Trump says Iran attack on US Navy drone 'big mistake'

The president does not believe the drone attack was intentional even though Iran has already taken responsibility, plus one-on-one with 2020 presidential candidate Tim Ryan.
27:33 | 06/21/19

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Transcript for Trump says Iran attack on US Navy drone 'big mistake'
And yeah. Everybody welcome to the briefing her ministers and Devin Dwyer of their political director Rick Klein a lot to get to today with Iran the president. Taking its foot off the gas. This conflict that seemed unavoidable with Iran after that drone was shot down overnight now. Seems on hold as the president says it's all could be one giant misunderstanding and mistake we'll dig in on that. And a second we're also talking today with. A presidential candidate democratic presidential candidate congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio he's here to respond both to the Iran situation also to this controversy. Let's running former vice president Joseph Biden will get into that. Not coming up shortly as well some breaking news just a few minutes ago I out of Alabama that Rick Klein will give his analysis on. I remember candidate Roy Moore for the Alabama senate race so he is back he's gonna get in after losing 27 teams we'll talk a little bit about that. How about we start out with the news out of Iran today in the White House at this hour holding. An emergency meeting with president trump is in his advisors Rick. This has a big political ramifications the president sort of in a hot spot here on the one hand to need to play to his base in in the party that wants a tough line on Iran at the same time also. Trying to keep that promise of who have keeping the US out of a new war in the middle. Yeah he drew that red line and now almost like he's blurring it if not erasing it by by loans giving himself an exit ramp to this to this escalation it looked like we were there. The Pentagon certainly pointing in that direction by pointing to this evidence and it seemed like we were going to have a military reaction to Iran. Now the president is suggesting that time maybe it's all big misunderstanding. In Jordan Phelps is our White House reporter she's there on the north lawn Jordan. I tell us what's going on at this hour what is the meeting under way in what options are on the table. Kate Evan congressional leaders are here for that emergency meeting you alluded to there in the situation room with the president I talking of course about. This very important situation at we've heard some mixed messages as you know from president prompt he has. Being very affirming his rhetoric on Iran but. He also today is now saying that this could be a mistake he sounded very much like a president who does not. Want military conflict. But we'll see if Iran forces his hand here. And just a short time ago the president in the Oval Office with the Canadian prime minister visiting today. Had this to say about that drone that was shot down overnight. What's doing that drone was put off it was not it was billed. May. There was no it was just. It was over international is clearly over and Nationalists but we did have a man who wouldn't we had nobody. Wouldn't it be difference let me would have had big big difference. But. I have a feeling. He's wrong. And maybe but. Have a feeling that. It was a mistake but somebody should have been doing what they. I don't know why you act on it like it was intentional you I think that it could have been somebody who is. Lose and stupid that it. He it would put back. Very foolish move. Your music. We don't know. Uses the obviously but I will say look nice. Out of these it was worse for purposes of this new wrinkle this is due to fly any written what happened shooting Down syndrome. And this country will not standpoint that I can if you think you're gonna. Fly in the ointment something that the president really has seemed to downplay recline. Also struck by the fact that the president says he thinks this may not have been intentional. As the Iranians. Are coming out insane explicitly on the record the Foreign Ministry saying this was intentional we shot at. Down the Iranians just as saying that the Pentagon is producing no evidence to back up of the president saying we haven't heard anything from the intelligence community. In this and I think the silence is deafening as if this is as the president. If this is a negotiating strategy of this is just his guess work. Looking for the Iranians to say William media was a mistake out it's a hard to even. Figure out what he could be talking about here and he in the white house of not. Right any answers what set this incident apart from those other incidents in the Persian gulf of the past couple of weeks with those oil tankers that were hit. Is that this one of course involve the US asset a 120 million dollar. A piece of equipment that was shot out of the sky over international waters and our Elizabeth McLaughlin over at the Pentagon has been tracking. What the Pentagon is same both about the drone in their attempts to recover the drone but also about what options are on the table Elizabeth the president. Is steering away from an immediate response but he's not ruling it out what are some things that the military could be considering right now. Well seven there of course a lot of options here we could see very proportional strike on the on the behalf of the last. May be heading some air missile defense systems which in our Ryan. Oh or send an eighty act that the name may have if they wanted to send a signal in response of the oil tanker it. All of that really remains to be seen and that's certainly. Must be one of discussions happening right now in the situation room. As Jordan sat in right now the US needy is looking to recover pieces. That global Hough drone that was shot down this morning. We are still waiting to see he can see that video there that is what they say the US military released earlier today that shows trails. That drone adds it was hit by Iran Ian missile they also released mask. Showing exactly where wise. And I think what what the reef was saying the Iranian foreign minister was that a Ron did this purposely because they said that drone was in their airspace. That is not what we're hearing from the US military today they had a press conference earlier released a statement. Saying very unequivocally. That this drone was seen at international airspace that means that would have banned within twelve nautical miles outside. Over Ronnie an air space. And so a wry and then it countered and Inge then spent up their own. Maps the foreign minister tweeting his own maps of what they say is the is that you'd actually of this pack. So there could be a means Munich miscommunication here between the country's beer certainly what we're all looking for is what happens next. The former trump Homeland Security advisor Tom boxer joins us as well odd via facetime Tom's great to see you I guess. The big question for you is are you surprised Tom that the president for all of his tough talk. Didn't order an immediate military response to the fact this drone was destroyed how do you how do you Parse that. Yet extra added an act that or BO expert presidents' day I he's talked about. Anytime you consider easing military courts yet and make sure it's just. And yet to make sure necessary and India and surely achieve the results achieved using nets sports and saw present student and his team. Knocked out that first question. We are just are you sports here not only because we can defend ourselves and interest self defense under article 51. But we imprudent that you shut down our throughout our national quarters not years base that. Don't want allows the president the flexibility to consider options. Step two is a question of screaming and to ask the question that your asking here today. The question is do you strangeness as the president heads as a reaction to shooting down an unmanned. Or parties frame it as an escalating series of bed disrupt Iranian behavior that we now correct. Larger application sports because remember we had to be proportional and aren't self that sense. Those frame it as something larger broader don't want at Heathrow lot of targets street. Muscular response and for knows it reflects Raman is smaller. Individual shootout after a few minute. Let me beat the targets are smaller operations and risk. Associated with Al east or smaller. And I think we saw the president giving himself enough space to justify. Either option. In real quick before I let you go it's not a do you think there is a downside to letting this go unanswered it in any way though even. In that broader context as you framed it there. Well I know it gets you aren't giving advice the president not knowing everything he knows what I believe there is a downside and I think it's to frame it. As just a response to be unacceptable shooting down one of our aircraft. And perhaps other targets would be. The surface to air missile. Based Brunette and a problem maybe something a little smaller and we saw when he sent a message to Syria on their use of chemical weapons. It's Tom -- are ABC news contributor former trump Homeland Security advisor thanks a lot time great to see you and our thanks to Jordan Phelps and Elizabeth McLaughlin as well Rick. It's also guarantees that Iran an ad Goodell uniform policy will be included in its first democratic primary debate anything to candidates. Handled the situation is so. A clean one for democratic candidates saying they're reflexive responses to criticize the president but. There are a whole lot of democratic candidates right now that don't think militarily engaging with Iran is a good idea at all. Heights complications for Joseph Biden who of course it was part of the nuclear deal that the president. On. But also was part of the ridge did part of the Obama administration that blurred that red line with Syria so there are complications for almost every one of the Democrats in the wrong way that I actually really interest we didn't realize is it was up his foreign policy hasn't been front center so far ready. All in all likelihood will come up certainly is its top of mind in the news say speaking of Joseph Biden let's bring in. Are Joseph Biden reporter Molly Nagle she's here because of the former us president is embroiled in quite a controversy mine I thought who asserted to regroup today for our viewers on what. This firestorm over comments from Joseph Biden is all about what he said who he said it's you. So break it down forests a couple nights ago the former vice president was holding a fund raiser. And he's made some good some pretty controversial comments. Rates of this all started on Tuesday evening at refineries are in New York City for her op Biden's campaign. I'm human these events are open to the press by one reporter who sends out a note to the rest of the were no cameras and no cameras are there. But we hear a report of what what sat at the event. And I'm at in the report we saw that Joseph Biden talked about his I'm time in the senate serving alongside segregation all sent to senators. I'm and how he worked together with an even though he can agree on his comments he never called me boy he always called me son that was speaking about I'm James O Eastland. And then he also talked about Herman Talmadge one of the meanest guys I ever knew well guess what at least there was some civility we got some things done. So he was making this point that he was able to work with people that he detested he found horrible people he got some accomplishments. But really so there's would do the comparison that is made it's causing some consternation that then also equipped. And eaten look this is not the first time Biden has talked about working alongside his segregationist we citing concorde. I'm New Hampshire just earlier this month he talked about being in congress are being in the senate alongside some of these folks and he's also talked about the fact that it. Evelyn often called said he always called me son he usually says I never it's never call me senator. Obviously a very big difference in language here and that's what's causing a lot of the pick up Karen a lot of consternation from his 20/20. Opponent. Let's forget Byron Pitts into the conversation. He is RO a host of Nightline also. I named journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Journalists joins us from New York Byron it's great to see you've covered race and politics throughout your career record. Give us some context around these. Comments why they're considered offensive. I guess sort of answer the question if you could are we just all be in the PC police hear or is there really something to what Joseph Biden said. I think MacKenzie talks I think for many people certainly in Black America and it. At best it was an eye roll right it's it's a knowing I think for many people this potentially fees into the narrative for Joseph Biden that he represents the past. What the Democratic Party may represented twenty years thirty years ago and that's not good for him move in for. Certainly I think for many people the were boy a carries robe baggage painful back to there's a time our and our country. Were a black man no matter his measure of distinction in our society. Could be referred to as a boy it's offensive it's it is in some circles a replacement for the N work. And so I think for many people. At first glance it would seem that Vice President Biden didn't fully get. And certainly there are candidates like Cory Booker. Senator Harris who. Made an effort to exit to point that out and you make situations better when he's it will Couri bookish apologized to me so I think for him in the short term. This is problematic but as we saw the numbers the Congressional Black Caucus came out in support. Of of Joseph Biden are very quickly his friend. Jim Cliburn the majority whip from South Carolina very powerful. Powerful politician Democratic Party certainly and could Congressional Black Caucus backed him not because the political calculations look. Joseph Biden for Democrats is still a better option than Donald Trump right as if he becomes their god had to stick with them and they have to weapon this. I think the potential problem from him is that if it feeds into this narrative that this is a seven sectoral politician who doesn't get where America is now. I think many people certainly. In black congressional caucus and some service of like America will be willing to forgive him if he becomes the option against Donald Trump. But it is disturbing is it it speaks to. A painful episode. In our nation's history and -- remember as as a small worth my family North Carolina. In being out with my uncles these were men who served. In the military came back as as as decorated war heroes and we would go into. Stores. And a white man will refer to in this as boy. That lives with me I know a number of my friends had the same story to tell and there's a sense whether real or mansion. That Vice President Biden didn't fully get that. Yeah at various Corey Burke reporter you don't joke about calling black men boys. At the same time Rick a lot of the vice president's critics of his rivals all acknowledged this vice president. He's not a racist by any measure maybe insensitive insert a virus point this. Can feed into an impression people are starting to formed very early in this race about a leading candidate this can can can get bad really quickly. You know we've heard from some of his his political allies this is Barack Obama's wing man his running mate is number two you think he would have been an avowed her secret racist and all this. I don't think that's the question I don't think anyone is true seriously questioning is Joseph Biden races I think. To virus what they're questioning whether he's learned the lessons of where politics have moved over the last couple of decades and I'll tell you. To to virus point about about asking Booker to apologize. That win over very poorly and and if you were looking set to tamp this down that did the exact opposite because. BT if you you have Cory Booker saying look you don't understand that I you have to learn and understand where I'm coming from to come back and say. Go apologize for for even suggesting that that does not get it at all Maliki. He Casey should be taking this commerce president takes it very personally he came out last night and another event. As the fire tore the storm is swirling. And was was defiant in his tone publicly in front of cameras this time really not backing this is certain. And certainly not apologizing like Cory Booker has asked him to buy an outside of and another fund raiser in Maryland last night came out talked the cameras and and reiterated his point that. You know I did not agree with these people my point was that you have to work together sometimes you won't like what they're saying. I'm but using very different languages well not talking about working together talking about eating them. And talking about he that you shouldn't change the system to beat them you should you know beat them at their own. The game so. Easily Mon day laying low today but he is headed to South Carolina Terry had to the James Cliburn fish fry and big event for 20/20 candidate. On and ahead of that also just announcing eleven endorsements from some mayors former and current in South Carolina so clearly trying to move. Past bees com. So we will certainly hear more from him in South Carolina State where African American issues are very significant this is likely to come up think you guys for the conversation Byron Pitts. Thank you so much for the perspective in for joining us. A from New York we asked one of former vice president Joseph Biden's rivals about this controversy short short time ago congressman Tim Ryan. Of Ohio stopped by the briefing room we asked him what he thinks about what the vice president had to say. Clearly he's not a racist if but he said something that he shouldn't of said my concern really is that. He needs to Noelle that using that example and 2019. Is not the example you used to communicate to people that you'll know. Work across the aisle CC an insensitivity there. Yet I mean it's a CEU. Shouldn't say that stuff Armenia's that he is in no that that's an issue why would you use that as an example you probably have a lot of other examples you could have used I think that. That little bit of a tenure on some of the stuff. They came here as an apology. So I think so yeah I think so. You end the former president sure a lot in common actually you are both Catholic you're both proud of your Irish ancestry right football players. You both had slightly different positions on abortion over the years how do you differentiate yourself from Joseph Biden the front runner. Well with the blame where come from first and foremost and I've been living in the epicenter of the industrialization. For the last forty years and when these factories close I know who's in them. I could tell you stories of my cousins my father in law Mike when he's on the General Motors plant close a few weeks ago. Those are family members those who are friends and I think the next president has to deeply understand what they're going through today. And I think there are issues to I mean I I voted against every trade agreement the vice president is supported a lot of the trade agreements that really decimated communities. Like mine on a lot of the big banking issues of class Steagall on those kind of things. There is a few days away from the first debate now yeah your sharing the stage congresswoman Elizabeth Warren. Cory Booker earned federal work what's your strategy going in that he's sizing up these guys are you read up on their positions at the game films. I mean it's more about me getting my message out I think there's going to be small window. Periodically throughout that the two hours. And I'm and try to get the message out about Lamine where I come from I really think this election's going to be about the democrats' nominating someone who can. Really prosecute the economic argument against trump and coming from northeast Ohio we need to win those states somehow try to communicate to people that. Democrats shifting the center of gravity of the Democratic Party really from the coasts. In the Ivy League switch is the perception for the rest of the country about about the Democrats to place a Youngstown Ohio and I think that opens up. A real opportunity for us to reclaim the industrial midwest. Abortion another big topic the campaign until a few years ago Morgan Omaha where there is gonna grab and a background here you were for a pro life Democrat yeah whosoever will bring you change your mind. And now support for abortion rights did tell us about that decision how did you arrive at that changing. You think there's still room in the party for pro life Democrats so when I came to come. Such 29 years old line and the politics of 27 I grew up and a Catholic family and a Catholic community and my position was I was a pro life Democrat. And when I got the congress I started meeting. Women who had abortions and none that I've probably met women who have abortions before but I never knew it and knew when I'm madam and I never talked to them about it. It was really those stories of women and the circumstances that they were and that really. Help me realize that the government has no place between the woman and her doctor. And that is a decision that should be left to to the woman. And so late in over time slowly change my position around that. And you know again this is this is of really important issue because of the attacks that are happening in many of these states. Crude in Ohio. It is summertime and unfortunately a lot of hot car deaths. Are are an issue in this country eleven already so far this year I know this has been an issue. That's came close to you as a dad yeah from personal to you produce some legislation. Two to push auto makers some of which. I have ties year community to do more to help all of us that drive cars before those deaths told similar legislation is don't give me forty kids this year. That will die. From being left in the car. And parents state they get out of a routine or drivers get out of the routine of dropping off kids something changes it never happened he would rated now fortunately not but I think about the probably has some more than on this issue I think about it all the time. But we get notices for. He get all kinds of notices or bill mandates that the car companies have to provide notice. On the dashboard. We're somewhere bells whistles something. To notify you that you have something in the back seat. And you can send you introduced this last year you've made a big push forward. It unfortunately failed yeah what what you see is being different this year how do you combat the industry which says listen anymore public awareness we don't need more regulation you have well you know to that mean we we need this technology in the car and we this year we have bipartisan support both in the senate and in the household bicameral bipartisan and I think we're going to be able to get it done this year our thanks again to congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio one of the 23 democratic candidates for president. This year he'll be on stage Tuesday night next week with Elizabeth Warren federal work and Cory Booker. Let's move on to some other breaking news in the political world just a few moments ago we learned that Alabama senator. Why Alabama senate wannabe M Roy Moore is back in the race Rick give us the significance of this this is a candidate who our president trump says he did. Want to see back in the Republican Party well it's because he lost last time in Alabama as a Republican this is the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court twice removed from that office for defying different court orders. And in this event out here is his rise came along with a whole lot of baggage that was unearthed about some inappropriate conduct and contact city had with underage people back 3040 years ago you later then on top very problematic public record. President trump endorsed his rival who is there then sitting senator appointed senator Luther strange. In the primaries strange lost any and endorsed Roy Moore sup with him through all this and Roy Moore did the unthinkable which is the loose to a Democrat. In the state of Alabama so the entire Republican establishment wants him gone they wanna be done with him there are lots of other Republicans in Alabama that would like a shot at this. There's even talk about Jeff Sessions coming back to run again. Imagine the president of the United States campaigning for his former attorney general I tried in there aren't enough twists inside my brain to get to that scenario where yes and did presidential would have to campaign for just that there's a stop. Roy Moore. I'll I'll tell you though I mean it would. UP of people who global world kind of laughing at this he is a very popular figure he won the primary last time and I said at the time that was trump isn't beating trump himself. And that is a powerful force that he is able to corral that sense of the outsider. I don't count him out don't just say there's no way you can win a primary it's our alma and it is it is a guy that has a political force that actually is quite an all black with president comes even of the trump the the trump family wants him gone. We shall see. A lot a lot at stake in Alabama and the senate Al-Zawahri is heading off what is funny Agassi of our sheriff and as far as over Klein thank you so much point 80 thank you so much finally today some major news out of the Supreme Court today the biggest case in fifteen years involving the First Amendment and religious freedom in this country. And those thousands of religious symbols all around our country that stand on public land the case involved. I forty fort sixteen ton World War I memorial there it is up and Williamsburg Merrill and. It's called the peace cross. A bunch of humanness in that area had sued to have the cross taken down it's on public land in the Supreme Court today. In a major 72 decision said that cross. Can stand that justices Samuel Alito one of the conservatives wrote that that crosses special significance to World War I it has taken on a secular. But purpose in our country it's a win for all of those symbols and cemeteries and on government property. Lot of disappointment Ruth Bader Ginsburg protest in the same now our constitution demands neutrality. When dealing with religious symbols. After the court's decision I caught up with Kelly Shackelford he's the president CEO and chief counsel first liberty one of the groups defending the cross to get his reaction. I think most people realize if you tiered this memorial down that's been up almost a hundred years you're. 22 miles away is Arlington you had a go at Darlington entered on the large process I think most people thought we were gonna win it is to know how big win. And in particular whether they get a get rid of this fifty year old precedent called lemon that is created allies attacks on our memorials and monuments and that was the thing due to be watching for and we didn't get the little when we got the big win I think we're gonna Cyril change when it comes to. Monuments memorials. Think of all the attacks field nativity scenes right nor is all these cases. The case Losman so modeled here at the Supreme Court Justice Alito did say that some of these longstanding memorial Cecil was built in 1945. Said it's taken on a secular meaning really it's been there for so long. What do you make of your Ruth Bader Ginsburg's arguments in district passion she redder dissent today you were in the courtroom. She also included some pictures. Here in the back of her her opinion of some secular war memorial she said. There's no reason that this needed to be. Well I mean it's what was used back in World War I you go anywhere in the world is because of all those graves. Fourteen million people died in World War I. I mean there were just putting up gravestone Grayson Grayson would they couldn't put up a grace sounds they put up crosses and stars of David and those are religious symbols. But I think the point. Is that we have religious and secular monuments of symbols throughout our landscape because we ever religious and a secular history. We don't we're not sort of religious KGB like we go in. And knock down all the religious monuments of memorials that would be cover religious cleansing that's not what the country's about and so what they said here today is look. We have that religious heritage and history will get you're gonna see religious symbols. I mean Moses is holding the ten man the side that is a work at the so we're not knocking those things down so I think that would justice Ginsburg was saying is you can't have. These sectarian symbols is just not consistent with who we are as a people and the fact. Owners would be appalled. At this idea that we would use the constitution to try to Terry on monument. Certainly warrants that are decades almost a hundred years so this is big. I think CNN Kelly Shackelford thank you for joining us today here in the briefing Herman ABC news driver here every day at 33530. 630 download the ABC news app you can watch us live 24/7 their get the latest and all the stories. We've talked about today including the breaking developments on this standoff between the United States and Iran will be back here tomorrow at 330 and Devin Dwyer Washington. Hope to see them.

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