Trump claims situation in Turkey is 'under control'

Fighting continues in Syria after U.S. withdraws troops; more interviews to come in impeachment inquiry; analysis of the fourth Democratic debate; DC sniper asks Supreme Court for second chance.
27:53 | 10/16/19

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Transcript for Trump claims situation in Turkey is 'under control'
Yeah. Everybody welcome to the briefing her mom Devin Dwyer on this Wednesday great to have you with us today post. Debate analysis ahead if you track of the democratic debate last night in Ohio. We were there our friends at 538 here just posted a new analysis on the winners. And the losers in last night's debate so we'll have that ahead but first we begin. With the deteriorating situation now in Syria the front lines in the fight against I suspect crisis now deepening after the US pulled out its troops abruptly. And the Turkish began their invasion earlier this week president trump. Facing a barrage of criticism for his decision made against the by advice of military advisors. Today defended the Turkish dictator in claimed the situation is quote. Very nicely under control. President herta wants decision didn't surprise me because he's wanted to do that for a long time. He's been building up troops on the border with Syria for a long time as you know this is they've been warring for many years. It's. A natural for us but it's not a natural for them frankly if rush is going to help. In protecting the Kurds it's a good thing not a bad thing so it's a very semi complicated that too complicated if you Smart. But it's a semi complicated problem. And I think it's a problem that we have very nicely and to control. ABC's in panel has been reporting from inside Syria this week and says contrary to president trumps announces the situation. Is actually quite complicated and now deadly and he says there are some serious repercussions. For US national security. Paid haven't we seen more fighting on the ground in northern Syria over the last 24 hours. In particular focus around these key border towns this is one stretch of land the present other ones said that he wanted to take. To create a so called safe zone where is due routes it is it's a walls and that's taking place that right now we've seen a 160000. People displaced. From the homes in just over a week we seen dozens of people killed possibly as many as hundreds of people killed. A lot of bodies are still trapped in the front line positions or is hard to get an accurate figure and the fighting still going on on the longer it goes on the massive mall complex. It seems to become so we know that US troops have now begun this withdrawal now that's sayings and orderly withdrawal but many people here would say is an ignominious. Retreat. Either way the Russians have moved in together with the Syrian regime to try and fill that void. That working together with the Kurds on the ground who were massively outnumbered and outgunned by the invading Turkish army and the minutes is that it supports. Do we say heavy skirmishing going on in dip from ponds present the one city wants to get his key border town a mandate. But the Russians and the Syrian government forces a regime forces got that first today we've seen Russian military police in patrolling inside the very same town. Well US military vehicles were patrolling just a few days ago and I gives you some sense the geopolitical. Shift that we've seen in this region. Russia filling the void left by the United States the US. The reputation of the US it standing. The capacity of the people to believe it. Has just diminished significantly. Not just here inside Syria but else wet people looking home and say we'll hang around. This is how you treat did a key ally in the fight against SARS is this is how you treated the group who did most of the fighting most of the dying over 111000. Young. Men and women in a very small geographical area law also allies in the fight against I says. And now you tell Intel and leave. Many people regard as betrayal many people see it as a sign. That you can't take America's word him when we're talking to one local Kurdish commander. And he said. You know Bashar Al Assad did Syrian dictates it said to us. You can't trust the Americans you know you should unite back with the Syrian regime of course a dismissal because certain regime. That's a must blow his hands now they're looking to the Syrian regime to come in. And Bashar Assad and many other people are saying you know what's he was right. Still more fighting on the ground president one is determined that he will not stop there will be no cease fire until he's established his cervical sakes. But there is a potential middle ground that way you could see a scenario where Kurdish forces are pulled back Syrian government forces take over those border positions. To Turkey can say to achieve what it wanted it has involved. The groups it describes as terrorists on the border the Kurds can say to haven't made any major concessions. Because the land around that's area is still held by the Kurds and that people. DeVon. Thanks to impanel for veterans are now by our senior pentagon reporter Louis Martinez Louis great to have you here. I want to ask you ought to mean the president brought up earlier about the situation and just press conference he talked about those dozens of ice is prisoners you've been hearing about. That escaped from those prisons over there he said someone just open the doors. To make the US look bad any evidence of that from which intern at the Pentagon. Now there's no evidence of that debt and thinking the implication there is that he's referring to the Kurds may be opening the doors to the prisons that they have there in northern Syria. Where the housing up to 121000 ice is prisoners are no indications that so that's actually what's happened. I'm if anything we are told that the SPF the Syrian democratic forces that's the umbrella group for all of the Kurdish forces. Inside of Syria that they are remaining at their posts that they are there their numbers may have dwindled. But that they are still there from there has been a small number of ice is detainees that have escaped needy. In the dozens as the president said but that is believed that they were released because there was shelling on the part of the Turks near that prison facility. And that them was why they were able to escape. Almond had nothing to do with the Kurdish cards themselves opening the gates and letting them out. I'm so I'm not a the president not meaning being accurate in making that statement. Pretty incredible though to see that closed circuit TV video of those prisoners fleeing. Their cells over there and Syria. Like cheering up but. That an ad that video that you're seeing that those are actually ice is families. They were added eight at camp for internally displaced people. And that media what they captured ways leg and another shelling out one of those facilities and they are able to move out as well. I'm so just just OK a key distinction there. Yet it certainly distinction between the fighters in the families and their supporters. Nonetheless imprisoned and fleeing in the situationally. All of this though getting a lot of heat from Republicans Mitt Romney Lindsey Graham. Lindsey Graham certainly an ally the president has been hammering him are Jon Karl also today asked the president about that criticism. Let's take a listen to Lugar. I understand. The secretary of state vice presidents are on the way to meet with mr. everyone. Look the the horses and left the bar the reality is what's happening. In Syria as a result of our decision. And that decision has been very differently so I'll let you know who was involved. What the thinking was and what that was a decision made to pull out without a clear agreement with Turkey as to what they would do and what they will not do. But at this stage to be saying oh gosh we can't believe Turkey's doing what they're doing we got a sanction them just like you gotta be kidding. Of course is about Turkey was gonna do. This isn't that funny moment props presidency if we abandon Kurds. And will be our Shane and our national security detriment and trouble owned the re emergence of viruses. I'm accountable. There is no substitute for American leadership. The Lindsey Graham just said it remarks you made in the Oval Office that if you keep talking like that quote this will be a disaster. Worse than Obama's decision. To leave Iraq. Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the middle east of the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers and fighting other people's wars. I want to get out of the Middle East I think lynch is huge focus right now we're judiciary. Like the Democrats. He ought to find out about what happened with combing what happened with McKay. Lisa what happened with Peter struck. What happened with President Obama what happened with brown and that's what Lindsay ought to focus on. As our Jonathan Karl questioning president trump this morning Louis. Notwithstanding the president's comments congress is moving ahead with taking a vote to try to pressure the president to reverse course in Syria. It can break that down force is is it possible for congress to actually effect a military decision and is it even not too late to get back involved over there if we wanted to. That I think the reality is that congress can send a message. By its vote I think they don't growing bipartisan vote critical of the withdrawal. The president's decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria. I'm but I think effectively I'm not sure that there will be able to actually do something because. The military comes under the executive branch of files under the president but he has the authority when he. What he needs congressional authority when you need to use military force elsewhere. But in this case he had that already I'm and so therefore he. He is within his rights team move out those forces if he needs to. Com and of course we've also seen it for this president has gone back and forth multiple times. I when he comes to national security issues and so it it's always possible that he could then at some point say. I will keep more troops are liable to decide to reverse myself. But right now he's been pretty adamant that he wants these US troops out that is not an American fight. And he's he keeps making the argument that US troops went in there initially. On the short term basis to help in the fight against vices and he's trying to compare this team long term struggles going on in that part of the region between Turks and Kurds in the Syrians. I'm drained its that these arguments that he's making and he's pretty convinced that they are valid argument you heard him at that news conference day. That he's he's saying he's claiming that this is brilliant strategy making in pulling out the US troops from. Outside of Syria but I think guy by these votes and by this comments from Republicans. A many people in his own party are our nodding agreement with that. At all Hayley thank you so much also unclear how much people are digesting out in the middle of the country this crisis in Syria I'm just back from western Ohio people on still trying to make sense of all this just as they are the impeachment battle that is under way this week on Capitol Hill. Who were lawmakers interviewing and what is this all about those are the questions people are asking even as new poll is out today. Showing and a majority of Americans support the inquiry that's under way these to search for answers around the president's policy. In Ukraine as you see here. A majority of people. Think this is a good idea to do cure Phillips is here she is or chief investigative reporter and she has been all over this on the health care. You know that an illegitimate and names are coming bash is furious I can't even keep track all of these state levels State Department officials there up on Capitol Hill exhibit. Give us the bottom line what is it all what what what we're react in this. It's hard pressed to we've actually been putting a get together a chart of all the people that have been testifying in and what was their role in what is this really coming down to. And I mean I can tell you that right now these key witnesses that are coming ordinance this impeachment probe. I mean they're going against what president trump wants and they're testifying in they're giving really interesting details about what exactly happened in Ukraine. And that this controversial phone call and was the president holding back aid was Eric quid pro quo in order for him to get dirt on Joseph Biden his 22 when he rival. Okay and it pulls down one guy it does Rudy Giuliani his personal attorney he says lol I don't know will be still my attorney Rudy Judi Giuliani tells me he is still the presidents and attorneys cannot be hitting three names to stay with him again does it a quick glimpse of what has happened and it's only Wednesday rings are all people that observed. Rudy Giuliani's behavior they were all someway were informed all had concerned so first of all we heard from former top Russian advisor Fiona hill. She. Brought forward her concerns that Rudy Giuliani this why why it was he and Ukraine will why was hanging out with these questionable characters. What was in it for him what was in it for the president why it was heat they're dealing with policy issues that we had senior State Department official George Kent. Testified for nearly ten hours he relayed the same concerns what was the deal was meant to. And here's what's interesting top aide to Pompeo they've known each other very long time Pompeo actually brought him over to the State Department. When he he was actually US ambassador to Afghanistan. When Pompeo was the head the CIA he brought McKinley to be a top aide in the State Department because he trusted him he wanted someone with foreign experience to be an eight. He is actually testifying right now he was not happy. With what he knew Pompeo new and the lack of actions that Pompeo took in order to protect what was hat. Some Democrats building a file of interviews and documents talking to people that are inside the State Department names you may not remember don't really need to remember at this point but they're getting what build their case they're getting what they want. And tomorrow or Friday rather could actually be one the biggest figures of the week this guy named Gordon son Glenn Wright was a if fund raiser for president from the scene as some bit of a trumpet ally and appeared in that text message chain. Very much about this quid pro quo Alley. Should it exactly when it was his text messages that got everybody's attention and he was of course the US ambassador to the EU good friends with president donated. A million dollars plus to his campaign. What is he Tennessee tomorrow. An and the bottom line is that as you are seeing all the State Department representatives. Testifying. And now you're gonna hear from silent. I say it. You know it it's. Was trump truly working a quid pro quo when it could come down to what someone has to say his positive connected. It could have big figure coming up your hopes they so much you know you'll be up there so we'll come back. At some please do thank you so much and we just heard on the senate floor that the senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said that he is. Bound at tape copied articles of impeachment should they make their way over from the house so we will see. Where that we're back us next to the race to 20/20. And the fourth democratic presidential debate in the books it was a record breaker tell the twelve candidates. On stage last night in western Ohio and there were a lot of fireworks Elizabeth Warren center stage with front runner status really for the first time she got a pile on. Mayor Pete of course I came out with some sharp elbows he did pretty well last night Bernie Sanders making his debut. After having a heart attack earlier in the week we will break all be. Subplots down with our political director Rick Klein who's here Justin Gomez covers the -- judge campaign he joins us. I from Iowa right now and also. A return by Jeffrey skelley from 538 don't start with you Jeffrey because you guys are just posted you do you don't send instant analysis of the polls you talk to some voters -- watched the debate. And you've got our our list of winners and losers who where you like and it's your winners from last night. Right well and it's at that some of the top of the list in terms of who won. Highest averaged eight rating in Poland with access we asked people about the candidates and and but B how they thought they did. Warren came in with the highest average rating among our respondents and that's interest and also because she spoke by far the most data candidates so. Clearly she didn't stepped up its opener on voter you think in fact he came away it was more positive ratings she entered the night with. Armed in terms of candidates he stood out. And in that sense it's sort who did better than expected based on what about favorability rating outlook was greeted judge and the B Klobuchar. I'm the two of then. Improve their potential support at high average rating. And so actually voters now about quarter and purple set they would consider voting for duty Egypt's. And let's look about 20%. Klobuchar is up just a little over ten haven't and it about six or seven so. She hasn't always ago but she took advantage of the fact she did it speak a lot last night. An end in ever cue wrote about that your analysis of this today in the note it was sort of the resurgence of the moderates in this race we've seen left word swaying Elizabeth Warren rising to the top but as Jeffrey was just talking about there. Mayor Pete and Amy Klobuchar have in some pretty strong nights when it what does that table where we go from here in the. Joseph Biden hasn't friends if he's fighting against the the left forty impulses of the party there are people that aren't ready to give up on the center and that median part because they're calculating the Joseph Biden isn't going to last the distance that people will be looking. For another option it may be reaction to how much energy has been on the progressive left. You still have. Two of the relates leading candidates and Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren who represent that together they raise some fifteen million dollars in the last quarter that ash being chunk of the party. And there were people that are offering an alternative and they're doing in different ways I think people the people you mentioned what did you Asian Klobuchar using the midwestern setting to say. This is how people around the country the middle of the country this is how they live in isn't the same way do you talk about policy. Or politics and also we learn a lesson Everett that this the strategies these two leading candidates have put forth Elizabeth Warren. Our people which is pretty Smart plays and Iowa they Verizon have been building their momentum over time playing there are spending their money wisely. And also very in deft with their attacks I would say let's talk a little bit about people juices attacks last night he came in with a plan he executed it. Here's a little bit of that. I don't need lessons from you on courage political or personal. Everyone on the stage is determined to get something done. Everyone on this stage recognizes released I thought we did but the problem. It's not other Democrats who don't agree with your particular idea how to handle this the problem is the National Rifle Association and their enablers in congress and we should be united. In taking the fight for that and or signatures senators to have a plan for everything. Except this. No plan has been laid out to explain how a multi trillion dollar hole. In this Medicare for all plan that senator Warner's putting forward is supposed to get filled in. We need to get out what we need to do this through a negotiated solution there is still a military solution they're putting just reach a group respectfully congresswoman I think that is dead wrong. The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence. Of American presence it's a consequence of a withdrawal Eddie betrayal. By this president of American allies an American bouts. I'm Scott silent hours Justin Gomez who covers the good just campaign Justin. I take it then that campaign has felt pretty good today and also they just announced some big fund raising overnight based on that performance. Yeah they did a one million dollars and less than 24 hours and presents wrapped up that debate last night. They said they are receiving a lot of donations of the bear on track to raise about. 100000 dollars per minute that he was onstage are saying he spoke are not on stage. For how much he spoke last night there is saying that he spoke for about a little over thirteen minutes so they're calculating that into it. But he's a right in back in the midwest today here in Iowa where he's going to be holding a town hall. And Iraq at a roundtable on prescription drug costs so expect Graham to build off that momentum from the debate last night and really capitalize and some of these voters here. And he's going to be feeling really good morning shows up today. Now also dropped a lot of money just before the debate in Iowa expanding and that operation on the ground opening offices pain staff. Awesome he's putting a lot of those chips on that first voting state banks emerged a single Ezra Klein. We can't move on from the debate without talking about impeachment this is the first debate last night that had that issue hanging over at Joseph Biden was pressed. To explain and defend his son's behavior when he was vice president do think he answer that question effective. Well he answered it and what was telling to me is that none of the other Democrats wanted to go there body with the CNN moderator is offered up some other candidates they didn't go there. In fact Cory Booker came back later in the debate to defend. And help Biden against an attack that wasn't even happening. None of these Democrats wanted to go where Donald Trump was obviously very explicitly leaving them. Through my mind in any other debate cycle or any other election cycle this should be an issue people would be talking about why he got the business. But because president talk as the ones raising it idyllic Democrats think it's Kryptonite and they don't wanna be seen as doing dot Donald Trump's beating and therefore they're not touching. I have to say I'm a bit surprised that even now we couldn't get any of the candidates after the debate and come here on ABC news live to talk about even the appearance of conflict of interest. From people like who got Castro and Amy Klobuchar who are big advocates for transparency in politics. Even slightly dating Joseph Biden for this one here's a little bit of that. He answered that question and he made clear now that his sentencing and infants are running our forwards and I've also make clear that my daughter. He's way too young to serve on any boards if Tom will never served on a foreign board but that aside. I am someone that weasel we really look at here is war was Donald Trump doing. I thought he answered them. Well and I agreed with some on the stage who said. You know why are we focus on that we have a president who's committing crimes actively right now an office and I think Joseph Biden is an honorable man that he is Stanley honest. To not taken invade their defending Joseph Biden even as they duke it out Jeffrey skelley at 538. You give us your hot take on where Joseph Biden goes from here he had sort of come into the fourth debate. I seen a slip in fund raising he faced a lot of these tough questions last night what is your data show you from last night. Double in the the pole and we did with excess. Biden did maybe slightly worse than expected but. Overall his debate rating was higher than most. So you know I'm not really sure if this debate really was was much of anything for his standing. As much as it was maybe for someone like good gesture Klobuchar arm at the same time though obviously that the fund raising numbers are in the news today and they don't look great. Opt for for the former vice president at all answer each do you see what the average than what pulls look like in the early states Iowa and New Hampshire. And you know if he loses both of those are ways from voting now but. And I would be worried if our happen. The yeah I think that's they're going to be a tough five a couple of months or for those first votes are cast Jeffrey Skilling at 538 thank you so much. I really Smart analysis on last night's debate up at 538 Jack calmer thanks for coming in with your Smart analysis is well and the note. Were not enough finally today we turn to the US Supreme Court any fascinating case. Involving one of the two DC snipers. Who went on a murderous seven week Rampage here in the capital region back in 2002 lead Boyd malveaux. Who is serving several life without parole sentences that's in there on the left today asked the US supreme court for a chance a getting his life back. His argument. He says he deserves another chance to show that his youth. Impacted his decision was seventeen years old at the time of the crime and he and John Mohammad their way around and of and a car here in the capital region it's nineteen people with a gun and killing ten and wounding three and joined now. By any Nellis she's joins us here from didn't have sentencing project just next or Brad Garrett. A former FBI agent and ABC news contributor who actually interviewed. We were involved malvo agreed to seat us. Brad let's start with you because you have been very interest seemed an experience of actually speaking to this killer. And he is now claiming before the United States Supreme Court that he should get a shot of getting his life back. What was he like when you talk to him did you get the sense that he was an impressionable youth and this was sort of. A bad decision you made because of that. Well yes however he came across. As arrogant controlling. Or Little League did not want to put Mohammed. The gun in Mohammed's hand and as we broken down after a number of hours he didn't started admitting. Committee the different acts that we body committed around DC. With problem is he would never actually put Mohamad he would put in there but they pulled the trigger each time so what does happen basically over the months and year uses. That now has flipped around. And he realizes he is basically brainwashed by Mohammed. But doesn't take away the fact as to number of people they killed because he goes beyond DC. Is basically eleven other crime scenes by people dead around the country so it's a big number. It it actually your organization. It takes a look at the impact. Life sentences for juvenile halls. In this case Lee Boyd Malvo is serving several life sentences and two jurisdictions but today's case was about the one that he received in Virginia. It should the door be open to revisiting those sentences now. And my view it should be and here's why not most case was back in early two thousands. And a lot has changed in the legal landscape since then we still have the death penalty for juvenile is back then and malveaux was susceptible to getting XEQ did. They chose life without parole. And they also have had a series of Supreme Court cases since. Since he was originally sentenced that now invalidate life without parole for juvenile son a number of in a number of ways and so. He's going to the court and saying but what about this way the way that I was given the sentence so it's really a legal matter rather than re litigating you know the horrible in this of his crime which was indeed horrible. And Brad when I was I was in at the court today is the justices heard arguments are this morning the issues boil down to determining whether. A youth that commits a crime commits murder is. Is incorrigible or is is simply. Two long gone they're just the there's going to be pretty determined that when you in it you interview somebody. OK well there's a bit of reasonable is going on here OK the typical juvenile crime might be a murder might be a robbery etc. It's not fourteen murders and crime scenes all over the country so it's a bad example. You know was he as I mentioned earlier brainwashed by Mohamad I think the answer is yes it's clearly he's no figure that out. Cut hasn't hit Michigan another shot here no I think the sentence he's got his just fine and I don't be shocked if the Supreme Court puts us around than any former fashion. He's there for the duration. I'll be surprised that actually before we let you go and give us the big picture on this the number of juvenile serving life without parole because the crimes in this country how big is that universe its overture. But she many others stand to benefit. From a favorable ruling. Even if malveaux we know malveaux will never get out of prison. OK fascinating conversation thank you both for coming in a really interest in case will now wait till June to hear how the Supreme Court decides Greg Garrett former FBI agent who interviewed malvo thank you so much. Actually knows that the sentencing project next story here Washington thanks for coming over Ashley. And thank you for watching us on this very busy Wednesday here in a briefing over here everyday at 3:30 PM. Eastern time on ABC news lie down on the ABC news is that you can follow the latest and all the stories we've talked about today right there you can watch us live commercial free as well. And Devin Dwyer Washington we'll see you next time.

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