'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, January 10th, 2015
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: January 10, 2015
Guest: Wesley Clark, Robert Costa, John Brabender, Rick Wilson, Matt Katz,
Will Cain, Don Borelli, Fawaz Gerges, Brian Thompson, Kay Bailey Hutchison
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST, "UP WITH STEVE KORNACKI": Is it really over?
Good morning and thanks for getting up with us this Saturday morning. On
any other morning we would probably be leading the show with the news that
mitt Romney is told top donors that he`s thinking of running for president
again in 2016. Where if we weren`t leading with that, then we would
probably be leading with the news that federal prosecutors are now
recommending felony charges for David Petraeus, a retired four star
generally and former CIA director for allegedly leaking top secret
classified information to his mistress. There`s also word this morning
that Chris Christie now nearly nine months after declaring himself
exonerated him in Bridgegate matter was questioned recently by federal
prosecutors who may be preparing indictments.
We`ll going to get to all of those stories, plus a whole lot more soon
enough in the show. But there`s only one place to begin this show today
and that place is Paris, where it`s now the day after, the day after a 72-
hour terror siege on the city and its suburbs ended in an another wave of
violence. Seventeen people in all have now been killed, 12 in Wednesday`s
attack on a satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo, policewoman who were
shot in a related incident on Thursday and also four hostages yesterday in
an attack on a kosher supermarket. The nature of these attacks, small,
coordinated and soft targets. That nature means that we in the western
world are entering potentially unchartered territory in the fight against
And also, the manhunt isn`t over yet. French police are looking right now
for this woman, they describe her as armed and dangerous and partner of the
supermarket suspect seen on right of that wanted poster. French officials
say that she was involved in the killing of a policewoman in Paris on
Thursday. It is not yet clear whether she took part in the standoff at the
supermarket. An al Qaeda group from Yemen is saying it is behind the
magazine attack. One of the two brothers believe responsible for that
attack, Said Kouachi traveled to Yemen in 2011 and he received training
there with that al Qaeda group. The other brother spent time in prison
with the suspect behind the supermarket attack. Yesterday, that former
prison made launch to separate siege at that Paris kosher markets law
enforcement moved in on the two brothers in the northern suburb of the
What followed were long tense hostage situations in both locations. After
the brothers said they were ready to die as martyrs, police decided to move
in on both locations almost simultaneously. This is what it looked like
when police moved in on the market. The video obviously can be difficult
to watch. You see police moving in, spraying the inside of the supermarket
with gunfire and you see a person just running straight into that hail of
gunfire, freezing the video right there, with the suspect running into the
gunfire. You can then see police storming into the supermarket as people
who are being held hostage run out. You see police begin to attend to the
wounded. Four people were killed as we said during that standoff. French
authorities say they were killed by the suspect. They say, no one was
killed during the gun battle except the suspect himself. No hostages were
killed in the other standoff that cornered the magazine attack suspects.
For more on how these incredible events unfolded in Paris and who
investigators are still looking for and where everything goes for from
here, NBC`s Bill Neely is standing by for us live in Paris. Bill, thanks
for joining us this morning. So, if you can just update us on the latest
and specifically I think about this woman who still at large. A lot of
questions about what kind of role she might have had here but you know
right now in terms of latest on her as well.
BILL NEELY, NBC NEWS CHIEF GLOBAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Steve,
from a city on edge. People just absorbing the detail of what happened
yesterday. As you saw that incredible video, one thing they are reading is
that Amedy Coulibaly, the man who ran out of the supermarket was hit by at
least 60 bullets. He told the hostages that he had taken, you know, I want
to die, I`m not afraid to die. I would rather die than spend 40 years in
prison. Well, die he did. So, the sieges are over. The crisis France
faces is not the gunmen may be dead but their accomplice is not, she is
still on the run. As you see, Hayat Boumeddiene, still on the run,
described by French police as armed and dangerous, she`s 26-years-old of
North-African origin. Her family originally from there. She was an object
of interest for anti-terror police for a very long time. The Paris
prosecutor revealed yesterday that they had intercepted 500 phone calls
made by her between her and the wife of one of the Kouachi brothers.
So, they`ve been looking at her and this group for a very long time. Call
them a cell if you want, but they clearly of course let the cell slip
through their fingers the French prime minister yesterday admitted that
this was an intelligence failure. But the key thing now find this woman.
NBC News spoke to the man who used to be the chief counterterrorism judge
here, in fact, the man who put in jail, one of the Kouachi brothers and he
told us that this woman is very dangerous because she is now the widow of
what they call a martyr. In their culture in a Jihadi way of thinking, she
will want to match what he did and will want to join him. In other words,
he`s saying, you know, she`s not only armed and dangerous, but she would be
ready to kill. And therefore she must be arrested immediately. But of
course, it`s a huge challenge for the French police and French intelligence
to find her. Because we don`t know where she was yesterday, we don`t know
if she was in the supermarket. She`s simply melted into the ether. So,
these are some of the challenges facing France`s police and intelligence
community from a city where nerves are very much jangling.
KORNACKI: I`m sure that, I can only imagine. But let me ask you, so the
priority right now on finding her whereabouts, on bringing her into custody
and making sure she doesn`t do anything else. But is there a sense in
talking to authorities and intelligence officials over there, do you have
a sense from them if they think this operation now is limited to just her
or is it potentially more expansive than that? Are there other people
potentially we don`t know about?
NEELY: No, very much not just her. I mean, these are some of the
questions, did this group of four, if you like, act alone or is there a
bigger cell? You know, one or two of them say that they were directed to
do this by al Qaeda in Yemen. So, clearly there are links beyond the four
people, three of whom are now dead. This is not a closed case and indeed
people are worried about what happens next. That`s what they are braced
for because the horrific events of the last 72 hours and which as you say
17 innocent people are dead plus the three gunmen. You know, this is the
latest in a string of events. There were three lone wolf attacks if you
like just before Christmas. So, Paris has braced -- and I would have to
tell you that London is braced, German authorities are braced. Because if
it was an attack in either of those countries it would be a shock but in a
sense it wouldn`t be a surprise. So, this is not just a French thing, this
is a European crisis. And of course, it has links to the United States.
So many people drawing comparisons between what happened here with these
two brothers with what happened after the Boston marathon massacre and the
Tsarnaev brothers. This is our western crisis -- Steve.
KORNACKI: All right. My thanks to NBC`s Bill Neely for us in Paris, I
appreciate that. And to recap for you here is what we know at this hour,
the woman is still at large, the partner of the suspect in the supermarket
attack. Also an al Qaeda group says that it planned Wednesday`s attack on
that satirical magazine. One of the suspects attack did trained with the
group in Yemen in 2011. Also French officials are meeting this morning to
discuss security issues. President Obama addressed the unfolding situation
yesterday afternoon in an event in Knoxville, Tennessee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: The French government continues to
face the threat of terrorism and has to remain vigilant. The situation is
fluid. President Hollande has made it clear that they`re going to do
whatever necessary to protect their people. And I think it`s important for
us to understand, France is our oldest ally, I want the people of France to
know that the United States stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: What Obama administration officials are still reluctant to say
however is that similar attacks won`t happen here in the United States.
Sources say they believe it is less likely to happen here. The U.S. Muslim
population is less radicalized than in France. These kinds of attacks are
really hard to prevent. Small coordinated attacks or lone wolves acting
along or copycat incidences are not the case here. In large conspiracies
are much easier to uncover than small ones. Intelligence officials say
that in many ways what happened in France is the nightmare scenario for the
Joining me now to talk about this, we have Don Borelli, he`s a former
assistant special agent in charge of the New York Joint Terrorism Task
Force, now an NBC News and MSNBC national security analyst. And in London,
Professor Fawaz Gerges, he`s the chair of Contemporary Middle Eastern
Studies at the London school of economics and political science.
So, let me start with the question of the hour right now obviously has to
do with finding this woman. And we heard the report from Paris, armed,
dangerous, potentially desperate. Somebody who has sort of been on the
margins of society. How does law enforcement and counterterrorism in
France pursue this right now?
DON BORELLI, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It`s going to be through
multiple angles, number one. You`ve got to have a human intelligence
network built. And there`s no doubt that the French have that. So,
they`ll going to be checking with all their human intelligence sources to
try to figure out who might be sheltering this person, helping her escape.
You have also got other sources of information, you`ve got the 500 phone
calls. You`ll try to piece those together to see, you know, who`s in her
network who might be helping her. Search warrants were conducted at all of
the residence. One of the reports that I read look like they were trying
to get false travel documents, that`s another lead. So, there`s going to
be a lot of things going on simultaneously but this is a huge priority in
addition to figuring out besides her who else is out there. And my
personal feeling is it does not end with these four people, that this cell
or cells is a more complex network than we know right now.
KORNACKI: Let me ask you too. I mean, I think everybody has that basic
reaction to finding as we heard in that report there, that these are people
who French authorities had been aware of for like a decade. And here there
are, you know, 500 phone calls that they apparently tracked. So, when you
find out that they basically were able to slip through the cracks to pull
this off this week, should that affect our confidence in the French
authorities in trying to deal with this right now?
BORELLI: I think it`s way too early to just, you know, kind of look and
start pointing fingers. I mean, the priority now for the French is to get
their, you know, intelligence gathered and try to figure out what is the
extent of this cell. There will be plenty of time to look back and say
what mistakes were made. I mean, and no doubt there probably were mistakes
made and they will be fixed, much like we did with the 9/11 commission, we
found that we made mistakes, we took measures and fixed them. And the
system is not perfect. And when you live in a free society, this is
sometimes the price you pay that you just -- you`re not following people
24/7, you`re not listening to every phone call, you`re not reading every e-
mail. We don`t know right now what mistakes were made but no doubt they`ll
figure it out and hopefully fix it for the future.
KORNACKI: Fawaz, let me ask you, I mean, we mentioned this in the intro,
that I was just giving there a minute ago and this is something I think
people may have heard in the press here this week a lot, that the situation
for the sort of Muslims in France and maybe in Europe in general but
particularly in France is different than it is in the United States. Less
integrated maybe and more sort of on the margins of society. Can you give
us a sense of what life is like for the Muslim community in France and what
the conditions might be that would be conducive to this kind of
FAWAZ GERGES, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: You know, Steve, I think the
question is not about the Muslim community or communities. I think the
question is, there are a few thousand young Muslim men, European men,
you`re talking about French, British, German, Belgium, who basically have
bought into this Utopian ideology, susceptible to recruitment by militant
groups of al Qaeda variety. This advantage they are on the fringe, they
don`t have a solid foundation, they`re not integrated. They are
susceptible to charismatic creatures, like Abu Hamza who was sentenced to
life in prison yesterday in the United States and other preachers like
Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni American cleric who was basically allegedly
killed by the American drone fighters. So, this is the question, it`s not
just about France. I`m here. I teach in France, I teach in London. I can
tell you that the security establishment in Britain is extremely anxious.
Yesterday the head of the security services said it`s a matter of time.
The Germans as well. You have almost 2,500, 3,000 young men who have
traveled to Iraq and Syria. So, you have self-radicalization, you have
radicalization as a result of some man who have basically been sucked into
raging conflicts in the Middle East. This is point one. Point two, what
we need to understand when we talk, Steve, about the Muslim community, what
these militants, Salafi Jihadist -- militants of al Qaeda variety, they are
trying to hijack Islamic values. They`re trying to basically silence the -
- majority. They don`t really give a damn what the Imams, the mainstream.
In fact, they are revolting against their parents, against their mothers
and secondly about France in particular. France, the reason why France is
in the eye of the storm as you well know, France has been pursuing a very
assertive muscular policy towards militants of al Qaeda variety.
In West Africa, in Central Africa, in North Africa and Libya and the Iraq
and Syria. Now France is seen by militants again whether it`s al Qaeda in
Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula or ISIS, the so-called Islamic State, is
actually the spearhead of the fight against these militants. In fact,
France now is on the same level as the United States. So, in this
particular sense, you have goals by militants, whether in Yemen or Iraq or
other places go. They are calling on their followers, whoever listens, go
and carry out attacks and finally on France, you have in the eyes of the
ultraconservative, Salafi Jihad the elements. France is waging a cultural
warfare in the sense that the state itself -- the ideology of the state is
a secular state. So, in this particular sense, many elements have
converged and brought about this particular escalation of attacks in
KORNACKI: And we mentioned at the top, I mean, this is the nightmare
scenario. It`s obviously as Fawaz is saying, the nightmare is stirring for
every other country in Europe. It`s the nightmare scenario in the United
States that something like this could happen here. Somebody, you know,
who`s from the United States who radicalizes in the United States and maybe
finds a way to get out of the country for a year or two. But how worried
are you about something like this happening here?
BORELLI: Well, you know, it`s a concern. But I`ve been involved in many
of those investigations. I know we have some very good, you know, police
and intelligence networks in place, we`ve been able to thwart attacks like
this where people had gone abroad and received some training and came back
to try to do an operation. They were thwarted. Does that mean that we`re
going to be successful 100 percent of the time? No --
KORNACKI: Are there more -- what I`m reading in Europe is more and more
are going over to Syria or Iraq. Are we seeing that --
BORELLI: In terms of sheer numbers, Europe has much more to worry about
than we do in the states. I mean, the numbers can get vague, but you know,
give or take around 100 or so people from the states compared to thousands
from Europe that have gone over to fight and receive training. So, just in
terms of numbers we`re in better shape. However, it only takes one or two
and we know that there`s, you know, it`s very easy to get weapons in this
country. People that, you know, you can get the training. It`s just, you
know, trying to have that crystal ball and figure out when is this person
that`s on the fringe that might be under the radar of police, when is the
day that that person is going to wake up and say this is my day to be a
martyr? And it`s very difficult.
KORNACKI: You put it that way, it`s scary to think about it that way. But
obviously much more on this throughout the show but for right now, MSNBC
national security analyst Don Borelli and Professor Fawaz Gerges in the
London School Economics, I appreciate you both being here this morning. As
we say, we`ll have plenty more from Paris, and about Paris as we continue
on this Saturday. Coming up as we segue to the world of politics. Also,
we will look at how the Clinton era appears to be alive and well when it
comes to job growth and the former CIA director facing felony charges for
sharing state secrets with his mistress.
But first, we also want to take time this morning focus on some of the
victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting including the paper`s editor.
Stephane Charbonnier, that was his nickname. That`s how he was known.
He`d received death threats in the past. He`d appeared on al-Qaeda`s
target list. He once said, quote, "I would rather die standing than live
on my knees." He was never married, he never had children. His longtime
girlfriend said it`s because he knew he was going to die. But that didn`t
keep him from the work he loved. Charb might have had a sense that
Wednesday`s massacre was imminent. He drew this cartoon shortly before his
death. And as you can see, it shows a man dressed in a style of Islamic
extremist and title reads, still no attacks in France? The man is saying
that he still has until the end of January to come up with his New Year`s
wishes. Stephane Charbonnier was 47 years old.
KORNACKI: We`re back this morning juggling the aftermath, certainly what
we hope is the aftermath of a three day series of attacks in Paris.
There`s also lots of really important political news we want to get to as
With us now on the table, we have our panel, MSNBC contributor Victoria
DeFrancesco Soto, she`s a professor at the University of Texas, Center for
Mexican-American Studies. And Will Cain, he`s a contributor at the
National Review and MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh, she`s the editor-
at-large with Salon. So, obviously, plenty more to come in the show today
on Paris and obviously everybody`s attention is primarily there right now.
It`s just one of the situations I think we`re talking in the last block
about this. I think the two things that are jumping out to most people I
talk to, number one, the idea that these guys were under surveillance for
ten years and how can they be under this level of scrutiny and pull
something like this off? I mean, obviously, everybody`s fear turns to,
could something like this happen in the United States? Are we more
protected maybe from this than they are in Europe or is this something, is
this a look maybe at our worst case future? These are things that people -
JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I think it`s very different in
this country. I do think we have a much more assimilated Muslim community.
I think if you look back to the days of George W. Bush where there was a
real effort by republicans. The -- who are perceived as business owners
integrated into their communities not radical. And so, you know, in France
you have a class issue here. These guys were not particularly religious to
begin with but they are even second or third generation Algerians. There
is an underclass there, there`s a lot of anger and, you know, there`s also
a really rabid at this point, right wing reaction to Muslims. And I think
it`s important to know that the Muslim community stood up immediately. The
Muslim council was the first to visit the Charlie Hebdo offices there have
been demonstrations, Muslim councils all over Europe, the Arab League all
denounced this. So, there`s this notion in this country that why won`t the
good Muslims speak up. They are speaking up and they don`t want to see
anything like this go on.
WILL CAIN, NATIONAL REVIEW: I don`t think we have to be hypothetical about
whether or not this could happen in this country, it wasn`t that long ago
that we witnessed the Boston bombings at the Boston marathon. In a similar
fashion, perhaps less coordinated from the Middle East, but lone wolf or
small fractional elements of radical Muslims doing something absolutely
terrible. Truthfully the answer to whether or not this could happen in
this country is this, you look at this attack on Charlie Hebdo as a direct
attack on western values, specifically that free speech. And you have to
ask yourself, who is the Charlie Hebdo of America? Who`s willing to push
the envelope of our values in this country? Who`s publishing those
cartoons of Muhammad? Because without that, maybe the answer is wouldn`t
happen here. Because we`re not defending our values quite as deeply as
Charlie Hebdo was.
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: Steve, let me pull back a
little bit and look at this at a matter of the failure of immigrant
immigration within Europe and France is one of the prime examples. Some
colleagues of mine at the University of Texas have done some really
interesting work looking at Muslims in France. And we know that in terms
of their earning potential, their likelihood of getting employment, their
attachment to France consistently lower on all of these measures. And it`s
not just about assimilating, it`s a two-way street. The host country
France in this case also needs to make an effort to reach out to these
communities. Any host community needs to do that. This is a factor of a
larger terror network, of course, but this is a component that we cannot
forget in thinking how do we prevent future attacks. We need to look to
our immigrant communities, second third generation and how do we integrate
them more fully to our society.
KORNACKI: That is something I keep hearing today in everything that I`m
reading about this, I keep stumbling across the idea that there much more
separateness in France, when it comes to, the French, you know, sort of the
French cultural population and the Muslim population in a way that maybe
isn`t so over here. And it`s really striking to, you know, to see that and
then to imagine what kind of conditions that could create. Anyway,
obviously much more on this in the show --
WALSH: One more thing, to what Will said, you know, I don`t think you have
to love those cartoons or publish those cartoons to defend Charlie Hebdo.
So, quite honestly, when I was editor at Salon, I didn`t publish the Danish
cartoons and I would not publish these cartoons. Some of them are
offensive to me. So, it`s not so much that we need to be doing the same
thing. We need to defend their right to do it --
CAIN: I disagree, when the reaction to offensiveness is murder, then you
have not only an obligation but it becomes virtuous to then offend. You
should offend those whose reaction to offensiveness is to murder you --
KORNACKI: You`re familiar with the National Review, did they publish it?
CAIN: I don`t think they publish this week.
KORNACKI: Do you think they have an obligation too?
CAIN: I think you should publish cartoons, yes. And I know, I`ll just
give you an example, John Avalon is my friend at The Daily Beast. They
republished those cartoons, that is a very virtuous thing, admirable thing
to have done this week.
KORNACKI: Right. But I think the point Joan is making though is that you
have the right to choose whether you`re going to do that. I mean, the idea
of free society is, if we want to publish those, we should be able to
publish those and no one should ever be able to, you know, threaten that.
CAIN: But in the wake of this controversy, Steve, there have been many who
have lectured the likes of Charlie Hebdo from the FT to the White House in
2012 directly lecturing Charlie Hebdo on their judgment of publishing these
cartoons. And what I`m telling you is that is completely out of line,
whether it`s from the Financial Times or "Time Magazine" in 2011, we`re
looking at the virtuous act here that is defending a core western value, a
core western foundational principle of civilization. I want to ask you who
in the United States is doing what Charlie Hebdo does?
KORNACKI: No. There are people who have published them and I think that`s
certainly an act of courage -- it`s a tricky question and ultimately Joan
does make a valid point there about, you know, in a free society you have
the right to go either way --
CAIN: No one is saying that Joan needs to be forced to do that. But we`re
passing judgment on the admiration we give those who do.
KORNACKI: Yes. All right. We will get back to much more of this
throughout the show. There`s a lot of news happening in France. We`ll get
to live reports there. We will have more discussion about it as well.
There was also some big news believe it or not in American politics
yesterday. We`re going to get to that straight ahead.
KORNACKI: A small but growing memorial is forming outside the kosher
market where four hostages were killed in yesterday`s attack in Eastern
Paris. Mourners are placing candles and flowers to remember the
individuals who were murdered in that standoff there. The search is still
on at this hour for the 26-year-old partner of the suspected gunman in that
attack. French officials say she was involved in the killing of a
policewoman in Paris on Thursday. It is not yet clear whether she took
part in the standoff in the market. Attorney General Eric Holder meanwhile
is headed to Paris where he`ll attend international talks on terrorism
convened by the French government tomorrow. Seventeen people in all were
killed in the attacks last few days, 12 people at Charlie Hebdo on
Wednesday. A French policewoman who shot on Thursday and what`s believed
to be a linked attack in a four hostages at that kosher supermarket in
We will be returning to Paris for a live report from MSNBC`s Ronan Farrow
in just a few minutes. But turning now, as we said before the last break,
there has been some big news in politics back here at home. The question
is, could the third time be the charm for Mitt Romney? The former
Massachusetts governor telling a group of major donors yesterday that he is
considering another run for the White House in 2016. He`s at a meeting at
the office of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, the top republican donor,
when Romney reportedly said, quote, "I want to be president." Romney`s
inner circle says, the governor has not yet made up his mind. But shortly
after the news broke, invitations to Romney`s fourth annual policy summit
were hitting inboxes. It`s a gathering, it was Romney`s supporters could
brainstorm on this potential third run. The timing on this is impossible
to ignore. Jeb Bush is making lots of aggressive moves right now. We`ll
going to talk about this a little bit more later. But this looks to me at
least Mitt Romney for some reason, maybe because he wants to run, maybe
because he wants leverage, but Mitt Romney is trying to put the brakes on
this Jeb Bush thing.
WALSH: It`s fascinating. I mean, I think democrats are saying, please
proceed, Governor and the whole thing that he does it, but there is a kind
of spitefulness or enmity or something that I don`t know enough about, to
have him do this, you know, just about a week after Jeb steps out. You
know, we`ve been waiting for one of them to step out. They weren`t doing
it. Now they are both doing it. And, you know, they really are setting
the Republican Party up if they go ahead and do this for, you know,
candidate Rand Paul or candidate Ted Cruz or somebody from the right wing
of the party. They can`t go at each other and have one of them walk away
as the nominee, I don`t believe.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: It`s a snowball. I think we`re just seeing the
beginning and it`s going to be so much fun for the next couple of months.
With regards to Romney, and my question is, what`s different? What`s
different this third time around? All right? It`s the charm? What`s
going on? You know, one thing we`ve heard about Romney, is that if you got
to know him in person, he`s a great guy and the Romney you saw as a
candidate was not that Romney. Is he going to do a 180 and just bring him
all down and present himself as he is? If not, what`s the point of making
all of this noise and sucking the air, and the money out of the field?
CAIN: That`s a fascinating point. The charm point. First of all, I don`t
think it`s necessarily enmity towards Bush or between Romney and Bush, it`s
strategic, you have to run for the money and the guy that announces the
quickest gets the biggest donors to come to his side.
KORNACKI: But isn`t a surprise? I mean, Mitt has to show his cards a
little bit here.
Because he was playing this game where he was letting people say, I want
Mitt to run again. And oh, now he had to do something.
CAIN: So he has to move and let the donors know. Hey, I`m here --
KORNACKI: So, that`s a bit of a revelation though.
CAIN: It is a bit of a revolution.
KORNACKI: Are you surprised?
CAIN: I`m surprised however to the victorious point of what`s different, I
think this is interesting. You know, in at least the last two presidential
elections Mitt Romney has been able to be painted by external forces.
Those oppose to him largely as a scrooge duct type figure. It`s
interesting that after 2012 the documentary Mitt came out on Netflix, I
mean, you should watch it. It`s very revealing and interesting. And you
can only come away with this after watching it. He`s a good human being.
Is he a good presidential candidate? Is he a good politician? Set those
aside. He`s a good human being and it`s in direct contradiction to the
picture that painted of him. Maybe, Victoria, maybe, that`s different.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: Okay. So, the question I have is what does he run on in
terms of policy? So, if President Obama had been right now dealing with a
bad economic situation, a worsening economic situation, then Romney could
come back and say, see, I told you so, if you would have elected me, I
could have turned things around but things are doing well --
KORNACKI: But you know where I think, this is a guess but my guess is
where the psychology of this comes in, he loses, you know, he didn`t get
blown out, it wasn`t the closest race we`ve ever seen, but he did, you
know, well enough. He looks two years later and he says, in 2014 my party
just cleaned the democrats` clocks at the polls --
Right. But I think the psychology of this is, I think you always pay
attention to the most recent election.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: Or to the policy.
KORNACKI: Oh, right. Right. You know, that`s why Dole thought he would
win in `96.
CAIN: It`s not Barack Obama --
WALSH: That`s not smart. Because everybody, a junior political science
major knows that the midterm electorate is very different from the
presidential electorate, and I`m not saying that the democrats are going to
get the entire Obama coalition to turn out. We can have a whole discussion
about that later. But it`s a much more favorable environment for democrats
than midterms. And, you know, Will says he`s a good person. I will
stipulate that. He`s a terrible candidate. And I don`t see any evidence
that he`s learned to be a better candidate.
KORNACKI: This is one I think, we`ll going to have a few more weeks, maybe
few more months, maybe another year of talking about this. So, we`ll have
plenty more from that to come. But this was the big deal, we`re going to
broke last night. Other big news, "The New York Times" reporting that
federal prosecutors at the FBI and Justice Department are recommending
felony charges against the former CIA Director David Petraeus for leaking
classified information. Former four-star general resigned from the CIA
post in 2012, admitted to having an affair with his biographer Paula
Broadwell. It`s now up to the Attorney General to decide whether to
actually pursue those charges against Petraeus.
And anyway, that will bring us to the end of the round table section here.
My thanks to MSNBC`s political analyst Joan Walsh, Victoria DeFrancesco
Soto with the University of Texas. National Review Will Cain. We will see
you again in the next hour. Lots more still ahead this morning, we`ll be
returning to Paris with the very latest on three days of apparently
coordinated terror attacks.
Former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark will be here to weigh in on this
new round in the fight against al Qaeda. And returning to politics also,
other big news that Chris Christie was grilled by federal investigators.
Those details are still ahead, so stay with us.
KORNACKI: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is dealing with some very
different headlines this morning. A report first out from ABC News that
Christie was interrogated last month by federal prosecutors about the
Bridgegate scandal. According to this ABC report now confirmed by out next
guest, his interview with the governor was one of the final steps in the
prosecutor`s investigation. Christie agreed to appear voluntarily. On top
of that. Wall Street Journal also reported on Thursday night that federal
investigators have subpoenaed records from Christie`s 2013 re-election
campaign. It`s involving claims from the democratic mayor of Jersey City
that Christie`s team canceled official state meetings with him when he
refused to endorse Christie for re-election. All of this comes with
Christie nearing a decision on whether to run for president.
WNBC`s Brian Thompson who has been reporting on Christie and bridge-gate
from the very beginning is here to help walk us through these latest
developments. So, Brian, the last time you were here, you were talking
about the potential for six or maybe even more indictments from the U.S.
attorney, potentially as early as January, the month we`re now in. What is
the latest on that you`re hearing?
BRIAN THOMPSON, REPORTER, WNBC: We`re still sticking to that right now.
There have been some reports suggesting that it will come a little bit
later because of this mop-up operation with the interview with the
governor, for example, that was done last month. We were able to confirm
that. But we`re still sticking with six to eight as we understand the
players going through. It`s very important to note -- and I continue to
get Intel on this -- that nobody is saying that Governor Christie himself
is a target in all of this. But a lot of people presumably are in jeopardy
and have certainly lawyered up expecting these indictments to come down
KORNACKI: Yes. So in light of that, how do you read this new revelation
about, I mean, we all know that the headline is last April or something, he
has his own internal investigation, he declares himself exonerated, now we
have news that apparently in December of 2014, nine months after all this,
he`s sitting down with federal prosecutors and they are questioning him. I
mean, obviously, we know the basic topic but what is it they are looking
for him? Do you have a sense of that?
THOMPSON: When I talked to the legal beagles here, I`m not a lawyer and I
don`t play one on TV, but when I talk to them, they are basically saying
this is confirmation of all of the information that they have, the used the
term, one uses the term mopping up, for example. The same reason they
subpoena the actual videotape of Bill Baroni`s testimony about the traffic
study to the legislative committee that wasn`t really a traffic study as we
now understand the situation. That all goes to the point of what were they
doing? What was the cover-up? What was the deception involved that is
actually the jeopardy for violating federal law. So you have to talk to
all of the players. Everybody who was anywhere near this and that`s what
they were doing with the governor. If the governor had been a target, they
wouldn`t have even been talking to him.
KORNACKI: Okay. Okay. The third piece I want to make sure to get this
into. We also have a report this week that they have subpoenaed records,
the Feds have subpoenaed records from his re-election campaign in 2013
about the mayor of Jersey City, the mayor of Jersey City not endorsing
Christie`s re-election and saying, look, they canceled the official state
meetings with me. What do you know about that?
THOMPSON: That`s new ground seemingly but it all fits into this pattern of
abuse of power, if you will. I`m not saying that`s going to be the charge.
But it`s what we conceptually think of it as. You know, and manipulating
what they were doing in Jersey City with the political aim of trying to
get the mayor -- democratic mayor on board with the governor, punishing him
and so it all fits into the bigger picture of who are they punishing? Why
were they punishing? I think that`s the big picture that we have to keep
in mind as U.S. attorney goes forward.
KORNACKI: Yes. That`s everybody says, we`re still dying to know the
motive on this thing. There are so many tentacles too. There was new
report every week it seems.
Anyway, WNBC`s Brian Thompson, I appreciate you stopping by this morning.
Thanks for that. We are going to go back to Paris more and more about the
events playing to memorialize the victims, it`s right after this.
KORNACKI: Hundreds and thousands are expected to attend the unity rally
tomorrow morning. Some rallies are reportedly to be springing up already
across the French capital.
MSNBC`s Ronan Farrow joins us now live from Paris. So, Ronan, I understand
you just got there, only a few hours ago, I don`t know how much time you`ve
had to sort of take in what life is like in Paris after all of this. But
tell us what your impressions are so far and how the country is dealing
RONAN FARROW, MSNBC REPORTER, PARIS: It`s pretty tense, Steve, a lot of
false alarms, obviously a message from the government at this point to be
vigilant and the response to that has been for people to call in a lot of
scares all over town. We just got through a situation where there was an
allegation that there might be a gunman at large, turned out not to be the
case. But police were dispatch, there was sirens everywhere, there was
concerns about the safety of this very live shot. If you look behind me,
the monument there here at the Place de la Republique is covered in
messages saying, sort of existential questions like what kind of society do
you want to build, that is hanging over the city right now as well as fears
leading up to that big rally tomorrow. That`s going to be, as you`ve
mentioned, hundreds of thousands of people, a lot of security concerns, a
lot of world leaders who would be high value targets. At 5:00 p.m., we
should get a briefing from authorities on exactly what security measures
are in place. Apparently, they`ve been in all day discussing how they`re
going to make sure there isn`t a repeat of any of these hostilities, any of
KORNACKI: All right. Ronan Farrow live for us in Paris, I appreciate the
update and good luck to you over there. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of
Texas, she is standing by to join us on the other side of this break.
There was a fascinating article this week about some indignities that
female senators continue to face in the 21st century. We`ll tell you about
that and talk to her about it right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: I am never going to retire, the work
is too important. But I will not be running for the Senate in 2016.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: California Senator Barbara Boxer`s announcement this week that
she won`t run for reelection is highlighting just how much is changed in
the Senate and how much still needs to change. Today, women make up one
fifth of the Senate chamber, 20 out of a hundred as far from the 51 percent
of the U.S. population they represent. It`s also a huge leap from the two
women who served when Boxer was first elected back in 1992. When North
Carolina Senator Kay Hagen asked to use the Senate swimming pool at the
start of her term just six years ago she was told that it was closed to
women, and the reason why, because male senators like to swim in the nude.
This and other stories about what it`s like being a woman in the U.S.
Senate are recounted in a new Politico magazine article that I found
And so, we decided we would asked Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, a
former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas who serve, representing the
states for nearly two decades, to join us and talk a little bit about it.
She was kind enough to do so, joins us now from Dallas. Senator, thank you
for taking a few minutes this morning. And I have to tell you, that
anecdote we just put in there, I wanted to put in there because I truly
thought that was shocking in the year 2009, a woman is elected to the U.S.
Senate and tried to swim in the swimming pool and is basically told no to
the guys like to swim naked there, you can`t swim in there. How
representative is a story like that of what life in the Senate is like for
FMR. SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: You know, I think life in the
Senate is great for a women. And of course when I first got there, 20
years ago, there were things that you wouldn`t expect, but I think it was
all a matter of the maturing of all of our society but especially the
Senate and the older institutions and traditions. And there are now 20
women and I think sometimes you just have to -- if you`re in a transitional
period, you have to just grow with it and kind of go with it. And that`s
what I tried to do.
KORNACKI: Is there a -- is there a -- when it comes to how life for women
in the Senate, is there a difference in terms of when you think
generationally, sort of the older male dominated generation, sort of the
World War II generation there, you know, retiring and kind of leaving the
stage, a younger generation. Does the cultures change with the generations
HUTCHISON: Well, of course it does. Because I think the men who have
dominated the Senate for so many years didn`t have the same professional
experiences with women that our younger generation does. Our younger men
now are used to working with women who are their boss, they are used to
going to college and competing on an equal basis. So I think that of
course the generational changes make a difference, which is why I gave a
lot of leeway to men who were trying to be polite, trying to be doing the
right thing, just weren`t used to the professional relationships. But now
I think more and more they are. And I think every opportunity is there for
women. And let me say, Steve, too, women are in leadership. I was in
leadership on the republican side. Barbara Michalski (ph) was chairman of
the Appropriations Committee when the democrats had the majority. A
powerful committee. And so, people deal with the person who`s in charge, I
think very easily and well. So I think because we`ve moved into the system
and we`ve moved up through the ranks, that becomes the equalizer.
KORNACKI: I do want to ask you, I`m sorry this is so truncated just with
all of the breaking news in the world. And I do want to get your
understanding of it just based on what you`re seeing come out of France,
the latest developments over there, your reaction, your response to the
news that`s been unfolding there right now.
HUTCHISON: Well, of course, it`s riveting and we are in sympathy and
bonded with France over this. But it is another wake-up call that we
cannot be complacent. And I think the -- the intelligence people who have
come forward just in the last couple of days for America are saying, we`ve
got to prepare for this because intelligence is showing that these dreadful
forces who are trying to wipe away freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of
the press, wiping away our way of life are going to do more of this in
western countries, including America. So I hope that we are preparing to
be very vigilant about who comes into our country and the kinds of things
that might happen and I have to say, it is the public who often see things
that don`t seem right. They report it to the authorities. And we have
foiled some of the opportunities and plans that have been made even in
America by being vigilant.
KORNACKI: If you see something, say something. Senator Kay Bailey
Hutchison from Texas. Again, I apologize for the brevity today, I
appreciate you taking the time. Thank you very much.
HUTCHISON: I understand, absolutely. Thank you, Steve.
KORNACKI: All right. Another hour of news straight ahead. We`ll go live
to Paris for the latest on the suspect who was still at large over there.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Signs of solidarity.
All right, thanks for staying with us this busy Saturday morning. There`s
still a lot to get to as we juggle news out of Paris, also a whole bunch of
headlines back here in the United States, including the increased speed,
radically increased speed of the presidential races, as Jeb Bush forcing
others like Mitt Romney to decide as soon as possible on a run, and how
activism is continuing in the NBA, this time a player expressing his
support for the victims of the Paris attacks.
News out of Paris, the manhunt in Paris continues at this hour. Police
still searching for this woman, she is Hayat Boumeddiene. She is the
partner of the gunman in the supermarket attack. French officials say she
was involved in the killing of a policewoman in Paris on Thursday. It`s
not clear whether she took part in the deadly standoff any supermarket.
One of the many things we still don`t know about the attacks.
We`re also standing by here for video of the solidarity marches that are
springing all around France this morning, as people there attempt to come
to terms with everything that is happening.
NBC`s Bill Neely is live for us in Paris right now.
So, Bill, good afternoon. To you over there as we say, these solidarity
marches are going to be kicking off. We just talked to Ronan Farrow, our
MSNBC colleague, who talked about some nervousness, some apprehension among
people who are out and about today, that as these events, as the solidarity
events take place, as these gatherings of leaders take place, that there is
maybe a heightened risk for another terrorism act.
Can you tell us what the mood is right now and what we can be expecting?
BILL NEELY, NBC NEWS: Yes, Steve, good morning, from a city very much on
edge, nerves jangling.
Let me give you three examples of why this is on edge. We`ve got three
false alarms I would have to say here.
First of all, some people saw a man come out of a shop with a rifle. They
chased him. It was significant because it was near where the brothers had
abandoned their car after the massacre at the magazine. Police sped in and
closed off the street and apparently turned out to be a false alarm.
But on another side of Paris near a synagogue, people heard what they
thought were shots, the synagogue was locked down. People were in there
for two hours. Women are crying. It turned out it was firecrackers.
Over the outskirt of Paris, at Euro Disney, there was a bomb alert. So,
you can see how on edge people are. And this is quite typically. It
happened in London after the attacks 10 years ago and in Madrid after the
train bombings. But what`s really putting people on edge is that as you
say, the sieges may be over, the crisis isn`t. The gunmen may be dead but
their accomplice is on the loose.
Hayat Boumeddiene, 26 years old, described by French police as armed and
dangerous is still on the loose. We saw pictures of her holding a cross
bow towards the camera. She`s the long-time partner of the man who died in
the supermarket, the supermarket killer.
And NBC News spoke to the man who was the chief anti-terrorist investigator
for France for many years, a man who put one of brothers in jail. He said
this woman is potentially very dangerous. Why? Because her partner is in
jihadi culture, a martyr, and in their culture, she would like to follow
him or at least match what he has done. These are his words. And
therefore that makes her a very dangerous person.
We also know from the Paris prosecutor that she was on the phone around 500
times to the brothers. So, this was a cell. These were people acting
together and we`ve heard from the Paris prosecutor that they had a huge
arsenal of weapons. It was Kalashnikovs, pistols, rocket-propelled
grenades, ammunition knives, everything.
So, this woman is still on the run and people are worried that, you know,
she may do something as well as some other people in a wider cell -- Steve.
KORNACKI: All right. Yes, that is the story of the moment right now, is
the hunt for that woman, as you say, armed, dangerous, potentially very
Thanks to NBC`s Bill Neely, live for us in Paris. Appreciate the update
Elsewhere this morning, the French government gathering for a crisis
meeting. Ministers arriving at the president`s residents to meet with
President Hollande. They fear that -- their fear is that the days of
terror are not over yet. One of the gunmen said shortly before his death
that he was funded by al Qaeda. An al Qaeda group says it planned the
"Charlie Hebdo" attack.
The Kouachi brothers had been under surveillance, including on the European
and U.S. no-fly list. But efforts to stop them before they attacked
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is headed to Paris for meeting with
international counterterrorism officials, and world leaders are converging
on Paris in a sign of support. So, what can that coalition accomplish in
this apparently new fight against al Qaeda?
Here now is retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark. He`s a former supreme
allied commander of NATO, a former presidential candidate, author of the
new book "Don`t Wait For the Next War", also a senior fellow at UCLA`s
Burkle Center for International Relations.
General, thank you for taking some time this morning.
So, let me just start with this. We have the claim from al Qaeda in Yemen
that they were -- that they helped to plan this, to organize this. We have
apparently, you know, the news report saying apparently that the attackers
cited al Qaeda in Yemen.
How credible is it to you the idea that al Qaeda played some kind of
planning role in this?
GEN. WESLEY CLARK, U.S. ARMY (RET): It seems unlikely, but we should be
able to unravel that pretty quickly, whether we want to disclose that
publicly or not remains another fact. But it was to be expected that al
Qaeda would try to take credit for this.
KORNACKI: And I guess the other question is, whether there`s the direct
role or not, we certainly have the confirmation of the attacker who was in
Yemen and received some training over there, so if this was something that
was sort of more self-initiated, certainly al Qaeda in Yemen was beneficial
to him in the sort of circumstances in Yemen were beneficial to him.
And I guess it raises one of the questions I have is that apparently from
what I understand the United States government has been focused very, very
particularly on Yemen but this has not been as much a priority for France
and for Europe. Is that accurate?
CLARK: Well, it`s hard to say from the outside, Steve. But here`s what we
know -- there`s been a lot more Europeans headed over to Syria and to Yemen
and have been part of this radicalization process. There`s active
recruiting in France and in Britain and in Germany to take European Muslims
and send them into these conflict zones where they are further radicalized.
So, of course, there`s some intelligence over-watch of this going on in
these countries. But is it sufficient? Apparently it isn`t.
And so, what we can expect is that the intelligence agencies France and
other countries and perhaps here, will look again at their procedures for
who do they follow and how long do they track them? How much do they do
with their circle of friends?
Why -- you know, there are a lot of questions out of this. Why wasn`t
Boumeddiene`s phone monitored the whole time? Who has she been -- else has
she been talking to? And how big is this network of relationships in
And so, all of that is going on behind the scenes right now.
KORNACKI: Yes, I mean, that`s what we`re hearing too. We just heard from
our reporter over there, the idea of a much larger, potentially larger at
least, a much larger cell being involved here.
Give us a sense of potentially how big something like this could be and
what it would look like?
CLARK: Well, normally it would be divided into cells and so people -- if
it were structured properly, the way terrorists are trained and train
themselves to do these things, one cell doesn`t know of another. So a cell
is three or four people, there`s a point of contact, it`s cut out, you may
not know the person`s first name and everything is handled by drop box
communications and other things. So, there`s no direct contact.
But that may not be the case because of the way these relationships worked.
It may be in certain mosques, there are groups of people who know each
other. It may be that by following the phone records, by looking at places
of employment, by looking at other measures of relationships, there are
larger groups and, of course, that must be the concern in France right now.
KORNACKI: We`re going to play sound from last night. Salman Rushdie, the
author, of course, was on the receiving end of that fatwa from the
ayatollah about a quarter century ago. He`s been controversial a bit
himself within the Muslim community for his writing and remarks about
Islam. But he on "Real Time with Bill Maher" last night and he was
responding to the situation.
We want to play what he had to say and then ask you about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SALMA RUSHDIE, AUTHOR: In a way, we`re the side show. This is a project
to seize power in the Islamic world. And whether it`s the Taliban or ISIS
or Boko Haram or al-Shabaab, or any of these groups, what they are trying
to do is to create a mindset which allows them to conquer the world of
Islam and we`re the sideshow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: What he was saying there was, you know, innocent people in the
United States who have been beheaded and killed by ISIS or innocent people
in France being killed this week, he`s saying this is really about a
struggle that`s taking place for power and for status within the Muslim
world, all of these extremist groups acting in Islam`s name.
Is that an accurate way of looking at it do you think?
CLARK: I think it`s a constructive way of looking at it, because this
really is about Islam. It`s about who has power and authority in Islam.
That doesn`t mean it`s not dangerous to us. It`s dangerous in the near
term because of incidents like in France. It`s also dangerous in the long
term, because if the wrong people take power in these states, you could
imagine the horrific consequences.
And so, for al Qaeda, for ISIS, they want to radicalize the Muslim
populations all over the world and especially in their region. They want
to create discord between populations. They want to draw recruits. They
want to sow fear in the Islamic community so people have to come to them
And so, it is -- Salman Rushdie is exactly right on this. This is mostly
about Islam. It`s why, Steve, we have to be careful in terms of reaction
to things like Americans beheaded. We don`t want to reengage with another
large ground war in Iraq or Afghanistan, because we`ve shown that that`s
not the most effective way to deal with this. We`re going to intervene for
years in this, on the margins, and work to protect our own citizens, but
we`re going to do it in a smart sustainable way.
KORNACKI: All right. Retired General Wesley Clark, joining us this
morning. Appreciate the insight. Appreciate the time as well. Thank you.
Coming up, we will turn back to the world of politics. Is Jeb Bush messing
things up for everybody else? Something his brother did before. I`ll
explain exactly what that means in a minute.
But first, as we go to the break, we want to remember another one of the
victims from the Charlie Hebdo shootings.
This is George Wolinski. He`s an 80-year cartoonist who is well known in
France for his work with "Charlie Hebdo", and other publications. Shortly
after his death this week, his daughter posted this picture on Instagram,
appears to be her father`s office, showing his unused pen, his drawing
board and his desk, along with a short message which when translated reads
in part, "Daddy is gone."
KORNACKI: So, obviously, this is a tragic week in the world. We`re going
to continue to keep our eye on Paris.
But as we said during the show, also a lot of big things suddenly happening
in American politics. We want to talk about that for just a minute,
because one of the biggest reasons big things are happening in American
politics right now has to do with Jeb Bush and some very surprising and
aggressive early moves he`s making as he prepares to potentially run for
So, we`re going to take you through that. You saw headlines like this,
this week involving Jeb Bush. We know he`s now said he`s potentially
interested in running. He`s now got people out there looking to raise for
And this is what they`re trying to do. This is the headline you see this
week, the Bush team setting a bowl fund raising goal of $100 million in
three months. And if you look a little bit closer on this article from
"Bloomberg", it said, "Jeb Bush`s allies are setting a fundraising goal of
$100 million the first three months this year, including a whopping $25
million haul in Florida, this in effort to winnow the potential Republican
primary field with an audacious display of financial strength."
So, this is Jeb Bush basically saying there`s a crowded field right now. I
want to see if I can intimidate these people. If I can dry up the money
they`ve been relying on and intimidate them out of the race and really
become the clear frontrunner that way.
So, look where he starts out right now. This is the most recent poll.
This is from CNN. And you can see cluttered field. We`re just putting the
most prominent names up here. You`ve got 12 different names that are being
And Jeb Bush is sitting there in the lead, but 23 percent, you know, not
that far ahead right now. So, he wants to really create distance here and
he sees raising big money as a way to do that. The interesting thing is
here is if there`s a model for this, if there`s blueprint for what Jeb Bush
is trying to pull off this year, it`s what his brother, George W. Bush did
when he ran for president in 2000. So, in the year 1999, the year before
that election, sort of the equivalent year, we want to show you what George
W. Bush pulled off.
So, let`s return to that year, January 1999. This is what the world looked
like in Republican Party politics -- George W. Bush, like his brother now
running ahead of the pack. It was a bit of a cluttered field. He wasn`t
exactly that far ahead, only 10 points ahead of Elizabeth Dole, and then
George W. Bush at that time started making the same kind of aggressive
moves to raise big money early that Jeb Bush is making right now.
As you can see, this is George W. Bush as he got into the race. Let`s
listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I suspect should I decide to
move forward, it`s a huge benefit to have your little brother as governor
of Florida. That`s why I was nice to him all those years. It`s one thing
to have all of the interest and people flying down. The next step is to
determine whether I can raise money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. So, he set out to determine if he could raise money.
He got a lot of very influential money people behind him. Go to a few
months later, this is summer of 1999, fundraising reports coming in.
How did that go for George W. Bush?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: The big news from the world of presidential
campaign money to report to you tonight, political pros call this early
fundraising part of it, the first primary. Well, tonight we have a winner.
George W. Bush stunned everybody by disclosing he has raised $36.2 million,
in the first six months of this year. That smashes all previous standing
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: It actually was 37.2 when they tallied everything up. And this
was stunning. You look at this money today, $37 million, not that much.
In 1999, it was shocking that George W. Bush raised this money. It stuns
the rest of the field, it made a definitive statement that this was the
clear frontrunner for Republicans. It sent a signal to Republicans who
maybe on the fence, that it was time to get on board.
And look what happened, because he raised that money in the middle of 1999,
look what it did. First of all, in the next month, you take a poll and
suddenly he was he was overwhelmingly ahead, 47 points ahead. Look at
this, look what happens over the next two months. Six different
candidates, John Kasich, Lamar Alexander, Dan Quayle, remember him? He was
running for president. Elizabeth Dole, Pat Buchanan, Bob Smith, six
different Republicans were all running for president in 1999.
Because George W. Bush raised so much money and brought in so much early
endorsements, and just cornered the market on the party, six of them
dropped out without a single vote even being cast. It takes you to the end
of the year and you can see where things ended up, George W. Bush ended
that year as the most overwhelming front-runner the Republican Party had
ever seen, either party had ever seen, for an open nomination in the modern
And if there`s one kicker on the story, it`s this -- one of the people, one
of the people who got on board early with George W. Bush that year who
helped him clear out all those Republicans who helped him raise that big
money, one of his big donors that year, a Bush pioneer, was a New Jersey
politician named Chris Christie. And now, Chris Christie stands
potentially to be on the receiving end, maybe on the victim`s end of one of
those Bush money pushes unless he`s able to fight back against it.
Up next, we`re going to talk to the country`s leading experts on the
Republican field about all of this, whether Jeb`s early push could freeze
out other contenders, and what it means -- straight ahead.
KORNACKI: It`s about 20 degrees here in New York this morning. It`s been
like this all week. Jeb Bush tweeted this photo on Thursday, saying
there`s a reason he lives in Florida. But on Thursday, as you can see
here, he was actually in New York.
Why is any politician seeking national office visit New York? Well, to
raise money. As we`ve been discussing here this morning, Jeb Bush is
making a big push for early money, early money that could potentially scare
off competition and make his path to the Republican nomination a whole
clearer. It`s an aggressive strategy that is scrambling every other would-
be candidates timetables. Will it work?
Joining me now to discuss the fallout of Jeb`s big push, we have some of
the nation`s top experts on the Republican field, Robert Costa, national
political reporter for "The Washington Post", Republican strategist John
Brabender, who served as a senior strategist for Santorum`s 2012 campaign,
Rick Wilson, a Republican media consultant based in Florida, WNYC reporter
Matt Katz who tracks Chris Christie more closely than just about anyone.
Robert Costa, let me start on the big picture and Mitt Romney suddenly
inserting himself into this story yesterday. We`re saying on the show
earlier, looks like Mitt Romney for whatever reason wants to stop that
money from suddenly going to Jeb Bush. Tell us what`s going on there.
ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: On the day Governor Bush was in Boston,
Mitt Romney`s home turf, you had Mitt Romney meet with a lot of his top
former donors at Woody Johnson, the New York Jets owner, office in
Manhattan and signal to them, don`t sign up with Jeb, I`m still seriously
considering a bid.
This is a chess game of the biggest proportions.
KORNACKI: So, what is -- do you think Romney actually thinks he can run
against Jeb? Is he looking for some insurance policy here? Is he looking
to freeze money so he has leverage? What`s the angle here?
COSTA: Well, sitting down with Romney people last night. It`s not so much
that Romney wants to run against Jeb Bush, is that he doesn`t think Jeb
Bush has the political skills necessary to, one, get through a Republican
primary due to the views on Common Core and immigration, and, two, he
doesn`t think Bush could beat Hillary Clinton in a general election. And
Romney thinks he`s been right, he`s been vindicated since 2012, and he`s
sitting on the sidelines still with that appetite to get in the race.
KORNACKI: I mean, with Jeb Bush`s standpoint, with this big money push
right here. Obviously, we talk about it all the time the establishment
versus more of the grassroots, is the idea here for Jeb Bush specifically
like, we want to put the heat on Christie. We want to put the hit on
Romney for that matter. We want to just corner the market and being that
COSTA: Certainly. And what I reported yesterday and today`s "Washington
Post," is that it`s almost like two boxers in the ring looking at each
other, gauging where they are going to move next. Right before Christmas,
Mike Murphy, who`s Jeb Bush`s chief political strategist, he sat down with
Romney privately and they both felt each other out whether Jeb was going to
move fast or whether Romney was going to move.
And so, they`re really -- these two different camps, Bush versus Romney,
two of the biggest families in Republican politics, they`re trying to react
to each other and see who can get out there and maybe get the nomination.
KORNACKI: All right. Rick Wilson, let me bring you into this because I
want to talk about the ripple effects of this. You`re down there in
Florida. You know Jeb Bush world, you know Marco Rubio world better than
So, we have Marco Rubio, this just yesterday, in an interview he gave to
"National Journal", saying, hey, my family is on board, they`re ready to
go, if I want to run for president, they are ready for me to do it.
Here`s where that sort of money push comes into it. If Jeb Bush is out
there, you know, sort of saying, I need the money, I`m ready to go too --
can I guy like Marco Rubio actually run? Is there room for him to run?
RICK WILSON, GOP MEDIA CONSULTANT: There`s plenty of room for a guy like
Marco to run. Nobody in this -- sort of run this thing on the major donor
side has really looked back -- I mean, look, Newt Gingrich had a major
donor, OK? And he`s not president.
This is a situation where in the new world of campaigning in the current
conservative landscape, the major donors make a huge difference. Jeb is
very smart to go out and hammer away at this stuff early, because Jeb right
now is in a primary for the donor class, which is Jeb, Mitt Romney and
The other candidates are going to have to win on ideas more than just on
the nuclear powered campaign machine that runs off millions a week in
KORNACKI: There`s always the question, I mean, we hear about Rubio and
Bush, there`s a pretty longstanding relationship with them, personal
relationship with them. I`m not getting the impression at least from his
public that that matters much to Rubio in terms of running. But what`s
your sense? I mean, you know these guys. Would that ultimately hold him
back not wanting to run against somebody he`s been close to and helpful to
him in his career?
WILSON: No, Steve, it won`t, and I`ll tell you why. Because Marco, as you
said respects Jeb tremendously and thinks he`s a formidable candidate,
would raise an incredible amount of money. If you`re called to run for
president, your relationships and your friendships in the past have to be
something, if you feel so compelled to make such a consequential jump in
your life, you have to look at it as something that the country comes first
and your vision for it comes first, and previous relationships you`ve had
with folks have to be set aside.
Now, that is not that he`s ever going -- it`s going to be hostile or
anything like that. But it does mean that folks who think there`s some
game plan about -- from the sort of Chang era, when Marco was speaker and
Jeb was governor, that will hold Marco back from doing this, you have to
take the guy at his word because he actually means it. If he says that it
won`t affect his judgment, it won`t affect his judgment.
KORNACKI: Matt Katz, Chris Christie world. So, what happens, Jeb Bush --
a lot of people surprised by the timing, how early he did this, how
aggressive he`s being. What is the response? How is the Christie world
reacting to this? Do they have a plan to respond? How are they going to
MATT KATZ, REPORTER, WNYC: They tell me that their time frame is the same
as it has been for weeks. That they can`t depend on other candidates and
going forward and doing what they always plan to do.
Now, the idea he`s not laying the groundwork and really running is false.
I mean, he`s having weekly calls with big donors, gone to six gubernatorial
inaugurations this month. While he`s at these inaugurations, he`s meeting
with donors, talking to bundlers, there are meetings scheduled in New York
and Greenwich and elsewhere.
So, this is already happening for him, but because he has the New Jersey
Republican party which can pay for a lot of his travel, which is a luxury
that some of the other candidates can`t afford, he can wait a little bit.
He can use the New Jersey Republican to travel, to fund some of this shadow
campaigning right now. And then he can move forward with the time frame
that they said that they had already set forward and they are not affected
by Jeb or Mitt.
KORNACKI: So, you don`t -- you`re not picking up on a sense from them they
are at risk of losing their donors to Jeb Bush, their donors saying, hey,
the train is leaving the station, I better get on it, that`s the better
KATZ: They say their donors, the guys wanting them to run and guys wanting
them to run since 2011, know that he`s still preparing to run. So, they
are not saying, wow, a new shiny thing, let me run over there and forget
about Christie. He`s still talking to these guys and they still know he`s
about to get in. So, they`re not running away.
They also -- you know, there`s a group of these guys and bundlers and
billionaires and traditional donors, but the governor spent some time in
Silicon Valley for his reelection campaign and you might see some
untraditional Republican donors who supports him in a presidential race.
Remember Mark Zuckerberg, the first political fundraiser he ever held was
for Chris Christie. And while he was out there, he met a lot of Mark`s
friends and associates. I mean, Chris Christie once spent the night at
So, you know, there might be other people that can help him in the run that
aren`t the typical Republican establishment and the guys that would be with
KORNACKI: All right. John Brabender now, let me go to slightly different
direction with you, because we`re talking about the sort of the Bush
effect. We also talk about, you know, sort of the conservative grassroots
of the party and evangelical voters.
You have worked with Rick Santorum, he won the Iowa caucuses in 2012, and
Mike Huckabee who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008 with very strong support
from evangelical Christians out there, has now made a move of his own and
said he`s exploring running for president. He`s left the FOX News show.
What effect does that have on somebody like Rick Santorum, looking to run
for president, the fact that now somebody who have a lot of overlap
potentially with his supporters, very popular with his supporters
potentially, now making a move like this?
JOHN BRABENDER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, first of all, people have to
understand the way Republican primaries are picked are completely different
than they were back in 1999 2000 as you started your show. There`s now
like five buckets of voters, there`s the establishment, there`s the
libertarian, Tea Party, social conservatives and what we call working
And so, you have to be able to play in a number of those buckets. If you
look back in 2012, Rick Santorum out of the 30 contestant primaries won 11,
tied two others not because he had money. He was outspent 8-1. It was
because he could play not only in the social conservative but hard working,
the Tea Party, those types of things. That`s what`s going to happen with
I find it interesting that Mitt Romney was the first to attack Jeb Bush on
Common Core, immigration because he understands that that`s going to affect
a lot of those buckets that aren`t the establishment bucket.
So, this is a little bit like playing three dimensional chess, every time
somebody else gets in the race. It affects everybody to some degree. This
is a wide open primary with no front-runner.
KORNACKI: And, Robert Costa, I`ll just end on you. Your sense covering
this in terms of the appetite your picking up among Republicans for Jeb
Bush, you know, John was just outlining the differences between the nature
of the Republican Party now and back in 2000, the appetite that was there
for George W. Bush in 2000 -- are you sensing something similar or not as
COSTA: Not as pronounced. It`s going to be a harder climb for Governor
Bush because when his brother entered in 1999, he was a sitting governor of
a major state, Jeb Bush has not been on a ballot since 2002. He needs to
see if he can get back in step where the party is today.
KORNACKI: All right. Robert Costa from "The Washington Post", Republican
strategist John Brabender, Rick Wilson, the Republican media consultant
down in Florida, WNYC reporter Matt Katz, very busy panel -- appreciate all
of you coming on and getting up early. Great insight there. Thanks for
Still ahead, what we know, what we don`t know, and what we still really
want to know about the attacks in Paris. A lot more detail still ahead.
KORNACKI: Images from just a few minutes ago of the many rallies now
taking place across France, rallies in solidarity with the people of Paris,
with the victims of this week`s tragedy.
Here`s what we know at this hour: police are still on the hunt for Hayat
Boumeddiene. She is the partner of the alleged gunman in yesterday`s
attack on a kosher supermarket. French President Francois Hollande holding
an emergency security meeting with his cabinet today. Country`s interior
minister says they are deploying hundreds of troops to support the
thousands of police and other security personnel in trying to ensure that
there are no further attacks.
MSNBC`s Ronan Farrow is live in Paris. He joins us right now.
So, Ronan, as you say, the big story of the day right now is this hunt for
this woman, armed and dangerous, you know, potentially in a very desperate
situation. What can you tell us the latest is on that right now?
RONAN FARROW, MSNBC HOST: Exactly. Hayat Boumeddiene, we know that she`s
the partner of the assailant in the supermarket. They were married in a
religious ceremony but not recognized by the state as husband and wife.
The authorities are remaining tight-lipped, Steve, about her. The chief of
police here actually gave his very first interview and still said we`re not
revealing any leads, any intelligence. So, we don`t have a status update
where the investigation is this minute.
What we do know from the chief prosecutor that she called one of the
Kouachi brothers wives up to 500 times. They know that because they have
that wife in custody. They checked her phone.
Of course, all of this uncertainty about the search is leading up to the
major unity rally tomorrow. And there`s some irony there because although
there are certainly many standing shoulder to shoulder in unity, it`s
revealing a lot of fault lines, political fault lines, Jean-Marie Le Pen,
the far right French icon, decrying it, saying, "I am not Charlie" because
far right leaders aren`t invited, and also various ethnic groups that feel
disenfranchised, coming out and using this as an opportunity to say so.
There`s a major rally of tens and thousands of Kurds going on right now
that we`re following, with them decrying assassinations in their community,
racism directed at them.
So, France continues to be tense right now.
KORNACKI: Yes. And it sounds like there`s a lot of this, you see those
divisions, sort of long standing divisions, a lot of those divisions now
come to the surface maybe in a moment like this as well.
Ronan Farrow, joining us live in Paris, appreciate that.
KORNACKI: Thank you very much, Ronan.
This week`s news out of France saw one of -- if not the biggest hashtags in
the history of Twitter. I also want to tell you about the huge economic
news in Washington.
As we go to break, we want to tell you the story of another victim of this
week`s attack in Paris. Ahmed Merabet was one of the police officers
killed outside "Charlie Hebdo`s" office. Like the alleged gunman, he was a
Muslim. Merabet had been a police officer for eight years. He had just
qualified to become a detective. Now, he`s a national hero in France, with
tribute pouring into Twitter with that hashtag we just talked about a
minute ago, "Je Suis Ahmed," "I am Ahmed".
Ahmed Merabet was 42 years old.
KORNACKI: All right. Back here on set with us now, we have MSNBC
contributor Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, professor at the University of
Texas` Center for Mexican-American Studies, Will Cain, contributor of
"National Review", and MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh, also editor at
large with Salon.
So, as we`ve been saying throughout the show, obviously everybody is
focused on France but a lot of other news going on this weekend, a lot of
news breaking. We wanted to take a segment here and just kind of go
through as much of it as we can. So, we`ve got a bunch of headlines to run
First of all, one sort of on point with France, that we`ve been talking
about, an interesting development in an NBA game last night, Kevin
Seraphin, not sure if you heard of him, but he`s a forward for, the
Washington Wizard, a backup player donned a black t-shirt with the words
"Je Suis Charlie" on them. Apparently, his family lives in Paris, he was
born in French Guinea.
"I`m happy he did that," Bulls forwards Joakim Noah said after the game.
By the way, Wizards lost that game 102-86, but obviously a very touching
Here`s an interesting headline, this has a lot of people talking to,
obviously, domestically here, 250,000 new jobs added in December, bringing
the unemployment down to 5.6 percent. It`s 5.7 a month ago. This is total
employment rising by nearly 3 million people for the year, most in 15
years. Interesting news there.
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: And gas prices are still
down. So, I think what we`re seeing are tangible differences in the
economy. It`s not just a jobs report. Regular people every day, they
don`t care about what the jobs report says, when they go to the supermarket
and gas station, they have more money in their pocket. So, I think this is
the real news, the tangible effects.
WILL CAIN, NATIONAL REVIEW: You and I are both from Texas, Victoria, we
know, though, it`s not all rosy news. That`s good. That`s good news,
labor force participation is down. And with the drop in gas prices, there
is some cutbacks in oil and gas industry.
Back home, we see jobs starting to contract a little bit. So, we`ll have
to see what the loss in some employment in oil and gas could have on these
KORNACKI: I mean, we`ve been saying for so long also is the idea of either
-- the recovery and when people feel there`s a recovery. You start seeing
numbers like this and people start to feel it, I think.
JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Some people are feeling it. It`s 58
straight months of private sector growth. So, that`s a really good thing.
One bad thing in these numbers, though, is again, hourly wages ticked down
a little. So, there`s still this concern that the jobs are coming back,
things are better, but we`re still not seeing wages climb --
KORNACKI: Not necessarily the kind of jobs --
CAIN: One just quick point, Steve, we`ve got more headlines we have to get
to. And I`m focused on this thing, "Je Suis Charlie" thing. I applaud
Kevin Seraphin and his support. But this statement, "Je Suis Charlie", I am
Charlie Hebdo, it`s not necessarily true. You are Charlie Hebdo if you
take the same brave stance that they did. Not if you draw a sad cartoon or
wear a t-shirt, which again, I applaud the support. But truly being
Charlie Hebdo is standing as bravely as they did.
KORNACKI: Right. It also could be taken as a gesture of solidarity.
Somebody`s who`s standing --
CAIN: And I applaud that.
WALSH: And maybe Bill O`Reilly won`t call him stupid as he did the people
protesting with police. I mean, this will be something that many people in
the right will applaud.
SOTO: Political activism comes in many shapes and sizes. And I applaud
our athletes who want to put this message forward.
KORNACKI: I agree at even -- not necessarily even as a political activist
message but that`s a guy whose family lives there and thinking of his
family and people he`s close to. Here`s an interesting story, close to
where I grew up, "Boston Globe" here, Marty Walsh, the mayor, and officials
vowing a cost effective Olympics, that is because Boston was chosen,
beating out three other cities, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver, to
be the official American entry for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
What Boston is proposing doing is interesting, we always hear about the
Olympics -- you know, they always shatter cost records. They build these
giant stadiums that maybe never get used. Boston wants to build a
temporary stadium that can be taken down and then donated piece by piece to
local schools, mass transit, they want everything within like 10 and 15
miles. They`re promising a different kind of Olympics that`s not going to,
you know, leave a city feeling like Sochi.
SOTO: In theory, it makes sense. It makes sense because they have so many
institutions of higher education. But from theory to practice, it is a
long stretch. So, I`m going to be curious to see the actual proposals of
that plan because we just saw how badly in went in Brazil. Good God, in
the political cost there. So --
KORNACKI: Big project in Boston, big dig, I`ve heard all of the jokes.
CAIN: IOC ready to ready thriftiness as well. I mean, is Boston`s
thriftiness going to line up as attractive as London`s flashiness was or
all these other cities --
WALSH: It`s a job for Mitt Romney.
KORNACKI: Oh, there it is, bring him back home.
Here`s another headline, which is -- we`ll get a couple more here. This is
a name you certainly know, George Zimmerman -- you remember the controversy
from a year ago. He was arrested overnight apparently for aggravated
assault that`s coming from News 13 in Orlando. He`s arrested Friday night
in Florida, charges of aggravated assault with a weapon. He will appear in
court this morning.
Of course, Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 for Trayvon Martin`s death, that
death occurring in 2012.
Also, I guess this counts as a headline, "The Wall Street Journal"
reporting on professional cuddlers embracing more clients, I think this is
what I`m reading. It`s the newest profession. They charge $80 an hour, up
to $80 an hour or $400 for an overnight gig. They just -- they cuddle with
you and apparently new economy. I don`t know.
SOTO: This can be so good but so bad. I can see potential implications
To tie it to actual research, recently there was an article in "The New
York Times" about the benefits of friendship and why married people tend to
live longer, tend to be happier. So, you see that need for
camaraderieship, for being together, having that loved one. So, I think
this is where I see the cuddle business model come in. That`s where -- I`m
trying to bring it back --
SOTO: I`m trying to bring the scientific angle.
CAIN: Business fails under disappointment and frustration as well.
SOTO: But it pays well.
KORNACKI: It`s very possible.
So, here, we`ll end with one more. This isn`t a headline but we have to
show you this again. We say, so much tragic news this week. We thought
we`d give you something to smile about maybe for a minute or two, and that
is the vice president of the United States at his favorite event from all I
can tell. He swears in the new senators every year.
He`s a one man, I don`t know, comedy routine. Here`s some interesting
clips. Take a look. This is pretty funny.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hey, dad. Welcome to
the old Senate.
Excuse me. That`s the oath. That`s the most important piece.
BIDEN: Let`s get one on this side. I`m home with Democrats but I`m OK.
I`m not doing the next one. I am not doing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you are. It`s part of the job.
BIDEN: As they say in southern Delaware, before you married up, we both
have something in common. We both married up.
BIDEN: We got something in common. We sisters better looking and smarter.
Better looking and smarter looking.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard you like selfies.
BIDEN: Well, yes.
BIDEN: Oh, man. This is boring, boring, boring. How you doing, man?
Isn`t this boring, boring, boring? This is boring, isn`t it?
Charlie, how you doing, man? Big time Charlie. How old are you?
I like kids better than people. I love it.
I need a hug. Come on. I need a hug.
A son is a son until he gets a wife. A daughter is a daughter the rest of
One night, you know, around twelve and a half, you tuck this beautiful
butterfly into bed, and the next morning, there`s a snake in the bed.
How are you? I hope you have a big fence around the house.
No serious guys until you`re thirty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: You know I`m watching it and I`m thinking about it, this isn`t
actually that original. Dick Cheney used to do the same thing, right? He
was hugging and telling stories about snakes.
Every two years now, I`ve come to look forward to that. They should keep
him when his term as vice president is over.
SOTO: It should be a new office.
WALSH: The official swearer in, and someone can swear him to do the
swearing in and we`ll all be happy, including Joe Biden.
KORNACKI: Exactly, so there we go.
CAIN: Impossible not to like him.
KORNACKI: They say the vice presidency isn`t worth a warm bucket of spit.
I think it was Johnny Gardner (ph) said. Well, he never got to do that
Anyway, putting Paris in some perspective. We will return, obviously to
the biggest story of the day, the weekend, the week, right after this.
KORNACKI: All right. Authorities in France at this hour continuing the
search for that woman, the associate of the gunman in France. They`re
continuing the search for her. She`s considered armed and dangerous,
potentially very volatile and desperate in this situation.
Solidarity and reality is taking place in France at this hour as well. And
Attorney General Eric Holder is on his way over to represent the United
States in ceremony.
Bring our panel back for the final minute of the show here and just final
thoughts on what we`ve been watching in the last few days and what we`re
seeing this weekend in France.
WALSH: Well, France has been through this and worse before, you know, in
the `80s and `90s, with the series of Algerian terror attacks. I think one
of the things that troubled me was that the Grand Synagogue for the first
time since World War II, did not hold Sabbath services last night. So,
France`s Jewish community even before this was suffering and feeling under
siege. I think there`s a real problem there that needs to be addressed.
SOTO: What can we do going forward to prevent such attacks as these? And
I think we need to look at a society that needs to integrate these
disenfranchise these youths. Instead of going radical, they are able to be
brought into the fold of the mainstream community.
CAIN: You mentioned solidarity rally. Solidarity is an interesting
concept. It`s easy to attack companies. It`s easy to attack individuals.
It`s difficult to attack solid industries. In the same way I wish they
would have stood in solidarity with Sony and then thwarted that attack or
at least been stronger against it. I think media should stand in
solidarity of "Charlie Hebdo" and in solidarity, publish those cartoons.
KORNACKI: OK. My thanks to Joan Walsh, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, and
Will Cain. I appreciate you all being here today.
Thank you for joining us today for UP. For more all day long here on MSNBC
from Paris about the continuing manhunt. And tomorrow here on UP, the
planned march for national unity scheduled for 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.
Up next, "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY".
Thanks for getting UP.
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