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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  January 7, 2020 8:00am-9:01am PST

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iran that was not informed by that kind of mindset. >> ben rose, i appreciate you joining us. that does it for this very busy hour of msnbc live. craig melvin is picking up the ball and running with it in new york. >> good to see you, hallie jackson. >> new york city in the last hour as you saw and heard there, secretary of state mike pompeo talking about the escalating showdown with iran. pompeo defending the administration's actions in iraq, says they got it right. >> the right decision, we got it right. the department of defense did excellent work and the president had an entire legal, appropriate and a basis as well as a decision that fit perfectly within our strategy and how to counter the threat, a malign activity from iran more broadly. >> all of it threatening to overshadow how congress moves
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forward with impeachment and scramble the conversation on capitol hill. let's get right to nbc's kristen welker, richard engel is in northern iraq for us and courtney covers national security on the pentagon. kristen, what is the administration's message at this hour? what's your headline from secretary of state pompeo there? >> reporter: well, secretary of state mike pompeo continues to insist that this was the right move. you didn't hear him aggressively sore of double down on the word imminent threat but the president's national security adviser earlier today did stress the administration felt as though this was an imminent threat. so you heard the same sort of defiance from the secretary of state that we heard from president trump in defensing the decision to take out iran's top general. our andrea mitchell pressed him on one. other key head lines that has been getting so much attention, the fact that president trump
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continues to insist he is within his rights to target cultural sites. he said he's potentially targeting 52 sites in iran if iran were to move to retaliate. some of those are cultural sites. it goes against international law, considered a war crime to target cultural sites so andrea pressed the secretary of state on the president's reasoning. listen to that exchange. >> reporter: i'm wondering whether you would also push back in your advice or in your role -- >> you're not really wondering, andrea. you're not really wondering. >> well, the president is saying -- >> it is completely consistent with what the president has said. we will take every action we take will be consistent with the international rule of law and the american people can rest assured that that's the case. let me tell you who has done damage to the persian culture. it's not the united states of america, it's the ayatollah.
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>> reporter: now, earlier today national security adviser robert o'brien again did try to provide a little bit more detail about why the administration viewed the threat as being imminent, saying that iran's top general was potentially going to target dip diplomats, facilities in the region. i pressed him on whether or not the administration will in fact declassify the intelligence that led to the decision by the president to prove that there was in fact an imminent threat and the national security adviser indicating they are not yet ready it do that. there will be a briefing with the gang of eight and the full congress tomorrow. this is the question that democrats continue to put to this administration, if the threat was imminent, show us the proof. craig. >> courtney, try to clear up some confusion here, if you can, for our service members and their families who might be watching or listening. commanding general of u.s. and allied troops in iraq sends this
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letter to iraq saying that the task force will be repositioning its forces, then the pentagon said there's no plan to leave iraq what's going on here? >> reporter: so general sele is the commander of task force iraq. all the u.s. and allied troops inside the country. he has a very good relationship with general abdul amir, the three-start iraqi general he sent this memo to. i spent time with both of them in baghdad a few weeks ago. they work very closely together. general sele was showing general amir a lot of respect. this is sort of the way their relationship goes, trying to coordinate with him about the fact that there was going to be more military movement in the coming days and weeks. that does include some u.s. troops leaving baghdad and leaving iraq completely. remember the isis -- count counter-isis and training mission has been suspended since qassem soleimani was killed so there are troops there that are
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frankly not needed, their mission has been suspended, so why keep them there as potential targets, they're moving them to kuwait and iraq. with this threat they brought in the 82nd airborne, brought in some marine security guards for the embassy security. they are bringing more u.s. troops in to help with security. so that was all general sele was trying to explain to abdual amir in the member. general milley and general esper came out to cast doubt on that. it's what they call the shaping operations, which is the potential reality that u.s. troops will be told to leave iraq. you can't say this is necessarily the beginning of u.s. troops leaving iraq, but it's more of them preparing for that possibility. >> mr. engel, we turn to you there in iraq. all of this confusion in washington, how is it being received there and what are they
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looking at regarding the u.s. presence in that country? >> well, iraq is a very fragile country now. this country is very worried. political leaders that we've been speaking to are worried that once again iraq could descend into a civil war, into a cycle of violence. this country was just starting to get back on its feet again over the last couple of years. ubiquitous blast walls in baghdad were coming down, restaurants were opening, baghdad was starting to look somewhat like a normal city and people were opening that they could put the past behind them. that has been to a large degree because the u.s. presence has been here because it came in and restored order, helped rebuild the iraqi security forces after the iraqi army collapsed in a large part with the rise of isis. and now what iraq does not want is this to become the new
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battleground in a proxy war between the united states and iran. and as courtney was saying, the iraqi parliament took this vote to ask so far nonbinding resolution to ask the u.s. troops to leave. and the wording of their statement they said they are doing this because they don't want to pick sides, they want to have an independent policy, they don't want to be caught between the united states and iran, which is where they found themselves when the u.s. carried out a drone strike at baghdad arlt ki airport, killing iran's top general of the qud force. and today you're seeing all these threats and budging more money for the qud, the black ops division of the revolutionary guard. >> kristen welker there at her post at the white house and courtney in washington as well, a big thanks to all of you let
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me turn to kim, who joins us from lebanon, a former bbc correspondent who covered the middle east and state department for years. she's a senior visiting fellow at the carnegie endowment for international peace and is the author of "black wave," it's a book about the rivalry between iran and saudi arabia. our guy matt welch, the editor of large of "reason" magazine. matt is with me in the studio. kim, let me start with you there in lebanon. i know that you were listening very closely to what we heard from the secretary of state there a few moments ago, mr. pompeo. your general reaction to what you heard there from mr. mompom and what we have heard and see so far from the administration at large. >> well, when it comes to the idea that the united states would strike iranian cultural sites, i this i that wounk that terrible mistake. i find it hard to believe they would go ahead with plan like
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that because the consequences of that would be beyond nick we could imagine. on the other hand, no one expected that any u.s. administration would go ahead and actually kill cast qassem soleimani in a targeted drone strike. so we are in unchartered territory. what some understand what the president has been saying in terms of targeting cultural sites, he's referring to iranian cultural centers that the revolutionary guards do often use as staging posts for intelligence operations overall i think in the region there is a lot of tension and concern about a potential war breaking out between iran and the united states. on the other hand, people are also quite sanguine, they understand everyone will be posturing in the wake of qassem soleimani and everyone is going to be jockeying for position. you saw today president of rush, putin, showing up in damascus. president putin and iran have
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both played a crucial role in propping up bashar and was crucial in leading and shaping the battle to help president assad stay in power. so to say there is concern about more damage, more war, more conflict but there's also the fact that caqassem soleimani iso longer. >> secretary of state there a few minutes ago once again said the killing of soleimani was because of this imminent threat. robert o'brien, national security adviser addressed this question. this is what robert o'brien said to peter alexander. >> sir, for clarity, with soleimani gone, is the imminent threat gone? is there no longer a threat to americans? >> as long as there are bad
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actors in the world, there are always threats to americans. the iranians have been making many, many threats to the united states over the past several days. >> using that logic, wouldn't every bad actor qualify as an imminent threat? and then couldn't you also then make the argument that we could theoretically take out any of these bad actors at any time? >> yes. and you'll probably be able to do it and get away with it because congress has not exercised anything like consistent application of the war powers resolution of 1973, which is to say that the president is only supposed to use force in cases of national emergency. that's why we have the language of imminent threat, which they're not even really trying that hard to argue for at this point because they know it doesn't matter. think about where we're eight years ago. the imminent threat that led barack obama and hillary clinton and others to say that we needed to topple the gadhafi regime had nothing do with america. it was an imminent threat of what we said was going to be an
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imminent genocide of libyan rebels by moammar gadhafi and we were not going to allow that genocide to happen on our watch. and nancy pelosi, who is opposing this and rightly so, where was she in 2011? there was no imminent threat. there is no consistent application of this congressional authority. it's a shame. there should be. the constitution put this in congress's hands for a reason. we're operating under a system of authorizations of use of military force written into law in 2001. we're drone striking people all over the planet and there's not really consistent congressional opposition to it and that's a damn shame. >> nikki haley last night i'm sure you saw this, former u.n. ambassador to the united nations in the trump administration. this is what she said last night about the fallout and criticism of the strike.
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>> you're not hearing any of the gulf members, you're not hearing china, you're not hearing russia. the only ones that are mourning the loss of soleimani are our democrat leadership and candidates. no one else in the world because they knew this man had evil veins. is this true? >> disreputable demagoguery from nikki haley. in 2012 the democratic national convention was saying general motors is alive, bin laden is dead. if you look at senator rand paul, who is a republican, not a democrat, he's going out there saying this makes peace less likely. i think he has a strong argument. he is not a democrat running for president. there are reasons to suspect this is going to cause instability and knock-on effects that we can't currently figure out and contemplate. the history of the last 20 years
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tells us when we do an aggressive thing in the middle east, there are repercussions that we don't plan at first. to try to tar opposition to that is just disreputable. >> always appreciate your perspective, thank you k. kim, thank you as well. >> the so-called gang of eight are expected to be briefed by the president on iran. tomorrow all members of congress are set to be brief. i want to bring in cdemocratic congressman seth moulton of massachusetts. he also served in the iraq war in 2004, he fought iranians in iraq. congressman, thank you so much for your time this morning. first of all, what do you most want to hear from administration officials when you and your colleagues get that briefing tomorrow? >> well, of course i want to understand what the imminent threat really is. what is this intelligence? frankly, soleimani has been an
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imminent threat to americans in the middle east for the last 15 years. he's been trying to target american diplomats in the middle east since the whole time we've been in iraq. but most importantly, what i want to hear from the administration is what is the plan? what is the strategy? because by their own measure, they are failing. by their own measure -- their policy in iran is very clear. they say, number one, we're trying to defer reasonable aggression. everything they've done culminating with the strike has encouraged regional aggression. two, they say they're trying to stop iran's nuclear weapons program. but iran said they're restarting it in full and number three, they said they're trying to bring them to the negotiating table and iran has never been farther away in my life tootime. they need to present a coherent strategy to keep americans safe because right now americans are
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less safe than they were last week. >> do you expect members of congress will see the intelligence that led to the president's decision to launch the strike? >> i think as a member of the armed services committee we should have access to it and i mamg they'll try to present some case that there is an imminent threat but as i said before, i don't expect to see anything different. i saw iranian intelligence when i was in iraq ten years ago, it was always an imminent threat. by the administration's logic, with are can take out any bad actor, the next thing we know they'll assassinate vladimir putin of russia or xi jinping. the national defense strategy, the administration' own comprehensive strategy across the globe makes that very clear. of course that would be absurd. they can't even follow their own basic logic here, by their own measures their policy is failing and that's even if you give them the benefit of the doubt that their policy makes sense in the first place.
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>> to be clear, you're not saying that soleimani did not pose a threat? >> of course he posed a threat. he killed some of my friends. of course he posed a threat. this reminds me of when general petrus down and we had a sul n soleimani-type figure. he had every intention of killing americans. but we made a strategic decision not to take him out. trust me, i would have loved to kill this guy. but we made a strategic decision not to take him out because we knew it would create more problems than it would solve. that's the basic math that you have to use in fighting terrorism. are you going to spawn more terrorists, create more attacks, inspire more attacks than you're preventing by taking one out. i think it's pretty obvious to everybody watching this situation right now that america
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is under much greater threat today than we were last week when we took this guy out. >> nancy pelosi plans to have the congress address the president's war powers. and others have raise the issue over the past few days as well, this idea that, yes, it's a republican president that's overstepped his authority arguably, but democrats have done this as well. >> you're absolutely right. i mean, congress has a role here and a responsibility and, frankly, we failed to uphold our constitutional duty. >> why is that? >> do have this debate. because the constitution is very clear that congress makes a decision when and where america goes to war. that's not an authority that rests with the president. as your previous guest explained, there are narrow exception in the event of a national emergency, when the commander and chief has to act unilaterally. but there have been other times since 2001 when congress has just refused to have this
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decision. during the last debate on the national defense all-ization act, representative rocanna and i forced an amendment to ford this debate on iran, to clarify that the u.s. does no have the authority to go to war with iran. what happened? there were democrats and republicans who both agree that this was a concern but leadership said, no, it's too contentious, we don't want to have this debate right now. look at where we've gotten as a result of that. congress has a responsibility to have this debate and it's never too late for congress to fulfill its constitutional obligation to the american people. >> we're actually going to be talking to the aforementioned congressman as well. >> congress is back to work today and impeachment also on the doesn't, especially after that curveball from john bolton, who now says he is willing to
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testify. so will he actually testify? also, the democrat who is challenging senator lindsey graham in social security is going to join me. he's just released the record amount of cash he has raised suggests this could be one of the most closely watched senate races come november. watched se races come november. and save in more ways than one. for small prices, you can build big dreams, spend less, get way more. shop everything home at wean air force veteran made of doing what's right,. not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage.
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right now congress is back from its break and we're all waiting to find out when
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president trump's impeachment trial will start. it's been 20 days since the house voted to impeach the president speaker of the house nancy pelosi has not so far sent the articles of impeachment to the chamber. now john bolton is throwing a curveball into the process, saying that i'll testify in subpoenaed. let me start with you there at 1,600 pennsylvania avenue. what's the word from the white house on this bolton news? how nervous are they? >> i think the white house is sticking to their position that this process is wholly unfair. they have to be at least concerned about john bolton. he has so much information he could share, including the fact that he met rightly with the president sometime in august to try to get the president to lift that block on the military aid.
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he was unsuccess. in doing that. he said this was something of a drug deal to try to pressure ukraine into looking into investigations of democrats. he also called rudy giuliani, the president's personal attorney a hand grenade that will blow everybody up. so he was clear he wasn't in agreement with mick mulvaney, the acting chief of staff. he could be potentially a very big deal and for that alone the white house should be concerned if he comes before congress and says what he has to say. >> kurt, you worked on the hill for a number of years. what kind of pressure has this put on mcconnell to call him as a witness? >> to this point mcconnell has resistant to any pressure and been more blatant that he's working with the white house attorney general. he's con see tceded he's not an impartial jury and he's not
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going to give into pressure, which is why i think the house democrats should serve bolton with a subpoena right now. you don't get to choose to cooperate with a subpoena from the senate and ignore a house one. >> as you know, the senate requires 51 votes to call a witness, which means that democrats would need a handful of republicans to actually get john bolton in that witness chair. what are the odds that we ever see or hear from john bolton in open testimony? >> well, i think that if the democrats use their subpoena authority, we can hear from him. i don't think that republicans are going to do anything in the senate to bring forth any of the witnesses that the white house has blocked from participating in the impeachment process, whether it's mick mulvaney, rick perry, rudy giuliani.
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it's incumbent on them to exercise their authority to get some of these withnesses before them. there's no reason they can't issue a subpoena and have bolton before them this week. bolton has said he's willing to testify. the house should call him on his bluff. >> yamiche, what are you hearing about when an actual trial in the senate could start? >> a trial would start 24 hours after nancy pelosi handed over the articles of impeachment. but all the democratic aides i'm talking to say as of right now nancy pelosi feels her situation is getting stronger and stronger and that she can hold on to those articles a bit longer because more people might come out and say i'm also willing to testify. bolton is saying he's willing to go before the senate is playing into their hands. i pressed democrats on whether they would be willing to call john bolton and whether they had
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regrets about not subpoena him when the house was going through the impeachment process. they said now because his lawyer said he would go to court and it would be a long battle. there are some people who say the house should call john bolton, they're saying it's now up to the senate. but nancy pelosi is feeling very strong about the fact she can hold on to these articles of impeachment a bit longer. >> you do have to wonder about john bolton's change of heart and the timing of that change of heart as well. a big thanks to both of you. we are also this morning following breaking news in puerto rico. a powerful earthquake struck just before dawn this morning. it was a 6.4 magnitude quake. it shook the island's southern region. you are looking at some of the video just in of the damage there. this earthquake destroyed buildings and caused an island-wide power outage.
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so far one person has died but we are keep being a very close eye on the situation in puerto rico. also, senator lindsey graham, the man who wants to take the president's job just announced a record breaking fund-raising haul. i'm going to talk to him next about how he plans to use all that cash to takoe on one of president trump's biggest defenders and perhaps flip a red seat blue. fenders and perhaps fd seat blue. i've always loved seeing what's next.
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. the democrat who wants to take senator lindsey graham's seat in washington just unveiled an eye-popping amount of cash raised in the last three months. jamie harrison's campaign says he raised a record breaking $3.5 million in the last quarter of 2019. according to the "charleston post and courier", that's more than any candidate has brought in for a single quarter in south carolina history. jamie harrison joins me now. he's also the former south carolina democratic party chair. good to see you, sir. that sounds like a whole heck of a lot of money. the last time that our state elected a democratic senator, if i'm not mistaken, was more than 20 years ago, a man named fritz hollings. how do you plan to use that cash
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to flip the seat? >> it ain't bad for a little poor boy who grew up in orangeberg, south carolina. listen, we are focused on bringing hope back to this great state, this state that you know so well. for years we had senator fritz hollings and strom thurmond. you could disagree with them in term of their politics but you always knew that south carolina was first and foremost in their mind in what they did in washington, d.c. that is not the case anymore in south carolina. we have a senator who is folk $ more on being relevant in washington, d.c. than in the lives of people here in south carolina. we've gotten contributions in every county in south carolina. people want to join our movement. we're hearing from democrats, republicans and independents who are tired of just the regular way of doing politics in washington, d.c. and want someone who will focus on the
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issues that they're dealing with here on daily basis here in south carolina. that's why i'm asking everybody, join the movement. go to jamie and be a part of this effort to change south carolina and bring hope back to this great state. >> senator graham has yet to quote his fourth quarter totals. at the end of the previous quarter, the senator, as you ever likely know, had about 8.4 million on hand. you're starting off the year with 4.6 million on hand. that is still quite the chasm. how do you catch up to him in fund-raising and how much of that money that you've raised so far is coming from out of the state? >> yeah, well, you know, craig, here in south carolina growing up in this great country, i've learned from my life growing up poor son of a single mom that the impossible is always possible in this country. and so we don't need to outraise lindsey graham dollar for
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dollar, we just need enough money to get our message out, our message of hope, going to every county of south carolina and help people along the way. we created harrison helps, going into the community and helping people in the state. that's from resumé building workshops to homeownership workshops we're helping kids who don't have school supplies. we're doing all the things they need to do in order to make sure our folks are well positioned to live the american dream. so again, i'm really excited about what we're doing. we don't need to do dollar for dollar but we need to focus on the people on south carolina. and that's what i do each and every day. >> let me get to you put on your other hat here for a moment, hat of former chair of the state democratic party. where do you are see the state of the presidential primary race? joe biden leading most polls there still. are voters still silently behind
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him or is there still another chance for another democrat to chip away at that support? >> well, listen, i think he has the inside track. there isn't anything solid until the voters actually pull that curtain and get a chance to cast their ballots, but this is the thing i do believe -- i believe the person thaends t ends up wi the south carolina primary will be the person nominated for this party. that's what happened in the last presidential contest and will probably happen again this time around. it's just important that all of these candidates come down here to south carolina, go to the various restaurants, go to the naacp meetings, meet the voters where they are. that's the most important thing. they need to be real people and actually connect with the voters in this great state, which will have a tremendous influence on what happens on super tuesday. >> jamie harrison, candidate for the u.s. senate there in
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columbia columbia, south carolina. we have reached out to senator graham's campaign. he has an open invitation to join our program. >> meanwhile with 27 days to go now before the iowa caucuses, foreign policy continues to come nate the information on the trail in the wake of the escalating tensions with iran. i'm joined now by former white house obama speech writer and associate director for public engagement, jesse moore. let's start with where we left off with jamie harrison, your reaction. how optimistic are you that democrats can actually win a senate seat in south carolina? >> well, doug jones told us that anything's possible. >> that was an extenuating circumstance. >> it's been kind of extenuating the way lindsey graham is approaching national politics these days. anybody who hitches their wagon that tightly to president trump should be ready for their career
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and their reputation to go up in smoke at any moment. it's been strange to watch him -- he kind of has an instinct of morality sometimes, you hear him say something where he's going to hold the president accountable and then taps right back. it puts anybody in danger who holds president that close. >> meanwhile, joe biden expected to give remarks this afternoon on foreign policy. he's expected to address the situation in iran, but he's facing new attacks now from one of his rival, senator bernie sanders, who claims that biden's foreign policy record specifically has negatively impacted this country. here's part of what senator sanders is saying. >> joe biden voted and helped lead the effort for the war in iraq, the most dangerous, foreign policy blunder in the modern history of this country. joe biden voted for the disastrous trade agreements like nafta and permanent normal trade relations with china, which cost
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us millions of jobs. you think that's going to play well in michigan or wisconsin or pennsylvania? >> is joe biden's foreign policy experience going to negative impact his campaign going forward? >> i don't think so. i think it's an opportunity for him to refocus people on what they like about him. he feels safe, he's a known quantity, he has international cred as a player in world politics. i think it actually refocuses people away from this really kind of partisan scrum that's going on on what people like and it's that they feel safe with him. >> it sounds like you feel at the end of the day when the dust settles joe biden will be the party's nominee? >> i actually don't. i'm not going to make a prediction but i think it's a little trickier than that. i think this gives him a real opening. the question is what does he do with this opening? he hasn't performed great so far in this. i'm a gigantic joe biden fan. this is the guy who my mom is
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recovering from cancer, he's talking to me, somehow knows this, calls her on the phone in front of me. this is a good person. this is a good guy. he hasn't performed well in the spotlight so far. he has -- he's kind of fumbled these big moments and the question is what does he do with these big moments now? the energy and leaders in the democratic party are those who really get people enthusiast enthusiastic people don't feel incredibly enthusiastic about joe biden. >> do they feel enhas thusiasti about the up-and-coming mayor? congress gets back to work today with two big items to tackle, people and iran. up next, a congressman who sponsored legislation to limit the president's powers when it comes to iran before the strike
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. right now congress is back and it's figuring out its strategy on iran. democrats are game planning their best way to exercise oversight on the white house, as an equal branch of government. i'm joined now by democratic congressman kannah. i want to start with iran. before the strike you sponsored this amendment. it was mentioned earlier in the broadcast by a representative
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moulton. you sponsored amendment with republican congressman matt goetz to stop the president for using military action against iran without approval. in the simplest of terms, what would that have done? >> craig, it would have prevented this attack. i appreciate you bringing it up and representative moulton was very helpful. we had 27 republicans who voted for it, a majority of the house passed it, a majority of support was there in the senate and the pentagon fought tooth and nail to remove this previsioovision. now we know why. i believe we should have never authorized the national defense autosayihorization without this restricting iran's ambassador. >> the broadcast did not show any hearings scheduled on the situation with iran. why is that? >> well, there should have been hearings but what the armed services committee did is
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produce this amendment. everyone thought this amendment would be part of the final decision authorization. the amendment made it very clear that there could not be any offensive strike against iran or iranian officials, and the limited exception had it for self-defense, the facts here don't rise to that because there was no planned attack within days that would justify self-defense. so what the outrage was is why this was stripped out of the national defense conversation. congress finally gave a blank check to the pentagon. >> earlier, another guest laid out his argument for why the house should subpoena john bolton now that he says he's open to testifying in the senate. what are the chances the house would even consider doing that? >> craig, i completely doing that. now that john bolton said he's open to testifying in the senate, there's no argument why he shouldn't testify in front of the house and it would help counter rubio's argument that we can't consider senate testimony
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if the house doesn't consider it. we ought do it and we ought to get bolton in here frankly this week or next week and let the country hear what he has to say. >> so there is talk on the hill there with your colleagues of doing that? >> there is, there is. and i think bolton now is not going to have an excuse to avoid that testimony, but it is something that's being discussed among colleagues. >> congressman ro khanna for us there on the hill. thanks for your time, sir. >> thanks for having me back on. >> the new warning about the government and iran and our nation's cyber security. i'm going to talk to a reporter who just wrote this new piece about how iran's hackers might strike back. as parents of six, this network is one less thing i have to worry about.
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you alright? wow. (avo) eyesight with pre-collision braking. standard on the subaru ascent. the three-row subaru ascent. love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru. there is a big new warning this morning from the u.s. government about our cybersecurity and potential retaliation from iran. the department of homeland security warning is broad and it is scary. it cites iran's capability of using bombs and drones to attack civilians but it warns against iran's more discreet and destructive cyber operations. americans get informed on how they could be exposed or targeted. i'm joined now by andy greenberg. he just wrote a new piece, how iranian hackers might strike back after general soleimani's
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assassination. he also has a new book out. andy, thank you for coming in. i wanted to get your perspective on all of this. first of all, how serious is this threat of an attack and how worried should americans be about a cyber attack versus a physical attack? >> it's serious. the dhs is warning about a cyber attack specifically. we should put it in context. america has killed one of their most influential people in iran and they will be looking for blood for blood. there will be actual attacks on -- that cost human lives as a result of this air strike on soleimani. but, cyber warfare will be an eliminate of this response and that's because iran's military is depleted and weak. and in the digital realm, they're on almost even footing. the attacker has the advantage in cyber space. it will be difficult for us to prevent them from carrying out
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destructive cyber attacks of the kind that we've seen them do in the past. >> in this reporting, this caught my attention, the most likely form of cyber attack to suspect from iran so-called wiper malware. designed to destroy as many computers as possible. what is wiper malware? >> it's to distinguish it from cyber espionage. iran will be doing cyber espionage to find out who they want to attack, but they can do a much more reform attack. it's designed to destroy data. they can plant this code on thousands of computers inside of a target as they did in 2012 and destroy those computers. they destroyed $35,000 comput35
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in 2012. and we should expect to see that perhaps not just in the middle east but closer to home as well. >> the threat from russia, how does it compare from the cyber threat from iran. >> they are more sophisticated. we've seen russian hackers cause blackouts in ukraine. that's a difficult thing to do. you have to reach out from digital space into physical equipment. we're seeing signs that iran is trying to do that as well. they've tried to infiltrate the supply chain of industrial software. that's the first step to try to build the capability to cause blackouts to target water treatment facilities. it's unlikely that iran is capable of doing that yet or that it will, but it is a possibility. >> all right. thank you for stopping by to sufficiently scare all of us. thank you. >> glad to be here. andrea mitchell has a show packed with news makers. she's going to talk to the man
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that is going to wrap up this hour of msnbc live. i'll see you tomorrow morning on today. right now "andrea mitchell reports." >> thank you, craig melvin and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," clear and present danger? secretary of state mike pompeo
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defending the killing of the top iranian general but offering no evidence of an imminent threat. >> if you're looking for eminence, you need to look no further than the days that led up to the strike that was taken against soleimani and you have what we could see were efforts on behalf of this terrorist to build out a network of campaign activities that were going to lead potentially to the death of many more americans. it was the right decision. we got it right. >> coming up here, reaction from the chairman of the house intelligence committee, adam schiff. iraq war veteran, tammy duckworth and angus king. and the culture wars. the secretaries of defense and state both say the united states will not attack iran's cultural sites contradicting the president. >> i'm wondering whether you would push back in your role -- >> you're


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