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tv   Up With David Gura  MSNBC  January 4, 2020 5:00am-6:01am PST

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we are all out of time for this hour of msnbc live. >> stay with us now for "up" with david gura. ♪ this is "up." i'm david gura. in iran this morning, mourning for qasem soleimani. we have new details on what led president trump to make the call to take out iran's top general something his predecessors decided not to do given the potential risks. as iran vows to retaliate there is growing fear of what happens next from world leaders and from members of congress, who say it is a decision leadership should have known about in advance. this morning, reaction from
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candidates trying to win the democratic nomination as president trump tries to shore up support from evangelical voters. evan mcmullen was a cia operative and independent candidate for president in 2016. now he is the executive director of stand up republic. we have our senior politics editor here at msnbc news. jeremy peters is a reporter for the "new york times" and msnbc contributor. also with us from washington the dean of the john hopkins school of advanced international studies and is now a professor there. his latest book is called "dispensable nation, american foreign policy in retreat" and msnbc correspondent cal perry. tensions running high bracing for retaliation after thursday's air strike in baghdad that killed iranian general qasem soleimani overnight president trump addressing the targeted attack. >> soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on american diplomats and military personnel, by caught him in the
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act and terminated him. we took action last night to stop a war. we did not take action to start a war. >> here in new york city the new york police department on high alert according to the city's mayor. he says currently there are no credible and specific threats. meanwhile, mourning in iran and iraq. on friday hundreds gathered outside soleimani's family home. iran loses its indispensable man is how the atlantic put it a former defense department official writing soleimani was iran's david petraeus and stan mcchrystal all rolled into one. iran's supreme leader promises, quote, harsh retaliation and severe revenge. the country's president says other free nations of the region will take revenge. the u.s. has sent an additional 3500 troops to the region. let me start with you as we see this morning in iran and iraq. how was the message from all of this reverberating around the region?
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>> reporter: certainly i don't think people in this region will understand what the u.s. president is talking about when he says this was to avoid a war. qasem soleimani has been doing this for quite sometime. i think it is hard to overstate his role in the region. he helped shape the region as we know it today. certainly true for syria and iraq and lebanon and as we talk about the proxies that iran has built up over time he was largely responsible for that. he was, of course, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of u.s. soldiers as well in iraq, which is what the defense department and the u.s. president will rely on as they try to present this to the public. they're of course doing it a bit in reverse talking about the intelligence after it happens. we've seen very few specifics on that intelligence, just that there was something under way threatening u.s. diplomats in the region. i think you can make the argument u.s. diplomats in the region are always under threat. certainly for this part of the world very difficult to understand those comments. now, we have seen today for the
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first time a little bit of diplomatic activity coming out of qatar where i am. the foreign minister is on the ground in tehran. it is very indicative of what these countries want, which is stability and prosperity and those two go hand in hand, which is why we see in the press releases those words flagged to the international community. 30 minutes from where i'm standing the u.s. has the largest air base in the middle east, housing some 10,000 personnel, who are ready to go at a moment's notice, but it puts them in a very vulnerable situation geographically and politically. behind me, the persian gulf, a place that we see one-quarter of the world's oil consumption moving through the strait of hormuz. this is the pressure point and this is what people are going to be watching. well, of course, all of that goes on and the streets of baghdad are filling with mourners and the iranians after another day of mourning will be faced with the decision of how to respond and how to respond
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proportionately. they will be under pressure to do so because not doing so, david, will make them look weak. >> let me turn to you. one wonders how much thought the administration gave to what cal is talking about there, that is what happens next as a result of this air strike. the secretary of state mike pompeo was on fox news late last night and commented a bit on that. let's listen to what he had to say. >> the risk of doing nothing was enormous. enormous in the short term in terms of the imminent attack qasem soleimani was planning but also doing nothing in this region shows weakness and emboldens iran. >> what are you going to be watching and listening for in the coming days? we've heard from the iranian ambassador to the united nations, from other high ranking officials in the government. what are you listening for as we get into a new week? >> well, i also think that iran is under tremendous amount of pressure to retaliate in some way. not doing so would mean losing face, weakness at home and in
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the region. also i think iran is very determined to do something to deter the united states. not doing something would make secretary pompeo or president trump think that assassination of leaders of countries is easy. next they might go after iranian foreign minister, iranian president, other members of the leadership. the united states has crossed a line. not in trying to eliminate an imminent threat even if we were to believe that but in taking out a sitting member of the government of another country. i think iranians want to -- they want the united states to think it is not easy and cost free to take iran in this manner. i think in many ways aside from a symbolic retaliation or deterrence by iran, iran is now determined to force the united states out of iraq. the mood in iraq supports that. there is anger on the street. it's possible to galvanize the iraqi public and politicians
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around this idea. in a way, the united states has over played its hand and has now put itself on the defensive in iraq, put itself in a position of having to justify why it carried out this assassination. those things give iran a lot of opportunities. also the trip of the foreign minister to tehran shows that america's allies are not happy with what has happened. they want iran punished but they didn't want to destablize the region, which is exactly what the united states has done. it has not helped them. >> you have the administration here seemingly searching for rationale for this. the message from secretary of state mike pompeo and the president is there was this imminent threat but the "new york times" and their outlets have reported when you look at the behavior of the regime over the last many months there wasn't a lot of behavioral change. nothing different that might have precipitated something like this. >> yeah, i mean, i think there is definitely pressure now on the white house, on the administration to tell us a little bit more about what they were seeing, what they were detecting. that clip you just played from mike pompeo, he is suggesting
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something very dire was going to happen and that many american lives would have been threatened. understandably they can't disclose everything from classified information, but they can tell us a little bit. now, mr. soleimani is dead. why hold back? why not say what he was plotting? that just doesn't seem to be something they are willing to disclose at this point. it is understandable congress would want to know that answer and the american public would as well. >> jeremy peters, what stood out to you from what the president said yesterday? there was this formally done but informally convened speech that he gave at his home in south florida that preceded the big event he did for evangelical voters in miami a little later in the day. what stood out to you about the formal address and also just the venue talking about this in that venue among evangelical voters later in the day? >> right. this is a president, remember, who was elected by a base of support that rejected foreign intervention by the united states military. a lot of his voters are people who sent their children overseas to war and watched them come back mangled or didn't have the
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luxury of having them come back at all because they died. so this is a big deal for him. it is a step in a direction that i think he's always been reluctant to take, so as beth was saying, we don't know a lot about the reasoning behind this, the intelligence that backed up this attack if, indeed, it exists and if it was different from what presidents barack obama and george w. bush were looking at when they decided, no, this is too risky. we know this was always a very risky scenario to the point where american officials went through scenarios plotting out what it would look like if we took soleimani out, how iran might retaliate. this is not -- to say this is a delicate situation is to put it mildly. >> there is a piece in the "new york times" today quoting stanley mcchrystal remembering what happened back in 2007. qasem soleimani was in eyesight and they had the opportunity to target him at that moment and decided not to. picking up on what jeremy said there the reason back then was because of the gravity and what the risks might be as a result of that.
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how worried would you be if you were serving in the middle east at this point, a representative of this u.s. government in the region? >> i'd be quite worried. i think now all americans serving in the region, whether as a part of our military or diplomatic corps or intelligence officers and other americans are simply living in the middle east as private citizens. all are at risk now. qasem soleimani was a bad actor. there is no doubt about it. he has the blood of hundreds of americans on his hands. he's wounded probably thousands of others through those who serve underneath him. he's responsible for the deaths of, i think, hundreds of thousands of syrians. this is a bad actor. but the reality also is that he is iran's -- or he was iran's top general. and to take him out is a massive, strategic move. it does represent an escalation by the united states, by our country, by this administration. it skips several steps of
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possible escalating moves to respond to what i think has been some escalation from iran over the last several months. but we've jumped ahead several steps now. i think the president has to be careful here, because as jeremy pointed out, i don't think he has the political support in the united states, not broadly and not from his base, for an ongoing, escalated military confrontation or conflict with iran. he just doesn't have that support. the iranians are savvy enough to understand that. so we've escalated without that political support and iran now is in an enviable position, knowing that the president doesn't have that support, and knowing that people broadly in the united states consider the president to have maybe escalated too far here. >> last question to you, and that is about secession. how much of this is about qasem soleimani. how much is this about what he did and who he was as a person? do things continue on course or
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in pace with the successor in place? >> yes, it will. that actually sort of undermines secretary pompeo and president trump's argument that eliminating soleimani would do away with some imminent threat that was happening. soleimani was an iconic figure, a known figure in iran and the west, but the force and revolutionary guard is a military organization. there are layers of commanders under him. if he had planned anything, those plans are already in and assassinating him does not change that. that would always be another commander to succeed him even if he died of natural causes. the next person may be far nastier and more difficult to deal with. iran's regional ambition is not going away and the united states did not eliminate any imminent threat but actually created imminent threats for itself by this act. >> thank you very much for the
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time and your reporting as well. still to come a question of legality. president trump is also facing criticism over whether his call for the air strike that killed soleimani was legal. first, iran has vowed to revenge soleimani's death. worries about what that could be and how other nations are responding, coming up next.
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it's actually as fundamentally american as anything and it is a threat to the multi racial, pluralistic, equal, and open democracy we've been fighting for in this country since people died on the battle field in a civil war. i'm david gura.
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iranian officials warning of revenge the target of killing the general, general soleimani. leaders of several countries warning of further escalation and destablization in the region. they continue to call for restraint. it is unclear how iran will retaliate. according to politico iran's response may come in the form of cyber attacks. the warnings have experts predicting iran will once more turn its army of hackers to retaliate for losing an elite commander like soleimani. here is iran's ambassador to the u.n. in an interview with nbc news. >> soleimani was not only popular in iran. he was popular in many countries. people loved the way he was dealing with terrorists in different countries. so he has his supporters and iran is not responsible for anything those supporters might
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act. so as i said, i do not know when. i do not know where. i do not know how the reaction will be taken by those who have seen an illegitimate action by the united states against qasem soleimani. >> in iran there will be three days of mourning before the country takes any further steps. gatherings across iran including soleimani's home province. we go to our guests. let me start with you and let's focus first on iran and we can move out. you have written a piece looking at moderates and reformers and how they're reacting to the death of qasem soleimani. what are they saying and how has this changed their perspective on their country, its policies, and its place in the world? >> well, it seems like this has become a rallying cry against the united states. when i say moderates or reformists we have to remember these are considered opposition factions within the political
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establishment. people have been very critical of the revolutionary guards, the internal corruption, the repression, the crackdown of the protests and any kind of dissent, but we see a very united and unifying voice coming from these various moderate and reformist factions basically calling this act an act of terrorism by the united states, calling qasem soleimani a hero, praising him. and the focus for most of these statements and messages coming is his fight against isis because isis is every iranian's nightmare. qasem soleimani has been glorified in the past almost decade in the country in the last year specifically for spearheading and leading the fight against isis. and in a way from tehran's perspective being the person who defeated it. this seemed to be the focus of what they are saying. what the moderates, people i talked to underground, are telling me this is just going to have repercussions domestically
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for internal politics. there is going to be a more mill taristic approach. this is going to pave the way for further securitizing the atmosphere and basically branding any kind of dissent or opposition as treason, as helping this foreign, very imminent external enemy in a threat and this is just going to have a very serious effect on moderates and those who were striving for a more free and open democratic iran basically in the country. >> looking at the other principal here, the united states, let me ask you about what the defense secretary said yesterday. the game has changed he told reporters and you had the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff saying, is there risk? damn right there's risk but we're mitigating and we think we're taking appropriate mitigations. what do those mitigations look like so far? >> well, they are sending more troops into the region, 3500 troops were announced in addition to the 750. you know, basically it means the entire u.s. military is on high alert. i think what is important, that clip you played at the beginning, the iranian
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ambassador, the way that he described soleimani to me, imagine if you described general millie or cia director has kl as someone who has followers in foreign countries and we, the united states, can't be responsible for what those followers do. that is basically what he said. two things to look out for. one is what the state of iran does and the other is all of these proxies who are really the trouble makers to which the united states and the trump administration decided enough is enough in defense secretary esper's words and to strike and do something about it. you have hezbollah across the region. you have iranian fueling the hueties in yemen, pmf in northern iraq, groups in syria, plus, frankly, european cities. i would not be surprised to see all sorts of hybrid responses. you mentioned the cyber article in politico. one of the things that we've heard that a lot of the cyber experts are looking out for are iranian state government attacks
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on private interests. so american defense industry, banking, other things like that. i think, you know, everyone thinks we're in for a world of hurt and in a lot of different ways and a very modern warfare type of way because of this action. it really has been a real poking of an anthill. >> let me ask you about iran's capabilities when it comes to cyber warfare. remember what happened a couple years back with the nuclear facility there and the u.s. attack on it as we've seen reported out by the "new york times" and other outlets. help us assess and gauge their capability when it comes to cyber warfare. >> well, it doesn't take much frankly for them to do a lot of damage to u.s. industry and embarrass the president potentially politically. they may decide to attack political targets. they may decide to attack, yes, companies in the defense industry. they may decide to attack companies that are outside of
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the defense industry but that have tremendous amounts of personal information of americans. they can do all kinds of things and stopping that is very difficult and so it becomes a deterrence game for the president and the question is what is the president, what is this administration going to be able, be willing to do i think with not a lot of political support in response to deter. they're trying to deter the iranians but i don't, yeah. i don't think that's going to work out that way. i think the iranians now understand that the president is viewed as responsible for escalating this and so they've got more flexibility in doing more whether it's cyber or otherwise. the president is going to continue probably to take the blame for that and have less flexibility to respond. so, you know, really, cyber is only one category of things they could do. they can attack our people. they can create a benghazi situation for the president for the united states in the middle
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east. i think they may do that. create a benghazi situation for the president. they can do things in the strait of hormuz to limit energy flows. they can do all kinds of things. they've got hezbollah in the region, yes, but also in europe. also in the united states. they have done things in the u.s. before. they can do them again. i'm talking about bombings, etcetera. they can do these things again. and the iranians, i think, have a lot to choose from, frankly. >> lastly to you, who are they going to be looking to for allied support? i saw sergei lab rov speaking out what happened here. a trip to moscow was made just last week after naval military exercises in the gulf. to whom is iran going to be looking in the coming days? >> well, the super powers iran has been relying on are basically russia and china when it comes to the trump administration's action. it seems the iranians are losing hope as far as europe's attempts
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to try to save the nuclear deal or help them go around u.s. sanctions. so russia, china, the syrians are their close allies, a series of proxies across the region and iraq also we have to remember might be a u.s. ally but is also an iran ally and frankly it has become a battleground for this proxy war between iran and the u.s. i also don't think it is only going to be a cyber attack. it has to be something that is face saving for the iranians. this was a major blow. everyone is shocked in the country to the point that some people are telling me that this is probably a mistake. it wasn't soleimani they wanted to take out. this is the level of shock the iranians are at. they didn't think this is something the u.s. would ever do. >> thank you very much. we appreciate your time as well. up next, it starts at the top. gnaw reporting on e-mails between the budget office and pentagon reporting just how
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i'm david gura. there seems to be no end to the stand-off between majority leader mcconnell and minority leader schumer over president trump's senate impeachment trial and whether we'll see more evidence and hear testimony from new witnesses. part of the new evidence could be unredacted e-mails between
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defense and budget officials obtained by kate brannon who is the editorial director of the site just security at nyu law school. full disclosure here i am kate brannon's husband. thought i should mention that. one notable e-mail quoted was from michael duffy who works for the office of management and budget to a pentagon official. it reads clear direction from potus to continue to hold the hold seemingly referring to the aid to ukraine. now the "new york times" is reporting the trump administration disclosed there were 20 e-mails between michael duffy and chief of staff mick mulvaney about the aid despite a court order omb says it will not turn over any of the 40 pages of e-mails even with redactions. jeremy peters, let me turn to you and have you tie this all together. first the redacted e-mails and then what was obtained and what your colleagues at the times have learned about. kate brannen writing for just security. what is clear it all came down to the president and what he wanted. no one else appears to have supported his position. >> exactly. this is now all going to unfold as we have this military
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conflict potentially brewing overseas. right? this is not a lot of stability. this has never been a presidency that has thrived on stability. it's always thrived on chaos. it's fed by chaos. i think that part of the problem, though, is people in their ordinary lives, the reason that trump has kind of been able to sustain himself as long as he has is the economy has been pretty good. people have felt safe because, frankly, the united states military incursions in the middle east have helped defeat and put isis on the run. if that changes, if there is some type of attack, some type of retaliatory action that iran takes, i think that puts president trump in a much more politically perilous situation than he has faced, really, at any point in his presidency. >> how does this change the conversation about impeachment you saw house speaker nancy pelosi commenting on the
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insistence of these e-mails, the minority leader chuck schumer as well continued to fight for testimony as i said, new evidence as well in the senate trial, and, yet, the logs are still jammed in all of this. there's been very little movement now that senators are back from their holiday recess. >> yeah. certainly there is a stalemate in the leadership that you describe. but keep in mind that in this -- an impeachment in the senate trial, mitch mcconnell doesn't have unilateral power over what goes on the way he does on the normal senate floor business. ordinary senators can make requests. there is going to be voting on different requests. he can't put a unilateral hold on anything. the real focus comes down to those senators, those republican senators for whom the idea that, who are running for re-election 2020 in states that are purple or edging toward blue, that they cannot sit on evidence that is emerging. that they want to see. so the susan collins of the world, martha mcsallys of the world, cory gardners of the world, senators from maine and arizona and colorado i should
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say, who can say they may not ultimately vote to remove the president from office, but they can say, i want to see the evidence. i want to see what more there is to discuss. i want some witnesses to come. they can do that and it could potentially be much more politically perilous for them not to. that is really going to be the key is whether those senators and mit romney for example who has sort of been the voice of conscience for republicans thus far whether he says he wants to see evidence. this could open up into a much different kind of procedure than sort of the kangaroo court that a lot of democrats have been worried about. >> i'm curious if you are optimistic that is going to happen and i wonder about the other part of the story and that is what is being withheld and redacted, looking at the two stories and the just security one and the e-mails and the senate republicans for integrity with the redacted e-mails, fact stuff was covered up or left out for legal reasons didn't necessarily need to be. >> yeah. it just has to be clear now to everyone that the administration is trying to protect the president, trying to protect the
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fact that the president himself put the hold on the ukraine funding and then himself pulled it back and with little explanation at least to those who were involved in executing and lifting ultimately the hold, but, you know, all of this -- the recent reporting, i think, demands, now, even more so, that we hear from the people who were talking to the president and then talking to these omb officials, telling the omb officials what to tell the dod. you're talking about mulvaney, pompeo, potentially the vice president although it is unlikely we'll hear from him. we need to hear the american people need to hear from these people and i think it is an excellent point that the politics of this are much more difficult for the senate republicans than they were even a week ago. i mean, now i think if they hold a hearing, if they hold a trial without new evidence, without witnesses that are clearly even more relevant today than they were when the president was
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actually impeached, it will be perceived by many republicans as a cover-up and i'll tell you that among these reasonable republicans in the senate, they do believe that it is possible that we will get there to have witnesses. and more work, you know, publicly, advocacy organizations like mine and others, what we need to do publicly is to continue to provide support and pressure for that to happen. even they are saying that they think it's quite possible that we'll get there. >> jeremy, lastly to you just on nancy pelosi's strategy opening up this vacuum and holding on to those articles and let happen what happens. we have had all of this reporting. now we have identified other people who might come forward to speak. seems like an indication that what she did yielded the results that she and others in leadership wanted to have happen. >> right. there's only so much she could control about this process. she could impeach the president and then she can hold on to the articles. i think it is still kind of an open question if that benefits democrats in the long run
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because trump is just going to run around the country regardless saying i have been a hundred percent exonerated. so if she holds back, he'll say, guess what? i wasn't impeached. he is already saying you already hear conservatives actually making that argument that know if they haven't transmitted the articles to the senate, impeachment hasn't actually occurred, which is of course ludicrous to most legal scholars and constitutional experts. but that's what he is going to say and that's what his followers are going to believe. still to come, president trump has reportedly bragged to friends about the air strike that killed iranian general soleimani but without consulting congress was the action legal? g? we made usaa insurance for members like kate. a former army medic, made of the flexibility to handle whatever monday has in store and tackle four things at once. so when her car got hit, she didn't worry. she simply filed a claim on her usaa app and said... i got this. usaa insurance is made the way kate needs it - easy. she can even pick her payment plan so it's easy on her budget and her life. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for.
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stop a war. we did not take action to start a war. >> president trump's first formal comments defending his controversial directive to kill a top iranian commander. this comes as his administration faces tough questions about the leelt of the air strike. they're arguing it was not an act of aggression. also because of the sensitivity they say they couldn't consult with key members of congress in advance. according to a new report from the daily beast the president reportedly bragged to friends and admirers at mara largo that he was, quote, working on a big response to iran and gaming out options for an aggressive action that could quickly materialize. your response to that. it reminded me of when the president took action in syria very early on in his administration. this was also hatched and discussed and launched from his resort in south florida. >> yeah. it really makes you wonder why he felt comfortable chatting about it with friends and allies down there but neglected to inform the gang of the eight, the members of the house and senate leadership and the intelligence committees. they are justifiably wondering
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why he was comfortable conversing with people he knows and likes and not the people who are legally bound to have this information. that is the way president trump operates. we know that now. he busts norms of all kinds. this is yet another one. the question is whether it was threatening or compromising security or classified information to have these kind of loose chats with people who really aren't part of the government. but president trump operates that way and we've come to be used to that. >> about the loose chats, there will be many members of congress who will say this was untoward and shouldn't have happened. we should have been briefed. the gang of eight. what recourse do they have and just put this as part of the larger narrative we've seen since 9/11 of how involved the u.s. congress should be in military actions like these. >> exactly. presidents not just since 9/11 but since vietnam have become less and less willing to go to congress for permission. this has been -- congress has not done its job in clarifying exactly what the president needs
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to do to ask for permission first. right? they could pass these authorizations for military force. they have not done so. there's been a debate going on for years and years. obama faced this as well. there was anger in congress over his going to congress first to tell them about what was going on or not. seeking a resolution from them first. and unless they can get the votes, get their act together to pass some type of resolution or legislation that clarifies war powers here we're just going to continue to live in this kind of vacuum. >> play a bit of tape here. a number of former officials from the obama administration, from government speaking out on what happened here in baghdad. let's play that sound if we could. >> tactically, i'm glad he's gone. strategically, however, we are pouring gasoline on a smoldering fire with no structure or strategy. >> president obama didn't choose to pursue a course of so-called maximum pressure against iran, a
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reckless strategy that left behind a deal that was working. >> so you pull out of the nuclear agreement. iran has increased provocations in the region. iran has resumed its nuclear program. you didn't have these types of rocket attacks against u.s. interests inside of iraq during the implementation of the nuclear agreement. >> both president bush and president obama looked at this situation and always had to ask, will the outcome justify the means? and in both cases the answer was no. >> wendy sherman who worked on the nuclear deal, ben rhodes adviser to president obama and ned price and i'll come to you on this. you have the administration saying we were daring where others weren't. wendy sherman talking about the obama administration and the bush administration. but the over arching theme there is, how much work went into gaming this out? the opportunity availed itself as i said earlier during the course of the last administration they elected not to do it.
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and what? we're talking about congress here. what can they say now about what happened over the last couple of days? >> well, you know, i think they made a good point in that you didn't see iran's escalatory activities that you've seen since the president pulled out of our nuclear agreement with iran, which by the way, i was critical of and thought should have been stronger but also was critical of the president's decision to leave it. you didn't see iran as aggressive while we were implementing that deal as they have been since. i think that is a really good point. i think we're now going to see the difference. we're going to see the proof either on the side of the president or on the side of the obama and the bush administrations about what the right approach with soleimani was. because now the president has killed soleimani and we're now going to see the consequences of that. i predict that we are going to see a more aggressive, more
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hostile iran that is likely to create more problems for the united states and for president trump. i think, again, the political situation is such that they hold the cards now. the president doesn't have the political support he needs to continue this. iran is now seeing i think even by many americans as sort of the victim of an unnecessary escalation by this administration. they have more flexibility to take additional actions and not bear the consequences of them. >> jeremy, last question to you here. i'll read a tweet here. you have to laugh just to keep from crying. this is vice president mike pence tweeting last night, a thread about qasem soleimani and one was he assisted in the clandestine travel to afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the september 11th terror attacks in the united states. so much wrong with that. as we look at a president who is ignorant of history, proudly, what does this tweet say to you as you have members of this administration trying to defend
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what happened? >> you know, what i heard when i talked to the administration officials and republicans on capitol hill yesterday was, look. if you weren't worried about iran yesterday you should be worried about them even more today. we always should have been worried about them. the question is whether or not the president has made that a much more dangerous situation by doing what he did. i think looking at the brightest possible side of this, what i heard from republicans, was, look, this kind of leadership, this kind of strategic genius that soleimani had comes along once in a generation. if you get rid of somebody like that who is an enemy of the united states, then that's good for 20 years. so that's the brightest possible scenario, looking forward. >> bring us full circle to what vali nasr said. thank you. tomorrow on "up" at 8:00 a.m.
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eastern time right here on msnbc. coming up a foreign policy retrospective. president trump calling him the number one terrorist anywhere in the world. there was a time when he seemed unsure of who he was. look back at then candidate trump stumbling over iran. $12.99 all you can eat now with boneless wings. only at applebee's. ♪ ♪ everything your trip needs, for everyone you love. expedia. mornings were made for better things than rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. when considering another treatment, ask about xeljanz xr, a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe
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this is "up." former undersecretary of state, there is a small but telling point in the defense te department's statement. the pentagon statement speaks of iranian revolutionary guard corps, the correct site will is islamic revolutionary guard corps. another small but telling point as a candidate, he didn't appear to know who soleimani was. >> you are familiar with general soleimani? >> yes. go ahead. give me a little. tell me. >> he runs the quds forces. >> yes, okay. right. >> do you expect the behavior -- >> i think the quds are horribly mistreated. >>, no not the kurds, the quds forces, the iranian revolutionary forces,ed bad guys. do you expect his -- >> i thought you said kurds. >> no. >> i thought you said kurds.
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because i think the kurds have been very poorly treated by us here. >> agreed. >> go ahead. >> some tape from 2015, the hugh hewitt show. the view of the kurdish forces changed dramatically since that interview from claiming they were being treated poorly by us from obama to not being angels and being betrayed by president trump. coming up in the next hour, a closer look at qasem soleimani. i i i am totally blind.
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this is "up" on a saturday. the middle east is on edge with thousands in the streets in iran and iraq, warning the tmourning commanders killed in the air strike. the denl death of soleimani has led to fears and threats of reprisal. they maintain the goal is not war. >> and while the president made very clear we don't want war that, wasn't the aim. it wasn't the goal of the strike that we took. or the strike we took in response to the death of american contractor on december 27th. it was to stop it. >> the administration has yet to outline a cohesive straty for the region or detail to congress and the american public. what they hope happens next h world leaders made it clear they
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do not want an kaes lags of tensions. the call between china's foreign minister and iran's foreign minister, china a close ally of iran, commended the u.s. saying the actions violate international -- condemn the united states and say that the actions violate international norms. the death of general soleimani could unleash chaos. revenge is not a strategy, she argues and the killing of soleimani is major and incredibly risky escalation with iran, a pivotal country of some 80 million people estranged from the united states for 40 years. she continues, it will cause more instability and the loss of more innocent lives. any chances for american diplomacy with iran are dead for the dur afgs the presume p presidency it not longer. in the meantime, the u.s. deployed 3,000 more troops to the region and beefed up security at the embassy compound in baghdad which came under attack in the days leading up to the strike.
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up with me this morning, one tom keen from bloomberg television. marie hosa is the founder of a media group. a university professor at princeton where he chairs the african-american studies and also a msnbc contributor. joining me also is arianna, a political science professor at the corporation. matt, let me start with you, we heard from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. we heard from the secretary of defense as well. what's going to happen here in the coming days. the 82nd airborne making the way to the region. your sense of what happens next here as a result of what happened on friday. >> well, you know, it's a great question. the entire life's work is about to really come back into infect for him right now. we saw that when assassinated by the u.s. and flying from lebanon
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to iraq. he was cultivating, incubating all of the different militia groups and pro iranian governments and political parties. the iranians want to lash back, when they want to have revenge against the united states whereas they said actually recently against israel itself then they can use their cats' paws in various places and that can mean hezbollah and lebanon north of israel. tha that can mean the same groups in iraq when soleimani was assassinated. that can mean other entities and political parties throughout the entire region are now going to be coming into effect and in a way they're going to be realizing the goal that soleimani had his entire life, create what he called, what the iranians call an axis of resistance. >> iranians are probably not going to want to engage the united states or israel in conventional warfare. they're probably going to want to use the militia groups
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scattered throughout the region to do an attack that won't necessarily put iranian lives in danger but will be using the proxy forces instead. >> let me turn to you and go back to that piece by barbara slavin. that line, revenge is not a strategy. from all that you heard in the times since this attack took place, any indication that it is more than that? anything more than that? >> look, the department of defense said initially this was done to present an imminent attack that was going to be a step up from what we had seen over the past few months. now a lot of conflicting reports coming out saying that may not have been the case. the big question is not whether soleimani was planning an attack. the guy was probably planning an attack before you and i had our coffee in the morning. this was his job, right? he was the commander one of the most active and most nefarious forces out there. the main question was what were
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