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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  November 4, 2015 2:00pm-3:01pm PST

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seriously, because there was a time when they weren't. and in general, it's perfectly adequate and appropriate for a prosecutor to say, there was a period when sex crimes weren't taken seriously, i will take all reports seriously. but whether he's going to prosecute or not, he's got to take his time. >> thank you, ari melber. that does it for this hour. i'm kate snow. "mtp daily" starts right now. >> good evening from washington, this of course is "mtp daily." we begin with the breaking news we've been following the last hour. a u.s. official has told nbc news that evidence indicates it was a bomb that may have brought down the plane killing 224 on board. the official said the investigation is focused on the possibility that isis operatives or sympathizers were directly involved in the bombing. shortly after the crash, isis claimed it had downed the claim, but egypt's president at the time had dismissed it.
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u.s. defense officials earlier this week told nbc news, a heat flash was detected over the desert at the exact time of the crash. but the infrared satellite did not detect a trail. so that ruled out a missile strike. just a couple of hours ago, john kirby said, we are in no position right now to rule anything in or out. >> because somebody came out and said they thought it could have been an explosive device -- >> not somebody, the british government is on record. >> everybody just wants to jump to that conclusion and i'm not going to do it. but the investigators are still at it. we got to give them the time and space to do their job. that's the responsible thing to do here. in the meantime, it's also the responsible thing for the united states government to tell its workers, don't go to the sinai right now. >> within minutes of john kirby making that statement, jim miklaszewski, you are reporting from the pentagon what you learned from a u.s. intelligence
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source. so explain what you learned and how definitive was this source that it was definitely a bomb? >> a u.s. official we talked to said that what he was talking about was based on intelligence. now, he wouldn't describe the intelligence exactly what it was. but he was careful to caveat any conclusions here. that it's likely that it was a bomb that took down the aircraft. did not say that there is proof positive that's what happened. and they are looking at the possibility, as you just said that isis or possibly sympathizers had taken part in bringing down the airplane. and that they're investigating the possibility that the bomb may have been placed on the ground there at the sharm el sheikh airport, not by anybody, any of the passengers or any of the crew members because an intelligence scrub after the crash found no evidence whatsoever that anybody aboard that plane was connected or even
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knew of anybody who had militant or terrorist tendencies. so they kind of ruled out that one of the passengers or crew members brought a possible bomb onto the plane. so they're looking hard at the ground crews, the baggage handlers, food handlers, cart drivers, anybody on the ground who had access to the plane to try to figure out who was in the area at the time. and i've got to tell you that officials here are leaning more heavily than ever to the possibility anyway that this was a bomb and it was the work of a militant agency. and again, they won't discuss the specific intelligence that they have that's pointing them in that direction, but it appears anyway, at this point, that it is at least headed that way. >> all right, mick, stick around for me here. let me bring in tom costello and pete williams. tom our aviation expert. pete, you do a lot of our
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justice, investigative correspondent. you heard there, is it definitive that it was a bomb that brought the plane down? >> no. >> so what are your sources telling you, what is this chatter? >> i think if you step back a little bit. there's a real commonality between what we're hearing out of the pentagon, out of number 10 downing street in the uk and what we're hearing privately from u.s. defense officials. they don't know what brought the plane down. it could have been mechanical failure. it could have been a bomb. there's a growing concern for two reasons, that it was a bomb. one is, what they're finding on the ground. the nature of the pieces, all of that kind of forensics. nothing conclusive, but suggestive. secondly, they say there's intelligence that further leads them to conclude that it may have been a bomb. they won't tell us what that intelligence is. we don't know the nature of it. >> we don't know if it's human
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intelligence, a cell phone conversation saying, the deed is done, we don't know what the intelligence is other than they have some piece of evidence. >> i gather it's not the latter, not someone saying the deed is done, but we don't know what the difference is. but it itself, neither of these two streams, neither the forensics, nor the intelligence are conclusive. but when you put them together, they believe that there's growing indications that it was a bomb. but they can't conclude what brought the plane down one way or another yet. >> tom, you've been looking at this as if it were a crash. potentially. and you've talked about how this airliner has a questionable track record on maintenance, things like this. what do you know? >> so if you look at the pictures of the plane sitting on the floor of the desert in the sinai. you'll see that the tail section about three miles removed from the rest of the plane. that's relevant because there was a tail strike involving that
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plane 14 years ago. the tail slammed onto the runway in cairo. >> of that exact plane? >> of that plane. they had to make a repair. so the question all along has been, was the repair good, did it hold, or have we seen the results of metal fatigue? we've seen other examples aloha airlines, china airlines, japan airlines, where metal fatigue tore the plane apart. and these had been patches made following an accident or following some sort of an incident, but metal fatigue came in and the plane literally ripped apart. so what's coincidental is that this tail section came apart and basically the same general area where these fix-its were made, and they were done by none other than airbus itself. so that has been a big issue in
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the minds of many people, thinking if it isn't a bomb, it could have been this cataclysmic mechanical failure. and in the process of that, you might still have had a series of fires or even an explosion, but that may not have necessarily been a bomb. >> let me bring in bill neely in cairo where you would assume the investigation itself is happening. what are you hearing from the egyptian and russian governments about where things stand today in the investigation and frankly all of this intel that's leaking out from the uk and from the united states? >> well, let me bring you right up to date with one piece of factual information. the head of security at sharm el sheikh airport from where the plane took off, has been sacked tonight, and in fact, three airport chiefs have been fired. and lax security procedures have been uncovered at sharm el sheikh airport. there are british officials who
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have flown in today. there have been russian and egyptian officials who have been testing security procedures at that airport for the last few days and they have found very lax security procedures. for example, policemen who are not required to show any identification, who are allowed onto the runway. baggage handlers and airport workers who have very lax security clearance. so that is one thing that we can absolutely point to. it may be coincidental, but it's significant. i think there's an interesting difference, if you like, between what unnamed u.s. officials are saying, talking about evidence, and what the british are saying. and remember the fact that the british have come out in this statement has come from the primary's office is significant. they are putting the weight of their authority behind this. but they're not talking about evidence and indeed they are offering none. and we don't know where the intelligence has come from. we don't know whether it's from the flight data recorder, which is being examined here in cairo.
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we understand the cockpit voice recorder is damaged and has not yielded any information so far. we don't know whether it's from intelligence intercepts, so i'm being guided that it's not from wreckage on the ground, or for anything that the investigators are discovering. and remember, a bomb will have a fingerprint. there will be residue. there will be -- remember pan am 103 that exploded over lockerbie, scotland. when it was discovered that there was a bomb, it was a tiny finger nail size fragment of circuit board and a tiny piece that was found inside a radio cassette recorder that was found. so that's the kind of evidence they're looking for. it's needle in a haystack. so there's a difference between evidence and intelligence. between strong suspicion and
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final conclusion. no one is concluding that this was a bomb. however, with the news today, the firing of the security chief at the sharm el sheikh airport says a lot. bill neely, i appreciate it. i know we'll probably be coming back. mick, let me bring you back. and pete here. you said specifically in your report that nobody on the plane was thought of as to be a potential bomber, per se. but now when you put together the circumstantial evidence that the egyptian government has decided to fire the security chief at that airport because of lax security, that suddenly -- suddenly we have circumstantial evidence number one here. >> and that has been one of the suspicions from very early on, because within a day or so, u.s. officials had told us that they did the scrub on the passenger manifest and the crew members and found no indication whatsoever of any sympathies, any connection to any kind of militant or terrorist group.
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so not even supposing at the time that it was a bomb. they then turned their attention regardless to what may have happened on the ground. and it may sound unusual to a lot of americans, why would the u.s. be involved in this investigation? it happened over the sinai, it was a russian plane, filled with russian tourists. that's because anytime there's even the appearance of a terrorist attack, all those counterterrorism mechanisms kick into high gear. and they started looking at this from the very instant that plane hit the ground. even though it was inconclusive, not even known exactly then, how it crashed. >> all right, thanks, mick. pete, when you heard the firing of the security -- that's got to make you believe that the egyptian government thinks something's up. >> or at least has taken a closer look at security and decided that it's pretty bad. there's only two ways a bomb gets on a plane, one is a passenger carries it on, or
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someone loads it into cargo. so it's a natural thing to look at. bill is right, there's nothing conclusive. but i remember from the investigation of twa 800, the extensive work that was done. there's lots of other kinds of evidence if a bomb attacked the plane. there will be metal urgic changes to the skin of the plane. it's more than finding bomb residue or pieces of bomb. there are other tell-tale signs they'll be looking for. >> let me bring in the former ambassador to russia, msnbc news contributor. ambassador, i assume you've been having conversations with perhaps some friends in moscow, one. so i'm curious what you're hearing from then. but two, the russian government is hoping this isn't terrorism because it will immediately get linked to their military escalation in syria. >> that's right. that's exactly right.
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although once the event happens, almost immediately people i knew in moscow suspected that it was a terrorist attack. secondly, i don't want to speculate and get ahead, but i did work in the u.s. dwft for several years, and for a senior person to talk about intelligence this sensitive, to a reporter, you don't do that lightly. so i think one should take this pretty seriously. and third, just to remind you of the fear that the russians have. we hear from their reporting that they are attacking isil in syria. in fact, what the whole middle east hears and the sunni populations, including in egypt, is that russia has entered the war in defense of an alawite against the sunnis. and there's been a massive reaction throughout the arab world, in terms of social media and different reporting. why is russia supporting this alawite against the sunni arabs? and everybody that i know in
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russia, as well as in our government, has always expected some kind of reaction would eventually come. >> so it sounds like your concern is that this may be directly related? >> you know, we're all speculating. this is breaking news. but i won't be surprised if that happens. and that is, like you said, that will then raise the debate, accentuate the debate that's already happening in russia about why are we in syria. that debate will get a lot more intense if indeed this turns out to be a terrorist attack. >> ambassador, i know you have to go. appreciate you coming in for this. and i'm sure we'll be back in touch when we can get you. >> okay, thank you. >> we'll bring you additional details on this breaking news. ahead in this hour, i'll have more reaction. i have a couple of senators that were already booked for some other topics, but i'm sure they have a lot to say about this one. senators al franken and lindsey graham. stay tuned. and our linebackers and dbs dish out punishment,
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peninsula, killing 224 people, all of whom that were on board there. just moments ago, britain's foreign secretary philip hammond announced that the uk was limiting british flights to and from the sharm el sheikh airport. take a listen. >> when we are in possession of information, we will not hesitate to act on it in order to protect that security and we will take whatever criticisms we receive. we have to act in the interest of british nationals. we've looked at the broad picture of information available to us, including intelligence, and we have concluded from that, that there's a significant possibility that the russian aircraft was brought down by an explosive device on board. in consequence, we've needed to review the big picture, security arrangements, level of risk, and we have decided for the time being that we must suspend flights out to sharm el sheikh and advise against all but
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essential travel by air. >> we'll have much more on this breaking news ahead. including a conversation with senator al franken next. well, right now you can get 15 gigs for the price of 10. that's 5 extra gigs for the same price. so five more gigs for the same price? may i? 50% more data for the same price. now get 15 gigs for the price of 10. for my frequent heartburnmorning because you can't beat zero heartburn!
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ahhh the sweet taste of victory! prilosec otc. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. >> a senior government official tells our andrea mitchell there are only two possibilities for the russian plane, a bomb on the plane, or mechanical failure. joining me now is our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. you've heard tom. there's substantial circumstantial evidence that could indicate this plane broke apart. he said metal fatigue. if that was the answer, there's evidence that points that way. obviously we've got some intel that says evidence is pointing to a bomb. what are you learning? >> it is more likely a bomb than anything else, but they have not conclusively decided, the intelligence officials are very careful about this. they went through twa and lockerbie. we've all covered this.
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>> now everybody's going to assume bomb even if we come out and say no bomb. >> and what they are not concluding is that it was isis, who claimed responsibility, saying it was their missile that struck it down. that has been ruled out definitively by the heat signature basically. more likely it's a bomb than some sort of mechanical failure, but there's a lot of interested parties in this, from the airline company to the egyptian officials to isis themselves who frequently brag or claim responsibility for something that they did not do for propaganda purposes, for recruitment purposes. so caution is advised. i think the likelihood is that it will end up as mike mcfall very carefully said, when you have officials being as forward leaning as they are, frankly -- >> they must have something. >> they have some intelligence. and it's not flight data recorder. isis and other groups have been
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active in the sinai for many, many years. i've covered terror bombings in that region years and years ago. over the years, israeli intelligence -- >> i have to say, that's stunning to me, that the egyptians would determine that of all airports that would have lax security, it's one of their most important tourist airports. >> this was mubarak's jewel in the crown. this is not his egypt. but even under his rule, there were terrorist plots in the sinai. i think the real concern is what this says about the region. if it does turn out to be a bomb, what it says about russia. >> and what it also says about isis getting into egypt, which is also an issue. >> it may not have been isis. there are other groups there who are actually more likely to have pulled something like this off. >> andrea, thank you. turning now to senator al
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franken. we had invited you on to talk about something else, but let me start with, you're a u.s. senator, what do you know? >> well, i've heard the same reports you've heard. my office we've been in touch with the state department. i'm going to get a full briefing tomorrow. so this is a tragic event, no matter what happened, our hearts go out obviously to the families of those who were lost. but if this is a terrorist attack that's confirmed, that's even more disturbing, and you know, i think as we just heard that it may be not isis. it could be some other terrorist group, that's disturbing in and of itself obviously. >> you've been very vocal about questions about the administration and the lack of
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policy in syria. and i'm turning to syria because if it's a terrorist attack, it could be connected to russia's involvement in syria. the president made an announcement last week about having some special forces on the ground in syria. some thought it was more of a tactical move, not really an indication of a new strategy, how did you view that? >> well, it was a very small escalation. we know that we lost one of ours in a rescue mission. so we have to think that we have had troops to the ground doing things like that. i think that's what they're talking about. what i'm afraid of and i think a lot of americans are afraid of is a long-term, land war in that region of the world as we've seen in iraq and afghanistan, they don't turn out exactly the way we plan. >> what is the line anymore, between what american
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intervention, what should it look like going forward? you can make an argument that the united states has tried every which way to help create some stability in the middle east. and it all eventually backfires. >> well, again, i say it doesn't work out the way we thought it would. and so i think that should give us some pause before we go into any kind of long-term, heavy footprint. this is a light footprint the president's talking about, but we should be very wary of getting any long-term presence in syria. >> go ahead. >> hopefully they can go back to vienna, and the parties that were negotiating there. i think this hopefully puts some pressure on that and that progress can be made there.
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and whether -- i'm sorry. whether or not isis did this or not, we have to contain them and degrade them and eventually destroy them. >> that's interesting that you used it in that order, contain, degrade, and then destroy. is that what you think this is going to be? it's that kind of long-term systematic and it has to go that way, there's no other way to do it? >> i think so, yeah. >> let me switch gears to politics. not a good day for democrats overall. wh what does the democratic party have to do, to do well in an election when barack obama's name is not on the ballot? >> well, we're going to see in a year. i'm very bullish on democrats taking back the senate. we have some terrific candidates. i think the reason you had me on, there was an article yesterday in politico, about my going around and fund-raising for these candidates. and i want to take the senate
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back. and i want to do it because of my values and the values of democrats. and i think it corresponds to the values of most americans, which is that the economy has been rigged for those at the top and that we need to build a strong middle class, and we need people hear fighting for the middle class. >> how involved are you going to be involved this year? pretty involved? >> i'm not that involved in the s.e.c. other than i've volunteered to go out and help candidates who are running for the senate. so i guess that's a lot of involvement. be flying on planes and landing at places, but i'll be spending a lot of time in minnesota as well. >> and let me ask you about secretary clinton, her messaging now, how do you feel about it? i somewhat assume you're more progressive than she is. do you feel she's coming to your end evof the spectrum on the
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economic message? >> i'm very in sync with secretary clinton. i'm a supporter of hers from the very beginning. i think she'll make a great president. i think she's going to get the nomination, and i think she's going to win next november. and i think she'll be a terrific president. i'm known for her 20 years, and if she's not the smartest person, toughest person, hardest working people i know, and i think she has all that it takes to be a great president. and that's saying a lot. >> senator al franken, democrat from minnesota, thanks for coming on. >> you bet, thank you. >> thanks for moving around with us here. >> you bet. >> back with more "mtp daily" and senator lindsey graham right after this. it's your grandpappy's hammer and he would have wanted you to have it. it meant a lot to him... yes, ge makes powerful machines. but i'll be writing the code that will allow those machines to share information with each other.
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>> back more with "mtp daily."
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a u.s. official says evidence indicates it was a bomb that brought down the russian plane over the sinai peninsula, killing 224 on board. it's a possibility that isis operatives or sympathizers were directly involved in the bombing. as you've heard, plenty of speculation, that it's not necessarily anybody on board, but perhaps somebody that got to the plane while it was on the ground potentially. meanwhile, u.s. officials are now reporting russia's force in syria has grown to over 4,000. russia's show of force on the ground coupled with more than a month of air strikes looks significantly stronger when compared to the 50 special ops forces the white house plans to send in. that itself was the subject of an intense hearing with the house sounding off on the administration's plan to combat isis in syria. >> the frustration that i'm expressing is over the fact that for one year nothing was done,
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as city after city fell to this marauding terrorist organization. >> presidential candidate and senator for south carolina, lindsey graham, joins me now. senator graham, let me start with what we're hearing from u.s. officials. you're somebody who's pretty plugged in. what do you know as a united states senator? >> i'll be honest with you, i don't know anything, quite frankly more than i'm hearing on television. but i will be following up tomorrow like al said. i think andrea gave us some good counsel, it could have been a bomb, it could have been a group outside of isis, it could have been a mechanical failure. but the desire of isil to kill people is only limited by their capability. so if it's not isil, they do want to do this and more. >> the impact this could have on russia, if it gets connected to isis, it's going to get connected to russia's decision to escalate in syria.
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>> yeah. they could care less than russia will have a warm water port, they're going to have an air base, control over damascus, because if it's not assad, it will be some puppet of iran and russia controlling syria. it's not like they don't care about their people. but the equation here that somehow russia's going to back off and leave their interests, sbean their interests in syria because of this terrorist attack is laughable. 4,000 troops on the ground to make sure their puppet assad stays in power. and they've killed the people we've trained to take him out of power, so wonder who is going to win the negotiations in geneva. >> obviously the president incrementally decided to put some special forces on the ground, about 50 of them. i think you were one of those that said, about time. do you want more? do you think we should be matching the russians? >> i did not say that. i did not say that. i said, this was putting 50
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people at risk with no chance of winning. this arab/kurdish army inside of syria is mythical. there are 30 to 40,000 isil fighters inside fes sof syria. you can't train enough now to detroit isil. i would train free syrians, put them on the tip of the spear, use the armies in the region, integrate our forces, 90% them, 10% us, go in on the ground and destroy isil with a large regional force. >> that's what our folks have been telling us, to create a regional, that this has to be a regional response. but the region isn't responding together. i mean, there seems to be -- >> you know what? >> why is that? >> because they're not going to fight isil and leave assad in power. this fixation obama has with a hands-off policy towards assad, he doesn't want to disrupt the negotiations with iran.
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he needs russia and china, so he's had a hands-off policy toward assad. he knows the russians would get mad. no arab or turkish army is going to fight isil and leafight assa. >> do you think we can do both, get rid of assad and deal with isis? and can you deal with isis without getting rid of assad? >> no, you gotta do both. here's what i would do, chuck. there's an alignment of interest, the turks and the arabs want to get rid of assad because he's a puppet of iran. and isil's a threat to all of us, a threat to mankind, russia included. so there's an alignment of interests. i would go after isil first, tell the russians and the iranians, you're not going to pick the leader of syria. we're not going to accept you picking the leader by force of
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arms. we're going to tell russia and iran assad's got to go and let the syrians pick their next leader. >> so you are for delaying going after assad for this point, basically say, okay, everyone's aligned on isis, let's get them all in. >> it's germany and japan. it's not that you don't fight the japanese. they want to do two things. they want to liberate their country from assad and they want to kick isil out. they're not radical islamists, they don't want to turn their daughters over to these guys. syrians won't accept leaving assad. i'd have a fasphased approach. isil first, assad, germany, japan. >> i think we're missing the big
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point. it's not about iraq and libya. radical islam will not accept a construct for anybody who will live outside their faith. i believe this is a religious war that most people in the faith reject what radical islam is offering and that we can win this thing and at the end of the day, it's not about a location. it's about an ideology that has to be destroyed and i think most people in islam are willing to destroy it, they just need our help. and it's about social justice about young people and women saying, i won't live in a dictatorship for your convenience anymore. i wouldn't ask any young arab to live in saddam hussein's iraq, or live in libya under gadhafi because i wouldn't want to. >> let me ask you one presidential campaign question. a lot of presidential candidates -- >> just one? >> i'm only going to do one. we had a lot of -- i know you're
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used to only processed questions. look at this, i went a whole interview without asking them. >> you sure did. i got to talk about foreign policy. i will come on your show anytime. >> i will ask you one process question. why do you think a lot of presidential candidates have gotten a moment, or a couple moments? why do you think you haven't gotten your moment yet? >> i've been over in the corner. this segregated debate situation, based on national polling has made it hard for me to break through. >> carly fiorina broke through. >> she did. i didn't do well in the first debate. i didn't know that would be my only chance. yes, she did break through. i think the day that my voice grows when i get on the main stage, i hope i will. but my moment comes in new hampshire, john mccain is going to help me. i go to weddings, funerals, divorces, i'm working hard in new hampshire. this is where i'll break
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through, and do the best with my message. i'm ready to be commander in chief and i'll work with democrats to solve problems. >> you are coming from manchester, new hampshire, so when you say here, you mean new hampshire. >> yes, i am. >> senator graham, thanks for coming on. i appreciate it. >> thank you very much. sources are telling nbc news, that the house select committee on intelligence is being briefed right now on the latest information regarding the possibility that it was a bomb that took down the metrojet airliner in egypt. we'll have the latest after a break. you're watching "mtp daily." .. whoa! toenail fungus!? fight it! with jublia. jublia is a prescription medicine used to treat toenail fungus. use jublia as instructed by your doctor. are you getting this?! most common side effects include ingrown toenail, application site redness, itching, swelling, burning or stinging, blisters, and pain. oh, epic moves, big j! fight it! getting ready for your close-up? ask your doctor if jublia is right for you.
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insurance company... always have a plan. go long. >> a lot of moving parts on the investigation into what downed that russian airliner. u.s. and uk sources both indicating that it was a bomb and not mechanical failure. nothing of course definitive. we'll have more coverage of this breaking news story right after this. the future belongs to the fast. and to help you accelerate, we've created a new company... one totally focused on what's next for your business. the true partnership where people,technology and ideas push everyone forward.
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want to play a little bit more for you of what state department spokesman john kirby said this afternoon. >> everybody wants to just go ahead and jump to that conclusion. and i'm not gonna do dit. and this government is not gonna do it. i can appreciate you want an answer right now. everybody would. most especially the families that are grieving, but the investigators still at it, and we got to give them the time and space to do their job. that's the responsible thing to do. it's also the responsible thing to do for the united states government to tell its workers, don't go to the sinai right now, until we know a little bit more about what happened. >> the last basic assessment from the u.s. from clapper, you can't rule it out. have you upgraded that assessment even one iota? are you still saying we can't rule it out, or are you just in the dark to intelligence that it appears others like the brits now have? >> i don't think we're in a
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position right now to rule anything in or out. >> not an easy day to be a spokesperson for the government when you're dealing with people that are leaking information that you're not ready to confirm. back in a moment. stay with us. my boys have a shot this year. yeah, especially with this new offense we're running... i mean, our running back is a beast. once he hits the hole and breaks through the secondary, oh he's gone. and our linebackers and dbs dish out punishment, and never quit. ♪ you didn't expect this did you? no i didn't. the nissan altima. there's a fun side to every drive. nissan. innovation that excites. if yand you're talking toevere rheumyour rheumatologiste me, about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira giving me new perspective. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation
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so wi got a job!ews? i'll be programming at ge. oh i got a job too, at zazzies. (friends gasp) the app where you put fruit hats on animals? i love that! guys, i'll be writing code that helps machines communicate. (interrupting) i just zazzied you. (phone vibrates) look at it! (friends giggle) i can do dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs... you name it. i'm going to transform the way the world works. (proudly) i programmed that hat. and i can do casaba melons. i'll be helping turbines power cities. i put a turbine on a cat. (friends ooh and ahh) i can make hospitals run more efficiently... this isn't a competition! i love working in the salinas area becauseriselda zendejas. i always wanted to do something where i could help people around me. so being a construction supervisor for pg&e gives me the opportunity to give a little bit back to my community. i have three boys. they're what keep me going every day. our friends, families live in the area.
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and it is important for all of us that we keep our community safe. together, we're building a better california. and we're back with more on the breaking news that's hit over the last 90 minutes. british and u.s. officials now say there is growing indications and they have intelligence to back it up, that a bomb was responsible for bringing down that russian airliner over the
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sinai peninsula. now, while the state department says it is not in a position to rule anything in or out, british officials have since suspended travel from the sinai, to and from, as they assess security concerns on the ground. and the security chief of the sharm el-sheikh airport has been fired. let me bring in a couple of experts in here. kevin barron is executive editor of "defense one" and a national security analyst for nbc news. steve clemons is an msnbc sxrisht washington editor at large for the atlantic. and malcolm nance is a former u.s. intelligence officer and now the executive director of terror asymmetrics project. welcome to awful you. malcolm, let me start with you. you're not at the table here, so i want to give you the first word. what are you hearing from your sources on the ground? i know -- i'm sure you're hearing a lot of chatter too. why is the u.s. and uk so sure that it's a bomb? >> well, for the most part when you're coming upon intelligence like this it's going to be very hard intelligence. and when i say that, we're talking about they probably
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found explosive residue, blast patterns which match a bomb, the container itself. i mean, this came down in the middle of the desert. there's a lot of physical material which they recovered. and they may even have found fragments of the device itself. but saying that, that doesn't necessarily mean that they've come to a definitive answer, though they have those indications. but with regards to the jihadi world, they believe that they brought this aircraft down. some spurious reports were from surface-to-air missiles. but somehow they had a videography team out in the middle of the sinai peninsula to videotape what may have been an unauthenticated video thus far of an aircraft exploding at altitude. and that is a very significant intelligence indicator. >> if they can confirm that that is what that was. kevin, let me bring you in. you cover this industry from the insi inside. obviously, when you're dealing with leaks and something like this, i mean, it could still be mechanical. there is plenty of
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circumstantial evidence that if they determine it's mechanical you could point to it. but nobody's pointing there anymore. there must be something else. >> well, that's right. you can follow the trail of where they're trying to lead us. i think the fact that the british came out with something this morning and now we've seen this scramble back here in washington not just because we're all asking, i think the british knew something ahead of time. it seems to be something -- that's different than just the wreckage on the ground. we've heard little bits and pieces all day long of it's pieces at the airport or you know -- and everyone's saying it's a bomb likely, it's a bomb possibly, coming so close to confirming it. there's just too many clues leading in that direction but they're just clues still yet. >> steve, the only thering that- the thing that makes me a little skeptical is the egyptians -- well, there's that. but this is a pretty militarized government. >> yes. >> of all places that i would
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expect really good security, it would be at the sharm el-sheikh airport. >> you would think that. but i've just returned from abu dhabi where you might say the same thing about uae and it's very sophisticated. i went into the u.s. section when i left on sunday and that meant when you were anywhere else in the airport leaving from any airline from one of the safest and best airports in the world you were running risks because you weren't in the u.s. section and subject to the extra -- so when you're in sharm el-sheikh and if you've been anywhere in the middle east frankly, you've seen just much less standard, a lesser standard of security all around. and in the sinai region, and one of the reasons when the "washington post" and others began writing about this and began writing about man pads because there was some chatter about that, is sinai's sort of a wild west right now. governance there is really miserable. so there are lots of scenarios. but to kevin's point and your point about what the facts will show, they don't matter anymore. the russians will think that airplane was taken down by terrorists. the terrorists think they took down the plane. there's a new escalation of fear
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in the region. and that's going to have repercussion effects for a long time. >> malcolm, you did a quick uh-huh on that. i take it you wanted to back him up on what the situation looks like on the ground in the sinai. >> yeah. steve is absolutely correct. i just came back from cairo a few months ago. i evaluate physical security all the time. and look at it from an intelligence perspective it's very, very right now at cairo international airport. so sharm el-sheikh is a much smaller airport. they are in the middle of a full-scale insurgency in northern sinai. i mean, they've killed over 500 isis -- armed isis members in the last two months in a major military operation. but getting a package-level device into the forward baggage hold of an aircraft at sharm el-sheikh airport is merely a question of, you know, bribing the right person. i don't see this as a suicide bomber situation where someone biesz a ticket, gets on there with a device and explodes. this will most likely be a
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device which was placed on there. and again, if that video turns out to be true, then isis was waiting for that aircraft at a very specific point at a very specific time for it to explode. >> it's interesting that malcolm, you say isis. there has been some hesitate tans. why has there been so much skepticism immediately that it wouldn't be isis, even -- even andrea has introduced the idea there's a lot of other terrorist groups in egypt that might have been responsible for something like this. >> well, for one because what isis has claimed has been pretty vague so far. if it was them, why haven't they come out with something so specific as this is how we did it, this is when, here we are going through the airport. this is the same group that has taken video of how they take hostages, what they do with them, what they do after. that's one reason. the other is they've never shown anything like this level of sophistication. it would be considered a major step forward, a real game changer for that specific group to do it. you know, i think -- and as you said before, taking down an
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airliner, getting into security is a lot different than western security, than even in some of the other airports in the middle east. so to get in there is just something -- >> i would only add on january 29th this group we're saying isn't as sophisticated killed 44 people, attacked military and police installations in the region, launched six different car bombs and mortars in a very sophisticated old-style al qaeda operation that had a great degree of sophistication. as malcolm said, you could bribe somebody in this circumstance, someone who had feelings for what isis was trying to achieve in the world and felt that the russians had crossed the line. that is a less sophisticated operation than what we saw on september 29. >> go big picture for me. you're the one trying to look at this from 30,000 feet. what's the fallout from this? russians double down? this becomes they escalate what's going on in syria? united states. what happens -- and oh, by the way, you have 20 seconds. >> vladimir putin has his skin in the game. he has to make this look like
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it's going to work. but he's going to be paying a price at home for what just happened. russians say we just lost family members. this is going to remind them of afghanistan. >> i have to leave it there. steve barons. malcolm nance. stay with us. as we learn more you will learn more. steve kornacki picks up our coverage next. i'm steve kornacki. right now on "msnbc live," new details on the meeting between pope -- excuse me. new details we are learning about the air disasters and the suspicions now that it might have been an explosion that brought that plane down. it might have been an explosion on board that plane. we will start right now with mikey kay who joins us. mikey, the news has just been breaking this afternoon. we're hearing the reports obviously that there might have been, u.s. officials saying there might have been an expliv


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