tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN June 5, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
we mention eed nancy grace's essential. you can watch it tonight, 8:00 eastern, and we'll put that interview. i sat and talked to nancy about what it was like talking to women, a lot of mothers, and she in nancy grace style got quite candid. we'll put it on the brooke blog. thanks for being with me. i'll turn it over to my colleague in washington, jake tapper. "the lead" starts now. >> republican furor over the benghazi talking points played a role in keeping her from becoming secretary of stase, but susan rice today had a nice consolation prize. i'm jake tapper and this is "the lead." two powerful women with interventionest positions moving up the ladder in the obama administration. a move that could have serious implications for conflicts abroad, perhaps even the one in syria. >> the money lead. the government says gas tanks are nearly three million jeep suvs have an unfortunate tendency to catch fire and
possibly kill people. when the feds asked for a recall, the company said no. are they allowed to refuse? the politics lead. president obama shuts down more hecklers than louis c.k., but his wife is not as used to it and she seemed peeved as someone in the crowd interrupted one of her speeches. we have the exclusive video. >> no! >> no, please don't leave. >> no. >> hello, and welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. a major power sufrl in the obama administration today. one that could have huge implications for foreign policy. the announcement came a short time ago in the white house rose garden. >> and i am extraordinarily proud to announce my new national security adviser, our outstanding ambassador to the united nations susan rice. as well as my nominee to replace susan in new york, samantha
power. >> i look forward to continuing to serve on your national security team, to keep our nation strong and safe. >> it would be the honor of a lifetime to fight for american values and interests at the united nations. >> dr. susan rice is replacing t tom donnell as the national security adviser. recall that rice, the current u.s. ambassador represented the obama administration on all the sunday shows five days after the attack on the u.s. posts in benghazi, libya, last september. >> we're hearing that the libyans have arrested people. there might even be al qaeda ties. >> our current best assessment based on the information we have at present is in fact what this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response to what had transpired in cairo. in cairo, as you know, a few hour s earlier, there was a violent protest that was
undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated. >> as we now know, none of that about the benghazi attack turned out to be true. and in fact, diplomats and intelligence officials on the ground at the time believed from the get-go the attacks were terrorist in nature, not the result of a spontaneous demonstration. we also now know that rice did not play any kind of role in crafting these talking points, nor for the matter was she the one in the months before the attack denied the americans on the ground in libya the security they requested. still, she became the face of the tragedy for which the white house and the obama administration for months refused responsibility and any blame. >> overwhelming evidence that it was completely false, and she should have known. >> how could she say five days later, definitively, there is no evidence of a coordinated al qaeda attack? >> she has disqualified herself as secretary of state.
>> after hillary clinton announced she was stepping down. senate republicans vowed to block her if she was nominated and the president decided to go in a different direction, nominating john kerry instead, but national security adviser, well, that position does not require confirmation. the woman nominated to take rice's place is samantha power. she covered the bosnian war in the 1990s. she was a national security adviser for barack obama's first run, until hillary clinton beat obama in ohio in 2008. power called clinton a monster in a newspaper interview promping her to quit the campaign, but she came back to serve as a special assistant and she and clinton ended up working together. more important than that kerfuffle was power's point of view. she won a pulitzer prize for her 2002 book "a problem from hell"
and it was critical for america not intervening in the most egregious acts. looking for them to stop the genocide in rwanda, she interviewed rice. rice told her, quote, i swore to myself that if i ever faced such a crisis again, i would come down on the side of dramatic action. going down in flames if that was required, unquote. now, both of these women could be in positions to advice the president to do everything he can to stop such tragedies. what does that mean? rice has not pushed intervening in syria, but she was one of the leading voices in favor of u.s. intervention in libya. i want to bring in republican congressman michael mccall, chairman of the house republican committee. you signed a let to the president in november accusing rice of willfully or incompetently misleading the american public. you oppose of her as secretary of state. what is your reaction to her
appointment as national security adviser? >> many on the hill are astounded by the pick. it appear s he's awarding something who showed an amazingly poor judgment. it misled the american people and failed to call benghazi was it was, an act of terrorism, which we have seen so many times in recent past. i don't question her qualifications. what i question is her judgment, and her ability to lead as a top national security adviser to the president of the united states when she got this one so wrong. now, i agree with you, jake, she may not have developed the talking points, but you have to have enough good judgment and experience to question things. it was so clear, this thing happening on 9/11, after all the threat warnings they received prior to the 9/11 attack, that secretary clinton got and turned down and the fact that consulate's office was hit already by the brigades. and then to on 9/11 say this had nothing to do with terrorist attack, it was a video in
florida, i don't know. i really question this pick. and i think a lot of members of congress are going to do that. >> i wonder, you have seen the e-mails, the e-mail traffic, and the there obviously was a big division in the sdraigz, a big division in the cia as to whether this was spaontaneous o a terrorist attack from hindsight and we know in the week after the attack, there were a lot of government officials not particularly at the podium at the white house, but a lot of government officials talking about this being a terrorist attack. what should she have done differently? she was being guided by the administration with then cia director petraeus and others weighing in. what would you have done had you been her? >> well, you know, petraeus was basically vetoed. i mean, general petraeus wanted al sharia that al qaeda group put in there, wanted to put it was a terrorist attack. he was overridden by possibly some those in the white house and some political advisers.
i don't know what extent ms. rice had knowledge of that, but it was so self-eft what happened that day, i would have to question her judgment. and the president loves the book "lincoln's team of rivals kwaetsz and it seems to me what he's doing is rewarding her and he's putting in a team of loyalists. she can't get senate confirmation so he's going to surround himself with loyalists. he has so many problem on his plate to deal with. why would he create another problem? this will be a big problem, not just with ms. rice, but i think the confirmation of ms. powers as u.n. ambassador is going to raise a lot of questions in the senate. >> do you think, this is my last question for you because we're running out of time, but do you think samantha power will become a proxy battle about susan rice or are there opposition -- is there reason to oppose power in and of herself that you're hearing from your fellow republicans in the senate. >> >> we'll be talking about both of them, but mrs. power, the opposition will stand on its
own in terloffs her -- you know, you want an u.n. ambassador that's going to advocate for the united states, not apologize for the united states. she's compared our recent american foreign policy to those of the nazis. this is a horrible rhetoric. it's not the kind of messenger i want to be sent to the united nations to speak on behalf of the united states. so we have some serious problems with this nomination. >> all right, congressman, thank you so much for joining us as always. >> thanks. >> we're also following breaking news. a terrifying site in my home town of philadelphia. at least one person is 14 others pulled from a rubble. a dozen hurt after this vacant building clanollapsed onto a salvation army store, 22nd and market. the store was in the process of being demolished when it became unstable and collapsed into concrete. witnesses say they could hear the screams. they're still looking for survivors. it could take all night.
we'll stay on top of this story. next on "the lead," an issue so serious the federal government steps in. cars turned into fire balls, but the carmaker is refusing to issue a recall. what should you do if your car is effected? plus, it's wurn thing to interrupt the president, but the first lady? she's not having it. an exclusive look at the video of michelle obama's heckler smackdown. i met a turtle friend today. avo: whatever you're looking for, expedia has more ways to help you find yours. hoo-hoo...hoo-hoo. hoo-hoo hoo. sir... i'll get it together i promise... heeheehee. jimmy: ronny, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico?
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tell your doctors you are taking xarelto® before any planned medical or dental procedures. before starting xarelto®, tell your doctor about any conditions, such as kidney, liver or bleeding problems. ready to change your routine? ask your doctor about once-a-day xarelto®. for more information including cost support options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit goxarelto.com. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper, and our money lead, who knew you could fight an auto recall. apparently chrysler did because they did it in 1996. back then, it was overseat belts. now it's over rear fuel tanks and some jeeps that might catch fire when they're rear ended. the national traffic safety administration sent a letter asking their recall jeep cherokees and jeep liberties made between 2002 and 2007. that's an estimated 2.7 million
vehicles. the government agency concluded there were 44 deaths involving rear impact fire crashes with jeep grand cherokees and seven with jeep liberties. chrysler says it has no plans to issue a recall, saying the group's analysis is inaccurate. who is right? and if you drive one of these vehicles, are you safe? joining me now is clarence ditlow, the executive for the center for auto safety. he wrote a letter to ntsa identifying them of the rb pros with the jeeps. you seem concerned with the issue. how serious is it it. >> this is the most serious fire impact. >> since the pinto, the most serious one? >> that's right, the same problem. a gas tank behind the rear xaxe and it could rapture, but the big difference is this is a family vehicle. there are kids in the back seats of these jeeps and the children
are being burned to death. >> i want to read part of chrysler's statement. they say the incident occurred less than once for every million years of vehicle operation. this rate is similar to comparable vehicles produced and sold in the time in question. is that gnaw true, is that not a relevant fact? >> it's not true. the jeeps are much worse than comparable vehicles. the jeep cherokee is 20 times more likely alone to be involved in a fatal impact than the flord explorrer. >> if you look at -- okay, 2.7 million of them, some have been out there for ten years, 11 years, and we have, i don't mean to sound callous about this, but this is data, 44 deaths. statistically, is that more significant than that same number of vehicles for any other kind? >> yes, it is. it's much more significant for the jeep than it is for other vehicles, but here's the thing. if you're in the wrong place at
the wrong time in a jeep, a low-speed impact, as low as 40 miles per hour in the rear could rupture the tank and it goes up in fire. >> you say because of the auto bailout of chrysler, they owe the american public a recall. >> chrysler is defending this on the grounds it costs too much. it will cost $300 million for the recall, but chrysler got $10 billion from the federal government in the bailout. so $10 billion is a lot more than $300 million, and we feel chrysler owes the government and the public a recall. >> walk us through what happens next. they're refusing the recall, which is not unprecedented, but it is rare. what's the next step? >> the next step is for the government to hold a public hearing, make a determination of defect and take them to court if they still refuse. >> thank you so much. interesting, and we'll have you back as this progresses. if you have questions for chrysler about the recall, you can call the company at
1-877-426-5337. comi coming up on our politics lead, i don't know anyone at the white house who would dare to take on the first lady. president, sure, but first lady, no way. last night, a protester heckled michelle obama. how did she react? we'll show you the exclusive video. >> and it's hard to feel bad for major leaguers being benched after allegedly using drugs especially after their paychecks are signed by the yankees. that's coming up in the sports lead, and that's next. i'm a carpenter. i'm an accountant. a mechanical engineer. and i shop at walmart. truth is, over sixty percent of america shops at walmart every month. i find what i need, at a great price. and the money i save goes to important things. braces for my daughter. a little something for my son's college fund. when people look at me, i hope they see someone building a better life. vo: living better: that's the real walmart. the healthcare law gives us powerful tools
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the hammer may be coming down in by far the biggest crackdown yet on steroids in major league baseball. according to espn, the league is looking at handing down 100-game suspensions to as many as 20 players connecting to a miami anti-aging clinic. the biggest names on the list, former mvp ryan braun of the brewers and alex rodriguez, who is in the middle of the richest contract in baseball history. ten years, $275 million handed to him by the yankees back in 2007 in hopes he would have a clean and lucrative pursuit of the all-time home run record. right around the time he said this to our friend katie couric. >> for the record, have you ever used steroids, human growth hormone, or any other performance enhancing substance? >> no. >> have you ever been tempted to use any of those things? >> no. >> since that interview, of course, he has admitted past use of performance enhancing drugs and now this.
our rachel nichols is live in miami, just a few miles away from where this clinic used to be. rachel, they have no positive drug tests. how can mlb hand down such serious penalties without that? >> well, this is why watts happened this week is so important. you have this clinic that has already been proven to be handing out steroids to baseball players and now the founder of the clinic has said that he is willing to come in to major league baseball fully cooperate and start naming names, and baseball certainly hopes he will also bring with him some physical evidence because just a he said-he said isn't going to cut it here. these players will of course appeal these suspensions, so they're going to need phone records, things like guys who said i never knew this clinic, never had contact, if there are text messages, phone records, plane tickets, things that link them, baseball will have a good case on its hands. so this is a great development there them, even though there are no positive tests. and it's so important, not just
for baseball fans who don't want to feel that once again the game is being rigged at the highest levels, but really for sports fans everywhere and parents. people who are dragging their kids around all week to soccer practice and swim meets. they don't want to feel when they're dropping their children off at little league, you saw the lance armstrong scandal and then this. your kids feel if they want a college scholarship, if they want to compete in the pros, they have to do drugs to hurt their bodies. >> we have been hearing a lot of grumbling about alex rodriguez for a while. >> largely on this show, really. >> that's just an aten-yankee biesz, i have to say, but could this theoretically be the end of a-rod in yankee pin stripes if there is evidence, if these charges are credible? >> well, here's the catch. penalties for drug use and p.e.d. suspensions, those are collectively bargained, so a team cannot put in a contract, hey, ifs you use performance
enhancing drugs, we can cut you, we can void the contract, because this is a collective bargain between the players' association and the league. penalties are penalties, 50 games, 100 games, three strikes and you're out. they can't do anything more than the collective bargaininggreement says. he could serve his 50 games if mlb is able to prove the case and come back and his contract is valid. the only loophole is hey, maybe if he has this great embarrassment and is suspended for 100 games, having hit problems. maybe the yankees come to him and say, hey, let's all cut aerolosses here and you say you're retiring because of your health. we try to collect the insurance. they can't get him on drugs because this is a collective bargaining issue. >> rachel nichols, thank you so much. >> coming up, just after the break, you'll see the first lady shouting down her heckler. lesson learned, do not mess with michelle obama. let's check in on our political panel where a little shouting is
encouraged. bill burton, i want to ask you this question.susan rice, you felt she's got a bad rep. she's had a good day. >> huge appointment for the president. >> and i don't want you to interrupt me the way the heckler interrupted michelle obama. >> imagine what she would have done to you in the briefing room. >> i can't imagine. i don't want to. stick around, "the lead" continues. the verizon share everything plan for small business lets you connect up to 25 devices on one easy to manage plan. that means your smartphone, her blackberry, his laptop, mark's smartphone but i'm still on vacation. still on the plan. nice! so is his tablet, that guy's hotspot, the intern's tablet-- the intern gets a tablet? everyone's devices. his, hers-- oh, sorry.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. the politics lead, exclusive video of michelle obama getting heckled at a fund-raiser by an lgtb activist. sparks flew. >> the world lead as the president rearranged his national security team, fresh questions about what this means for the confliktd in syria. are americans too compassion fatigues to support the president. >> now, giant music licenses
companies want some of the sweet, sweet jute box money, too. welcocome back to "the lead." a gay rights activist add a private dnc fund-raising event trying to seize the day or yolo, as the kids call it, but it didn't go over so well with michelle obama. the activist interrupted her in the middle of her speech, prompting the first lady to not only call out the heckler but to issueultimatum. we have exclusive video of the incident. >> we have heard for the last few years over and over again, the president saying what a tough cookie michelle obama is. but we never actually see it. but in this video that we got today, you can really see it. these are exclusive images of michelle obama last night, speaking at an exclusive fund-raiser hosted by a lesbian
couple at their tony washington, d.c. home. she was giving an impassioned speech on one of her favorite topics, children. >> they are counting on us to give them the chances they need for the futures they deserve. >> but one woman in the crowd wanted to talk about something else. gay rights. it's hard to hear, but that's ellen sturtze. she's from the activist group get equal. she interrupts the first lady to ask why the president hasn't signed an executive order that would bar a company that does business with the federal government from discriminations against sexual orientation or gender equity. it didn't go over well with mrs. obama or the crowd. >> i don't care what you believe in, we don't -- wait, wait. >> one of the things that i don't do well is this. >> i can take the mike, or i'm
leaving. you all decide. >> no, no. >> i need your husband to sign this. >> all right, you guys. >> no, no, please don't leave. no. >> he doesn't understand. >> she made her way back to the podium to make her point. >> so let me make the point i was making before. we are here for our kids. >> someone in a sense verbally got in her face, and she didn't like it. >> lynn sweet is the washington bureau chief of the chicago sun times and she's covered the obamas for years. >> i think mrs. obama is very disciplined. she rarely goes off script. she rarely puts herself in a position where she could have something happen unexpected. >> the first lady's unscripted response was different than how her more practiced husband tends
to handle hecklers, like he did just two weeks ago during a major foreign policy speech at national defense university. >> this is part of free speech, is you being able to speak but also you listening. and me being able to speak. >> a softer touch maybe than michelle's tough talk, but today, the white house gave her performance a rave review. >> it's my personal opinion that she handled it brilliantly. >> now, that event last night was a private fund-raiser, and we're seeing hecklers come out more and more at those events. when you and i traffic around the country and go to campaign events rng you see hecklers there all the time. the interesting thing for journalists is you can see how the powerful people respond to them. it's jarring for everybody in the audience, as well. >> in michelle obama's defense, it's uncomfortable when you're trying to give remarks and somebody won't let you finish. it's rude. >> it's rude, but it shows how they respond, how they roll out
of things. for us, it's very interesting. >> indeed, indeed. of course. anyway, thank you so much, erin. >> vice presidents attend a lot of funerals. it's in the job description. when you have served in washington as long as vice president joe biden has, it's a sad fact that a lot of those funerals are for your friends and former colleagues. today, vice president biden had to eulogize yet another compatriot, new jersey senator frank lautenberg who passed away on monday. donning a yarmulke, he said good-bye to his friend in the old irish style, matching every tear with a drop of humor. >> one day i'm breaking my neck to get to the train. i am like those old commercials, running for the airplane. jumping over chairs. i'm carrying my bag, which seems like my staff deliberately loaded down with weights to slow me down, and i swear to god, true story, i get up, conduct, says joe, joe, hold up, don't
worry. you're okay. we're holding for lautenberg. >> senator lautenberg was 89 years old. he was the last world war ii veteran in the u.s. senate. he served five terms for the state of new jersey. >> there are reports that some obama political appointees are using secret e-mail accounts to conduct government work. the white house has denied this is the case, saying e-mail addresses are simply, quote, private, not secret. but the associated prsz said these accounts have the affect of kaumcomplicating evidence ton over e-mails to reporters who made freedom of information acts. send us your best invented secret private e-mail address for an obama administration official. say bigdaddyjoe@vice. >> coming up, does a new potential crew in the white house mean a change in policy on syria? samantha powers' past could hold
clues on whether she'll push the president to get involved. plus, the immigration bill marco rubio helped write. he now says he might not vote for it. what's the deal? at university of phoenix we kis where it can take you.cation (now arriving: city hospital) which is why we're proud to help connect our students with leading employers across the nation. (next stop: financial center) let's get to work. just like a tablet. so easy to use, it won a best of ces award from cnet. and it comes inside this beautifully crafted carrying case. introducing the all-new 2014 chevrolet impala with the available mylink system.
transplant, she will die. yet, there is a policy in place in the u.s. that prevents children younger than 12 from getting adult organ transplants. her parents took on the rules and the government and they won. at least for now. i want to bring in national correspondent jason carroll. jason, explain what the judge is doing in this case. >> well, first, let me say from what the parents are saying when i spoke to them this afternoon, this is a huge or what could be a huge legal victory for the family. and for sarah murnaghan who has been struggling, trying to get a lung transplant. earlier today, they filed a lawsuit. let me back track. they filed a lawsuit in an attempt to get kathleen sebelius from enforcing this policy that prevents children under the age of 12 from receiving lung trance plats, being put from the children's list onto the adult list. they filed the lawsuit, and just within the past hour or so, they got the results of what the judge has said, the judge, they say, has ruled in their favor. we're still trying to get the exact language of what the judge
is saying here, but i do have something to read to you here. it says federal judge michael bailson of pennsylvania has ruled in favor of a ten-day temporary restraining order, telling the secretary of health and human services to direct the organ procurement transportation network to cease application of the under-12 rule as to sarah murnaghan. and here's another part of this that is very important. if there's another child in this judicial district, he would consider and probably grant a temporary restraining order for them if presented in court. this is a huge legal victory for the family wrfrb when i called janet murnaghan in the hospital room about an hour ago, she said the entire family, jake, is jumping up and down. this is what they basically wanted all along. they basically wanted sarah to have the same opportunity to compete, if you will, for a lung, that adults have. so now for the next ten days she will, according to this judge's
ruling, be put on the same list as other very sick adults who are trying to get a lung transplant. she'll be matched with blood type and some other factors as well. her parents believe that she will now be put on the top of the list. and so, in the next ten days or so, if a match can be found, there is a possibility that sarah's life could be saved. >> all right, jason carroll, thank you so much. let me bring in legal analyst paul cowin on the phone. i'm looking at this ruling from the united states district court, eastern district of pennsylvania. give us just the bottom line on this, if you would, paul. what does this mean? will this likely end up meaning that she will get this lung transplant she so desperately needs? >> yes, you know, i think it does indicate that there's a high probability that she will get the lung transplant. and for her, this is the most wonderful thing you could imagine. it's going to save her life. but i suppose the thing you have to look at when you step back and look at the bigger picture
is how will it affect the entire process of organ procurement and transplant? and that's where it's a much more complicated question. right now, we have a system where there's a board called the organ procurement and transplantation network, and they work in conjunction with another organization, a not for profit that is called the united network for organ sharing, and they try to use medical standards to determine who qualifies and who doesn't qualify. the reason kids under 12 didn't qualify was because there hasn't been a lot of medical research about whether these things work effectively in children in that age category. so of course because she gets the lung, somebody who is older may not get the lung, and i think for that reason, the government has tried to sort of kick this to not for profit organizations that are run by people doing the scientific testing to decide objectively who should get it and who shouldn't because my word when you see a 12-year-old who needs
a lung, we know what decision we're going to make as human beings in that situation. so i don't know ultimately jake where -- whether it's going to upset the apple cart in terms of this system that's been put in place to make sure that decisions are based on science and objective analysis as opposed to emotion in deciding on an organ transplant. >> paul, thank you so much. we'll keep you up toidate on the story as it develops. coming up on the politics lead, marco rubio threatens to vote no on his own immigration bill. why? that's next. hoo-hoo. hoo-hoo...hoo-hoo. hoo-hoo hoo. sir... i'll get it together i promise... heeheehee. jimmy: ronny, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? ronny: i'd say happier than the pillsbury doughboy on his way to a baking convention. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
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i'm jake tapper. in our world lead, the shuffle today alt the white house could have implications that go beyond political postturing. you're shocked, i know. susan rise doesn't need a stamp of approval to become the national security adviser, and let's assume samantha power gets improved as the ambassador to the united nations. could we see a change on the president's policy on syria? joining me now is richard cohen whose latest column was titled "cold hearted liberals have abandoned syria." thanks for joining us. it's not like the president is averse to turning down advice on syria. he rejected a plan before from panetta and clinton and others to arm the rebels. do you think it's possible that these two who have spoken so much about preventing genocide and slaughter of innocents, do you think it's possible that rice and power could change course on syrian policy? >> i doubt it. i think the policy has been set. certainly been set by the president.
he's already unhesitatingly overruled the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, the cia director on providing arms to the syrian rebels. i can't see him proving because of his new appointees. i don't see what they bring to the table that hasn't already been brought to the table. in fact, he's had denis mcdonough on his staff who is now the chief of staff in the national security counsel. so i don't see these appointments as game changers. they're just personnel changers. >> this is related to what you wrote in your piece yesterday, that people who would typically want to push intervention have decided not to do so in syria. we know susan rice has not been pushing prevention in syria although she did so for libya. why do you think that is? >> you know, the truth is i'm dismayed. there's this iraq syndrome, such as that anything that we do is going to wind up in some sort of quagmire. it's like we're back to the vietnam syndrome. i don't see syria as iraq all over again. i would like to see the united states intervene.
two years ago, i wanted the united states to provide arms to the syrian rebels, the moderate rebels. my battle cry is not on to damascus. my battle cry is let's save lives if we can. and we could have. it may be too late now, but supplying arms is not such a big doing. we know how to do that. sifting the bad guys from the good guys. we're pretty good at that, too. we'll make mistakes along the way, no question about it, but you've got 80,000, at least 80,000, maybe 100,000 dead. this huge refugee catastrophe taking place in the middle east, everything is spinning out of control, and the least effective player in the whole region is the united states of america. it's kind of preposterous, also kind of appalling. >> richard cohen, one last quick question which is if you look at polls, especially the nbc/wall street journal poll, of what americans want to do regarding syria, you see that what's actually happened, military action about the same, 13% in march, 11% then and now for arming the opposition.
48% humanitarians assistant in march. 48% now. what we have seen since march is just fewer people who want even humanitarian assistance. you could argue president obama is doing more than most americans want. >> well, i could argue that he's showing no leadership. if he shows leadership, the american people would understand and follow him. i don't think -- you never see population as a whole take a lead. i don't remember american people clamoring for action in bosnia and it worked, or in libya, and it worked. in fact, the american people didn't clamor for action in world war ii. roosevelt had to lead the country into the war with the help of adicleration of war from germany. if you're going to rely on the people to do it, you'll wait forever. >> richard cohen, thank you so much for coming and sharing your views. coming up, what's the president's relationship like with susan rice and samantha power? i'll ask his former deputy press secretary bill burton. that's coming up next.
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and those people are what i like to call... wrong. take metamucil. sure it helps keep you regular but it doesn't stop there. metamucil has psyllium, which helps lower cholesterol, promotes digestive health, and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. it can multi-multitask... look at it, it's doing over a million different things right now. metamucil. 3 amazing benefits, 1 super fiber. ♪ ...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. the politics lead now. keep your friends close and the friends that took a close for your administration even closer. president obama is circling the wagons and moving two allies up the ranks. the embattled ambassador to the
united nations moves to the white house as national security adviser and former national security council aide samantha power will take her place at the u.n. if the senate approves of the pick. let's bring in our political panel. bill burton, vice president of foreign and defense policy at the american enterprise institute, danny, and jeffrey goldberg from the atlantic. jeffrey, the 1994 rwandan genocide turned rice, she says, into an impassioned activist. yet you say in a recent column or today's column that people who want intervention in syria should not expect that from her. >> i don't expect it at all. i think she doesn't see this as rwanda. and moreover, the president doesn't see it as rwanda. that's what count here the most. one of the things that they're extremely worried about and susan rice shares this fear is that intervention in syria could lead to something that is even worse than the assad regime, which is the eventual establishment of an al qaeda safe haven. you have extremists fighting
each other and the white house is careful about wanting to get in deeper and she's going to echo that feeling the president has. >> is that the wrong move, danny? >> no, absolutely. first of all, an al qaeda safe haven. if we don't do anything, it's going to become an al qaeda safe haven. everybody is working on the premise we can stuff the genie in the bottle, it's going to be okay if the u.s. stays out. but upworard of 120,000 people have been killed. i'm not sure what is a genocide if this isn't one. and the idea we're going to have a peaceful outcome as long as we keep our finger out of the pie is ridiculous. >> bill, you're a friend and ally of susan rice. she talks a lot, as does samantha power, about learning lessons from past genocides that the united states sat back and let happen. she was very affected when rice was at the national security council during the clinton years, and she regrets that. is she right here? is the idea that intervention
might actually lead to something worse the correct call or is she just doing what she did back in the '90s? >> well, i think there's a strawman here. i don't think that anyone is saying that everything is going to turn out just fine if nobody does anything. i think any outcome is probably going to be pretty messy. the question is whether or not the united states should be in the position of arming the rebels, some of which are very dangerous elements of that region. so i think that when ambassador rice talks about taking prudent steps and making sure that we're doing everything we can to protect american interests and not inflaming the situation the way that is not helpful, yes, that is probably the most prudent thing to do. if you look at what happened to libya and the way we were able to build a coalition and force gadhafi out, that worked. yes, it took a long time, and yes, dewas a long, brutal regime, but at the end of the day, there were no american boots on the ground and we weren't putting arms in the hands of people who shouldn't have them.
>> the other issue here is that it doesn't really matter what they think. their hand might be forced at some point. syria, the government is going to miscalculate. they're already testing the use of chemical weapons to among other things test the west's tolerance for the use of chemical weapons. that might force the president's hand. if israel gets dragged in, if syrian mizz missiles start landing there, they might gedragged in. if jordan gets dragged in, we're going to get deeper in whether or not they want to. so they're predisposed to staying out, but events are pulling us closer. >> danny? >> if the standards are the ones that bill brought up about libya, we were brought in because the president said he wasn't going to sit by and see the libyan people mowed down from the air by gadhafi's forces. okay, where's that standard for syria? if we built a coalition on libya, which we didn't, but we followed on one, where is that on syria? so much has happened.
chemical weapons have already been used. we have crossed the president's own articulated red line. >> about the use of chemical weapons. >> about the use of chemical weapons. how much more does he need to do. kill 10,000 people with chemical weapons or 500 is okay but 10,000 not okay? and how does the rest of the world see this when the president of the united states says something so clearly? here is my red line. this is a game changer. and then it happens, and he does nothing. forget about syria. what do the iranians think? >> bill, i'll let you have the last word. >> how many arms is okay to put in the hands of dangerous extremists. you're looking at the situation, you see a civil war happening in that country, the united states has to ask itself, at what point are we arming the people who could do damage to the united states itself? >> do you think, bill, as somebody who knows all the players involved, president obama, samantha power, dr. susan rice, do you think rice and samantha power will have any influence on making the
president more inclined to intervene in syria or at the end of the day, is his mind basically just where his mind will be and it doesn't really matter so much what power and rice are pushing? >> i think the people around the president, particularly his national security apparatus, do have a big impact on how he sees situations and what information gets to him, and he's considering, but jeff is right. at the end of the day, the president's hand could be forced by events happening in the region. >> thank you so much. jeff goldberg, bill burton, danny, appreciate it. >> bill burton will be back here again some time soon, i hope. we haven't had you in a while. hash tag, you're it. we asked you earlier to send us your best private e-mails for obama officials. in honor of jakeblueoooo that's making fun of his signature, and can'tfindreceip can'tfec