MSNBC Urges Dem Senators to Seize ‘Opportunity’ of Terror Attack to Push Anti-Gun Agenda

The two Democrats being hailed as heroes of the gun control filibuster, Senator Cory Booker and Senator Chris Murphy, have used MSNBC to their advantage as they prepare for a vote on the Senate floor this Monday. Thursday, Andrea Mitchell Reports featured Senator Booker, and on Friday Senator Murphy appeared on Morning Joe. What emerged from both interviews: Republicans will not be able to face their constituents if they don’t support these measures, and terrorism creates a window for gun control reform.

On Morning Joe, Host Joe Scarborough set the stage for the “opportunity” to change the law:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: …background checks, still 97% of Americans support background checks. 60% of American support some sort of ban on so called assault weapons. In that stricter gun law, 61% support. That assault weapon number is higher than usual. So now does seem like again an opportunity, I think, in large part because of the acts of terror that have happened in San Bernardino and then in Orlando. 

KATTY KAY: You know I think there is an opportunity, but all of us who have watched this over the years right Joe after Newtown we’re so feel so cynical and defeated about the prospect of getting anything done. But I was wondering, from the senator, is there anything that can be done short of changing the statutes. For example, red flags that pop up to the FBI if somebody has been under investigation, but that investigation is now closed. Which is what the FBI's argument is in this case. Is that you know is there something that can happen short of having to actually get congressional approval?

A day earlier, Host Andrea Mitchell questioned Senator Booker and suggested that concerns over protecting Second Amendment rights of citizens was just an “excuse” from opponents:

ANDREA MITCHELL: Senator Booker, the NRA, has said that this is a matter of a due process. It strikes some of us who have covered this issue going all the way back to the fights over the Brady bill back in the early nineties. That sounds like an excuse, tell me what your view is?

SEN. CORY BOOKER: That’s so weak especially because you know Democrats believe you are right, there should be a process by which if you are accidentally put on one of these lists that you have a way to grieve that. And the Feinstein's amendment puts in processes for people to get off. But for them to use that as a block to what is the most profound common sense that if the FBI has someone under investigation, if that person can’t even get on a plane why should they be allowed to go to a gun show and fill up a trunk full of assault rifles to do the heinous things we saw? This belies common sense for anyone, gun owners, NRA members, they cannot block something that will protect us against some of the savagery of ISIS, or Al Qaeda inspired operatives here in the United States or radicalized individuals here in the United States.

On Morning Joe, Scarborough similarly teed up Senator Murphy to blast the gun rights group:

SCARBOROUGH: Bill O’Reilly came out a night or two ago aggressively on, on gun safety. And of course you’ve got Donald Trump who said he's going to talk to the NRA about supporting one of the provisions you're talking about. Keeping guns out of the hands of people on the terror watch list.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: Yeah and I think more broadly, as you know, in the wake of Orlando and in the wake of San Bernardino, I think this issue is just elevating up on voter’s priority lists. They know that there's something wrong when if you are on the terrorist watch list you can't fly a plane, get on a plane, but you can go buy a dangerous assault weapon. And so I think that Republicans get that. The issue here is that if Republicans are going to give the NRA a veto power over this measure, then we're never going to get it passed because I don't think there is anything the NRA is going to support anything that will be meaningful. And that's why you know what Donald Trump said is so disingenuous. He’s going to negotiate our national security with the NRA.

Is this about the voters, or the victims? Our national security has been compromised and those in the media are only interested in helping Democrats sell their left-wing agenda.

View Full Transcripts Here:

06-17-16 MSNBC - Morning Joe
06:45:09 AM – 6:51:47 AM

JOE SCARBOROUGH: The senate is going to vote on gun legislation Monday following a 15-hour filibuster mostly by Democrats. With us now from Washington the man who put that push on the Senate floor is Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. Senator, you were on the floor what from 11:00 to 2:00 A.M. 

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: Yeah, about 15 hours. So it was a long time to not pee. 

[Laughs break out around the table]

SCARBOROUGH: Okay, thank you so much.

NICHOLAS CONFESSORE: That’s the first question--

SCARBOROUGH:Senator Chris Murphy, thank you for being with us. More "Morning Joe" in just a moment. Alright, so I guess, here's the question. You know, how do you turn something that is great political stage craft but actually had a result into legislation that actually makes a difference where you can reach out to enough Republicans, enough people in the middle to understand that hey this is, if we're talking about an enhanced background check, this is a 90-10 issue. This should not be hard. 

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: Yeah and listen I think that there's been some show filibusters in the senate, but this was kind of an old fashioned filibuster in which we stopped a bill from proceeding with demands to get votes on these two measures to stop terrorists from getting guns and to expand background checks and by the end of 15 hours, we got it. And what's happening now is that because we actually got those votes scheduled, there are negotiations happening between Republicans and Democrats to try to come up with some compromise language that we can all support all day on the floor yesterday--

SCARBOROUGH: Is that possible, Senator? Because it does seem, and I say this very carefully, like there are some winds of change starting to blow on this issue. Bill O’Reilly came out a night or two ago aggressively on, on gun safety. And of course you’ve got Donald Trump who said he's going to talk to the NRA about supporting one of the provisions you're talking about. Keeping guns out of the hands of people on the terror watch list.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: Yeah and I think more broadly, as you know, in the wake of Orlando and in the wake of San Bernardino, I think this issue is just elevating up on voter’s priority lists. They know that there's something wrong when if you are on the terrorist watch list you can't fly a plane, get on a plane, but you can go buy a dangerous assault weapon. And so I think that Republicans get that. The issue here is that if Republicans are going to give the NRA a veto power over this measure, then we're never going to get it passed because I don't think there is anything the NRA is going to support anything that will be meaningful. And that's why you know what Donald Trump said is so disingenuous. He’s going to negotiate our national security with the NRA. We’re never going to get anywhere if that’s how we are going to proceed. But I’m telling you there are negotiations in good faith and they would have never ever happened had we not gone down to the floor and forced a vote. So I'm really proud of what we did. And by the way it wasn't just me. I think it was 37 other senators who kind of organically came down to the senate to demand that this happen. We'll see. I mean I have been disappointed before, but we’ve got about three days to try to work this out. 

SCARBOROUGH: Alright, Katty Kay, you look at some of the poll numbers that we were putting up while the senator was talking. And background checks, still 97% of Americans support background checks. 60% of American support some sort of ban on so called assault weapons. In that stricter gun law, 61% support. That assault weapon number is higher than usual. So now does seem like again an opportunity, I think, in large part because of the acts of terror that have happened in San Bernardino and then in Orlando. 

KATTY KAY: You know I think there is an opportunity, but all of us who have watched this over the years right Joe after Newtown we’re so feel so cynical and defeated about the prospect of getting anything done. But I was wondering, from the Senator, is there anything that can be done short of changing the statutes. For example, red flags that pop up to the FBI if somebody has been under investigation, but that investigation is now closed. Which is what the FBI's argument is in this case. Is that you know is there something that can happen short of having to actually get congressional approval?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: Well I frankly think that there is very little that can be done. I mean there are restrictions on what the FBI can do and what they can be notified of. So yes I think Director Comey has been clear that they’re going to try to make sure that within the law they can perhaps get a notification of an individual when they are trying to buy a weapon. But they need to be kept on these lists in order to get that done. I think that's one of the clear things they’ll have to look at. They obviously had this guy on a list and they took him off. And so it might be a reminder for the FBI to try to be a little bit more careful about keeping these individuals on the list for longer so they get the notification, but all they would get is the notification. They would have no ability to actually deny these people guns when they walk into the store. That's what's so dangerous. That’s what the law needs to change.

SCARBOROUGH: We’re now going to go speed round here. 

CONFESSORE: Senator, Nick Confessore. There are as many as 8 million of these AR-15 style weapons are already in circulation. Is there anything you can do about those weapons already sold? Is the cat already out of the bag on this problem to some extent?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: Yeah I think that's difficult. I think if we were to get an assault weapons ban back on the books, it's not likely that we're going to take weapons that are already out in commercial circulation back. But what we know is that even as you make small dents in the number of high powered and illegal weapons that are on the streets, you get lower gun crimes. And we’ve have seen that in Connecticut. So I don't think that's an excuse not to act just because we can't solve the entire problem. That doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try to stop new weapons from getting out on the street. 

RON FOURNIER: Senator, despite what you think about Donald Trump overall, could he be used, his position on this be used as a constructive force to try to peel away some Republicans? 

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: I just--so long as his position is that he is going to negotiate the national security of the United States with the NRA. That is not constructive. Let me give you a news flash. The NRA is not going to support any measures to stem gun violence in this country. They just aren't. So, so long as that's Donald Trump's positioning, I'm not sure that he's sending any real positive signals.

FOURNIER: Why not use him as a wedge against the NRA? 

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: Well, I, I, I just I haven't seen that yet. I mean he’s basically announced to everybody that he won't support anything that the NRA won't. What's going to change this is that Republican senators, especially those who have to go back to the electorate this November, are scared to death of voting against the measure that we got a vote scheduled on on Monday. That's what's going to change this. 

SCARBOROUGH: Alright Senator Chris Murphy, thank you so much. We appreciate you being with us. 

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: Thanks. 

...06-16-16 MSNBC - Andrea Mitchell Reports
12:00:24 PM – 12:07:42 PM

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good day everyone, I am Andrea Mitchell in Washington where Senate Democrats are trying to win key concessions closing gun law loopholes. After that dramatic fifteen-hour filibuster against the Republican majority. It started just over 24 hours ago led by Connecticut Chris Murphy and New Jersey Senator Cory booker, can they break the stranglehold that the NRA has had for years over congressional action? Fresh off that marathon, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, joining me now from the hill. Senator, thank you very much, I know you haven’t had much rest at all. We just heard from Mitch McConnell today on the floor and the senate majority leader saying this was a campaign talkathon, does that mean there is no agreement yet with Senator Cornyn and other Republicans on some kind of compromised legislation?

SEN. CORY BOOKER: Well first of all we knew this was not going to be easy and that we were going to have to take ground we’re not going to be given or conceded anything.  But during that filibuster, we started getting in treaties from Republican leadership that they were willing to allow there to be a vote on our two amendments. And please don’t be confused, if we had not stopped the Senate If we from doing business as usual last night, at the heroism of Chris Murphy followed by over forty democratic colleagues, if that had not happened we would not be stopping business as usual to put these two very important terrorist, gun safety pieces of amendments on the floor for a vote.

MITCHELL: What is the status right now of actually closing the loopholes, getting those background checks and getting some kind of action on people who are on the terror watch list, who were on the no fly list.

SEN. CORY BOOKER: Well the status right now is we are going to have the vote on the senate which is a first step and we’re going to hopefully have the weekend to build up support for Americans. And by the way it’s Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly support this gun owners over 80% support our measures. NRA members, over 70% support these measures. So it’s a matter of the Republicans who are seeking to block this to understand that they're not in step of their own constituencies. So we are going to try to ramp up the pressure and as people deliberate whether they are going to vote yes or no we want them to hear from the American public and we are hoping we can win this vote on the Senate floor when it comes sometime early next week.

MITCHELL: Senator Booker, the NRA, has said that this is a matter of a due process. It strikes some of us who have covered this issue going all the way back to the fights over the Brady bill back in the early nineties. That sounds like an excuse, tell me what your view is?

SEN. CORY BOOKER: That’s so weak especially because you know Democrats believe you are right, there should be a process by which if you are accidentally put on one of these lists that you have a way to grieve that.  And the Feinstein's amendment puts in processes for people to get off,. But for them to use that as a block to what is the most profound common sense that if the FBI has someone under investigation, if that person can’t even get on a plane why should they be allowed to go to a gun show and fill up a trunk full of assault rifles to do the heinous things we saw? This belies common sense for anyone, gun owners, NRA members, they cannot block something that will protect us against some of the savagery of ISIS, or Al Qaeda inspired operatives here in the United States or radicalized individuals here in the United States. And if we don’t do anything about this I fear, I fear that these kind of tragedies will continue to happen with an agonizing routine regularity.

MITCHELL: And Senator, just to respond again to Senator McConnell claiming this is all part of a Democratic campaign, is this all 2016 politics or does this reach a broader constituency and a broader motivation?

SEN. CORY BOOKER: I don't know about elections but this is a campaign. And yes, there are Democrats who believe passionately about this. So yeah, this, I’m an elected official so this is about politics. Because we need to change policy in Washington. Why does that sound so dirty and bad? We are elected in this country to advance legislation and policies that will make Americans safer.  This is something that right or left, you have to agree. We should not be one of the only industrialized countries where a person who is ISIS inspired, who is under investigation by the FBI, can still go to a gun show or go on the internet and buy assault weapons plural. Buy hand guns, buy the arsenal they need, to walk into a church, could be your church, could be your playground, could be your school, could be your family’s school, and do the kind of mass murder we saw in Orlando, we saw in San Bernardino. This is not going to in any way infringe the rights of the overwhelming majority. Not even of every law abiding citizen it will not infringe your rights whatsoever. This is about saying our enemies has literally said exploit this hoop loophole. We literally have Al Qaeda representatives who have said through their propaganda. Hey, if you are in America and you are radicalized and you’re inspired by us, exploit this loophole, this terrorist loophole, so you can get guns and do what was done in San Bernardino and Orlando. That’s got to stop.

MITCHELL: And are you seeing from Senator Toomey who himself had co-sponsored with Joe Manchin gun legislation. Are you seeing from other blue state, battleground state senators who are up for re-election some willingness to compromise because of the election?

SEN. CORY BOOKER: Well look the fact that Mitch McConnell is moving to give us a vote shows that he’s not locking the door, he’s not closing it, he could, he has the power to do that, he must be feeling some pressure. And I know that there are a lot of Republicans especially those that are in cycle who are going to have a hard time explaining to their constituency why would you leave such a loophole, why would you leave my family vulnerable to somebody who is now ISIS inspired who is under an FBI investigation. Why would you leave my family vulnerable to that person to carry out a heinous act of terror? And so all these folks who are preaching tough on terrorism, war terrorism, for them to allow our enemy to exploit this loophole, to be saying this, they are actually almost taunting us, there is a loophole in America, unlike Europe, go out and exploit it. They’re going to have to answer to the constituency and God forbid another tragedy like this doesn’t just happen in Florida, doesn’t just happen in California. What if it’s their state as well? All of us are vulnerable. All of should see this as something that is leaving us exposed to evil. And we’ve got to shut it down.

MITCHELL: And just to check whether in the last days since people have asked you this, whether or not you know there’s any vetting taking place of you as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton?

SEN. CORY BOOKER: I am hearing much more from media folks like you, asking me these questions, it’s flattering and everything like that, but I am not being vetted. I hear from the Hillary Clinton campaign to go out and continue to be a surrogate for them, and I look forward to working very hard into the future. 

MITCHELL: Nobody is asking you for your tax returns or any of your other personal data?

SEN. CORY BOOKER: The only time I get asked from my personal data is occasionally my credit card number when I am trying to buy lunch.

MITCHELL: Okay [laughs]. We are not going to ask you that on the air. Thank you very much, Senator Booker. Thanks and I know you have been up all night and we appreciate your coming on today.

SEN. CORY BOOKER: Thank you very much. 

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Orlando Night Club Terror Attack Guns Media Bias Debate Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Morning Joe Video Journalistic Issues Government & Press Katty Kay Joe Scarborough Andrea Mitchell Cory Booker Chris Murphy
Samantha Cohen's picture


Sponsored Links