tv MSNBC Live MSNBC August 4, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
>> we just came out of our convention and yeah, pretty strange run since the convention. you would think you would publish on hillary clinton and all of her deficiencies. she is such a weak candidate that you'd think we aught to be focussing on hillary clinton and a -- >> we also have new polling numbers to tell you about today. in about an hour we will get a look at where the national race stands in the nbc news wall street journal poll. that is coming out. you will see that in about an hour from now. and a bunch of battle ground state polls toll you about starting in new hampshire. new hampshire is a state that trump campaign very much believes it has a shot at flipping donald trump. of course won the new hampshire primary this year. hillary clinton lost the democratic primary up there by 20 points. but look at this today in the wake of the democratic
convention. now after donald trump for about a week, taking a lot of heat in the press for his controversial comments for that. war of words with the khan family. look at this, new hampshire a state that looked very much like a swing state coming out of the republican convention. lead here for hillary clinton of 17 points in this poll today. that is very bad news for the trump campaign. swing state here in new hampshire. here is another one. michigan. this is state we don't always think of it as a swing state but the trump strategy, what the trump campaign has said they are trying to do, grow republican support among blue collar voters, blue collar white voters and michigan is exactly the kind of state donald trump needs to put in play in he is going to pull that strategy off. look at this, brand new poll out of michigan. hillary clinton with a nine-point lead there. a long way for donald trump to build as you get that in play. discouraging news. but worst news of the day for trump and -- oh, excuse me, we have florida. coming out this afternoon, florida.
trump down 6 there. but the worst news of the day, not the first one of these we've seen in pennsylvania in the last week. we have now seen several polls out of the battle ground state of pennsylvania that has hillary clinton leading by near double digits or today by double digits. 11-point lead for hillary clinton and you think of the significance of pennsylvania for donald trump. any electoral scenario you put together for trump that get him to 270 basically they all include pennsylvania. this is state he really needs to flip. has not gone for a republican since 1988 but great hope of the trump campaign we talk about pennsylvania, the rust belt, blue collar voters, blue collar white voters. hope for the trump campaign is to drive up support with those voters and carry pennsylvania. this is very discouraging news and we can dig deeper into this number here. we can show you exactly what is happening in pennsylvania in many ways. the story of this entire election right now and why donald trump is behind. so take a look at this. this is the entire state.
we are talking about here a blue collar strategy, think of johnstown. not really pittsburgh as much as southwest pennsylvania. if you look deep in this poll right here, donald trump is improving in this area outside of pittsburgh. improving in this area over what mitt romney did in 2012. that's because have you blue collar white voters there who are more excited about trump than they were about romney. also improvement around the scranton area for donald trump as well. that strategy he has of winning over blue collar white, he is improving on mitt romney standing in those parts of the state. here is the problem for donald trump. right here, southeast pennsylvania. take philadelphia out of it. that's democratic strong hold. four giant suburban counties right outside of philadelphia. together they make up about 20% of the vote. statewide about 1 in every 5 votes cast in pennsylvania is going to come out of here. now this is an area where a republican absolutely has to be competitive in a general election. if you look back to 2012 suburbs
of philadelphia mitt romney lost by 9 points to barack obama. romney needed to do a little bit better than that to win statewide. he lost by a couple point statewide. if he improved by a few point here he could have won statewide. look what the is happening in suburbs of philadelphia from nine-point democratic win, this new poll today, a 40-point lead for hillary clinton in the suburbs of philadelphia. you're talking about, you have voters here willing to vote republican who have voted for republicans in the past but these are white collar college-educated suburban professional republicans. that is the real divide. that the real fault line. donald trump is doing better with blue collar white voters but he is getting in the suburbs of philadelphia absolutely steam rolled by hillary clinton, by numbers we haven't seen before. and for donald trump, what that translates, he is doing worse
overall than mitt romney did four years ago in pennsylvania and state that donald trump needs to win if he is going to get to 270. that's the last slide there. bad news for donald trump. that's startry of the election there and the divide between blue collar whites and white collar white voters and you see it in pennsylvania. let's bring in julie pace, white house correspondent for the associated press and national political reporter for bloomberg politics. julie, lets start with you. so we go through sort of these cycle in politics. ebbs and flows. we are clearly under a down moment for donald trump. if we are are trying to take a step back and did a big picture analysis for this race for donald trump to get back in this race, what does he need to do? >> he needs do a couple of things. he needs to appeal to voters like the suburbs of philly, suburbs of denver.
they are more moderate republicans. he needs to find way it make these people feel comfortable with the idea of him being commander-in-chief sitting in the oval office. that's a huge thing he needs do. second he really needs to figure out what his battle ground plan is. he has been a little bit all over the map, literally on that. he needs to figure out what is his clearest path to 270 electoral college votes. clinton campaign has a couple of different paths. map is stronger fordemocrats because of demographics. but it is not impossible. trump hasn't identified that. and the third thing he needs to do is he needs to get back on track in terms of messaging and focus on hillary clinton. she is not particularly strong candidate. she has weakness with honesty and trust worthiness. he has lost that the last few weeks and needs to get back on track. >> is donald trump capable of doing the sort of things julie is describing there.
have you republicans all the time i hear from them who say you know if he would hammer home a message on the economy, on jobs, on foreign policy, he could attract more of that support. is he capable of running that kind of disciplined campaign, though? >> steve, that's exactly the question that many republicans are asking themselves this week and the last 72 hours or so. all week donald trump is making one unfortunate error after another. he inflamed party tensions by refusing to endorse john mccain for reelection. the this is chaos within his own campaign. you are absolutely right his campaign views correctly in my view as pennsylvania as must-win state. romney lost it by five point in 2012. and it's uniquely tailored to trump's message and you know, his overall demographic appeal. about 20 percentage point wider
than the country as a whole and it has working class base. and trump is about where he needs to be with blue collar voters. at 63% in the new poll. but the same things that are, you know, endearing him to white men and white working class voters there are repelling women. white women and college graduates. that's a huge problem for him. he is not anywhere near where he needs to be with college graduates with women and is losing them by a larger number than he is with white men and working class voters. what he needs to do to expand on julie's point a moment ago, he needs to find a way to expand his appeal to segments of -- to segment of the base that are currently not on board. he is good at mobilizing and keeping his base energized. his fans love to talk about the crowd size. that's true. that won't win him the election. he needs north of 60 million votes in the general election.
and right now, he doesn't seem to be on a path to doing that. there is a little bit of discount we can apply to this pennsylvania poll. it is happening in the state of the democratic convention right after the democratic convention. still, steve, very steep hill for trump to climb if he want to win this election. >> and julie raise he the question too, if everything that donald trump does to drive up his numbers with blue collar white only drive them down with those college-educated suburbanites, if he starts going after the suburbanites, does he lose ground with the blue collar voters? >> it is possible. though i would say that the trump supporters are incredibly loyal. there is almost nothing he can do at this is point or has done to this point that can turn them off. i think he can feel pretty confident in his base right now. but again, this all comes down to your coalition. and your coalition in the right places. he needs to be able to hit the numbers that mitt romney hit in his losing campaign in 2012 and do better than that.
and right now that's not happening. so he urgently needs to do this because we have early voting that starts in some battle ground state in coming weeks. so it is not as though this is really a three-month game for him in some places, this is something where we will see voting in six weeks or so. >> all right, julie pace, thanks for the time. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> all right, again, we are standing by. you see there in the full screen, the podium at the pentagon, the president expected to come out, address the nation in a few minutes. he is being briefed right now on progress against isis. he will be talking about that in a press conference in a few minutes. live coverage as soon as the president steps up to the podium. stay with us. max and i just discovered
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sfs again, we're waiting for president obama's press conference. we go over to brian who will lead our coverage of that. >> thanks. this is an unusual venue for national security council meeting. moved from its usual confines over to the pentagon in northern virginia because today's meeting had a special concentration and that is the fight against isis. this is the pentagon briefing room which we have all seen for years and years announcing the start of wars and progress on battle is before. usually we hear from the head of the joint chiefs, defense secretary from this room. today in fact we assume flachked by many, many officials, 31 people at this meeting, we will
hear from the president. jim covers the pentagon for pups so jim, this was the specific focus of today's meeting and the reason for the change of venue? >> well, specifically, as billed, this is a meeting all about isis. but you can imagine that whatever came up in the president's mind and mind of military and civilian leadership at the pentagon that they discussed a wide variety of issues and the isis front there's a sense that the president has some explaining to do. while isis has been readily defeated, soundly defeated, on the battle fields in iraq and syria, they still have expanded their areas of operation around the world. and of course there's the isis inspired attacks that we've seen crop up in both europe and the united states for that matter. so while there can be some small victories claim, isis still remains a serious and growing threat and perhaps we will hear from the president today about what the game plan is moving
forward. >>. we don't know how much it is worth that president will speak for approximately 10 minutes, that will take some questions from the press corps which of course is made up day by day by those who cover the pentagon considered really the most specific beat in washington. supplemented by those who usually cover the white house for today's event. hans nichol standing by for white house cover he the white house for us. hans, i'm looking at this list. you forget the firepower that attends national security council meeting on a normal day. president, vice president, secretary of state, defense treasury, attorney general, homeland security, cia, national security adviser, joint chiefs, those are just a few of the 31 names and titles on this list. >> 31 names and titles, brian,
and too many chests full of medals to count. and that's why they are doing this at the pentagon. they want to show the president is on the offensive. you know, in so many ways, the president when he reacts to isis, he is on the defensive. he has been explaining. this is an attempt like the briefing he did at the cia a few weeks ago. this is an attempt for president barack obama to go on the defense. this ensures that some questions will be on isis. they want to filter this through that lens. but the white house is very prepared for political questions on the campaign trail. and crucially, how is the president going to answer that question about iran and the timing and $400 million suspect we will be hearing from president obama on what could be a very political conversation. >> we certainly guessed that hans nichols at the white house. a short ride to the pentagon.
richard engel is here in the studio. >> good to be here. >> i have a three-part question for you. preview the -- >> no math. >> yeah, sorry. preview the $400 million portion of what we're likely to hear. you have breaking news on isis from the region. and how has the fight against isis coming off jim mick la chef ski's point been a question. >> since this will be about isis, let's start with that. i i think he will have a lot of things to talk about on isis. the group has been getting hammered recently. very little attention. but in afghanistan, the isis headquarters, isis version of raqqa in afghanistan is currently under attack. hundreds of isis fighters have been killed. hundreds more are being hunted down. hundreds of u.s. american troops from ranger regiment are
involved in actual combat. shouldering rifles. killing isis members in afghanistan. there was a report a couple days ago that got almost no attention that in any other political environment would get a lot of attention from the same pentagon reporters. that five rangers were injured in a single incident. that's an unusual kind of report. how were five rangers -- did a helicopter go down? they were involved in combat in a very significant battle just along the pakistan border. and there is a perception that the core of isis leadership in afghanistan is under attack. in libya the group has also been losing ground. mostly in serte and the u.s. got very little attention, did its first air strike against isis in libya. direct air strike. that's a significant escalation. >> it is. >> the third was the egyptians have just announced just a few hours ago that the leader of isis in the sinai peninsula, man
blamed for the take this brought down or indent that brought down, because there is ambiguity in which a russian charter plane in which over 220 people were killed, was killed in an air strike in eegypt. so the group is suffering damage, big blows, because of the environment in this country. trump claiming hacked e-mails, that hasn't been talked about. >> and the $400 million. >> well it is actually $1.7 pillpil million. and by wait, this is not as scandalous as people are purporting it. the shah bought weapons. paid for them. because of the instant of the hostage taking the weapons were never delivered. so the u.s. effectively seized the money and never delivered the goods. that interest has been building.
and it came to $1.7 billion. the u.s. knew it had to give that money over. it is not our money. we took it and never delivered the goods. that bank account has been growing. when the deal was signed between iran, nuclear deal, part of the nuclear deal was, we're going to make good on this back payment. >> it is the coincidence of the delivery date. >> there is no coincidence. it let's not be naive. it is a package. the americans today get out. the americans say that was negotiated by separate people. separate teams. it all happened at the same time. i was is in vienna as this deal was being signed. we were waiting with the delegations come out, the americans were on planes. we were waiting. there were lots of last-minute transactions. who would come out and speak. were there wheels up yet? the deal was under way. and it was package deal. get the americans out. start the payment on this old
issue. and there were fewer options then to give iran money. the country's banking system was under sanction. if you want to do it, show good faith, and actually start the deal, you have to front load it. and that means putting money on palettes and delivering it to the country. so this is the way -- this is the way big politics works. i hate to say it. they had a deal. they thought a sweetener of the deal was to release prisoners. we thought a sweetener was it pay them back and give them first payment of the $1.7 billion. and yeah, the fact they never talked about it is not surprising but it is all part of deal making and big politics. >> don't forget the overseas currencies and adding -- >> all swiss franks and euros. >> i'm sure we will hear more from the president from the podium about this. before we hear from the president, and we will let you
know when we get the official two-minute warning for the start of the press conference, let's bring in malcom nance into this conversation. if you've seen our coverage, and far too much of it on the subject of terrorism, you've seen him. a military veteran. veteran of the counter intelligence and intelligence business for a long, long time. malcom, to richard's point about the army rangers involved in what the pentagon likes to call kinetic activity, a shooting war, first of all, that's how special forces like it, did it not make headlines back home, but it also adds to the frustration on all of our parts that we are a war time nation. we hear that at certain times from certain of our elected firl answers mi officials and military officials, it just doesn't feel like it. >> that because right now we are in the silly season of the presidential campaign. we are a nation at war. we still have u.s. forces in
active operations in afghanistan. and as richard said, the troops in contact that occurred in, you know, the in afghanistan, they are co-located with afghan army forces and afghan special forces. they have been taking the fight into northwest afghanistan since last october. there have been significant losses by isis in afghanistan. most interestingly is we have indications that many of the tips we're getting about isis in afghanistan are coming from the taliban themselves. and their base camps are systematically destroyed. but we are a nation at war and perhaps more discussion of that should be dedicated during the campaign season. >> something tells me we're about to get very, very serious during event, for example. and for starters, malcom nance, thanks. to our political director and host of "meet the press,"
chuck todd. and by the way, to our viewers, we are hoping to hear from the president shortly. should this event bridge the top of the five eastern hour, the next voice you will hear after the president is chuck todd because we will be into his time period for "meet the press" daily. so chuck, set the political scene foreseeing the president today. >> right. first of all, it's the olympics time, so we are passing batons. look, we just started a major military offensive in a country this week. and talk about a story that totally got lost. we had started air strikes in libya to deal with isis. frankly, it is somehow, you know, brian, it is unusual that it has taken, you know, sometimes you get an announcement from the president days earlier on something like this. and yeah, he addressed this at the joint press with singapore a little bit. but that was a major development
this week and obviously the presidential campaign, thanks to donald trump and what's going on there, sort of consumed all of that. but this should be a huge part of the presidential campaign debate. i don't know if it's going to be under the current circumstances that we're in. but this issue of when do we intervene, why libya, and why didn't we do syria, did we overcorrect with syria because of what happened with libya and did we joovercorrect when we we into libya. i would like to know, for instance, what lessons hillary clinton learned in going into libya and the aftermath. she hasn't addressed that. donald trump hasn't addressed things in detailes. there are some things where he comes across as isolationist and doesn't want to intervene. the other hand, he talks about hitting isis so hard they won't know what hit them.
so yes i feel like this is an undercovered and underpart of the campaign. but of course, we have an unusual candidate we are covering this year. >> indeed. chuck todd, whose coverage we will see the minute this event is over. as he takes over at the top of the coming hour. chuck todd, thanks. richard engel, back to you. take on any of those questions you just heard from chuck. >> well, going back to, if i can, going back to what mick was saying. there have been a lot of battlefield successes in libya. as chuck mentioned, air strikes that have begun. what malcom was talking about. in egypt announced a short while ago. but globally isis is still very strong. they are still able to inspire attacks. a priest who had his throat slit in normandy. another maniac who goes on the rampage with a knife.
>> they are tweeting out instrucks in portuguese for those who might be radicalized enough to act during the olympics. >> let's hope nobody listens to them. there is a perception that the group is still strong because it is carrying out all of these small-scale takes. unfortunately, it is still able to carry out many small scale attacks. and they have a lot of supporters in europe in particular. it is not that the group is going way. i think last time i was here talking to you -- >> munich. >> exactly. i mentioned that isis is a little bit like a fire. and you're bombing the fire. eventually that fire is going to go out. but as you bomb it, ashes go up and smoke goes up and the smoke settles. and i think it settled on europe right now. i think for a while we are going to see isis-inspired attacks or isis attacks globally even after the core of the organization is destroyed or scattered. >> and the first part of that that makes it a movement, an
idea, this notion of isis inspire ad attacks to all of us good-hearted people, the scariest thing in the world because it takes one disturbed person to be influenced to see especially no other route in life than too act. >> and it is not just mental illness. there are lots of people who are aggrieved, angry, who have lost hope in life. the refugee population unfortunately, the refugees who came from places like afghanistan, and syria and other -- and iraq and other parts of the middle east what walked into europe. in some cases, walked, crossed in a boat and walked. a lot of them have been there for upwards of a year. some haven't add lot of success. they are angry. and some have had great success and are integrating very well. but you can imagine, if you're in a bad situation and you left a war zone, it doesn't take much
for someone to tell you, oh, i feel bad for you and your life is rough. it's their fault. they did it. get revenge. this is what isis is trying to do. capitalize on the anger, frustration in the communities, and say, fight back. on the take. kill whoever you can. drive a truck. >> drive a truck if you have to. wear a vest if you have to. so if you can get political for a moment, what do you say if you're the president standinging at this podium where we expect to hear from him in a few minutes' time. you want to paint the fight against isis as this robust effort, which it is. you are proud of the accomplishesments, which you've just run through. but the two of them can collide and give a mixed message if you're not careful. >> and it is really a battle of perception. isis doesn't want to show how weak it is becoming. it is losing ground that is
getting hammered, and particularly in the three countries we just talked about. but as long as it continues to inspire, and carry out attacks that make people afraid, shut down train stations and cities, the perception is much bigger than will continue to inspire others to carry out this attack. if one idiot carries out some act of violence in the name of isis during the olympics, it could gather a few headlines. and that from isis perspective, is worth potentially losing a city in libya. >> we're going to take a break while keeping an eye, obviously, on this podium. we will have a two-minute warning when we're about to see the president. obviously we'll come out of whatever we're in to bring you live coverage. but the old rule, beware of a start time you're given on a wednesday for a thursday afternoon. because things slide. that old rule is in feekt right now. we'll be right back as we await the president at the pentagon.
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we are back and this is the podium at the pentagon. the scene of a press conference today, an opening statement, and then questions from the press corps by the president because a special edition of the national security council has gathered there to talk about isis. we have reason to believe the president is not far from the briefing room and we will be just minutes away from the starting time. of course, an incumbent president can't utter everything that isn't viewed through the prism and in the realm of politics. this president certainly went there earlier this week when in the commission of the presidency with a visiting dignitary, he took on the topic of donald trump and his fitness for
office. donald trump has held a rally today in portland, maine. katy tur traveling with the trump campaign. we just lost communicationes with katy tur who is traveling with the trump campaign. suffice to say donald trump started the rally today as he did yesterday. with this story about the $400 million payment to iran. the entire topic of the release of hostages, the iran deal, that was his jumping off point for many subjects. the president earlier this week said flatly that donald trump was not fit to be commander-in-chief. let's go to katy tur, i understand we reestablished communications. so katy, this is the backdrop for everything either gentlemen has said in the past week. >> sorry, someone cut the power to us right as you were coming
to me, brian. donald trump has responded to president obama in the past. responded to president obama calling him unfit to be the president the other day saying that it was an honor to be called that by president obama because he called him the worst president in united states history. so these two men have no love lost between them and this debate over whether donald trump is fit for office has a temperament for office has certainly been framed by the president in a way that lends donald trump no choice really but to counter punch. donald trump has often said that. so we just had a rally here in portland, maine. which is an unusual place for gop candidate to come up. but he came up, nonetheless. interrupted numerous times by protesters. a few protesters standing up right in the middle here, holding up pocket constitutions, much like mr. khan did at the
democratic convention. man saying, "release your taxes." but for the most part this was rally of avid donald trump supporters and here hoping to hear him talk about policy. i asked supporters outside, what advice would they give donald trump at this moment, given there is quite a bit of turmoil between the party and trump and trump's inability to stay on message. and also the battle ground state polls that show him now losing pretty significantly at the moment at least to hillary clinton and his supporters said basically they would tell him to just stay way from the fights. stop counter punching. and start getting back on message. start talking about the things that his voters care about. job creation, economy, trade, and national security. we got a little bit of all of those things here today in portland, maine. but donald trump again straying away from the message, talking about a video of the iranians off-loading a lot of cash from a cargo plane. that video doesn't exist.
we asked the campaign about it yesterday because he repeated that yesterday as well and the campaign said he was referring to the morning shows yesterday that b roll was actually of this night time b roll of the american detainees from iran landing in switzerland and getting off there. so we've asked the campaign if we just don't know what video he is talking about or maybe there's another one. but so far we have not heard back. this is another example of donald trump not being on message. and another thing he repeated that was baseless is that there were folks that saw the san bernardino terrorist making bombs in their apartment but refused to tell authorities. that has not been verified by anybody. so donald trump trying to give meat, red meat to supporters, but tripping over some basic facts here. then again his supporters say that they believe that if anybody is going on the attack against donald trump that they have an agenda and they believe
that hillary clinton's vulnerabilities and her lies haven't been spoken about enough. >> katy, when do we hear next from donald trump? >> we hear next from him tomorrow. he is going to green bay, wisconsin. that's notable, brian, because it is paul ryan's home. not his hometown but his home state. he has been in a pretty public spat with paul ryan, refusing to endorse him in his primary race. paul ryan spoke about it this morning for the first time on his weekly radio appearance where he said his support for donald trump is not a blank check and he feels like sense the convention he has really floundered, basically. that donald trump has all these opportunities to go after hillary clinton but that's not what he is doing and that is not what is talked about and in paul ryan's word, it is distressing. what donald trump will say in wisconsin and whether he will go further to lend his support for paul ryan's competitor there
will be something that many people will be watching out for. this is also interesting because governor pence, donald trump's running mate, has come out strongly supporting paul ryan. so this is really emblem attic of donald trump's fight basically with the party. fight with the establishment. the campaign says it's not a big deal that he has always been anti-establishment but the fact his own running mate came out in support of paul ryan shows you what a divide there is within his own campaign. >> i also read today that mike pence is poundedly not endorsing two republican incumbent senators, mccain and ayotte. >> that was during pen and paper session with supporters where he refused to do that. but he has been supportive of the two. it is interesting to see governor pence not coming out in support of john mccain because john mccain campaigned for him in the early 2000s.
governor pence is an establishment republican, conservative republican, someone well liked by the establishment. he was supposed to come into the campaign and smooth things over with the party. that helped to a degree but ultimately this is donald trump's ticket and donald trump when he goes free wheeling and decides to not support someone like paul ryan or say negative things about kelly ayotte or john mccain, frankly, he further drives a wedge between him and the establishment. governor pence is in a rock and hard place. does he appease those he has had long time relationships with or his running mate who chose him to be his vice presidential running mate. >> katy tur, the scene of today's afternoon rally by donald trump. katy, thank you very much for that. as you heard katy talk about, the story that picked up currency today was donald trump's insistence that he has seen this video, katie called it b roll. it is a tv phrase that dates
back to the days of tv news film. it just means file video. background video that we're all familiar with. that the news shows have used of a different event. but to our knowledge and every other news organization, there is no video of this delivery of $400 million cash to iran. so we have not received further clarification from the trump campaign on that. another break on the left of your screen you see the event we're waiting for from the briefing room in the pentagon. the now delayed news conference. an opening statement. and we think questions after that, from president obama. mountain guide and the surface pro 4 allows me to actually operate my business from everest. i help clients achieve their dreams. being able to go between having a laptop and having a tablet is really important to me... i couldn't do that with my mac. i love that we as humans can go to the top of the world.
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we are back and here is another term of art in the television business that is the two-minute warning. the currency of news conferences, especially washington variety. and while we were in that break, you see the secret service agent in the door way. we received the two-minute warning. meaning the president is expected to come through that door way in now just over 60
seconds. as we discussed with jim there in the room, there are 31 fishes on this list, jim, from the national what makes up the national security council. we don't know if he will be flanked by any of them or this will be a solo appearance. >> i think it will probably be a solo appearance. but all 31 of those, i'm sure, want their crack at president. which is why this meeting has gone longer than expected. isis was the main topic. but i suspect that anything on the mind of these military and civilian leaders was probably hashed out today. after all, the president doesn't come over here to the pentagon very often or lightly. so i'm sure discussions here on isis and just about everything else that's on their plate currently was hashed out today, as i said. >> jim, looks like he is just about ready to come in the room. we will let you go in due time. is this a mixture of the press corps from normally from the white house and the folks you
work with at the pentagon? >> absolutely. both white house and pentagon reports are here p as i look out, i feel like maybe the white house has outnumbered us. but i feel we will get an equal number of questions. at least that what we hope for. >> you have to do that all the time. watch them every second. thank you. we will let you sit down on the wide picture we are able to see. can you see the press corps in the foreground. door in the background. sw so we are expecting the president to come through the door way. we don't want it put jim in the awkward situation of having to wrap up and sit down when the chief executive enters. some of the officials in this meeting today at the pentagon, which again national security council, does not normally meet at pentagon. and sometimes members of the national security council joined by secure video length but today some of the boldface titles at this meeting in addition to president and the vice president, you had the secretary of state defense treasury.
you the the attorney general, secretary of homeland security, head of national intelligence, head of central intelligence, national security adviser, homeland security adviser, and the head of the joint chiefs of staff. if anything given home field advantage. we suspect the military was well represented in that room. nonetheless, the pentagon and white house have released a list of all those in attendance and like you we are watching this scene and watching this door way for any sign of the president. this puts us in keeping with scheduling so far today. way over two minutes since the two-minute warning. but such things happen. there is kind of a labyrinth of hallways that lead to the briefing room. the main entrance used by reporters. back entrance is the secure entrance. we have seen, we said this before, this room has been the
location for countless military briefings. the announcement that hostile its were under way or successfully concluded overseas. daily iraq war briefings, which became mandatory television. here, now, the president, from the pentagon. >> good afternoon, everybody. i just met again with my national security council on the campaign to destroy isil. i want to thank secretary carter and chairman done ford who just returned from meetings with our coalition partners in the middle east for hosting us and for their continued leadership of our men and women in uniform. i last updated the american people on our campaign if june. shortly after the horrifying attack in orlando. and in the weeks sense we have continued to be relentless in our fight against isil. and on the ground in syria and iraq, isil continues to lose territory. tragically, however, we have also seen that isil still has
the ability to direct even inspire attacks. so we've seen terrible bombings in iraq, in jordan, lebanon, saudi arabia, yemen and afghanistan. attacks on istanbul airport. a restaurant, celebrations at a church in france and music festival in germany. in fact the decline of isil in syria and iraq appears to be causing it to shift to tactics that we have seen before. and even greater emphasis on encouraging high profile terror attacks, including on the united states. as always our military diplomatic intelligence homeland security and law enforcement professionals are working around the clock with other countries and communities here at home to share information and prevent such attacks. and over the years they've prevented many. but as we've seen, it is still very difficult to detect and prevent lone actors or small
cells of terrorists who are determined to kill the innocent and are willing to die. that's why as we discussed to the today, we will keep going across isil aggressively across every front of this campaign. our air campaign continues to hammer isil targets. more than 14,000 strikes so far. more than 100,000 sorites, including those hitting the isil core in raqqa and in mosul and isis using those as american shields and we will do everything to avoid civilian casualties. with our extraordinary technology we are conducting the most precise air campaign in history. after all it is the innocence civilians of syria and iraq who are suffering the most. and who need to be saved from isil's terror. when there are casualties we work seriously to find the
facts, be transparent and hold ourselves accountable for doing better in the future. we continue to take out senior isil lead earns commanders. this includes isil's deputy of war, a top commander of mosul, and in yet another significant loss for isil, its minister of war. none of isil's leaders are safe and we will keep going them. on the ground in iraq, local forces keep pushing isil back. in a major success iraqi forces with coalition support finally liberated fallujah. now they are clearing isil fighters for more areas up the euphrates valley and iraqi forces retook the strategic air base just 40 miles from mosul, now the last major isil strong hold in iraq. given the success, the additional 560 u.s. support
personnel i ordered to iraq last month will help turn this base into a logistical hub and launch pad for iraqi forces as they push into mosul. meanwhile in syria, a coalition of local forces backed by operation forces in air strikes continues to take the fight to isil as well. the coalition is fighting its way into the town of mombich a gateway for terrorists heading out to attack europe which is why isil is fighting hard to work it. we are gaining vast amounts of intelligence, thumb drives, digital files, which we will use to keep destroying and stopping foreign fighters. we will also continue to intensify efforts against al qaeda which no matter what name is calls itself can't be a safe haven to maintain attacks against us. i do want to step back and note the broader progress that's been
made in this campaign so far. two years ago isil was racing across iraq to the outskirt of baghdad itself and to many observers isil looked invincible. since then isil lost at takrit, at ramaddie. isil lost territory across vast stretches of the border with turkey and almost all major transit route into raqqa. and in both iraq and syria isil has not been able to reclaim any significant territory they have lost. so i want it repeat. isil hasn't had a major successful operation in either syria or iraq in a full year. even isil's leaders know they
will keep losing. and their message to followers, they are increasingly knowledging they may lose mosul and raqqa. they are right. they will lose them. we will keep driving them back until they do. isil turns out not to be invincible. they are inevitably going to be defeated. we do recognize at the same time that situation is complex and this cannot be solved by military force alone. that's why last month the united states and countries around the world pledged more than $2 billion in new fund to help iraqis stabilize and rebuild their commune pit. that's why we're working with iraq so that the military campaign to liberate mosul is matched with humanitarian and political efforts to protect civilian answers promote inclusive governance and development so isil cannot return by new grievances. in syria, as i've repeatedly
said, defeating isil and al qaeda needs an end to the civil war pt this pushes people into the arms of extremists. the regime and allies continue to violate the hostility including vicious take owns defenseless civilians. sieges against cities like aleppo and blocking food from families which are starving. it is deplorable and the syrian regime earned the condemnation of the world. russia's direct involvement in these actions over the last several weeks raises questions about them pulling the situation back from the brink. the u.s. is prepared to work with russia to reduce violence and strengthen the fight against isil and syria. but so far russia has failed to take the necessary steps. given the deteriorating situation, it is time for russia to show that it is serious about
pursuing these objectives. beyond syria and iraq, we will keep working with ally answers partners to go after isil wherever it tries to spread. with the government of national accord we are conducting strikes and support of government aligned forces as they fight to retake sirte and we will continue to secure their country. in afghanistan one of the reasons i decided to largely maintain our current force posture was so we could keep eliminating isil's presence there and we delivered another blow last month when we took out another top leader in afghanistan. finally it should be clear by now and no one knows this better than our military leaders that even though we need to crush isil on the battlefield, their military defeat is not enough. so long as their ideology persist and drives people to violence then groups like isil will keep emerging and the international community will continue to be at risk in
getting sucked into the kind of global wack-a-mole where we are always reacting to the latest threat or lone actor. that's why we are working to counter violent extremism. and including the factors that help fuel groups like isil and al qaeda in the first place. nothing will do more to discredit isil than its claims to be a cal fate than when it loses hits bases in iraq and mosul. we will continue working with muslim partners and communities especially on-line to expose isil for what they are. murderers who kill innocent people including muslim families and children as they break their ramadan fast and set off bombs near the mosques, one of the holiest sites in islam. more over, we refuse to let voices of division undermine the unity of pluralism that keep our nation strong. one of the reasons that
america's armest forces are the best in the world is because we draw on skills and talent of all of our citizens. from all backgrounds and faithes. including patriotic muslim americans who risk and their lives for our freedom. i think the entire world was inspired this past sunday when muslims across france joined catholic neighbor eats mass and in a moving display of solidarity prayed together. the greeting think extended each other has to echo in all of our countries. peace be with you. now before i take questions, i also want to say a few word on another topic. as our public health experts have been warning for some time, we are seeing the first locally transmitted cases of the zika virus. by mosquitos in the continental united states. this was predicted and predictable. so far we've seen 15 cases in the miami area. we are taking this extremely seriously. our cdc expert are on the ground
working shoulder to shoulder with florida health authority. there is a very aggressive effort under way to control mosquitos there. and pregnant women have been urged to stay away from the particular neighborhood that we're focused on. we will keep working as one team, federal, state and local, to slow and limit the spread of the virus. i want to be clear, our public health expert do not expect to see the kind of widespread outbreaks of zika here that we have seen in brazil or puerto rico. the kind of mosquitos most likely to carry zika are limited to regions of koun country but we cannot be complacent because we do expect to see more zika cases. even though symptoms for most people are mild, many may never even know they have it. we have seen that complications for pregnant women and their babies can be severe. so i again want to encourage every american to learn to do at