Show: HARDBALL Date: June 28, 2016 Guest: Anthony Roman, Tara Maller, Xavier Becerra, Harold Ford, Jr., Michael Caputo, Kathleen Parker, Elmira Bayrasli, Shawn Henry, Nayyera Haq, Josh Marshall, Yamiche Alcindor
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews up in New York with an update on today`s terrorist attack in Turkey.
At least 28 people were killed and another 60 injured when at least three terrorists blew themselves up at the Istanbul airport. Witnesses say they first opened fire with automatic weapons.
We have new footage that appears to show the explosions, though NBC News has not independently confirmed this. We should warn you, it is graphic. It`s security video shot off of a computer screen that appears to show one of the gunmen getting shot by police, falling down and then detonating his explosive. Another video also from security camera footage playing on a computer shows another explosion inside the terminal.
A senior U.S. counterterrorism official told NBC News that it is "very likely" -- those are his words -- today`s attack was the work of a group of 35 terrorists dispatched by ISIS. The official said the attack might be the first of several tied to the end of Ramadan.
Well, last March, the group claimed credit for coordinated attacks on the Brussels airport and metro station that killed 32 people up there.
Also tonight, why did an order to rescue Ambassador Chris Stevens and fellow Americans not get carried out? And why were no rescue planes headed to Libya that fateful night?
Meanwhile on the campaign trail today, Donald Trump today travels from Pennsylvania to Ohio, hitting the same red-hot issues of trade and immigration that roiled the British decision to leave Europe.
All that coming up here tonight on HARDBALL.
But first, for the sixth time in a year, two of them here in the U.S., another major terrorist attack, another major European city is reeling.
NBC`s Richard Engel joins us now from Istanbul. Richard, thank you. Give us a sense of where this lies in the context of what we`ve had already in terms of terrorism from San Bernardino all the way here to Turkey in Istanbul to what might be coming.
RICHARD ENGEL, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, the concern is that this was just the beginning and that there may be more ISIS attacks in Turkey or elsewhere. As you said, we reported several weeks ago that U.S. intelligence had picked up that ISIS had forward-deployed more than 35 suicide bombers to Turkey with the idea of carrying out attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
We never knew that -- if they were going to be carrying out attacks in this country or if they were planning to transit through Turkey to carry out international-level attacks and simply using Turkey as a gateway.
After today`s attack, a counterterrorism official told me that this was highly likely linked to that forward deployment carried out by those militants and that this could be the first in a series of attacks because if the militants want to carry out attacks during Ramadan, there is only one week left, and this has been the first what is presumed to be ISIS attack during Ramadan.
MATTHEWS: What is the reason for attacking during a holy period? Why is that somehow timely in a terrorist`s mind?
ENGEL: In a certain sense, it`s seen as more holy, more deserving of sacrifice. There`s a long tradition of this in -- frankly, in Muslim holy war, in a good sense and in a bad sense, that it has been used by ISIS and other extremist groups as a rallying cry, that if you`re going to give your life up and you`re going to carry out a suicide attack, better to do it during the holiest month when you get the most blessings for it. That`s the interpretation, at least.
MATTHEWS: Well, thank you, Richard Engel up in Istanbul.
Let`s bring in MSNBC`s Cal Perry. He`s here in the newsroom with more on those graphic videos from the scene of the attack -- Cal.
CAL PERRY, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, as we review some of these videos, the picture that we`re seeing here is one of really heroic work by the security forces.
This is the video of one of the bombers as he runs through the airport. He`s shot and taken down by one of the security officials. You see the gun there sliding across the floor. And then it`s another 10 seconds or so before he`s able to explode his explosive device, the key here being there was no civilians around him at this point.
We`re also learning, as Richard Engel talks to witnesses there, the first bomber was taken out outside by a member of the Turkish security forces. The second one managed to detonate his explosives just at the entryway of the airport. We believe that this, in fact, was the third bomber who was shot by authorities and then still exploded his vest.
So that extra security measure, that extra bit of security outside the airport may have saved dozens of lives, as difficult as that is to imagine at this point.
MATTHEWS: Amazing pictures. Thank you so much, Cal Perry.
A senior U.S. intelligence official told NBC News this attack has the hallmarks of ISIS. So, the official added, our long summer of discontent has just begun.
Anyway, joining me right now, MSNBC terrorism analyst Laith Alkhouri, who`s right in front of me, the director of Mideast and North Africa research at Flashpoint, investigation risk analyst Anthony Roman -- he`s to my left here -- and also former CIA terrorist, analyst, rather Tara Miller -- Maller, who is now a senior policy adviser for the Counterterrorism Project. Thank you.
Let me start right across here, Anthony, and to try to think about this from the question that the average person watching the show would have. We had the French train in August of 2015. We had Paris, of course, November of last year. Then San Bernardino December of last year. Then Brussels at the airport there in March of this year and Orlando, June of this year. Istanbul now June.
Is there any pattern to these? Do they have something to do with geography, opportunity, vengeance? What do we make of this pattern, if there is one, or isn`t there one and isn`t that the heart of terrorism, there is no pattern?
ANTHONY ROMAN, RISK MANAGEMENT ANALYST: Well, there is a pattern, and the pattern is that they are increasingly sophisticated attacks and they`re happening with greater frequency in the Western world. And that is it. This is the new reality for us. And we are--
MATTHEWS: How much brains does it take to pack yourself up with TNT and go gunning into a crowd and blowing yourself up? What do you mean, sophistication?
ROMAN: Well, the attacks are planned. There are surveillances conducted ahead of time. They`re thought out. They`re coordinated. Each person participating in the attack has a specific role.
In this case, the Turks were quite adept at understanding and analyzing what happened in Brussels, and changed their security technique and moved it to the outer perimeter of the building. And this saved countless lives.
It appears that these terrorists were attempting to penetrate one of those security points by blowing it up, this way allowing a pathway for the others to pass through. So when we`re talking sophistication in tactics, that takes a little bit of training, that takes some bravery. And this is the new reality.
MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) suicide--
MATTHEWS: Is suicide brave?
ROMAN: Well, I wouldn`t want to commit suicide.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I just wonder--
ROMAN: I don`t know about you.
MATTHEWS: I don`t want to build these guys up either in brain power or guts, but anyway--
ROMAN: Well, they -- but they have to be trained. But American airports and American facilities are not prepared to deal with this as well as the Turks dealt with it today.
MATTHEWS: Laith, let me ask you the same question. Does that sound sophisticated, the idea of one person going in, almost like, you know, charging an old medieval fort, you know, one person blows the gate, the others rush through.
LAITH ALKHOURI, MSNBC TERROR ANALYST: Look, I think Anthony is right. It is -- we`ve seen a string of sophisticated attacks, and the sophistication here is not about strapping yourself with explosives. It`s about building the explosives themselves. So you have to be trained. It`s not, you know, something you can just get -- get--
MATTHEWS: What did you see when you watched that videotape, that surveillance tape? We haven`t certified it here, but -- look, we`re looking at it as a prospect here of what happened there. The guy was shot down. He`s still alive. His leg was dangling a bit there at one point. All of a sudden, boom.
ALKHOURI: Well, first of all--
MATTHEWS: What was he doing there?
ALKHOURI: -- it`s not clear whether he detonated that vest or that vest had an error in detonation due to him being shot and then detonated on its own. So that`s not clear.
But what is clear is that there were at least three suicide bombers. So that`s coordinated. They attacked likely multiple parts of the airport, or at least two different parts of the airport. And what appears likely here is that this is taking place during the month of Ramadan, as we mentioned, and during this month, you know, the frequency of attacks just goes higher.
I mean, this is a call that was made specifically by ISIS spokesman Abu Hamad Bagdani (ph) just days before Ramadan to specifically strike during this month against what he labeled civilians better than military. So this is -- this seems to essentially follow in the footsteps of what he called for.
MATTHEWS: Tara, throughout the Islamic world of millions of people, three million people or so -- a billion people, rather, they`re thinking about this and they`re thinking, Why attack Turkey, which is the most Western of all the Islamic states, I guess you can say, Islamic countries? Was this an attack on modernity? What`s the motive? Most people think of an Indonesia or Pakistan or Indians living -- or Muslims living in India.
What would they think would be the motive behind something like this?
TARA MALLER, FORMER CIA MILITARY ANALYST: Well, there are a few reasons. I mean, this is a major airport. I think it`s the 10th or 11th largest airport. It has a huge international traveler base going through there. Turkey is part of the coalition, Turkey is striking ISIS in the heart of Syria. So there are a number of reasons.
I mean, in terms of the attack itself, I agree that it was coordinated and there were explosives used, but I don`t want to sort of overestimate that these attacks we`re seeing, although increased in frequency -- I don`t think that they`re necessarily all increasing in sophistication.
We see terrorist groups time and time again hit the same types of targets. Transportation targets have always been the top of the list. We see them using the same types of tactics, suicide bombs, you know, more recently shootings, and some of these, to be honest, don`t require that much funding, don`t require that much training, in the case of Orlando or the home-grown cases, you know, very little contact or operational training.
So I don`t want to sort of give them the boost of saying that these are increasing in sophistication. Coordination, maybe because these had multiple bombers. But a lot of these attacks, we haven`t necessarily -- we don`t know if these individuals traveled to Syria and Iraq and got training. We don`t really know enough about that.
Turkey does have high foreign fighter flow into Syria, so it`s possible. But it`s too early to say whether or not they were inspired, whether they acted on their own. I mean, a lot of these people are inspired and have never actually had operational training or met with individuals in the group themselves. So I just don`t want to overstate the sophistication.
Terrorists can be very successful, unfortunately, with low sophistication. That`s why`s it`s an asymmetric tactic. We saw in Orlando, one man, one individual with a gun in a nightclub was able to create the most death and destruction in a mass shooting in U.S. history. So I don`t want to overstate the sophistication. But in a sense, it doesn`t matter because a low-sophistication attack can still cause a large number of casualties, unfortunately.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask Anthony about bombing. This was a combination, apparently -- we don`t have all the information on this, at least 28 dead, maybe more. AP is reporting many more, at least 100 injured badly, probably. Look at that guy we just watched there, maybe lost his leg.
Bombing -- what`s bombing in terrorism have to do -- because it always seems to involve bombing at some point. Is that because it`s the one sure way to blow yourself up, certainly, and the suicide bomb strapped to the body seems to be part of this cult of suicide, of martyrdom, if you will, by their standards.
ROMAN: Well, they can have multiple switches, as my guest pointed out here, that once they`re shot and they`re killed, they can have an automated switch that if it`s not held down, the bomb goes off.
MATTHEWS: A dead man`s switch.
ROMAN: That`s right. But bombing can create tremendous collateral damage. And the reason they want to get inside the terminal is that the same bomb will commit much more damage inside a terminal because of the enclosed space than it will outside of the terminal.
So in terms of planning and sophistication, it`s required to have surveillance of the location, rehearsals, training with the weapons, training with the bombs, and it does require a level of planning to make--
MATTHEWS: Does it require the help of somebody in ISIS-land itself, if you will, in the place, the part of Syria and Iraq, which they hold as sort of a semi-country now? Does it require the participation of that homeland, if you, will of theirs to do these kind of things, or it`s just a networking thing?
ROMAN: Well, it takes some money. It takes some planning. It takes safe houses. It takes smuggling of some weapons. It takes bomb building. All of that requires administration. So we have the administration portion--
MATTHEWS: OK, not lone wolf--
MATTHEWS: This doesn`t look lone wolf to you.
ROMAN: No, this is not lone wolf. And it requires the execution portion. And all of that requires a lot of different steps.
MATTHEWS: OK. Since 9/11, we`ve always been aware that our enemies, as not monolithic as they might be, have one goal often, which is economic. They want to blast away at the West, which has been so successful in the world in the last couple hundred years. Maybe it`s resentment, maybe it`s this is the way to get the to them at their strength, take away their economic strength.
Airports, the lifeblood of countries like Turkey -- everybody wants to go visit Turkey. Everybody wants to go visit Egypt. These are countries that live that lifeblood of tourists coming in, mainly from the West or China, better parts of -- wealthier parts of Asia, coming in with lots of money, spending it all at the hotel, spending it all on restaurants and tourist places like that.
This is going to discourage trips to Istanbul this summer. Certainly, people are not going to put it on their lists now.
ALKHOURI: And terror groups, specifically jihadist terror groups, have made that very clear, is that hemorrhaging the economy of a certain country, especially world powers or regional what they call tyrannical regimes will ultimately weaken their defense forces, will ultimately weaken--
MATTHEWS: This is an Islamic regime. Not Islamist, but Islamic regime.
ALKHOURI: Well, it`s -- it`s--
MATTHEWS: Or maybe even Islamist.
ALKHOURI: It`s certainly a country that has the majority of its people are Muslim.
ALKHOURI: They don`t necessarily implement religious sharia law. In their laws, they obviously are part of NATO. You know, they`re -- they`re the gate of NATO to the east of Europe--
MATTHEWS: You can wear a bathing suit in that country.
ALKHOURI: Well, you`re not going to be banning bathing suits, or prostitution, for that matter. What`s clear is that Turkey stands at the helm (ph) of the war against ISIS border-wise, as well as it is helping the U.S.-led coalition or its own -- you know, its own interests in the region. Turkey is at the top of the target list for ISIS and other groups.
MATTHEWS: Well, Tara, why don`t you respond to this. This is Secretary of State John Kerry speaking today. For many of us, I think he said this is becoming daily fare. Well, it`s definitely bimonthly, if you will. Let`s watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: -- I might just comment -- I want to make sure -- according to press reports at least -- are dead and some 40 wounded, and we are still collecting information and trying to ascertain what happened and who did it.
And I won`t comment further on it except to say that this is daily fare, and that`s why I say the first challenge we need to face is countering non- state violent actors, for a host of reasons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, non-state violent actors is a long way of saying terrorists, in this case, terrorists, we don`t know how organized they were, but the message from the experts here, from Laith and Anthony, Tara, maybe you agree, is we`re talking about an organization here. It isn`t just somebody who heard something on the internet.
MALLER: Yes. In this case, it`s not. But the problem that we`ve been seeing is a combination of both. We`ve seen attacks where individuals have specific ties to ISIS-affiliated groups, ISIS individuals, and we`ve seen examples where individuals are inspired through radicalization on line.
This fight is a fight that is going to need to be won militarily in terms of, you know, taking out ISIS in its strongholds, Raqqa and Fallujah, so that individuals can`t get trained and can`t have contact with these organizations.
But it`s a fight that`s going to also need to be won on line, stopping their messaging, their propaganda. This is where they`ve been extremely in effective, inspiring individuals to carry out attacks in their name, and those individuals don`t actually have operational contact with the group. So it`s both. It`s a little of both. It`s--
MATTHEWS: OK, Tara, you get in the minds now, get in the mind and heart and soul even of these people. Three men apparently -- probably young and healthy with lives ahead of them, decided to kill themselves in the interest of blowing up a bunch of strangers at an airport, including a lot of Muslims, fellow Muslims. What`s in their mind?
MALLER: Well, you know, I`m not a psychologist, and it seems when you look across these cases, there`s really unfortunately not one narrative. I mean, that`s the million-dollar question. Everyone wants a monocausal explanation. And in many cases, it`s a mix of jihadi, you know, inspiration. It`s social networks of individuals they come into contact with. It`s other problems potentially in their past. It`s potential, you know, hatred towards specific minority groups, as well.
It`s a lot of causes, and that`s what makes these individual attacks so hard to stop ahead of time and why people need to be vigilant, why more resources need to go to organizations like in the intelligence community and the FBI, so that when individuals cross their radar screen, they can do the proper investigations.
But in a lot of these cases, the message appeals to individuals because they feel disenfranchised. They may feel that they don`t have a voice in their society. And they may, to be frank, have disagreements with policies by Western countries, as well. So it`s a combination, but there`s usually not one factor that translates across all these individuals who engage in attacks, whether it be in San Bernardino, Orlando, or in Istanbul today.
MATTHEWS: Laith, one thing that impressed me was when we were hit on 9/11 here in the City of New York, we weren`t hit by losers. The guys -- the top four guys, the pilots who put it together, were well-trained people, could have had good careers in this country or anywhere as technical people. They were well educated. People were not losers.
And they were, like -- seemed to be secular guys. They wanted to go out and watch strip shows and stuff. They didn`t seem to be mentally disturbed in any way. They had the usual sinful manner of a lot of people, you know, violent or not.
What is the -- what is the heart of terrorism in this case?
ALKHOURI: Look, when you come down to the ideology itself -- and the ideology is much bigger than to explain, you know, in 30 seconds, but the idea here--
MATTHEWS: That`s what we got.
ALKHOURI: Well, the idea is here is that the war is binary for them, and the binary is that you`re either, you know, with the enemy or you are with us and this--
MATTHEWS: So the people in that airport going off to South Africa or going to Dublin or wherever they were going, reading the reports, just regular neutralist people, were seen as the enemy by these people.
ALKHOURI: Yes. And for ISIS, all is fair in war, without the love part. And in this case, they believe that anybody who is in any capacity anti- ISIS will essentially be their enemy.
MATTHEWS: Anthony, your thoughts on this, because people are all wondering again -- every time this happens--
ALKHOURI: Oversimplification, but not--
ROMAN: I agree with Tara and Laith. This runs the spectrum. You have physicians. You have scientists. You have bankers. You have an entire network that`s not dissimilar to organized crime to keep this machine running, international financiers and the fight--
MATTHEWS: Mobsters don`t commit suicide. These guys do. That`s the wrinkle here, the horrible, tragic wrinkle.
ALKHOURI: -- rewards are much bigger.
ROMAN: But simply the structure. The structure is sophisticated, and it runs the gamut from the very well educated to the poor and uneducated.
MATTHEWS: OK. What we heard from Richard Engel, who is my expert in all these, as well as you three of an expertise -- your expertise is obvious. Richard Engel thinks more is coming. So more is coming.
Anyway, Laith Alkhouri, thank you, Anthony Roman and Tara Maller.
By the way, we will follow developments out of Moscow -- actually -- why am I saying -- I`m a Cold War guy, I guess -- out of Istanbul, and how much more is coming up in this hour. We`re going to continue covering it off and on for the next hour, Including also tonight, Donald Trump`s reaction just moments ago and what this latest attack means politically for the presidential campaign here in this country.
Up next, the fallout from another terror attack, Benghazi. House Republicans released their long-awaited report on Benghazi, and while there`s no new evidence, some say, of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton, there`s a big question about why did it take -- well, we never sent our military assets over there to help those people in Benghazi. We never sent a rescue mission.
Why wasn`t it sent? Eight hours after the attack, nothing was done except talk.
We will try to figure that out, even though the president and the secretary of defense did say, deploy the assets. What was the snafu here that prevented the military from doing anything?
And that`s next. And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MATTHEWS: Well, Donald Trump held a campaign event in Ohio a few moments ago. It`s his first rally in the key battleground state since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee of the Republican Party for president.
And he weighed in on the breaking story out of Turkey. And here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Folks, there`s something going on that`s really, really bad. All right? It`s bad. And we better get smart and we better get tough, or we`re not going to have much of a country left, OK? It`s bad, terrible.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, as we do follow events from Istanbul tonight, another terror attack is in the news once again here in this country.
Republicans leading the House Select Committee on Benghazi today issued an 800-page final report, final report, on the 2012 attacks that took the lives of four Americans in Libya, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The report contained no new evidence implicating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in any wrongdoing.
However, it did uncover additional information about the night of the attacks, information the committee chair, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, says has not previously been reported. Among the findings was that 35 Americans were evacuated by the former military officers of the Gadhafi regime, of all people, which had just been deposed, with our help, of course. And that President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta -- this is the big one -- ordered military assets to Benghazi that night, but none were ever sent.
One commander told investigators that Marines sat on a plane for three hours and changed uniforms in those three hours four times before doing nothing. Gowdy did not go so far as to say that the prompt deployment of military assets would have saved additional lives, but he highlighted a top-level White House meeting that took place after the order was given by the president and the secretary of defense.
And here`s what Gowdy said today about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: No U.S. military asset was ever deployed to Benghazi, despite the order of the secretary of defense at 7:00 that night.
So, Washington had access to real-time information, but yet, somehow, they thought the fighting had subsided. After Secretary Panetta ordered assets deployed to help our men, the White House convened a two-hour meeting, and perhaps nothing shows the contrast between what was happening in Benghazi and what was happening in Washington than that two-hour civets (ph) White House meeting.
Not a single wheel of a single U.S. military asset had even turned toward Libya.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Donald Trump this evening tweeted the following.
"Benghazi`s just another Hillary Clinton failure. It just never seems to work the way it`s supposed to with Clinton."
Well, that`s his thought.
I`m joined right now by NBC`s Andrea Mitchell.
Andrea, my colleague, since the beginning of this debate, since that very Sunday we watched Susan Rice on "Meet the Press" talk about what happened, I have had really one concern.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
MATTHEWS: Did we do our best? Did the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, did the rest of them do their best to save the lives of someone they really cared about? They not only just knew the guy, Ambassador Chris Stevens. They liked him a lot.
MATTHEWS: Did we do our best? This report, what does it tell us about that question?
MITCHELL: This report does not tell us anything new about that question, because all of the reports that preceded it -- now, this is the eighth congressional investigation, and you had the independent investigation, the review board from the State Department -- all reported that there was no way to save Chris Stevens and Sean Smith from the initial attack, when they were overtaken.
They were killed in the initial attack on the State Department mission there in Benghazi. Whether or not there was a way to have saved the other two Americans who were not killed until about 5:00 the next morning local time, eight hours later, at the CIA annex, is another question.
But it`s highly unlikely, given how far away our assets were, how there was nothing prepositioned, that, in fact, various airlifts were on training missions or on rehab and had not -- were not even geared up for flight. So they weren`t close enough to follow those orders.
MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you about the earnest effort question. It`s a little different than what you just said.
MITCHELL: That`s another question, exactly.
MATTHEWS: Did we -- were we sure, were the people in the White House, the president on down to Secretary Clinton, did they know that Chris Stevens and Sean, the other fellow, was dead when they stopped trying? And if they didn`t know they were dead when they stopped trying, why did they stop trying?
MITCHELL: They knew by 7:30 or so Eastern, when they started that civets (ph) meeting, the White House meeting, they knew that he was dead. They had not recovered his body.
MATTHEWS: I see.
MITCHELL: They had not -- he had not been found yet at the hospital.
That said, let me make a larger point. What this report gets into very good detail on, very rich detail, because they had so many more witnesses, they did get access to a lot of CIA testimony. What they have reported here is incredible lack of understanding, misinformation, confusion among top policy-makers and a failure to understand what was happening on the ground, even though there was real information coming.
David Petraeus, they had a drone with a camera that was actually prepositioned within an hour or so of the initial attack. He was watching in real time later that night from home a live-stream. So they knew what was happening on the ground, obviously not who was responsible, but they had pretty good information, pretty good intelligence.
MITCHELL: They never anticipated the second attack, second wave of attacks at the other facility.
And there was so much lack of understanding about that second facility and about what could happen. So they began to believe that it was really all over, and it wasn`t over. It was hardly over. And that is the real failure, plus the fact that they did not have an evacuation plan. And they ended up relying on the Gadhafi people.
MATTHEWS: Yes, the people we overthrew.
MITCHELL: There is new information here. We should say, yes, there`s no smoking gun about Hillary Clinton.
MITCHELL: She is largely untouched by this. And I think Donald Trump, in his political attempts to pillory her for this, after most Americans saw her survive and in fact conquer for 11 hours last fall at these hearings, are going to fall flat. MATTHEWS: Great reporting, as always. Great analysis. Thanks, Andrea Mitchell.
MATTHEWS: I`m joined right now by Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra of California. He`s leader of the House Democratic Caucus, one of the top leaders in the House.
Can we -- I know you support Hillary Clinton, and that`s fine. And I think you might make a great vice president. That`s just my opinion, because I like leadership people in the House, having worked for them in the old days
But my question is, does this -- forget the Hillary thing for a second. Does it disturb you that the United States president, the president of the United States, and the secretary of defense, a fine guy named Leon Panetta, issued an order to go over and try to save these people, and eight hours later, nothing really had been done?
They had a three-hour meeting arguing about God knows whatever, diplomatic niceties or whatever. Nothing got done. Orders were not carried out. Does that bother you?
REP. XAVIER BECERRA (D), CALIFORNIA: Chris, first, thanks for having me on.
And, sure, it disturbs anyone that four Americans died, and that you want to find every way possible to show that we could have saved them, so we can -- won`t make the same mistake again. But I think, after some seven, eight, nine investigations, I think it`s become very clear we were limited, limited in time, limited in resources, limited in good communication.
And the result was the tragic death of four Americans, which, hopefully, we will learn from this, we will take the lessons and we won`t let it happen again.
MATTHEWS: If you had somebody or any other American out there in the Third World in a tricky situation, there`s a revolutionary country, and you heard they were just under attack, and there may be some people still alive there, wouldn`t you do everything you could?
Because isn`t that part of our culture to go back and try to save our people, leave nobody behind? It`s an old Marine rule. And shouldn`t we really make an effort? Does it -- well, what do you think happened in that three-hour meeting in the White House? They were dithering around. And I think it`s useful information, myself.
I want to know when there`s a screw-up, a snafu here of this portent, because those other two guys were killed later. Maybe we could have saved them.
BECERRA: Well, I think you keep trying to find -- I know you are trying to push, push, push to find out what happened.
MATTHEWS: But doesn`t this bother you?
BECERRA: But -- well, my understanding is, the president did request that we take action. He did make the -- sent out the order.
MATTHEWS: It`s called an order. It`s called an order. He`s commander in chief. When he gives an order, it should be followed out.
BECERRA: Right. So, he gave the order. So, he did give the order.
MATTHEWS: So, what happened?
BECERRA: That`s the problem.
Between the order being given and seeing the military that was on the ground try to move, lots apparently happened. And I wish I could tell you, Chris, that we knew the answer. Eight investigations haven`t been able to give us a reason why there wasn`t quicker action, except for the fact, as I said before, resources, time was limited, confusion ensued, and so this is the result.
And so, again, let`s learn from this lesson. Let`s put the resources where we need it, so our personnel are protected. And let`s make sure that we are always making sure that, if you are going to give service to this country, whatever part of the world, we are going to be there to protect you.
MATTHEWS: Well, you have to sing for your supper a little bit, Congressman, besides giving us those smart answers.
Let me ask you the question. Have you been asked for any paper, any background information as a possible vetting procedure for the vice presidential nomination?
BECERRA: Chris, no, you probably know more than I do about the process.
MATTHEWS: Oh, you guys are -- did you get asked for any information about yourself yet?
BECERRA: No. No.
MATTHEWS: OK. I love that. Direct answer. Direct answer. I appreciate it. I couldn`t get that last night from a Cabinet member. But thank you. We know you`re not on the list yet anyway.
I hope you are, though, anyway, because I think you would be great.
BECERRA: Thank you. Thank you.
MATTHEWS: I like leaders. I like leaders, and you`re one.
BECERRA: Thanks, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, U.S. Congressman Xavier Becerra of California, head of the Democratic Caucus in the House.
Up next: Donald Trump is sounding an awful lot like the British who pushed for separation from Europe. What would that sentiment across the pond mean for his presidential election? I personally -- as I said last night, I do think it means a lot. And as much as he screwed up this campaign so far, there is still a cause out there he`s been tapping into. It`s about nationalism, patriotism, economic nationalism, and some anti-immigration feeling. We know that. He`s talking to that. And that`s ahead.
And later, much more from Turkey and that deadly terror attack. We will give you the latest update on casualties and motive and the whole mess.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country, just the continuing rape of our country. That`s what it is, too. It`s a harsh word. It`s a rape of our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
That was Donald Trump just moments ago in Ohio using the word rape to describe what the Trans-Pacific Partnership is doing to our country.
Earlier today, speaking in Pennsylvania, Trump knocked the leadership class, he called it, that worships globalism over Americanism and he said it was time to declare our economic independence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization, moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas. Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very, very wealthy.
I used to be one of them. I hate to say it, but I used to be one. But it`s left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, similar frustrations seem to be animating the campaigns in Britain and Trump`s rise, among them, fear of globalization, immigration, the loss of manufacturing jobs. We know all this. In fact, the British vote, was that a harbinger of things to come here in America politically?
Mike Caputo is a former senior adviser to Donald Trump. What an interesting position to come from. Harold Ford Jr. is a visiting professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Policy. He`s a former Democratic congressman, of course, from Tennessee. And, of course, Kathleen Parker, a very well-written, of course, and well-understood syndicated columnist.
Kathleen, I liked your column the other day, because I think it`s where I have been thinking about. I do think that if you listen to the voters in Pennsylvania, or you listen to relatives if you got any up there, and we have got people on our show and our producers who know people up there -- I know my brother. I know people up there.
They talk a lot like the people from parts of England that don`t like globaloney, if you will. They think they have been getting screwed. The people up there have nothing left but their Social Security. They don`t have kids. They are afraid their kids will move away and never come back, because there`s nothing for them in Scranton and places like that, and Erie.
And it does look like that vote up there could be very tricky for Secretary Clinton. Your thoughts?
KATHLEEN PARKER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I agree completely.
There are very similar forces at work in both cases. And, you know, and these people`s concerns are perfectly legitimate as well. But what`s also, I think, at work, Chris, is this sense of lost identity. And I think part of what happened in Britain and part of what`s happening with the rise of Donald Trump is that they are promising essentially to reinstate, to sort of reinvigorate the identity, the national, the nationalistic identity in both cases.
And you can understand why that resonates with people who feel like it`s fading away, that their idea of what their countries are and what the future should look like for their children. As you mentioned, if you can create a case for, if we pull out of Britain, or if we -- you know, if we elect Donald Trump, locally, at least, then all of these things will be resolved.
And, you know, people latch on to that because they are a little bit frightened by all these global changes that are taking place. And globalization is at the root of it, but I`m not sure the solution is to retreat and withdraw.
MATTHEWS: Yes. But it`s the same symptom, you know, Michael?
MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Absolutely.
MATTHEWS: Talk about -- you were inside of that campaign. Do they understand, does Mr. Trump understand what he`s appealing to here?
CAPUTO: Oh, absolutely.
And he`s understood for quite some time. Even before he was going to run for president, when he was considering running for governor of New York, he was talking about how Buffalo, where I`m from, where I`m flying after the show--
MATTHEWS: Classic example.
CAPUTO: Absolutely, hollowed out by trade deals and NAFTA.
MATTHEWS: What`s left?
CAPUTO: In Buffalo? A lot of corporate welfare.
MATTHEWS: I look at Michigan city and places like that across the country and I think, what is left? There used to be a Blockbuster`s video store. That`s gone.
MATTHEWS: There may be a diner. Not always a diner left. There`s nothing.
CAPUTO: Well, in Buffalo, we believe that Cleveland is 10 years ahead of us. And in Cleveland, they think that Pittsburgh is 10 years ahead of them. But, in fact, we are all 10 years behind.
It`s Detroit, it`s Toledo, it`s all around the Great Lakes.
MATTHEWS: How does the anger about illegal immigration fit into that?
CAPUTO: Well, it does because I think that also translates into jobs. They think that -- people who have lost their jobs believe that--
MATTHEWS: Really? It`s not cultural change? It`s not ethnic differences?
CAPUTO: There`s a touch of the jobs message as well we have seen in the polling out there.
And I think there`s no surprise. Donald Trump was in Pittsburgh and in Northeast Ohio today because that`s where he`s got to win. Those are places where he is going to do well.
MATTHEWS: Mr. Ford, how do you fight this if you`re Hillary Clinton? How do you go up to Pennsylvania and say, you`re wrong, it isn`t that bad? They know it`s that bad, when you have got nothing left but the Social Security and Medicare.
HAROLD FORD, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: You have to acknowledge it`s that bad.
You have to talk about ways in which you`re going to bring new jobs and create new jobs, whether it`s infrastructure, whether it`s finding ways to invest in our medical and science research.
MATTHEWS: Trump says he will do infrastructure.
FORD: Look, you talk about what Mrs. Clinton has to do. At the end to day, globalization has played a role, but the bigger role has just been technology.
MATTHEWS: By the way, she just caught by in a trade -- Pacific trade agreement that she now says she`s against. Is that is an embarrassment? They have a tape now.
FORD: Look, I`m for the TPP.
MATTHEWS: Is she really for it or really against it deep down?
FORD: I don`t know.
MATTHEWS: You don`t know?
FORD: I think she wants to make it better. She was for it before. She says she`s not. I take her at her word.
MATTHEWS: So, you said you don`t know.
FORD: I don`t know if she`s for it. She says she`s not for it.
MATTHEWS: She`s running for president. And you are backing her. You don`t take her word?
FORD: She`s -- no, no, I believe she`s against it. I don`t think--
MATTHEWS: Really? She`s always been a free -- Bill Clinton was for the deal. I heard him say it last year in Japan. He`s for it. She said it.
FORD: She believes the deal can be improved.
CAPUTO: She called it the gold standard.
MATTHEWS: It`s the gold standard, she called it.
FORD: The main reason I support the deal and the reason I believe it`s the gold standard is that I think it helps keep China out of the backyard of--
MATTHEWS: Why doesn`t she think the gold standard is still the gold standard?
FORD: She`s had a change of opinion on it.
MATTHEWS: Was it politics?
FORD: I`m sure it was probably the realities of seeing how people were living in states she was campaigning in.
MATTHEWS: Yes. FORD: The technology and automation, so many things have contributed to the job losses.
MATTHEWS: OK, you`re right. There`s a reason why Bernie jumped on this and Trump jumped on this. They both have jumped it.
FORD: And done it well.
MATTHEWS: And it`s tough to defend the center these days, right, Mr. Centrist?
KATHLEEN PARKER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Chris, may I interject?
MATTHEWS: Sure, Kathleen. I forgot you for a second.
PARKER: Yes, I know. It happens. One of the thoughts I had while the other two gentlemen were talking is that one of the problems that Hillary Clinton has despite, in addition to her change of heart on these various trade issues --
MATTHEWS: Aren`t you kind?
PARKER: Well -- yes, I am. But is the fact that Donald Trump and I have not written favorably about him as you probably know, but he does have going for him the fact that he has actually built things. You know, very few people actually build things anymore. Hillary Clinton certainly has built nothing. She`s never employed people. And he can at least lay claim to having some greater understanding of how these multi-national ideals work.
MATTHEWS: So darn true. It was Lincoln who built the Trans Continental Railroad in the middle of the civil war. It was Eisenhower who put the highway system together in the `50s for national defense reasons because he saw what happened in Germany with the autobahns. He said, why don`t we have an autobahn?
These guys are builders. He could fit that tradition. Instead, he`s talking about some Mexican judge somewhere who`s not even a Mexican. He`s American. He`s off his game. He`s off his, what`s the word, off his message.
MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER: Things have changed very much since last Monday. Absolutely it has. I think you will see the campaign that Donald Trump really deserves.
MATTHEWS: A good campaign.
MATTHEWS: That will be more competitive. Let`s put it that way. Thank you, Michael Caputo, the once and future Trumper.
FORD: The original glass ceiling breaker Pat Summitt who passed --
MATTHEWS: She died today?
MATTHEWS: Nobody told me. She is great.
FORD: One of the great ones.
MATTHEWS: A leader. Thank you. I have just been hit with that. Thank you.
Anyway, Michael Caputo, Harold -- oh, come on, Kathleen. She is a great woman. I do have some heart, you know, Kathleen. I`m not just --
PARKER: No, no, no. I was just waiting for you to forget me again.
MATTHEWS: I will never forget you. Kathleen Parker, brilliant, brilliant, highly read, multi-newspapered person. I know. Has more papers than anybody in the business next to Cal Thomas.
Anyway, HARDBALL back after this.
MATTHEWS: We continue to follow the breaking news out of Turkey. It`s a tragic story.
Well, the "Associated Press" is now citing Turkish officials reporting that 31 people have been killed in this suicide bombing attack at Istanbul`s Ataturk Airport.
Joining me right now is Elmira Bayrasli, an expert on Turkey with the organization Foreign Policy Interrupted, Shawn Henry is a former executive assistant director of the FBI, president of Crowd Strike Services, and Nayyera Haq, of course, she`s former State Department spokesman.
Thank you all.
And I guess, I want you to see as you take a look at this situation, the first view of is we are watching today, bombers, people with weapons, suicide people, at the airport.
Let me go with Elmira -- why the airport? What`s the pattern here?
ELMIRA BAYRASLI, FOREIGN POLICY INTERRUPTED: Well, scenes like this, Turkey has had so many terrorist attacks just within this last year but also since 2005 starting in July in the southeastern part of the country. I think the attack that happened at Istanbul Ataturk Airport this evening happened at a high traffic time, a lot of flights going out, particularly international flights to Africa and Asia at that time.
And so, whoever carried this out, it was clearly very well-planned and it is a little unusual because I have to say, Ataturk Airport is a very secure airport. Even before you get into the airport, vehicles are stopped and then before you get into the airport, there is very high security, a high security perimeter that everyone has to go through.
What it seems happened is that the attackers attacked the police cordon, and then had suicide vests that did eventually explode but this was something that seems it was very well planned.
MATTHEWS: Nayyera, let me ask about the attitude of Arab people in the Arab world, Middle East and elsewhere. Do they -- how do they look upon Turkey, as the westernized country of the Islamic world? What is the view? It`s sort of like a hybrid in a sense, a modern country, part of Europe, but also Islamic.
How do the people who live in the more third world, Arab world, how do they look upon this country, as the enemy, as an ally, as the former head of the Ottoman Empire or what?
NAYYERA HAQ, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: Well, I would say if you`re not ISIS, you have always looked at Turkey favorably because Turkey has really struck that balance of a secular and Islamic majority country. So you have Turkey as the only Muslim majority country as part of NATO, making overtures to Israel this week. That`s not an accident that this attack happened right as Turkey is trying to make inroads with more of Europe and normalize relations with Turkey.
And then you have the religious extremists and zealots who see everything Turkey is and stands for as a threat to this idea of an Islamic state or caliphate.
MATTHEWS: Shawn Henry, I only have a minute now. Tell me what the police aspect of this is, the catch the bad guys part of it.
SHAWN HENRY, FORMER FBI ASST. DIRECTOR: At this point this is really all about collection of intelligence, to look at further down the road, what might be coming. The intelligence communities globally will be sharing information with Turkish authorities, the FBI has a legal attache there in Ankara and the FBI will be assisting any way they can in terms of forensics, crime scene evaluation, et cetera.
Identifying who these three terrorists are is critically important to identify who else they may have been in contact with, exploding their mobile devices, et cetera. That`s a really important part to try to prevent any other attacks or disrupt anything else that is currently being planned.
MATTHEWS: Thanks so much, Elmira Bayrasli, and Shawn Henry and Nayyera Haq, thank you all.
When we return, the politics of terror. Let`s talk about the impact of the Istanbul attack and what it means for here in this country politically.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
Anyway, we continue to monitor developments there. We`re looking at the footage of the horror that happened here today. The Turkish Red Crescent is reporting at least 35 people, the number just keeps rising, and more than 100 injured, which suggests there will be a lot more listed as dead by late tonight.
How will this attack affect the presidential race in this country?
We`re joined right now by MSNBC political analyst and national correspondent for "The Nation" magazine, Joan Walsh. She`s sitting right in front of me. Josh Marshall, "Talking Memo Points" founder and editor. And Yamiche Alcindor from "The New York Times".
Thank you all.
So, I think -- I think one thing we all wonder about is when something bad happens. And there has been such this pattern. I mean, John Kerry, the secretary of state says it`s become almost daily. Well, it`s not that bad. But look what happened, Istanbul, Orlando, Brussels, San Bernardino, Paris. I mean, from now on, Joan, it just seems like we used to say Dallas --
JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
MATTHEWS: And we knew what we meant. These have become landmark events.
WALSH: Iconic events.
MATTHEWS: Now we`re thinking, oh, Istanbul, another attack.
WALSH: Right. I think in a normal year, this might help Republicans, because it`s happening on President Obama`s watch.
MATTHEWS: Paris helped Trump.
WALSH: It only helped Trump in the Republican primaries.
MATTHEWS: All right.
WALSH: And now, what`s happening, "The Washington Post" has a poll out today that shows people prefer her approach to terrorism, 50-39 --
MATTHEWS: Fifty-three/thirty-four, that`s one number.
WALSH: That`s one number. I forget.
But that`s handling of Orlando. They prefer her temperament towards Orlando. They say 44-30-something that she would do a better job of preventing the next Orlando.
So, all this stuff that you would say would be tough for Democrats, is really -- seems to be helping, not to be crude.
MATTHEWS: Yamiche, elections are run to a large certain by campaign managers and funding and personality and all that. But they`ve also run to some extent by events. Look what happened in 2008, when the economy crashing right before the election, John McCain didn`t want to show up for a debate or something.
WALSH: Suspend the campaign.
MATTHEWS: He was gone. How you react to tragic events is a sign of leadership.
ALCINDOR: It`s a sign of leadership. And like Joan said, in a normal election year, this might help Republicans. In this year, it might be an example of Hillary Clinton`s ability to lead and Donald Trump`s ability to lead. He`s already tweeted we need to stop terrorism, going back to a ban on Muslims in some ways, going back to legislation that a majority of the country doesn`t really support. But I think it`s --
MATTHEWS: You got to have an update. First, it was all Muslims, says Muslims from dangerous countries, and now, there`s something else.
And my question is -- he said, by the way, if you do listen to him with a little kindness, maybe not appropriate, but sometimes you say, until we have this thing sorted out, I don`t think we`re going to have it sorted out in our lifetime.
ALCINDOR: Again, it goes back to the idea of, do you want a President Trump to be talking like this? This kind of it`s -- in some way, this event, while as horrible as it is, it gives the American people a way to say, look, this is what your president would act like if something happened here. You can just imagine, if unfortunately we had a terrorist attack here, Donald Trump is going to say, you know what, we got to close the borders, we`ll sort it out later, but for now, we`re going to kind of go with this policy that really judges by their religion.
MATTHEWS: Richard Engel says we`re going to get more. That it`s a pattern that`s begun. I think Paris did affect this country a lot. I think obviously San Bernardino did. But there`s -- whenever there`s a mix of things, with the Orlando gay club, was there something psychological with this guy that had nothing to do with the excuse he gave, the situations like Fort Hood where someone is just not happy in this country.
JOSH MARSHALL, TALKING POINTS MEMO: Things -- there are all multi- determined. The Orlando case is a classic case of that. The key here is that, I mean, there will be more. We keep seeing them. So, it seems inevitable.
I think the thing with Trump is that he`s largely disqualified himself with a lot of the electorate because of his temperament.
MATTHEWS: Well, 2/3 say he isn`t qualified to be president, and yet, when there`s a poll who should be president, it`s still fairly close. How do you explain that?
MARSHALL: It`s partisanship in the United States. Every race is going to be relatively close. The key is though, a lot of people thought after Orlando, this is going to help Trump. It came out the next morning, even that night, kind of bragging that he was right and these --
MATTHEWS: I know, he`s very self-referential.
MARSHALL: People want not just strength, they want someone who is steady.
MATTHEWS: What should Hillary do? What should Hillary do to show that she can lead in this kind of situation besides being non-Donald Trump?
WALSH: I think she should talk about how complicated it is, and the things that we`re doing to limit ISIS. We`ve made progress. It`s not great.
MATTHEWS: I know, it`s not she needs to develop some thinking.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you, I`m being told.
Anyway, Joan Walsh, Josh Marshall, and Yamiche Alcindor.
Anyway, much more ahead when HARDBALL returns after this.
MATTHEWS: That`s HARDBALL for now.
Our coverage of the terror attack in Turkey continues now in "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES."
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END