tv MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi MSNBC January 3, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
that's not about iran. that's about us. that -- that's the call on us. why are we alone? the -- the europeans were begging us, don't get out of this agreement. we negotiated it. the u.n. security council voted unanimously for it because it's a worldwide understanding that this was the right thing to do. we are deliberately creating chaos. why? what can come out of that except danger for everybody in the world? >> and i will also note that the international community has not come out and -- and, so far, supported what we have done, what we did last night to qasem soleimani. >> i was just reading the statements of the european leaders who are absolutely -- they know this is their neighborhood and it's now even more destabilized. >> jeffrey sachs. jeffrey, thank you for coming in. we appreciate it. and that will wrap things up for me this hour. my friend ali velshi is back right now. hey there, ali. >> hello, friend. thank you. i'll pick it up from you right
now. it is friday, january the 3rd. we start with the warning. soon, you will witness the bodies of americans in all of the middle east. that's from the new commander of the quds force, which is a secretive unit of iran's powerful revolutionary guard, which the united states considers to be a terrorist group. the pentagon says it killed his predecessor, general qasem soleimani, in a u.s. air strike near baghdad's airport. soleimani was not only one of iran's most powerful military and political figures, he was also a key player throughout the greater middle east. overseeing iran's network of proxy groups. the u.s. is taking iran's threat to retaliate seriously. the pentagon announcing today it is deploying thousands more u.s. troops to the middle east. president trump tweeted that soleimani was plotting to kill more americans and that, quote, he should have been taken out many years ago. but democrats want to know, is there a plan for what happens next? >> my guess is that the
assassination of soleimani will lead to greater harm to u.s. personnel, u.s. citizens, and u.s. interests. the question, moving forward, is whether the administration has given any thought as to how to manage the fallout that comes from such a drastic action. >> markets are also feeling the impact of this attack. take a quick look at the big board here as we begin the final hour of trading. been having a rough day to say the least. about little more than half a percent on the dow. take a look at other major indices, though. you can see the same thing. the one thing that is higher is the price of crude oil. the attack caused crude oil prices to spike. west texas intermediate, which is the crude that we use here in the united states, has settled at $63.05 a barrel today. that is an increase of 3.1%. i want to talk about all of the angles to this. this is a serious matter. let us start at the pentagon. and that's because the first of
a deployment of about 3,500 additional u.s. troops from the army's 82nd airborne will now head to the middle east. a defense official says the total number of troops when all are deployed to the region will be just under 4,000. this comes as u.s. military officials brace for a response from tehran. joining me now is nbc news correspondent courtney kube who covers all matters relating to national security and the pentagon. courty, courtney this is becoming a source of tension on capitol hill where lawmakers are saying if we're going to do something that feels like war, we have laws that govern how that is done. and the administration has not spoken to congress about this. >> that's right. and -- and we know now there are -- officials here in the defense department who have been going over to the hill today to start talking to them about some of the details. but we don't have a lot of those details yet about exactly what they're saying. but you mentioned how this situation is rapidly evolving.
we learned just a couple of hours ago that, in fact, about 3,500 or just over 3,000 u.s. troops will actually be deploying to the region. now, this is part of the -- a response force that the 82nd airborne brigade has at all times. it's supposed to be a quick response force for any kind of situation around the world. the first battalion moved in already earlier this week after there were threats against the u.s. embassy in baghdad. but the rest of it, which was on about a 96-hour prepare to deploy order, will begin moving in over the weekend. they will be in the region to respond to a number of threats throughout the region. not just specifically inside iraq. and, ali, just moments ago, a small group of reporters had an opportunity to speak to the chairman of the joint chiefs general mark millie. it's the first time we've heard from him on the record since qasem soleimani was killed overnight in iraq. and he had some very interesting things to say. for starters, he said that -- he said there's absolutely no question in his mind that soleimani was planning an
imminent attack against u.s. forces inside the region. not just in iraq but at numerous locations in the region. he said that there's no question and, oh by the way, it may still happen. that he couldn't say specifically how far along they were in the process of the planning. and it's not outside the realm of possible that this -- these attacks could still occur. he also say that he has a high degree of certainty that, in fact, qasem soleimani is -- is not only behind many of the recent attacks against americans in iraq. but there's been this -- this coordinated campaign that has accelerated in recent days and weeks. and that soleimani was specifically behind it. he spoke extensively about soleimani's background. in fact, about his more than two decades leading the quds force, being a part of the quds force and how he has blood on his hands of hundreds of american. he also said that one of the pieces -- the things that helped them decide to move in this case was that the risk of inaction exceeded the risk of action
here, ali. >> courtney, thank you. that is going to be the question that's going to get a lot of attention. what was the risk of inaction? and what now is the risk of action? courtney kube, nbc news correspondent covering the pentagon and national security. richard engel joins us now in northern iraq. richard, you have spent a great deal of time, not just covering the iran issue but -- but understanding the tension, the ongoing tension with iran and the greater middle east and the united states. in your mind, in your analysis in the almost 24 hours since we've had this news, does this represent an escalation of note between america and iran? >> oh, it absolutely is an escalation. you know, people don't like to say that -- that -- the term historic. but we are at a historic inflexion point here. make no doubts. when the united states invaded iraq in 2003, that was a tipping
point. the power dynamic shifted squan you had a secular dictatorship under saddam hussein. that was -- that was thrown out the window. a democratic form of government -- and the shiites and with them, iran became tremendously important in iraq. and qasem soleimani was the king maker in iran because he was able to control militia forces there. he had a great deal of influence over iraqi politicians. and this was not just in iraq. he was also the king maker in syria. he was the king maker in lebanon. supporting hezbollah. maintaining the relationship between iran and all of its proxies. sometimes people in the middle east said that iran's strategy, its greater strategic goal since 2003, was to create a shia crescent in the middle east. an arc of -- of shia dominance that led right back to iran.
that shia crescent was controlled by qasem soleimani. so his brazen assassination at the baghdad airport, while he was with other shia militia leaders, now opens a number of questions. how will iran respond? and iranian officials have already said they're going to respond. the new replacement for qasem soleimani said that they will be -- be patient i think was the quote. there will be bodies of americans in the middle east. so they are -- they are promising blood for blood. but it's unclear when. it's unclear how. most likely, carried out by one of its proxies but not necessarily. iran has some capacity to act unilaterally. but it could be just threats. it could be posturing. iran could decide to -- the best approach is to serve revenge as -- as a cold dish. so we -- we will really see over
the next, i think, 24 to 48 hours. officially, this is what is supposed to happen. tomorrow, in baghdad, there is an official mourning ceremony. they're going to have the bodies. there are going to be a lot of militiamen out on the streets. the embassy will undoubtedly be under immense high security with -- with planes and helicopters flying over above to make sure that the embassy is not overrun. and you have another hostage situation like you did in 1979. that plays out tomorrow. then qasem soleimani's body is transferred back to tehran. they are supposed to have official funerals on sunday. then the mourning period is over. and the iranian supreme leader said -- or suggested -- that after that, after the mourning period, there could be some sort of action. >> let me ask you -- >> it doesn't necessarily mean that he's really laying out a schedule for what iran is actually going to do. that could be misdirection. but, officially, that is what's supposed to happen. events in baghdad tomorrow or
across iraq tomorrow. then in -- and then in iran. symbols of joy in that he was martyred but also anger against the united states. and then it's anyone's guess. >> all right. you heard courtney kube talking about the fact that the pentagon has said that the risks of inaction were outweighed by the risk of action. that might be true except we have no evidence as to what the risk of inaction looked like. we don't know. >> it's very hard to know that. >> right. >> the risk -- okay. here's -- without knowing what the risks that he was planning, right? they say that he -- he had come, reportedly, from beirut where there's a big shia presence. again, hezbollah is one of the -- iran's most powerful arrows and effective arrows in iran's quiver. so he was apparently in beirut. then came to -- to iraq. meeting with shia militia leaders. we know he was meeting with shia militia leaders because the
deputy head of the entire shia militia group was killed alongside of him in that convoy attack attacked at baghdad international airport. what were they planning to do? was it just a catch-up meeting? were they planning something imminent and violent? that's what u.s. officials say. but it's hard to know and hard to -- how can they possibly say what we did is better than what will come? because what will come is such an open-ended question. we could have iran responding very significantly. we could have iran doing nothing and keeping its powder dry for a later day. we could send iraq back into a civil war. i don't know how they could possibly make that calculation that the action that they stopped is better than what is to come when there are so many open-ended questions about what is to come. but, frankly, unless they give us more information about what they say they stopped -- >> that is what we're going to have to press for. more information. lawmakers are pressing for more information to say maybe you had a legitimate reason for doing this. but you do need to actually
share that with the public or at least with members of congress who are there to authorize war, if that is what we're doing. richard, thank you as always for your analysis. richard engel, nbc news chief foreign correspondent in irbil, iraq for us. joining us now, ali soufan, former fbi counter terrorism agent. he is author of anatomy of terror from the death of bin laden to the rise of the islamic state. also with us, kelly, former national security director for iran who is now vice president for national security and international policy at the center for american progress. welcome to both of you. ali, i've been directing people to a document written by you that they can get from the combatting terrorism center at west point. it is -- it is a detailed history really of qasem soleimani and how important and significant a player he was. in your mind, for our viewers, how big a deal is it that qasem soleimani is dead?
>> well, qasem soleimani is not only the most powerful general in iran. he is probably the most powerful general in the world. definitely, the most powerful one in the middle east. qasem soleimani single-handedly built an arc of influence that goes all the way from the gulf of oman to the borders of israel to include syria, to include yemen, to include iraq. to include hezbollah and lebanon. he is extremely loved by the revolutionary guard, by the extremists in iran. but also, he has a cult following in iran that goes beyond only the radical elements of the regime. he is considered a national hero who defended his country for eight years in the war in iraq. and then tried to be in control and exert what iran feel its influence in iraq. many iraqis also believe that qasem soleimani was essential in the fight against isis. he not only trained in and
funded the shia militia, the popular mobilization forces. but also, he was with them on the front line as, you know, he posted on social media to other places. so it is a very big deal to get rid of -- >> ali, let me just interrupt you for a second. i just want to interrupt you. the president is now addressing this. let's listen in. >> executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world. qasem soleimani. soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on american diplomats and military personnel. but we caught him in the act and terminated him. under my leadership, america's policy is unambiguous to terrorists who harm or intend to harm any american.
we will find you. we will eliminate you. we will always protect our diplomats, service members, all americans, and our allies. for years, the islamic revolutionary guard corps and its ruthless quds force, under soleimani's leadership, has targeted, injured, and murdered hundreds of american civilians and servicemen. the recent attacks on u.s. targets in iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an american and injured four american servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in baghdad were carried out at the direction of soleimani. soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion. contributing to terrorist plots as far away as new delhi and london. today, we remember and honor the victims of soleimani's many atrocities and we take comfort
in knowing that his reign of terror is over. soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the middle east for the last 20 years. what the united states did yesterday should have been done long ago. a lot of lives would've been saved. just recently, soleimani led the brutal repression of protestors in iran where more than 1,000 innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their own government. we took action last night to stop a war. we did not take action to start a war. i have deep respect for the iranian people. they are a remarkable people with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential. we do not seek regime change, however, the iranian regime's aggression in the region, including the use of proxy
fighters to destabilize its neighbors must end and it must end now. the future belongs to the people of iran. those who seek peaceful coexi coexistence. the united states has the best military, by far, anywhere in the world. we have the best intelligence in the world. if americans anywhere are threatened, we have all of those targets already fully identified. and i am ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary. and that, in particular, refers to iran. under my leadership, we have destroyed the isis territorial caliphate and recently american special operations forces killed the terrorist leader known as
al-baghdadi. the world is a safer place without these monsters. america will always pursue the interests of good people, great people, great souls. while seeking peace, harmony, and friendship with all of the nations of the world. thank you. god bless you. god bless our great military. and god bless the united states of america. thank you very much. thank you. >> president not taking questions. this is his first formal response to the killing of qasem soleimani. i want to bring ali back in, ceo of the soufan group and kelly, former national security counsel director for iran who is now the vice president for national security and international policy at the center for american progress. kelly, you -- both of you have spent time in government service. but, kelly, one thing that's very important that you would have known at the national security council that the current national security council would know is that you can't actually go in and kill
somebody on the basis of what they might do. or what they have done in the past. you've got to have some justification for the threat that they pose. the administration has stated that there was a threat and that american lives were at stake. and there's some people in congress saying we need to know what that justification is because killing qasem soleimani is a big deal. it is a big escalation in tensions between the united states and iran. and it could lead to more lives being lost. how do we handle understanding what threat he posed to americans that would have justified this action? >> yes. it's going to be very important. the kind of intelligence that the administration shares with congress now. i think it's going to have to make the case that essentially qasem soleimani was planning something on a level that's been different in the past. qasem soleimani has had plans on the shelf to attack americans across the region for quite some time. the question for the administration was were these plans being operationalized in
an imminent way that justified taking this step? and that's going to be a really tough hurdle i think to clear through the intelligence. so the administration's going to have to make that case to congress. it's also important to understand that whether or not the administration feels this is going to make us safer to make americans more safe in the region, it's clear that iran is going to respond. i think their response will unfold over time and in a very asymmetric ways. things that we don't expect. so the real question is, to go to senator murphy's earlier point is, are we safer now as a result of the president's action? >> let me ask you. ali, you have written about the capture and -- and deaths of osama bin laden and abu bakr al-baghdadi. leaders of non-state organizations that perpetuate terror. is it different with qasem soleimani? is he -- because donald trump said his reign of terror has ended. but qasem soleimani has the resources of the iranian government behind him.
he has now been replaced within hours by his deputy who's been at his side for about 20 years. so does something end because qasem soleimani is gone? >> well, iran will miss the charisma of somebody like qasem soleimani. but we don't know how, you know, what he will do and how popular he will become and what he will -- and how he will retaliate. i think his reputation is also on the line. you know, the president mentioned that we're in a safer place, in a safer world today, because of qasem soleimani's death. i don't believe so. i -- i think we changed the rules in the middle east totally. and the iranians, through what's called the access of resistance now, has to retaliate because someone who established that, is dead. and if they don't do anything about it, they will lose a lot of credibility among their people and their followers.
there are hundreds, thousands of followers that believe in the leadership of qasem soleimani. in yemen. in iraq. in syria. in lebanon. in pakistan. in afghanistan. and iran can use them to retaliate against the united states. ali, you and i spoke before about iran a lot. especially, when we did our report the iran playbook. and iran -- iran's strategy is not a conventional strategy. iran's strategy is a symmetrical strategy. and qasem soleimani built a network of proxies around the middle east that iran can use today in their retaliation against the united states. now, what is the plan? what is the strategy? what is the policy of the united states? if iran start using the houthis against our interests in yemen or hezbollah against israel or
tomorrow the popular mobilization force, if they declared resistance against the united states' occupation of iraq and force the iraqi government to legislate the -- the exit of united states troops from iraq. what do we do? what is the policy of the united states? let's go beyond the rhetoric. the rhetoric sounds good on camera. but i think we have no idea of what the policy is. and by the way, mr. president, his name is soleimani, not soleimani. >> so he had a whole new pronunciation that i hadn't heard. i love that. kelly, let me ask you something. there is a strategic matter that is going to matter to a lot of americans right now. and that is oil. the price of oil is up by 3% today. and that's american oil by the way that has nothing to do with the middle east. but iran always brings up its ability to control access to about a third of the world's oil that goes through the strait of
hormuz. at its narrowest point, it's about 21 miles wide. and iran has constantly threatened that it will attack, it'll mine the -- the waters. it may attack those ships. america, once in a while, says we will flag these as american ships so if iran attacks it, that is seen as an attack on american ships. play this out for me. is there danger to oil flow? and could a hot war start in the -- in the persian gulf? >> i think it's actually more likely that we'll see similar attacks to what we saw last year against the saudi oil fields. so less really around the strait of hormuz, although that's clearly a possibility. but i think the iranians will also try to demonstrate once again they can reach the saudi oil infrastructure and maybe oil infrastructure around the region. so i think we should expect to see something like that. it was clear they were sending a message last year around that. about their capabilities. whether they shut down the strait of hormuz, that would be a major international provocation. i suspect they will not move to
do that just because it wouldn't be in their own interests in terms of moving oil supplies. but certainly, they will try to make their -- their point known. >> thanks to both of you. kelly and ali soufan. joining me now is nbc's co-host of morning joe first look. he's reported extensively from the region. ayman, you are keeping tabs on what is developing right now. for those people expecting an immediate response or terrorist attack somewhere, that's not likely how this is going to play out with iran. >> yeah. that's the initial assessment we're getting from the region. in fact, some people kind of describing it as the three days or the three ds rather. the decision day of taking the strike. the day after, which is where we are now. and then the decade after. so the question now becomes, okay, well iran has been able to withstand this strike. they're obviously going through a period of nation mourning. we're starting to get some shene of how the regime is responding with the messaging. you've heard from the incoming new quds force commander saying that american bodies, saying to people be patient, american
bodies will be seen all across the middle east. and iran is in this to play the long game. and you get a sense, as well, from a lot of the arab diplomats i have been speaking to the in the region, they are very concerned not about what iran is going to do today or tomorrow. but how they strategically position themselves, plan to carry out some kind of response. everyone i've spoken to is saying iran will respond. >> let's just clarify this because soufan and i were just talking about this. iran has remarkable influence in a number of company -- countries around the middle east. in lebanon. in syria. in iraq. in bahrain. in yemen. there's iranian influence all over the place there. this is not -- iran's habit has not been to show up somewhere elsewhere they have no influence and try something. >> you're talking about actually iran as a state actor here but keep in mind there are other, you know, pieces of evidence or investigations that have suggested iran has been involved in attacks in argentina. they have certainly tried to do things through proxies in countries in europe. so they certainly have the
capability of doing that. the question really here is will they use their proxies? or will they respond directly under their own name? under their own flag? and i think this is what a lot of people are waiting to watch. no one can predict what they're going to do. and there's two aspects to this. one, september 14th, iran carried out the attacks according to a lot of people. and certainly, the saudi assessment, against the saudi oil facility inside saudi arabia. for a lot of people, that was a game changer because they felt that was a direct iranian attack on an arab country. for them, that showed they were willing to carry out those attacks. the other aspect of this is what the iranian foreign minister said several months ago. essentially saying america cannot have the monopoly on unpredictability. this was an unpredictable act by the united states to kill qasem soleimani. america does not have the monopoly on behaving unpredictability. and he's made it very clear that unpredictability from both sides results in chaos. and that is the position that the iranian government is now going to take, which is you've been unpredictable. we now have a right to be unpredictable in the way that we
respond, when and how we choose to do so. and i think that's why everybody in the region is bracing for this type of chaos. >> ayman, thanks very much. and of course, you're going to be on i think for the next 72 hours on tv helping us understand this a little bit better. >> i'm going to try to. i don't know if anyone can understand it but we're going to certainly try to with our coverage. i mean, i think at the end of the day, we're in unchartered territory. >> ayman is the host of morning joe, first look right here on msnbc. ali, by the way, ceo of the soufan group. kelly, former national security council for iran. okay. coming up, members of congress including house speaker nancy pelosi are questioning president trump's decision to carry out the air strike that killed iran's top general without first notifying congressional leadership or briefing them in the immediate aftermath. we're looking at the breadth of presidential power when dealing with a foreign adversary. you are watching msnbc. with a foreign adversary you are watching msnbc
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the good news? our comfort lasts all day. the bad news? so does his energy. depend® fit-flex underwear offers your best comfort and protection guaranteed. because, perfect or not, life's better when you're in it. be there with depend®. i recommend that all senators wait to review the facts and hear from the administration before passing much public judgment on this operation and its potential consequences. >> it is my view that the president does not have the authority for a war with iran. if he plans a large increase in troops and potential hostility
over a longer time, the administration will require congressional approval and the approval of the american people. >> after the pentagon confirmed that iran's top military commander, qasem soleimani, was killed in a u.s. led air strike, the debate over the lengths of president trump's executive power are back in the spotlight. joining me now from capitol hill is msnbc's garrett haake. garrett, how -- what do we know about who was briefed? who's being briefed about this operation? >> well, ali, it appears that perhaps the only member of congress who knew anything about this in advance might have been lindsey graham, who while a close ally of the president, is not someone in a leadership position that would typically be informed. he says he was told about the possibility of this strike back earlier over the holiday break when he was visiting mar-a-lago. likewise, kevin mccarthy, the top republican leader in the house, was at mar-a-lago last night as this was all going on. so he might've known about it. lawmakers are -- were otherwise
caught off guard by this. democrats, quite angry about the fact that at least the gang of eight, the top leadership in the house, senate, and intelligence committees, appear to have not been informed in advance. that being said, today, the democratic leaders of those two committees, both adam schiff and mark warner of virginia on the senate side, did get briefings. and both of them left at least somewhat satisfied to the fact that there may have been some kind of imminent threat here. now, they were careful not to describe what they learned more directly. we're going to learn a lot more about this, perhaps, when the senate comes back next week. you heard mcconnell say they're trying to get an all senators classified briefing in this case. and of course, with this president, we tend to get a lot more detail than we might otherwise just through his twitter feed. you mention this also kicks off this debate, which we seem to have for about three or four days at a time, once or twice a year around unconventional military strikes like this one. about what the limits of the president's authority is when it comes to acts of war or acts like this to target a terrorist
leader. we're still operating on old authorizations of military force here. iran is not someone we have targeted directly in the recent past. so there are a lot of moving parts here. these debates tend to die out fairly quickly. not become issues that have been really forced into the public consciousness over extended periods of time since the iraq war. perhaps, that'll be different now. remains to be seen. come monday and tuesday when the senate and the house return. >> all right. garrett, thank you. garrett haake for us on capitol hill. we'll continue to cover any developments we get from there. i want to bring in republican congressman from texas, dan crenshaw. dan is a member of the homeland security committee, also retired lieutenant commander and former navy s.e.a.l. he was deployed five times and served in both iran and afghanistan. congressman crenshaw, thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> look. you are one of a small group of people on capitol hill who understand the costs and the dangers of war. i want to get your -- your sense
of what has happened here. this attack on qasem soleimani and how -- how you're processing it. >> yeah. of course, i understand the -- i've lived it. i've deployed to iraq twice. i will say i did not join the field time so i could remain safe. i joined the field team so i could keep the american people safe. and i still view that as the role of the military. i view this as a -- as a good day for america. we -- re rwe rid ourselves of of the world's most preeminent terrorists. this organization is responsible for countless -- wa actually not countless american deaths. we can actually count them. over 600 american deaths in iraq because they exported specialized ieds to iraq. the quds forces, obviously they -- he orchestrated the recent attack on our embassy. before that, being direct rocket attacks against our base. the takedown of american drones before that. seizing oil tankers. before that, attacking saudi oil
facilities. so there's been a long escalation that has occurred. and we have to ask ourselves how long will we let that happen? when are we going to disrupt the escalation ladder that soleimani was creating? and force them to recalculate their escalation against us. >> you have interesting hats. one is the hat that you wear as a s.e.a.l. the other one is the hat that you wear as a member of congress. give me your thought on these comments that we are getting from some members of congress. and by the way, this happens with all presidents. with all members of congress. that the president did not consult with relevant committees or congressional leadership about these attacks. >> right. there's a couple things to note here. you know, i don't know the details of how we got the intelligence that soleimani was coming into baghdad international airport. but i do know just from my own experience that these things are often times sensitive targets. it's highly likely that that intelligence came in rather quickly and a decision had to be made.
we should also note the audacity of soleimani coming into baghdad after he just orchestrated an attack on the u.s. embassy in baghdad, to meet with kataib hezbollah, the shia militia they support who attacked u.s. interests. the audacity of that is interesting. as far as authorization on this -- on this specific air strike, i think it clearly falls under the war powers resolution, which does say the president can act in -- in the defense of -- of american forces abroad or simply u.s. personnel abroad. or domestically in case of emergency. and i really do think that this clearly falls into that category. considering the facts we know. and considering what we've been told by secretary pompeo that further attacks were imminent. and again, talking about the escalation ladder, we can intuit that there were other attacks coming. >> let me give you some news we have right now from the state department. now said the imminent attacks by
soleimani targeted u.s. diplomats, u.s. military personnel, and facilities that house americans in iraq, syria, lebanon, and other regions in the middle east. congressman crenshaw, i just want to push this issue a little bit with you because there may be a day when you as a republican are facing a democratic president. and we have had this sort of discussion no matter who the president is, right? the president takes the advice that they've got. they order attacks. people die. and there are consequences to them. do you think that there is an amount of time in which the administration has got to provide you, us, or at least congressional leadership with a solid justification for something that will escalate tensions between the united states and iran? >> yes. i definitely want to live in that world where there's a close working relationship between the executive branch and congress. and unfortunately, as you know, that relationship has been strained as of late. and i want to push back a little bit. i don't remember anybody wringing their hands when
president obama ordered a strike on our sovereign territory of our ally, pakistan, to kill osama bin laden. all right. >> i definitely do, congressman. i definitely do. i think there was hearty conversation, as there should have been. i think you would agree with that, right? there should always be hearty conversation, criticism, and analysis of a strike in which people are killed using american forces. >> yeah. again, i don't disagree with that. and -- and again, i just want to point out i think we were pretty unified under president obama when he made that strike. and there were consequences to that much we got kicked out of pakistan. our relationship with them were highly strained. it set off a whole bunch of other consequences. >> that's true. >> i want us to be unified on this one too because i think that's really important. and i understand the concern. we should all -- we should take those seriously. and we should -- we should -- we should ask the administration to deliver those classified briefings to both the house and the senate. i fully support that. and then i think we should be
unified in supporting what comes next. and it's not going to be easy. and as i've said before, i think there will be a tit for tat retaliation. i think it was already going to happen, as you just noted. the state department said there was intelligence saying there was going to be more attacks. and, again, i think we could intuit that that was going to happen. it was a very deliberate escalation of violence against the united states from iran that we've seen over the past year, couple years. and i think that was just going to continue. and it was time that we drew that red line and made them recalculate how they thought about attacking us. and so i think we should then -- we should now unify in how we're going to confront what comes next. >> congressman, i appreciate your time. i'm always cautious when i -- when i push back with you because of the very specific experience you have had both in congress and in the military. and often, when i talk to you, you're on tv so our viewers can see you. but if they can't see you, it is always worth remembering you have paid quite a price for deploying in our nation's
service to keep americans safe. you lost an eye because of it. but i appreciate your willingness to come on and have the very, very important conversation that has to be had when we employ force in the -- in what we say to be the nation's interest. congressman dan crenshaw of texas is a retired lieutenant commander and a former navy s.e.a.l. whose deployments have included iraq and afghanistan. coming up next, we're live in iran for a reaction to all of this. you're watching msnbc. f this you're watching msnbc. namel rep, more minerals enter deep into the enamel's surface. you have an opportunity to repair what's already been damaged-it's amazing. you hmy age-related macular dso today i made a plan with my doctor, which includes preservision...because he said a multi- vitamin alone may not be enough. and it's my vision, my morning walk.. my sunday drive, my grandson's beautiful face. only preservision areds2 contains the exact nutrient formula recommended by the national eye institute to help
observing a three-day national mourning period following the u.s. killing of its top military commander, qasem soleimani. with a promise to follow mourning with retaliation. joining me now from tehran, nbc news tehran bureau chief who has, last i talked to you you were -- you made it to tehran. ali, talk to me about this. i think it is important for americans to understand that this man is a general whose name many people didn't know. probably more influential than some of the names that we do know of people who american attacks have taken out. and getting a period of national mourning in iran. there are some people who say this man was second only to the iatola in his importance to
iran's efforts around the region. >> there's no doubt about that, ali. he was, without doubt, the second-most powerful and influential person in iran. he was extremely close to the supreme leader. he was the -- the supreme leader was very dependent on the strategies that qasem soleimani had unfolded over the years. the network of militias that he had built up in this region. that had made iran extremely strong. he was a central figure not only in iranian military but in iranian politics. and they are mourning his loss very seriously. obviously, three days of national mourning. but beyond that, this is a major blow to -- to iran. it's not to say that iran's revolutionary guard or quds force is falling apart. far from it. or their ideology or their
strategy is changing. but they've lost their main guy to put it simply. he was -- he was the guy that had really spread iran's influence in this region very powerfully. and he was also credited in this country for holding isis away from iran's borders. isis is of course an ideological enemy of iran. he was there fighting them in syria, in iraq. and he was given a lot of credit for that here in iran. so he was a central figure in iranian politics and military. and they are very upset about this. there has been some extremely tough talk over the past few hours about his loss. talk of revenge. talk of sending americans home in coffins if they don't leave this area. it's a very, very tense place. and, ali, when i was coming back from the airport this evening,
the whole city has pictures of him everywhere. with a black stripe across the photographs to symbolize somebody has died. all over the big television screens in tehran. there are pictures of him. and -- and there are two airports in tehran, as well. there's a local airport, which i wasn't at but i got sent some footage from it. students and other people who were passionate about qasem soleimani had gathered outside that airport. they were chanting slogans of death to israel, death to america. but they were saying that they are willing to go to war to volunteer for iran. to fight for the revenge of qasem soleimani's death. >> well, let's talk about that revenge. qasem soleimani's replacement, who has been with him for about 20 years, has said today, be patient and see with your eyes the remains of the corpses of the great satan usa in the
middle east. and you tweeted this. what does that mean? does that have meaning? is there anything specific about it? other than the fact that he's talking about the fact that the revenge will take place in the middle east as opposed take pla middle east as opposed to necessarily in western capitols? >> i can't be sure about this, but i've been here for so long and i know the mentality and the way they think and all of the messages that they have sent out over the years. that's basically a message saying that americans should quit the region. otherwise, the iranians will do it by force. now whether that's doable or not is an entirely different question. but that's the message that they are getting across. when they say in the middle east, that's using that network of proxies that qasem soleimani had built up who were fiercely loyal to him. they would use those forces to spark some sort of an
asymmetrical war against the united states to expel them from this region. now i'm not saying that's imminent or that's going to happen, but that's the threat that's being made right now by the new leader of the quds force. that's exactly what they have developed all of these proxies for. iran's air force and navy are not really equipped to fight the u.s.'s massive fighting machine, but an asymmetrical war is something completely different, and that's something the u.s. could get in a quagmire with iran. so that's probably what he is alluding to here. i don't know what iran's next move is. there is a lot of rumors coming out right now. there are reports that haven't been confirmed so i'm not going to go into them, but iranians are talking about attacks having taken place in iraq, possibly in
u.s. military bases. that will all unfold in the next coming hours and days. but there is going to be some sort of a reprisal from iran. how big or small that's going to be will be determined in the coming days. but if iran doesn't launch some kind of a reprisal, they will end up looking weak and that's not their strategy right now. >> ali arouzi, thank you for making it to tehran as quickly as you did. we will continue to rely on your reporting over the couple days. coming up we are looking at the economic implications that a conflict between the united states and iran could have on the global economy. my special guest is next. you are watching msnbc. e watchic it's a lifelong adventure finding all of these new connections all the time. greater details. richer stories. and now with health insights. get your dna kit at ancestry.com.
it's not at session lows but it's on the lower end of things giving up about three-quarters of a percent down to 223 points. we haven't seen a day like that for a while. all markets are lower. this is west texas intermediate. this is american crude oil. it rose over 3% to close at $63.05 a barrel. oil prices had been up nearly 5% at one point today. joining me to take a closer look at this and other economic news is my old friend, the chief economic adviser at the financial services company allianz. thank you for being here. you have published a note in bloomberg opinion talking about what has happened. the market reaction and the oil reaction to the killing of qasem soleimani. your analysis is that everything we have seen would've been predictable based on this, that the markets go down a little bit but not in a very worrisome way.
oil goes up a little bit more, not at the moment at the worrisome. so textbook reaction, ali, to what this involves, which is that the major escalation of tension between iran and the u.s. threatens oil supplies, threatens consumer and business sentiments, and therefore threatens the global economy. having said that, it's been a relatively muted reaction in markets. and the reason is simple. investors have been conditioned to buy the dip. investors have been conditioned to expect no escalation in the initial geopolitical shock. if there is an escalation, to wait for the central banks for the fed to flood the system with liquidity. so we've had a selloff but nothing of massive magnitude. >> in fact, when you go back to 9/11 which people thought was about the worst type of event risk you could see, you saw the recovery market dips on that
within about a month. people had just been conditioned to the idea that their investments are not at risk from events like this, they are at risk from economic cycles, if anything. >> that's absolutely right. what has changed since then is that you get the recovery much more quickly. and that's because the investor has been conditioned to expect it. so whether they do that front run it. so it's been accelerated in the last few years. so you no longer wait for a month for the reaction, you wait for days. >> i want to ask you about income inequality, you've written about for some years. there is something called the genie index which represents wealth distribution across the population, zero in a country would mean total ininequality. one is representing entire inequality where all wealth is concentrated in a single household. when the census bureau began studying income inequality in 1967 the index was .397. in 2018 it's .485.
notably in europe we don't have anybody above .38. but income inequality is growing. this is now starting to become the kwhik intractable problem of our time. >> oh, it's huge. and it's not just income and wealth inequality. it's the trifecta. it's income inequality, wealth inequality. people get angry and they become single-issue voters. in economics the more unequal a society, the less economically robust it is. why? because it discourages -- the rich spend less portions of the income than the poor. so it has massive social, political, and economic consequences. and it is, like you say, a major issue that is going to affect not just this generation but also the next one. >> then let's you and i make a
commitment to discussing it more in 2020 because it is going to be the issue that people are going to make some of their voting decisions on and certainly the decisions about their life. it is great to see you again. he is the chief economic adviser at allianz. that wraps up this show for me. i'll so you at 10:00 p.m. eastern. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace begins right now. ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in washington, d.c. where the nation's capitol has overnight been placed on a warfooting. donald trump last night ordering an attack on the second most powerful person in the iranian government, general qasem soleimani. soleimani who headed iran's global militia known as the quds force had the blood of hundreds of american soldiers on his hands. soleimani response for the iranian-backed militia ins iraq and their use of deadly ieds that killed and injured hundreds of american soldiers. it's a day