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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

July 19, 2014

Guest: Michael Weiss, Bob Hager, Michael Leiter, Jack Jacobs, Greg Myre,
Julia Ioffe, Steve Clemons, Barney Frank, Joan Walsh, Charlie Dent, Raul
Grijalva, Perry Bacon, Jr.

the downing of a civilian jetliner?

Good morning and thanks for getting up early with us today. These past 48
hours have brought us the kind of news that defies description. Israeli
troops invaded Gaza on Thursday. Boots on that ground that have put the
Israelis and Palestinians in the brink of another ground war. We`ll talk
about that in just a little bit. But first, just a few hours earlier on
Thursday we learned that another Malaysian Airlines passenger jet had
crashed and this time near the Ukraine`s border with Russia. After initial
confusion, the U.S. official said they believed the jet was shutdown with a
surface-to-air missile. The part of Ukraine that is controlled by pro-
Russian separatists. President Obama stopped short of directly blaming
Russia for what he called a global wake-up call but he definitely pointed
his finger in their direction.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Nearly 300 innocent lives were
taken. Men, women, children, infants who had nothing to do with the crisis
in Ukraine. Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions. We
also know that this is not the first time a plane has been shot down in
Eastern Ukraine. Over the last several weeks, Russian-backed separatists
have shut down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian helicopter and
they claimed responsibility for shooting down a Ukrainian fighter jet.
Moreover, we know that these separatists have received a steady flow of
support from Russia. This includes arms and training. It includes heavy
weapons. And it includes anti-aircraft weapons.


KORNACKI: Now, the FBI says that two of its people will be traveling to
Ukraine overnight. One is an explosive expert, the other is in Egypt will
join up with the NTSB investigator who is also on his way. Russian
President Vladimir Putin says, the Ukrainian government bears, quote, "The
full responsibility for what happened." Ukraine`s crackdown on pro-Russian
separatists stoked the tragedy. As President Obama mentioned, how did the
separatists get the rocket launcher that they would need to shoot down a
Boeing 777 passenger jet.

Well, the training on how to use one. Government in Ukraine released for
its part released what it claims is an intercepted audio clip of a
conversation between a Russian military intelligence official named Vasili
and Igor Bezler, a commander with the pro-Russian separatists group. Now,
NBC News has not independently verified the authenticity of this recording.
And it should be noted, that the government Ukraine like all other actors
here could have its own incentives for pushing out misleading information.
With that stipulation, here is some of the audio that they released for the
translation for "The New York Times."


KORNACKI: A man identified as major who seems to be at the crash site
tells the man identifies as Greek that militia members shot down a civilian
aircraft. Again, this recording though has not been independently verified
by NBC News.


All right. From what we know about the investigation right now and what
questions still -- I want to turn to our panel. We have Michael Weiss,
he`s a columnist with foreign policy magazine, the editor-in-chief of "The
Interpreter" online journal. And retired NBC News aviation correspondent
Bob Hager who has been covering the industry for more than three decades.
And in Washington, we have Michael Leiter who`s an NBC News and MSNBC
Counterterrorism expert. Thank you everyone for being here.

So, Bob, let me just start with you. I mean, covering these crashes,
you`re familiar obviously with aviation horror stories. But when you look
at sort of the circumstantial evidence that President Obama laid out and
you look at the denials from the Russian government pointing its fingers at
the Ukraine government, how much doubt is in your mind right now that there
is a Russian hand in this?

little doubt and it would be interesting to know what our evidence is, just
judging by how positively our leaders have spoken at the United Nations,
with President Obama as you said. But they say Russian equipment requiring
the Russian expertise and at least some kind of supervision. So we must
have some pretty good evidence and it will be interesting to see whether if
we ever make that public because -- some of your assets. But presumably
what we`re talking about here, I`m imagining it`s imagery from spy
satellites, infrared kind of imagery that shows at least part of the
trajectory and then maybe shows the hit, when the missile hit the plane.

KORNACKI: In my view said, "The New York Times" is in reporting today that
sort of it`s another piece of potential evidence into Russian`s role.

MICHAEL WEISS, FOREIGN POLICY: Right. So, I think look, what is important
to understand here, several things. First, the separatists actually
claimed credit for downing what they said is a Ukrainian cargo plane before
they realized this was a civilian airliner. The head of the separatists
militia Colonel Igor Strelkov who has been identified by the way by the
European union and even self-identified as a GRU agent, which is to say, an
agent of Russia`s military intelligence agency, had a post to a social
media network in Russia, saying that we warned them not to fly in our sky.

He even named the area which is since been a site where videos have been
taken showing these BUK anti-aircraft missiles being moved around. So, in
addition to its Russian state media put out a number of articles in Russian
recapitulating what the separatists had said. So in other words, they
thought they hit a Ukrainian cargo plane. When they realized it was not
that, they started to delete all the evidence. They are covering their
tracks in a major way here. By the way that recording you just played with
Igor Bezler, his voices are very distinctive, he`s done a number of
recordings and it does indeed sound like him in a financial times quoted
western intelligent officials saying they believe that those leaked
conversations were genuine.

KORNACKI: Yes. Let me ask Michael Leiter. Let me ask you about those
recordings we just played. Again, the Ukraine government has put these
out. And obviously the Ukraine government -- everybody has their own
motives, their own incentives here, but Ukraine government would certainly
have its own. But how much weight do you put in those recordings? How
much confidence do we have in them?

convincing. First, we have to also remember, those were released a very
short time after the plane was lost. So if they were made up by the
Ukrainians, that`s a really capable propaganda machine. And I do think
that the ring fairly true in the sort of reporting, sort of discussions and
it`s quite likely that these are exactly the communications that the
Ukrainians would be intercepting. I think for all of those reasons
combined, much of what Michael and Bob had noted, this is a very, very
strong case. We don`t know exactly who`s at the controls but the idea that
this was used by Ukranian separatists and Russian system, I think is almost
to the point of un-deniability.

KORNACKI: And so, Michael, from the stand-point then of proving this, and
I guess the core of public opinions, the sort of the international court of
public opinion convincing Europe, convincing the United States, convincing
other countries around the world, what has to happen to do that? What are
the key elements of making that case beyond, you know, what you`re laying
out right here?

LEITER: Bob started going down that path. And I think what we will see
over the coming weeks is their release of the TECO information which points
in this direction. And although some of these sources are sensitive.
They`re not too sensitive. And it will be infrared imagery of the rocket
motor, the missile itself. Other satellite imagery of the weapons system
likely moving from Russia into Ukraine and potentially back out. Other
radar tracks involving the missile system and potentially also signals
intelligence of the radar that guided the missile. That, combined with
other intercepts of communications, I think will start to paint a very full
picture, plus any forensic data which investigators can actually collect on
the ground if they get access to that.

KORNACKI: And Bob, let me ask you about that. On the ground sort of the
collection of evidence. I mean, there was a claim, I guess, by one of the
separatists that they have the black box.


The government is saying no so we don`t no. Take us to that scene right
now, what is playing out right there right now?

HAGER: First, there`s the humanitarian issue, the dignity issue of
collecting the bodies. You know? And that`s kind of tragic that they --

KORNACKI: They are still there, right?

HAGER: Protecting all of this and they have not moved and that, again,
from a dignity standpoint is tragic. From an investigative standpoint,
what you can learn on the scene is maybe minimal. It would be interesting
to know, though. People looking at the wreckage, I could tell if it was
indeed a missile that hit the plane. Might be able to tell. Might be able
to find some residue of explosives and so forth or might not. I mean, the
key evidence is this other material what we were talking about. Whatever
we have of satellite imagery.

Also, the black boxes, in the case of the Russian shoot down of the Korean
airliner back in the 1980s, those recorders did go on for about a minute
and 44 seconds after the plane was hit by the missile but they didn`t
really reveal anything that was vital information. The pilots weren`t
really aware of what had happened to the plane. So I`m imagining that
these black boxes must have quit very shortly after this plane was hit.

KORNACKI: So, it sounds like Michael, it almost because all of these
reports of how difficult the separatists are making this for investigators,
reports of even gunfire yesterday.

WEISS: Sure.

KORNACKI: But it almost doesn`t matter from an investigative standpoint.

WEISS: Yes. Look, I mean, the President said yesterday, we need an
international independent investigation to look into this and, you know,
all the kinds of forensic details. I honestly think this is a fantasy at
this point. This side is so contaminated. There have been reports that
the separatists were looting the personal belongings of the victims. They
have removed corpses allegedly. You had reported or MSNBC had to report a
couple of minutes ago about credit cards of the victims being used by
locals in that area, allegedly, again. We can`t confirm this. But I
think, look, whatever the situation is, absolutely the separatists are
trying to keep people away from this crash site and enough time has gone by
that, you know, smoking gun, pieces of evidence will probably been erased
or hidden in some capacity.

KORNACKI: And Michael Leiter, just quickly -- what do you think the time
table is here? In terms of I mean, again, as we say that there`s a way of
circumstances right now. When the United States, President Obama for
instance stands up there and say, not only do we suspects what happened,
here is what happened.

LEITER: I think there`s probably another 48 hours of analysis of
information to really draw a firm conclusion and then over the coming week
to ten days, a lot of that information will be released officially by the
government. A lot of the intelligence focus now is, what is Vladimir Putin
thinking and is this an actual opportunity to de-escalate rather than see a
further escalation of problems between the west and Russia.

KORNACKI: All right. My thanks to MSNBC and NBC News analyst Michael
Leiter in Washington. I appreciate you getting up this morning. And here
in New York, to Michael Weiss, Foreign Policy and The Interpreter Magazine,
thank you.

With every passing hour, we are learning more about the victims who are on
that flight, who are on flight MH-17. The Wall Street Journal reports this
morning, that one of the 15 Malaysian crew members working the flight is
being mourned by his 43-year-old wife and 10-year-old son.

And four months ago, his wife was scheduled to be working on board
Malaysian Airlines flight 370 but she swapped shifts with a colleague.
This time the family wasn`t as lucky. Two hundred ninety eight people in
all were killed in yesterday`s crash. For flight 370 has yet to be found.
We`ll be right back with more on the crash.


KORNACKI: Just after she spoke to a special session of the U.N. Security
Council on Friday, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power sent out this tweet.
Quote, "Russian-backed separatists attacks versus Ukraine." June 13th
downed transport plane. June 24th downed helicopter. July 14th down cargo
plane. July 16th down jet," end quote. Since beginning of crisis,
Ukrainian air defenses have not fire a single missile despite alleged
violations of air space by Russian planes.

So, that`s the history of downed aircraft in this year`s Ukrainian turmoil.
But there was another downed aircraft episode that`s been on a lot of
people`s minds this past week. One with some eerie parallels to the story
we`re now following. It was the downing of a Korean Airlines passenger jet
by soviet fighter jets back in 1983, at the height of the cold war.


ROGER MUDD, FORMER NBC ANCHOR: I`m Roger Mudd, NBC News, Washington. The
United States today accused the Soviet Union of shooting down a Korean
Airlines jumbo jet carrying 269, including Congressman Larry McDonald of
Georgia and perhaps 30 other Americans. There are not thought to be any
survivors. The airliner which originated in New York was on a flight from
Anchorage, Alaska, to Seoul, South Korea. The U.S. claimed that soviet
fighters track the Korean 747 for more than two hours as it swerved off
course and wandered in and out of soviet air space.


KORNACKI: Korean Airlines flight 007 was blown out of the sky at a high
altitude much like MH-17 and that came just years after another incident
back in 1978, when two soviet fighter jets intercepted another Korean Air
flight. The jets reportedly fired the plane after the pilot did not
respond and it was forced to make an emergency landing. Two passengers
were killed in that incident. And in 1988, there was also an incident
which is surfaced to air missile from a U.S. aircraft carrier mistakenly
shot down in Iran air passenger jet.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Good morning. We are following developments in the
Persian Gulf where there has been a major tragedy and perhaps a major
mistake. It involves an Iran airbus, that`s a wide body jumbo jet that had
290 people on board today flying from the coast of Iran to Dubai in the
Persian Gulf. It crashed into the gulf. All 290 people on that plane are
believed to have been killed. Now, the Iranian government -- the military
is saying that the plane was shot down by missiles, but they came from U.S.
forces in the Persian Gulf.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It has been one of the Pentagon`s worst nightmares. A
shootdown of a civilian airliner. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff Admiral William Crowe announced the terrible accident. In a
statement released by the White House, President Reagan expressed regret
and said, it was deeply saddened over what he called a terrible human


KORNACKI: And what happens next diplomatically will matter a great deal in
days and weeks ahead. We`ll have far-reaching diplomatic consequences
moving forward.

Here to discuss this events, in the path forward are MSNBC military
analyst, retired Colonel Jack Jacobs, recipient of the U.S. Medal of Honor.
Veteran aviation correspondent Bob Hager who has reported from the scene of
major disasters including the TWA explosion of Long Island and downing of
PAN AM 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, he`s still with us. And Greg Myre,
digital editor for International News at NPR joins us now, he was a
reporter for the A.P. during the shooting of that Korean Airliner in 1983.

So, Greg, I`ll start with you. You covered that back in 1983. You`re
watching this play out right now. Do you see parallels between that story
and this one?

GREG MYRE, NPR: Well, certainly just all of the confusion, and the myths,
the fog of what happened initially. I was in Washington, a freshly minted
A.P. reporter. We got word that this Korean flight was missing and that
Congressman Larry McDonald was on it. I called several times and spoke to
his aid and then called back later that night and heard he`d been summoned
to the Pentagon. So, I raise over there and this is a very different era.
There were no hoards of cameras or anything. I was standing alone in a
darkened Pentagon parking lot waiting for him to emerge.

He finally came out and not only him but he was with his son who was about
12 and his son, his eyes were very red, he had been crying so I knew this
was bad news. And we had sort of been under the impression, given by the
Koreans, that the plane had -- the Russians, the soviets had forced the
plane to land. But he wouldn`t tell me anything. He was very poker faced.
I went to bed that night not knowing what had happened. It was only the
next morning we learned that it had been shot down. So again, a very
stunning and unexpected turn.

KORNACKI: And Bob, I know, you were telling this story in the air
yesterday. But I mean, there was one parallel I see is all the reports
right now about the status of these black boxes, this was something that
the Russians back in 1983, they went out of their way to get these boxes
and then to just sit in them for years.

HAGER: Oh, that was a tragic comedy. The Russians were not anxious for
the west to have their hands on these black boxes because they would show
that before the plane was hit by the missile, the Korean pilots had no idea
that they were off course, that they were innocently in the soviet air
space. So, the black boxes are known to be about 500 feet down under the
water off the far eastern shores of the soviet -- the stretch of the Soviet
Union. And everybody is raising to get them first.

So, at one point there were 34 Russian ships out there. And U.S. had a lot
of fishing trawlers that have been turned in the ships, the South Koreans
were there, the Japanese, and they were hunting for weeks and they
skirmishes, they`re banging into one another and the Russians at one point,
the soviets put a fake pinger noise down there to mislead the American
searchers, searching in the wrong place. And finally, the Russians, we
only learned later after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and these records
became available. The Russians did find the boxes about a month and a half
after the crash, spirited them back to Moscow and the world didn`t know
about the boxes until ten years later when the Soviet Union broke up.

KORNACKI: So, we`re talking about this in the break, I mean, Vladimir
Putin, ex-KGB, he was KGB in 1983, we don`t know exactly where he was in
the hierarchy at that time but do you think that there are lessons from
that, they`re informing how he is approaching this?

outside of control because the aircraft came down and the area while
controlled by separatists who were Russian separatists in Ukraine, it`s
really outside Russia. And Russia actually has people on the ground.
Russian equivalent of Russian forces, who may or may not have been involved
in this particular incident. There`s not any direct control of what`s
happening. But it`s clear that the black boxes have been removed, probably
never to surface again. So, the parallels are -- the Russians are never
forthcoming, whether it`s in the soviet era or now, Russia hasn`t changed
in a thousand years in any case. So, don`t expect the black boxes or any
information to pop up any time soon and in that regard it`s exactly the
same as it was back then.

KORNACKI: And so Greg, let me ask you, too, about the other major incident
we talked about there, the downing of the Iran Air flight from USS
Vincennes back in 1988. In terms of the United States government`s
response to that, I mean, sort of coming to grips with that, that this was,
you know, a United States` aircraft carrier that has caused this, how did
the U.S. government respond in the moment back then and how did they
prevent that from turning into anything bigger than it became?

MYRE: Right. Well, the U.S. did acknowledge that it was involved but
George Bush, the father, who was vice president at the time, later went to
the United Nations and said it was irresponsible for Iran to be flying a
civilian jet over an area where shooting was going on. The U.S. never
formerly apologized or said it was sorry. It did ultimately pay out $61
million to Iran. But it was a very awkward situation for the U.S.

KORNACKI: Did you cover that one, Bob?

HAGER: Yes, a little bit. There is an awful bit of video from the -- the
navy made themselves on the flight desk on the plane that shot down the
Iranian airbus. Our sailors are celebrating because they think they`ve
made a kill of a fighter plane and only to learn within a short while that
was actually a civilian airline.

KORNACKI: And that`s almost the common threat here, I mean, the Korean Air
in `83 that there were spy planes that had been in the area, the Russians
clearly thought they were going after a spy plane. It looks, as we were
talking in the first segment, certainly it looks right now, it looks right
now like, you know, you have the history of all of these military cargo
jets that are being shot down in the last few months in Ukraine, they
probably thought they were getting another one of those that this guy
almost mistaken --

JACOBS: Well, you would think though after 25 years of technological
development we`d have a better handle on who is a bad guy and who is a good
guy and indeed who is an IFF system identified friend or foe system which
is built into all of these missile systems.

KORNACKI: So that would have been built into the thing that --

JACOBS: Well, for the SA-11, I think it`s an outboard system but of course
it`s got to be working, the people who are operating it and have to know
how to operate it and they had to read it and that`s probably not the case
in this particular incident --

HAGER: I wonder if that doesn`t go to the question of how high up the
chain of command is this latest incident being directly supervised by --


Well, you would think they would be able to know that this is a civilian
airliner and not a Ukrainian army plane.

JACOBS: You know, the whole thing is a bit lie, I mean, I`m not trying to
let these guys off the hook, but it`s a bit lie giving a loaded pistol to a
five-year-old. He knows how to pull a trigger but that`s all he knows. I
know you need some technological training in order to operate this
particular system. You don`t need --

KORNACKI: Well, there`s also -- we talk about this in the first segment.
The recordings that the Ukraine government has put out there, so take them
at the greatest -- take them for what they worth. At the very end of it,
as these voices are recognizing this was a civilian plane, this was not a
military plane, one of the voices says, they are shocked and they say,
whatever was it doing in the air space? This is a warzone, why was it
here? And I think that`s a question that a lot of people do have.

HAGER: Yes. I mean, it`s almost naive, that recording. So clearly they
are shocked.

KORNACKI: Yes. To the extent that that`s authentic, they look and they
said, anything in the sky has to be military because there`s no way a
commercial jet would be flying through here.

But anyway, my thanks to NPR`s Greg Myre, a retired NBC aviation
correspondent Bob Hager and MSNBC military analyst Colonel Jack Jacobs, I
appreciate it.

Cracking what the Kremlin might be thinking in all of this, that`s next.


KORNACKI: So at this time, it appears that separatists in the Eastern
region of Ukraine are responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines
flight 17. With President Obama suggesting that Russian President Vladimir
Putin bears the responsibility for what happened.


OBAMA: We know that they are heavily armed and that they are trained and
we know that that`s not an accident. That is happening because of Russian
support. If Mr. Putin makes a decision that we are not going to allow
heavy armaments and the flow of fighters into Ukraine across the
Ukrainian/Russian border, then it won`t stop.


KORNACKI: Vladimir Putin for his part seemed less than contrite after
observing a minute of silence for the victims. He said that Ukraine stoked
the violence that led to the crash. Quote, "I would like to point out in
this regard, this tragedy would not have occurred if there was peace in
that land. At least the hostilities have not resumed in the southeast of
Ukraine. And without question, the state over whose territory this took
place, bears responsibility for this awful tragedy."

We now go to Moscow where NBC`s Jim Maceda has the latest. So, Jim, can
you tell us about Russia`s response to this disaster both in terms of we`ll
let the government responds there from Putin, do the people in Russia
echoed a sentiment?

JIM MACEDA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I see. Well, I think that quote, from
Putin early sums up the Kremlin reaction. Putin, you know, has been
playing a double games since the very beginning of this current conflict
going back in February. He portrays himself as a peacemaker, as a leader
who`s got everyone`s interests or best interests at heart but behind the
scenes, he`s pursing his own interests, in this case trying to destabilize
Ukraine so that if and when Europe does take -- Ukraine does enter the
European sphere officially, then Europe only gets to bail out a basket
case, if you will.

Putin is extremely clever. He has not denied outright that he`s pro-Russia
proxies in Eastern Ukraine are responsible for downing that flight MH-17
but he focused to blame on Ukraine`s government as you`ve just suggested.
And he`s done this from the very beginning. He said that Kiev started the
revolution, it started the civil war, is responsible for this tragedy as
well. That said, Putin must know what has really happened to that flight.
He knows about international public opinion now skewering him. And as the
British guardian has reported, he`s really facing a huge dilemma.

He either doubles down and risks major sanctions that could hurt him and
Russia or he cuts the cord with the rebels and risks seeing those huge
approval ratings. Some 83 percent according to Gallup, take a dive. Now,
remember Putin build his popularity here largely on supporting other
Russians around the region. First now, the Kremlin has been quiet. It`s
saying that no one knows what happened. They are going to wait and see and
this is really reflected in the streets here as well -- Steve.

KORNACKI: All right. NBC`s Jim Maceda in Moscow, I appreciate that

And for more now on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the United States,
as they continue to -- we return to Julia Ioffe. She`s a senior editor at
the New Republic and she has reported an extensively for Moscow. You`re
our go-to person on all things Vladimir Putin, so. But so that dilemma,
Jim just outland right there, so I saw this poll yesterday, too. And 83
percent approval rating right now in Russia for Vladimir Putin. That puts
him at the highest level since 2008.

And so, it just seems like every time there`s a confrontation like this
with the west, by not giving a ground, by not acknowledging anything, he
only gets stronger at home. So at least the question, when you start
talking about sanctions, when we start talking about the response that the
west can make, is there any leverage that the west has it all here?

JULIA IOFFE, NEW REPUBLIC: That`s the thing. I`m not sure what the west
can really do at this point other than ramping up sanctions. Maybe Europe
will be more on board this time given that a bunch of EU Citizens mentoring
several hundred EU citizens have died. But he`s also shown that he`s
willing to tolerate a certain amount of economic pain for what he perceives
as --

KORNACKI: And lots of people here in New York too, right? I mean --

IOFFE: Yes, you know, for a geopolitical gain or what he perceives to be a
geopolitical gain. You had, you know, when this all started and these
sanctions were first rolled out and Crimea was first annexed, one of his
deputy prime ministers Metri Ragoys (ph), and who is responsible for the
aerospace industry said, you know what, we`re going to go to the moon next,
we`re going to get a foothold on the moon and the Russians don`t mind.
They are willing to tolerate pain for greater causes.

KORNACKI: And so do we have a sense what his -- I mean, look, besides
there is so much sort of wounded Russian pride in the `90s, right of the
breakup of the Soviet Union, the sort of economic problems that they had
and part of the approval rating for Putin I guess is always been sort of
restoring that sense of strength and that sense of might and that sense of
pride. And he`s able to, you know, get Crimea a few months ago. It`s an
important symbolic thing, I can see, and I suppose little slices of Eastern
Ukraine would be, too. A lot of the fear that I`m hearing, sort of
domestically in the United States against Putin, the idea that his
ambitions are much more expansive than that. Is that your sense or is it
really this more of the piecemeal pick-up of this before?

IOFFE: I think it`s piecemeal. This is, I mean, I`ll never tired saying,
you know, all of the people in the U.S. who praised Putin`s brilliance,
they are really kind of missing the point. He`s an excellent tactician as
we`ve seen. He`s a terrible strategist. He doesn`t think more than a
couple of steps down the road and he tends to paint himself into corners
and become hostage to situations that he creates, as we`re seeing right
now. You know, he fermented this unrest in the east. The he becomes, you
know, a hostage to these proxies that he himself created.

Now, he`s on the hook for something horrible that they have done. I`m sure
he knows it. And one of the reasons that we`re seeing this bravado is he
doesn`t know what to do. Like classic Putin is in a situation like this,
when there`s a lot of pressure, is to bluster back and slowly, slowly,
slowly walk it back but only when attention has shifted away from him. He
never wants to seem like he`s buckling under pressure for doing what the
especially with what the west wants him to do.

KORNACKI: Do you think he thinks this will just go away, that Europe
eventually doesn`t have the stomach because of all their economic ties to
Russia, their dependence on Russia, they don`t have a stomach for this so
he can just bluster it out and it will go away?

IOFFE: He likes to weigh things out. He likes to think that doors are,
you know, that options are on the table, maybe longer than they are but he
thinks that he can probably weigh this out and wait until more -- when he
can maybe cut ties with these guys, take them down, punish them for what
they`ve done but he certainly won`t do it because the west expects him to

KORNACKI: He wants to do it on his own terms.

IOFFE: Exactly.

KORNACKI: That`s the key there. All right. I want to thank Julia Ioffe,
The New Republic, I appreciate that. And up next, the other big civil
conflict in news. We will go live to the ground war in Gaza. That`s next.


KORNACKI: As we continue to follow the investigation in Ukraine, we`re
also staying on top of the latest developments in Gaza. This is now the
second full day of the ground offensive launched by Israel into the
Palestinian territory. They say they are targeting Gaza`s Hamas rulers but
many civilians have also been killed during the 10 day campaign of air
strikes. More than 300 Palestinians so far. And among them, four young
boys who had been playing soccer on a beach.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: An Israeli shell smashing into a Gaza City port. It was
broad daylight. There was no warning. It wasn`t the precision war Israel
says it`s fighting. A group of boys, cousins, playing on the beach, now
running for their lives. Until seconds later, another shell hit. Israel
claimed it was firing at Hamas militants at the port, but the dead were
four young boys. Several others from the same extended family were
wounded, including Mutasam (ph). He managed to crawl up the beach to a
nearby hotel. Medics rushed the boys to a hospital.

Parents started to arrive. Unsure what happened but expecting the worst a
mother asked, where is my son? Where is my love? Then, her worst fears
came true. Pray for your son, pray for your son, a relative told her, he
is now a martyr.


KORNACKI: Today, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will travel to the
region in an effort to negotiate and to the violence in fighting meanwhile
intensified overnight. Israel says, it has attacked three dozen targets
since midnight. For instance, you know, four news reports that Israeli
troops destroyed a hospital in the Gaza strip as militants fired more than
1500 rockets in Israel over the past week-and-a-half. Most of them have
been shot down by Israel`s new missile defense system.

Joining me now from Gaza is NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard
Engel. So, Richard, are you saying any signs that this Israeli defensive
is about to intensify even more?

signs and we are hearing indications when you listen to Israeli officials.
There have been reinforcements, thousands of them sent to the edges of
Gaza, extra military hardware, extra troops. Also, the Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, his cabinet has approved a possible
significant expansion of the operation and then a military commander said
earlier today that an expansion he didn`t qualify how significant or
otherwise it was has already began.

And then today, a second Israeli has been killed by Palestinian rocket fire
from the Gaza strip in addition to the Israeli, four others were injured.
Hamas has also tried to stage several attacks using those tunnels that the
infiltration tunnels from the Gaza strips and the Israeli in and one of
those attacks, two Israeli soldiers were injured today. So, when you take
all of these together, the statements, the troops deployments, the new
casualties, it`s possible that Israel could escalate this further. But
driving deeper in the Gaza strip has caused for both sides.

KORNACKI: Yes. That`s the question I have is what is the end game here
for Israel? Because you know, it`s been almost a decade now since Israel
ended its official occupation of Gaza. It`s the end game here that Israel
is reoccupying Gaza, it`s just in and out. What is the goal here?

ENGEL: Well, it`s -- that is the fundamental question and when you define
end game, how far are we talking about? The immediate goal that Israel
talks about is destroying the tunnels which are around the perimeter of the
Gaza strip. That obviously is not a long-term solution. That doesn`t mean
the end of Hamas, it doesn`t mean the end of the larger problem here, that
you have two million Palestinians who are a captive population. The
economy here is bankrupt.

The government, which is Hamas, is bankrupt. The Palestinians cannot
leave. There is a state of hopelessness or feeling of hopelessness and
desperation. So eliminating the tunnels, that would be a short-term
security benefit for Israel but it doesn`t solve the longer term problem of
Gaza. So what is the end game? For the next few weeks, it`s probably the
tunnels. After that, we`re not hearing anything.

KORNACKI: All right. NBC`s Richard Engel, I appreciate the time this
morning and the insight there. President Obama meanwhile says, the U.S.
supports the U.S. military offensive as long as the operation is limited.


OBAMA: Although we support military efforts by the Israelis to make sure
that rockets are not being fired into their territory, we also have said
that our understanding is the current military ground operations are
designed to deal with the tunnels and we are hopeful that Israel will
continue to approach this process in a way that minimizes civilian


KORNACKI: And joining me now to discuss this is MSNBC contributor and
Washington editor-at-large at the Atlantic Steve Clemons and former
Massachusetts congressman, democrat Barney Frank.

And Congressman, so I`ll start with you. That question that was basically
raised by Richard`s report there, longer term, do you think Israel is
getting anything out of this? If the short-term goal is to get these
tunnels, longer term, when you look at what`s going to be left behind in
Gaza, when you look at the -- this is what the third or fourth time maybe
in the last ten years that something like this has erupted, is this getting
anywhere long term in terms of peace?

FMR. REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: No. That doesn`t make it
valueless. If you`re being attacked by hostile people who believe a member
of Hamas, unlike the Palestinian authority thinks he shouldn`t be in
Israel, and if they attack you, I wouldn`t denigrate as simply as short
term gain, stopping them from physically attacking them. Unfortunately,
the question of peace is probably one that has to be decided by the people
of Hamas has still said they are not interested in a longer term peace. So
obviously the long-term answer would be a peace settlement. But if, and I
think this is important to note this is not happening in the West Bank
because the Palestinians who control the West Bank don`t let people fire
Iraq and --

KORNACKI: Well, Hamas controls Gaza and Abbas government controls the West
Bank but I guess one of the questions Steve is that the idea -- one of the
ideas that was advanced in the last ten years was that, from the Israeli
standpoint that you`re going to support, work with, partner with Abbas and
you`re going to create a model in the West Bank that`s going to take people
in Gaza and say, hey, that`s what we want. We don`t want the reality of
Hamas. We want the reality of the West Bank, has Israel dropped the ball a
little bit when it comes to the peace process with the West Bank with

STEVE CLEMONS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: In my view, Benjamin Netanyahu is the
worst prime minister that Israel has had in terms of confusing Israel`s
long-term survival and security interests with short-term security
interests. And it has legitimated Hamas. Hamas was failing. Hamas has a
closed door and no exit in Egypt. And then in the eyes of Palestinians
both in the west bank and in Gaza, Israel has failed to be in a case of
reliable partner for peace. He`s not stepped forward to do that.
Remember, terrorists are performers, they sit on stages performing, trying
to look legitimate in the eyes of a public and rather than seducing the way
the audience, Israel is trying to kill the actors and that is a long term
successful strategy.

KORNACKI: Wait. We`re going to squeeze a break in and we`re going to hear
you disagree. One second, let`s come right back and we`ll get to that.


KORNACKI: All right. We`ll pick right up where we left off. Barney, you
want to respond to what Steve said, go ahead.

FRANK: Yes. He`s blaming Netanyahu and -- Hamas strength, I think it`s
simply wrong and irresponsible. Look, and you talk about Israel saying
let`s make the West Bank look good. Well, to a great extent, they have
done that. I think the settlement policy has been wrong in a lot of ways
but life in the West Bank has gone on much more normally and the problem
here -- first, Israel voluntarily withdraws from Gaza and then, not because
of Benjamin Netanyahu which seemed to be an ad suggesting, Hamas beats
Fattah in a military struggle within Gaza.

KORNACKI: Well, first of all --

FRANK: Let me finish.

KORNACKI: But first of all, there were democratic elections, right? There
was a withdrawal in 2005 and there were democratic elections held in Gaza -

CLEMONS: Which George Bush called the -- selections in the Middle East.

KORNACKI: That`s right. And what they`re missed opportunities but United
States did --

FRANK: I don`t think however we should be Hamas at all. What happened
was, yes, there were re-elections and there was Abbas who was elected and
then there was a parliament that Abbas dominated. But then there was a
physical fight within Gaza without Israel being involved, without Netanyahu
harming anybody and Hamas, the side of the Palestinians that think it
should not exist and there`s no interest in a peace process physically
expels from Gaza. The Palestinian authority.

So, you have two very different -- you have a West Bank where there were
some difficulties but you don`t have this violence, they weren`t sending
rockets. They don`t want invading. And then you have Gaza running Hamas.
And that is a large part of the problem. I have to ask people, if you`re
critical of what Israel was doing, what should they do? Given that we
don`t now have peace and then Hamas runs Gaza and they start sending in
rockets, what should Israel have been doing?


KORNACKI: Wait. The issue that`s raising was a broad or what about what
is happening the last --

FRANK: I understand that. But I`m raising the issue that I want to raise.


KORNACKI: Barney, come on!

CLEMONS: The point is, is there an aspirational tract for the people -- I
would go to Jericho, I would go to Nablus and I would go to Ramallah and
ask them how they feel about living under the kind of institutionalized --
yes, the West Bank, which Gazans are watching as well. And the question
is, you do have Hamas completing against Fatah for legitimacy, you have
Hamas competing against Islamic Jihad. Behind Hamas are much nationally --
Hamas has gone up and down terrorism based on what they thought were

And the question is, Barney called me irresponsible in this. The question
was, what is the track that comes along in this. And does large footprint
military action that kills 70 children, that kills 319 people, the vast
majority of whom are innocent, that has destroyed 20,000 homes. So more
than ten homes per missile fired by Hamas, is that large footprint one that
delivers large security deliverables? And my answer is no. What you do is
you are sure that Hamas survives and survives and survives because of that
action. That is the failure of iron fist evaluation military strategies.


FRANK: Please, don`t pretend neutrality. I get a chance to talk.

KORNACKI: You accused me of something and I`m going to defend myself
before you talk. Before I let you talk, I`ll want you to respond with this
but you tell me that I`m gaining up on you and I`m not. I`m asking an
objective question, I`m trying to ask about the West Bank in addition to
Gaza. That`s the question I raised. That`s the only thing I was trying to
set up. I`ll let you respond to Steve Clemons.

FRANK: You clearly have the other side few points.

KORNACKI: It`s called asking a critical question.

FRANK: I`m sorry. Can we get a -- can I have a breakdown on how --

KORNACKI: I`m happy to let you talk but don`t accuse me of something like

FRANK: Can I have a breakdown of how much time I`m getting with the two of
you --

KORNACKI: You get more but don`t accuse me of being --

FRANK: Oh, I`m sorry, I didn`t know the rules, no one here can be critical


KORNACKI: I`m going to defend myself if you criticize me. Go ahead.

FRANK: Yes. But you defend yourself, he gives the anti-Israeli --

CLEMONS: No, I`m not anti-Israel --

FRANK: Do I get the chance to talk here? This is ridiculous. Here`s the
question that you are both ducking and being critical. Yes. Whenever you
respond -- there were problems in Afghanistan with our responding to 9/11.
There were always innocent people. And that one reason why they tried to
avoid this. But my question is this, given that Hamas is there and that
we`re not close to a peace process yet. And they started firing the
missiles, and Egypt said, a cease-fire and they said no, what do you both,
each of you, what should Israel have done? Going to Ramallah and doing a
poll would be one thing. But the situation in which they are going through
the tunnels and they`re sending rockets in, what do you think the short-
term response from Israel should have been?

CLEMONS: I think that Israel should have gone after the tunnel, should
have gone after the missiles in a surgical way. It is not gone after those
issues in a surgical way. I think they should have gone overboard in
protecting children and civilians and whenever they`ve targeted a hospital,
a school regardless of what they saw about rockets being soared, as you
have the U.N. in there basically doing inspections, I would have made a war
room around the question of, how do we protect those that are not part of
the evidence? I support Israel`s right of self-defense, I do not support
Israel`s right that create massive, innocent casualties.

KORNACKI: Last word here.

FRANK: Yes. So in other words, you agree that Israel has a legitimate
right to physically attack and have a military attack in Gaza, you`re
critical that it`s not being done physically surgically. The problem is
that I think surgical military strikes as we`ve seen everywhere, we`re not
hard to carry out. But we have an agreement that Israel had the right to
respond military with force to these attacks from Israel from Hamas and
then the question is, have they done a good enough job of confining them.

KORNACKI: All right. My thanks to former Congressman Barney Frank, MSNBC
contributor Steve Clemons from The Atlantic, I appreciate that. And we`ll
have more news right after this.


KORNACKI: All right. We want to begin our second hour of UP this morning
with more on the Malaysian Airlines crash in Ukraine. The U.S. Ukrainian
official say, it was likely brought down by a surface-to-air missile. The
crash investigators and rescue workers say that the crash site of flight 17
is not being treated the way the crash site normally would and should be
treated. Ukrainian rescue workers were kicked out yesterday. The team of
independent international monitors say that their efforts to get to the
crash site have been blocked by gunmen firing warning shots into the air.

The separatists believed to have brought down the plane are also thought to
have taken the black boxes. It`s not known what they might have done with
them if indeed they do have. And there are conflicting reports, there are
Malaysian government source has sold NBC News, there is growing concern
that the bodies on board are not being recovered. This is an Instagram
video of the passengers onboard the plane in a moments before takeoff. On
the ground many of the victims are still streak into their sits. Things
like IPhones, children`s books and playing cards are strewn around the
wreckage extending for many miles.

Many of the books are written in Dutch more than half of the 298 victims
are from the Netherlands on their way from Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur.
Others are from Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, the UK, Germany, Belgium,
The Philippines, Canada, and New Zealand and several still remain
identified. President Obama said yesterday that the deaths are, quote, "an
outrage of unspeakable proportions and at least one American is known to
have been on board."


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We know at least one American
citizen, Quinn Lucas Schansman was killed. Our thoughts and prayers are
with his family for his terrible loss. Yesterday I spoke with the leaders
of Ukraine, Malaysia and the Netherlands. I told them that our thoughts
and prayers are with all the families and that the American people stand
with them during this difficult time.


KORNACKI: The plane was traveling over a designated flight path. The air
space was still opened, despite the conflict that`s raging below. In
April, the FAA prohibited American planes from flying over the Crimean
region nearby. FAA expanded that order to include Eastern Ukraine on
Thursday. On the scene in Ukraine at this hour is NBC`s Keir Simmons.

KEIR SIMMONS, MSNBC REPORTER: Well, the Ukrainian government is accusing
the militia here in Donetsk of destroying evidence of international crimes.
But, of course, most of the relatives of those on board of flight MH-17
will be simply, first and foremost, worried about whether or not they can
get the bodies of their relatives back. And even that is proving difficult
at the crash site still smoldering. People`s possession are left lying
around. Of course we cannot show you but the bodies of passengers are
still lying presumably where they fell on the ground.

And we have even heard from one militia leader who says that he cannot
discount a reports in the Ukrainian media suggesting that credit cards of
some of the victims may have been used by local people. He says the area
is so wide, he can`t say whether or not that will have happened or hasn`t
happened. So, it gives you a sense of how badly sealed off, cordoned off
this area is. And again, today, international investigators say they have
not been given full access to the site by those militia guarding the area.
Presumably, the body best in position to try to coordinate off would be the
Ukrainian government. But of course, those militia are fighting the
Ukrainian government so that seems extremely unlikely. Meanwhile, the
militia is saying that it`s taking too long for international investigators
to get here. They say, that`s why there is a delay in the inquiry. Back
to you.

KORNACKI: All right. Now to NBC`S Kristen Welker who`s live at the White
House. And Kristen, do you know what the next steps are that the White
House might be taking now?

We know that President Obama spoke to a number of world leaders last night,
including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. And they discussed what
additional actions might be required in Layman`s term. Steve, that means
that they are discussing the possibility of additional sanctions if it is
confirmed that there is a Russian link here. Of course, you heard
yesterday, President Obama, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power
starts to build the case that Russian-backed rebels are responsible for
shooting down that plane.

That is it significant because just this past week, you heard President
Obama announce the stiffest round of sanctions yet against Russia. If it
is confirmed that these Russian-backed rebels using Russian artillery shot
down this plane, you are going to see the U.S. and EU really converge and
get on the same page in terms of sanctions. So far we`ve seen the United
States go much further in terms of sanctions than the EU. What we could
see is the two really getting on the same page, and that was potentially
part of that discussion last night that President Obama had with German
Chancellor Angela Merkel about enacting stiffer sanctions.

Possibly those sectoral sanctions which are really the broadest, stiffest,
toughest sanctions that can be levied. And that is why you`re seeing so
much focus right now on this investigation I`m told by White House
officials, they say it is critical that the crash site is not tampered with
its critical that there is an international investigation into this because
they want to build a rock-solid case against Russia if there is in fact the
Russian link so that they can move forward with sanctions without question
with the united front with the EU. Steve, back to you.

KORNACKI: All right. Thanks a lot for that, Kristen. I appreciate it.
Meanwhile, Senator John McCain believes that the U.S. needs to give Ukraine
weapons and other military assistance. On MSNBC on Thursday, he said that
the evidence suggests that Russian President Vladimir Putin is largely to
blame for what happened.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It has the earmarks of a tragic mistake
made by someone who had the capability to shoot down an aircraft and we
know, at least from the last few couple of weeks, that that could be
Russian separatists or Russian capability.


KORNACKI: All right. And for more on the U.S. diplomatic response, let`s
turn now to republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. He says,
the U.S. and Europe should sanction Russia for the role it`s played in this

And I`m joined again here in New York by former Massachusetts Congressman
Barney Frank, a democrat, and MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh, editor-
at-large of Salon. And Congressman Charlie Dent, I`ll start with you first
just in terms of, what is it that -- what do you make of the President`s
response? Are you satisfied of his response and what do you want to see
him do in the weeks ahead?

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, first Steve, thank you for
having me on the show. Thus far, I think the administration is trying to
do the right things, trying to, you know, conduct an investigation,
basically holding Vladimir Putin accountable for this act of barbarism. I
mean, there`s no question in my mind that Russian separatists shutdown this
civilian aircraft, that the separatists have been enabled by the Putin
government and it`s very clear to me, we know who has dirty hands, bloody
hands in this case. And it`s now important for the administration to
ratchet up sanctions further, as they have been trying to do.

Now, hopefully this is a game-changing event. We need our European
friends, particularly the German, the French, and the British, to engage in
more robust sanctions regime. The administration has been constrained in
part by the Europeans Unions unwillingness to go further on the sanctions.
But I think now it`s clear that we must move forward much more aggressively
with the sanctions further isolate Vladimir Putin and move forward.

KORNACKI: Yes, and Barney, that seems to be the point and we talked about
the investigation is now playing in building this case. The case seems to
be aimed at Europe. Basically, get Europe on board because Europe does
need economic ties to Russia.

FMR. REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Yes. Let me say hello to my
former Congressman Charlie Dent and thank him for some genuine responsible
bipartisanship. In contrast, John McCain and some of the others, there was
this desire on a part of some to hold America responsible for everything
that goes wrong in the world. The right used to say that the left were to
blame America first crowd. Now it`s the conservatives who, when anything
bad goes on in the world, they wonder why Obama didn`t stop it. Charlie is
exactly right. In this issue, President Obama specifically and America
have been in the lead. And there have been European allies who have been

And by the way, they have some American allies. The position that they are
taking is, you know, it would be bad for business if we got tough with
Putin. And they have support here, by the way, from the Chamber of
Commerce from the United States and the national association manufacturers.
People understand that the leaning representatives of business in America
have been trying to hold back and the Russians pay attention. They read
the American -- they watch the American media. But yes, Obama has been
doing the right thing and Charlie`s exactly right. It should be very hard
for the Europeans to hold back, especially as people have noticed, since it
is the founding member of the European Unions, the Netherlands, which has
been the single greatest victim of this because of the population.

KORNACKI: I want to bring you here in a second, Joan, but I just want to
go back to Charlie, to Congressman Dent, on the point that Barney was just
raising, that sentiment that we heard John McCain express and we hear John
McCain expressed similar sentiments it seems whenever there`s, you know,
incidents like this happened on the gulf. How widespread is that, talking
to your republican colleagues, how widespread is that sentiment, that sort
of very aggressive hawkish response to seemingly everything?

DENT: Well, I think on the republican side there`s a general sense that
maybe the Obama administration on many foreign policy issues has been a bit
more disengaged than it should be. On this issue, the response of
Malaysian Airlines, I think so far the administration has done the right
things. I thought earlier that the administration should have gone a bit
further in the sanctions regime. But I do understand the constraints from
the European Union. But I will also like to put something on the table
here in terms of dealing with Putin.

I think now is the opportune time for the United States and European Union
to move much more aggressively together and advancing the transatlantic
trade agreement. We need to bring Europe and the U.S. closely together
economically. We need to align ourselves with it. It will serve our
economic as well as our strategic interests and our security interests to
do so. And if I were the president, there`s an opportunity for
bipartisanship. I believe we should move forward on that trade agreement
and fast track to accelerate this agreement in response, in part to what
has been happening in Ukraine and particularly with respect to Russia`s and
Putin`s adventurism and aggression.

KORNACKI: Well, Joan, just in terms of the domestic political response
that we`ve seen so far, when you have like the John McCain clip that we
played and it strikes me again, he says this all the time, I wonder what
audience he`s aiming for with that. Because in a way, there`s this fight
going on within the Republican Party right now, is where there`s the John
McCain wing against the Ron Paul types, and it`s almost like -- when in
instance like this comes out, McCain`s has got to sort of prove, hey, this
is still the default republican position.

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Yes, but I don`t really know who is he talking to
because the American people are not really looking for greater engaged,
military engagement in the Ukraine or in any of the umpteen countries that
Senator McCain has recommended that we go into. I mean, I think both
congressman, no more than I do and are right. This is a matter for
diplomacy right now and that there is an opportunity here to get the
European Union more involved, given that the majority of people who died in
this tragedy are Europeans. So, I think the President has done a great job
and will continue to push on that front.

FRANK: I completely agree. But let me give a specific answer to
questions, if I can do that. John McCain is talking to Lindsey Graham and
Dick Cheney and -- back to him. It is a shrinking circle of people who
take this view that America has somehow the responsibility and the capacity
to bring order anywhere in the world. I should note that these are also
deficit holds.

WALSH: Right.

FRANK: One of the things I always want to ask them, is how much is this
going to cost and what are you going to take it out of? And I think Joan
is right. The American people have an understanding of what our legitimate
needs are but what our capacity is. And in particular this is Europe.
That you guys made a great map of that flight path. The flight path left
in that -- and went over with Europe. This is much more -- I do have to
disagree with my former colleague and friend, Charlie, on the transatlantic
trade agreement. And Charlie doesn`t mean it this way but it has the aura
of let`s see if we can persuade the Europeans to do sanctions by getting a
treaty done.

FRANK: And my problem with trade treaties whether it was NAFTA or not,
trade treaties do good things in some ways but in two weeks at a better set
of economic policies nationally in which the benefits of trade are more
equally distributed and the costs of trade of the job loss are dealt with,
I`m not refuting that. So, I don`t think we should take this economic
issue -- the European shouldn`t need this so much in order for their own
self-interests to do this.

And this is part of the problem, by the way, I think some of the Americans
encourage the criticism by Obama. Beginning in 1946, Western Europe has
sort of hidden behind America and, to some extent, they want to have their
cake and eat it, too. They want America to be the leader in the world but
then they want to be able to do some economic business while we`re doing
that. And the time here is to come to say them, no, we`re equal partners
in this and you have as much responsibility as we do given that it`s your

KORNACKI: You know, Congressman Dent, it strikes me the reluctance that
the Republicans had maybe to go along with the McCain and the situation
like this and then other situations that come up with this? It`s just, how
much has the thinking on the republican side that informed by Iraq? That
informed by Afghanistan. How much is the culture of the party changed
because of those two things? Do people now hit the pause button, in your
conversations with the Republicans, do they hit the pause button and say,
we don`t want another Iraq here, let`s not do this?

DENT: Well, with respect to, I think the republican view on foreign policy
generally, I think most Republicans do not want to ascribe to the school of
interventionism willy-nilly. I think most Republicans want us to be very
much engaged in these matters. Now with respect specifically to what is
happening in Ukraine, I don`t think there`s any republican who believes
that there should be American boots on the ground, so to speak. But we
understand, though, that we do have some responsibilities. I will say on
an issue like Ukraine, I have never supported putting Ukraine in NATO
because I don`t think there`s an appetite for the American people or Europe
to engage Russia militarily over Ukraine.

Now, that said, I believe that the Americans, Republicans, all of us,
Democrats, we believe that -- we should insist upon a territorially secure
Ukraine that is sovereign, free to make whatever associations it wants to
economically, whether it`s with Europe or Russia, just as Finland does or
remember of the EU, they have relations with Russia, why should Ukraine not
be allowed that same opportunity? So, I would say that Republicans
generally want to be I think more cautious about military interventions
but, at the same time, one is very much engaged in these problems. And I
think many of my colleagues do feel that, you know, particularly in the
Middle East right now, the administration has been somewhat disengaged.

We saw what happened in Syria. And I would never advocated military
intervention in Syria. But by her absence from that field, we essentially
-- a vacuum was created, we outsourced the army of the rebels, you know, so
the Turks, Qataris, Saudis, and now we`ve got on this -- fiasco in Syria
which has spilled into Iraq. So, I think there`s the concern republican
side of the administration has been a bit too disengaged in too many parts
of the world. And by the way, it`s good to be on the show with former
Congressman Frank and great to be with him. And I hope he`s enjoying

KORNACKI: Well, I`m glad we could reunite both of you this morning. We`re
out of time for this segment though. My thanks to Republican Congressman
Charlie Dent from Pennsylvania and coming up next, the latest on the crisis
at the border and what if anything, will be done about it.


KORNACKI: This morning, we`re also staying on top of the latest
developments in the fight over immigration reform. The White House says
that President Obama will meet with the leaders of Honduras, El Salvador,
and Guatemala next week to discuss the crisis at the border. But hope
stating the Congress is going to pass any kind of immigration reform before
its summer recess which starts next month. In September, when Congress
returns, it will be the added variable of the upcoming midterm elections.
President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to
address the crisis.

It`s money that would be spend on new detention facilities to provide more
housing for the undocumented minors who have reached the U.S. It would
also pay for more immigration judges to process the claims, so there were
more agents to patrol the border. Republicans have their own idea though,
when it would provide less money in amending 2008 law to make it easier to
return those children to their home countries.

Now last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi suggested she might
support that GOP plan. But that changed on Wednesday, the same day the
Congressional Hispanic Caucus met with President Obama at the White House.
The CHC which has said, it would not support any changes to the 2008 law
called the meeting "productive." And after that, Pelosi reverse course,
told "The New York Times," quote, "I do think the bill that was introduced
is exactly the wrong way to go. It`s the only immigration bill we`re going
to have, one that hurts children." One in 50,000 children have crossed
into the country from Central America in recent months.

And according to a new Gallup poll, 17 percent of Americans now say the
border crisis is the country`s single biggest problem, up from just five
percent a month ago. So, what will Congress do? Will Congress do anything
at all to address that crisis? Some Americans believe it`s the nation`s
biggest crisis.

Here now to discuss it is Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona, he`s also a
member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

So, Congressman, I appreciate you taking the time this morning. I just
maybe would start by trying to get clarity from that, that meeting you had
with the President this week. Because we said that Nancy Pelosi had
signals an openness potentially to change in the 2008 law and then
backtracked on it. The White House had also sent some signals to the press
that it was open to changing the 2008 law. Your understanding after
meeting with the President, is that something that is on the table with

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: I think with the administration, I think
Secretary Johnson and the Press Secretary for Obama have used the word
flexibility and, you know, I felt the position of the Hispanic caucus was,
this law is dismantled and we won`t be able to support a supplemental,
we`ll direct in that with the President. The President made no definitive
commitment about what position down the road he was going to take on that
particular issue. But we stated our position and then also talked about
potential executive orders to try to remedy some of the other immigration
issues that are going on.

KORNACKI: So, I guess there`s two questions. The immediate issue right
now, and we`ve gone from talking about comprehensive immigration reform and
now we`re talking about $3.7 billion for this specific crisis of these
refugees. So that $3.7 billion now, in the republican`s mind, has been
attached to changing the 2008 law. Could, given the reality of the
Republicans controlling the House right now, could that $3.7 billion, do
you think could it pass with -- and get the republican support it needs
without changing the 2008 law. Is that realistic?

GRIJALVA: Yes. I think it could pass. I also believe that though, that
we`re not talking about any immigration reform. We`re talking about a
supplemental proposed by the President to deal with the humanitarian crisis
that we have before us with the children and the unaccompanied minors and
to effectuate the law that`s in place, to provide them the due process in
the full extent. So, this is not immigration reform in any way you could
define it as that. It`s responding to a crisis. Immigration reform is
something that the House leadership, Boehner in particular, has failed to
bring to the forth.

KORNACKI: One thing I`m curious about too, for your thoughts on this. I
mean, when you look at the humanitarian nature of this crisis right now,
and I think you know, most Americans, I think their hearts go out to these
kids and a lot of Americans want to find ways to take care of them if
there`s families here to reunite them, and then view them as, you know,
genuine refugees, who if they are sent home, are going to be in just some
dire circumstances. I wonder though how you balance that instinct with
what message it might send to others, down in Central America given just
how harrowing the journey is to get here, how many will die along the way
trying to get here. The more accommodating we are to them right now, does
that not then encourage more to make that journey and with tragic

GRIJALVA: Yes. Somebody described, are you making the welcome too easy?
And that will spur additional migrant children to come to the country. I
think you re-effectuate this law and you due process and you want to
expedite not every child that is coming, not every unaccompanied minor will
have the benefit of refugees status or asylum, they won`t qualify. Those
will be dealt with by reintegration the back to their country. Those that
do have, under the law and under a history in this country, will have that
opportunity. It`s about expediting and we can`t expedite without the
resource, bottom-line.

What the Republicans are going to do is probably do an enforcement only
supplemental, change or dismantle the law and then make deportation and
removal expedited by the simple process that you eliminated the due process
in the law. That`s their way of dealing with it. And I think something is
going to happen before the break because, quite frankly, this is now a
major political issue and you want to go back to your district. Certainly
the Republicans and Democrats that are going to support it, and be able to
pro about what you did for border security, but in reality you did nothing.

KORNACKI: All right. Well, we will see -- that 3.7 billion proposal
sitting there. We will see what happens with that. I want to thank
Congressman Raul Grijalva, from Arizona. I appreciate the time this
morning. And coming up next, the latest from Gaza.

And still ahead, we travel to the biggest annual gathering of progressive
activists to find out which Democrats are firing up the liberal base of the
party. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: NBC`s Richard Engel is reporting this morning that thousands of
Israeli troops have been deployed to the edge of Gaza. Israeli official
say they could be used to expand the ground campaign that begin Thursday
after nearly two weeks of rocket fire by both the Palestinians and the
Israelis. Israel says, it has encountered little resistance on the ground
so far. Twenty Hamas militants have been killed. Hamas is still firing
rockets into Israel. About 100 of them every day. Most of them have been
shot down by Israeli defenders. We`ll be back with more news right after


KORNACKI: This morning, 3,000 of the most influential progressive
activists are wrapping up their annual strategy session designed to propel
the Democratic Party forward and also to the left to rally the liberal
movement in a post-Obama era that is fast approaching. Waving Warren for
president signs, senior senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren brought
an exuberant crowd to their feet yesterday with her trademark populous


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We know that our lives improve
when we care for our neighbors and we help build a future. Not just for
some of our kids but for all of our kids. That`s what we believe. These
are progressive ideas. These are progressive values. These are America`s
values. And these are the values we are willing to fight for.


KORNACKI: She was speaking at the annual Netroots conference which is
being held in Detroit -- or was being held in Detroit. Vice President Joe
Biden was also there and he used his chance to rally this key democratic
constituency emphasizing his long-time commitment to equal rights.


VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (D), UNITED STATES: No one should ever have a right
to dismiss somebody because of their sexual orientation. It just should
not exist. It also includes the basic proposition that my daughter and my
four granddaughters are guaranteed every single opportunity my sons and
grandsons have because they are capable of whatever my sons and grandsons
can do.


KORNACKI: But there`s one democrat who was conspicuously absent, Hillary
Clinton, who was we all know is on her book tour declined the invitation to
address this progressive audience. She`s received a cool reception in
recent years because of her difficult relationship with bloggers over her
initial support for the Iraq war. And in 2007 in fact, she was booed at
Netroots over her ties to special interests money. And as this month`s
cover story, the New Republic puts it, Hillary Clinton is winning over the
left. The report that she`s performing better among liberals than among
moderate and conservative Democrats.

Her favorability rating within the party is at 90 percent, that`s ten
points higher than it was around this time in the summer of 2008. And in a
new NBC News Marist poll of Ohio Democrats out this week, she`s still far
and away, the democratic frontrunner no one is even close, Hillary Clinton
is ahead of Vice President Joe Biden by a whopping 50 points. Seventy to
20. You can see it there. So, what is behind this early 2016 numbers?
Where is the soul of the progressive democratic movement right now?

We sent NBC News senior political reporter Perry Bacon, Jr. and our UP
producer Ann Thompson to Netroots Nation in Detroit, they file this MSNBC
original report.


candidate for 2016?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: My dream candidate, of course, it has to be Hillary.
And it`s historical.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I voted for Hillary in the primary in 2008. I don`t
hate her.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m prepared and resigned for Hillary Clinton to be our
next president. I think she`ll be excellent at being president but I`m not
particularly excited about her being president.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: She`s not progressive. We all know that. We know
where she is on her issues. We also know her baggage. There`s nothing the
right that can dig up on her that we don`t already know. We know she has
the balls to fight back. Quite frankly, that works for me.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: At the moment, I`m going for Elizabeth Warren, even
though I`d like to see her in the Senate forever.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Elizabeth Warren is the most exciting possibility of the
names that are being mentioned. She`s been champion for working people and
middle-class people.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If Uncle Joe ran, I would be pretty excited about
that. Joe is a little more progressive. And then Hillary, I think he`s
more candid than Hillary.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I voted for Joe Biden every time. Everyone he ran. I
voted for him every time. He was the one I loved. But it`s real sad. I
hope he can be like a secretary of state or something.

BACON: All right.


KORNACKI: And here now, fresh from that report in Detroit, is NBC News
senior political reporter Perry Bacon, Jr. So, Perry, just listening to a
few of those comments there from the people you talked with Netroots, I
don`t hate her and I am prepared and resigned. It doesn`t sound like a
ground swell of enthusiasm for her and yet it doesn`t sound like they are
mounting any kind real opposition here.

BACON: Steve, the people here are junkies. They`ve seen the polls, they
know Hillary is ahead. They know she is likely to be the candidate. It`s
also not like, I came to this conference when it starts in 2006, the first
one, and then there`s the real core issue, Iraq, where they felt Hillary
Clinton was in the wrong place. They really wanted to fight her. This
time, there was a lot of grumbling here about her speeches to Wall Street.
They really don`t like that. That`s what they are upset about it. They
love the way that Warren wants to take on the rich, take on corporations,
and they don`t think Hillary is going to do that the way that Warren would
but they still think that`s bit enough a reason to sort of dump Hillary or
push against Hillary that hard. They are kind of resigned, they love, love
Warren, but they can accept Hillary.

KORNACKI: Yes. I guess that`s the other question, is the undercard here.
You know, in the event that let`s say, Hillary Clinton walks up to the
starting line and says, you know what, this is not how I want to spend the
next 10 years of my life, they are already in piece in `90s, they accused
us of everything including murder. I don`t want to go through that again,
I`m not running. So, then the question becomes Warren, Biden, maybe
somebody else. The reaction to Warren you`re saying obviously was like a
rock star. What was the reaction of Biden like at this thing?

BACON: The reaction of Biden was much milder. You heard the man in a
segment say, people are sort of like, you asked them of Biden, they say,
they start with I love Joe Biden and then they go into a, but, he`s not
disciplined enough, he`s not un-messaged. He`d be great as secretary of
state. He`d be greatest vice president again. It`s like very much like
they want, you know, they think Hillary will win, they would love to see
Warren. It`s not a sense that Joe Biden is presidential material for
whatever reason. His speech got a lot of applause actually in his 40
minute speech but Warren had a totally different energy in the room of
people standing up every second, chanting her to run. I mean, no one is
chanting, "run, Joe, run." There was a lot of "Run, Liz, Run." This is
much more exciting about her.

KORNACKI: Wait, the Biden speech was only 40 minutes?

BACON: It was only -- yes. He had some great lines but he really
occasionally takes the air out of the room by talking for such a long time.

KORNACKI: Yes, I`ve heard a few of those. Anyway, thank you to NBC News`
Perry Baker, I appreciate it. Great report. Good insight from the
Netroots Nation. We will have more from and about Netroots Nation right
after this.



BACON: What do you think about Hillary Clinton?

MARK RUFFALO, ACTOR: Uhm, I think that I`d love to see her adopt Elizabeth
Warren`s politics, honestly.

BACON: Really?


BACON: There is a mass movement of wealth between the -- into the upper
class out in the middle and lower class. There`s a lot of discrepancy. I
mean, we are in big trouble and Clintonian politics of the days of old are
not going to fly and it`s not popular with people and people want to see
change and if she is willing to embrace those principles, then sign me up.


KORNACKI: And that was actor Mark Ruffalo who you may know from Hollywood
blockbusters like "The Avengers." Also "You Can Count On Me," a great 2001
movie. He was speaking at Netroots Nation yesterday, he was raising
concerns about the still undeclared 2016 democratic frontrunner. Could
Hillary Clinton`s possible White House run could be in trouble with
progressives like Mark Ruffalo?

Here to talk about it is MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh, editor-at-
large of Salon, she`s back with us. Former Massachusetts Congressman
Barney Frank, she`s here as well. And Ann Lewis, was a senior adviser to
Hillary Clinton and director of communications for Hillary Clinton. I
should first say, Ann and Barney, brother and sister, we originally this
had planned to return of "Up Against the Clock," the old family edition,
they were going to be playing together as a team. So, we`re going to have
to do this another weekend, we`re really looking forward to that, but news
just sort of overtook it.


KORNACKI: Still a team.

Here they are sitting right next to each other. So, Ann, Mark Ruffalo, the
critique that he just raised right there, is that something you think that
Hillary Clinton is aware of and he`s trying to, you know, addresses --

LEWIS: Oh, I think anybody watching the news these days would be aware of
the importance, the interests and for good reason, a people`s concern about
income inequality and if Hillary -- she starts talking about her plans for
programs, if people talk a look at the record that she already has, you
know, fighting to raise the minimum wage. The lead sponsor of the Lilly
Ledbetter Act when she was in the Senate, he want to raise millions of
children out of poverty, raise the minimum wage and pay their mothers what
they are worth. She strongly supported tax cuts for middle class families.
A post tax cuts for the very wealthy. So, yes, Hillary is a strong worker
for economic opportunity. And I think some of that, her Senate campaign if
you will has been what`s behind she`s been secretary of state. Were, by
the way, secretary of state, you know she fought for -- advocated for
programs like microfinance which can help raise for -- fought for American
businesses, work for American jobs. She will have a lot to talk about and
a whole set of policies that will be appropriate.

KORNACKI: So, Barney, let me ask -- are you one of these ready for Hillary

FRANK: Very much so. You know what I would recommend to people, one of
the most articulate thoughtful persuasive advocates for fundamental change
in the direction of the American policy to deal better with inequality is
Paul Krugman from "The New York Times." And people should go back to the
2008 primary campaign.

LEWIS: Yes. Yes.

FRANK: Where he was in fact supportive of Hillary Clinton versus Barack
Obama. Obama was more to the left in the kind of impressions and sense
that he was --

WALSH: Culture.

FRANK: Culture. Thank you, Joan. The kind of culture candidate. But on
substance, for instance on health care, people ought to go back. Paul
Krugman kept documenting that Hillary Clinton was the Barack Obama`s left.

LEWIS: And she also supported a moratorium on foreclosures.

FRANK: Foreclosures. Yes. In general, I worked very closely with
Elizabeth Warren. I`m very proud of that. I`m very proud that in her
book, she gives me -- credit for the independent consumer bureau. I was
one of the first to advocate her running for the Senate. She`s wonderful.
But this effort to make a big gulf between her and Hillary Clinton on the
issues, I think it`s not terribly substantive. I don`t understand this.
And I didn`t -- I didn`t see there was criticism because Hillary Clinton
accepted speaking fees from Wall Street. So, I want to make a confession.
As a former member of Congress, I accept speaking fees from rich people and
if there are any rich people out there that want me to give a speech, call
my agent.

KORNACKI: So, Joan, you know, the comments we got there. Again, here we
go, yes, I don`t hate her.

WALSH: Right.

KORNACKI: I don`t hate her. You have Mark Ruffalo`s critique right there.
So, everything that we`ve just heard from Barney and Ann, still in that
sense, doesn`t mean that they`re not going to vote for her in the primary,
it doesn`t mean she won`t be the nominees, she certainly is overwhelming
than any favorite I`ve ever seen but where does it come from then?

WALSH: Well, a couple of things. I mean, I love Mark Ruffalo but I get a
little bit uncomfortable when people talk about Clintonian, they are two
different individuals and she`s always been more progressive than her
husband in my opinion. But I think also you could document that. So, it`s
a little bit dangerous to assume that she supported every single thing. He
did because we know she didn`t. That`s one thing. I guess I`d also like
to say, one thing that excited me about, I mean, I`m said that I`m not at
Netroots because it`s so great this year. But one thing that excited me is
the number, the number of candidates, I think we -- it`s important that we
talk about Joe Biden.

I think it`s important that we say Elizabeth Warren is there specially if
Hillary Clinton for whatever reason decided not to run. In 2012, after the
Mitt Romney drubbing, there was all of this -- the silver lining was that
the Republicans had a deep bench and the Democrats had none, except
Hillary. Now the Republicans deep bench is in splinters and the democratic
bench is kind of amazing, I mean, it`s Hillary, it`s Joe Biden, it could be
Elizabeth Warren, it could be Gillibrand. There`s lots of people looking
at this now.

KORNACKI: Yes. If Hillary Clinton doesn`t run -- and I don`t know her
obviously. I just see -- the one scenario that I see is what she lived
through with her husband in the 1990s, she makes that gut check moment and
says, do I want to be there number one every day for the next ten years.
Is Elizabeth Warren the front-runner if Hillary Clinton doesn`t run?

LEWIS: Well, I do very careful. But I appreciate. I don`t know and I`m
glad you say that, because we don`t know if she will run and she`s got to
make the big person decision. Let me just say what I know about Hillary
Clinton is, when faced with really tough decisions, she tends to do what
she thinks the responsible thing to do. So, let us see by the end of this
year what she thinks as she looks at those opportunities. But I would not
immediately say that Elizabeth Warren is the front-runner. Because we
don`t know where people will be. I think there will be a laud of re-
adjusting there. She herself has said she wanted to finish her term in the
Senate for six years. So, let`s look at those choices as Joan listed them.

FRANK: I would say this, I`m a great admirer of Hillary. She won a
campaign hard for her. With the independent consumer girl. She`s
obviously very popular. But I don`t think you can go back ever in American
politics, certainly not 50 or 60 years, and this fallout, even before the
midterm election where there was no incumbent president be very good at
deciding who would be the nominee.

WALSH: Right.

FRANK: No one would predict Barack Obama at this point in 2006. Or Bill
Clinton at this point in 1990.

KORNACKI: But Hillary breaks the mold right now. I mean, I`ve never seen
a poll with these numbers.

FRANK: I agree, Hillary is -- I can`t remember a time when a candidate who
is not having been the vice president like you say Mondale or Bush was as
much in the lead. And again, we had the most energetic active people out
there at a convention and some of them aren`t excited about them. But
they`re not representative. I got them. Those are the people I most
worked with. But then they`re not representative of even the Democratic
Party. And the fact is, this is a big country of 300 something million
people. I wish that the people of Netroots were representative. If I
thought the people of Netroots were fully representative, I would have been
running for president 20 years ago.


WALSH: There`s no time.

KORNACKI: Yes. There`s still time to get in the 2016 if you want to make
announcements. Still time in the show actually. What do we know this
morning that we didn`t know last week? Our answers right after this.


KORNACKI: All right. It`s time to find out what our guest know now that
they didn`t know when the week begins. Joan, I start with you.

WALSH: Well, I guess we already knew that John McCain had never seen a
conflict that he didn`t think needed more weapons. I guess we knew that.
But today on your show, we learned that there are Republicans like
Congressman Charlie Dent who are going to say the President is doing a good
job and we need to work with the Europeans on Ukraine. So, I was happy to
learn that.

KORNACKI: I`m glad we need some news on that. Barney.

FRANK: Wall Street Journal this morning, he`s not simply that a lot of
conservatives want more weapons, but they want them forever. And here`s
what "The Wall Street Journal" said, criticizing the President. It`s not
too late to undo Mr. Obama`s mistake. That means Afghanistan eventually.
And commit America`s support and troops to Afghanistan as we have in Europe
and South Korea. As I read it, that 64, and 70 years and 68 years
respectively. And this is the logic of their position. Let`s keep troops
in Afghanistan and Iraq indefinitely.


LEWIS: I`m going to play attention to the 2014 election tweets which is so
important. So, this week, former Senator Scott Brown who left
Massachusetts and move to New Hampshire looking to see if he can win.
Actually ran away from a reporter, to get away from this reporter who
wanted to ask him about the Hobby Lobby decisions. Scott Brown hid in the
bathroom because he didn`t want to have to talk about the Supreme Court
saying, yes, employers could tell workers what kind of birth control they
could use. Here`s what we learned. There is no state in the union where
women think their bosses should get to tell them what kind of birth control
they should use. That`s why the Democrats have filed the, "not my boss`
business bill." To make sure that every woman gets to make her own health
care decisions.

KORNACKI: Yes, I know, the polling now, Colorado came out this week.
You`ve seen this gender gap. It could be what saves the Senate for
Democrats this fall.

WALSH: Absolutely.

KORNACKI: You save the Senate. Anyway, I want to thank all of our guest
this morning including, Joan Walsh of Salon, former Congressman Barney
Frank from Massachusetts and former White House Communications Director Ann
Lewis, we appreciate you all for getting up this morning. Thank you for
joining us.

And coming up next is Melissa Harris-Perry. Melissa will have the latest
news on both of the biggest developing stories this morning. Malaysian
Airlines crash and the ground invasion of Gaza. Be sure to keep it right
here for continuing coverage. And we will see you back here tomorrow
morning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time.



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