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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  November 20, 2015 2:00pm-3:01pm PST

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i may not show my kids that one. >> and the new york you came back to changed while you were away. >> that's right. >> a lot of automatic weapons and heavily armed people through new york and washington. >> it was very surreal to be in france and seeing that image of times square when this is my home. i think we all share that feeling. thank you for being with me. i'm kate snow. "mtp daily" starts right now. >> good evening from washington. this is "mtp daily's" continuing special coverage of the global response to the terror attacks in paris. and now tonight, a new terror attack in the african nation of mali where 23 people are dead after gunmen stormed a hotel and took as many as 170 people hostage for hours. the latest on that situation later tonight. as well as new developments in paris where the investigation
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continues. also, a look at islamo phobia in the united states, how it's playing out globally and also on the campaign trail. plus, what will it take to build a large military coalition that includes the united states and russia together to combat isis? we start with the latest in mali. major operations are over on a siege in the country's capital of bamako this morning. the attackers opened fire as they shouted allahu akbar. dozens escaped, among them, six americans, french, malian and u.s. forces were on the scene for several hours of theesqres . 19 civilians died, three attackers and one member of the mali security forces.
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al qaeda claimed responsibility, but that's not independently confirmed. a belgian leader is missing, and some fear he's dead. ayman is live in belgium with the latest. we ought to try to get in a little bit here, the unrest in mali has been taking place for quite some time. and ironically it's been the french that had been intervening. >> reporter: yeah, i mean, there's a few ways to look at this contextually. one, whether there was a message to the french government over the course of what it has been doing in mali over the past several years. france has played a very important role, and you're talking a little bit about the turbulent times that mali has gone through. it began about two, three years ago, when the country's military carried out a coup and ousted the leader of that country. shortly after that, the northern part of the country really collapsed and fell into the
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hands of islamist jihadist groups, some closely affiliated with al qaeda. others more indinge announce and not much to do with terrorism. but in the end, it was the french government that launched a series of air raids that dislodge the northern part of the country from jihadist groups and restore some to the government. so there is speculation whether this attack was carried out with a rebel group closely affiliated with al qaeda, what was the message behind it, who were they really targeting? yes, it's a western hotel, but you can see from the international attention that it's getting, from the variety of foreign nationals that were in that hotel, the message is much more than simply attacking the central government of mali. it seems to be a much wider message resonating loudly with countries that have had forces on the ground there and others. >> some people think mali's instability has something to do with libya's instability to the north. in belgium, there's an arrest in connection with paris.
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tell me more about it. >> yeah, this country still remains a centerpiece to many of the ongoing investigations to the paris attacks last week. in fact, belgian authorities here still remain on high alert. there were a series of raids in connection to the paris attacks. what i mean by that, it is based on intelligence that emerged following the paris attacks, not before the paris attacks. as a result of that intelligence, a series of raids that took place in brussels yesterday, led to one arrest. that individual who has not been named by belgian authorities has now been charged with terrorism-related activities and participating in a terrorist organization. so it will be very interesting to see what connection he has now that he is facing charges in relations to those paris attacks last week. we know that the country has several investigations open into several individuals who have either traveled to syria or who are associates of one of those individuals who carried out the attack in paris last week. but that was based on
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investigations and intelligence that emerged before last week's attack. so a pretty significant development as the authorities in belgium and across europe continue to look for the eighth individual. abdelslam is now on the run. >> ayman, thank you very much. so here we are, exactly one week since these paris attacks. this is the moving scene outside the bataclan concert hall. a piano player, with a sign declaring not afraid, sharing music with the crowds that have flocked to this impromptu memorial service since the attacks. we learned today the death toll has now risen to 130 people killed in the attacks. france's senate extended the
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state of emergency for three months, with dozens of raids happening every night. as we just heard, belgium has charged a new suspect. and there's an intense hunt continuing for another suspect. isis is putting out another new video, called paris is collapsing, showing the eiffel tower collapsing into the river. it's a scene from the movie g.i. joe. we're learning more about the attacks including the wednesday night raid that killed the ring leader, abdelhamid abaaoud. we now know that a third body was found in the rubble of that raid in saint-denis. and there are reports that this body, likely a man, is from the person who detonated the suicide bomb during the raid. that actually contrasts with previous reports that it was abaaoud's cousin, hasna aitboulahcen, who did it. and now there's assumptions that she did not initiate the suicide
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vest. we're also learning today that one of the suicide bombers has been formally identified as an individual who passed through greece and had his papers checked on october 3rd. chris jansing joins me now from paris. so, chris, hearing that news about greece and the border issue, that's only going to stoke border fears there and some border fears here. but tell me what more you know about the investigation today. >> reporter: well, i think you mentioned one of the key parts here, and that is the story of hasna aitboulahcen which summarizes how complicated a story it is when you have a raid that goes on for seven hours, chaotic and deadly. and many of the pieces of information that we got early on turned out not to be true. and the focus on her has to do with what really was her role. someone who reportedly was very secular, someone who liked to drink alcohol. there were pictures of her out there taking selfies like anybody else and taking a bubble
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bath with only a necklace on. her brother said she never read the koran. what really happened? well, those initial reports that she was one of the people brandishing a kalashnikov, who was firing at the snipers who were on nearby buildings, may not be true, and it does appear it's not true that she was the one who detonated a suicide belt. it's helpful, i think, to go back, look at this extraordinary video which happened before that explosion. take a listen. >> so there are a couple of ways to interpret this. the people who were involved in the raid and the person who led the raid, who talked to nbc news today said it was clear to them
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that she was saying help me, help me, to try to lure them in, to get the police closer, that they knew they were cornered, that they wanted to explode this suicide vest, and that obviously would take as many police as possible with them. her passport, by the way, was found in the rubble. the cousin of the mastermind, abaaoud. one more point, chuck, there was a senate homeland security hearing yesterday about jihadis, and one of the interesting facts that came out is that 1 in 7 who are called to jihad in syria now are indeed women. in the meantime, we have some new figures on these raids that have been going on, are continuing. five nights, first five nights, so not to include tonight. they have been 793 searches, 107 arrests, 90 people taken into custody, 174 arms seized. part of those, we are told, are war weapons. in one case they said it was a
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grenade launcher, weapons of war, 18 of them. 84 long arms, 68 handguns, 64 cases of narcotics. we talked before, chuck, about one of the ways that isis finances is with drugs. 164 house arrests and again, all of that continuing tonight, chuck. >> which is why they have kept up that state of emergency. chris jansing in paris, thank you very much. so, with the attack on a mali hotel today, coming just one week after the attacks in paris, is there anything that connects the timing of these terrible acts. i'm joined by laith alkhouri and also with our partners at flash point and jessica stern, co-author of "isis: state of terror." laith, anything to be read into any connection between mali and paris, other than the french connection here, since france has been so aggressive in getting involved in mali's problems? >> it appears the only connection we have so far is
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that it's happened a week after the friday attacks in paris. but i just want to also mention that there has been reports of a splinter cell defecting from the main al qaeda faction in northern mali, pledging allegiance to isis. one of the main leaders issued an audio saying, i pledge allegiance to isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi. they other group saying, we are not isis, we remain al qaeda. but if isis is behind this attack, it appears to be a continuation of targeting some french interests around the world, and not only the homeland. >> the information about the islamist threats in north africa, whether al qaeda, isis, or boko haram, how connected are they really to core isis or core al qaeda? >> look, in north africa, there
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are a number of factions that operate there. some of them are certainly pro al qaeda. some are them are certainly pro isis. but i think the bigger picture is both groups have been really competing for recognition and to reassert their power in that part of the world, especially that it goes through rest of time today. we see the case in libya, where it was majorly proal qaeda, and now we see domination from isis, and isis trying to expand in areas that have some lawlessness and less than adequate governance. so i think north mali would be an ideal spot for isis to expand, given the situation there. >> jessica, let me ask you this. we first talked, i think it was almost a week ago, last saturday when i had you on. you've written one of the definitive books in trying to understand isis and the state of terror. is isis stronger today than it was a week ago?
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>> i don't think it's really stronger. i think they did what we've been anticipating they would do for some time. isis has two goals -- well, two goals they talk about. one is to spread their caliphate throughout the region and ultimately throughout the world. and the other long-term goal, which is not exactly consistent with the first one, is to provoke us into meeting them in syria for an apocalyptic battle. in a way, the attack in paris would suggest some faction of the group is promoting the latter goal. >> well, president hollande's going to come to washington on tuesday, go to moscow the next day. that's what he's trying to do, create a coalition to do just that. so you're saying we're playing into isis hands. then what? >> well, you know, we can destroy the islamic state on the
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territorial controls. there's no doubt about that, if we have enough will, enough ground forces, we can do it very, very rapidly, i believe. the problem is, well then what? the problem is, with chaos in syria, with sunnis feeling disenfranchised and actually unsafe in iraq, it's very likely that this organization would rise again, just as it did after the surge. we beat them back in 2007, but they rose again. because we didn't take care of the underlying problem, which is the sectarian tension and subsequently the war in syria. >> laith, let me ask you about sort of the europe security issue and isis. it seems if you look at, with all the flow of fighters going back and forth, that that really is sort of the trouble spot. is there enough intelligence sharing in europe to deal with this? >> you know, this is a really good question, because what we
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saw in france was a massive intelligence failure. the ring leader, abaaoud, has not only traveled between belgium and france, but he traveled to syria, fought on behalf of isis for a pretty long timei would say well over a year. and he returned back unnoticed. then he went back again to syria after plotting several plots in europe, then returning yet again to western europe to be involved in this latest attacks. he was named already three times in terror investigations in france. and he bragged about it in isis official propaganda. >> how was this missed? what's your sense of that? >> look, i think we missed some intelligence, and the intelligence was clear. it was coming out of isis itself. his picture was everywhere in the western media and also in isis media. i don't know how we missed that. >> jessica, let me go back to you. so if isis is now trying to sort of provoke the west, they look
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at paris as a success. they've gotten, they're become now a worldwide brand, if they weren't before. do they -- is this something that we should -- they're going to keep doing this and trying to do this to provoke more? if their ultimate goal is to provoke a fight in syria and iraq, they're getting that, but do they want to provoke more countries, is that their goal? >> i think so. you know, they have an apocalyptic agenda. they are definitely filled with apocalyptic expectation, at least in their writings. but one of the main things they seem to want to do is to turn muslim against muslim. muslim against non-muslim, to divide the west, to create chaos. they're actually following a manual that suggests the creation of chaos, the management of savagery, and i think it's very likely they will continue to try to attack it in
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europe. >> well, if it's chaos they wanted to create, they've done a good job of that in the country of syria. thank you both. coming up, how heated political rhetoric is impacting this country's view of islam. and later, can the u.s., france, and russia, unite under a common military goal of stopping isis in syria? we'll look at the current strategy in the region and whether a coalition like that is possible.
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>> we've heard it dozens of times on the campaign trail, donald trump wants to build a wall on the southern border. but a new study says more traffic is crossing the border going in the other direction. according to pough, more mexican immigrants have returned to mexico than have migrated to the united states in recent years. from 2009 to 2014, there was a net loss of 140,000 mexican immigrants to the united states.
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during that period, 1 million mexicans and their families, including u.s. born children, left the united states for mexico. 870,000 mexican nationals left mexico for the united states. it cites a mexican survey that says 6 in 10 of the mexicans that left the u.s. for mexico cited family reunionification for the reverse migration. 11.7 million mexican immigrants live in the u.s., that's down from 2007. coming up, we'll have a look at the conversation on muslims in america. i know. it's so frustrating. they'd be a lot happier with the capital one venture card. and you would, too! why? it's so easy with venture. you earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. just book any flight you want then use your miles to cover the cost.
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now, that's more like it. what's in your wallet? plan well and enjoy life... ♪ or, as we say at unitedhealthcare insurance company, go long. consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company... go long. in the wake of the paris attacks, muslim organizations around the world strongly condemn the actions of the terrorists involved. thousands took to social media to declare the atrocities were not done in their name or in the name of their faith. despite that, the 2016 campaign
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trail has boiled over with rhetoric that feeds into fear-mongering over islam. >> you know, if there's a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you probably are not going to assume something good about that dog. [ inaudible question ] >> there should be a lot of systems, beyond database. >> that may be having an impact on the psyche of the american public. when polled, 56% of americans say the values of islam are at odds with the way of american life. as the last few days have centered on syrian refugees entering the country. 38% of the respondents say they strongly disapprove of the decision to increase the number of refugees coming into the united states. joining me, the co-arthur ofuth
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"who speaks for islam." why do you think the united states is having a different reaction today to muslim americans than they did after 9/11? >> i think it's a difference in leadership. we have to, whatever policy differences we might have with george w. bush, he really took a moral stance after 9/11 and made the strong case for the fact that these attacks were carried out by terrorists, by criminals, and that an entire faith group should not be blamed for them. unfortunately, what's happening today, because of an election season, we have people capitalizing on americans' fears to win votes and to push forward bad policies. >> what -- let me just have you do some of the basics. you saw there, 56% of the americans say that islam is not part of the american way of life. tell them why they're wrong.
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>> why they're wrong is because seven million americans consider islam their faith and they are law abiding citizens. they contribute to this country. they are job creators, doctors, lawyers. they are the most likely faith group in america actually to say that attacks on civilians are never justified. what's interesting is the timing of this poll. when you look over the past 14 years, you notice something very interesting. the spikes in anti-muslim sentiment among the american public do not correlate with actual terrorist attacks. now, in this case, isis is an exception. but before isis came on the scene, the boston bombing did not increase anti-muslim sentiment even by one point. even 9/11 did not increase anti-muslim sentiment. what does increase, and correlate with anti-muslim sentiment, is the run-up to the iraq war and the 2008 and 2012
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elections. so anti-muslim sentiment is a manufactured -- >> it's a political phenomenon? a campaign phenomenfephenomenon nothing else? >> it is. it's around the domestic elections and around bad decisions like the iraq war. >> so let me ask you the question that you were supposed to answer in your book, who speaks for islam, because that seems to be part of this debate. when you hear american leaders going, we need more muslim leaders to speak out against isis, to speak out against al qaeda, to speak out against these radicals who are trying to pervert your faith. >> right. the question we ask in the book, who speaks for islam, is based on the idea that a fringe minority claims to speak on islam. and that we're not -- we're ignoring the silenced majority. it's not that they aren't speaking out. it's that we're not silencing
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out. >> it was interesting you said silenced, not silent. who has silenced them? >> vocal extremists have silenced them. a media that's not interested has silenced them. but when you ask the vast majority of muslims, you find that our values are very compatib compatible, that they are at least as likely if not more likely to condemn terrorism. but step back and ask a different question, is it justified to demand that muslims condemn terrorism? is that might sound a little radical even asking that. the reason is, condoning killing of civilians is about the most monstrous thing you can do, and to be suspected of doing something so monstrous simply because of your faith, seems very unfair. now, when you look at the majority of terrorist attacks in
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the united states, according to the fbi, the majority are actually committed by white male christians. that's just the facts. when these things occur, we don't suspect other people who share their faith and ethnicity of condoning them. we assume that these things outrage them just as much as they do everyone else. we have to afford that same assumption of innocence to muslims. >> what would you say to donald trump? >> you don't understand the constitution in america and you are wrecking freedom in america. >> what would you tell him to do to understand islam? >> i don't want him to understand islam. he needs to understand the constitution. what i do expect of a presidential candidate is to conduct himself according to the basic principles of
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constitutional law. and to suggest something like registering people according to their faith is absolutely outrageous. and the rhetoric we're hearing today should alarm every american. this is not about muslims. this is not about the 1%. this is about the 100% of every american who cares about freedom and democracy in this country, because our rhetoric is a reflection of the quality of our democracy, and i think that right now, we are in a lot of trouble. >> i will have to leave it there. i appreciate you coming in. >> thank you for having me. >> nice to hear from you. later in the hour, we'll discuss the anti-islamic rhetoric on the campaign trail and the response it's receiving. and that issue of how george w. bush said one thing and the rest of these candidates have been saying something else. and just ahead, russia and france continue their military assault on isis targets in syria, separately. we'll discuss the chances of a global coalition to take on isis with former acting secretary of
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still ahead, as russia and france join in on the fight against isis, is a global coalition possible? i'll talk to les brownlee about that. but first, julia morston has the cnbc market wrap. >> hi, chuck, the dow gaini 91 points, the s&p jumping seven points and the nasdaq up 31 points. tesla's recalling 90,000 model s sedans to check their front seat belts. tyson foods is closing two plants, one in chicago and another in wisconsin. the department of transportation has outlawed hover boards in new york city due to safety concerns. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. gentlemen. you look well. what's new, flo? well, a name your price tool went missing last week. name your what, now?
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the russian military has released new footage of their overnight onslaught against isis. the russian defense ministry says these cruise missiles that were launched from the caspian sea hit their intended terrorist targets in raqqah and aleppo. and they put out this video which shows russian military members writing for paris and for ours on the bombs they dropped. russia has increased its bombings and building support. the french president has back-to-back trips next week to washington and to moscow. is this the start of a new anti-isis coalition that could include the u.s. and russia, or will the two countries continue their own strategies against isis? joining me now to discuss this
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more is les brownlee, retired army colonel and former acting secretary of the army under president george w. bush. let me start with the basic question here. france is trying to get the u.s. and russia on the same page with them. is this the right coalition to take on isis? and can the u.s. and russia work together? >> well, i think at the operational level, certainly our military forces can work together. they're done that in the past. and they've done that in some special cases even since world war ii. and those things can be worked out. our military forces will know how to do that. but keep in mind, coalitions require strategy. coalition requires leadership. and i think if there's going to be a coalition that includes russia and others, that it's going to have to be done very carefully and we're going to
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need very good leadership, and a clear strategy and clear rules of engagement and coordination. >> can you think of a coalition that the united states was involved in that it didn't lead? >> i cannot think of one. i would not want to be involved in one with our military forces that we weren't leading. i can't imagine otherwise. >> so then, i sort of take it a step further, if you can't imagine that, can you imagine russia getting involved in a coalition that they would allow the united states to lead? >> that's hard to imagine also. there may have to be some type of other arrangement here. obviously isis is such an evil, evil organization, that anybody that's dropping bombs on them, that's good. but at the same time, you have to be very careful with your involvement with russia at this time. keep in mind, they still have aggression going on in the u
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crane. i think as a first tradition that nee -- first condition, that needs to cease. >> they would also like them to stop bombing the anti-assad forces that the u.s. has been helping to train. >> sure. >> whether they'll agree to that is what secretary kerry is working on. >> that even raises a question of sharing intelligence. >> and you can't coordinate with the russians if you're not sharing intelligence. and why would you? >> i think it would be difficult to have a well knit coalition with common strategies and goals and objectives, if you can't share some intelligence. and if we start sharing where these anti-assad forces are, the next thing we know, they may be bombing them again. >> so do you think hollande's going to realize he'll run into this problem and then have no choice but to go back to nato.
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he's been trying to avoid invoking article 5, but is nato the only coalition that could lead. >> we could have a coalition consisting of nato, and other countries in the region, jordanians, egyptians, saudis, maybe some of the other gulf states, they could be involved and then there could be russian involvement and we could coordinate our actions, but they wouldn't necessarily have to be within the coalition. if i were going to do it, i would try something like that. >> stick with nato. don't try to do it as an individual country by country thing? >> i think. and there may be some with better ideas than that, but that's what i would try to do. >> all right, les brownlee, i think this will be a complicated diplomacy hollande's going to try to pull off. >> we still need a strategy and leadership. >> both of those seem to be missing right now. thank you for coming in.
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coming up, a big election tomorrow on the bayou. we'll go in depth into the louisiana governor's race and how the syrian refugee debate is playing into the final days of that campaign.  i brought in some protein  to get us moving. i'm new ensure active high protein. i help you recharge with nutritious energy and strength. i'll take that. yeeeeeah! new ensure active high protein. 16 grams of protein and 23 vitamins and minerals. ensure. take life in.
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count on being slammed this hwith orders. we're getting slammed with orders. and my customers knowing right when their packages arrive. totally slammed! introducing real-time delivery notifications. one more reason this is our season. well, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press" and it's an exclusive interview with the former secretary of defense and director of the cia under president obama. leon panetta. on the u.s. response to the terror attacks in paris and how
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we can defeat isis. and as they say, check your local listings. we'll see you sunday.
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once he hits the hole and breaks through the secondary, oh he's gone. and our linebackers and dbs dish out punishment, and never quit. ♪ you didn't expect this did you? no i didn't. the nissan altima. there's a fun side to every drive. nissan. innovation that excites. welcome back. we've all been focusing on decision 2016, but there's still work to be done on decision 2015. tomorrow's the run-off election to succeed bobby jindal as governor of louisiana. the democratic candidate is john bell edwards and he's trying to make the case about character. attacking his opponent david vitter for a 2007 prostitution scandal. he put out this ad earlier this month. >> -- or david vitter, who answered a prostitute's call minutes after he skipped a vote
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honoring 28 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our freedom. david vitter shows prostitutes over patriots. >> edwards had a sizeable poll lead earlier in the month, but vitter appears to be mounting a comeback. trying to hammer his opponent on syrian refugees. he put out a new ad monday accusing edwards of supporting president obama on accepting syrian refugees, though edwards, like vitter is against hosting refugees in louisiana. >> one of the paris isis terrorists entered france posing as a syrian refugee. now obama's sending syrian refugees to louisiana. john bell edwards has pledged to work with obama to bring syrian refugees to louisiana. >> i support the president. >> he always does. >> joining me now to unpack this unique race in louisiana, is jeremy alfred, publisher and
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editor of l.a. politics.com. jeremy, i feel like we're saying it's a unique race, but in some way, it's probably not in the top five of the craziest races in louisiana history. that said, what is happening here? is vitter making a comeback or not? >> we're seeing the overnight tracking polls starting to show that conservative voters are coming home to david vitter. it's been a gradual, slow pace, though, and it's hard to tell whether it's going to be enough to get over the hump tomorrow in saturday's election. >> what has been the biggest factor in this race? you look at kentucky that just took place a few weeks ago and the republicans successfully made president obama, made it a referendum on president obama. obviously here, john bell edwards and all the candidates in the open primary wanted to make it a referendum on vitter. so is it on vitter more so than obama? >> i think so.
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it's been all about character. david vitter has been elected since the d.c. madam controversy. i think that taught us it takes more than one sex scandal to sink a louisiana politician. but this time around, i think there's more of a personal relationship and it mattered more. we saw david vitter explain his side of the story, talked about his family, talked about his children, i think we saw him do that for a reason. but it has been about character, influence, and both are trying to convince voters of their own argument. >> what role has bobby jindal's unpopularity played in this race? >> look, two of the most unpopular officials in louisiana are bobby jindal and barack obama. david vitter saying john bell edwards is a liberal democrat.
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john bell edwards saying david vitter would be a continuation of obama's administration. >> bobby jindal, two or three ears ago, but right when he started running for president, locals bailed on him. he's bailed on baton rouge, we never see him and all this stuff. everything i heard is that david vitter had slowly taken over the party. that clearly was not the case. what happened here? >> that's definitely not the case. david vitter has honed a reputation in louisiana as being a lone wolf. this is a guy who's really overseen most of his gotb in turn-out. the state party doesn't have a role in that. the state party has always been a party that bobby jindal helped build. and i think that remains the fact today. and we're seeing that in the way
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that the republican politics are playing out in this race. >> who will be able to govern? >> i think both men would be ready to govern from day one. you got john bell edwards work n legislature, and then you've got david vitter who would have to work with the legislature that he's been running attack ads on more or less, talking about these baton rouge politicians. >> i feel like neither will have a honeymoon to govern. usually there's at least six months. will either one be able to have this honeymoon to sort of get their agenda started? >> no. in fact, look, david vitter and edwards got into the budget fight with the legislature and jindal this week, both asked the legislature to reject a deficit reduction plan by bobby jindal. and they're going to have to get into it right away. we're talking about some major deficits in the upcoming years, $1 billion or more for the next five, so there is no honeymoon period. they're going to have to find a nice scotch, settle in and just embrace the lunacy of the next four years. >> all right, going into election night, who would you rather be, edwards or vitter?
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>> well, i try not to make predictions, but the polling trends right now do favor john bill edwards with david vitter starting to see more of his conservative votes come back home. so, it's going to be an interesting night in louisiana. >> less than a field goal? >> that's what i'm thinking, it could be a one to three-point race. it could get tight. >> that's my gut, too. chairman alford, thanks for your wisdom. appreciate it. >> thank you. we have breaking news to report to you. nbc news has confirmed that a u.s. citizen was among those killed on the attack in the radisson blu hotel in mali. the state department is not releasing the name of this citizen out of respect for the family to make sure the family has been fully notified. the future belongs to the fast. and to help you accelerate, we've created a new company... one totally focused on what's next for your business. the true partnership where people,technology and ideas push everyone forward. accelerating innovation. accelerating transformation. accelerating next.
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tonight, an iowa-based conservative christian group holds the presidential family forum in des moines. it comes at a time when top candidates have struggled to stay away from controversy for their rhetoric on the islamic faith. donald trump suggested a database to register and track muslims. he later denied the idea, but not before others on the trail called the suggestion un-american. trump's database comment was slammed by republicans and democrats alike, but this sentiment has been mirrored across much of the gop field. trump opted out of tonight's event, saying he would change his mind if the organizer could guarantee his endorsement. of course, that didn't happen. for more on this, hallie jackson is covering the event live in des moines. hallie, who is going to be there, and do you think we're going to hear more of this tough talk on muslims?
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>> reporter: it's a good question, chuck, because the format here tonight is really more of what folks are calling a thanksgiving dinner, right? a roundtable. it's very informal. it's sort of a back-and-forth, a question-and-answer session, not at all like a formal debate. we're going to see seven candidates here, including ted cruz, marco rubio, carly fiorina, and a number of others as well. mike huckabee's going to be here. and remember, this is something that is going to focus more, we're told, on the heart, right, on the emotional side of these candidates, versus the policy side. this was an event where in 2012, last cycle, we saw rick santorum, for example, get very emotional, herman cain choked up a little bit. it's a format that could benefit potentially somebody like a ben carson, who would speak more emotionally, or for example, carly fiorina, who is going to be here, actually, and she, in fact, might talk a little bit about her losing her stepdaughter to drug addiction, for example. one more thing, too, we may see some fireworks between cruz and rubio. this is the first time they're going to be in such close proximity since their immigration battle last week. chuck? >> all right, hallie jackson in
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iowa for us. thanks very much. but the words, of course, we've been hearing from republican candidates are a far cry from what we heard from the last republican president when it came to the issue of islam. >> the face of terror is not the true faith of islam. that's not what islam is all about. islam is peace. these terrorists don't represent peace. they represent evil and war. >> that was six days after 9/11. we're not hearing that on the campaign trail. joining me, sarah fagan. she was a political aide and political director for former president george w. bush. she's also a cnbc contributor. sarah, hello. >> thank you. >> why aren't we hearing the same thing from republican candidates today that we heard from george w. bush six days after 9/11? >> it's unfortunately the difference between being a candidate and being a president, and you've got candidates in a highly competitive race looking
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to boost their poll numbers, and unfortunately, in this case, reaching for the lowest common denominator with many of these comments. i also do think, you know, president bush exemplified leadership, and there are a few candidates in this race that if they win the nomination, you know, they're using the right language here, but so many of our candidates in the lead are not, and that's the real challenge. >> but it's, you know, so, trump's been most egregious in this. you had ben carson with that horrendous metaphor with dogs, but you even had marco rubio using the phrase "clash of civilizations." i talked to a former colleague of yours, who was a speech writer, said that -- >> poor language. >> you can't use that language, either, that that plays into this narrative. >> well, these candidates are thinking very short-sided. they're thinking the next week poll that's going to come out, the next poll that's going to come out. they're not thinking about, you know, in november or october of the general election, when they're up against hillary clinton and they're being
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compared to her as a leader. and that's the problem in these tough and long primary fights. >> and everybody gets caught. jeb bush started talking about syrian christians, and then suddenly, you could see he then realized, i shouldn't be saying that, and he tried to walk that back. >> well, he was pointing out that christians in the middle east are under incredible attack, but he has also pointed out, and certainly his brother often pointed out that most of the victims of these terrorist attacks are, in fact, muslims, peace-loving muslims. but these candidates have to draw the distinction between law-abiding, family-loving muslims who just live their faith and those that are terrorists, and they're not doing that. >> who will step up in the party and say, hey, donald trump doesn't speak for the republican party or ben carson, what he's saying isn't speaking for the republican party, or is there no leader that can do that? >> well, i would personally love to see president bush do it. >> former president bush. >> former president george w. do it. he's the one person who could. i suspect he won't because his brother is a candidate, but i do
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think some of the governors, you know, chris christie, john kasich, governor jeb bush, they see what's going on and they -- >> they haven't been silent, but they haven't been loud. do you know what i mean by that? >> jeb was pretty forceful in his comments today and yesterday, i thought, condemning donald trump, as have others. and so, i think if you look at these governors, they see the long ball and they understand that that is not a position that a party can win on. >> all right. sara failigen, i have to leave there. thank you very much. we'll be back monday. i'll of course see you sunday because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." don't forget to check your local listings for the time in your area. chris jansing picks up our coverage right now. "msnbc live" starts with new information on the breaking news we followed all day long, the deadly attack at a hotel in mali. nbc news now confirming an american is among those killed. i'm chris jansing live in paris, and one week aft

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