All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, November 20th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Friday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: November 20, 2015
Guest: Hunter Walker, Andre Carson, Mike Tomasky, Aziza al-Hibri
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Paris. I`m Chris Hayes.
It is one week tonight since the attacks that killed 130 here in
Paris. And tonight, Parisians came out in the street crowding the Place
Republique. At 9:20, there were celebrations and defiance at the sites of
the attack. The city`s residents coming out in droves for vigils to honor
At the Bataclan and outside places that had been attacked. At 9:20
local time, the precise moment of the assault began seven days ago, a
defiant outpouring of noise and light designed to send a message for those
responsible for the attacks, you will not, you can not keep us down.
Also today in the West African nation of Mali, heavily armed gunman
stormed a luxury hotel in the capital of Bamako, leaving at least 20 dead,
including one American. We`ll have much more on that attack, and the
latest from here in Paris shortly.
But, first, we take you to the domestic political drama in the U.S.
where today brought a true rarity, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump,
backtracking -- well, sort of -- after a massive outcry over his
endorsement of a national database to register and track every single
Muslim living in the U.S.
Hillary Clinton today calling Trump`s rhetoric shocking, for it to be
denounced by all seeking to live this country.
Representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim-American elected to
Congress, also decrying Trump`s stance and not sparing Trump`s fellow GOP
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Not all of the Republican
candidates, but certainly some of them seem to think anti-Muslim hate is
advantageous politically. And I would call on everyone to adhere to our
constitutional values, which say we`re religiously tolerant country. We`re
not like ISIS. We`re different from them. We believe Muslim, Christian,
Jew, Hindu, no faith at all, is all American. It`s OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Even Ted Cruz and Ben Carson themselves no strangers to
inflammatory rhetoric suggesting that possibly Trump had gone too far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Listen, I`m a big fan
of Donald Trump`s, but I`m not a fan of government registries of American
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we`re just going to pick
out a particular group of people based on their religion, based on their
race, based on some other thing, that`s setting a pretty dangerous
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Criticism also came from two of the candidates seeking to cast
themselves as the responsible adults of the GOP race, Jeb Bush and John
Kasich, who took direct shots at the frontrunner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He`s engaged in
personal attacks against me and all I`m pointing out is that the idea that
somehow we`re going to have all the Muslims in America register, which
really strikes against the culture of America.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I find it abhorrent that he is
saying we register people. That haunts back to a time no one wants to go
back to. You talk about closing mosques, registering people, that`s just
wrong. I don`t care about campaigns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Asked about Trump`s call to close down some mosques on FOX
News last night, Rubio seemed to want to take a more moderate position, but
he ended up calling for something much more expansive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s not about
closing down mosques, it`s about closing down any place. Whether it`s a
cafe, a diner, an interest site, any place where radicals are being
inspired. Whatever facility is being used, it`s not just a mosque -- any
facility being used to radicalize and inspire attacks against the United
States should be a place that we look at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Some serious First Amendment problems there.
As I mentioned at the outset, Trump did seem to sort of walk back his
position today but didn`t quite repudiate it, tweeting quote, "I didn`t
suggest a database, a reporter did." And then suggesting he wants a,
quote, "watch list to protect America", which he may be offering as an
alternative to database.
We reached out to the campaign for clarification but got no response.
It is true that Yahoo News reporter Hunter Walker did ask Trump
whether his policies might require registering Muslims in a database, which
prompted Trump to respond, "We`re going to have to look at a lot of things
But Trump left no doubt as to his stance on a Muslim registry in a
follow up interview with NBC News last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Should there be a database system that tracks the Muslims
here in this country?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There should be a lot of
systems beyond database. I mean, we should have a lot of systems. And,
today, you can do it. But right now, we have to have a border. We have to
have strength. We have to have a wall. And we cannot let what`s happening
to this country happen --
REPORTER: Is that something your White House would like to implement?
TRUMP: Oh, I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right. Joining me now, Yahoo News national correspondent
Hunter Walker, the person who kicked all this off by asking Trump if he
supported a database to track Muslims.
And, Hunter, the case I`ve seen being made today but from some in the
conservative media and some Trump supporters is that he was essentially
entrapped into this position by you, that it was never interjected in the
debate until you brought it up.
Is that fair?
HUNTER WALKER, YAHOO NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let`s be very
clear about the context in which this exchange happened. We began by
discussing Trump`s past expressions of support for the NYPD`s Muslim
surveillance program which was ended earlier this year and he -- excuse me,
early 2014, and that was a situation where the NYPD was conducting
surveillance of the Muslim community in the U.S., infiltrating mosques,
infiltrating student groups in the New York area.
So, I brought up Mr. Trump did not deny his past expressions and said
he would consider former NYPD commissioner, Ray Kelly, for a member in his
administration and I followed up further and asked about his take on the
Syrian refugee situation and I noted that in Paris, they declared a state
of emergency that has included increased warrantless searches.
So, given that Mr. Trump was talking about extensive surveillance on
the Muslim community in the U.S., I asked whether that would include
warrantless searches. And his response basically indicated that he would
rule nothing out. He said, we should be doing some things that are,
quote/unquote, "frankly unthinkable" by past standards, and would make some
So, again, I press for specifics and, "Would that level of tracking
require a database of Muslim citizens or special notations on their ID.
And he said that quote you highlighted before, we`re going to have to look
at a lot of things very closely.
So, all we did was press him for specifics when he was talking about
wanting an unprecedented surveillance on again Muslims in America, not
immigrants, not refugees, and we pressed him for specifics, and he said he
didn`t rule anything out, and that`s what happened.
HAYES: We should also note, of course, that he essentially seemed to
confirm that in a later interview. So, if he`s being bullied into this by
the press, he`s been twice so bullied, and I don`t think Donald Trump is
someone easily bullied as he will tell you himself.
It really does seem like you keep looking for some sort of tipping
point in rhetoric. There was a little bit of that it appears with Jeb Bush
and John Kasich. But, you know, frankly even the Ted Cruz and Ben Carson
distancing was not particularly strenuous.
WALKER: Right. And as you pointed, you know, Mr. Trump has sort of
walked this back by saying that the suggestion came from reporters, but at
no point in any of his multiple personal comments about this has said, "I
do not support this type of database or I do not support an ID."
So, even if this suggestion was presented by reporters, which it
initially was, he`s never, ever said he`s against it. And his
spokesperson, Katrina Pierson, also gave an appearance on FOX Business
where she said they`re not ruling anything out.
So, sure, this was initially presented by me, but it was in a context
where he was talking about this mass surveillance program he wants. I
think it`s important to press for specifics and when I did, he hasn`t said
whether or not he`s against this.
HAYES: I also just want to flag what Marco Rubio said, because in
some ways, that was the strangest he basically says, we should be looking
to shutting down anything, diners, restaurants, Web sites, where people are
getting radicalized. You know, A, I don`t know what diners he`s talking
about and, B, you run up pretty hard against the First Amendment when you
start talking about that.
WALKER: Well, absolutely, and I think you were alluding to this
before. We`re in this environment of inflamed rhetoric and I think it`s
really important to talk about specifics and logistics. If we`re talking
about a mass security system against the Muslim community in the U.S., what
does that look like and does that really fit with our ideals?
HAYES: All right. Hunter Walker, thank you very much. That was very
Joining me now is Democratic Representative Andre Carson of Indiana,
one of two Muslims serving in Congress.
And I want to get your reaction to some of the back and forth with
Donald Trump and other candidates in the race. I mean, as one of two
Muslims serving in Congress, how does that strike your ears?
REP. ANDRE CARSON (D), INDIANA: Well, obviously, I was deeply
disappointed to hear what Mr. Trump had to say. You know, for anyone who
is seeking to be the CEO and commander and chief of our great nation, he or
she has to know that there are over eight million Muslims, many of whom are
police officers, engineers, lawyers, judges, executives, who are making
contributions to this country and he or she must know, has to know that to
establish or even suggest to establish a Muslim database is reminiscent of
what our Jewish friends had to endure in Nazi Germany.
HAYES: That`s a very strong comparison.
CARSON: It`s an accurate comparison. I think that the kind of
xenophobia that we`re seeing, the kind of Islamophobia that we`re seeing is
un-American. Our Founding Fathers were at least visionary in one of the
first clauses or articles of the Constitution, and that Congress shall not
respect a particular religion or even prohibit the free exercise thereof.
And so, I think that those that want to not gain political points by
saying outrageous things have to take into consideration that the American
people are very intelligent and that they`re paying attention, and that
they`re going to pay for it at the polls next year.
HAYES: One of the things that we keep seeing reoccurring and the
Republicans clearly believe they`re on the winning side of this issue is
attacking the president or Hillary Clinton or anyone else for not saying
certain phrases, that those phrases are the first pre-condition to
defeating ISIS, saying something like radical Islamic terrorism and if you
don`t say that phrase, you`re not serious about the threat of, say, ISIS.
What is your reaction to that insistence on those words?
CARSON: I think often times we can get distracted by the usage of
certain phraseology, when the facts are clear. ISIL or Daesh is a
terrorist organization, they`re killing Muslims in the organization, and
the very folks who are fleeing the influence of ISIL are being
And so in a real sense, for us to condemn the Syrian refugees, it
plays into the larger ISIL narrative that, hey, America doesn`t even want
you, come to us, we will take care of you. But the facts are clear, they
don`t have a central command structure where they can launch an attack, but
their ideology in the abstract is destructive. They`re capitalizing on the
sense of hopelessness. They`re capitalizing on joblessness. They`re
capitalizing on the dictators that have been in play in the region for
decades and until we have a global united front, this organization will
grow and metastasize.
HAYES: Are you confident that anyone is presenting, whether it`s the
president, whether it`s people in your own party, whether it`s people in
the other party, presenting a path to a global united front that would stop
that from -- stop it from metastasizing?
CARSON: Absolutely. You`re hearing it from the president, you`re
hearing it from Leader Pelosi, you`re hearing it from party leadership. I
think what is very clear is that the American people have a deep sense of
anxiety, understandably so, and there are national security threats that we
must to address.
Unfortunately, we have a robust law enforcement apparatus, and a very
successful intelligence community, but that doesn`t mean that gaps don`t
exist. We have to close those gaps and work on internal controls and make
sure that we keep the American people safe.
HAYES: All right. Representative Andre Carson, thank you for your
time tonight, sir.
CARSON: An honor. Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, as Trump`s campaign shows no signs of slowing
down, reports that some of the GOP are trying to take matters into their
hands to, quote, "defeat and destroy" the current frontrunner.
And later, a George W. Bush speech six days after 9/11, that given the
current political climate has to be seen in its entirety to be believed.
Don`t want to miss that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE RUSSELL (R), OKLAHOMA: America protects her liberty and
defends her shores not by punishing those who would be free. She does it
by guarding liberty with her life. Americans need to sacrifice and wake
up. We must not become them. They win if we give up who we are and even
more so, without a fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republican Congressman Steve Russell of Oklahoma spoke
passionately and eloquently on the House floor Wednesday night against the
GOP sponsored bill targeting refugees. But on Thursday, he`s voted for
that same bill.
And today, in an astonishing and exclusive interview with "Talking
Points Memo", he explained why. Quote, "Russell says he initially cast the
vote against the Safe Act, the House bill passed on Thursday that would
expand the vetting process for refugees from Syria and Iraq. That created
a bit of a ruckus, Russell said, his colleagues then surrounded him on the
floor and asked him to switch his vote since his approval would give the
bill a veto proof majority, according to Russell. He demanded he will have
a, quote, `seat at the table on all future discussions on this issue,` and
wants an agreement was met, Russell switched his vote."
I guess we`ll see if it ends up being worth the price of his
Up next, how the anti-refugee rhetoric is helping the Republican
frontrunner for president, too.
HAYES: In the week since the attacks, one clear trend has emerged in
the polling, Trump is gaining strength. And today, an eye-opening piece in
"The Wall Street Journal" says that a well connected GOP operative is
planning a guerrilla campaign back by secret donors to defeat and destroy
the celebrity businessman`s candidacy, according to a memo obtained by the
paper. Even before the Paris attacks, it appeared that Trump had begun to
regain some lost ground against Ben Carson and that continues still.
Trump`s bellicose rhetoric, some of which has been condemned as horrifying
or obscene seems to be helping with Republican voters. His lead in
national polls has opened to as much as nearly 20 points in one recent
survey. His lead in New Hampshire is sizable, and Marco Rubio and Ben
Carson in second place in that state.
And the candidate appeared to have been the biggest challenger to
Trump, Ben Carson, has pretty clearly decline over the last couple weeks,
leaving Senator Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz to continue duking it out in
third place with the hope of succeeding Carson as Trump`s main rival.
Joining me now, MSNBC contributor and "New York Times" correspondent,
And, Josh, I feel like we`ve entered a new phase here. There was
phase one, which was Trump dominance. There was phase 2 where it seemed he
may be supplanted by Ben Carson and the fact that he has been able to
reemerge in the wake of the attacks tells me he is not going anywhere.
JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I wouldn`t even say that he`s
reemerged. When Ben Carson had his surge, people sort of talked about how
Trump had been finally knocked out. But Trump had been polling pretty
evenly in the mid to high 20s for about four months now. Now, the change
is that he`s moving up in the polls.
So, I think, you know, we`ve had a whole list of things that were, oh,
no, now, this is going to do end Donald`s campaign. None of them did.
None of them seem to move the needle either way.
I think you`re right that this is maybe moving the needle a little bit
in his direction. But I don`t think there`s any indication that whatever
he`s done on the issue of Muslim surveillance that is offensive and that
looks like a misstep, I don`t see any reason to think that`s going to hurt
HAYES: Here to me is the grand irony in this -- the person who is
most associated with support for military intervention in the Middle East
in this race is Lindsey Graham. Lindsey Graham wanted -- he wants ground
troops, he`s very specific about the number. Lindsey Graham has been
banging his drum about this forever. Lindsey Graham is polling at 1
percent before the attack, he`s polling 1 percent afterwards.
Meanwhile, Lindsey rhetorically is saying, everything that`s coming
from Donald Trump is horrible and obscene and un-American. And Donald
Trump, on the other hand, is giving people, a certain segment of the base
what they want rhetorically without offering anything substantively
detailed and it`s 100 percent working.
BARRO: Yes. Well, I mean, I don`t think people want specific
military action. I mean, I think actually might be weary about the idea of
another ground war in the Middle East. I think it`s telling how so many of
the candidates talk about how annoying it is that the president won`t say
radical Islamic terrorism, saying that is not a policy. Saying it is a
thing that would have foreign policy effects, probably ones that would make
it more difficult for us to engage Muslim allies in the Middle East.
But it`s not a strategy. You don`t look at ISIL and say radical
Islamic terrorism and they collapse and fold. But people like that because
it`s a simple of strength, or some projection of strength, and Donald Trump
is all about projections of strength.
HAYES: And that`s where we found ourselves in this race. I mean, he,
I think both through accident and through intuition, has found the message
that I think resonates the most with a certain core of the base that is
particularly alienated from the Republican establishment, particularly on
issues like trade and immigration, both of which he has views that are out
of step with say the Chamber of Commerce and he -- no one can out shameless
him in courting that vote.
BARRO: Yes. No, I think it`s two things. One is that there is a
real unserved part of the Republican base that disagrees with elites on
those issues but has been ignored and you can sort of politely ignore them
in the election cycles in the past because they couldn`t find a way to
organize, and now they have Trump to be air advocate on immigration.
But the other thing is, I think this goes all the way back to Donald
Trump`s career in real estate, that he understands that basically making a
lot of noise, and making a big show can be a strategy. I wrote a piece
about "The Art of Deal", the book that he wrote in 1997, that he likes to
say is the second best book in history after the bible, and he talks about
this time. In 1992, he had a piece of land in the Atlantic City boardwalk
that was going to be a casino and he`s done very little work on it, and he
wanted to get Holiday Inn to put a bunch of money up front to be his equity
partner and he talked them into believing that he had done a lot of work.
So, the execs are coming to look at it and he tells his construction
site manager to get as many pieces of heavy equipment there as he can, and
literally what he said to the construction manager is, it doesn`t matter
what they do, so long as they do a lot of it. So, he`s got dozens and
dozens of bulldozers, digging holes and filling them back in and he writes
on the book about how he so impressed the Holiday Inn people with this, and
got them to make their investment.
And so, I think that really has informed this campaign. He`s figured
out if you make a lot of noise, people will infer something in it that you
must have something behind that noise, even if you really don`t.
HAYES: It doesn`t matter what you do, just do a lot of it.
BARRO: Just a lot of it.
HAYES: Trump 2016. Also, "Make America great again".
HAYES: Josh Barro, thank you.
BARRO: Thank you.
HAYES: Up next, an update on today`s deadly attack on a hotel in
HAYES: We`ve been here in Paris all week, doing the show here live,
2:00 a.m. local time, and normally by this time of night, the place behind
me is completely, people have gone to bed. Tonight, it`s the first Friday
night since the attacks a week ago, and place was packed tonight with
revelers. People shouting and singing and dancing in defiance.
And even now at 2:30, you can see people out in the very cold, driving
rain, looking at the signs, laying flowers, lighting candles, holding
vigils around the city outside the attacks as well.
This morning, however, in the West African nation of Mali, gunmen
attacked a Radisson Blu hotel, firing their weapons and taking hostages.
Government security forces responded and the attack ended by afternoon.
By then, at least 20 people were killed, 19 civilians, one member of
the Mali security force, at least two attackers were killed as well. The
rest of the hostages which at one point numbered more than 100 were freed
by the end of the siege.
It is not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack.
Today, French authorities offered new information about the Saint-Denis
raid earlier this week, saying the woman killed in the raid, Hasna
Aitboulahcen was not in fact a suicide bomber as had been previously
reported. It`s though the suicide bomber was a third person whose body was
found in the rubble.
And you`ll recall, the other person killed in that race was Abdelhamid
Abaaoud, the suspected ring leader of the Paris attack.
ISIS, which has obviously wrought a great deal of and destruction, is
also, of course, intent on turning out propaganda video at a pretty regular
pace, which is understandably terrifying to some, but also at times
thankfully ridiculous. Like today, when ISIS released a new propaganda
video featuring what appeared to be a highly produced animation of a
collapsing Eiffel Tower. It wasn`t long before it was discovered however,
the video was actually slowed down footage of the Eiffel Tower scene from
the 2009 film "G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra."
For more on the latest from Mali, MSNBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin,
who right now is in Brussels.
Ayman, you`ve been following the attack in Mali. What do we know
about what happened there today?
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, we`ve gotten a good sense
of how the attack unfolded. What we`re still working on is to get a better
sense of who was behind this attack and why this specific hotel.
It began this morning shortly after 7:00 a.m. local time. A group of
men as we understand, the number in the beginning varied from as many as
10, going down to as low as two. But it seems at least now, the number
stands at three gunmen who entered the hotel shortly after 7:00 a.m.,
lobbing grenades and firing into the building before they were able to
wrestle the entire building under their control, taking about 170 hostages
and throughout the course of the day, security operation unfolded that was
lead by the Malian government, backed by French special forces, as well as
American special forces who happened to be at the building that same time
and by support from the United Nations, which has its own resources,
security forces on the ground in Mali.
By the end of the day, the building was back in control of the
security forces but at a deadly cost -- 19 people were killed, including
three attackers, one Malian security force, as you mentioned.
Now, we are talking about this a little about, Chris, about who may
been behind this. Well, there is a claim of responsibility that NBC can`t
independently verify, but one that is at least now believed to be credible.
And we`ve been talking a lot this past week about ISIS and what it is
trying to do
and one group that we did not mention has been al Qaeda.
It seems that the group that has claimed responsibility today is an
affiliate of al Qaeda, particularly in West Africa. They`ve come out and
claimed responsibility for the attack.
We`re still trying to learn more about the individual attackers, their
identity, who they may have been associated with, where they`re from and
specifically went after this building today.
Those questions remain, Chris.
HAYES: The context here, Ayman, is that there is a civil war in Mali
and Islamists had taken a large part of the country several years ago,
Francois Hollande, the French president, actually sent a French ground
troops into Mali that
managed to push back the Islamists, but now there is essentially an
extended and brokered peace process.
My understanding is many people see this as an attempt to essentially
sabotage that process.
MOHYELDIN: Very much so.
A lot of analysis already and suggestions that this attack is -- has a
double meaning, one against the central government of Mali, but two by
extension, the French government.
France has very strong ties to Mali. It actually came to Mali`s
defense, as you mentioned, in 2013 shortly after large parts of the country
fell into there are
several groups that operate in northern part of the country. They had
taken control of many of the towns and cities.
And so, the French government in 2013 could not sit by and watch as
the northern part of this country completely fell into those militant
So, they launched that air campaign. France has about 1,000 troops
here. And there are long economic and cultural ties to Mali, given the
fact that this country there are long economic and cultural ties to Mali.
Given the fact that this country was at one point, a French colonies
up until the 1960s.
So, in light of what has happened in Paris over the past week, in
light of France`s position in West Africa, there are going to we a lot of
questions, whether this group was targeting not only the Malian central
government, but at the same time striking against that central government
that has been backed by France given the fact that France has played such a
prominent role in propping it up and making sure that the rebels were
ousted from control in northern part of the country back in 2013.
HAYES: All right, Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you.
Last week has brought foreign policy to the forefront of the 2016
campaign and, how the campaign ghosts of 2008 haunt Hillary Clinton on the
trail up next.
HAYES: Well, last time Hillary Clinton ran for president, the single
biggest distinction between her and her top rival for the Democratic
nomination was on foreign policy.
While, Barack Obama had famously opposed the war in Iraq as a state
senator, she had voted to support it in the U.S. senate. And during the
campaign, Clinton really struggled to explain that vote sufficiently to
Democratic voters who by and
large hated that war.
(BEGNI VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FRM. U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE; I cast a sincere vote
on my assessment at the time and I take responsibility for that vote. I
also said on the floor that day that this was not a vote for preemptive
war. I thought it made sense to put inspectors back in it.
Now, obviously, if I had known then what I know now about what the
would do with the authority that was given him, I would not have voted the
way that I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: After Clinton served as President Obama`s secretary of state,
the irony was that foreign affairs were not expected to play an outsized
roll in her second run for the White House.
Voters now routinely and reliably point to the economy and jobs as
their number one issue going into 2016. And with a challenge by Bernie
Sanders, economic issues have become the Democratic Party`s main
But last week, the dynamic markedly shifted. The attacks here in
Paris have put terrorism and geopolitics on the front burner for really the
first time in this primary campaign. And that, in turn, has put Hillary
Clinton in a tricky position, forced, once again to negotiate where she
agrees and where she diverges from Barack Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: It`s time to begin a new phase and intensify and broaden our
efforts to smash the would-be caliphate and deny ISIS control of territory
in Iraq and Syria. That starts with a more effective coalition air
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: At the same time, Bernie Sanders, who`s never put much
emphasis on foreign policy is trying to carve out a niche of his own.
Supporting military action against ISIS, but trying to outline a vision for
America`s role in the world, the focus is less on military intervention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, 2016 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To my
mind, it is clear that the United States must pursue policies to destroy
the brutal and barbaric ISIS regime, but we cannot and should not do it
alone. Our response must begin with an understanding of past mistakes and
missteps in our previous approaches to foreign policy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Michael Tomasky, special correspondent of The
Beast, a longtime Hillary Clinton chronicler.
Michael, how do you think the Clinton campaign, Hillary Clinton
herself has sort of absorbed the lessons of 2008 and did you see those
reflected in that speech
she gave yesterday?
MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: Yeah, I did see them reflected.
You know, I think she`s been the lucky beneficiary of events, Chris.
You know, her Iraq vote isn`t really all that relevant now. It was
completely relevant in 2008, obviously. It`s not as relevant now. It`s a
long time ago. And now we have this other beast, ISIS and this other issue
with. So, she benefits from that.
In the speech, she was -- I think the message she sent was yeah, I`m
clearly a couple of ticks to Obama`s right on foreign policy questions. I
don`t think she`s much more than that. I think when people on the left try
to say that she`s a neocon, I don`t that`s exactly accurate or exactly
fair. I mean, the neocon position is bomb the place to smithereens, which
isn`t her position. And the neocon position for example on the Iran
nuclear deal is I`m going to tear it up my first day in office, and that`s
not her position. He supports the Iran nuclear deal.
So, I think she has found a middle ground. She has to just persuade
people of it, I thin.
HAYES: I think when people criticize her from the left I think
there`s two things that they tend to focus on, particularly. One is the
Libya intervention, the NATO bombing campaign in Libya, that we all know on
the record was a strenuous supporter of and which has led to Libya dangling
on the precipice of being a failed state.
And, two, and this is particularly germane, she was a much more
advocate of more muscular intervention in Syria, possibly harming the
rebels earlier, possible going in.
It`s been interesting that she does not highlight that in giving the
context of what`s become to say, hey look, I warned the president. I was
right about Syria. Why do you think she doesn`t?
TOMASKY: Well, I think she doesn`t want to offend Obama voters. And
so she doesn`t want to play that up as much as she might, because you`re
right, she could
easily say, hey, look, I wanted and Leon Panetta wanted, who was the
defense secretary at the time, some of us, several of us, wanted to go in
and help the moderate Syrian rebels back in 2011 and 2012 and who knows, if
we had done then, if we`d done more for them then and made sure that they
got the arms, ISIS might not have developed into quite the problem it has.
Nobody can prove that, but on the other hand, nobody can disprove it.
HAYES: You had a piece about Bernie Sanders, it was critical of the
sort of foreign policy vision he laid out. And one thing that has been
striking to me throughout particularly last week is there`s a certain
clarity in bomb the hell out of them as Donald Trump says, a certain
clarity in 10,000 ground troops, a certainly clarity in a whole variety of
ways of intervening militarily.
Anything else in the context of that sounds evasive or fudgy when you
say bring together a coalition, force the parties in the civil war in Syria
to come to a negotiated political settlement, push Erdogan in Turkey to
close the border et cetera yadda, yadda. Oh, yeah, well, fine.
But it strikes me also that it`s pretty important to create the
political space for talking about that stuff, because ultimately, the
solutions are going to lie according to almost every expert I talk to, in
TOMASKY: Oh, absolutely. Let`s hope so.
And, you know, I don`t think the problem is Sanders` position. And a
the things that he talked about today and that he talks about on those
occasions that he does address foreign policy, let`s face it are things
that the Obama administration is doing and has been doing to do and there
are things that Hillary Clinton agrees with too.
The issue with Sanders is that it`s just kind of not in his bones.
You know, foreign policy isn`t in his bones. And the debate last Saturday,
they both started with a mention of what happened in Paris and their
reactions to it and Clinton talked about it for a while and sanders talked
about it for literally I think two sentences before pivoting back to Wall
So, it`s just not his thing.
So, you know, you can say amorphous things about diplomacy, but you
have to say smart and incisive amorphous things about diplomacy.
HAYES: Michael Tomasky, smart and decisive, never amorphous. Thank
TOMASKY: Thanks a lot.
HAYES: Still to come, what George W. Bush said just days after
September 11 that given the current political climate after the Paris
attacks is absolutely remarkable to listen to.
We will play that for you next.
HAYES: From the Middle East, news comes today of a poet sentenced to
death for denouncing his Islamic faith. The work of ISIS? No. It
happened in Saudi Arabia, considered by successive American administrations
to be one of our strongest allies in the Middle East.
Thanks to documents seen by Human Rights Watch, we learned today that
Saudi court has ordered the execution of this man, Ashraf Fayad (ph), seen
at left, a Palestinian poet and member of the contemporary art scene in
Saudi Arabia, sentenced to death for renouncing his Muslim faith.
As Reuters reports, Saudi Arabia`s justice system is based Sharia
Islamic Law and the judges or clerics from kingdom`s ultra conservative
Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam who hey believe blasphemy and apostasy are
punishable by death.
Fayad (ph) had reportedly initially been sentenced to four years in
prison and 800 lashes, but after appeal that was changed to the death
He was convicted, Reuters reports, based on evidence from a
prosecution witness who claimed to have heard him cursing god, Islam`s
prophet Muhammad and Saudi Arabia. And for that, sentenced to death in
Saudi Arabia, America`s ally in the Middle East.
HAYES: Less than a week after the United States was attacked on
September 11, 2001, President George Bush did something that given the
current climate seems extraordinary. He went to speak at the Islamic
Center of Washington, D.C. to condemn the intimidation of Muslims and
bigoted rhetoric about them and to declare the United States was not at war
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you all
very much for your hospitality. We`ve just had wide ranging discussions on
the matter at hand.
Like the good folks standing with me, the American people were
appalled and outraged at last Tuesday`s attacks, and so were Muslims all
across the world.
Both Americans, our Muslim friends and citizens, tax paying citizens,
and Muslims in nations, were just appalled and could not believe what we
our TV screens.
These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental
tenants of the Islamic faith. And it`s important for my fellow Americans
to understand that. The English translation isn`t as eloquent as Arabic.
But let me quote from the Quran itself. In the long run, evil in the
extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected the
of Allah and held them up to ridicule.
The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That`s not what
Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don`t represent
peace. They represent evil and war.
When we think of Islam, we think of the faith that brings comfort to a
billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and
solace and peace and that`s made brothers and sisters out of every race out
of every race.
America counts millions of Muslims among our citizens. And Muslims make
an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors,
professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shop keepers, moms and
dads. And they need be treated with respect.
In our anger and emotion are fellow Americans must treat each other
with respect. Women who cover their heads in this country, must feel
comfortable going outside their homes. Moms who wear cover must not be
intimidated in America. That`s not the America I know, that`s not the
America I value.
I`ve been told that some fear to leave, some don`t want to go shopping
for their families. Some don`t want to go about their ordinary, daily
routines because by wearing cover they`re afraid they will be intimidated.
That should not and will not stand in America. Those who feel like they
can intimidate our fellow citizens to take at their anger don`t represent
the best of America, they represent the
worst of humankind and they should be ashamed of that kind of behavior.
Now, this is a great country. It`s a great country because we share
the same values of respect and dignity and human worth. And it is my honor
to be meeting with leaders who feel just the same way I do. They are
outraged and they`re sad, they love America just as much as I do. And I
want to thank you all for giving me a chance to come by and may god bless
HAYES: I`ll speak with a woman who was at that event in that room
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam, that`s not
what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don`t represent
peace, they represent evil and war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, doctor, Aziza al-Hibri. She`s founder of
Karamah, an organization of Muslim women lawyers, human rights, professor
emerita at the University of Richmond School of Law, also author of "The
Islamic Worldview." And she`s the woman standing alongside George W. Bush
at the Islamic Center of Washington six days after 9/11.
Doctor, al-Hibri, can you take us back to the context of that address
what the kind of mood was like, what Muslim-0Americans were feeling just
six days after those attacks.
DR. AZIZAH AL-HIBRI, KARAMAH: I should mention that that meeting was
originally scheduled to happen on 9/11, and when the attacks took place and
so, of course, it did not take place and nobody really expected that our
president, who was extremely preoccupied with all the results of the
attack, that he would
call together the same Muslim group he was supposed to meet with and talk
to them and assure them about the fact that we are all Americans in this
country and that he will not tolerate any kind of bigoted behavior or
And in fact, we had a small meeting with him in the Islamic Center and
then he came to give his speech. And we had mentioned that some the
Muslim women were worried to go to the grocery shop in order to buy milk
for their babies or other food, because they were concerned about being
The president made a point of addressing that situation and talking to
the whole American people as one group undivided by differences of faith or
any other difference and assuring us all that things will be okay.
It was still a very sad time. Many of us, it has not dawned on us
yet, the magnitude of what has happened. It took a long time for
everything to unfold and for us to understand the depth of it.
But it was surprising for us that the president would come together to
meet with a Muslim leadership in such a short time after the events and
then to assure them and speak publicly to the American people about the
fact that this country is
about equality, it`s about the rights of every group within it in that
we`re not going to be changed by the act of a handful of extremists.
HAYES: Can you imagine, given what we`ve seen in the last week, can
you imagine a speech like that being made by a political leader or someone
running for president today?
AL-HIBRI: I would like to hear such a speech. I think it`s important
that we come together as a nation and not allow certain groups of
extremists to come between us and to try and crack the unity of this nation
one way or the other, either through religion, or ethnicity or nationality.
It would be lovely to hear some of the candidates speak in this way.
But of course, unfortunately, some have chosen to go another route.
HAYES: All right, Dr. Aziza al-Hibri, thanks for joining me tonight.
I appreciate it.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts right
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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