tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 4, 2020 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
fallout from the killing of general soleimani, congress will take up where they left off. also on monday we'll be just four weeks away from the iowa caucuses. chris will have the very latest on the campaign. that is "hardball" for now. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> we took action last night to stop a war. >> massive contradictions from the white house. >> we did not take action to start a war. >> as more american forces head to iraq. >> americans in the region are much safer today. >> tonight the fallout from the strike to kill iran's top general, reaction from the region and the dangers of escalation. and "the new yorker's" dexter fillkens how the death of qassem soleimani is a turning point for the middle east. plus the impeachment of donald trump. >> we did nothing wrong. >> what looks like even more new evidence and how chuck and nancy are trying to keep up the
pressure on mitch mcconnell. >> will we conduct a fair trial that examines all the facts or not? >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. more american air strikes in iraq today, and we are suddenly an at extremely perilous moment. following one reckless act by the american president, and here's where things currently stand. president trump who has been stewing and vacationing at his personal club in florida awaiting an impeachment trial for abusing his office by attempting to extort a foreign country to meddle in our next election ordered from that private club in florida a deadly military strike in iraq yesterday, executing an act of war against iran without congressional approval. nbc news has confirmed last night the united states killed iran's most powerful general, qassem soleimani, in a drone strike at the baghdad airport. soleimani was the commander of iran's secretive quds force, an elite unit of the revolutionary guard widely believed to
support many violent groups throughout the region. in addition to running this force soleimani ran forces in iraq, lebanon, syria making him arguably the most powerful man in the middle east. the strike that killed qassem soleimani has precipitated a sudden and rather enormous escalation in tensions between the u.s. and iran and the middle east as a whole. tonight we have news of yet another escalation by the u.s. nbc news reports there's been yet another u.s. air strike north of baghdad targeting more shiite militia leaders, that one killing six people. it's worth walking through the events that led us up to this moment. last night's strike came on the heels of pro-iranian protesters storming the u.s. embassy in baghdad doing significant damage to parts of the compound but thankfully resulting in no injuries or fatalities. the protests were in response to a u.s. air strike that killed at least 25 members of an iran backed shiite militia group in iraq and wounded dozens. that in turn, a retaliation by the u.s. for a series of rocket attacks against coalition bases
that killed a u.s. contractor and injured four u.s. service members. all of this in the context of the trump administration's most recent chain of events in an ongoing campaign to confront iran. donald trump campaigned explicitly of getting out of the iran nuclear deal, a deal the trump administration knew was working, a deal that his own administration certified in writing that iran was in compliance with. and then in 2018 donald trump pulled out of the deal and set the u.s. on a path of confrontation with iran. last night after the trump administration unilaterally killed one of the most powerful men in the middle east, a senior government official with a drone strike in a sovereign nation everyone who follows the region closely said what was plainly true, this is massive escalation. this attack was something that could have been done before and was not precisely because of the ramifications of what would come after. today president trump came out to speak not from the white house but from his personal resort in florida implausibly saying the attack was a
de-escalation. the pentagon said the same thing. i'm sorry but no one can honestly believe that. here's some of the responses we've heard so far. iran's supreme leader ayatollah khamenei says a harsh retaliation is waiting for the criminals who spilled the felt think blood. the u.s. state department has warned u.s. citizens to depart iraq immediately out of concern for their safety. the iraqi government said the attack is a violation of iraqi sovereignty. back in the u.s. republicans are doing a lot of chest thumping while at the same time both democratic and republican members of congress say they were not briefed in advance of the strike. now, the trump administration say they have intelligence that qassem soleimani was plotting imminent attacks on american diplomats and military personnel, and if that's the case they should show that intelligence to us. they should show that intelligence to members of congress. trump's acting head of homeland security said there are no current specific credible threats against the homeland and "the new york times" states
officials including secretary of state mike pompeo repeatedly said on friday the new attacks under general soleimani's leadership were imminent but one defense department official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning said there was nothing new in the threat presented by the iranian general. importantly, this is also in the context of the administration and a president that has been documented ad nauseam every day to lie about everything all the time, even the stupidest most trivial things. it was not even a month ago the president was impeached for abusing the powers of his office and trying to cover it up. there's absolutely no reason for anyone in the u.s. to credit anything the president or his administration says about matters of life and death and war and peace until it is demonstrably verified. full stop. it's a rule for everyone on this and everything else. joining me now, democratic congressman ro khana. he and bernie sanders introduced
ledge station to block funding to iran. congressman, your response to the latest news of another air strike north of baghdad another militia leader apparently targeted on the heels of last night's strike. >> well, we need to understand that just killing bad guys isn't making us any safer. i mean, if that were the case, afghanistan and iraq would be like switzerland. we've been trying this policy. it has not worked. and the question is when are we going to realize this is actually putting americans at more risk, creating more terrorism and increasing the cycle of violence? and as you pointed out it has no constitutional basis. >> had there been briefings to congress what the intelligence was or the rationale was you'd been a party to or your colleagues had been a party to? >> there has not been yet. there are supposed to be on the armed services committee. apparently we are going to be briefed tomorrow or early next week. the point, though, is there is simply no rationale that one can discern from the public facts.
i mean it's not like killing soleimani is going to stop the militias that would actually be undertaking any of the attacks. and if he really was plotting something, why not arrest him? we had intelligence that he was going to be at the airport. why not seize him and ask him about the attacks? there simply is no justification for a strike against him without any congressional approval. >> is it your view that this was lawful or unlawful? >> unlawful. it's clearly unlawful. i mean, you've got one of the most powerful generals of iran, a sovereign state, and we're basically going and taking him out with no consultation from congress, no approval from congress. there's -- the administration hasn't even given us a clear reason for what the authorization of force would be. i heard someone was saying it's the 2002 aumf. >> that's right. >> i mean, that's absurd. it's about as smart as the war in iraq was. i guess that's the only parallel.
but how you can say congress' approval to get saddam hussein is now approval to go get a top general in iran makes no logical sense. >> an iranian general. he was in iraq, yes and national security citing that it is different from the one in iraq. it brings me to the question what should congress be doing now to constrain escalation further from the president? >> senator sanders and i have introduced a bill that would cut off any funding for any offensive action against iran or iranian officials. it's important to note, chris, that this bill was in the national defense authorization. senator sanders and i supported it. it passed the house. the majority of the senate was for it. it was stripped in the conference committee and both senator sanders and i said at the time, we can't do that we're giving the president ray blank check. that was a mistake, we need to correct that mistake and assert very clearhy that congress is simply not going to fund a war against iran.
>> what is the next step then for congress when you reconvene? >> i think we take up this legislation in the house that says there will be no funding for the president to conduct offensive action against iran or iranian officials. and we should realize congress is not a bystander here. we have the power of the purse. the question is are we willing to use it? we could in the appropriations process say very clearly we're not going to give funds for this kind of action. the challenge is that there are people who get scared. they say we don't want to be seen weak on national security and so congress has punted traditionally to the executive branch. it's time for congress to act with the
powers the founders gave us. >> all right, congressman ro khanna. joining me now is democratic congressman max rose of new york, a member of the house committee on homeland security, and for his service he received a bronze star and purple heart.
3,500 more u.s. service members, a bunch of them shipping out of ft. bragg i think today. where do you see this going? >> first of all, let me say this about the death of qassim soleimani. no one should mourn his death. i think about the people who i served with, some of whom were injured by ieds that under his direction were placed in iraq. so when we talk about the justification for this killing, well, i can think of 600 justifications for the killings. there were 600 soldiers qassem soleimani killed in iraq, but that's not the question. not whether this was justified or not, it's whether this was a wise decision or not. and from that question flows two points. one is where is this intelligence? this intelligence of an
imminent threat, where is it? we have got to see it. of course, america has the right to self-defense and the president as commander in chief has the right to execute that self-defense. but we need to see it and congress should have been consulted.
and, secondly, if your intent is to de-escalate, then a counterattack is inevitable, and it will be on a soft target. it will be somewhere that we cannot expect. it can be a cyberattack, an attack on an embassy, right there where we know the quds force and hezbollah have agents. what is our plan? we have to have a strategic plan when we execute something as significant as this. and that is what congress is deserve of to see, and we will not stop until we can get an acknowledgement of that. >> what does that mean, though, in real sense? right, like what congressman khanna here said strikes me as accurate. never going on record for a vote, and then you can put out statements. if you're serious about constraining the president, like the democrats control the house. >> of course. so i'll give you a few things. one, '01 amof and '0 amof need
to be replaced so they fit a context. secondly we have to firmly state that if you want to wage war on iran, that requires a new declaration of war. 01, 02 amof do not apply to that. >> i've seen folks make the rationale we were in iraq in the invitation of that sovereign government, there's a right of self-defense, if there was a plan of an imminent attack, we have a right to strike them there. okay, i'm not going to question that either way, but is it not the case that assassinating, killing, air striking a senior government official in the iranian government, a government we don't have diplomatic relations with and have a very tense relationship with is an act of war? ipso pack to -- facto, right? >> it depends how you look at qassem soleimani. i don't think that does his role justice in terms of what he has done over the last 20 years as he's led power military and
terror organizations throughout the region. so there is an expansive authority for self-defense if you are considering what these shia militias were doing in iraq. but consider this, we cannot forget about isis in this context. it was not too long ago we were coordinating or at least implicitly partnering with shia militias. >> the same ones we are targeting right now. >> exactly, so throughout the 21st rent in iraq and in the larger region, the pathway to stability has not been solely through military action. it's been through politics and negotiation. we put the sons of iraq on our payroll, a sunni militia. we've got to realize if we want long-term stability in the region, yes, we've got to have a military footprint, but it comes through diplomacy and american leadership. >> speaking of the military footprint, i mean, at this moment that military footprint is in jeopardy. the iraqi parliament -- the iraqi prime minister and president have both condemned the air strikes, yet another
one north of baghdad tonight, yet another militia leader. there is good reason to believe there will be a vote essentially to boot out american military presence in iraq. >> and we've seen that before. after this decision this is donald trump's middle east. this is decision of incredible consequence. i believe that as a member of congress we do have to be respectful of the fact they claim they have intelligence, although every day we go without seeing it, i grow suspicious. but with that being said this will only get more complicated, and we need to have a plan for de-escalation, not a plan for he ka nation. escalation. >> final question, is what the u.s. done in the last two days, escalation or de-escalation? >> well, it depends because this was not the first step of escalation. there were a series of steps of escalation previous to this executed by both soleimani as well as larger forces at hand. the deeper question, though, is what happens tomorrow because there are certain things as i've
said that are inevitable whether it's an attack on an embassy, a cyberattack, an attack on a jewish community in eastern europe or attack on a soft target here in america, that will be the fork in the road. and that is the question of whether we wage war or not. >> okay, congressman, thank you very much. >> thank you for having me. up next to understand the massive implications you need to understand who qassem soleimani was. the expansive role he played in the middle east. i'll talk to a journalist who spent a lot of work piecing together those details in two minutes. saturdays happen. pain happens. aleve it. aleve is proven stronger and longer on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it. all day strong. when you take align, you have the support of a probiotic and the gastroenterologists who developed it. align helps to soothe your occasional digestive upsets, 24/7 with a strain of bacteria you can't get anywhere else. you could say align puts the pro in probiotic.
what are you doing back there, junior? since we're obviously lost, i'm rescheduling my xfinity customer service appointment. ah, relax. i got this. which gps are you using anyway? a little something called instinct. been using it for years. yeah, that's what i'm afraid of. he knows exactly where we're going. my whole body is a compass. oh boy... the my account app makes today's xfinity customer service simple, easy, awesome. not my thing. back in 2013, dexter filkin wrote a profile. iran's qassem soleimani who we learned yesterday had been killed by an american drone strike in iraq. in the profile he traced the massive role soleimani played in shaping the middle east for decades. and in the six years since that profile came out
auj pobl and importance in the region had only grown larger. his rise was aided the disputably by the u.s. invasion of iraq which weakened iran's biggest enemy and counter balance. the invasion helped soleimani to consolidate control and his home base in iran was soleimani was head of the elite branch of the revolution guard on the quds force to iraq where he directed iranian-backed militias and imported bombs responsible for the deaths of hundreds of americans. he also had a huge say in who will become the new iraqi government. in syria he was largely responsible for the survival of brutal strong man bashar al assad providing troops and supplies that helped him back a civil war and rebellion. in lebanon he helped develop and prop up the militant group hezbollah and in yemen in the devastating civil war which has been first and foremost ruthlessly pursued and prosecuted by saudi arabia, soleimani helped prop up the houthi rebels as part of a proxy war
against the saudis. the person overseeing this whole project of extending the iranian force is qassem soleimani and now the united states has killed him. no one is entirely sure what comes next. i'm joined by dexter whose new piece is about the posed dangers of killing him. what was the quds force and the role soleimani played? >> it was huge. most important in the middle east by far. it all goes back to the end of the iranian iraq war. a long time ago. a million people dead in that war. >> a complete and total -- >> total bloodbath and they had been invaded by iraq. and at the end of that war it basically ended as a stalemate and the iranians said we're not going to let that happen again and that's where soleimani comes in and essentially over the last
30 years created what you described which is this sphere of influence that reaches from tehran all the way through the mediterranean through syria, into lebanon, iraq, hezbollah, assad, the militias, everything you talked about. that's soleimani's vision. >> and the huge thing that changes is the iraq war. i mean the fall of the saddam hussein regime and the new regime that comes after is part of the first domino of him coalescing this kind of regional hegemony. >> the american invasion. yeah, well, it basically was a big opportunity for him. and so when the americans went in basically, they empowered the shiite majority. and soleimani stepped in and empowered, created, directed, armed, trained these shiite militias. which we're now hearing so much about. but during the american war, they killed hundreds of americans. i mean, and that was soleimani like pulling the levers, and there was a particular thing called an efp, explosively
formed penetrator, really highly lethal ied that killed so many -- wreaked havoc on the americans because it could penetrate armor, and those were made in iranian factories by the hundreds. >> let's talk a little bit about the militias because he was traveling with a militia leader who was killed, another shia militia leader was apparently struck in this air strike. what are those militias? what role do they play in the iraqi state? >> well, it's weird because that role has changed. these guys were our enemies, i mean the guy who was killed last night was a sworn enemy of the united states. and then when isis took over a large part of iraq, they became our friends because they're shia, they wanted to fight the sunnis and bewaively we kind of coordinated with them. >> we have this alliance tacitly with us and soleimani too is also leading part of the fight against isis. >> yep.
i think it was described to me as a cooperation without coordination, so it was a very thin difference there. but then when isis was defeated, then you have all these shiite militias which are left over, heavily armed and still acting at iran's direction. so they became players in the iraqi state. they could basically act as political parties with guns, and that's basically what they were doing. and so -- but once isis was defeated they turned back on us and we turned on them, and that's kind of where we are today. >> what do you see happening now? >> oh, man, you know, it's hard to look into the crystal ball but -- >> what are the consequences here? >> well, the iranians have to respond. they have to respond. i mean this is one of the most powerful people in the country, and he's responsible essentially for their foreign policy and for basically defending the revolution as they see it.
and so they've got to respond. i think it was a credible blow to them, i mean a real body blow to the iranian regime. so it's going to be difficult for them. a person who would respond is gone. it's not clear who's going to step in, but soleimani was a really extraordinary character. he was highly intelligent, a great battlefield commander, something of a cowboy but at the same time he could walk in a room and talk to diplomats and talk to politicians. super sophisticated, highly intelligent, so he could kind of do it all. and it's not clear they have anybody like that, so they're going to hurt for a while. but they will respond and probably do it in a place that we haven't thought about it. i don't think they're going to do it iraq. why would they do it in iran? they'll do it somewhere else. they can strike practically anywhere in the world, and they've shown that in the past, thailand, nigeria, latin america. they can do it all over the place. >> dexter fil. kins, thank you so much for. >> thank you. still ahead some pretty interesting impeachment
developments today including a dustup on the senate floor. potential new evidence as well. and coming up president trump's decision to do what two other administrations deemed too risky because of the potential fallout. what happens now after this. liberty biberty- cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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pompeo was insisting today that the world is a much safer place today now that the top general qassim soleimani is dead. and literally as he went on tv making that case the state department was telling americans to get out of iraq. quote, due to heightened tensions in iraq and the region the u.s. embassy urges u.s. citizens to heed the january 2020 advisory and depart iraq immediately. the stated goal of the attack that took out soleimani was deterrence. you can read it in the pentagon statement released, quote, the strike was aimed at deterring future iranian attack plans. today "the washington post" columnist josh roggin points out half that the strike on soleimani was not restoring deterrence. strike was not as almost everyone expects it will, then the strike by its very definition as failed according to the trump administration. and the world is not a safer place. in fact as many noted today including congressman
alyssa slot kin who notably worked as a shia military analyst in the cia before coming to congress, quote, what always kept both democratic and republican presidents from targeting soleimani himself was a simple question. was the strike worth the likely retaliation and the potential pull into protracted conflict. in other words, would the cost outweigh the benefits, and they never did until now a famously reckless individual, a president of the united states. joining me now to talk about this ambassador wendy sherman former undersecretary of state for political affairs. she was the lead u.s. negotiator for the 2015 iranian nuclear deal and ryan crocker, the u.s. ambassador to iraq from 2007 to 2009 and who during his time in iraq had to deal with intermediaries to qassem soleimani. ambassador crocker, let me start with you. how do you anticipate this cost benefit analysis shaping up and the cascading effects from the strike? >> this is another turn in what really is a very long war. when i was out in iraq as
ambassador during that period, '07, '09 as you've heard from others in the show, soleimani was basically directing attacks against our troopers, using some very sophisticated weapons. and he killed a lot of our soldiers, hundreds of them. so is this a declaration of war? hardly. it's simply another step in a long war. and i don't think we can do the calculus just yet. this is by no means the last move. i expect the iranians will do something. and then it'll be back to us. so what i worry about here is not the immediate consequences of soleimani's killing. and i've got to tell you from my perspective if anyone ever needed to be killed, it was him. it's the consequences. what's next? is there a forward strategy by the administration? do they have an iran team set up and ready to go? you know, based on what we've
seen of administration actions in other areas, i'm skeptical, and we're going to be in for a long haul. >> ambassador sherman, to take a step back here, i mean when we're talking about the sort of ambassador crocker said one more move in a long war, there was a real change in the u.s. and iran relationship under the obama administration. there had been no diplomatic relations. obviously there still are none after the famous embassy kidnapping and hostage situation. you were part of a team that put together the nuclear deal. when you look at the decision to exit that deal and what has resulted from that decision, how do you see that? >> well, i see it as terribly awful for the national security of the united states and the safety and security of americans all over the world. and i think we're seeing that today. as ambassador crocker said, we're about to have the next sequence of events unfold, and
it's an escalatory cycle that is not leading in a good direction. i kind of agree qassem soleimani was a horrible, horrible person who did real damage to america, to the stability of the middle east. that said, president bush, president obama did not take actions to take him out because they understood what the consequences were, and one has to make that calculus. the joint comprehensive action, the nuclear deal got started when president barack obama in his address said i will reach out my hand if you unclench your fist because he knew as bad as iran was if it had a nuclear weapon it would be able to deter our actions in the middle east to protect and work with our partners and allies. >> on that point, ambassador crocker, in sort of a broader sense of international relations right now, isn't the lesson here for anyone that they better get a nuclear weapon when they look at how the u.s. has reacted to north korea versus what's happened in libya and iran,
libya famously giving up its nuclear program, iran voluntarily entering into this joint deal. now after an exit from that deal, the u.s. has asass itted, killed their highest commander, and the president of the united states talks about the love letters he gets from kim jong-un and how wonderful he is. >> this is an administration to put it mildly that is hardly consistent, and that's part of the problem. let me say this about the nuclear agreement as a professional diplomat for many years. i think that was an outstanding achievement and ambassador sherman was absolutely key to its success. it did make the world a safer place, and i think the trump administration made a major mistake in repudiating it. in terms of the message it sends to wanna-be or almost are nuclear powers i think is again complex. we don't seem to have a strategy in north korea, and we're kind of seeing that play out.
in the case of iran, i'm reminded of something that the late yitzhak rabin, prime minister of israel said also that we will negotiate peace with the palestinians as though there were no terror and we will fight terror as though there were no negotiations. and the one fault i would find with the obama administration's iran policy is that for the sake of the negotiations and the agreement, they didn't really challenge what the iranians were doing elsewhere in iraq and syria and, of course, in yemen. that i think too is a mistake. so in terms of taking soleimani off the field as dexter filkins said earlier, it's going to have an actual impact. there's no question. i think that's a basic good. what i want to see is has this
administration got a plan, because it's going to take a plan. there are going to be a number of moves ahead we're going to have to be ready for and prepared to counter. >> ambassador sherman, i have heard critiques about having a plan for the entirety of my adult life. i was 21 years old when september 11th happened, 22 years old, and for 19 years, the longest period in this entire republic's history we have been at war, and i've heard endless critiques of a lack of plan, there was no plan after iraq. and what we have had is unfathomable amounts of war and bloodshed and the loss of american service members life and hundreds of thousands of civilians in the middle east dead and trillions of dollars spent and the same conversation over and over and over again about which new military action is going to put us in a better direction. >> i quite agree with you, chris. i have enormous admiration for ambassador crocker who has served us for so many years.
he's one of those extraordinary foreign service officers who has really kept us safe in so many places in the world, and he's right that we have to look at the entire landscape when we deal with these very difficult issues. but i think he would also agree there's no doubt that president obama's efforts to have a nuclear deal so that we could then focus -- maybe we should have focused sooner in ambassador crocker's view in different ways on the other nefarious actions of iran. but we still had a lot of tools in our toolbox to do that, and we were trying to do exactly what you're asking for, which is war no more. to have a channel with iran so that when things came up that might escalate out of control, we had a channel of communication. that doesn't exist anymore. >> that channel is gone. wendy sherman, ryan crocker, thank you both for sharing your expertise tonight. i truly, truly appreciate it. coming up, iran is vowing harsh retaliation while iraq calls the air strike a dangerous
the famous meat lover's pizza from pizza hut. over a pound of meat and cheese for just 10 bucks. it's more pepperoni for your penny, more beef for your buck, more... you get the idea. get yours delivered now at pizza hut.com. no one out pizzas the hut the iranian government tonight is vowing revenge in the wake of that air strike ha killed qassim soleimani. they named a new commander to take charge of the quds force, the military unit soleimani led until yesterday. the supreme leader of iran met with soleimani's family and called for three days of public mourning promising harsh retaliation and now everyone is waiting to see the calculation of the iranians'
response expecting that there will be a response. meanwhile the iraqi parliament plans to hold an emergency session this weekend to address the attack, an official iraqi attack tweeting in english, quote, carrying out operations so assassinate an iraqi sovereignty is a dangerous escalation. here with me now to talk about what happens next back from an interview with the ambassador to the u.n. let me start with you because you were just in that interview with the iranian ambassador to the u.n. what is the official posture of the iranian government right now? >> i think the official posture is that iran will retaliate and that this is an act of war, and as an act of war, iran reserves the right to retaliate at a time of their own choosing.
so that's the official posture. there will be a retaliation, and he won't get into what kind of retaliation or where or how, but there's no question there will be retaliation of probably a military sort. >> well, that's a -- there's a real sort of -- there's discussions now about how their perspective on this is in that these are also rational actors with a bunch of calculations to make and also i think fair to say do not want an escalatory cycle thal spins out of control. is that fair to say? >> i would say that's very fair to say. >> and so there's some thinking there what that would mean in response. >> when i say military response the iranians look at this as you took out one of our top military officials, we reserve the right to react violently to that action. when i say violently rather than like, you know, pulling out of the nuclear deal. increasing enrichment to 20%.
>> right, a military response. >> it doesn't mean their military is going to go to war with the u.s. military whether in iraq or anywhere else in the middle east, but it means there will be a violent response. >> i thought of you, zainad, today because we've talked throughout the years and talked about iraq. and the context for this moment is there's been these incredible protests in iraq, this sort of amazing uprising against corruption and iranian and american domination and the sort of pro-national sovereignty for iraq. and what does what happened last night mean for iraqi civil society? >> well, there are three kind of responses in iraqi's streets today. there are those who are angry, those who are happy and those who are worried. those who are angry are backed by iranian militias or supported by iranian government, militias in iraq that are very strong, helped liberate iraq from isis. so, you know, they are strong
and a good chunk of iraqis. but the ones who are happy are worried and are the two kind of iraqis who have actually been dominating the streets of iraq in the last few months and the most amazing secular, liberal, national revolution led by the youth. people were courageously going out in the streets. saying no more sunni/shia. no more christians and muslim. we are one country calling out all the corruption of religious leaders and government officials saying we want a new election law. we do not want any sectarian government. basically we want a secular leader. the prime minister resigns as a result, you know, in november 30th after killing of protesters and now they are debating who should be the prime minister of iraq. so there's a movement towards progress with these demonstrators. those demonstrators right now are divided basically. those who are worried are saying we do not want the proxy war happening in iraq, we are exhausted. it's angering to be honest.
chris, hundreds of thousands of iraqis have died and since the last u.s. invasion, and so we do not want any more wars for god's sake and then there are those who are saying if the u.s. is going to u.n., come but intervene fully and come and occupy and take over and get rid of the iranian backed militias and all that. the point is there's so many points in here there's a secular civil movement in iraq that we don't know its status right now so the government may say enough of that, we have a war at hand. >> you have of that. >> go ba home so that's a very likely chance in here. but we also have iraqi shias, all of these things have stopped. no, a lot of iraqi shias say we do not want iranian intervention in our soil. >> there's also -- the iranian government is under incredible pressure and stress, too. there have been protests
and there were ratcheting up of sanctions which had a material effect on average iranians. travel bans. there's lots of things america to make the lives of iranians miserable. they say it's for this higher purpose but that's been the effect. >> maximum pressure. >> what does that mean in terms of like their calculation of what to do next? >> well, i think that a calculation is going to be based on what the iranian government feels the people of iran care about. and right now it seems at least the majority of the people of iran want some form of revenge. >> you think that's true. >> i think that's true, yes. i'm not saying all iranians do. >> there's some rally around the flag. >> there's always going to be a rally around the flag. i mean, imagine, if you will, you know, if a foreign government assassinated somebody we don't like that as a democrat we don't like. >> right, right. >> you would still say that's not okay, correct? >> correct. >> i do not want john bolton killed by a foreign government. >> correct, yes. >> i think in iran there's a little sense of that. our top general who prevented isis from coming to iran and
prevented isis from getting past iraq actually defeated, help defeat has been assassinated by the u.s. government, quite proudly by the u.s. government. so i think that effect is there. and i think the iranian government -- i would disagree with what ambassador crocker said, i don't think they've been necessarily weakened. this is huge blow. this is huge emotional blow i think for the iranians but they're very deep. the revolutionary guard commanders, they kind of like pop up. what are you going to do? play whac-a-mole with the iranian revolutionary guards so the person who has replaced soleimani has been -- >> there are pictures of him sitting next to him during the -- >> these are not people who are not aware of -- were not aware of what the policies, the plans were. and if those plans were set in stone by soleimani, they will continue. >> they will continue. zainad and hoo main, thank you both for that.
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we still do not know when the impeachment trial of donald trump will begin. the senate reconvened with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell saying if the house will not send over the articles of impeachment then the senate will not hold a trial. chuck schumer responded demanding that mcconnell allow witnesses in the president's trial. >> we are not asking for critics of the president to serve as witnesses in the trial. we are asking only that the president's men, his top advisers tell their side of the story. >> today house speaker nancy pelosi who is holding back those
articles of impeachment until mcconnell agrees said quote today leader mcconnell made clear that he will comply with president trump's cover up with abuses of power. meanwhile, we learned of additional evidence that's on its way to the house. a federal judge saying rudy giuliani's indicted associate can give impeachment investigators phone data and documents seized by prosecutors in his criminal trial which lawyers say are relevant to the impeachment inquiry. i'm joined by national security correspondent at politico. let's start with that development. what do you think? >> i think it's a pretty big deal. i don't think it was entirely unexpected that the judge would rule this way, but they are very eager to cooperate with the house intel committee. the president has turned on him. he's no longer in contact really with rudy giuliani or his other associate. so he is trying to get a good
deal here. he does not want to go to jail. he wants an immunity deal and he's trying to give house democrats everything that they want essentially whether it be tape recordings which he says he has, audio recordings on his iphone, text messages, e-mails so that they can tell a court that he has win cooperating with them. i do think that this could produce new evidence whether or not it's produced before the senate reaches any kind of verdict on trump's impeachment remains to be seen. >> well, the larger issue here strikes me is the documentary record as it stands as incomplete. just over the last few weeks, we've gotten new documentary evidence including unredacted e-mails, the president trecting the hold himself that d.o.d. was worried about unlawfulness. you have to wonder about what other documents the white house is not turning over. >> just in the last 20 minutes, the "new york times" broke a
story saying the office of management and budget has refused to turn over 20 pages of e-mails in the freedom of information act lawsuit between a top aid to acting chief of staff and omb discussing the old on ukraine aid. they said it would inhibit the free flow of conversation between executive branch officials that allows policy decision making to be conducted. here we have yet more of concealment from the administration on issues related directly to what the president asked for regarding this ukraine aid, how it all played out. and this goes a step beyond them redacting e-mails. they're refusing wholesale to turn over any documents that they've requested. >> they just got caught because of the story we brought you last night when they complied with judge's order, they redacted portions which we now learned the redactions are to spare them
from embarrassment. now they are using executive privilege argument to try to with hold 20 pages of e-mails. >> essentially, yeah. one of the officials who is a participant in the e-mails being withheld, michael duffy in the office of management and budget told the pentagon that the order to with hold ukraine aid was coming directly from the president. so he clearly had insight into the white house decision making there and that's why his testimony is being sought by senate minority leader chuck schumer. >> we got a road map of documentary evlds that they are not turning over and witnesses. is there any movement in the standoff between the two branches of congress? >> not so far. it's kind of just in limbo at this point because mitch mcconnell is saying he is not going to start anything until the house sends the articles of
impeachment and chuck schumer and nancy pelosi said the articles won't be sent. so there is no path forward here that we can see. >> thank you. that is all in for this evening. rachel mad ow starts right now. >> thanks for joining us this hour. it all came to light in 2011 in october of 2011 with this indictment in federal court in the southern district of new york. and with this surprise mid afternoon news conference from the u.s. department of justice, a news conference attended by both the attorney general himself and the fbi director at the time as well as u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york and other justice department senior officials. the plot that they described at this news conference and the plot that was described in that indictment was so over the top it almost