'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, October 4th, 2015
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: October 4, 2015
Guest: Elizabeth Esty, Nan Hayworth, Sabrina Siddiqui, Dan Gerstein,
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Record-setting rainfall. Good morning and
thanks for getting up with us this Sunday morning. I`m Ayman Mohyeldin in
for Steve Kornacki. South Carolina is waking up to catastrophic flooding
this morning. This was the scene in Charleston earlier this morning, where
the rain keeps coming down, and flood warnings remain in place at this hour
from South Carolina all the way north, all the way up to New Jersey. More
on that in just a minute. But there are also new questions this morning
about the apparent U.S. air strike that hit a Doctors Without Borders
hospital in Afghanistan. President Obama offering his condolences today
while the Defense Department launches a full investigation, those details
are also straight ahead.
Plus the good news and the bad for Donald Trump in the brand new NBC
News/Marist College polls out this hour.
And Hillary Clinton kicks off another season of "Saturday Night Live".
What she did and how she did are also straight ahead.
But we want to begin this hour in South Carolina and this weekend`s
historic rainfall and catastrophic flooding across the state. The
Charleston fire chief reporting 37 water rescues overnight and at least one
location in Charleston reports that it has received an astounding 24 inches
of rain so far with even more rain still on the way.
President Obama has declared a state of emergency in the state, and NBC`s
Gabe Gutierrez joins us live from Charleston. Gabe, give us a sense of
what`s the latest on it, how are efforts going and how are people bracing
themselves for more rain to come?
GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC CORRERSPONDENT: Hi there, good morning. Thankfully we
have gotten a small break in the rain so far this morning. But as we
talked to the fire chief this morning, they are preparing for some water
rescues throughout the morning, as people wake up and realize they`re
trapped in their homes, this city got almost a quarter of its average
yearly rainfall in just 24 hours, and as you can see behind me many roads
are impassable, cars are abandoned and water rescues are under way. We saw
several of them as well in Columbia, South Carolina. There was a dramatic
water rescue there, where several people were caught fighting the currents
hand in hand as rescue crews rushed in to help.
Now, here in Charleston, it was the wettest day on record. There were
hundreds of emergency calls overnight and dozens of water rescues. This is
the weather system that has pounded much of the East Coast over the last
few days, killing at least four people, and if you come over here, Ayman,
you can see that this car in the last hour or two thankfully we`ve noticed
that the waterline has dropped ever so slightly, just a few inches so the
waters are receding just a bit, but the issue is here in South Carolina
that many of the rivers are rising and the concern is that they could reach
record flood stages by tomorrow. Ayman, back to you.
MOHYELDIN: All right, my thanks to NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez for that update.
Coastal flood warnings are still in effect from South Carolina all the way
up to New Jersey as more rainfall is expected. From what now we turn to
MSNBC meteorologist Bill Karins who`s got the very latest from our weather
BILL KARINS, MSNBC METEOROLOGIST: Ayman, I`m very confident, that this
will go down as the flood of record in the state of South Carolina, they`ve
never seen anything like that. Right now we have 96 bridges and state
roads that are closed. There`s a civil emergency, they`re asking 4 million
plus people in the state of South Carolina to stay where they are. If
you`re in a safe place, stay where you are. If you`re not, obviously,
they`re asking people to call 911. But they`re only saying, use 911 for
emergencies. And this setup has gone on now for day three, the heavy rain
that`s just focusing right into areas of South Carolina. Rainfall totals,
boon hall plantation just came in with over 24 inches of rain. This look
like snowfall totals. Two feet of rain, Charleston, over 16.5 inches of
rain. These are the major cities. Columbia, ten inches of rain and six of
that fell last night, which is why you are seeing all the dramatic pictures
on social media right now in the Columbia area, especially the east and
northeast side of the city. Orange - north Myrtle Beach has picked up over
eight inches, too. These are the flooding pictures last night from
rescuers. They`ve been working overnight trying to get people out of their
homes that are surrounded by water, get them to a safe place.
I know there are boat rescues going on in Georgetown, that`s one of the
worst places right now, five feet of water is being reported in downtown
Georgetown. Imagine - imagine how much money and monetary damages are
being done. Right now they`re worried about saving lives let alone they
worry about the cleanup later. So as far as the flash flood emergencies
go, these are all flash flood emergencies, for Columbia to Orangeburg,
Georgetown to the Charleston area, this band of rain will shift northward,
so Florence and Myrtle Beach you`ll soon be seeing the really torrential
stuff heading your way and your flash flooding could potentially get worse.
Here is where our flood watches go, pretty much from Charlotte, North
Carolina, over towards Wilmington southwards. We`re not done with you yet
in southern North Carolina, tonight you`ll get your heaviest rains. So,
we`ve already picked that. I just showed you those amazing totals. Here`s
the future radar that`s starting at 9:00 this morning, you notice that band
sits here, it kind of finally dissipates a little bit by 7:00 p.m. in
southern portions of North Carolina, but then it regenerates later on
tonight and comes back down into South Carolina, so as far as rainfall
totals are going to go, by the time we`re all said and done our computers
are projecting the possibility here of anywhere up to about another foot of
rain at most in areas of South Carolina.
So, Ayman, you get the picture, right now there`s horrendous flooding in
South Carolina, some of the worst flooding they`ve ever seen. We`re not
talking yet about what this is going to do with the rivers in the days
MOHYELDIN: Bill Karins, the numbers tell the story, and what an incredible
KARINS: It`s going to be staggering.
MOHYELDIN: Staggering numbers.
KARINS: The problem with flooding like this, is that, you know, we have
our camera positions out there, and they`re kind of set, but this flash
flooding is taking place across the state in rural areas, cities, all over.
So, I mean they told people to stay home from church there. They`re asking
churches to cancel their services. They do not want people out on the
roads getting trapped.
MOHYELDIN: Yeah, and we hope our folks are taking these warnings and
evacuations seriously. Bill Karins, thanks for that, and we`re going to be
checking out Columbia, South Carolina, later in the show with a live report
But we do now want to switch gears and move to Oregon where Umpqua
Community College will reopen a little more than 24 hours from now. Though
classes won`t resume for another week. It has been only three days since a
gunman opened fire on campus killing nine people and wounding nine more.
Yesterday authorities say that they`ve ruled the gunman`s death as a
suicide. One official also says the gunman appears to have left a note at
the shooting scene. For more we are joined by MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff in
JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Ayman. You know, we
are about as close as we have been since arriving on the scene here
Thursday at Umpqua Community College, you can see it directly behind me.
The campus opens again tomorrow and classes don`t resume for a week from
tomorrow. But there were new details that emerged yesterday, including the
amount of guns that the shooter owned. It was 14, revised upward from 13
and we also found out the timeline and that it happened within about ten
minutes from the first 911 call to the time that the shooter was down,
which is quite remarkable, given how rural this campus is and how long it
takes actually to drive up here.
I also had the opportunity yesterday to speak one on one for the first
time, I should say, with the fire chief of Douglas County, Greg Marlar and
he gave me his reaction to walking into the scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREG MARLAR, DOUGLAS CO., OR FIRE DISTRICT: I walked up to approach the
classroom where they said that there were victims inside.
SOBOROFF: And what did you see?
MARLAR: Well, I quickly saw that this was many more victims, and was told
as I approached upwards of 20, than we were originally notified at
dispatch. So, once I stepped in, saw multiple victims laying in the
classroom, I actually at that point quickly stepped back and realizing that
I needed to establish an incident command and be able to ramp up and get
the additional resources and notifications going because we had a much
larger scale incident than we originally thought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOBOROFF: The family of the shooter released a statement yesterday through
the sheriff`s department here, Ayman, and they said "Our thoughts, our
hearts and our prayers go out to all of the families of those who died and
MOHYELDIN: All right, Jacob Soboroff for us live in Oregon, I appreciate
Well, flags across the state of Connecticut are flying at half staff today
upon the order of the governor just like they did after Sandy Hook and they
will continue to do so through Tuesday in honor of the nine people that
were killed in Roseburg, Oregon. Many thought that the Sandy Hook shooting
three years ago would be a galvanizing moment for this country, that if 20
young kids gunned down in their classrooms couldn`t inspire Congress to
compromise and pass gun reform measures, then nothing could. So far, still
nothing, but even as change at the federal level has been a non-starter,
Connecticut did pass its own gun reform measures back in 2013.
Joining us now is Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty who represents Newtown,
Connecticut. Congresswoman, thank you very much for joining us. She joins
this morning`s panel, former Republican congresswoman Nan Hayworth, Sabrina
Siddiqui from "The Guardian" and Dan Gerstein. Thank you very much. I
appreciate all of you being here with us. Should I mention that you`re a
political strategist and used to work with former senator Joe Lieberman?
Congresswoman, I`d like to start with you, if I can. Can you talk to us a
little bit about why there has been such an uphill battle in Congress, as
we were just saying there, when you see 20 young children murdered in their
classrooms, how could that not be a moment for Congress to be inspired to
REP. ELIZABETH ESTY, (D) CONNECTICUT: Well, frankly, Ayman, it`s shameful
that it wasn`t. But if we also remember that it took ten years after an
assassination attempt on President Reagan for the Brady Bill to pass.
Things can take a long time in Congress, and I`ll tell you this, I am
confident in the long-term that we will get this done. I can`t tell you
when, but it will happen because the American people know it needs to
happen and the American people are with us for better gun safety laws.
MOHYELDIN: And earlier this year, you helped introduce a bill that would
expand background checks for some folks, for those who are trying to
purchase guns. I`d like to know if efforts like these have any chance of
being passed on a national level, not just simply on a state level?
ESTY: Well, I`ll tell you. If we could get a vote it would pass, I`m
confident of that. And in fact, 144 of us sent a letter as a bipartisan
letter to Speaker Boehner, just on Friday, hours before the shooting in
Oregon. We sent a letter asking him to call up this bill. And really, I
think about the pope having come and addressed Congress ten days ago, and
called on us to stand up for the American people and for those who are most
vulnerable. And who is more vulnerable than a child at the other end of a
MOHYELDIN: Your state - Lawmakers in your state were able to pass tougher
gun laws. I`m curious to know if you think this is a more effective
strategy that since there`s a paralysis in Congress to get this done,
should state legislators take this up and see if they can have better
success in trying to impose tougher gun laws on a state level?
ESTY: Well, it`s important that the states move forward, but at the end of
the day, Ayman, we need to have federal legislation, because frankly, the
trafficking and passing of weapons across state lines can only be dealt
with at the national level and that`s why it`s so critically important that
we strengthen the national instant criminal background check system, we
close the gun show and Internet loopholes and frankly, we also close the
fact that right now, if you wait three days, this is what some are calling
the Charleston loophole, if after three days of waiting for an affirmative
clean bill of health on a background check, a gun seller can still go ahead
and sell the gun and the people who don`t pass in a matter of minutes
usually have felony problems and that`s why we should really wait until we
get a green light before selling a gun to those folks.
MOHYELDIN: All right. So, let`s bring in the rest of the panel here.
Nan, if I can start with you. Talk to us a little bit about why - what is
the actual reason why it`s so hard to get a national piece of legislation
to address gun reform laws?
NAN HAYWORTH, FMR. REP. (R) NEW YORK: I think one of the challenges is
that, and it`s entirely valid, those who are compliant with the law will no
doubt comply with more restrictions, but that won`t get at the heart of the
problem. We will put more burdens on law-abiding responsible firearms
owners, but we won`t get at the heart of the problem, which in a case like
this won another hideous, awful event that should never happen. The issue
of mental health, which is itself very complicated, but comes prominently
into play. Here`s another young man who clearly was deeply disturbed and
should not have had firearms. But how do we get at that?
MOHYELDIN: So, Dan, let me pick up on that. About how do we get at that.
There are some that are saying there needs to be a new national approach to
the issue of guns not to ban them, but as in some cases like Nicholas
Kristof wrote in "The New York Times", there should be a new approach to
try to deal with this as a public health issue, to try to put different
measures and restrictions. Is that even a plausible approach, do you
DAN GERSTEIN, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: It might be, but I want to go back to
the question you posed to Nan. The reason there is this road block is
because of fear of the NRA. It`s pretty simple and there`s an asymmetrical
war going on, there is a small minority of gun owners who exert a lot of
power because they vote, they get money, they organize, and the great mass
of people who are outraged by this don`t engage on the issue in such a way
that there`s any sense of accountability for members of Congress. So, you
have an 80/20 split on background checks, on expanding background checks,
80 percent of people, majority of NRA members actually support this kind of
change. But it doesn`t get - happen in Congress in large part because the
people who really want to happen don`t act politically. Now, there could
have been an easy solution after Sandy Hook, which is President Obama who
has a lot more power than he seems to recognize could have said I`m not
going to sign any piece of legislation, I`ll veto every bridge, every
appropriations bill you send me until we have a vote on this. If that had
happened, that might have energized the American people.
MOHYELDIN: Congresswoman, I`d like to give you the last word on this
debate, if you can. What is the way going forward from here?
ESTY: Well, I think the way going forward is energizing and motivating the
American people to demand that members of Congress do their job and allow
us to at least to have a vote on this common sense comprehensive background
check bill. It would pass, it would help close the biggest loopholes and
it would be a start towards making sure Americans are safer on the street.
All we ask for is a vote and that led members of Congress be held
accountable by the people they represent.
MOHYELDIN: All right, thank you to Congressman Elizabeth Esty of
Connecticut. We`re going to have more from all of our panel throughout the
course of the hour. So, please stay with us.
Up next, live from New York. It`s Hillary Clinton. We`ll show you what
happened next and still ahead, the latest on the dangerous flooding in the
southeast. You`re looking now at some of the water rescues that have been
taking place in South Carolina`s capital, Columbia. We`re going to head
straight there coming up. Stay with us.
MOHYELDIN: You`re looking live at the flooding in Columbia, South
Carolina, bringing traffic there at that intersection to a complete
standstill. In fact, people are still being asked to evacuate in some of
those areas across the state. It`s still raining and we`re going to be
following that story for you throughout the course of the afternoon, but
first "Saturday Night Live" kicked off its 41st season last night with a
much anticipated guest appearance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I`m Hillary Rodham Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON: Hey, great name. I`m Val.
HILLARY CLINTON: It really is great how long you`ve supported gay
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I could have supported it sooner.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, you did it pretty soon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could have been sooner.
HILLARY CLINTON: Fair point.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Val, I`m just so darned bummed. All anyone wants
to talk about is Donald Trump.
HILLARY CLINTON: Donald Trump? Isn`t he the one that`s like ugh, you`re
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Val, Val, I wish you could be president.
HILLARY CLINTON: Me too!
MOHYELDIN: That was the real Hillary Clinton playing bartender to the fake
Hillary Clinton on "Saturday Night Live" last night. It`s been a busy week
for the would-be president who sat down with MSNBC`s Al Sharpton. That
interview airing earlier this morning. And we now want to go back and
bring in our panel, thanks again for joining us. So, Sabrina, let me start
with you. Some NBC News/Marist poll out this morning. No major changes in
terms of who is leading the pack on the Republican side, Donald Trump still
leads in Iowa and New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton leads in Iowa, but let`s
start with Donald Trump, the gap between him, Ben Carson in Iowa as well as
Carly Fiorina seems to be narrowing. Is it a cause of concern for the
Trump campaign that so many people are making these big gains?
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: Yes, I think that there is a ceiling for
support - in terms of support for Donald Trump and he`s come close to now
hitting that ceiling especially after the second presidential debate, which
really exposed his weaknesses in terms of talking about policy, obviously
the way that he commented on Carly Fiorina`s appearance, didn`t go over
very well. And the thing about outsiders and the fascination among the
primary elector with outsiders, is that eventually Republican primary
voters will get bored with one candidate and then they`ll move on to
another. And we`ve seen that happening with Donald Trump, where Ben Carson
was on the rise in the late summer, now they`re into Carly Fiorina. I
think what is more concerning for all of the outsiders is that eventually
there`s going to come a joint where the appeal is probably going to fade
and they are going to have to contend with candidates like Marco Rubio,
John Kasich, some of the kind of establishment-backed candidates who will
eventually come in and I think fill the actual policy void, the void for a
MOHYELDIN: And Nan, you`re working as a voluntary co-chair for the Carly
MOHYELDIN: If you can, can you give us an insight into the campaign
strategy here for her in terms of what she needs to keep focusing on, what
is she doing right that is giving her the surge in the polls? Is it simply
as she was saying earlier on in the campaign, that the more Americans got
to know her, the more likely she was going to have this bump that she`s now
HAYWORTH: Well, it is significant that she essentially almost had a
standing start at the beginning of this presidential season because really
she was probably the least known among the candidates. And it has been
very true that the more folks have gotten to know her and especially with
two remarkable debate performances, she truly impresses, but it`s because
she gives the sense, and rightly so. She actually has the goods. She`s
incredibly smart. She has encyclopedic knowledge, she`s fast on her feet.
Donald Trump gave her a gift by making those comments, because she was able
to show her strength. No one is going to push her around. And that`s
exactly what we need in a president.
SIDDIQUI: What does happen, and this is, you know, with Carly Fiorina you
are starting to see it and you`ve seen it with Ben Carson. You get a lot
more scrutiny when you rise up in the polls, and so there`s been questions
over Carly Fiorina`s background at Hewlett-Packard, she is going to have to
defend that, she has been on the defensive. Ben Carson obviously, made
comments about Muslims that were very controversial saying we can`t have a
Muslim president, that caused an uproar at least in a more national sense
and in the primary it actually has helped him because of the faction of
voters who feel a certain way. But you know, when you get that kind of
national scrutiny you have to be up to the task of being able to contend
with that pressure and traditionally outsiders haven`t shown that they`re
capable of doing that.
SIDDIQUI: So, it remains to be seen how that`s going to play out.
MOHYELDIN: She has made some kind of comments about Planned Parenthood in
those tapes that came out, which a lot of media have come out and said were
not accurate, entirely accurate when they fact-checked it. Is that going
to hurt her or is that something that is playing to her base right now
despite the fact that she`s come under criticism?
GERSTEIN: Explain to a bigger base in the Republican electorate. And it`s
only going to help her in the primary, but the problem is, it`s probably
going to hurt her in the general election. I think what`s fascinating, and
the big question for this Republican primary process is, the pattern of the
last two campaigns was flirtation with the outsiders, and then came home to
the establishment candidates who many Republican primary voters didn`t
like, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Now you have another for the same
dynamic happening. Remember, Herman Cain, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and
then there was the flirtation with Rick Santorum. They tried out all these
outsiders, and then they ended up when they had to vote voting for the
establishment candidate. Will that happen again and if it does which of
the establishment candidates is best poised to speak to this angry base
voters but still incredibly electable?
MOHYELDIN: And speaking of establishment candidates on the Democratic
side, if the vice president decides to run, does anybody from the
Democratic side benefit from that and if so who does?
GERSTEIN: Hillary Clinton.
MOHYELDIN: She will benefit if the vice president runs?
GERSTEIN: Absolutely. Because right now she`s running against the press
and she`s losing badly. If she has a meaningful candidate, because they`re
not engaging with Bernie Sanders and they don`t think he`s a credible
threat. If you have a credible candidate like Joe Biden in the race, then
it suddenly becomes a two-person race. She gets to engage on the issues
with the vice president and the vice president just run two bad campaigns
so I think she`s - they`re actually going to benefit if he gets in the race
MOHYELDIN: All right, and just really quickly. How do you guys think
Hillary Clinton did last night on "Saturday Night Live"? Did you stay up
late and watch it?
HAYWORTH: Yeah, I watched it. Yeah, I thought she was game and you know.
SIDDIQUI: They wanted to show off this lighter side and I think you`re
going to see a lot of that. You talked about those shrinking poll numbers
and one of the things they`ve said is that people don`t know the real
Hillary Clinton and they want her to come off as more personable. So, this
is part of that broader effort.
MOHYELDIN: All right, guys, I`m going - we are going to have a lot more.
Up next, Congress deals Jon Stewart`s biggest cause, a major blow, we are
going to bring you all the details straight ahead about that.
And Charleston, South Carolina, still facing its newest challenge, cars
under water there as a result of that overnight flooding. A lot more rain
still to come. We are going to have a lot more details.
MOHYELDIN: All right. We want to show you some dramatic pictures that we
are getting from rescues overnight. You`re seeing those pictures there
from Columbia, South Carolina late last night, and this is a scene that
seems to have happened in more than just one area. Folks getting stranded
and obviously first responders trying to rescue and help folks get out of
the water. So, continued dramatic situation in South Carolina. We`re
going to have a lot more update for you throughout the course of the day
We want to switch gears now to a Congress that is close to home for folks
here in New York and across the country. Congress managed to narrowly
avoid a government shutdown this week, but they failed to deliver on
something else, leaving a vulnerable and heroic group of Americans in the
lurch at midnight Wednesday. Congress allowed medical care for 9/11 first
responders to expire. The program is a lifeline for the firefighters,
police and paramedics that have become seriously ill since digging through
the wreckage of the Twin Towers 14 years ago. A former volunteer fireman
who has been lobbying Congress to extend health care coverage spoke with
Rachel Maddow earlier this week. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve got chronic migraines, chronic clusters, which I
never had before, no family history of, the acoustic neuroma, the brain
tumor they found because they do MRIs on my head for the migraines. We`re
met with a lot of how much money does it cost, where is the funding coming
from? That`s more of what we`re met with instead of how can we help?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: Joining me now New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, sponsor
of the original legislation that just expired as the grow to act, and
sponsor of new legislation that would extend health care coverage for 9/11
responders permanently. Congresswoman, thank you very much. I think a lot
of folks who are going to be watching this are just going to be shaking
their head, and what I want to hear from you is, explain to us why Congress
is not doing something that I would say the overwhelming majority of
Americans would say has to be done.
REP. CAROLYN MALONEY, ( D) NEW YORK: Well, Congress is enacting on a gun
safety, too, and the overwhelming Americans support it. This is something
we have to do. It took us nine years to pass the first bill. We cannot
wait this long. We know many, many people are sick and dying. We lost
3,000 people on 9/11, but thousands more because of the toxins and the
environment which they worked have over 70 different kinds of cancers that
have been identified and really injuries and illnesses that are life-
threatening and if we don`t reauthorize this bill, more people will die.
It expired at the end of September, but we have money to cover it for
another year, and the compensation program dies at the end of October 3rd
in 2016. We have to reauthorize it. Congress said they would never
forget. Fortunately, 185 members of Congress are remembering, and they are
cosponsors of the reauthorization of the act. Jon Stewart came to Congress
and met with many trying to get more cosponsors. We have to get that
number of 215. And very importantly, if we could get it to the floor for a
vote, there`s not a doubt in my mind that it would pass, because the
American people know we need to honor the men and women who were there for
MOHYELDIN: So what I do want to just go back to this point, is the holdup
or the reason why this expired, is it political? Is this one of those
situations where there`s political bargaining taking place in Congress and
this bill has managed to get caught up in it, or are there actually people
in Congress who say this bill is not a good idea, we`re spending a lot of
money and we`re not doing it right. We need to find a new way to do it?
The price tag on the bill is $4.5 billion, that`s the fund. But I`m
curious to know, are there actually members of Congress who say we don`t
need to have this bill, we need to have something better, or is this just
getting caught up in the mechanics of Congress like so many other things
MALONEY: Well, where there`s a will, there`s a way, and they just haven`t
acted on it. But we need our leaders to put it on the floor for a vote.
The original bill had a sunset after five years. We wanted it permanent.
The cancers and the illnesses that the people are suffering from, they`re
permanent. They`re not going to expire in five years, and we have to be
there for them. So the bill was set and legislated to expire at the end of
September and the end of October in 2016. So we have to reauthorize it and
extend it. We need to extend it permanently.
MOHYELDIN: And you`re saying that there`s enough money in the fund to
cover health care costs until the beginning of next year, but is there a
real risk that if something doesn`t happen in this gap period over the next
several months, health care could actually go down for these responders?
MALONEY: Absolutely. Clinics have to renew their leases. They won`t.
Doctors have to plan their future. They may go to a clinic that they know
is funded. This one they know has lost its funding. We have to -- there
are seven different centers here in New York, and it`s all across the
nation. This was a national attack on America. People came from 429
states, and 429 people -- or rather every single state has people that are
sick from 9/11, because of their work in trying to help people. So it`s a
national effort. It`s a national program. It`s one that`s been
successful, scientifically proven, and we have to make this happen. If we
don`t, people will die. They risked their lives to save the lives of
others. The least we can do as a grateful nation is be there for them,
with the health care that they so justly deserve and the compensation.
MOHYELDIN: It is one of those beyond words to say one thing about why
Congress is simply not doing this.
MALONEY: Urge your listeners to contact their congressmembers to become
sponsors and senators.
MOHYELDIN: I think you just did that for us. Thank you very much,
MALONEY: Thank you for putting a flashlight on it. Thank you.
MOHYELDIN: Thank you very much, Congresswoman Maloney. Appreciate that.
Still ahead, the search for answers after an apparent U.S. air strike hits
a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan.
And next we go live to South Carolina, where first responders have been
working throughout the night to rescue people from floodwaters. We`ll hear
from the family you see right there on your screen. Stay with us.
MOHYELDIN: The state of South Carolina seems to be bearing the worst of
the historical rainfall and devastating flooding that is hitting the
southeast this weekend, and it`s not just along the coastal areas. Central
South Carolina inland has seen 18 inches of rain so far, as emergency
response teams continue to rescue people from their homes. President Obama
has declared a state of emergency in the Palmetto State. MSNBC`s Sarah
Dallof joins us live from Colombia, South Carolina. Good morning to you,
Sarah. Give us an update of what it`s like where you are this morning
further away from the coast and what`s happening there.
SARAH DALLOF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. We are further away from
the coast as you said, but no less water here. In fact, torrential
downpours and catastrophic flooding following a day of what was light but
steady rain, this is catching a lot of people off guard. Emergency
officials have been overwhelmed with the number of people calling for
assistance. The floodwaters just rushing in, catching a lot of people off
guard, and intersections just being overtaken by the water. I want to
bring in a family that had a very harrowing escape this morning. Dwayne
Hufong (ph) and Charlene Stennis (ph), you were driving to pick up Charlene
from the hospital when you pulled into this intersection. What happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know, the water just came. I started driving
and the water just came. By the time I knew it, it was too late.
DALLOF: And Charlene, you got a call from him saying he was stuck in the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. He called me and said the car stalled and that
the water started filling up, and it was at their feet, and I just did what
any mother, parent, wife would do, I hitched a ride and I came in and tried
to help my family get help.
DALLOF: By the time they got to you, how high was the water?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was half way up the door. Actually I tried sticking
my feet out to see how strong it was, but it was pretty strong. I knew
that would be a bad idea if I were to get out of the car.
DALLOF: You said to me, you thought ten minutes more and that would have
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, the water would have been on the top of the
car. Ten minutes more, that probably would have been it.
DALLOF: What are you guys feeling now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel relieved, honestly. Happy to be safe now.
DALLOF: And Charlene, you guy are looking forward to getting home?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes. We`re thankful, we`re just thankful
DALLOF: Thank you guys, we`re so glad you`re okay. Officials now urging
people to stay off the roads as they continue to respond to hundreds of
calls. We have a number of creeks overflowing in major flood stage. A lot
of emergency calls to answer this morning, and just this plea for drivers
to stay home and off the roads if at all possible. Back to you.
MOHYELDIN: Thanks to Sarah Dallof live for us in South Carolina.
Let`s go to MSNBC meteorologist Bill Karins, who is joining us live from
our weather center with the latest on all of this flooding. Bill, give us
a sense of what`s going on with the storm. What can we expect?
KARINS: Incredible images on social media right now from what`s going on
in South Carolina. I want to show you this one, Nicole Hawkins just gave
me permission to use this image. This isn`t far from where Sarah was
located. This is a dam collapse just inside Columbia, just to the east
side of the downtown area, this is Simmis Lake on Ft. Jackson, and you can
see this was a kind of an earthen dam, maybe reinforced with a little bit
of concrete, and it just has a huge hole right in the middle of the dam.
That went into Wildcat Creek, and it looks like the dam is, the lake is
pretty much gone, everything has been emptied out down into the creek. You
can only imagine what that floodwater was like as it rushed right down
almost through downtown areas of South Carolina.
Here`s what we`re dealing with, this flow, this is day three of this.
We`ll go through a little bit tomorrow. But we`re really at the peak of
this event, the worst of the damage and destruction will be done today.
This area, it`s incredible, this hose of moisture straight into South
Carolina, Boone Hall Plantation reported 24 inches of rain, two feet of
rain in three days. Charleston has their all-time highest rainfall totals
for three days, over 16 inches. Columbia has ten inches. But about six
inches of that fell last night and it is still falling hard now. Just the
imagery in downtown areas of Columbia just incredible right now with all of
the people that have to be rescued. So as far as the radar goes, let me
show you, the radar estimates first off, this area of white in here is just
incredible amounts of rain. This is anywhere from 6 to 12 inches. There`s
Orangeburg, St. Steven, Georgetown up here in the Charleston area. There
are a couple of pink and purple shades that are in here, and that`s getting
upwards of almost a foot to two feet of rain, and the hose continues right
through South Carolina.
It`s going to pivot a little bit north. Look at the lightning strikes,
these are thunderstorms producing two to three inches of rain an hour in
the areas they hit, it`s all still focused on the Columbia, especially the
east side of Columbia. There are 96 reports of bridges and state,
interstate, state highways that are closed. Interstate 26 is closed
throughout the area, I-95 is closed trying to drive through South Carolina.
Ayman, they are telling everyone in the state there is a civil emergency
that has been issued, everyone is to stay home, they`re telling churches to
cancel. They don`t want -- they are already rescuing hundreds and
thousands of people, they are trying not to make the situation worse.
MOHYELDIN: Folks, if you`re in South Carolina, please take those warnings
seriously. Bill Karins, tracking that storm for us, thank you very much.
We want to switch gears now to some stories developing overseas. New
developments this morning in the search for the cargo ship that went
missing near the Bahamas in the midst of Hurricane Joaquin. The Coast
Guard recovering a life ring belonging to the ship, which was carrying 28
Americans and 5 Polish nations. Officials say it`s a hopeful sign, and
they will continue to search throughout the day.
Still ahead, an air strike hits an Afghanistan hospital run by Doctors
Without Borders. The U.S. military says there may have been collateral
damage, that`s on the other side of this break.
MOHYELDIN: You`re looking at new pictures this morning of Charleston,
South Carolina, where you can see the inside of homes flooded there.
Catastrophic flooding continuing to affect the region throughout the day.
Turning to news overseas, there appears to be more questions than answers
this morning about the apparent U.S. air strike that hit an Afghanistan
hospital yesterday run by Doctors Without Borders. The organization says
that 19 people were killed, including 12 staff members and seven patients
in the hospital. Three of them children. 37 more people were injured in
the bombing. President Obama expressed his condolences and says he is
waiting for the results from the Pentagon`s investigation. So far the
Defense Department has confirmed there was an air strike and that there may
have been collateral damage.
Doctors Without Borders outraged by the air strike, announcing this morning
it has left the city of Kunduz. Afghanistan officials claim as many as 15
Taliban fighters were firing from inside the hospital, something Doctors
Without Borders has disputed. Joining us now is MSNBC military analyst and
Medal of Honor recipient, retired Army Colonel Jack Jacobs. Colonel
Jacobs, thank you, sir, very much for joining us. Let`s start talking
about how something like this could have even possibly happened. As we
understand it from Doctors Without Borders, that location was given to the
U.S. military, NATO forces in advance, they should definitely have known it
was a hospital. Give us a sense, the mind-set how something like this
could have happened?
COL. JACK JACOBS, U.S. ARMY, (RET.): Let me tell you what I think
happened. It`s before dawn, it`s a distance maybe a quarter of a mile from
the hospital, a half a mile more or less. Some distance which to people
who have not been in combat seems like it`s a long distance away, but in
terms of combat, not very far at all. Afghan army or Afghan militia,
perhaps both, contact the Taliban, a fierce firefight ensues, and they call
for air support. And what shows up is an AC-130 gunship, an aircraft
originally designed as a transport, but outfitted with 105 millimeter
automatic cannon, Gatling guns, machine guns. These are aerial fire
weapon, they`re really accurate but they`re not nearly as accurate as what
we`ve been used to, and that is precision guided munitions that are
accurate down to a meter or even less. These are aerial fire weapons. I
fired them myself in combat. They`re accurate but not that accurate.
MOHYELDIN: Colonel Jacobs, let me just play you this soundbite. Doctors
Without Borders, they claim the air strikes continued even when they
alerted officials that their facility had been hit. Here is the executive
director speaking yesterday on PBS "Newshour." Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once the hospital was under attack, your agency made
contact with the U.S. military, the Afghan forces to tell them, and the
bombs still kept falling?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is correct. We informed our contacts both in
Washington and Kabul level, and attacks continued to happen, in spite of
our efforts, both in the days prior and when the attack was unfolding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: So it seems that this was not just a one, you know, you can`t
just say it was an accidental fire in the sense that it was one bomb that
accidentally or one shot that landed in the vicinity of the hospital,
because he`s saying that we continuously warned the Americans. I wanted to
get your thoughts on his comments, what do you make of his comments in
light of your explanation?
JACOBS: Well, first of all, they`re not bombs. An AC-130 was there.
These are artillery rounds and smaller caliber exploding rounds. Second,
think about the chain of communications. The hospital, two higher
headquarters, to the Afghans, who then have to talk through (inaudible)
chain of communications up to the forward air controller and ultimately to
the aircraft that is delivering the munitions, extremely slow to get to the
point of impact.
MOHYELDIN: Yes, an extremely difficult situation. Colonel Jacobs, thanks
for that insight. And we`ll certainly be following this investigation as
Up next -- Donald Trump weighs in on the gun reform debate.
Plus, this was the scene in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, overnight as that
southeast continues to deal with catastrophic flooding and torrential
rains. Stay with us for more.
MOHYELDIN: New this morning out of Columbia, South Carolina, as a van
attempts to forge through the flooded streets of that city. You`re seeing
pictures there. South Carolina officials advising drivers of course not to
attempt to drive through the floods and stay indoors through the storm.
There is a lot going on this morning, so let`s get caught up on some of the
other stories making news this morning, including Donald Trump who defended
the Second Amendment at an event in Tennessee last night. He also revealed
that he has a license to carry a concealed weapon. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In fact, I have a license to
carry in New York. Can you believe that? Nobody knows that. Somebody
attacks me. Somebody attacks me, oh, they`re going to be shocked. Can you
imagine, somebody says, oh, there`s Trump. He`s easy pickings. What you
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you say they were be shot or shocked?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shocked.
TRUMP: Oh, yeah, shocked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: For those who thought Trump said that anybody who attacks him
would be shot, the word he says he used there was actually shocked. Shock.
Guys, let`s bring in our panel back. I`ll let you weigh in on this.
SIDDIQUI: This is a classic case of where Donald Trump in this primary is
saying what`s politically expedient for him and appealing to the
conservative base, because he actually used to support stricter gun laws.
This is one of those issues where Republicans are trying to make the case
that this guy is not actually a real conservative if you look at his
MOHYELDIN: Nan? Shocked? Were you shocked?
HAYWORTH: You know - he, look. There are plenty of folks who are on the
left side of this issue who have friends and supporters who are surrounded
by bodyguards, all of whom are armed. Law-abiding citizens will behave in
a lawful way with their firearms. Our problem is those who do not abide by
the laws or who have deeply disturbed mental illness who should never have
their hands on firearms. What he said or didn`t say does not resolve that
GERSTEIN: As Nan well knows, there`s a ritual in Congress when you say
something on the floor that`s inarticulate or dumb, you can revise and
extend your remarks. Donald Trump seems to have adopted that policy for
his campaign, because he`s now assumed this pattern. He says something
that`s really offensive, then he says, oh, I didn`t say that.
MOHYELDIN: All right, guys. Dan Gerstein, Nan Hayworth and Sabrina
Siddiqui, thanks very much for joining us this morning. And I want to
thank you guys for participating in this, and I want to thank you for
getting up with us. Stay tuned to MSNBC all day for the latest on that
catastrophic flooding that`s taking place in South Carolina.
Up next is Melissa Harris-Perry. Stay tuned and have a great weekend,
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