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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  August 5, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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the repeal of don't ask don't tell that banned gays in the military. since congressman murphy left in 2011, he's been a tireless advocate for veteran's issues and a smart and great person to have around in any organization. it is a big loss for this network, and for the show to the extent that we're able to call on congressman murphy in a day in and day out basis. but it is a huge gain for the army and this country he's going to take on this next stage of his service. congratulations to patrick murphy. we are so excited about this. that does it for us tonight, we'll see you again tomorrow, now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> one more resume point on patrick murphy. and it's a difficult one, but the night of the am track crash, he was on that train. and he stayed with me on his telephone for the whole hour of mower live coverage of that. and i've never worked with a better on-scene reporter of what was going on in a situation like that. he was really amazing, and he was heroic on the train helping
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people after the crash. >> that's right, that's right. being able to do that on-air coverage after personally helping injured people in that crash that he himself was part of. it was amazing night. >> i kept asking him if he was okay, and he kept shaking off that question, you know in the way that someone who was probably feeling a little pain shakes it off. >> that's right. >> he's that kind of guy. >> that's right, great guy, couldn't happen to a nicer guy. >> thanks, rachel. well, the question republicans are asking themselves tonight, is why did bill clinton encourage donald trump to pursue his political dreams just weeks before trump formerly announced his candidacy for president? >> today the washington post is reporting on a phone call between former president bill clinton and donald trump. >> i love this story. it's got everything. >> it's classic. >> clinton encouraged trump's efforts to play a larger role in the republican party, and even told trump that he was striking accord with frustrating conservatives.
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>> and a the timing could not be more delicious. >> the debate stage is literally set for the gop debate in ohio. >> it's going to be a great night, that's really what we did anticipate of our party. >> but some republicans left out of the main event are calling the entire selection process preposterous. >> ohio govern john kasich. >> john kasich is in, rick perry is out. >> how can you not have rick perry at your debate? put him in the middle! >> you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal. >> president obama ups the stakes on the iran nuclear deal. >> many of the same people who argued for the war in iraq are now making the case against the iran nuclear deal. >> and he compared them to iranian hard liners. >> it's the hard liners chanting death to america who've been most opposed to the deal. they're making common cause with the republican caucus. >> nbc news now confirms that former president bill clinton had a private telephone
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conversation with donald trump in may when drurp was publicly considering running for president. president clinton's staff says donald trump reached out to bill clinton several times and the former president returned donald trump's call in late may. while the clinton staff insists that the presidential race was not discussed. the washington post reports that bill clinton encouraged donald trump to play a larger role within the republican party. joining us now by phone is ann gagarin who first reported this news of the conversation between bill clinton and donald trump for the washington post. also with us, former minnesota governor and republican candidate, tim plenty, joining us also, clarence page, columnist and bate fuey, who is in clooechbt tonight ahead of the primary debate there. and garren, there's an important distinction going on, team trump wants to say that bill clinton
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called donald trump. team clinton wants to say that donald trump called bill clinton. why are they fighting about that particular point? >> oh, it's, good evening, lawrence, it's sort of silly, isn't it? i mean, it's kind of like who's the bigger guy i suppose. who has to call whom? they both called one another at some point. and it wasn't the first time. they have had a fairly long and sometimes pretty cozy collegial association. they played golf together, bill clinton went to donald trump's third wedding in 2005 in florida, they have known one another a long time. and this wasn't their first conversation about politics either. clearly each of them wanted to talk to the other. at a very important time. the time of this phone call, it was more than a month since
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hillary clinton had announced her candidacy, and she was at that point outdoing, kind of the slow role up to the full campaigning. and donald trump was very publicly considering whether or not he was going to run. people urging him to run and there were people who were urging him not to to. and whoever's idea it was to have a conversation at the beginning, the fact that each wanted to do so at that critical point is interesting to us. >> tim, how does this play with republicans who some of whom, some republican analysts have publicly wondered over the last month is donald trump a democratic plant in this campaign since he's been wreaking so much havoc and attacking every one of the candidates. encouraging donald trump right before he announces for the presidency. >> if you're running for the
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republican nomination and trying to convince conservatives you're one of them, reaching out to bill clinton for advice in my manner or degree is not helpful, but the facts might matter here, larry, there's in dispute, not clear who reached out to who, but it's also unclear from what you've said and what the news reports are describing whether the campaign was described or not, discussed or not. regardless to all of that, it's going to be viewed as some reach out to the clintons which is a demerit in the eyes of republicans. but given that the donald doesn't have to play by normal portfolio rules, it's probably not going to hurt him that much anyhow. >> and clarence page, here's bill clinton on the phone. his wife was already a declared candidate for president. he's talking to someone who's publicly talking about maybe i'll run for president. and he's encouraging that person to, quote, play a larger role in the republican party. what would that larger role be, and why does bill clinton want
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to be encouraging to donald trump to get into the republican field of presidential candidates? >> well, interesting relationship. we think of them as politician versus businessman, at the same time though, clinton looks upon trump as a donor, afterall, he gave quite a bit a money to the clinton foundation. they have collegial relationship, very similar to that between daughters and politicians, office holders, bill clinton analyst that he is loves to give advice. it doesn't take long to guess why bill clinton would be delighted to have donald trump in the race over on the republican side. but beyond that, all we can do is speculate about what they actually said to each other. >> yeah, beth, bill clinton is as calculating a politician as ever been among us. and there he is encouraging someone, who he knows is going to go out there and campaign against his wife every day, campaign against hillary clinton
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every day, but he also probably had the fielding that if he gets into this race, he will probably spray his attacks all around this republican field, including at jeb bush which was trump's primary, original target of all of his venom when he got into this campaign. >> here's the other thing, lawrence, trump has gone through the motions of wanting to run for president and always at the last minute deciding against it. and that's what we all expected to happen this time too. perhaps that's what bill clinton was thinking too, maybe he didn't think trump was going to do it this time. trump did surprise pretty much everyone. i'm going to agree with clarence page, bill clinton is the ultimate political animal, he loves giving advice to whomever comes his way, and trump was smart to go to him. sblint widely acknowledged to probably be the savviest portfolio operator in this country democrat or republican, he knows what he's talking about. and donald trump probably made a good choice to reach out to sort
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of just chat with him strategically about what was to come. my guess is that bill clinton didn't know that donald trump was going to actually get in the race and sliming hillary clinton the way he has been. >> when was the last time bill clinton gave political advice to someone who was going to run against hillary clinton? i'm trying to think of when the last time that might have happened? i'm trying to think of this political advice addict bill clinton and all the help that he gave to barack obama and all that kind of senior advice that he gave to him as barack obama was considering running against hillary clinton. >> yeah, i mean, and there was a little bad blood there that lingered for a while because barack obama didn't entirely feel that he needed a great deal of that kind of outside advice. and to be fair, i doubt that donald trump also feels like he needs a great deal about advice or council. and go by his, guided by his own
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start, but i mean, he is a strategist, and political animal. and they sort of run in the same circles. they know a lot of the same people. they kind of, as different as they are politically, you know, probably has a great deal to talk about in addition to sort of down and dirty political strategy. this was not, this call was not described to us as, you know, should i do this or not kind of session at all. it was more that, donald trump is sort of exploring where his place is not only in the potential coming election at that time he hadn't decided whether or not he was going to do it. also within sort the republican party at large.
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and it is, a difference without a lot of distinction as to whether their discretion about his place in the party equals discussion about whether or not he should run to be that party's standard bearer. but functionally, they end up in the same place. >> let's listen to a question george stephanopoulos asked donald trump this morning that trump might get on the debate stage tomorrow night. >> on health care, pro choice and abortion, pro gun control, used to describe yourself as socially quite liberal. if that comes up tomorrow night that you're a flip-flopper, how do you respond? >> you know, i have no problem with. i've evolved like other people, ronald reagan evolved, he was a democrat and he became a republican. he was a liberal guy actually as a younger man and he became a republican and he did very well. i have great respect for him, i helped him, i knew him. he liked me and i liked him. we evolve, everybody has
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changed. >> that's a good answer for a republican audience. >> if you look at his positions now on gun control, on taxes, on health care, on abortion, they are conservative. that isn't necessarily what they were before. many have done that before and frankly most of the people in the race have done the same thing, on one or more key issues. the answer he gave is probably going to fly, and again, he's immune for most of the normal political rules here, lawrence, and so he's going to continue to i think slide until something more major happens. >> clarence page, he's falling on the last republican campaign where the no, ma'amny, mitt romney flipped on so many issues over the years. we saw, this is a similar version of that. >> yeah, but at the same time, mitt romney was not beloved by everyone. donald trump is, he has survived and risen above that because he
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represents at this point the kind of grass roots anger out there, it's not organized, not particularly improved around certain demographics. it seems to be really individualistic in my ways. across the country, people expressing to pollsters their support for trump. why? because trump just expresses the anger and frustration. details on any of his remedies for the problems we have right now. it doesn't seem to matter. he's a rally, he does have a ceiling of support, he hasn't reached it yet. i have a feeling he's going to get there. in the meantime, he can have a lot of fun up there on stage just throwing out what i call his, it's a trurp speak. you know, where he just attacks whoever he feels deserves it but listens to the cheers of the crowd. >> we have to take a break here. thank you very much for joining us tonight with the big phone
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call scoop. coming up, another episode of forgotten reagan. the ronald raig than so many republicans don't remember. and why one republican wants donald trump to win the republican nomination so that trump can then lose the presidency to a democrat. and later, president obama echoes a famous speech by president kennedy on nuclear disarmorment. (vo) after 50 years of designing cars for crash survival, subaru has developed our most revolutionary feature yet.
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decade ahead. and so saying, before the bridges fall down, i'll get this bill signed. >> that is the forgotten ronald reagan. the ronald reagan who raised taxes 11 times as president. and when he signed that gas tax increase to pay for highways, it was the first gas tax increase in 23 years. ten years later, bill clinton signed a gas tax increase that was actually smaller than ronald reagan's gas tax increase, and has now been 22 years since the gas tax has been increased. which led new york times columnist to offer this question which he hopes someone will ask tomorrow at the republican presidential debate. as part of a 1982 president ronald reagan agreed to boost the then four cent a gallon gasoline tax to nine cents. do you believe reagan was right there and would you agree to raise the gasoline tax by five cents a gallon today so we can pay for our highway bill which is now stalled in congress over
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funding? former reagan administration official bruce bartlet said in an essay that the best thing that can happen to the republican party is for donald trump to win the republican presidential nomination and then lose the election in a landslide. bruce bartlet wrote, the trump phenomenon perfectly represents the culmination of populism and anti-intellectualism that became dominant in the republican party with the rise of tea party. a trump route is republican moderate's best chance to take back the gop. joining us now, bruce bartlet, former domestic policy adviser to ronald raig enand former deputy assistant for economic policy under george w. bush. bruce bartlet, you have the floor, make your case to moderate republicans that they should all vote for the least moderate candidate, voice in the field. >> well basically, i'm thinking about 1964.
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a year in which the moderates were defeated, the tea party of the day, the john birk society and people of that sort, took control of the republican convention and nominated a hard core libertarian, barry goldwater, who's at that time was probably best known for having voted against the civil rights act of 1964, and the result of that was that he lost in a landslide one of the great landslides in history. and the result of that was that the moderates were then able to pick up the pieces of the smashed republican party and say to the conservatives, the tea party, the little old ladies in tennis shoes, we gave you your candidate, the perfect candidate, the guy you wanted, and we gave you your chance, and we supported him, and he, he lost. therefore, your ideas can not win.
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as much as we might even support those ideas, it's stupid to support ideas that cannot win, and the result of that was that richard nixon, by the standards of that time, quite a moderate, certainly governed virtually as a liberal was able to pick up the pieces and win in 1968 and again in 1972 when jared ford governed in the same moderate philosophy. so i view that as the possible outcome of this election, if a donald trump were to get the nomination. i don't think there's any chance he would win. i think he'd lose in a landslide. >> tim pawlenty, your reaction. >> with all do respect, the notion that goldwater's failure led to a better future in the form of richard nixon is prepostero preposterous, he was a disaster philosophy, policy standpoint, economically in many other respects and disaster personally. jared ford tried to pick up the pieces that obviously he wasn't
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an impactful president. it didn't actually get turned around until the modern conservative ronald reagan got elected and changed the party. by the way lawrence, i'm old enough to remember when ronald reagan was first run, he was dismissed as an extremist, somebody who was too out there to be elected. each generation has its own version of an insurgency, and this insurgency is the form of populism in the form of donald trump on the right, say what you will about him, agree or disagree what you will, and by the way, your trump radar has not been calibrated well, let's look at the democratic party. bernie sanders in a vowed socialist, let me repeat that, an e vowed socialists is in many states go over 30 or 20% of the vote and is narrowing the gap on hillary clinton. what does that say about the democratic party when you have somebody rising to the level of credibility who is a self-proclaimed, proud e vowed socialists. let's talk about which party's out of whack. >> well, governor pawlenty, i'm
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going to have to say, you're a socialist too, unless you're here to declare you're ready to repeal social security tonight and medicare tonight. you saw that news we covered a decade ago saying we're all socialists now because our government, as you know -- >> no, we're not all socialists now. we're not all socialists now. >> tell me which socialists programs you would repeal right now in the government. >> we're not going to repeal social security, we're not going to repeal social security -- >> so you support it? >> it has to be fixed, it's basic math. >> we'll skip over that argument for the moment. clarence page, the notion that donald trump would ruin the republican party in effect, reduce it to shambles so it would then have to rebuild and rethink, is donald trump the right test case for that if he were to actually get the nomination? wouldn't there be other explanations that republicans can come up, like oh he was too brash and too negative and he's not the real test case for the
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hard core conservatives? >> well, you make a very good point there, lawrence. i think, and also, bruce bartlet it's t wrote an excellent piece and i have respected his knowledge of party history, et cetera, i think -- for a call of caveats, this is not 1964, we must remember. we talk the hard core conservatives, none of whom who are on this panel, george will and others said, well they knew goldwater wasn't going to win. this was a year after jfk's assassination, the momentum behind the democrats was so strong anyway, and goldwater was not, a seasoned politician looking at winning the election. he wanted to make a point. and he helped to spar put new life into the conservative movement, which today, is a very powerful, very large, well-funded movement that i don't belong to, but needs to be respected. because it is out there, it constantly puts up strong candidates that lose the nomination. but have an impact on the election.
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and we've seen the republican party establishment able to pull the party back to the middle of the road conservatives like mitt romney, john mccain, bob dole, et cetera, but, this year may be different, but i don't think it's that different. i think that we're eventually going to get back, probably to jeb bush believe it or not. you heard it from me first here tonight, folks. >> bob dole, bob dole, mitt romney, and john mccain, with all do respect to them, lost. >> but -- >> lost the general election, right. >> the point about that, beth, tim pennsylvania learn city right about who -- pawlenty is right about who won and who lost. what the republicans did each one of the times, especially last time, after they got over some very strange infatuations like herman cain and so forth and when tim pawlenty was no longer able to fund his campaign, what the republicans ended up doing was going with the best candidate they had. and anybody who wants to say bob dole was a loser has to tell me who was the better candidate
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that the republicans had in 1996? and it seems to me that no matter how wild they respond in polls at this point or maybe in early voting, they tend to end up with a carefully-chosen, careful candidate. >> they do. which is why jeb bush has gone into this race with that kind of head of steam behind him. look lawrence, it's perfectly natural that republicans are going to criticize the standard bearers who lost. of course they are, but let's also look at the fact that the country has changed a lot. and maybe the country right now is not in a place where it is going to elect a republican president. the demographics have changed so much in favor of the democratic party, at least at the national level, there are now 19 states, 240 electoral votes that have gone democratic for 20 years, that's a very big start that democrats get, no matter who is nominated on the republican side. and in terms of your looking at reagan and the sort of the myth of reagan, let's remember that he gave amnesty in 1986 to 2.7
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million illegal immigrants. this is, this is a topic that is just tearing the republican party apart right now. so many really conservative base republicans, they consider immigration reform a top issue, they will not tolerate it. and yet, here's rornl reagan, the hero of this party who granted amnesty to 2.7 million immigrants. the party has changed a lot. >> the amnesty point and several other important lost elements of reagan his are are all in bruce bartl bartlett's editorial. we thank you all for joining us tonight. we appreciate it. coming up the prime minister of malaysia says the plane part found in the ocean on that island, is from malaysia flight 370, but bowing is not so sure.
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it is with a heavy heart that i must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the debris found on reunion island is indeed from mh370. >> just after the malaysian prime minister made that announcement, a french
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prosecutor overseeing the investigation of the plane debris on the island said this. >> we can tell you today that we can very strongly presume that the wing flap found on one of the beaches in reunion belonged to a 777 boeing from malaysia airlines that disappeared in march 2014. >> australian officials just released this animation showing a drift analysis of how crash debris might have spread across the indian ocean over the course of the last 17 months. this evening the new york times reports a person involved in the investigation said that experts from boeing and the national transportation safety board who have seen the object were not yet fully satisfied and called for further analysis because the part has no serial number on it.
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i don't to want just end this war, i want to end the mindset that got us into war. early in this campaign, i got in an argument with senator clinton because i said i would meet not just with our friends, but with our enemies. not just with leaders we liked, but leaders we detested and despised. and i was told, oh no you can't do that. that would be naive, that would be irresponsible, i said watch me. because, because, because i remembered what john f. kennedy said, he said, we should never negotiate out of fear. but we should never fear to
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negotiate. >> that was senator barack obama when he was still competing with senator hillary clinton for the democratic presidential nomination in 2008. today, president obama invoked president kennedy once again this time he referred to a speech president kennedy gave 52 years ago at american university about dealing with potentially the most deadly enemy the united states had ever faced, the soviet union. then the only nuclear power in the world capable of launching a nuclear attack on the united states. >> i realize the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war and frequently the words of the pursuant fall on deaf ears. but we have no more urgent task. >> president obama went to the same university today, american university to give a speak urging congressional approval of his deal with iran, a much less threatening country than the soviet union, and a country that
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does not yet have a single nuclear weapon. >> 52 years ago, president kennedy, at the height of the cold war addressed this same university on the subject of peace. the berlin wall had just been built, the soviet union had tested the most powerful weapons ever developed. china was on the verge of acquiring a nuclear bomb. less than 20 years after the end of world war ii, the prospect of nuclear war was all too real. with all of the threats that we face today, it's hard to appreciate how much more dangerous the world was at that
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time. in light of these mounting threats, the number of strategists here in the united states argued that we had to take military action against the soviets. to hasten what they saw as inevitable confrontation. but the young president offered a different vision. strength in his view, included powerful armed forces, and a willingness to stand up for our values around the world. but he rejected the prevailing attitude among some foreign policy circles that equated security with a perpetual war footing. instead he promised strong principled american leadership on behalf of what he called a practical and attainable peace. >> let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable
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peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature, but on a gradual evolution in human institutions. on a series of concrete actions, and effective agreements which are in the interests of all concerned. there is no single, simple key to this peace, no grand or imaginic formula to be adopted by one or two powers, genuine peace must be the product of many nations. the sum of many acts, it must be dynamic, not static. changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. for peace is a process. a way of solving problems. >> the agreement now reached between the international community and the islamic republic of iran builds on this tradition of strong prince. ed diplomacy. after two years of negotiations,
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we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. it cuts off all of iran's pathways to obama. it contains the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program. the prohibition on iran having a nuclear weapon is permanent. the ban on weapons related research is permanent. inspections are permanent. it is true that some of the limitations regarding iran's peaceful program, last only 15 years. but that's how arms control agreements work. first solved treaty with the solve yet union lasted five years. the first start treaty lasted 15 years. those who say we can just walk away from this deal and maintain sanctions are selling a fantasy.
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instead of strengthening our position as some have suggested, congress's rejection would almost certainly result in multilateral sanctions unraveling. so let's not mince words, the choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war. maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon. and here's the irony, as i said before, military action would be far less effective than this deal in preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. that's not just my supposition, everest mat, including those from israeli analysts suggest military action would only set back iran's program by a few years at best. which is a fraction of the limitations imposed by this
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deal. if we've learned anything from the last decade, it's that wars in general and wars in the middle east in particular, are anything but simple. [ applause ] >> we'll be back with analysis of president obama's speech.
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and the new global war on terror." also joining us, professor at the school of foreign service at georgetown university and president of the national iranian-american council. professor, your family, you know iran well, your father had been arrested by the shah of iran and by the ayatollah. i'm assuming you can look at the society with no illusions. one of the things we notice in all of the opponents of this deal is that they assume that the regime in iran is just full of irrational actors with irrational expectations of what's possible, and that they have a mission to obtain a nuclear weapon, and if you listen to bb netanyahu, they have to use that weapon against israel which is already armed with nuclear weapons, more than iran would be able to make. and so that there's this
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assumption that they're willing to invite their own nuclear holocaust in iran from israel and the united states as soon as they can get their hands on a nuclear weapon. >> this is just one out of many assumptions that have been so erroneous in the analysis about iran that is unfortunately not just limited to that specific group of people in washington, but it's quite pervasive, and if any of the assumptions were true that they're not rational, they cannot do these things that they will never negotiate with the united states, they will never uphold an agreement with the united states, if those were true, we would not be here today in which the united states together with allies after 20 months of negotiations have managed to reach really astounding deal, in which both sides are giving compromises and getting things. both sides have given up some things in order to get other things. it's really a pretty interestingly fair deal between the two sides. none of this would have been possible if any of these assumptions about the iranian government were correct.
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>> and phyllis, it's fascinating, it was a so much more great of a threat
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>> it certainly doesn't have the capacity now, but gave up far more of that future than the u.s. gave up of anything. so it was on that sense something that the u.s. gained much more than iran gained. it's certainly true, iran wanted and got the, at least potential for lifting most of the economic sanctions, assuming that they are certified to be abiding by the terms of the treaty, but the u.s. gave up none of that.
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so i think that, you know, it's a very interesting comparison to the 50 years ago of jfk. >> we have to squeeze in a quick break here, we'll be back with more with our guests in a moment. this kid makes stains like crazy so we got our new he washing machine but it took forever turns out it wasn't the machine, it was our detergent.
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i recognize that netanyahu disagrees, disagrees strongly. i do not doubt his sincerity, but i believe he is wrong. i believe the facts support this deal. i believe they are in america's interest and israel's interest, and as president of the united states, it would be an obligation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment, simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally. i do not believe that would be the right thing to do for the united states, i do not believe it would be the right thing to
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do for israel. [ applause ] >> just one more quick break and we're back with more discussion of the president's speech. me. hey! and bad for the barkley twins. take care of all your most important parts with centrum. now with our most vitamin d three ever. you can help children all around the world grow up strong, thanks to walgreens partnership with vitamin angels. when you get vitamins here... you change lives everywhere. i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business...
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that's huge for my bottom line. what's in your wallet? the lincoln summer the invitation is on.ere. get exceptional offers on the mkz sedan... the luxury small utility mkc ...the iconic navigator. and get a first look at the entirely new 2016 mid-size utility lincoln mkx. your choice of mkc, mkz gas or hybrid for $369 a month with zero due at signing. the same mindset, in many cases offered by the same people, who seem to have no problem with being repeatedly wro wrong, led to a war that did more to strengthen iran, more to
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isolate the united states than anything we have done in the decades before us. >> we're bag with phyllis and the professor. professor, what is this single biggest miss conception about iran that you are hearing in the debate in washington over this iran deal? >> oh, there are so many, i don't know where to begin, but let me say this, as the most important one right now, there is a perception in certain circles that this is a deal that essentially is made with iranian government with the iranian regime. i think it's much bigger than that. i think this deal, by lifting sanctions that will unleash the iranian middle class is actually an investment in the iranian people that happen to be the most pro-american population in the muslim middle east, it is also the most moderate society in the muslim middle east that has the greatest promise of moving that country towards a much more democratic political system. they're the only ones who actually can move iran in a democratic direction. and just like the president and
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his speech about lifting the embargo on cuba and reestablishing relations, made it very clear that sanctions had been hitting the cuban population very hard. and created a lot of problems for them, even though they were not spobl for the policies of their government, the same thing could be said about iran. if we can lift these sanctions and we can give the iranian population some breathing space, they're going to move the country in the right direction, that's going to be good for the united states. >> and phyllis, the people who want to bomb all iran nuclear sites tonight have never suggested how that advances iranian society in a direction sympathetic to the united states. >> quite the contrary, it would certainly strengthen iran's hardliners, and it would not do anything to hold back iran's nuclear capacity, if they ever chose to move in a nuclear weapon's direction. something that crucially is important for us to remember,
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they have not decided to do that. according to all 16 u.s. intelligence agencies. that, i think, is one of the most important misconceptions, one of the most important myths floating around, people really believe iran is building a bomb or maybe even has a bomb. it doesn't. it isn't building a bomb, it hasn't made a decision to build a bomb. the only nuclear weapons in the middle east today belong to israel. 3 to 400 not planet. there are no bombs in iran. and i'm afraid that a lot of people believe that that's not the case, and it's one of the big problems we face in showing why this deal is so important and why it should be supported. >> professor, we're running out of time here, but in the debate upcoming in the congress, what would be the one talking point you might suggest that you haven't heard from anyone? >> i would say that the most important thing to keep in mind is that this deal avoids two disasters, the disaster of iran
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getting a nuclear bomb and the disaster of having a war with iran. and it does so by only giving up what the u.s. sensibly put in place to trade away, which is the sanctions. as a result of that, i agree with the good evening from cleveland. site of the first republican presidential debate of the 2016 campaign taking place tomorrow night. i'm steve kornacki in for chris hayes. these are the ten candidates invited into the prime time debate tomorrow night. under the rules set forth by fox news. the candidate with the highest poll number, donald trump right now, will be center stage tomorrow night with the other candidates positioned around him based on their standing in the polls. these seven candidates polled outside the top ten in the average of the national polls