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tv   Yasmin Vossoughian Reports  MSNBC  August 15, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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said to rename the country as -- has ned the country of the just a short time ago, he released a pretty elementy statement on facebook, saying he came across a hard choice, and went on to say the taliban, quote, is here to attack all of kabul, and to avoid the bleeding flood, i thought it best to get out. not the u.s. embassy is telling american to say shelter in place after records of gunfire it is airplane. >> look. what we're focused on. we're trying to make sure we can get our people to a safe and secure place, that we can do right by the people who stood with us in afghanistan all these years, including afghans who worked for the embassy, worked for our military. >> i want to go ahead now to nbc
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news tehran bureau chief, ali arouzi. the president ghani's statement, how is that decision playing out with the people who are still trying to get out themselves? >> it's a disparate situation. the head of state has fled the country and there's a stampede of people in afghanistan also trying to get out, probably a lot more difficult for them than it is for ashraf ghani, who was not particularly popular with the afghan people or particularly trusted by the u.s. government. a lot of the problems there are possibly down to his incompetence of not shoring up
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the security in his country properly, for allowing corruption and being corrupt. what we're seeing now is america's longest war ending with the fall of kabul, the head of state having to flee, the airport in a desperate state right now, as you mentioned, there has been reports of gunfire at the airport, commercial flights have been canceled, which means only the military evacuations are going on, which is a priority there. the head of state is gone and the taliban are now occupying of presidential palace, which is all signs that it's all over. the country is now back in the hands of the taliban. they've bided their time for 20 years, and we're back to practically where we were before 9/11. it's also triggered a humanitarian crisis, morgan. there are a flood of afghans trying to get into iran where i am right now. there's already about 2.5
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million afghans who have been living here over the last 10, 20 years, that number is set to increase dramatically as they try to get away from the tyrant cal rule. flights have been canceled, so they have to make a perilous crossing across borders and face a very uncertainly future. many of those afghans will then try to move from iran to the western border into turkey and into europe, as they try to get as far away from their own country as possible. as i mentioned, there's a lot of afghans, and they've been making desperate phone calls to anything they know here in the country that can help them financially, to get their family out of afghanistan, and into iran, which is going to be a
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tough life for them, but a better one than think face in afghanistan currently. >> i to go back to something you said, when you were talking about the desperation in the country. i want to go back to that video that the taliban posted. it was received from al jazeera, what is the public narrative that the video supports, and what does it tell us about taliban control and what they plan to do next? >> it tells us they are fully in control much the country. they renamed the country the islamic emirate. that's their official title. there are now taliban spokesmen issuing statements about what's to come, about what the situation is for embassies and their personnel in the country. you don't really hear from the afghan government anymore.
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this is a transition that's happening very much in front of their lives. they have expelled the president. he's on a plane on his way out of afghanistan, because it's no longer safe for him to be there. of course, when the president, when the head of state is gone, all of the armed forces that work for the head of state of will quickly fall apart. they'll shed their military clothes and try to blend in with the general population. a clear indication that the taliban are now calling the entire shots in the country. if you are part of the old regime, you're in trouble. your life is in danger. if you were there and you helped the americans or nato personnel in any capacity, your life is now in danger in afghanistan, as the taliban have full control of the place it's amazing to think,
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the taliban had only ever taken control of one city, and that was temporary, in kunduz. now in the last eight days, they have taken the entire country. >> it's remarkable, and frankly breathtaking to watch the speed with which they have done it, especially less than a month out from the september 11th deadline. ali arouzi, thank you very much for being with us. meanwhile, back here at home, president biden is monitoring the situation from camp david let's bring in shannon pettypiece. do we have any word right now from the white house about the taliban's movement? really are there any updates to u.s. plans? >> we haven't heard from the president recently, assigned from a lengthy statement he put out last night. no public remarks today, no public remarks planned. as you mentioned, he was briefed at camp david, where he was intending on having a vacation.
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not very much of a vacation going on today. he met virtually with the leaders of his team. >> we were told the focus of that brief us was on the state of getting the americans out of country. where things are at on this visa effort to try to get out the thousands of afghans who have helped the american and international effort over the years. it's really on an american first agenda. it's not on the afghan people, what they're doing for afghan women, or any talk of trying to push back against the taliban or support the afghan forces at this point. the white house, despite how quickly things have unravelled
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is maintaining the course, sticking by the position that there is not a military solution to the situation in afc so there's no u.s. national security interest for staying in the country. >> that's draw a lot of concern, for -- who have called this a national security failure, and members of the obama administration who have been criticizing how this president has handled the situation, particularly when it has come to trying to get out those afghans whose lives are now at risk as ali was discussing because they helped the american and international effort the effort is solely focused on trying to extract people from the country at this point. >> shannon, thank you.
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and for a closer look at just how the u.s. and afghanistan frankly got to this point, i'm joined by "the washington post" foreign columnist david ignatius and kristin roust. david, i would love to start with you, because some people are saying that they're surprised by the speed of the taliban takeover, and yet others are saying we really shouldn't be. >> there having intelligence warnings, predictions once the u.s. began to withdraw, that there would be a kind of tipping moment, and there could by quick integration of the government. it's as if a 20-year war ended
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in a day. it's a startingle images. while it's so jarring to see they images sitting in the president of afghanistan office, where he warmed the chair only hours before it does appear a bloody battle has been averted, so it would be what that led to ghani leave. the it's has wanted ghani out, in truth, for months, seeing him as an obstacle to any kind of effective stable transition.
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what comes next, no one can predict. the biggest fear i have is whether there will be a wave of reprisals against afghans who helped the united states again people who were part of our war effort, now are at terrible risk. >> kristin, what did you think, with the taliban sitting in the presidential palace. >> i'm overcome with outrage, disgust, horror for what we know the taliban is and what they are very capable of doing.
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hearing from our allies that are trapped it feels like watching the titanic sink and all of our fans are dying. >> kristin, before we go, what are you hearing from your fellow veterans. >> what due feel, that some are saying it was all for naught. >> i don't want to reflect back. it feels like writing people's obituaries while it's time to still get them out. i'm getting messages from veterans, who are hearing from that you are afghan
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interpreters, from other afghans who they have worked with, who are desperate to get out of the country right now. >> when there was virtually no options, to get on a flight, to get across they taliban controlled border, even to get out of coruled areas. they're locked in, and they have calling us. so so many veterans are in absolute distress, because we cannot save those who are still alive right now. >> in 200 days, president biden has dealt with a series of conflicts -- now we're talking about here in afc.
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as they dream out, what mime colleague has been talking about -- i'm getting more messages -- this will be on biden. biden has to speak to the country and explain why this is the right course. just a final thought, this war was going to end. every war has to end it's about keep faith with the interpreters. i think that's absolutely crucial. that the giving them a measure of dignity and concern for others to the way biden chose to
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end this. >> >> you know, you're saying thinks on biden. . but they had it's laughable that this could only bet on -- so, kristin, what do you think? do you think the solution is on biden? or do you think the problem was also on bide everyone? >>. >> i'm focused on the real problems. i've gotten messages from afghans on the ground saying i got a message saying, dear sister, the taliban are in my village, i'm going to die. they are writing veterans their last messages. what are we doing right now? what is america doing right now to help our allies, to bring them to safety? what are we doing? it doesn't matter what happened yet. what are we doing today? can we save them while they're still alive? don't write their oy bit ware.
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save them, please. please do something. >> evelyn, thank you first and foremost for your service. >> david, i thank you also for your expertise. thank for you being here. we'retien to stay on to have of this fast- -- an escalation, what this make mean for the rights of women in afghanistan, who who are now fearing, as kristin just said, fearing for their i was. congressman and member, filemon vela weighs in. stay with us. weighs in stay with us i don't just play someone brainy on tv - i'm an actual neuroscientist. and i love the science behind neuriva plus. unlike ordinary memory supplements,
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welcome back. thanks for joining us. just a short time ago, lawmakers on capitol hill were briefed by the white house on the taliban's rapid advances in afghanistan. those briefings come as debate continues over which administration, or even which branch of government, is to blame. >> this is a crisis of untold proportions. i would agree with richard, this is an intelligence failure. we underestimated the taliban and overestimated the resolve of the afghan army. >> there is no question that president trump, his administration, secretary pompeo, they also bear very significant responsibility for
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this. president trump said the, none of that has happened. >> joining me congressman vela of texas, also a member of the armed services committee. first, thank you for your time. also, you attended -- frankly what questions do you have? overall, i support the president's position to withdraw from afghanistan after 20 years of involvement there. no question, what we are experiencing today has its challenges, but i have the utmost confidence in president biden, secretary blinken and secretary austin to make sure, as we move ahead, that we do the right thing. >> i have to ask you, though. you you you have support in the
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withdrawal, but i'd like to read from a new statement from mitch mcconnell saying, quote, the biden administration's botched exit from afghanistan, including the frantic evacuation of americans and vulnerable afghans from kabul is a shameful fail your of american leadership. everyone sauce this coming except the president who publicly and confidently dismissed these threats a few weeks ago. what do you see to that, congressman? >> i'm not in a position to put blame on one administration or another. i think you have to put this in the context the 20 years of involvement in afghanistan. i don't agree with senator mcconnell. i mean, the president adopted a situation from the previous administration. he exercised his prerogative to withdraw from afghanistan, and i think he made the right
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decision, no question, what we are seeing today presents challenges that we're going to have to deal with, but i have full confidence in president biden in being able to move us forward. >> you've expressed your confidence, but lastly, while i have you, i would love to switch gears and ask your thoughts on the infrastructure bill and the reaction to what ploysi said in a letter today -- it says, quote, i have requested that the rules committee explore the possibility of a rule that advances both the budget resolution and the bipartisan infrastructure package. you, sir, are one of the nine democrats pushing for a stand-alone vote. what do you make of pelosi's options right there? >> we're not exactly clear what the speaker intends to do going forward, but we certainly appreciate the fact that she mentioned moving the bipartisan infrastructure package forward. our position is really simple.
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the senate passed with 50 democrats and 19 republicans, a bipartisan infrastructure bill, and we believe that -- we've got to be able to vote for that when we come back in two weeks. after that move on to a budget resolution, so we can go through the reconciliation process on the $3.5 trillion deal. >> congressman, thank you so much for being with us this afternoon. we appreciate it. to all of our viewers, stay with us. coming up, with we will dive deep into the danger of women with the taliban takeover of afghanistan. don't go anywhere. takeover of afghanistan. don't go anywhere. power, we can harness the energy of the tiny electron. we can create new ways to connect. rethinking how we communicate to be more inclusive than ever. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change.
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ed developments out of afghanistan are changing by the minute, and with each and every minute, it becomes clearer that taliban control is imminent. this video from al jazeera shows
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the taliban inside the presidential pal lace in kabul. >> andrea mitchell joins us. frankly today has been a whir wind. we have word that the pentagon is sending an additional 1,000 troops to help with the deteriorating situation. what more do we know about those troops? >> well, we know the troops are, again, from reserve units and reserve brigade at ft. bragg. this is the 82nd airborne. they're joining the 1,000 additional that were ordered by the president on saturday, just jed. 24 hours ago, so much has happened as this situation continues to deteriorate. we're seeing, you know, bipartisan criticism, mostly from republicans, of course, but some democrats, particularly those concerned with the speech
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with which this transpired. what many are calling, especially the republicans, a lack of add equation planning for the drawdown in the evacuation, as well as the fact that they are, of course, not blaming president trump, who made the commitment to may 1st, and the pushback from secretary blinken those on "meet the press" that on may 2nd. the taliban was going to be attacking if we did not signal we are going to meet the commitment, a call that president trump had actually invited the taliban to come to camp david before an earlier 9/11. that plan was quickly scrapped when it became so controversial. that was before they even signed a commitment. of course, the cry irks are saying he wasn't locked in, and the change in the withdrawal, the timetable could have been
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slowed down, wait five, six months until the winter season, the way they just rolled through province after province like dominos falling. we saw they did effectively get rid of and shred the sensitive documents. that's been going a within the embassy. so say that the embassy is open, the embassy is being evacuated, and they say they're going to try to reconstitute it at the airport. so far no exchange of contact, or -- versus the u.s. ground troops who are there. they need to move those troops in as quickly as possible. of course, the other horrifying piece of this is bagram airport, once giving up by the u.s. a month ago, i think, taken over by the afghans, who simply got rolled over. they immediately unlocked the
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doors to the prison there. so those people have had no facilities, and thieves deprived of any kind of conditions, even worse than the normal prison in afghanistan. they are now out and easily can get control of arms and fold themselves into the taliban forces. >> andrea, i want to underscore a good point you just made, focusing on the airport as the top priority right now. also, just for the viewers joining us, brilliant reporting by our own courtney kube who said the military side of that airport is, in fact, operational, but what are your sources at the state department telling you. how are they reacting to frankly stunning images right now?
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there's a certain amount of defensiveness, and the blame game didn't help at all. as you expect it to be, but it's such a crisis period, all the finger pointing at the biden administration, and the republicans seizing on it, because it's an enormous failure. it depends on your viewpoint, of course, but any analysis would be that this has not gone well. in a assumed that the afghan army would fight. they had 300,000 troops in their army, and they had all the heavy equipment we could give them, billions, and for them to turn and run to the degree they did, there will be some of that. but province after province,
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city after city, is just stunning. that's whats a hard pill to swallow. just as a correspondent, for any citizen seeing that video of the taliban climbing the carpeting steps for the presidential palace, so to see that image is shocking frankly, reading the texts from the women in the country pleading for help, to know if there was going to be an orderly evacuation, to get even those approved for the special visas out, those who worked with our military, that is even going to be a stretch. then to extend it to the civilians who worked with human rights groups, with women's groups, educators, to try to embrace those people, many of them women, and get them safely out, will be very, very difficult, if not impossible,
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given the time frame. >> she said she started wearing jeans, and then they changed into a extraition additional hijab and dress, because she was afraid and that was the only means she had to protect herself. does that change the calculus here about what's being done to get those americans and eye lies out of the kabul right now? we had seen attacks in the green zone over year.
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>> it's only four miles to the airport. they still have airlift, but if they have to go door to door and through the streets to get american citizens ute, that's going to be difficult, at best. but they want that's their top priority, getting americans out. getting everybody from the embassy out, and then to start with those special visas, who are already in the pipeline, but it has to be those approved. they may have to resort in getting them out and vetting them outside the country. they're a long way from that. >> thank you so much for your time. >> i appreciate it. i'm sure you'll have much more
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tomorrow, you can catch it right here, noon eastern, on weekdays. coming up, the immediate and chilling danger facing afghanistan to women and girls, just as andrea mentioned. we'll have more just after this break. we'll have more just after this break. one more bite! ♪ kraft. for the win win. (upbeat pop music in background throughout)
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but even i'm not as memorable as eating turkey hill chocolate chip cookie dough creamy premium ice cream and chasing fireflies. don't worry about me. i'm fine. you can't beat turkey hill memories. breaking news. we just reported from the pentagon another 1,000 u.s. troops will be sent to afghanistan to really help deal with the situation there.
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among the many concerns is the freedom of afghanistan's women and girls. congressman jason crow spoke here earlier about just how vulnerable women are until taliban rule. >> it's really beyond description of what we're dealing with. so, again, i call on the administration to send in the troops, send in the power necessary. >> joining me is senior fellow at the brookings institute. vanda, let us go ahead and start
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with us. let's talk about the human cost. we're hearing so much talk about blame and criticism, as a journalist, what i think people are searching for is accountability. they're trying to understand how, exactly we got here. in your opinion, who or what is responsible for the failures we have seen from the afghan government and its military. specifically, where does that leave afghan women and girls? >> well, foremost, the responsibility really lies with the afghan government, and successful governments and afghan politicians. they systematically engage in governance, and ignored the problems that were well known. the speed of the afghan security
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forces collapse is stunning, but all the reasons why they fell -- poor more rule, making deals with the taliban, lack of supply and logistics -- they were all known teniers. those were the reasons, and yet over and over, the afghan leadership, military political chose. >> i want to focus about what you heardy your sources really trying to fight for their reasons. >> they're scared for their
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lives, they are worried that they won't be allowed to leave their homes. >> she's afraid of bumping into the taliban. i'm hearing that the fathers of university-aged women are trying to arrange marriages, so that they are, of course, once again wearing the burka, if they didn't before. it's -- it's existential,
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frankly, for a lot of these women, for the last 20 years, had a degree of freedom that is probably going to go away. >> vana, i want to provide some text here for our viewers, the taliban came into power back in the '90s, frankly they followed a rule of law, yet in recent years, the taliban is really trying to rebel at a time its own image ear positioning itself as a partner for peace. liz cheney said, quote, this is a fantasy, where do you stand on that? >> well, the taliban, unfortunately in the 1990s was able to provide order, a very brutal order, a order that systematically victimized women, but it was an order much better than the country experienced during the civil war. one of the reasons why the taliban has been so entrenched
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in afghanistan over the past 20 years, despite efforts of the international community is that they have been providing order. so we have again seen in recently conquered provinces, the following -- rights being restricted for women particularly, and those who work for the government, but order has been restored on the streets. the issue is we need to focus on how to engage the taliban now coming to power, so we minimize the losses to the rights. unfortunately, i expect there will be significant loss to say women's rights and civil rights and human rights, but nonetheless we need to focus on some minimal red lines, and economic aid to the taliban, recognition of a taliban regime, removal of sanctions, providing
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access to international institutions, along those red lines being violated. among those red lines are frankly not whether women have to wear a hija bnkts of b. you but importantly can they leave their home without a male guard yang. will they have access to education and health care and at least some jobs. what we have heard over the years, as vanda says, the taliban have been coming back for years.
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>> we're hearing girls up to the age of 12, probably, women will probably be able to work in very, you know, female-centric professions, maybe if they are allowing to become doctors i don't believe their interpretation will anything
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close to the freedom. >> this is a crisis that deserving our attention. nbc's britainly bruton, thank you so much. meanwhile, the global reaction continuinging to unfold. we'll have that reaction after the break. unfold we'll have that reaction after the break. ♪ yeah. ♪ ♪ time for grilled cheese. ♪ ♪ born to be wild ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ born to be wild ♪ see disney's jungle cruise. applebee's and a movie, now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. voiceover: riders. wanderers on the road of life. the journey is why they ride. when the road is all you need, there is no destination. uh, i-i'm actually just going to get an iced coffee. well, she may have a destination this one time, but usually --
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afghanistan, we are also closely following the situation in haiti, where the death toll has now climbed to more than 700, with many more still missing and injured. this is all as emergency responders are still assessing the damage that you see on your screen right now from yesterday's devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake. the u.s. coast guard just announced a short time ago that it will in fact offer assistance deploying helicopters and even one of its ships to assist the islands nation. just after the break, global reaction to the rapidly changing situation there in afghanistan including boris johnson's calls to get parliament back in session. we are live in london next. stay with us. and one we explore one that's been paved and one that's forever wild but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure ♪ ♪
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well, it is not just the united states, in fact, right now about 600 british troops in afghanistan are helping to evacuate uk nationals and afghans who helped british forces. meanwhile, the prime minister held an emergency meeting with government leaders today and is now recalling members of parliament who are currently on summer break. meghan fitzgerald is with us in london right now. meghan, there has been so much response, criticism, reaction here in the united states. what is the reaction on behalf of the uk? what are you seeing there on the ground? >> morgan, i can tell you, there is a lot of frustration and disappointment here. the uk is sending in more than
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100,000 troops to fight alongside the u.s. government here in afghanistan. and while of course the u.s. suffered the most casualties, more than 2,400 of our military losing our lives, the brits lost hundreds of men and women. this is incredibly personal for a lot of people. we heard from veterans here in the uk, of course in the u.s. who are expressing anger and frustration because, you know, you certainly see within the last week how many of these troops that the brits and the united states solders and military members tried to train -- how they just gave up, oftentimes, without even giving a fight at all. and that's certainly obvious when we lock at just how quickly the taliban was able so -- to seize control over the majority of afghanistan. yesterday, most notably, seizing at least three provincial capitals. up in the north part, the last
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northern stronghold, mast mazar-i-sharif. what it meant was that the taliban took over the entire northern part of the country. we saw this morning many used that route from the north making their way into kabul. we also know because al jazeera got inside the presidential palace. taliban fighters were seen inside the presidential palace, they were seen taking down the afghan flag. at this point it seems it's just a matter of time before they gain entire control of the country. >> not only taking down the flag, but renaming the country. meghan fitzgerald. that wraps it up for this hour of msnbc news. i'm morgan radford. thank you for watching. stay with us. now i turn it over to reverend
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al sharpton and "politics nation." >> good evening, and welcome to msnbc rolling coverage of today's dramatic events in afghanistan in this special edition of "politics nation." we start with breaking news. taliban fighters have recaptured kabul, afghanistan's capital city, capping near complete takeover of the country amid reports that the president of afghanistan has left the nation. the u.s. embassy in kabul is in the process of evacuation with military support from u.s. troops. my colleague, richard lui is joining me for the hour. richard, give us the latest on afghanistan and today's top stories. >> as you were saying there, refuse arc lot happening. here's the latest on the momentous breaking news we are following right now, on this sunday. as you mentioned, the president of afghanistan has fled


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