how to do. >> all right, senator michael bennet and presidential candidate, we will see you in miami on the debate stage coming up. >> don't blink. >> next week. exactly. this is of course going to be right here on msnbc. michael bennet will be on stage for next week's first democratic presidential primary debate. watch next wednesday and thursday nights at 9:00 p.m.
eastern on nbc, msnbc, and tell mund question. ahead no apologizes. joe biden doubles down on his comments about working with segregationists. how should democrats respond? one of his top senate allies joins me live. ins me live. it's a beautiful piece of land. so why haven't you started building? tyler's off to college... and mom's getting older... and eventually we would like to retire. td ameritrade can help you build a plan for today and tomorrow. come with a goal. leave with a plan. td ameritrade. ♪ liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, hmm. exactly.
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"the washington post." and jennifer reuben is an msnbc political analyst and washington post opinion writer. it's great to have all of you on board. eugene, let me start with you on reaction to what senator bennett just said there. we're also just learning "the new york times" is reporting, and we at nbc have confirmed this, but this is what "the new york times" has said that joe biden actually called cory booker wednesday night to try and smooth out the tensions after booker called on him to apologize. what's your take on what you heard from senator bennett? clearly this is becoming something that, you know, most of the democratic field is starting to line up on the same side. >> absolutely. and i think what bennett communicate school district what many people listening, particularly black voters think. not only should biden have apologized. he certainly did not have the right to ask cory booker to apologize. he was just simply communicating why black voters would be offended by the fact that when
biden had to pick an example of people he worked with, he chose segregationists. it was an opportunity for biden to communicate, you know what, i made a mistake, i am teachable, that's not what i meant to communicate. instead, he took an approach that people who were not offended initially go, you know what, actually -- >> he made it worse. >> i think was a gross misstatement. it was disrespectf. it showed him suddenly he was the one who was treating a black man with less than respect like a boy. he wasn't simply referencing. and, you know, the point he says he was trying to make which is that he learned to work with all kinds of people, was more than that. he was reminiscing and called this a time of civility. and that's what was so upsetting i think to many african-americans and many nonafrican-americans that he was somehow holding that up as trump does of the good old days. it wasn't the good old days from the point of view of a lot of americans.
>> and, adrian, you worked for hillary clinton. biden has been positioning himself in this field as the dominant frontrunner. and the polling has backed him up on that. but this is a real test for him. and michael bennet is somebody who has been a long-time advocate for building civil relationships and working across the aisle in congress even is at the point where he says the system is so broken, i don't understand why joe biden is harkening back to that. >> what joe biden stepped into is what any frontrunner tries to avoid which is to provide an opening for tier ii, tier iii candidates to segway in and draw contrast. that's exactly what happened. cory booker is significantly younger than joe biden. he to an extent does represent the future of the democratic party. so here is the contrast of cory booker, you know, defending african-americans, you know, demonstrating how out of touch joe biden was by making these comments coming in. and then you've also got joe
biden on the defense saying he should apologize. there is not a racist bone in my body, i understand joe biden having that reaction. but i also understand why a lot of voters took offense to this. and i also look at this, kasie, through the lense of how will this actually impact joe biden's standing in the polls. he has strongs support with african-american voters. and i think we will see a lot of this play out during the debates. >> eugene, what's your take on this as something that is playing out among the twitter verse and something that is actually going to make a real difference with voters who are going to decide this nomination. >> i actually spoke today with some who were involved with getting the black vote ramped up in alabama today and wondering what impact was this having on the ground. and one of the big things that they pushed back on that i was really surprised to hear about is the idea that biden has the black vote solidified in the first place. they say it's the whole idea
that he may lose this lead. one, they think he's running off of name recognition and people who are longing for the obama days, there's some doubt that the polling does not factor in young voters as much as it probably should. so people are listening, people are still open, people still want to hear from multiple candidates looking forward to these debates. so biden really cannot afford to think that he can't lose ground, that he actually may not even have. >> i think that's so true. when you look into some of the polls, some of these candidates, all of us know these people like they're relatives by now. [ laughter ] >> for better or for worse. >> well, because they won't leave after three weeks. there's a substantial chunk of the democratic primary electorate who has never heard of these people or has no opinion. so when you look at buttigieg, there's about half of the democratic primary base that says, well, if i know him, i don't know enough to give you an opinion about it. and to that point, i think we have seen that, we saw it with
bernie sanders that sometimes name recognition lasts a very long time. right now these candidates are all a blur to many voters. there's joe biden. there may be one or two they know, and everyone else is a blur. once they get unblured either because of these debates or in september when they go down to a reasonable number, then i think he's really going to have to compete with these people. and the question that this raises in my mind is whether there is someone on that campaign who he will listen to. of course, his campaign leaked to the press that they had told him not to use this comparison. and people do that not because they are trying to see -- not because they are trying to keep their jobs but because they want to communicate with the candidate. s see? you need to listen to us. and i don't think he has someone there who is pushing back hard enough to where he would listen. >> adria in of course ne, you've been in this position, and how to put this gently, it's not necessarily a sign of a strong campaign that is on board with
its candidate when you have people making anonymous comments in the press to try to reach the candidate. >> exactly. >> it's usually a frowned-upon strategy. >> and i have to say in 2016 on hillary clinton's campaign i was proyou did that we basically had no leaks on the campaign which is very unusual in. 2008 on hillary's campaign which i was also a part of, there were a lot of leaks. there were a lot of strategists who were trying to save their reputation as we were starting to lose this race to barack obama. i hope this is not a trend that i see in joe biden's campaign because i have a lot of respect, and i am friends and i have worked with a lot of the staff on that campaign. but they have got to stop this. they aired dirty laundry in the media about the strategy making behind a decision that was not exactly favorable to the candidate is never a position you want to be in. and i also want to add the other issue that i think joe biden is contending with is this air of inevery tablt. i don't think that, you know, we all believe that he's perhaps the inevitable winner. i don't.
but i think there are perhaps people out there who do. and i'm not sure where his head is at on that desk. but the moment you start to have this feeling of inevitability or that you're so high in the polls that it's going to be hard for people to come in, that's when you really start to sink down. >> so, eugene, last word here. biden clearly was trying last night, his remarks at a fundraiser indicated he's taking a different tact. he is focusing on the deep opposition he had with these people. how can he fix this especially with the debate coming up in a week when we have to think that some of his opponents are going to be saying these things on the stage? >> i think what voters want to hear is that they will get behind a leader who can work with people on the other side of the aisle. that's where biden was right. but while calling them out for what it is that they are putting forward that's troublesome and problematic with the hope and goal that they will change their
world view and get to a point where what they were backing that was most harmful to groups of people won't exist anymore. >> all right. eugene, adrianne, jennifer, please stick with us. ahead, the return of roy moore, the controversial aye. will judge who was accused of sexual misconduct with teenagers. he wants to be senator again. an our mission is to provide complete, balanced nutrition... for strength and energy! whoo-hoo! great-tasting ensure. with 9 grams of protein
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back in 2017 to democrat doug jones amid multiple accusations of sexual misconduct by several women when they were teenagers, and moore was in his 30s. back in 2017 the ultra conservative moore was able to gain the nomination after overcoming a crowded republican primary. and that's exactly what republicans are worried about this time around. congressman bradley burne, john merrill, and former auburn football coach are also running. president trump stuck with moore through election day in 2017. >> but he has already tried to keep him out of this race in 2020. he tweeted last month, quote, i have nothing against roy moore, and unlike many other republican leaders, wanted him to win. but he didn't and probably won't. republican senate leader mitch mcconnell is also all in against roy moore. he just told my nbc capitol hill colleague frank thorpe we'll be opposing roy moore vigorously. he would likely face democrat
doug jones in a rematch, and that seems to be music to jones' ears. he just tweeted so it looks like my opponent will either be extremist roy moore or an extremist handpicked by mitch mcconnell to be part of his legislative graveyard team. we will be back with more "mtp daily" right after this. has been excellent. they really appreciate the military family and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life. ♪ get your usaa auto insurance quote today.
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hour. first former vice president joe biden fending off attacks from his primary rivals. and second the escalating tensions with iran. my second guest is the perfect person to talk about about both of these. he is a member of the foreign relations community. senator kuntz, it's always great to talk to you. let's start with iran because there was that critical meeting at the white house where leaders in your party and across the aisle went to discuss just what is the administration's plan for next steps, in your view how should the united states respond to iran in the wake of this drone being shot down? >> well, first, kasie, it's important that we develop and get out the real information about exactly where this drone was shot down. so far press reports are asserting that the united states has taken the position it was in international airspace over international waters. iran is taking the position it
was shot down over iranian airspace in order to help persuade our allies to support us in this particular issue and in other matters that i think will come up soon as tensions rise and then flare up with iran. it's important that we get those facts out for our credibility. second it's even more important that the trump administration make clear what their strategy is and what their red lines are because i don't think they've given congress and the american people a strategy for where they're headed in this rising moment of escalating tensions with iran and we don't have clarity and neither do the iranians about what the real red lines are. >> so, to address the first part of your point initially, do you have reason to believe that the facts that the united states are presenting the video that the pentagon put out all of the things we have been saying publicly, do you have reason to doubt those facts? >> i don't. all i'm saying is given our history in other conflicts in the middle east and given the tensions we face with our
allies, particularly our vital allies in europe, it would be a wise move to take seriously that there is some skepticism in the region and around the world. one of the real problems, kasie, with the president's leadership in national security is he has shown a strong tendency to go it alone, and there's been no more striking example than the international agreements painstakingly negotiated over years that he tore up within his first few months of his presidency. the paris deal, the tpp deal and of course the iran nuclear deal. that plus our history with iraq makes it important that we make an extra effort to get it right. in this particular case, i have no reason to doubt the american intelligence community. that is my default of course is to believe our own intelligence community, not iran's, but i'm simply saying this should be a moment where we are making extra effort to get our allies on board with us. >> and on the strategy piece of
this, we have seen some reporting and some mentions about al qaeda and their ties to iran that suggest that the administration is laying the groundwork to take some action that would be covered by that initial 2001 authorization of use of military force in the wake of 9/11 to deal with terrorists' threats. do you get the sense the administration is preparing some sort of action that would be potentially covered by that, and do you think that congress should have a way in whether or not there is military action taken here? >> i absolutely think congress should have a say in whether or not we end up in a confrontation with iran, particularly because of the dangers, the risks and the costs of our sliding unintentionally into a wider conflict, especially at a moment when we have reason to be concerned about both china and russia in other places in the world, not to mention north korea. so, given the lessons of iraq, given the challenges of a relationship with iran where we
have very few channels of communication to deestrate conflict and given the very real risks of a miscalculation and then given the known orientation of the president's national security adviser who has been sort of banging the drum for war with iran for a long time, i do think this is a moment where it's particularly important that congress reassert itself, take action to insist that we have consultation and approval from congress before there's any move towards a war with iran. >> all right, senator. let's move and talk briefly about former vice president biden i should say who is of course a long-time ally of yours. you have been a supporter of his. and you've said of this most recent issue that joe biden, quote, speaks clearly. senator bennett was just on the program a few moments ago saying that in fact biden should apologize to cory booker for the way that he talked to him.
do you think joe biden should apologize to cory booker? >> um, kasie, i know that senator booker and vice president biden deeply respect each other and enjoy a solid relationship. what i think matters here is that the former vice president was laying out his strong and clear record on civil rights, which is well known to the american people. they know his character and his heart. alongside his history of being able to work even with senators with whom he deeply disagreed. there is no doubt that joe biden fought hard for civil rights the entire time that he was in the united states senate and certainly in his role as vice president. but i'll remind you this is exactly why it matters that those who are running for president put out their best and most positive proposals and record rather than getting into left and right fights. as we move toward these debate in miami next week, every minute on that debate stage that a democratic candidate is attacking, challenging, or
criticizing another democratic candidate is a good minute for donald trump's campaign. and every minute that we have candidates as michael bennet just did on your show, who is puts forward a strong policy proposal for how to deal with the dysfunction in washington is a good minute for those of us who care about making donald trump a one-term president. >> can i ask you about one piece of joe biden's remarks that, you know, frankly at the center of what cory booker had to say about this? cory booker mentioned that biden said, you know, these segregationist senators, senator eastland, he didn't call me "boy," he called me "son." and he said my dad was called boy because he was african-american. do you think that joe biden should be more regretful, at least if not apologize for using that construction in his language? >> well, kasie, you know, joe was able to work with folks with whom he had real deep policy
disagreements. this story would've been better if he had cited, for example, orrin hatch or john mccain, folks with whom he disagreed over civil liberties and reproductive whom he was able to work on issues on the judiciary committee or issues of foreign policy and national security. joe biden is not deluded in any way just how broken our politics are or ow obstructionist mitch mcconnell and the republican majority in the senate is. he lived through it as the vice president. he got to see the ways in which judicial nominees and important legislative initiatives of the obama/bide and administrationings were sometimeplied by the current republican leadership he's saying he has a history of being able to work with people, even people personally disrespectful to him and others he cared deeply about. i'm hopeful he and senator booker will weave back together what has long been a good and close relationship and that some of these moments where we're
focusing on very small but important misstatements will take less centers stage than the fact that we have a president who has said and done things and continues to advance things that can frankly are gravely concerning to all of us in the democratic party. >> all right, snoring chris coons, always great to see you. >> thank you. >> ahead, those questions of credibility plaguing the trump administration as tensions rides with iran. rump administration as teionsns rides with iran. when crabe stronger...strong,
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iran in terms of their ballistic missile transfers, about who they support in the region and the rest. the high tension wires are up in the region for a lot of different reasons. we must act in a way that does not -- that does de-escalate and does not escalate the tensions and the situation there. we must be fully engaged with our allies. >> welcome back. that was speaker pelosi just moments ago speaking after the white house briefing on iran with house and senate leaders. eugene scott, adrian elrod and jennifer rueben join us once again. jennifer, it does seem as though we are tiptoeing up to a line. we're not exactly sure at what the point we're going to cross it or what that's going to look like, but there have been a lot of concerns. chuck schumer we played earlier in the program saying he's
worried we're going to bumble into something. you've focused on this topic quite a bit. what are the warning signs here, and what in your view should be the administration's next step? >> i think there are warning signs. i think when they start trying to make a connection between al qaeda which is a sunni radical group and iran, which is a radical shia country, and they're not citing any specific evidence, that smasks iraq. that was the argument that dick cheney and others used that somehow that they were sheltering al qaeda people in iraq and that somehow justified the iraq war. when you have that kind of repeat, you know, history doesn't repeat it just rhymes, that's a rhyme. another one is they are beginning to cite the original authorization for use of force as perhaps a justification or the legal means by which they would move in. i think the problem is is that we've been entirely incoherent. on one hand, there's a group within the administration and perhaps the president on one hand who says i want out of the
iran deal. we're going to bring iran to the knees. and they never really had an explanation what if they don't just collapse? what if they start provoking us. there's the other side of trump and other advisers who say there is no way in heck we're going to get into another middle east war. and so they're caught. i think the fundamental problem is we don't have a strategy. we have alienated our allies. they're hopping mad because we've left the jcpoa and we're slapping secondary sanctions if they continue to do business. so i think we've gotten ourselves into a hole. my suggestion would be that he sit down with our nato allies, bring them all in, come up with a joint strategy for dealing with these provocative actions, have nato respond, not the united states necessarily, and to have measured really contained responses. >> but do we, adrian, have the credibility with nato right now to do that?
>> that's the problem. as we know donald trump has been out there blasting nato saying they should be disbanded. we're not going to fund nato anymore. it's a waste of taxpayer dollars. not only nato, we lack credibility on the international scale with many of our other allies in a way that donald trump has treated our allies versus dictators how he coziesed up to them and pulling out of major agreements including paris. our credibility is tarnished and that's a real problem in the situation we're in. >> eugene, democrats are pushing for congress to have some sort of role in whatever decision is made about what to do. these decisions are often quite frankly congress has punned their responsibility oftentimes when it has come to these moments. i remember when obama wanted to strike syria and they couldn't get congress to hold a vote because it was a tough vote that nobody wanted to take. how does this play out between the white house and capitol hill? >> it's very difficult when you have members of the republican party being on different sides of this issue, not communicating
a clear vision in terms of how they believe we should respond to this at all. and trying to get everybody on the same page what's best for the country as a whole. it's going to be very difficult if not impossible and taking responsibility in congress for the role that they're supposed to play in this is not something i think we're going to see an answer to soon. what we are seeing is democrats especially some of those running for congress communicating we do not need to get into another war and if we do get into one, it will not be people like trump and his allies whose kids will be going. >> it's extraordinary earlier in the day, the senate voted to disallow an arms sale to saudi arabia which is intended to respond to iran. and there were seven republican senators who cross odd the aisle to vote against him. he can't even get republican senators all on the same page on part of his iran strategy if that's what you want to call it. he's got nothing. and from the khashoggi murder to
all of the other 10,000 plus lies he has told, it does now come back to haunt him. >> a very difficult situation, of course, for all of us eugene, adrian, jennifer, thanks for being here. that's it for us tonight. chuck will be back tomorrow with much more "meet the press" daily. right now "the beat with ari melber.." >> good evening, thank you very much. several major stories in tonight's show. thank you for joining us. we just received a transcript of hope hicks' congressional testimony, the first trump aide to testify ever in this obstruction probe. while she ducks many questions, she also talks collusion. we're going to get to that. in a case that bob mueller referred tonight, i have it right here, the doj is exploring jailing roger stone, remember him? for allegedly violating his gag order. this is brand new, a mueller referral. it's interesting because is shows while trump's doj leadership have been intervening to help paul manafort avoid