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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  June 20, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall. "news nation" is following breaking news this hour. we are close to a vote from a house committee to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress. right now that committee is in recess but is expected to return very soon. this all follows the obama administration today invoking executive privilege over additional documents related to that will fast and furious investigation citing they've already handed in more than 7600 pages of documents. it's been an intense day of back and forth along party lines. >> more than eight months after a subpoena and clearly after the question of executive privilege could have and should have been asserted, this untimely assertion by the justice department falls short of any reason to delay today's
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proceedings. >> mr. chairman, it did not have to be this way. it really didn't. we could have postponed today's vote, accepted the attorney general's offer and worked with the department to obtain additional documents and information. >> the attorney general has been stonewalling this committee. >> i am horrified that you are going forward with this contempt charge when the president of the united states and the administration have invoked executive privilege. >> this is the highest judicial prosecutorial position in the united states involved in creating a situation in which an agent of the united states was murdered with weapons supplied by the department of justice. >> "fast and furious" allowed thousands of weapons from the united states to be smuggled
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into mexico in hopes of tracing leaders of that country's drug cartels but many of those weapons have now been linked to crimes, including the fatal shooting of u.s. border patrol agent brian terry back in december 2010. joining me now nbc justice correspondent pete williams. as congresswoman maloney pointed out "even newt gingrich would not hold a contempt vote on the floor of congress against janet reno." >> right, and if the house committee does vote to find the attorney general in contempt, then it goes to the full house. if they vote to find him in contempt, frankly i don't know what happens next because the law says that the u.s. attorney here in washington, part of the justice department, works for eric holder shall convene a grand jury and decide whether to prosecute, but the justice department under both republicans and democrats has for a long time taken the position that under the separation of powers congress can't tell the executive branch who to prosecute and what's more, the justice department has also said when a president
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asserts executive privilege over what congress wants, that means the u.s. attorney can't act, cannot prosecute. so the you know, if it goes into court, the courts have never fully satisfied these questions. now, a couple of things, tamron. number one, it's worth noting that the guns that walked across the boarder here they allowed to go across the border have never been definitively linked to the killing of terry. some of the guns were found at the scene where he was shot but that's as far as the government's gone so far in terms of ballistics. the documents congress wants are not documents about the operation itself, how it was authorized. instead what congress now wants is documents from last year from, february to december last year that detail how the administration here, officials in washington, acted when they found out that their initial statement to congress that there were no guns walked turned out to be wrong. the committee now wants to know if there was some kind of cover-up here. that's the documents they're seeking and the documents that the president now has asserted
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executive privilege over. >> pete, the white house communications director dan pfeiffer issued a statement and it said in part the problem of gun walking was a field-driven tactic that dated back to the previous administration and it was this is administration's attorney general who ended. in fact, the justice department has spent the past 14 months accommodating congressional investigators and then they will go on with the 600 pages of documents. but in this statement, they point to the previous administration, and that this new attorney general is the person who ended it. >> that's technically true. there's no question about it. although i think the republicans on the committee would say that the gun walking in the past was a little different than on this one. it was perhaps an order of magnitude larger. there's no question when attorney general holder found out about it, he put a stop to it, took administrative steps against the people in arizona who were involved. and there's still a criminal investigation going on of who shot terry and an investigation going on within the justice department about how this whole thing was ever approved in the
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first place. you know, the committee says when the justice department gave them a wrong piece of information, that raised several questions they're trying to answer. so what we have now is the committee chairman saying i won't have this contempt vote if you'll give us the documents. the attorney general saying i'll give you the documents if you call off the contempt vote. and the justice department says if the committee really wanted to know what would happen, it would take its offer to be briefed and see the documents. we have this current stalemate. >> as far as the administration and the president's first assertion of executive privilege, this is the first time george bush exerted it four times, clinton 14 times. you have twofold here, the criticism of eric holder and today republicans going after the president for thrsz decision. >> right, and you know, executive privilege is a funny thing because again, the courts have generally said that the core protection of executive privilege is what's right around the president. the people who advise him.
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as you get further and further away from the president, and the white house, then the whole question of what's covered by executive privilege becomes a little murkier. so there's no clearly -- there's no clear road map here for what happens if the full house does vote for contempt. one of the reasons there isn't, if you look at the past since 1975, the dozen or so cabinet members cited for contempt by the full congress or a committee generally than ultimately results in the two sides working with out. >> pete, thank you very much. greatly appreciate you joining me. let me bring in nbc capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. you've got the investigation, you have this committee. but we also know the other undercurrent of the story is the politics of all of this. it's right down party lines. many have seen that this fast and furious" investigation was something conservatives people on the right wanted to see pushed for lack of a better description, would give enthusiasm to see it go to this point. here we are an investigation, but weise also know the politics
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of all of this. >> politics is something that members of this committee from both parties talked about today, and clearly, there is a big layer of that over all of this. what is interesting is that both parties acknowledge that politics is playing out and both parties acknowledge that there are legitimate issues here. you will find that democrats respect that the power of this committee to look into things in other parts of the government. they're not happy that it's involving the attorney general. some believe he is being mistreated and has been not shown the proper respect and they would like to see it not go forward, but as you watch the hours of this unfold, there is agreement between the parties that this program was so terribly flawed that resulted in the death of the agent and others, mexican citizens who have been killed, so everybody agrees on that. the question is, what pete was laying out, a far more narrow question. now, republicans are saying bring in the bush administration officials had a similar program. if that would satisfy some of the concerns. so the i think what often
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happens here is you have layers of an issue. yes, there's politics. yes, there are underlying power struggles between the branches of government. there are legitimate investigatory questions that need to be pursued and weeding our way through that is what can be so difficult. there are certainly egos and emotions and feelings attached to this. this same committee heard from the family of brian terry, the border agent who was killed and they have placed a lot of pressure on this committee to keep looking for answers. they feel that there has not been anyone held accountable. we've heard that brought up a number of times today as well, that there are human emotions and dynamics a part of this, along with a very complicated process when our own pete williams is unsure of the road ahead, we're all in a bit of trouble because it is such. >> that is very telling. pretty scary, as well. thank you very much, kelly o'donnell. by the way, democratic congresswoman carolyn maloney will join us to discuss what happened in the hearing and hercrittism of the republicans
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involved in this, and "hardball" host chris matthewses, is yesterday chris compared what's happening to attorney general eric holder to this controversial new york law that some leaders say targets minorities. >> it's been almost like a stop and frisk. here's a chance to humiliate a distinguished members of the united states government, the attorney general and everybody knows close friend of the president's. >> we'll talk to our "news nation" political panel, plus, is the short list. >> the story was entirely false. marco rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process. >> was mitt romney is pressured to clear up reports that said is rubio was not being seriously considered as a possible vp candidate? and if he was pressured, by whom? join our conversation on our twitter page i. we're back with more breaking news. my cut hurt! mine hurt more! mine stopped hurting faster...
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news we are following this hour. a house committee is due to vote moments from now on whether to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress for refusing to turn over documents from the fast and furious program as you see there. the committee in recess but they should be returning very soon. joining me now, syndicated columnist, nia henderson political reporter with "the washington post" and chris kofinis, democratic strategist. i want to play a moment from chris matthews' show yesterday where he asked his panel last night about the issue of race involved in what's playing out in this house committee. a portion of what he said. >> it smells like i.c.e. has one goal, get eric holder up under the lights, go through his
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pockets. it looks like stop and frisk, the mere act of which shows who is the boss and who says you're clean. well, that's what this subcommittee of i.c.e. is up to trying to make noise so people will think they're doing something up there on capital little, which everyone knows they're not. >> earl, to mention stop and frisk as we know it's being challenged. many people taking issue that minorities being targeted, blacks and latinos when they are, quote unquote, suspicious and in many cases as chris pointed out, go through your pockets. is that how it you see what's happening today with this committee, or is there a legitimate investigation here? you have a family who's lost a loved one and want to know what happened here. >> well, i think that's a lynchpin and the starting point. certainly, there are issues solving "fast and furious" and what the justice department did or didn't do. involving "fast and furious"en at guns and the sales and the drugs and, of course, the tragic killing of the border patrol agent. however, having said that, the committee's right, they have a right to investigation, there's
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no question about that, but i think where the line is being drawn is, is this a partisan attack by a republican-controlled house oversight committee and a republican-controlled congress on eric holder, attorney general eric holder? what tends to happen is justice departments and their attorneys general tend to come under fire. we certainly remember janet reno with clinton, alberto gonzales within bush, and now eric holder. this seen partly as a surrogate for the president. they're a soft target, easy pickings. let's go after him or her and the other thing that there are so many legal issues involved it almost makes them the whipping boy or girl for going after in a politically partisan way the president. i think that's what we're looking at here. >> nia, you heard earl outline the other attorneys general who certainly have been for lack of a better description in the middle of these partisan battles. but as carolyn maloney pointed out, not even newt gingrich brought this to the house floor
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in regards to janet reno but we cannot negate the fact that so many people discussing this wonder how much of this is a dynamic of concern when you look at race. >> that's true. you've heard that are from folks on the left who have pointed out the fact that some of the language and some of the treatment of eric holder might have to do with race. but i think overwhelming thrill this is just how partisan politics are played. eric holder in some ways has embodied the progressive movement. he's been the daring of the progressive side of things since taking office. in that way, he has certainly become a lightning rod for the right. but sure, i think people do have concerns about this and what happens going forward. and does this poison the atmosphere further in washington, d.c.? you also, i think, have some concerns on the right about this. this idea of shouldn't this be a congress that is talking about jobs, john boehner had that bumper sticker slogan "where are
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the jobs." even on the right, there is some concern that they are distracting from that message that in some ways is a powerful one. >> chris, let me bring you in. to the point made by malika as well as earl here. you cannot deny someone's feelings. you see this image of an african-american attorney general. you have members of congress saying you should resign right now. carolyn maloney stated the chairman issa called eric holder a liar. these things happen here. so is it beyond the pale of reason or reasonable thinking here to factor in race or is it truly just about what we're seeing partisan politics on every level that will weep witness within washington? >> well, i think listen, the imagery i think feeds into the talk and the debate about race. but i think when you kind of really kind of narrow down and look at this, this is just brutal washington politics.
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it's happened before. it's going to happen again. i think it's unfortunate. i do not understand this from a political perspective what the republicans are thinking. you're going to suck up about a week of news and talk about something that no one can figure out exactly what it actually is, instead of talking about the economy or issues i imagine they want to talk about, you're going to be completely distracted into something that is political and ugly and just not i think where people want to be focused on. >> absolutely. again i can't bring up enough, you have a family who has lost a loved one. they want details on what happened with this fast and furious program. i think any human being would want to know how their loved one lost their life especially when there's been admission from the department of justice that this was a problematic program and flawed. with that said, let me transition to mitt romney, chris. you've worked on political campaigns. you know the game here. now you've got governor romney coming out trying to shoot down reports that he is not seriously considering marco rubio a tea party favorite, let me play the
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latest comments from the governor romney. >> there are only two people in this country who know who are being vetted and who are not. and that's beth myers and myself. and i know beth well. she doesn't talk to anybody. the story was entirely false. marco rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process. >> so chris as i mentioned, you've worked on campaigns and know, would only truly people know that this rubio not being vetted come out of thin air? >> that's 100% impossible. it is literally impossible because to vet a candidate requires a number of individuals who are going to go through not only what's public but what's not public. i mean, you're talking about a staff of individuals, and it just really is strange to me. it kind of speaks to dysfunction in the romney campaign that they will seemingly and top advisers don't know who is being veried and who is not. it clearly seems to me what
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happened here is they got embarrassed, in particular i think the rubio campaign was upset about how this leaked out unnecessarily and governor romney had to come out and squelch it will. >> let me play what will governor rubio said today on fox. nia, i'll get your thoughts on the other side. >> that's part of the process. it comes with the territory and that's fine. i will tell you two things. number one, i don't discuss the process. that governor romney is undergoing and than romney conducted. he deserves the space to conduct that in the most professional way possible. >> nia, a lot of articles today saying in fact, romney's campaign under pressure from the more conservative portions of the party as chris pointed out, kind of upset how this all played out regarding a guy they really like, which is rubio. they will see maybe he has a future later but perhaps not this time around. >> that's right. they very much want him at least on the short list, at least in the sort of mentioninging about who cog assume this number two slot on the ticket. and remember, this was a
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discussion that game out as mitt romney has been facing questions. there was 80s conference call today, all the questions from reporters about his immigration stance. a lot of top party leaders not just conservatives who think the latino vote is key in this campaign really want marco rubio in the mix at least for appearance's sake. that's why you saw mitt romney clean up on aisle of 6 over this story yesterday. >> all right. thank you both. greatly appreciate you jumping from the breaking news obviously to the other big topic in politics. thank you all three of you i should say. thank you. u.s. sources now say former see gypion dictator hosni mubarak is on the brink of death as the nation is on the brink of more unrest. the latest as egypt awaits the official results of its presidential election. plus a new pole out just today shows president obama with a double digit lead over mitt
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romney. it's not all good news for the president. we'll have more on the numbers in this one poll and we are still following as mentioned that big breaking news on the house. the committee to vote on whether to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt. we're keeping an eye on the committee. they're in recess, but we will bring you the very latest up next and our team will weigh in. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about that 401(k) you picked up back in the '80s. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like a lot of things, the market has changed, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and your plans probably have too. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so those old investments might not sound so hot today. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, we'll give you personalized recommendations tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 on how to reinvest that old 401(k) tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and help you handle all of the rollover details. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and bring your old 401(k) into the 21st century. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550
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our cloud is the smartest brains combating the latest security threats. it spans oceans, stretches continents. and is scalable as far as the mind can see. our cloud is the cloud other clouds look up to. welcome to the uppernet. verizon. well, if you don't know i'm going to tell you, today is the official first day of summer. we are looking at dangerously high temperatures hitting much of the country as a speak. the national weather service, in fact, has issued heat advisories in 12, look at an that map, 12 states at or near triple digits. and phoenix, chicago, washington, d.c., all on the list there. the northeast is being hit especially hard with this heat wave. record highs across much of the region along with heat, high humidity bringing the heat index to over 100 degrees.
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the record-breaking heat wave is coming from the midwest and will linger in the northeast for the next couple days before finally cooling off this weekend. according to the weather service, heat is the number one related killer in this country. people are being advised to wear light clothes. all of the common sense things and drink plenty of water. we continue to follow the house committee vote on whether to hold attorney general eric holder in context. the vote could come at any moment despite the administration asserting executive privilege. >> this untimely assertion by the justice department falls short of any reason to delay today's proceedings. plus, the defense rests in jerry sandusky's child sexual abuse trial without sandusky taking the stand. we'll see what happens. the closing arguments take place tomorrow. we'll have a preview. role throughout our entire lives. ♪
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developing news right now. today's money minute, we are watching reaction to today's announcement by the federal reserve that it is extending a program designed to boost the economy and two, that it is sharply lowering its outlook for economic growth this year. and with that, the fed says it does not expect the unemployment rate it fall much further this year. right now, the markets are lower. the dow is down about 39 points there. fed chairman ben bernanke is also at this hour holding a news conference, one of several he will now hold each year following fed meetings. joining me live sue herera coanchor of "power lunch." western curious how the day would shake out. we're keeping an ear and eye on ben bernanke and what he's saying right now. >> he's defend kth fed's move. there was some criticism in the market shortly after the fed decided to simply extend the program it has in place now. this is the first time i can remember the wall street so divided as to what they thought
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the fed would do and what they thought the fed should do. many people wanted the fed to be more aggressive, and he is deflecting right now at this hour in this conference criticisms that the fed has been too incremental and that the monthry policy tools they have to keep interest rates low and boost the economy have been somewhat lumpy for lack of a better word. the fed chief used that word himself saying that's the way monetary policy sometimes works that they still have tools to try and boost the economy. but they don't want to pull them all out at once and that this should keep interest rates low for a very long time. >> thank you very much. and more on the breaking news out of the house committee's vote on eric holder. i'm joined now on the phone by new york democratic congresswoman carolyn maloney, a member of the house oversight and government reform committee. thank you for joining me. >> thank you. i wish i could be on set, but we're working hard here in congress. >> absolutely. how would you categorize what's happened in the last few hours
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as you and your colleagues on this committee have gone back and forthright along party lines here? >> well, i would just characterize it as a witch hunt and it's witch hunting season and it probably won't be over till the election. i think it has nothing to do with substance. it has a lot to do with going after the president and going after the attorney general. this isn't about the "fast and furious" anymore. it's about really getting more documents and the attorney general has bent over backwards tore cooperate but when it comes to the internal deliberations of the department of justice, that's where he is. and the president are drawing the line there, and i agree. the president sent over a statement today that he was invoking executive privilege, that these documents were executive privilege and should not be turned over. we may be having a vote right now on contempt, no attorney
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general in the history of this country has faced a contempt vote before. janet reno it was reported during the committee, but even newt gingrich didn't bring it to the floor of the house of representatives to a vote. but it looks like we'll be able to see if speaker boehner is more extreme than newt gingrich on this vote. >> you brought that point up in your remarks today. i want to play what a committee member patrick meehan of pennsylvania said today on msnbc. take a listen, i want you to respond to it, please. >> there was a representation made by the justice department, and then it did a 1 0 and they changed that representation. so the they made a statement that was fundamentally incorrect to congress and now we're trying to ask why that was made. there's evidence as well of intimidation of individuals who were whistleblowers who are very concerned about those representations made and brought information that contradicted the justice department representations. >> and other republicans on the
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committee congresswoman, are also pointing to brian terry's family saying they deserve answers while there's no evidence that a gun from this program was used in his death, there were guns found near that scene. >> well, the program started under the prior administration. and we have turned over or rather the democrats have -- they turned over the department of justice 7,000 pages of documents authorizing an ig to investigate and testified nine times before congress. and the documents that they're looking at now have nothing to do with terry or the terrible tragedy that happened to him and his family. but it concerns a letter that was sent to senator grassley that was incorrect when they said something like, that the ag's office was not involved and did not know anything about fast and furious. and "fast and furious" was a
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program to combat guns on the border and to track the guns, and instead of looking at stopp guns at the border, we have a number of bills on controlling drug -- the trafficking in guns, they're not looking at any type of reform or nel positive action. they just appear to be wanting to go after the attorney general. and the documents that they are requesting have nothing to do directly with terry. and the guy's comments that you played earlier, i don't know wa he's talking about. what was he talking about? he said some statement -- >> he was referring to the grassley letter that had the inaccurate information that republicans are citing as the reason that they want to seept more information here. i know you've got to return. you're in recess. we will see what happens when you and the other committee members return to see, as you pointed out. it would be unprecedented for
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this to go to the house floor for a vote. thank you very much for your time. >> instead of going after guns, the committee the majority have gone after the ag. rather than solving the problems of guns on our street, i see this as a political maneuver. >> thank you. just a short time ago, white house communications director dan pfeiffer blasted the oversight committee, republicans saying "instead of creating jobs or strengthening the middle class, congressional republicans are spending time on politically motivated taxpayer funded election year fishing expeditions." deputy political director doe min know month ta narrow joins me live. republicans say in a similar fashion that this is all about politics. nevertheless, i can't tell you how many tweets and comments that i've heard everywhere people aren't they supposed to be discussing jobs, republicans and democrats alike here and here we are bogged in with this situation, very serious for brian terry and his family. nevertheless, another example of
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what's sometimes seen as bad there. >> i'm not totally surprised either that the white house did eventually invoke executive privilege. if you'd listen to darrell issa over the last couple of weeks, he had said that he didn't go after theity bush administration because it invoked executive privilege seeming to open up the obama administration to making that move eventually. .course, this does carry a little bit of risk for the obama white house because they do risk not looking as transparent as you possibly could. >> well, you know, you say political risk to the white house. michael steele, the former rnc chair was on today and he calculates it as a political risk as well to republicans. let me play what he said. >> the economy is hem ranning. jobs aren't being created at the pace the administration hoped or the american people had hoped and yet here we are in the muck and meier of another congressional investigation to where. it's off message. a number of hill republicans are saying that very quietly. >> domenico, they're saying it
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quietly he said on our program. >> the presidential election is not going to be decided based on "fast and furious." you don't hear mitt romney talking about "fast and furious." you hear him talking about the economy, about jobs. he hopes to ride that wave into the white house whp when you see jobs reports that are 69,000, that's why you see mitt romney doing better. the obama campaign is going to do everything it can to try to time mitt romney to what it sees as an extreme agenda from the house republicans. >> i got to talk with you about this one new poll. we know that one poll does not rule the world or rule the day, but nevertheless, it is a glimpse of at least how some people are thinking. this bloom burke poll shows the president 53%, mitt romney 40%. that's a larger divide than we've seen in any other poll. what's your insight here? >> it is a bigger margin than any poll we've seen in the past month. certainly larger than the
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nbc/wall street journal poll. so in that respect, it could be an outlier. one of the reasons for that when we look at it, even though else is selzer is a great pollster, she's considered the gold standard of polling in iowa, one reason when you look at some of this, that 33% of the respondents were nonwhite. now, normally you usually see about 27 to 28% in a national sample. so you know that, could account for maybe six-point difference or so. it might be a four to six-point lead for the president. so it's probably not 13 points. it's probably something a bit smaller. but you know, still a good pollster, but it may be a slightly narrower margin. >> thank you, domenico for talking about this breaking news. greatly appreciate it. now to egypt where reports on the health of hosni mubarak are complicating a tense situation
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there. his condition appears to have taken a turn for the worse. the egyptian government news service reports he is near death. his attorneys deny the reports and say his situation is stable all happening at the country awaits the official results of that presidential election. both muhammad morecy of the muslim brotherhood and ahmed sa fiqh a former member of the mubarak military have now claimed victory. tens of thousands of morsi supporters have rallied in tahrir square last night to the protest against the military regime and now there are real fears that violence will re-erupt if shafik is declared the winner. those results are expected tomorrow you. jerusalem bureau chief deny off rom joins us live now. as i understand it, obviously this is a complicated situation. a lot of reports are indicating that morsi is the victor here but that still brings another batch of concern, of course, for the united states and israel which we discussed yesterday. >> that's right.
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and really either way, whether shafiq is declared the victor or morsi, some constituency of the egyptian veet is going to come out to the street and we're probably going to see more turmoil in the coming days or at least as much turmoil as we have seen over the last 16 months since the ouster of the mubarak regime. >> speaking of mubarak, conflicting reports. why such secrecy regarding his health and how does that is if at all impact what we will see play out tomorrow? >> you know, i don't think there will be an impact in terms of the election results. but i do think it reflects something very interesting. my tendency is now to believe the lawyers that he's not in a coma, he's not brain dead. i think it suggests there are people around mubarak within the prison system who still support him who wanted to get out the word that maybe something could happen so he could be sent back to the military hospital where he had been for a number of months up till his trial where the conditions are much better.
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and that is in fact, what happened. there is where he is tonight. >> back to the protests so far, what's happened in tahrir square remain peaceful. what is your concern? what should we be looking for tomorrow as you indicated? i know which ever i'd is seen as defeated will have a response. what is your greatest concern at this moment. >> the level of uncertainty and turmoil at this is taken is very, very high. there's no parliament in egypt. there's no clear understanding of about who is going to get named president or how that's going to happen. there's no constitution. and in that vacuum, we've had a vacuum of one dimension or another really over the last 16 months but it's greater than at any time in that period. you don't know what might happen, whether it's violence on the street, whether it's the army feeling pressured and coming out and cracking down or some scenario in between. i think those are the big concerns. >> dan, thank you for joining us. i know we'll be speaking with
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you hopefully tomorrow regarding the results. up next, the defense rests in jerry sandusky's trial without calling the former penn state assistant coach to the stand. we'll get a live report from pennsylvania next. ♪ the one and only, cheerios [ male announcer ] when a major hospital wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. [ yawning sound ]
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so take charge of your symptoms by talking to your doctor and go to vesicare.com for a free trial offer. let's compare. germ party! eww! now the colgate total mouth. nice! [ female announcer ] colgate total fights 90% more plaque germs. i'm in. [ female announcer ] colgate total. less germs. healthier mouth. the first day of summer, a sweltering heat wave across much of the northeast and now a political firestorm in the nation's capital. we start with new details on the attorney general, plus who's out of touch? a new poll shows mr. romney may want to rethink that talking point. now back to tamron. and we continue to follow the breaking news. the house committee back from recess and they're now considering amendments and then there's going to be a vote to move the resolution recommending
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that the full household attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress. committee members are back from their break. right now they're considering amendments and then the vote we've all been discussing and waiting to see how this plays out today. another developing news story right now in the jerry sandusky sexual abuse trial. the jury will get that case within 24 hours without hearing from jerry sandusky. his attorneys wrapped their case only a few hours ago after calling a former second mile participant to take the stand. joining me live from harrisburg, pennsylvania, kathleen king, a former lack wan nan prosecutor and candidate for the state attorney general's office. you said all along it would have been a mistake. is there a real surprise here? >> there really isn't a prize. i'm not buying the defense attorney's assertion outside of court that sandusky really wanted to testify but they wouldn't allow him to. practically speaking if the defendant wants to testify, he must be able to testify just like as if he didn't want to
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testify, he can't be forced to do so. >> knowing that and the defense attorney knows there are other attorney who's would call him out on that, why try to explain it out that way? >> i think it's more of a pr, public relations kind of ploy. in other words, you know, my client really wanted to get on the stand and tell everyone he's innocent but we wouldn't let him. so he's not the bad guy. we're the bad guy. i think they're more just taking the heat or the fall for their client. practically speaking. >> go ahead. >> practically speaking what they would do is it go before the court and say, sandusky really wants to testify. we've advised him against it. we want it on the record so in the event of a conviction and an appeal, there is no appealable issue on ineffective assistance of counsel. >> the defense called another person affiliated with second mile. what they are attempting to do with these last few witnesses is to indicate the people investigating this case told other victims information, in a
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sense planned seeds for lack of a better description against jerry sandusky. this person testified i felt like they wanted me to say something that wasn't true. they asked me the same questions to see if i would slip up and give a different answer. so again, the defense trying to portray the investigators as somehow taken thing the case against secretary. >> but that also goes the other way. investigators will frequently ask the same question in maybe two or three different ways to make sure that the truth is coming out. not to try and force someone to say something they wouldn't otherwise say but to make sure that the truth is coming out. that can go both ways. >> beyond sandusky, we were wondering if dottie sandusky would take the stand. she did, she defended her husband. she claimed to know nothing of these allegations and went a step further describing some of the alled victims as conniving and clingy, language that many people were taken aback that this was the route rather than portray her as this loving doting wife, they used her as an
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individual who would attack these alleged victims. i want to the play what mindy murphy, a sex crimes prosecutor was on msnbc yesterday and commented on dottie sandusky's testimony. >> the best part of her testimony was the fact that the prosecution didn't cross-examine her. because that is so insulting to the defense. it's like saying she didn't make a dent and she doesn't because the jury expects her to lie. sadly. they expect her to get up there and stand by her man. >> that was wendy murphy. is that what the jury would expect, kathleen? >> absolutely. and the prosecutors were right in doing that. they wouldn't get up and try and make any headway with dottie sandusky. she knew what she was going to say, clearly believes her husband. any reference to conniving victims isn't going to sit well with the jury. i agree with the child abuse investigator that the defense or the prosecution by not questioning her made her seem
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irrelevant and insignificant in the eyes of the jury. >> all right, kathleen, thank you very much. greatly appreciate your time. coming up in today's "news nation" gut check, back to the big story this hour. that breaking news. a house committee vote on whether to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt. do you think this is all just partisan politics? you can join our "news nation" conversation on our facebook page. facebook.com/newsnation after the break. you get to weigh in on our gut check. [ female announcer ] did you know the average person smiles more than 50 times a day? so brighten your smile a healthy way with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only rinse that makes your teeth two shades whiter and two times stronger. ♪ listerine® whitening... power to your mouth.
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nation" conversation on our twitter page. it is at "news nation." time now for the "news nation" gut check dealing with breaking news we're watch. a house committee back in session considering amendments before taking a vote on whether attorney general eric holder should be held in contempt of congress coming with the obama administration today invoking executive privilege over additional documents related to
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the failed "fast and furious" gun tracking operation, the white house saying they very already submitted more than 7600 pages of documents. some of these guns may have been linked to crimes, including the shooting death of the u.s. border patrol agent brian terry in december 2010. what does your gut tell you? is this contempt vote simply partisan politics? go to facebook.com/newsnation to cast your vote. yesterday's gun check, of an a german news agency revealed the country's largest credit agency plans to use information from facebook, twitter and linked in to determine if someone is able to pay back their bills we asked, does your -- do your social medial pages show whether you are credit worthy? 5% of you said yes. wow, what are you putting on facebook and the rest of you said no, it tells nothing about your credit worthiness. that does it for this edition of "news nation." i'm tamron hall. tomorrow, mitt romney addresses the national association of
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latino office holders. will it help him gain ground on hispanic voters? will he clear up where he stands on the president's new deportation policy? martin bashir is up next. this message. back from the worst economic depression. almost 4.3 million new jobs we're still not creating them president's jobs plan firefighters, police officers, work. right now. wealthiest americans congress refuses to act.
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[ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? here's your invoice. good afternoon. it's wednesday, june 20th. and here's what's happening. ♪ ♪ you can swim the seas >> contempt? it's vet fast and furious in washington. >> we and the american people need answers sooner, no the later. >> for the past year, you've been holding the attorney general to an impossible standard. you went on national television and called the attorney general a liar. mr. chairman, it did not have to be this way. >> no, it didn't. but this is how a witch hunt works. >> chairman issa is pursuing a politically motivated witch hunt. >> we believe we very responded to the subpoena. >> no, mr. attorney general you're not a

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