tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC June 9, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT
good morning, and welcome to "this week." watching everything. >> america's phone records and also internet searches are under surveillance. >> the secret government program tracking our phones casting a wide net across the internet. >> i want to be clear, no one is listening to your telephones. >> has it protected national security? >> this program was used to stop a terrorist attack. >> and what cost to personal privacy. >> i'm appalled at the bill of rights. >> this morning, we cover the controversy from all angles. the reporter who broke the story, glenn greenwald. the senator who sound the alarm, mark udall and the committee chairs who approved the program, senator dianne feinstein and congressman mike rogers.
plus our powerhouse roundtable. that and all of the week's politics, with george will, matthew dowd, paul krugman and congressman keith ellison and greta van susteren from fox news. hello, again. the secret struggle to balance national security and individual liberty broke out into the open this week after a series of blockbuster revelations starting in "the guardian" newspaper. we learned that the government has the capacity to track virtually every american's phone call and scoop up impossibly vast quantities of data across the internet. our first guest is glenn greenwald. thank you for joining us today, mr. greenwald. you broke a story yesterday. showing the scale of the data collection. they collected 97 billion pieces of data, almost all from outside the u.s. what's the key finding here? >> there are two key findings.
one is that there are members of the congress who have responsibility for oversight for checking the people who run this vast secret apparatus to make sure they're not overstepping their power. they asked the nsa to provide basic information on chats of americans they're intercepting and the nsa continuously tells then, we don't have the capability to tell you that, to even give you rough estimates and what these documents that we publish show that were marked top secret to prevent the american people to learn about them was that the nsa keeps extremely precise statistics, all the date father that the senators have asked for, that the nsa has falsely claimed doesn't exist and the other thing that it does, as you said, it indicates just how vast and massive the nsa is in terms of sweeping up all forms of communication around the globe including domestically. >> you also drew new criticism from the director of national intelligence james clapper. he called the disclosure,
reckless and said it created significant misimpressions and added the articles are filled with inaccuracies. your response? >> any single time any major media outlet reports on something the government is hiding that political officials don't want people to know such as the fact that they're collecting the phone records of all americans, regardless of any suspicion of wrongdoing, the people in power do exactly the same thing, they attack the media as the messenger and they try and discredit the story. this has been going back decades, ever since the pentagon papers were released by "the new york times" and political officials said you're endangering national security much the only thing we've endangered is the reputation of the people in power who are building this massive spying apparatus without any accountability trying to hide from the american people what it is that they're doing. there is no national security harm from letting people know they're collecting all phone record, thatter this's tapping into the internet. that they're planning massive cyberattacks both foreign and even domestic. these are things that the american people have a right to know. the only thing being damaged is
the credibility of political officials and the way they exercise power in the dark. >> one of the things you reported the government has, quote, direct access to the servers of massive firms like google and microsoft and facebook and all the companies have come out and denied it. the u.s. government does not have direct access or a back door to the information stored in our data center, similar statements from facebook and mr. clapper said the u.s. government doesn't unilaterally obtain information. i take it there could be some semantics, word games being played here. what's your understanding of what's happening because it does hebert they don't have direct access to the servers. >> our story was clear. we said and we presented it as a story from the start was that we have top secret nsa documents that claim that there is a new program called the prism program in place since 2007 that provides in the words of the nsa's own documents direct collection from the servers of these companies. we then went to all of those
companies named and they said, no, we don't provide direct access to our servers so there was a conflict which we reported that the nsa claims they have direct access and the companies deny it. clearly there are all kinds of negotiations taking place and all kinds of agreements reached between these internet companies that store massive amounts of communication data about people around the world and the government. we should have this debate out in the open. let these companies that collect massive amounts of information about people and the government resolve this discrepancy in public, tell us what it is exactly that these companies are turning over to the government and what kinds of capabilities the government is wanting to access so we reported these discrepancies precisely because we want them, those parties to resolve it in public, in sunlight and let people decide whether or not that's the kind of country they want to live in when the government can get this massive amount of information. >> the spokesman said a crimes report has been filed by the national security agency. have you been contacted by the fbi or any federal law
enforcement official yet? >> no, and any time they would like to speak to me i'll be more than happy to speak to them and tell them there's this thing called the constitution in the first amendment guarantees a free press as an american sit seng i have every right and even an obligation as a journalist to tell my fellow citizens and my readers what the government is doing that they don't want people in the united states to know about and i'm happy to talk to them at any time and the attempt to intimidate journalists and sources with constant threats of investigation aren't going to work. >> you described your source as a reader of yours who trusted how you would handle the materials. the source has been described as a career government official. who was concerned about these programs. a former prosecutor called the source a double agent. i know you won't reveal the source but what more can you tell us about the individual's motivations? >> well first of all i won't confirm there's only one individual. there could be one or more than one but let me make this point. i think it's so critical. every time there's a whistle-blower, somebody who
exposes government wrongdoing, the tactic of the government is to try to and demonize them as a traitor and risk their careers and their lives and their liberty because what they were seen being done in secret inside the united states government is so alarming and so pernicious that they simply want one thing, that is for the american people at least to learn about what this massive spying apparatus is and what the capabilities are so that we could have an open, honest debate about whether that's the kind of country we want to live in and if people decide, yes, they do want the government knowing everything about them, intervening in all of their communication, monitoring them, keeping dossiers on them, so be it but at least we should have it openly and democratically. unfortunately, since the government virtually hides everything with the threat of prosecution, the only way to learn about it is through these courageous whistle-blowers who deserve our praise and gratitude and not imprisonment. >> should we expect more revelations from you? >> you should. >> okay. glenn greenwald, thanks very much.
now to the senator who says he did everything short of leaking classified information to shine a light on these surveillance programs, here's mark udall on the senate floor more than two years ago. >> the intelligence committee can target individuals who have no connection to terrorist organizations. they can collect business records on law-abiding americans who have no connection to terrorism. >> and senator udall joins us from colorado this morning. thank you for joining us. senator, is everything we're learning this week consistent with what you knew then? >> it is, george, and as you pointed out, i tried to draw attention to what was happening over two years ago. i'm not happy that we've had leaks and these leaks are concerning but i think it's an opportunity now to have a discussion about the limits of surveillance, how we create transparency and above all how we protect americans' privacy. >> what's your main concern here? the president has come out and said that the programs are approved by congress, overseen by the court and carefully
constrained. here he was on friday. >> they're very focused and in the abstract, you can complain about big brother and how this s is a potential program run amok. but when you actually look at the details, then i think we've struck the right balance. >> you don't believe the right balance has been struck? >> i don't. my main concern is americans don't know the extent to which they're being surveilled, george. we hear this term metadata which has to do with when you make calls, who you make calls to, who you're talking to. i think that's private information and i think if the government is gathering that, the american people ought to know it. we ought to have a discussion about it and frankly i think we ought to re-open the patriot act and put some limitsen 0 the amount of data that the national security administration is collecting. >> what kind of limits exactly. as the president pointed out no one is listening to phone calls here and not allowed to continue the targeting of any individual
unless they have probable cause and developed some information that would give them the reason to continue tracking. >> yeah, my concern is, look, you know through a contract with your phone company that they're going to collect this data but the phone company kafrnt arrest you, prosecute you, put you in jail and metadata although it sounds simple and innocuous can lead to a lot of additional information. i just draw the line a little bit differently than the president does. we do need to remember we're in a war against terrorists and terrorism remains a real threat. but i also think we have to cue the bill of rights and the fourth amendment which prevents unlawful search and seizures ought to be important to us, it ought to remain sacred and there's got to be a combal here. it's what i'm aiming for. let's have the debate and be trance parent and open it up of the i don't think the public knows the extent or knew the extent to which they were being surveilled and their data was collected. >> the president has said this has been fully debated and
authorized by the congress. >> it has been, george, but in a lipped way if i might make that point and that's why i want to re-open the patriot act. i think now that this information is more available, i certainly had a lot say they're uncomfortable, they want to know more. that's my point is let's have a debate here. let's look at what's really happening. it's what i was trying to draw attention to two years ago. millions of records every day being accumulated makes me uneasy. i think it's a violation of our privacy. let's take a further look. >> do you think the administration has been straight with the congress in their testimony? >> you know, in general i do and, look, this is the law, but the way the law is being interpreted has really concerned me. the law has been interpreted in a secret way, that's what i've been calling for is let's have full disclosure of how it's being applied. this isn't a scandal. but this is deeply concerning to me and a lot of americans and, frankly, a lot of my colleagues
in the senate on both sides of the aisle. >> do you believe, though, that the program has been effective? we have chairman mike rogers coming up who said that this program has helped stop terrorist attacks and the attempted subscriber way plot in new york's subways in 2009 could have been stopped by this program. >> george, i'm not convinced. by the way two programs are being discussed, one, so-called prism program, article 702 in the law and it's been very effective. it surveils foreigners, grabs content, photographs, e-mails. the 215 provisions which are collecting all the metadata, i'm not convinced it's uniquely valuable intelligence we couldn't have generated in other way, so i know these claims are being made but that's all the more reason to have a debate to share this information and to determine whether or not we ought to be collecting millions of records every day of americans' phone calls. it just to me is a violation of our privacy. particularly if it's done in ways we don't know about. >> senator udall, thanks for
your time this morning. >> hey, george, thanks for having me on. let's get a response from the chairs of the intelligence committees, democrat dianne feinstein from the senate republican mike rogers from the house and senator feinstein, let me begin with you. you heard mr. greenwald and setor udall right there they believe that the balance between privacy and national security is out of whack with these programs. your response? >> well, of course, balance is a difficult thing to actually identify what it is, but i can tell you this, these programs are within the law. the business records section is reviewed by a federal judge every 90 days, it should be noted that the document that was released that was under seal which reauthorized the program for another 90 days came along with a second document that placed and discussed the strictures on the program. that document was not released. so here's what happens with that
program. the program is essentially walled off within the nsa. there are limited numbers of people who have access to it. the only thing taken as has been correctly expressed is not content of a conversation, but the information that is generally on your telephone bill, which has been held not to be private, personal property by the supreme court. if there is strong suspicion that a terrorist outside of the country is trying to reach someone on the inside of the country, those numbers then can be obtained if you want to collect content on the american, then a court order is issued. so the program has been used. two cases have been declassified. one of them is the case of david headley who went to mumbai to
the taj hotel and scoped it out for the terrorist attack. the second is that is bulazazi who bought enough hydrogen peroxide to make many bos. was surveilled by the fbi for six months, traveled to go to new york to meet with a number of other people who were going to carry out this attack with him. and were arrested by the fbi who has pled guilty and in federal prison. here's the point and this is why this is so difficult. i flew over the world trade center going to senator lautenberg's funeral and in the distance was the statue of liberty and i thought of those
bodies jumping out of that building hitting the canopy. part of our obligation is keeping america safe. human intelligence isn't going to do it because you can't -- it's a different culture. it's a fanaticism that isn't going to come forward and so this kind of strictly overseeing, it's overseen by the justice department, by inspectors general, by audit, by a 90-day review by the court is looked at as a method. i'm very happy if there's a better way we will certainly look at it. >> let me bring that to congressman rogers. you said you believe these programs are effective, mr. chairman. what about this idea raised by senator udall you re-open the patriot act and put more limits on particularly the phone record collection program because he says that that hasn't helped. that's his opinion, at least. >> well, i can tell you in the
zazi case it's exactly the program used. "a," this is really important. national security
agents do not listen to americans' phone calls and is not reading americans' e-mails. none of the programs allow that and the patriot act and part of that 702 says it is expressly prohibited by law you can read and wholly surveil domestic e-mail traffic in the united states. so, you know, the inflammatory nature of the comments doesn't fit with what dianne and i know this program does and let's talk about the phone records real quickly. what this is and the reason it happened is after 9/11 we realized there was a big hole in our ability to fully identify all of the players in that terrorist plot and one of it was by the fact that these business records, the phone billing information is destroyed by these companies. they can't expensewise it's really difficult for them to hold it. this is what happened much the court said put all of that information in a box and hold
that information and when you want to access that information, you have to use this very specific court ordered approval process which means it has to be a foreign person believed to be on a foreign land so some notion they can see a name that comes out -- by the way, no name comes out of that search. even if they get a number it doesn't have a name on it. this then allows them to do further investigation but the number of times it's accessed is very -- it's a fraction of a fraction, number one and, number two, no one can data mine that information. that's what's so frustrating to those of us who know this program. >> that's what i want to get to. both of you know so much more than any other americans. one of the things you heard from senator udall is the desire for more public information. now, he believes that the administration has not been misleading generally the committee and the public but i want to play an exchange in the intelligence committee in march when james clapper was questioned by your colleague, senator widen. >> does the nsa collect any type
of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of americans? >> no, sir. >> it does not? >> not wittingly. there are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly. >> senator feinstein, i have to confess, i have a hard times squaring that answer with what we learned this week? >> well, i think this is -- this is very hard.
there is no more direct or honest person than jim clapper and i think both mike and i know that. you can misunderstand the k question. this is one of the dilemmas of talking about it. he could -- he could have thought the question had content or something. but it is true that this a wide collection of phone records as
no name, no content. but the number to number, the length of time, the kind of thing that's on the telephone bill and we have to deal with that. >> what do we do going forward? senator mccain and senator udall said maybe there should be a public hearing on this program and the range of the programs that are surveilling that include some surveillance of some data from americans? are you open to that, senator feinstein and chairman rogers, you comment, as well. >> yeah, i am open to it and i have to think about this. we had an intelligence committee meeting on thursday which i opened up to everybody and 27 senators came. you know, we informed them that every senator, the material is available. they can come and see it. one of the strictures with highly classified stuff is no staff. i think that should be changed.
so that intelligence committees staff can come in with the member and go over and review the material. but we have had lots of hearings on this and i think senator wyden knows this and has been respectful of it. and i'm open to doing a hearing every if that's necessary and i'm open to doing an open hearing now. here's the rub. the instances where this is produced good -- has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks is all classified. that's what's so hard about this. so that we can't actually go in there and other than the two that have been released give the public an actual idea of people that have been saved, attacks that have been prevented, that kind of thing. >> chairman rogers? >> you know, george, one of the things that we're charged with
is keeping the america safe and keeping our civil liberties and privacy intact. i think we've done both in this particular case. and the problem with this is if you tell our adversaries and enemies in the counterterrorism fight exactly how we conduct business, they're not going to do business the same way ever again. it makes it more difficult. and so each one of these programs, i think the zazi case is so important, that's one you can show this was the key beast that allowed us to stop a bombing in the new york subway system but these programs that are authorized by the court by the way only only focus on non-united states persons overseas that gets lost in this debate is are pieces of the puzzle. you have to have all the pieces of the puzzle to try to put it together. that's what we found went wrong in 9/11 and didn't have all the pieces of the puzzle we found out subsequently to the boston bombings either so had we had more pieces of the puzzle, you can stop these things before they happen. >> finally we're just about -- sorry.
we're just about out of time. i want a quick answer. we saw that a crimes investigation has been opened. is it fair to say both of you believe this investigation should be pursued and the source if found should be prosecuted. >> i absolutely believe that someone did not have authorization to release this information and why that is so important, george, is because they didn't have all of the information. i know your reporter that you interviewed greenwald says he's got it all and was an expert on the program. he doesn't have a clue how this thing works. neither did the person who released just enough information to literally be dangerous. i argue that there's other methods he could come to the committees if they had concern. we have igs they can go to in a classified way if they have concern. taking a very sensitive classified program that targets foreign persons on foreign lands and putting just enough out there to be dangerous is dangerous to us, it's dangerous to our national security and it violates the oath of which that person took. i absolutely think they should be prosecuted. >> you too, senator feinstein.
>> i do. >> thank you both for your time this morning. >> thank you. up next our powerhouse roundtable weighs in plus the president's new policy picks. chris christie's controversial call and paul krugman analyzes the latest job numbers. n analyzes the latest jobs numbers. [ male announcer ] we're all on a journey to financial independence. ♪ whether you're just beginning the journey... ♪ ...starting a family... ♪ ...or entering a new chapter of your life. while the journey is yours, pacific life can help you protect and grow the assets you'll need along the way. to learn how, visit pacificlife.com. pacific life. the power to help you succeed.
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general allen, you can't even tell us in an open session yes or no whether the national security agency intercepts the telephone conversations of american citizens in america. >> sir, i believe that a discussion of our operations is properly held in closed sessions. >> the action that we do is very closely circumscribed. >> i heard your testimony. don't repeat it. you made it very clear that you
answer no questions. you don't know whether you're invading the rights of private citizens. you obviously are. >> this isn't a new debate. that was back in 1975. when the nsa was first discovered collecting information on americans. the debate back this week. we're joined to talk about it on the roundtable with george will, paul krugman, matthew dowd from abc, and greta van susteren and keith ellison. george? >> we're threatened by needles in a haystack. very few needles and a large haystack. we're threatened not by a nation but a network. network of terrorists to be invisible until there's a attack. when there's an attack we talk about who didn't connect the dots. in the data they're collecting
the dots are the sophisticated algorithms. they try to reveal the dots. before they can act on this there are two levels of judicial supervision. they need the foreign intelligence court to authorize looking at the pattern of usage of phones and internet. and another judicial review to look at messages, the content of what they're doing. now, this is the case for it, the problem is, we're using technologies of information gathering that didn't exist 20 years ago, that are terribly important but terribly invasive. they require reposing extraordinary trust in the executive branch of government, which some of us think has recently forfeited. >> there was really good article written five years ago at the yale law school, he said that technology means we're going to be living in a surveillance state. there are different kinds of surveillance states. you can have a democratic surveillance state that tells
you as much as possible about what you're doing. or you could have an authoritarian state. that collects as much as possible and tells you as little as possible. we are kind of on the authoritarian side. >> let me bring that to congressman ellison. you're a member of congress. the president said on friday that every member of congress has access to the information. you can first start out by explaining by a member of congress not on the committee can know about this program? >> i would say almost nothing. you can't bring your staff in there so we're moving around capitol hill at lightning speed, nearly every member of congress is, if you can't get any staff support, you got to go into that room and pour through documents. >> are you allowed everything? >> i don't think i am. i'm allowed to see certain things. it's available if you make certain times and places to go see it. the fact is, no, i'm not aware of this program that was revealed today. i have no notes.
we checked our e-mails and our noteses. so, i think it's a fiction. it's a fiction that everybody in congress knows. nobody -- very few people in congress -- >> you voted on it without full knowledge? >> i patriot act. i voted against it because we don't know what we don't know. >> i take issue with george on one thing, why does this have to secret? maybe if we all know about it, and we all that it's a good idea, we live in a different society, we're supposed to have a transparent government. we should know it exists. there russ cameras in boston. why can't we know their phones. if everybody knew that phone numbers are being maintained by the nsa, terrorists may be using pony express or smoke signals. slow them down a little bit. now, we're giving them a pass, give it fast through the internet.
the second thing is, the accord that signs that gives and signs permission. there's 2012 letter, from the nsa to senator harry reid, there are 1,789 requests in calendar year 2012, of the 1,789 requests for authorization one was withdrawn by the government, all of the other ones were granted. they got the rubber stamped. they should have a public counsel arguing on the other side. >> only government presents the arguments. >> right. look at what they do against -- with the warrant against james rosen. they present warrants that are questionable. >> george, i think there are a couple of points here. first is, the idea that the president stands up there and the administration stands up there, don't worry about this. we're not listening to your phone calls. so, it's okay. it's not much of an invasion of privacy. anybody who understands --
i have a pretty good understanding of how data is collected on phone records. you can do a complete lifestyle analysis of somebody, and it's a deeper invasion of privacy. what they're saying is trust us on this. we're doing this. we're going to protect you. that's my second point on this. this is a balance between an erosion of civil liberties and the protection of public safety. what they're telling us is that there's a serious erosion of civil liberties. they say it's worth it to erode civil liberties in this way because it's going to protect you in a certain way. we're not going to tell how many of you are protected but trust we'll be able to do that. >> we're learning a little bit about this. let me bring this to george will, almost 1500 reports from the nsa program made it into the president's daily briefing. they would indicate some use of this information. and we heard the chairs said at
least in two cases the program helped stop an attack. >> without revealing methods and sources we have to make this public. i actually agree entirely with greta. pat moynihan wrote a great book on secrecy. he said it makes the government stupid, because it hides secrets from itself. second, it encourages paranoia. because people don't know what's going on. conservatives ought to understand secrecy is government regulation, government regulation of information and they ought to be skeptical about it. but all six of us, already this morning, have left a digital trail. we used a credit card, cell phone. it's constant. >> the notion of revealing this is telling the terrorists something. only if the terrorists haven't watched a single tv thriller, right? everybody knows. >> as greta said, they can't go to the pony express. there are limits of what they can do.
they're in a network, they have to communicate and they're in a bind. >> we need to review the law. i think it casts too wide a net. and we ought to remember the way -- the best way to protect the american public is to act -- active police work that follows up leads that actually exist. just figuring out what somebody's phone calls are in, anyone who's not even connected is not worthwhile. if it is, somebody needs to make a case why they need this information. i think we passed this law when we were very much afraid for a legitimate reason, it's time to come back and introduce privacy. >> it shows how much different candidate obama and senator obama was and what he said and what he's done as president of the united states. i can say all this, as president, forget everything i said, forget everything that i criticized george w. bush for,
and the government, forget everything i said we're going to make government transparent, oh, by the way, everything george w. bush said, i'm going to put on steroid because that's going to protect the public. >> couldn't that be an honest coincidence? >> yes. >> then say it. >> keep in mind, be careful what you say as a candidate and as president. >> i think it's the nature of the job, the executive is going to go up the line. it's the responsibility of the legislature to balance -- >> do you think congress has done their job? >> no, i don't. i think we need to peel it back and we need to make sure we're considering the constitution when we write these kind of laws. >> this is where the irs scandal metasized into a national scandal. the nsa information-gathering this would really be a problem if we had the government that
unleashes the irs on political opponents. oh, come to think about it, we do have that kind of government. therefore the willingness to trust the executive branch is m minimum and should be. >> i mean, back in -- i don't know what year it was -- you said, beside terrorism the administration's argument that because of the president is the commander in chief he's the sole organ of the nation in foreign affairs. you were talking about george w. bush at that time. my only problem is, you can't make this is an obama problem, this is an executive problem. >> i didn't mention obama. i'm saying, in fact, today, the executive branch -- we'll find out. we'll have hearings about this. the executive branch ought to be feared. this country was founded on a revolution primarily against executive prerogative. >> no argument on that. >> the whole issue is the credibility of the government.
who can trust the government? we just saw senator feinstein do the most incredible two-step defending mr. clapper. she should have said, look, i can't defend it. ask him, he said it. she started back pedaling. just stand up and have the courage to say. when president obama changes his mind on things -- i was a candidate i thought this. in the oval office, i now understand. have a little credibility. and say the obvious. >> the problem is, greta, and we talked about it, everything in washington is viewed through a partisan lens. if george w. bush did something and democrats didn't like it, it's bad. if barack obama does something and republicans don't like it, it's bad. even things that barack obama -- >> maybe it's time to stop. >> i agree.
>> maybe someone should have the courage, look, i'm not going to blame the last guy and move forward. >> i think one of the things you see is people defending the program -- >> rogers and senator feinstein. >> we don't know about it. we could haven't had this debate. that's the bigger issues. it's been a big secret. maybe we would have agreed on the program or not. >> it's kind of an open secret. hasn't it? we do know about it for the last six years. it was the first revelation, that phone records were being looked at. you know, the thrust of this thing is disturbing to me. >> the scope in a way of this thing, if they gather 3 billion items of information, less threatening than borrowing ten. you have to rely on the algorithms. >> i would like to focus on people who there's reason to believe there's danger. >> and the reporters who do open it up are now going to be
prosecuted. the experience with james rosen has left many in the industry feel little raw. >> no question. let's move on. we learned that susan rice, the u.n. ambassador has appointed national security adviser, replacing tom donilon. here's the president talking about it. >> a patriot who puts her country first, she's fearless and she's tough. her brother is here, who i play with occasionally. it runs in the family, throwing the occasional elbow but hitting the big shot. i'm confident that we got an experienced, effective and energetic u.n. ambassador in waiting in samantha power. she knows the u.n.'s strengths and weaknesses. >> george, consolation perhaps, but susan rice will now be the national security adviser. the president is really drawing the ranks close in as the second term goes on.
>> yes, and in these two people he has two advocates of humanitarian intervention. as far as i can tell, they favor humanitarian interventions in libya that are untainted with any connection with the national connection. with regard to ms. power, it seems to be the only good ambassadors to the u.n. are those who have fundamental contempt for the institution. they made a difference because they had an adversarial stance to the board. an atrocity prevention board, they convene around a table and they say let's prevent an atrocity. a feel-goodness about this. i don't think that translates into policy. >> i think the president is going to be well served by both and the whole controversy involving susan rice and the whole libya thing, i think she
was sort of an unfortunate victim in some of the way the rhetoric was thrown around and i think she's going to do a fine job. >> i actually -- you know what, the president described ambassador rice as a patriot, fearless and tough. i'm sure she is. but what we need is someone who will ask questions. we have to hope. but it would have been better if he chose somebody who would have stand up why are you saying that? >> to me this is a perfect example of what's gone wrong in washington. i think samantha power is very competent and qualified. and ambassador rice is very competent and very qualified. but just because you can appoint somebody doesn't mean you can appoint somebody. to me, this is basically at a time, when we not to lower the
bitterness, get this screaming and yelling, he sticks a stick in the eye of many republicans, by the way, the people that you don't trust i'm going to put in these two key positions. this is even more in your face, george. it says that we're not going to let you approve this. we're going to put them in charge of an agency -- that we learned in the last few days -- >> i will not be bullied. you guys tore this person up for no good reason. i'm going to show that doesn't actually work. >> i think strength comes from to reach over to the other side. and get something done. >> this guy has reached, reached -- >> not really. >> paul, friday we saw the new jobs numbers. 175,000 jobs created last month. unemployment ticked up just a bit to 7.6%. it seemed to be exactly what the stock market liked. what is your read on what this means on the economy? >> we are in this kind of sour equilibrium.
i mean the economy is growing. jobs are being created. >> 32 straight months of job growth. >> the economy is growing. you know, if the growing population, it's a growing workforce, the shares of adults employed. we're just creeping up. there are more than 4 million people who have been unemployed for more than six months, still that's an incredible by past standards. this is a terrible, terrible economy. the fact that we think of the jobs report like friday's as being a good report just shows you how depressed our expectations have become. >> wall street thought it was good because it was so bad. the federal reserve would not stop printing money. the purpose of which is to pour into equities seeking high returns. and trickle down to the american people. >> congressman ellison, it seems like it's taken all of the air out of any effort to get a
deficit reduction deal. this year w the deficit coming down, health care costs coming down, the economy growing. not much happening? >> i'm afraid you're right. we're not focusing on the sequester, which i think is responsible for our lackluster job numbers. we cut 14,000 public employees in this last round. and the numbers are going to keep coming in regard to the sequester. >> i think we were ready to have a much stronger recovery. housing is coming back. people are feeling better. kids are starting to head households again. and the sequester -- we shouldn't be looking at this positive jobs growth. we should be looking at it, as gosh, we might have been ready for takeoff here and we have the sequester killing us. >> what disturbs me the economy
is like a there-legged stool. the rich, the middle-class and the poor. we aren't digging into the inner city and not going to the huge poverty at the bottom. >> obama care is actually a huge anti-poverty program. >> but the problem -- >> we still matter here. >> but the problem is, whether for humanitarian purposes or just selfish purposes, as the poor class grows, it's a bigger problem for the middle class and the wealthy. >> 90% of this country have had no real movement in their financial situation. more than 90% in 15 years. 15 years. and the part of the thing we haven't really faced is, are we in this new normal in the
economy where 500,000 jobs, increase in average wages, are a thing of the past? do government institutions meet where we are as a 21st century nation? because 95% of the country is not benefiting. >> you go back to 1979 there hasn't been any real -- >> george, let me say, there is a very positive trend. you have all of these low-wage fast-food workers, new york, chicago, all over the country, who are literally going on strike even at 8 bucks an hour to try to demand an increase in pay. so, as you know, congress is not raising american wages. we're stuck, ordinary americans -- >> wait until the health care hits those fast food places. got to take a break. we'll be right back with more roundtable. with more roundtable. i want to make things more secure.
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look at, concern for example, access to health care for illegals. orrin hatch, republican of utah worried about back taxes to be paid. just examples of the kind of amendments that are going to clog up the works. >> okay, the fed getting wimpy. the fed sending to strong signals it was going to do everything it could to boost the economy and the employment. it wasn't worried about inflation. for the last week we have been getting signals that suggest, well, maybe not so bad, maybe we'll start tapering. that's the word that we have right now, which is affecting expectations. >> looking at that awful tragedy in santa monica where people got killed, i'm hoping we'll revisit this conversation about guns, especially in light of the the idea basically we're willing give up civil liberties to have people to access records we're
unwilling to take guns out of hands. one thing that concerns me, what is going on with white males predominantly between 18 and 30 years old? i hope we can revisit this issue. >> i'm looking forward for people calling government waste government stealing. because that's what it is. so many americans have to debate $1,000 to fix a leaky roof. let's start calling them conferences they're parties. the government wastes money on conferences. >> student loan rates on stafford loans are due to double by july 1st if congress does not act. i'm hoping people say something. we got to try to make thur that university doors stay open. >> do you think that's going to move by the end of the month? >> you know what, i'm mentioning it to you, get us to focus. not just an interest loan rates doubling. the cost of college, you can't work your way through college any more today.
>> i know you're going to stick around to answer questions on our web extra today. >> thank you all for a terrific discussion today. and now we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. this week, the pentagon released the names of seven soldiers killed in afghanistan. that is all for us today. thank you for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news" with david muir tonight and i'll see you tomorrow on "good morning america." with david muir tonight and i'll see you tomorrow on "good morning america."