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tv   Stephanie Ruhle Reports  MSNBC  August 27, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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hi there, i am chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. it is friday, august 27th. we begin with more news from afghanistan. a lot of fast moving developments to tell you about this morning. evacuation flights resuming with
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new urgency. 24 hours after two suicide bombings targeted thousands of afghans trying to flee the country and worst attack on u.s. service members in a decade. president biden vowing to retaliate. >> to those who carried out this attack as well as anyone that wishes america harm, know this. we will not forgive. we will not forget. we will hunt you down and make you pay. >> you can see it at the white house, the american flag at half staff to honor 13 u.s. service members killed thursday, and 18 others were injured in the attacks. president biden addressing the families of those lost. >> my heart aches for you. lives lost were given in the service of liberty, the service
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of security, the service of others. and the service of america. >> in addition, at least 113 afghan civilians were killed and 180 injured in the attacks. according to an unnamed health ministry source. isis-k is claiming responsibility for the attack that involved a suicide bomber that detonated their belt at an airport gate. a second explosion was nearby at the baron hotel. the state department telling us this morning that a total of 12,500 people have been evacuated from kabul in the last 24 hours, including at least 500 americans, as a result of 35 u.s. military flights and 54 coalition flights. about a thousand americans are believed to still be in afghanistan. then there's this scene today in kabul outside the airport.
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many anxious achbls gather again, in spite of serious, ongoing threat, desperately waiting and hoping for any chance to flee. our expert team of reporters and analysts covering all angles of this breaking story. courtney kube is live at the pentagon, peter alexander at the white house, retired colonel jack jacobs, msnbc military analyst and medal of honor recipient. good morning to all of you. after what has been such a difficult day, courtney, threat still not over, very real. and i thought you asked the key question of general mackenzie. do we have what we need to protect ourselves. so what is the plan to keep u.s. service members safe as evacuations continue in kabul the next four days. >> and general mackenzie said he has, he believes he has what he needs at the airport right now. we heard from president biden later saying that anything that the military needs, he has been granting their request.
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at this point we do not anticipate additional u.s. military flowing into the airport, but as you said, chris, the evacuation mission continues. so that means that u.s. military and marines are still screening people as they come on the airport grounds. we heard from general mackenzie they screened more than 104,000 people throughout the course of the mission that began august 14th. that's a tremendous amount of people that have come through. he made the point one of the reasons this is so dangerous is because bringing these people onto the airport, they have to get up close with them and check them, they have to make sure they don't have weapons or explosives on them, and of course in the case of yesterday, there was one individual, at least one individual that had explosives. we know the attack occurred at the abbey gate. it is a place we have seen large crowds gathering over the last week or so. that has been the real security concern. you mention isis-k claimed
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responsibility for the attack. that was the specific attack that the u.s. was worried about happening, outside one of these gates. they were concerned about the abbey gate in particular because so many americans and westerners were transiting through that gate. the real concern was exactly what we saw, some sort of suicide attack that would target many afghans gathered outside there and the military working at the gate, chris. >> since you mentioned isis-k, let me play a little of what the president had to say specifically about that terror group. >> we've been made aware by our intelligence community that the isis-k, an archenemy of the taliban, people that were freed when both those prisons were opened, has been planning a complex set of attacks on united states personnel and others. >> and just to reiterate what you were saying, the congressman that went said he was surprised
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to see just the crush of humanity at the gates, and exactly what general mackenzie said, there's no way to do this without human contact. so what is the threat assessment for future attacks? >> they are still, the u.s. military is still very concerned about attacks. general mackenzie specifically said they expect more attacks and more attempts at attacks. that's opened up a new line of questioning here and that is who is providing security outside the airport. i think a lot of viewers would be surprised to know it is actually the taliban. the taliban set up a large perimeter around the airport. they are completely surrounding it with check points. general mackenzie spoke about that yesterday, they're checking people as they come through, but talked about varying levels of competence among taliban fighters. what's not clear is was this just an oversight that explosives and guns were able to get through check points or was
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there taliban complicity. we don't have an answer to that. it is one of the questions we have been asking here. but among the real threats that they're very concerned about, additional suicide attacks like the one we saw yesterday, explosives placed in vehicles, they're very worried about someone getting a vehicle with explosives packed in it onto the airport grounds or to one of the gates. then the third thing is rocket attacks. that's been persistent, a persistent problem throughout afghanistan throughout 20 years the u.s. military has been there, rocket attacks onto airports specifically, but they're worried about that. those threats all emanate from specific intelligence streams that point back to isis-k. isis-k is the isis khorasan. >> all the threats, and another plane taking off from kabul
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airport. anything you're hearing from folks at the white house that suggest there's any wiggle room on the august 31st deadline? >> to this point not at all. the president as you noted made it clear the u.s. is undeterred in its mission. he will stick to the august 31st timeline. they have effectively stayed the course, doubling down, not apologizing for it from the beginning. the president did make significant acknowledgments yesterday, acknowledging among other things it was unlikely the u.s. would be able to guarantee all the afghan allies would be out by the end of the month. clearly that didn't seem like it was going to be possible from the start, now saying that publicly here as well. to courtney's point, he acknowledged there are real dangers that exist for the united states. as relates to the relationship between the taliban and the united states, you remember in july the president said no, he doesn't trust the taliban.
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he was asked about that, said it is not an issue of trust, it is mutual self interest, that they share goals, the adversary of the taliban and u.s. is isis now, but that has raised a lot of questions and a lot of criticism from lawmakers, including some democrats, senator menendez, chair of the senate foreign relations committee saying among other things the u.s. cannot trust the taliban with american security, chris. >> peter, clearly this is a pivotal moment in biden's young presidency at a time his approval numbers were already dropping. we have to talk about the politics of this. is there a sense in spite of this horrific tragedy that ultimately the american people will rally behind him, that yesterday will be seen more as affirmation of why we needed to get out, it will be seen as a chaotic, poorly planned evacuation. >> it is clear the calculation from the white house all along had been the majority of americans believed the u.s.
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should get out, that the 20 year war in afghanistan needed to end. the criticism obviously has come from the way this has been executed. now the chorus has grown so much louder as a function of 13 american service members losing their lives now. it was their hope this would be not so much a blip, the recent headlines about the withdrawal and execution here but something that would pass over time and americans would focus on other issues. now this is in many ways going to define part of this president's legacy, no matter how long he serves in the white house now, given loss of life. there are calls from republicans that this president resign. other republicans who have been conferring now in hopes they can win back the senate or house in 2022 next year, that there would be some form of investigation to pursue what went on behind the scenes as relates to the administration in this effort. this is something that's going to hangover this president and his administration going
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forward. they insist their priority now is ending the mission, getting all americans out safely and doing it as fast as possible. >> as we are watching flights take off and seeing the activity at the airport there, colonel jack, the president said he didn't think it was a mistake for the u.s. to depend on the taliban for security for the airport perimeter. republicans have been jumping all over that, criticizing the president saying he trusted the taliban with sensitive information. what's your take on this and can we trust the taliban for the next four days when we need them most? >> well, you can't trust the taliban in any case. one can argue that the time to evacuate is not now during the fighting season, it was earlier during the winter. anytime when the taliban is disbursed in valleys, villages, and in pakistan, they coalesced and swept over the country. they're not in control of it yet as you can see from what happened yesterday. but the taliban itself can't be
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trusted. but we're stuck. we made this deal with them. we decided to leave now at the most difficult time and we have to rely on the taliban to protect our forces as we evacuate. let's roll tape forward to beginning of next week. monday and tuesday, the day we're supposed to be out of there approach, and we will have started to withdraw our military forces, we're left with a very small force back there. who is going to protect them? well, the taliban and they're unreliable. the most difficult part of withdrawal like this is at the end where you have a small force trying to protect itself. in this case, having to rely on the taliban makes it much more difficult, chris. >> you talk about the draw down, i want to ask you quickly about that in terms of the president saying we will hunt you down. how do you do that given dwindling resources and what
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would be the options for retaliation? >> well, we have to have the long view of this. it is not going to take just a minute or two, not going to be next week, it will be like osama bin laden. it took us years to get him. ironically because the isis-k and the taliban are at logger heads and hate each other, we will probably be able to enlist the support of the taliban who would love us to get to isis-k to get rid of their -- find and get rid of their leadership, so there may be continued cooperation after the 31st just on this mission alone. but that's the only way we're going to do it. we're going to have to, because we have nobody on the ground. we won't have anybody on the ground. we're going to have to rely on the taliban to give us information and in this case they are liable to be cooperative because they are really at threat from isis-k. i'll add one other thing.
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the large majority of the people in isis-k had bailed out of being in the taliban as isis-k came further down the country. they had been in the taliban and they went awal and joined isis-k. the taliban would like to see us get rid of isis-k if we can help them do it. >> we're doing a deep dive on that later in the show. it is important what you bring up. i want to ask you before you go, democratic congressman seth molton made an unannounced visit this past week, both were veterans, served in the middle east. here's what he said on "morning joe" about the visit. >> the most extraordinary thing i've seen in my life, willie, is what was happening at abbey gate where the troops were killed. it is an impossible task we have given them, to sift through a sea of humanity. thousands and thousands of afghans, try to pluck out our
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allies, our friends and families. their husbands, their wives, little girls and boys, and put their kids on their back, hold their hands and literally pull them to freedom. i've seen a lot. i have never been more proud to be an american than i was that day at abbey gate. >> i'm sure, jack, that doesn't surprise you, but pictures we have seen of service members with afghan children in their arms, putting themselves at risk, many of them with children of their own, the way "the washington post" put it in an op-ed today is that american service members are risking everything. what are your thoughts on that this morning? >> well, if you're having a bad day and possibly want to feel better and possibly can, put yourself amidst people in uniform. the young people that defend this country and our values, defend our allies, do almost
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impossible tasks with insufficient resources, they're the people who make you proud to be an american. if you want to feel good, think about the young people, young people who are defending all 330 million of us right now. >> we do and we grieve for family members of the 13 that were lost. thanks to you all. coming up, after isis-k took responsibility for the terror attacks, we'll go inside the rapid rise of that organization and risk they pose to the u.s. and our allies next. plus, 901 people died of covid in florida alone yesterday. oregon now has more restrictions than any other state as hospitalizations surge there. the dire situation across the country ahead. situation across country ahead. i always had a connection to my grandfather... i always wanted to learn more about him.
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back now to afghanistan where the kabul airport is on high alert after yesterday's terror attack and the political calculations are to say the least surprising and complex. as we now know, isis-k claimed responsibility. they're an offshoot of isis that formed in pakistan six years ago, bitter enemy of the taliban. of course, the taliban is also an enemy of the u.s. and they just took control of afghanistan, but they have been working with us to let americans
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and afghan allies evacuate. at this point, the only thing we control is the top half of the airport on the screen. they control the civilian side and basically everything that's around it. but let's not forget, they're still terrorists and their new head of security is actually wanted by the u.s. as a terrorist. ken delanian has been digging into this story, and also john brennan, and clint watts who worked as consultant to the fbi counterterrorism vision. good to see you all. ken, i want to start there. the taliban security chief is a u.s. designated terrorist, and yet we are relying on them for security. >> it is an awful situation, chris. the united states doesn't have a lot of good options now. it is not that we are relying on the taliban, more that the u.s. will take good intelligence about terrorists anywhere spies can get it. it may be in the taliban's interest to provide information
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about isis-k. now, the irony is you mentioned and we have been reporting, the taliban head of security in kabul is himself a terrorist. kalil hakani, he has a $5 million reward on his head from the state department. he is the brother of the founder of the hakani network, extremist brand of the taliban that runls an organized crime family. unlike the taliban, the hakani network is designated a terrorist organization. they kidnapped and held americans, have ties with al qaeda and pakistani intelligence. chris, this underscores why many intelligence officials believe the taliban can't be trusted to prevent terrorist threats to the west from bubbling up in afghanistan after we leave. in fact, two taliban officials told our local correspondent yesterday that they regret the way they emptied prisons as they advance the country. among the thousands released were hardcore islamic state commanders, master trainers, bomb makers. those are people now posing the
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biggest threat to american troops. >> do we know how many are out there? >> hundreds to thousands is the best estimate i have heard. >> director brennan, clearly yesterday was not an intelligence failure, the warnings were out there, but as general mackenzie put it, anytime you build a plan like this, you expect to be attacked. what do you see to be the biggest threat in the waning days and who? >> it is almost an impossible task to provide security to the airport there in kabul. the u.s. is not outside that perimeter, therefore unfortunately they have the taliban to deal with because the taliban controls that area. i will say as has been pointed out, the taliban is composed of a lot of bad people. a lot of folks that have that relationship are members of the hakani network and a lot of organizational affiliations are fluid. current day members of the taliban might, in fact, migrate to isis because of its extremist
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views. therefore in the waning days as the military presence draws down, i think there's going to be increasing anxiety about potential for follow on isis-k attacks at the gates and points of entry. i know the u.s. military and intelligence officers are doing everything possible to understand what's outside the gates, but again, in waning days, it will be very difficult to ensure safety and security of american personnel and those afghans that are trying to get onto the airport. >> i guess that raises the question, clint, how much our intelligence can protect us in the waning days when the footprint goes down, as we know, danger goes up. >> it will be tough, chris. increasingly need human intelligence from partners. allies and partners much like we saw yesterday, saw all of the embassies, all of the forces
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there militarily start to send warnings almost simultaneously about the gates. that can mean they're the ones with better sensors in the ground in those networks. we have been dealing with isis and al qaeda throughout the middle east. you look at many remnants of isis where they've gone to, isis-k is one of those locations. they bring in foreign fighters. often times our partners have human intelligence, sit sense that are joining these groups. we have to become more reliant on them. this wouldn't be the first time you saw one extremist group rat out or point to targets in another extremist group. it will be an interesting mix in the coming months. the phrase the enemy of my enemy makes us friends to a degree essentially in terms of how the operation goes. if you look at the last two years, you'll see the u.s. has been doing a lot of air operations, a lot of the
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targeting, and the taliban, certain elements doing ground sweeps. that could continue on here in the coming months as we look to the end of the year. >> i want to get your take, director brennan. the president seemed to acknowledge that the u.s. gave the taliban a list of americans and afghans who are allies of ours that needed to evacuate. there's been a lot of criticism of that. what's your take on it? >> i don't know exactly what was passed but obviously we need to be very concerned about how the taliban might make use of that information, especially after the u.s. military and our presence ends in kabul. a number of individuals are going to still want to try to get out. those that worked with us for many years are going to have to rely on others, qataris could help get people out through other channels in the future. humanitarian organizations. therefore, i think we have to be very, very careful about giving the taliban any additional insight into people we worked
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closely with. there are elements within the taliban that are very much interested in exacting revenge on these individuals that fought with us and against them for many years. >> clint, what's your thought on that, would it be reckless, do you think it puts more people in danger than it potentially helps save? what do you think? >> it will be hard to say. the calculations i think will be fluid. what we sometimes forget, the taliban have only been in kabul about two weeks. we've kind of made it out as the taliban swept in, they have complete control of all of afghanistan. that is not the case. they have only been there a short time. they have been gone two decades. also within the taliban many of the members of isis-k are former pakistani taliban members. the younger generation, their loyalties are conflicting and the taliban is not one big thing. i think we're going to run into a situation where this will be a chaotic stew, there will be
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shifting alliances all the time. we have to look at what are upcoming terrorist targets, which ones we designated terrorist targets may be the ones that send us important intelligence at times if it suits their interest. >> director brennan, the key thing they made in the agreement with the administration to have this date to get out was that afghanistan was no longer a staging ground foray tax against the united states and its allies. does what is unfolding raise serious questions about their ability to do just that? >> i have no confidence in what they said previously or today. the organization continues to evolve. there are extremist elements within the taliban that i believe will do anything possible to hurt u.s. interests long after we are there. i think we have no alternative now to working with the taliban
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since they are outside the gates of the airport. at the same time i think we have to be resolute in determination to make sure that we have independent means to understand what's going on inside that country and to protect our interests. relying on allies and partners in the region. the taliban at this point is not an organization that i certainly would have any sense of confidence or trust in. >> we're out of time, clint. i want to ask you finally as we watch more planes go off as we have been on the air and think about the american service members who are looking at the folks going in and making sure they're people that should get on the planes, do you think the bigger threat in terms of taliban and security they're providing outside the airport are people who as general ma -- mackenzie said may not be sympathetic, may want someone like isis-k to get through?
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>> i agree, chris. the loyalty question is definitely in play. also these fighters that come in from the taliban, this is not their home turf. they have been out in other parts of the country. to think they're going to be there, be able to establish security, know what's going onto know who is an isis-k member that's trying to slip into the perimeter, you just can't count on that. they have not been there. this is not like bagram air force base for the americans. >> our thoughts and prayers are with those folks on the front lines all day long today, the next day, the day after that. and are doing it knowing they lost their friends and colleagues. my thanks to all of you. right now, you watched it. the evacuation efforts continuing with four days left to get americans and allies out. should we stick to the deadline? the chair of the house armed services committee will be here to weigh in next. services committee will be here to weigh in next (vo) at t-mobile for business, unconventional thinking means we see things differently,
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there's fresh fallout this morning here at home over the terror attack in kabul. on capitol hill, house republican leader kevin mccarthy is calling on nancy pelosi to bring members back. it comes as several committees vowed to investigate our withdrawal. want to bring in congressman adam smith from washington, democratic from washington and chair of the armed services committee. thank you for being with us. good morning. congressman, you said you don't
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think the deadline will work, you also said the white house told you they have a plan in case they need to go past it. have you gotten any indication there's any wiggle room for them in this, and given what happened yesterday, do you feel confident of where we are? >> we've had a couple of briefs in the last couple of days, classified briefs and people at the pentagon that have given me a better understanding of the august 31st deadline. look, the initial reaction is you look at the number of people that need to be gotten out. you go through categories, american citizens, third party nationals, siv holders, people that want out. it is clear all of the people that want to get out of afghanistan are not going to be out by august 31st. the americans, it will be close, but we're not going to get there. what a lot of people are missing is past august 31st, the mission becomes a thousand times more difficult because the taliban have said they're going to turn on us at that point.
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we are aware of the isis threat. if the taliban do what they say they're doing, you can't have military here past august 31st, then they start attacking us, the mission becomes completely and totally untenable. if we can stay past august 31st with the taliban continuing to protect us, that's one thing. bi that option does not appear to be on the table. that's why the pentagon and the white house leaders are so intent on meeting the august 31st deadline, sorry for the long answer. >> but then what happens september 1st if we keep to the deadline, what happens as you see it happens on september 1st. >> that's where i was going. that's the second point that secretary blinken and others emphasized. we plan to continue getting people out, afghans and
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americans, even after our military presence at the airport is gone because we know no matter how long the military presence stays, we're not going to be able to get everybody out. we need to have the option of getting more people out after that. and that is going to be very dependent, sadly, tragically, on the taliban cooperation because the taliban are running the country. so the hope is after august 31st, we build the relationship, you have a functioning airport, and you're still able to get people out. that's why the august 31st deadline is so important. if the taliban on september 1st start shooting at us, start attacking crowds in the airport, how viable is the evacuation exercise at that point? >> so we heard this morning for the first time from seth moulton on television. he has done an about face. he understands now, he says we have to keep to the deadline as the president says we do, and he added this to your point. take a listen. >> we actually have to negotiate
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with the taliban. we have to keep a good relationship with them to ensure our safe withdrawal and then to ensure that we have some diplomacy with them to get people out after we go. >> so if we have to keep a good relationship with them, how complex is that, how confident are you that that can happen? >> it is incredibly complex. i actually spoke with seth yesterday while he was in transit working his way back. his insights were helpful in forming my opinion. look, it is difficult. i have been in meetings, there are members that say you can't negotiate with the taliban, they're horrible, awful people. and the second statement is absolutely true, but you have to deal with what's there. the taliban have taken over the country. we have people in the country we want to continue to help. working with the taliban makes that easier while at the same time you can't trust them, have to be aware of challenges, but you have to try to find places
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with common interests. again, two big interests here, one, getting people out that you want to get out, fwoo, containing the terrorist threat in afghanistan and south asia more broadly. the taliban are now a factor in all of that. ignoring that reality is simply ignoring the facts. >> everybody agrees it is a complex situation the next four days. you pointed out after september 1st, stakes are so tremendously high against high odds. one of the other things seth said this morning, i am sure he had the conversation with you, he was surprised by how much more complicated it was being made by number of requests coming in from members of congress. people hearing from constituents who have family members, friends looking to intervene. have there been any conversations on these calls that you have been on, conversations that you have had about what role congress can
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play now in de-escalating complexity of the situation and what your role is going forward? >> actually, you reported on this well, not just members of congress. everybody has some connection to somebody trying to get out of afghanistan. and you've seen it, played it out. there's no not like going to the dmv, getting a driver's license, it is a complicated mess. if you know somebody, close to somebody in afghanistan, trying to get out, you will pull whatever lever is available to try to get the attention of people that can let you through the gate and put you on the airplane. sometimes that's a member of congress, sometimes it is someone that worked for the state department. all those people try to go through the pentagon and state to line it up. that complexity is built in. i will say the biden white house and pentagon and state department did a good job letting people like us that get those requests know how to
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process them, go through it. you've seen the stories, how some people have gotten out, somebody that called somebody that called somebody and it worked. so no, i don't think there's an easy way to make it less complicated because if you're there, like i said, you're going to pull every lever available to you to help you find a way out. >> enormous challenges facing us, still facing the american service members on the ground. congressman adam smith, thank you for being with us. we appreciate it. coming up, president biden getting backlash from lawmakers in the u.s., but how are our allies and adversaries reacting to deadliest day for the u.s. military in more than a decade. that's next. that's next. i've lost count of how many asthma attacks i've had. but my nunormal with nucala? fewer asthma attacks. nucala is a once-monthly add-on injection for severe eosinophilic asthma. not for sudden breathing problems. allergic reactions can occur. get help right away for swelling of face, mouth, tongue, or trouble breathing. infections that can cause shingles have occurred. don't stop steroids unless told by your doctor.
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this morning,ed uk announced they'll finish evacuations in a few hours. some european allies express resolve to continue evacuations. it comes as the world reacts to yesterday's terrorist attack outside the kabul airport. you can see the headlines around the world. i want to bring in raf sanchez, our white house correspondent for pbs news hour which will be jam packed, joel reuben, good morning to you all. raf, the u.s. has the biggest
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footprint, we aren't the only country with finls in afghanistan. >> reaction is horror and display. none of the allied nations lost people in yesterday's attack, but their soldiers standing side by side with american forces in that country for 20 years now. and there's a real feeling that the joint war effort is ending in chaos and bloodshed. as you said, most of the allies finished or are finishing their civilian evacuations. the canadians, germans had their last flights yesterday, uk is going to have its flight today. the focus is shifting on getting military personnel out of the country. that has less to do with yesterday's terror attack and more to do with president biden's august 31st deadline to
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withdraw u.s. troops. the reality is none of the allies can stay on the ground once american forces have left. prime minister boris johnson yesterday condemned the attack as barbaric and the british defense secretary was on tv here in london this morning saying the evacuation effort is coming to an end after the isis-k managed to get 15,000 people out of the country. the defense secretary said brings and can be very proud of what it achieved, but he was honest with the british public because of the way the evacuation has gone ahead, there are going to be afghans that served alongside british troops in afghanistan who are going to be left behind. so there's a consensus here as in the u.s. that the war needed to end, but there's real sadness how it is ending. >> and only a few months ago, president biden was meeting with
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leaders from nato, european union, saying america is back. earlier he ignored pleas to extend the withdrawal deadline, now we have this attack. diplomatically, what's the impact? >> chris, this attack was horrific. and to your point, our allies are concerned. they're seeing a courageous president in joe biden, one trying to turn the page on two decades of american military posture in the region, in the middle east, in central asia. this is hard, very difficult transition. as we said, the populations, american people, british people, want us out of these conflicts. this is part of the diplomatic process. i think the white house is saying very clearly that we are not ending all involvement with afghanistan, we are ending military involvement with afghanistan. we are going to try to work with our allies to keep the pressure on, keep it on the taliban, keep supporting allies in afghanistan and the americans that want to
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come out and others and this is the transition process that was always delayed and not pushed by other american presidents. this is a courageous decision and clearly very difficult in this transition process. >> i want to read you an excerpt from "the washington post." the killings clearly mark a pivotal moment in the biden presidency, and an episode that is likely to be part of his legacy. biden keeps a tally of u.s. service members that died in iraq and afghanistan on a card in his breast pocket. now for the first time, that tally will include some that lost their lives on his watch. the president told reporters earlier this week history is going to record this was a logical, rational right decision to make. someone that pledged to repair with allies, what's the impact, what are you hearing from sources inside the white house, what are their concerns? >> well, let's remember that
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yesterday was quite possibly the worst day of the biden presidency, amid one of the worst weeks of the biden presidency. not only were the 13 service members and dozens of afghans killed on his watch, you have spiking cases of covid-19, and a confluence of problems for the biden presidency. the concern is that all of this undermines president biden's push to really be seen as in control of the crises, all of these crises effecting the country and the world at this point. that said, president biden has been clearest dow-jones and tripling down on the idea this needed to happen, withdrawal from afghanistan, and the august 31st deadline needed to be kept. some ways, he's signaling he is taking responsibility.
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american diplomacy means americans will say yes, the buck stops with me, as he continues to talk about his predecessor, saying this is part of this is the fact of a deal made with the taliban that the troops were ou. also this real feeling that as president biden's approval ratings fall that allies are understanding of the diplomatic issues, the domestic diplomatic issues that are leading to that and that is something else our allies look at as they look at what's going on with american democracy. one of the things the president understands the way democracy works that our systems are at play but here we have so many things that are going awry right now. when i talk to white house officials they're clear president biden from early on was saying the nightmare scenario was what was happening and u.s. troops needed to be out as soon as possible to avoid
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what happened yesterday. what we feared would happen happened and our intelligence, that information we got ahead of this, that also shows that american institutions are still working. >> in our last minute, take us inside the state department's role in this. secretary blinken said state is in contact with roughly a thousand u.s. citizens still in afghanistan, two-thirds actively trying to leave the country. i was talking about this with a congressman in our last block. what can you tell us about the utter complexity of what they're facing, just bureaucratically in these time days? zbri served during periods of war and it's all hands on deck all the different bureaus. there's centered in the operations node of the state department, managing the traffic of incoming requests, for example, and finding the people in the field in afghanistan, the questioning getting them through the system through the dot to come here and handing them off to domestic agencies, engaging with the intelligence community
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to keep people safe, constant briefings to the secretary, to call our allies, tell them what they need and what we want to do. this really is american diplomacy turbo charged right now. secretary blinken's been clear headed, he's applied and the team is working nonstop around him trying to get all the americans out, identifying them and pulling them through and keeping in touch ongoing that's a whole of agency effort. >> understanding that painfully aware that lives are at stake here. thank you so much, joel rubin for your insights. coming up, one hospital in houston so overwhelmed with covid that ambulances have nowhere to take new patients. we'll take you to texas next.
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even in early stages. early stages! yep, it's for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your provider if cologuard is right for you. count me in! me too! now the latest on the escalating threat of coronavirus. florida just broke their daily record for deaths, 901 people lost their lives yesterday. nationwide more than 2,100 people died from coronavirus. the first time we crossed more than 3,000 deat 2,000 deaths ine march. today in oregon you are required to wear a mask in most circumstances. in texas, the governor banned mask mandates, ambulances wait outside packed hospitals for hours, morgan chesky has been
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witnessing. you were going on a ride-along with houston first responders. what did you see? >> reporter: chris, it was absolutely heartbreaking, joined houston fire department and paramedics yesterday evening and rode along with one of the fire captains, one phone call after another from his ambulance drivers who told him the same thing, they'd pull up to a hospital, either forced to wait outside because there was no room on the inside or the hospital would let them in but the paramedic cannot leave the patient until that patient is given a hospital bed, and in case after case, at hospitals all across this greater metro area, they heard the same thing. there was no room to be had and they had to wait in some cases hours. hear what one driver told me, in his own words. >> it's frustrating when you get a patient, we're there to help somebody and then we get them in the back of the ambulance and think we'll get them care quickly. we get to the hospital and we're told to wait and wait and wait.
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>> reporter: hours? >> for hours. every hospital, every day, is full and backed up. there is no hospital that is open and have beds available and there's no wait. >> reporter: we spoke to one driver yesterday evening who had to get an extra bottle of oxygen for his patient who was sitting on a stretcher inside a hospital for more than two hours before finally getting a bed and they tell me their biggest fear here, chris, is that while they're waiting outside of a hospital, there could be an emergency call come in for say a heart attack, and an ambulance from across the city will have to be diverted there, taking up valuable minutes for that particular patient, while the crew that should be there is stuck out here. chris? >> they can't breathe. morgan chesky, remarkable reporting and we thank you for bringing that to us. that wraps up this hour. i'm chris jansing in for stephanie ruehl. yasmin vossoughian picks it up next as we wait for the update from the pentagon following the deadliest day for more than a
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decade for the military. keep it here on msnbc. mom: ahem ahem ahem we're out.
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