tv MSNBC Live MSNBC May 7, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
the president's campaign kicking off this critical final stretch with a new ad blitz in nine key battleground states laying out the obama case for re-election. >> instead of losing jobs we're creating them. over 4.2 million so far. we're not there yet. it's still too hard for too many. but we're coming back. >> two new polls off today. voters in swing states. "usa today" has the president leading by two points within the margin of error. politico has romney leading by one point. again, that is also within the margin of error. joining me this morning is ben le bolt national press secretary for obama for america. it's great to see you this morning. before we get started i'm sure you're expecting this to get your thoughts about the campaign because the opinion that vice president joe biden gave this weekend on "meet the press" about marriage equality is really putting the ball in president obama's court. take a listen to this. >> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying
men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties and, quite frankly, i don't see much of a distinction. >> so, ben, education secretary arne duncan followed suit on "morning joe" this morning saying he supports this as well as north carolina preps to vote on an amendment protecting marriage between a man and a woman, north carolina being a key battleground state for the president. meanwhile the hrc has come out in response to vice president biden saying it was encouraged by his remarks. but is now the time, ben, the right time for president obama to come out and speak in support of full marriage equality or does he potentially face a back lash now that the vice president, secretary duncan have come out in support? >> the president and vice president are in the same place on this. you need to look at the administration's record. this is a president who has
declined to defend -- who is opposed to divisive and discriminatory measures in the states that could roll back equal rights and protections for gay and lesbian couples. the principle is equal protection under the law. the president and vice president are in the same place which stands in stark contrast to mitt romney who said he would be to the left of ted kennedy on gay rights and then he said he supported keeping don't ask don't tell in place. he personally funded divisive and discriminatory efforts in states to roll back gay marriage in states that have made their own decisions to approve gay marriage. >> so when we talk about the president's actions matching up with his words, and you say the president, the vice president, they are in the same place, they're not. the president has not come out to say in no uncertain terms that he fully backs marriage equality. so how do you not expect to get pressed on this and especially leading up with six months to go with the vice president coming out and saying you know what? i'm not on the fence on this one. i'm over the fence and in full support. >> what the vice president said yesterday is the same thing the
president said before, which is that he had evolved on this issue. you brought up the measure in north carolina, the administration's position on that, and the president's position on that is absolutely clear. he's opposed to it. it is a divisive and discriminatory measure that could roll back rights and protections for gay and lesbian couples. we've taken a strong stand in that state as we have in states across the country. >> when it comes to not just social issues, the economy is really number one, when it comes to what people really want to talk about when it comes to getting someone elected president. mitt romney's campaign has responded though to president obama. your ad with this statement about the economy saying after doubling of gas prices, declining incomes, millions of foreclosures and record levels of unemployment, americans now know they are not better off than they were four years ago. in a "usa today" poll it shows the majority of voters do think that romney would do a better job with the economy over the next four years. so is president obama running against mitt romney or is president obama running against his own economy right now?
>> well, the romney campaign's favorite talking point as of last week is that the president refuses to talk about his record or his vision for the future. but i think as you saw in his remarks over the weekend nan this new spot that he has a record to run on. we're losing 750,000 jobs a month when he came into office. businesses have now created more than 4.2 million private sector jobs under this administration. the manufacturing sector was in decline. it's come back. the auto industry was on the brink. gm is the number one auto maker in the world. mitt romney is the only one who won't talk about his record or his vision. that's because as a corporate buyout specialist he profited off of bankrupting companies and outsourcing jobs and in massachusetts when he was governor of massachusetts, massachusetts declined from 35th to 50th to 47th and manufacturing jobs declined to twice the national average. we'll certainly highlight our record. you can see that in these spots that are up in targeted states across the country as of today. >> you're definitely highlighting it after watching the president this weekend
officially kicking off his campaign making this direct hit, this link to romney's economic message, and why it won't work. he had this to say in ohio. take a listen. >> he and his friends in congress think that the same bad ideas will lead to a different result. or they're just hoping you won't remember what happened the last time we tried it their way. >> so, ben, politico's new poll shows romney leading with the economy. the president leading with standing up for the middle class and standing up for jobs. so when you look at this and try to dissect how the american public is feeling and take their temperature, how do you combat the perception there are those in this country that say the president might be a good guy. they like him but he's not the man to fix the economic problems and they think that mitt romney can? >> well, governor romney has been out there for a year making his case on the stump. the president started to do that this week and i think you'll see those numbers move. the fact is that most americans
don't know the details of governor romney's record or his plans. the fact that he's proposed to return to the same policies that got us into the economic crisis in the first place. instead of outlining a plan to create jobs and restore economic security for the middle class e has proposed more budget busting tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and allowing wall street to write its own rules again. we tried those tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. it didn't unleash growth. it didn't unleash job creation. that recovery period was much more tepid than the current one and eventually led to the economic crisis in 2008. we'll be putting the president's economic record up against governor romney's. and i think americans will side with the president. >> ben la bolt, good to see you this morning. thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> absolutely. >> talking about the economy we're watching very closely the markets and how wall street is reacting to the austerity back lash in europe. take a look at this. right now the dow is only slightly down as i was saying before on monday but the election results overseas in france and greece could have this huge impact on the future
of europe's debt crisis. french voters fed up with the huge cuts, they ousted president sarkozy in favor of socialist francois alan who has never held a cabinet position in france. greece's election resulted in a massive loss of support for two parties in the coalition government that had backed austerity measures demanded by creditors in return for crucial bailout funding. joining me live now is edward louis washington bureau chief for london's "financial times." great to have you here. explain how the outcomes in france and greece really threaten the larger plans to resolve europe's -- the debt crisis in europe but also puts even more pressure on angela merkel of germany? >> well, it is very clear that within europe there is an opposition building not just yesterday in france and greece but there's been eight changes of government amongst the 17 euro land member states in the
last year which is an extraordinary turnover. many of which also part of this back lash against austerity. in terms though of the franco german relationship which remains the core of europe, this is coming to a really interesting crisis point. clearly, the president will be meeting angela merkel in the next few days and we'll get more of a sense from that how this relationship is going to develop. but remember, merkel offered to campaign for president sarkozy. >> right. >> and the election. he i think wisely given the unpopularity of austerity and its association with germany in france, he wisely turned down that offer. but this is not exactly the most propitious circumstances in which to start off a new relationship. >> well, i was going to say angela merkel now needing to politically pivot to welcome in alan who was voted in within that tight margin of error over
sarkozy. explain what his plans are that could then kind of -- that the french people felt they needed to move forward with. what are his plans to move what the eurozone is and the debt crisis that they face forward? >> well, he wants the euro packed to impose very strict fiscal targets on the euro land members to be balanced with a growth clause. he wants pro growth language in there. and it's not all that apparent. i think you've seen today the markets have been pretty calm. this hasn't been a big selloff. it's not all that apparent that this kind of emphasis is unpopular with the markets. you know, i think a lot of ambivalence there. clearly, some hope the european countries can stick to a pact and demonstrate credibility. but markets also like growth and right now europe is on a negative growth course with promises of more to come. so i think there is a lot of
ambivalence there not just politically developing in europe between the pro austerity and the anti-austerity camps but also within the markets. >> great to see you this morning. thank you, sir. >> thank you for having me. an emotional and personal appeal to president obama from the american aid worker kidnapped by al qaeda in pakistan almost one year ago. take a look. >> my name is warren weinstein. >> the 70-year-old there appearing in this video, weinstein was released, this video that is, on the islamic website. nbc news does not know when or where it was produced but it is our first time seeing or hearing from weinstein since gunmen stormed his home last august, taking him hostage. in this video he pleads to president obama to give in to his captors' demands saying doing so would save his life. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel joins me live in studio to talk about this. it was in december that al qaeda claimed responsibility for weinstein's kidnapping. they also issued a list of
demands. is this a way of trying to get al qaeda to send pressure, to get pressure on this government through this video? >> absolutely. >> prove that he is still alive and that they will safely return him? >> well, maybe will safely return him. al qaeda wants some -- has a list of demands. and they kidnapped warren weinstein who was a relatively easy target who was living in pakistan. he was on his way out of the country. he was having a going away party that his local staff knew about. word got out and right before he left the country militants stormed his house and took him hostage. that was in august. then in december al qaeda came out. the very top leader of al qaeda currently and issued a very long list of demands that primarily to stop the drone attacks in pakistan. and then he threw in a couple other countries to stop the drone attacks as well. namely yemen and somalia and
afghanistan. and there is no indication that the u.s. has any intention of doing that. and he wanted the release of all al qaeda and taliban prisoners. so these are very, very serious demands and i can't see any room to even negotiate. i don't even know who could even except for president obama himself have the authority to do that kind of thing. >> richard, in analyzing the video, itself, weinstein sees two very large plates of food nearby, at one point even eating while speaking. >> yes. >> which a lot of people have found to be odd. they're trying to analyze and dissect what the imagery is suggesting. >> well, al qaeda is in a bit of an awkward situation here. weinstein is a 70-year-old man. he has some health issues. and he was working on civilian aid projects. he'd been living in pakistan for sometime. he speaks some urdu so he is a sympathetic character even in the muslim world. so al qaeda is trying to show
how -- what good captors they are so they put these plates of food in front of him t's all very staged -- i'm sure he was told to take a little bite of it while he was making h plea. he was also in relatively clean clothing, not like the kind of hostage videos we've seen in the past where you have a captive in chains with a knife at their throat. they're trying to show that they are holding him in decent circumstances while he is making this plea. but then if you listen to the words, okay. sure there's food in front of him but he is saying he is going to be killed unless the president -- president obama gives in to the captors' demands. >> richard engel, nice to see you. thank you. appreciate it. the nbc news exclusive one of the prostitutes at the center of the secret service sex scandal speaks out about the agents that she says were, quote, full of themselves. and she calls them stupid brutes. then will religious voters ever embrace marriage equality? we'll talk with oral roberts'
we have to move forward. to the future we imagine in 2008. everyone does their fair share. and everyone plays by the same rules. that's the choice in this election and that's why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states. >> president obama officially kicking off his re-election campaign in ohio this weekend, telling america he's not done yet. can the president convince
americans that he needs four more years to finish the job or can mitt romney successfully make the argument that he's the only businessman in chief capable of leading the nation out of an economic hold? joining me for today's political power planl is "usa today" political reporter jackie kucinich, communications director for john edwards chris lafinis and republican strategist and former huckabee campaign manager chip saltsman. great to see all of you today. chris, i'll start with you. we have this new political poll showing this race is a dead heat. within the margin of error, mitt romney is leading with all the important independents by a 10% margin. if you are the obama campaign are you looking at these numbers and sweating bullets? >> well, i'm not sure you're sweating bullets. you've still got six months. here is the brutal truth. mitt romney is going to be a formidible opponent. i think some of the recent polling shows that. does he have weaknesses? absolutely. more than i think you can count. but given the economy and where the state of the mind of the
voter is, you know, this is going to be a tough election. i think the obama campaign has got a tough job over the next six months and that is just the reality. but, you know, given mitt romney's weaknesses i think they're in as good a position as they can be given where everything stands. >> so, chip, this new "usa today" poll out shows that for the first time in years the democrats have the actual advantage when it comes to enthusiasm for the parties. do you think this is a result f base is just right now that much bruised up from this long and dreary primary battle? >> well, i think it's the latter. there is no question we went through a war in our primary and the republican base is a little exhausted but as you've seen over the last week or two i think you're seeing a little more energy and the endorsements come in. we still got a vp pick that can energize the base which tends to do that. there are a lot of good things ahead. i'm frankly shocked we got a tough presidential election that is really close in america. it tends to happen every four
years. >> which candidate is more likeable? the president leads by double digits. one in four romney supporters even say the president is more likeable. basically this doesn't boil down to a popularity contest of who people like the more. it's who do they think can lead the best vision and call people to rise up to that vision. does this say more about the president or more about mitt romney? >> you know, it's interesting. ever since 1980 the candidate that has been more likeable has won. so i think romney wants it to be about obama's record. he wants it to be about that. and keep it focused on policy rather than, you know, likability. there's a reason for that. because it's been tougher for mitt romney. so i think you'll see a lot of this. you know, as a defining part of this campaign. >> all right. so, chris, i want you to listen to this. all of you take a listen to this. it was secretary of education arne duncan appearing on "morning joe" today echoing the
sentiments made by the vice president over the weekend and those sentiments in support of marriage equality. take a look. >> do you believe that same sex men and women should be able to get legally married in the united states? >> come on. you're going to start there? >> yes, i do. >> okay. have you ever seen that publicly before? >> i don't know if i've ever been asked publicly. >> there we have it. arne duncan on the record now. are we going to see increased pressure on the white house as well as cabinet members to come out and give what they feel is an adamant statement about whether or not they support marriage equality? i just got this hot note about david axelrod in a conference call with reporters this morning saying that in terms of the vice president's remarks as i said yesterday i think they were entirely consistent with the president's position which is that couples who are married whether they are gay or heterosexuhet roe sw sex yule couples are entitled to the same rights. chris, your thoughts? >> well, i mean, here is what i
think is going to end up happening. at some point the president is going to have to come out and address this clearly in terms of whether he supports gay marriage or not. just the brutal reality of where we are politically, you know, when these questions start they don't tend to stop until you give a definitive answer. we've heard what the president said before. the president has done an enormous amount for gay rights during his presidency. there is no question. but when it comes to marriage equality, you know, he's not there yet. and i think given what the president said, given what secretary duncan said, it puts pressure on the white house i think to come out and make it very clear. but compared to mitt romney's position on this issue it's night and day and i think mitt romney is going to have a little difficulty on this issue as well to say the least because the country is moving in this direction where they support marriage equality. >> chip, what are your thoughts? how would you advise one candidate over the other? >> well, i wouldn't advise my vice president to go ahead and
set the table for a very tough week if he doesn't answer this question because right now the media is going to get louder and louder as mr. president, are you for it or against it? as far as the earlier question talking about energizing the base the president comes out for gay marriage this will energize the republican base in a big way. >> all right. so, jackie, do you think that with the vice president coming out and talking about this over the weekend arne duncan coming out and speaking authentically off the cuff there, do you think this is going to act as a dog whistle to the left to get the base more enthused, to get them out realizing that there is more work to be done in a second administration of president obama and it may start with the civil rights, the marriage equality rights of the lgbt community? >> i think this is going to be an issue within the democratic party. there's already been talk about what is going to go on the party platform about this. you know, with some of the things that are going on in north carolina, this is going -- this conversation is not over i don't think by any stretch for the administration. >> jackie kucinich, chris, great
to see all three of you. thank you. coming up the mysterious death at churchill downs just hours after the kentucky derby a race track worker's body found yards away from the barn of this year's winner. plus, following bunny's money. did john edwards really acknowledge the cash went to cover up his affair? and "snl" takes a stab at roasting the so-called tanning mom. [ male announcer ] away...
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helping right now? >> reporter: well, thomas, he did explain that his client bunny mellon was clear and ai0 or so that ultimately wound up with andrew and cherry young, some going on to rielle hunter, most of it staying with them, was intended to assist john edwards with a personal matter. it was not campaign related. bunny mellon's lawyer said she was clear about that. he understood that. he also indicated that john edwards as far as he knew, knew nothing about these moneys. so i think it was a good morning so far for john edwards. again, the lawyer going back today but so far has done more to help the defense than the prosecution? >> that's right. and that was highlighted at one point when the prosecution sought to impeach bunny mellon's lawyer with testimony he gave in front of the grand jury. you see that rarely. it's never a good sign when the witness you call you need to contradict essentially something
they said on the stand. the other thing he did was make clear the depth of the personal relationship between his client bunny mellon and john edwards. he said that she deeply cared about him as a person not just as a politician. >> hampton, all this testimony seeming to set the stage for rielle hunt er to take the stan. her spokesperson is saying she is eager to testify. do we have any idea of when and if she is going to take the stand and the explosive details that may come out of her mouth? >> we don't know for sure if or when she will testify. i would be surprised if the government brought rielle hunter to the stand at this point. i think she will talk about how little of the money actually went to her. it's not clear to me that she can help the government make its case although she gave a day's worth of testimony in front of the grand jury. that testimony is still secret. it was a year ago. if the government thinks she can say something helpful we'll see her soon. if not i think we'll see her in the defense's part of the case
next week. >> north carolina former deputy attorney general hampton dellenger. thanks so much. we'll let you get back in there. a woman claiming to be at the heart of the secret service prostitution scandal is calling the agents, quote, dumb. she says that she doesn't know how president obama had them on his security force. in an exclusive interview with nbc's michelle kosinski she said the men who propositioned her and her friends last month in colombia were drinking vodka like water and hinted it didn't seem like it was their first time paying for sex. >> were they shy about asking for sex or were they very direct about it? >> very direct. i will say too direct. >> did any of them say they had done this before? >> translator: no, but the way they approached this it seems obvious they were used to doing it because people that do this for the first time are very shy. >> michelle kosinski joins me now from madrid, spain. what else did she have to say that was eye opening about that
infamous night now in colombia? >> reporter: well, she had a lot to say. she talked to us for hours and said there was nothing to indicate about these guys that they were officials let alone secret service personnel in town to guard the president. she said she just assumed that these men, she said she met three of them while she was with three of her girlfriends, just seemed to be partying wildly, seemed to be tourists. she described one as crazy and said he kept jumping on the bar and dancing. one thing that did stand out is they all had what she described as great bodies with well-defined abs and it surprised her when she danced with one of them he kept lifting up his shirt so everybody could see his chest and abs. she really described this very indiscreet partying that night. and she also said that she made it abundantly clear that a night with her for sex would cost $800. we asked her, well was there a language barrier? she said, no. she used hand signals to indicate that she didn't mean $80 or 80 cents. she said that they went back to
the agent's hotel room, had what she described as normal sex. here is what she said happened the next morning. >> he told me to stay. >> he told you to stay longer? >> translator: he told me to stay here. stay, my love. stay, my love. i told him, no. i told him to give me my money. that i was going home. >> reporter: was he angry? >> translator: very angry. very angry. >> reporter: she says he gave her $50, ordered her out of the room. that's how police got involved and that's how this scandal really started. a u.s. official with knowledge of the investigation says this agent that she claims she was with that night has now resigned. thomas? >> michelle kosinski in madrid, spain this morning. thank you. here is a look at some other stories topping the news right now. the army says a soldier in afghanistan who died while talking on skype with his wife was not shot. captain bruce clark suddenly collapsed last week while on camera and his wife says she thought he was shot because she
saw what looked like a bullet hole in a closet behind him. his cause of death has not been formally released but military officials say it appears clark died of a massive heart attack. the blind activist who sparked a diplomatic dispute between the u.s. and china says he is confident that beijing will let him study here in the u.s. the u.s. and china struck a tentative deal allowing chen guangcheng to apply to leave china. nyu has already invited the chinese dissident to attend the university as a visiting scholar. police say they have identified the man whose body was found in a barn at churchill downs a day after the kentucky derby. an autopsy is now under way on the remains of 48-year-old aden fabian perez whose death is being treated as a homicide. investigators say perez is a native of guatemala but they don't know how he is connected to the track there. the last of the 11 people facing felony charges in the florida a&m hazing death has turned herself in. authorities released 20-year-old sherry cogner on $15,000 bail
after they booked her into the orange county jail sunday afternoon. she joins ten other men charged in the november death of 26-year-old drum major robert champion whose phasing has damaged the rep of the university's well known marching group. and you may have noticed that the night sky was brighter than usual this weekend and that's because the rare full moon was at its closest orbit to earth on saturday. the so-called super moon was about 4,000 miles closer than its normal distance. astronomers say the moon won't be this picture perfect again until the year 2029. so hopefully you caught it. talk about a money making marvel, the avengers soared into the unprecedented box office opening weekend and set this all-time record, $200 million in ticket sales. that means it topped the earnings of the final installment of the harry potter series but "the hunger games" and "spiderman" as well. of course leave it up to "saturday night live" to roast
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it is a divisive and discriminatory measure that could roll back rights and protections for gay and lesbian couples. >> obama press secretary ben la bolt earlier in the hour saying the president opposes an amendment in north carolina that defines marriage as only being between a man and woman. the amendment is up for vote tomorrow in the key battleground state. many religious conservatives including the reverend billy graham have come out in support of it while former president bill clinton is leading the opposition with a robo call in that state today. >> i'm calling to urge you to vote against amendment one on tuesday, may 8th. if it passes, it won't change north carolina's law on marriage. what it will change is north carolina's ability to keep good businesses, attract new jobs, and attract and keep talented entrepreneurs. >> joining me now from ft. worth, texas is randy roberts. he is not only openly lbgt but the grandson of oral roberts.
the reverend billy graham has taken out a full page ad in support of the amendment. i want to show it to everybody because it does get attention. it says at 93 i never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. the bible is clear. god's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. randy, you're the grandson of a very well known, well beloved televangelist. do you think religious leaders will ever, ever come to accept that lgbt people deserve the right to marry? >> i do because in fact today there are many religious leaders who already support lbgt relationships, many rabbis, pastors, priests throughout the country who if two men or two women are in love and come to them asking to be married they are very happy to consecrate their marriage. so it's already happening. when it will be all churches i don't know. >> why do you think in your opinion have religious leaders from denominations, all denominations been able to evolve on certain aspects of the bible, out dated aspects of religious teaching. however, they can't seem to
embrace the lgbt community as a loving part that can be included under the umbrella of the church? >> i think there are a lot of misconceptions about the lgbt community and a lot of fear, a lot of people in the older generations were told a lot of things about lgbt people that were incorrect but those ideas are still out there. so a lot of people when they vote against gay marriage don't realize that they are voting against the love between two men or the love between two women which is a very simple, beautiful thing not anything they should have a problem with. >> do you think it's hard for religious leaders, certain ones that are against lgbt rights, to believe that there are people, many people within this community that do have their own relationship with god and do want to be a part of a religious community? >> i can see that, you know, them being in that position but all they would have to do is reach out to the many couples in north carolina for instance, gay couples or lesbian couples, who
have been together 20 years, 30 years, sometimes 40 years and in a legitimate, wonderful partnership. and they are asking the state to grant them marriage. so i think religious leaders if they've reached out and met with those couples would be very impressed by the love shown between those two people. >> randy roberts potts, nice to see you today. thanks for taking time for us. we appreciate it. >> thanks a lot. ron paul takes maine and nevada and now it is time for the side bar. the republican congressman won the most number of delegates at both state party conventions this weekend even though he didn't win either of those states. both states make final selections during party meetings. paul scored 22 delegates in nevada and 21 in maine. mitt romney won three in each state. ron paul was raking up the delegates and romney was back home in massachusetts catching a boston celtics/atlanta hawks playoff game. he sat near mid court about 12 rows back. the celtics won that game. they need just one more win to take the series. speaking of taking the series, former nba star now tv
commentator charles barkley says president obama's got game. >> mitt romney. >> he was at the game in boston. >> we're going to beat you like a drum in november. don't take it personal. you seem like a nice guy. you going down. >> after that remark one of barkley's on air colleagues said this is not a paid political ad but people are paying attention to the names on mitt romney's list of potential running mates. >> are you ready to be president? >> i'll tell you this. i have great experience as attorney general in the state. i'm very proud of that experience and i would say i have some would say better experience than barack obama had when he was a senator and ran having been the chief law enforcement officer of my state. i serve on the senate armed services committee. but again, what it comes down to for me is serving new hampshire. >> so does that "meet the press" moment mean senator kelly ayotte is interested or not? and vice president joe biden didn't do much to clarify questions when they came up about 2016.
>> you or secretary clinton? >> i think we may run as a team. i'm only joking obviously. i don't know. i don't know whether i'm going to run and hill tri doesn't know whether she is going to run. >> there is a lot of truth in humor, mr. vice president. >> vice president biden appearing more open to running than secretary clinton at least publicly. i went to a small high school. the teacher that comes to mind for me is my high school math teacher, dr. gilmore. i mean he could teach. he was there for us, even if we needed him in college. you could call him, you had his phone number. he was just focused on making sure we were gonna be successful.
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welcome back, everyone. accused nooimpb mastermind khalid shaikh mohammed and four alleged coconspirators are scheduled to be back in a military courtroom in guantanamo bay, cuba, next month but their trial is not expected to begin for another year after saturday's chaotic arraignment where they refused to answer questions. some shouted and during breakses laughed among themselves. the proceeding dragged on for 13 hours as the families of 9/11 victims looked on. >> and hurtful because they have no remorse. >> they have nothing but contempt for our way of life.
>> i think people like khalid shaikh mohammed if they could have come back and told them we killed 50 children, he would have said wonderful. praise lal. i say damn you. >> correspondent michael iz cough was in is that courtroom in guantanamo way for saturday's arraignment and joins me now from washington. michael, explain what was it like in that be courtroom since this was supposed to be something more simple in terms of a court proceeding that then lasted 13 hours. >> anything but simple. it's an extraordinary scene to sit in there and see khalid shaikh mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and these four co-defendants sitting there at times like they didn't have a care in the world. sort of laughing among themselves, chatting. paying absolutely no attention to the judge, refusing to even acknowledge his existence, wouldn't even look at him. they wouldn't wear their head sets so they could hear
translations of what was going on which required the judge to be order that there be verbal translations an of everything that was being said in the courtroom so he could be assured that the defendants at least heard what was going on. this, of course, you know, dragged the process out even more because it took time for everything to be translated. i remember the first time i got in, which was actually you know, during one of the breaks, one of the many prayer breaks. there you see khalid shaikh mohammed with hissing long beard and chit turbine and white robe acting as imam for the four co-defendants all with their prayer rugs leading prayers, something you would never see in a federal courtroom. it was very clear that the defendants and their lawyers are going to do everything they can to drag this process out. as the lawyers say, put the focus on the government on what they see as then unjust
treatment that their clients have had in gitmo and the unjust rules of the military commission system. >> michael, explains what happens next. there is another hearing scheduled for june 12th. where does it go from here? >> that is just going to be one of an infinite number of procedural hearings on this case. the lawyers have filed multiple motions challenging the rules of the military commission, challenging the inspection of the mail that they send their clients saying that interferes with the attorney/client relationship. challenging the rules of presumptive classificationing that dictate that anything their clients say to them, no matter what, is presumptively classified and can't be uttered in court. these are, you know, remember, this is a new military commission system that is in many ways untested, hasn't been -- there haven't been in any major trials that will have gone through. there have been a few minor
ones. but they are going to put the lawyers are going to put this military commission system on trial, and it's going to require many, many years of litigation. >> nbc's michael isikoff in washington for us. thank you. and thank you. that wraps things up for me today. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern time. you can follow me on. anyway, "now with alex wagner" is coming up next for this beautiful monday. hi, alex. >> hello, thomas. i can't wait to see you later on this afternoon. the hardest working man on the channel. it is a manic monday. markets around the world are reacting to elections in europe and it ain't pretty. the chaos in europe and what it means for u.s. politics. president obama launched his campaign this weekend and mitt romney is doing his best to stop the momentum from going forward. plus, inside the mind of joe biden or as close as we can get
to inside the mind of joe biden. we'll unpack the v.p.'s comments on gay marriage this monday "now" edition starts in a mere 180 seconds. [ male announcer ] if you think tylenol is the pain reliever orthopedic doctors recommend most for arthritis pain, think again. and take aleve. it's the one doctors recommend most for arthritis pain. two pills can last all day. ♪
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nicolas sarkozies is packing boxes in the palace. the greek parliament is figuring out what just happened. angela merkel is trying to play nice, and paul ryan is wondering whether austerity sounds as bad in english as it does in french. it's monday, may 7th. and this is "now." joining me today, msnbc contributor robert traynham, erin mcpike and msnbc contributor ari melber of the nation. volatility struck the overseas markets today and here in the u.s., dow