tv Jansing and Co. MSNBC June 17, 2013 7:00am-8:01am PDT
this morning in bellfast the president talked about peace. >> peace is not just about politics. it's about attitudes. it's about a sense of empathy. it's about breaking down the divisions that we create for ourselves in our own minds and our own hearts. >> well, we are also watching the supreme court where decisions could be handed down any moment now. we could learn what will happen with the same sex marriage or the voting rights act and affirmative action. let's start with the g-8. i want to bring out chuck todd who is traveling with the president who is in sligo. tell us what should we expect at
the conference today? >> first of all, you know why we are here as far away as they can get us without making it look like they are trying to keep the press away. david cameron picked a locationt that made it hard for delegations to be near the press certainly taking a page from the obama play book who hosted at camp david. today is all about syria, in particular that putin meeting. yesterday putin was in london and he met with david cameron. after what was clearly a pretty tense discussion about what to do with syria, putin on the side of assad and everyone else in the g-8 on the side of the opposition. putin threw out the warning that blood is on the western powers
involved. so what does that body language? what did the president learn from cameron which served as a debrief about what to expect to hear from putin when the two of them meet. the last time they got together in mexico it didn't go so well and syria was the big split. is there any progress made? internationally it is a political challenge for the president and low expectations to get anything meaningful accomplished out of the summit. >> let me get to the bottom line. what does the president want putin to do? it seems to me he is not going to abandon the regime. do we have plan to take to putin and say here is the way to end the blood shed in syria? >> it's trying to get to the deal maker inside putin.
putin is a very transactional guy. what the united states is offering is the regime won't change. assad goes but we expect the regime to stay in power and be part of the negotiation. open up and try to end this civil war. we know you have interests there. if you continue to want to have ihave interests and want to have the future of syria on your side, it's a transactional reason why putin is sticking by assad. that is the case that obama is going to be making to putin which is assad may not survive this. you are going to bet on the wrong horse. if you do this right and push assad aside and keep the regime negotiating table. >> do you think we will get the super bowl ring back for robert kraft? >> it may take away a little bit
of the edge, the super bowl ring story came 24 hours before the snowden leak which indicated that somehow the united states was also involved on spying on putin's predecessor in russia. maybe the super bowl ring story takes the sting out of that. bottom line is it has a weird cold war atmosphere here between the united states and russia -- frankly between the entire g-7. it was originally organized as a counter weight to the soviet. here we are again the g-8 splitting apart. >> thank you so much chuck todd in sligo. david corn and peter bynum and karen. in all seriousness we will skip the question with robert kraft,
whether the guy grabbed the ring. let's talk about something serious, syria. it seems to me a couple of days ago you heard the president is going to react to the use of chemical weapons. you are probably going to counterer that. if he is going in i am going to give more air defense. he should have done this in concert with me. so now they are going to meet. he is going to say after the fact of saying i'm going in deeper in the war against your ally i want to talk. it seems to me the sequence is out of order. why didn't you call me when you decided to go in there. >> there is an asymmetry. putin knows what he wants to do. he is clear in backing assad and opposing the rebels totally to the bitter end. that is what we see publicly. maybe there is movement behind closed doors. what is the administration position?
we want to help the rebels to a certain degree but not as much as they want. we don't want an all-out rebel victory. we want to do it in a way that puts pressure on assad but doesn't lead to the collapse of assad's state. we want to diminish blood shed and get him to the negotiating table in geneva with putin's sanction on that. so putin is black and white. and obama is twisted in knots also because politicly there is no consensus here. >> if we had a vote on going in a significant way, arming with tank guns and perhaps a no fly zone would it pass the house? >> i think anything involving u.s. troops probably wouldn't pass in the house. >> how does it look right now? >> i don't think it would pass in either chamber. you have the pentagon saying all along that a no fly zone or
other quasi military option really are really the same thing. it is the use of u.s. troops and you can't do it on the cheap and you can't do it on one small corner. if you are in you are in. >> it sounds like institution of a phony war where both sides were aiming at each other but weren't killing each other. is that a reasonable mission for this president to have right now, to have something like a stalemate that isn't too bloody? >> i think the analogy is in bosnia. the u.s. and allies were backing the rebels who were making progress on the ground that we were able to get the deal. and i think the feeling is that assad and the iranians and putin have no incentive to make a deal when they are winning which is
what they are doing now because they have doubled down and really put a lot behind the assad government. and if there is a deal to be had it is going to be when they see that the rebels start to do better on the ground. >> what is the essence on a deal? i never understood what united states, we have diplomatic relations with damascus and have ambassadors and embassies. what is our message to assad? you are going to get hanged. let's get it over with. what is the message? >> i think the message is that this guy will -- people he has been butchering to the tune of 90,000 people will never again have legitimacy in that country. as long as he stays it will be permanent war. >> what are you offering him? >> you are offering him his life to get out.
>> where? >> who knows? >> there are countries that will offer safe haven, maybe iran. you need to offer his people some protection from the slaughter that could come against him and then some government that would be more broad based than this government which represents a tiny fraction of the syrian people. >> let me bring in nbc chief correspondent, richard angle. you are in turkey. look at the square behind you looks calm. i don't know if that is a good reading. >> reporter: it is calm right here. we're sort of in the eye of the storm. over the weekend turkish forces moved in in almost a military operation and cleared out the square. now there are pockets of police all around the city to prevent protesters from coming back here. a few blocks from the square
there are a couple,000 members of labor unions trying to come this way. there is a stand off with police with water canon and tear gas at the ready. a few blocks that way a few thousand more members trying to come here, as well. either one could kick off into clashes while we are speaking right now. this is not over. the government is still trying to ignore this problem aside from putting police out the government is saying this is a phony problem. it is one that is being created by the media, that social media is agitating the protesters and the labor unions. and it is really unclear how this is going to go. yesterday this entire part of the city was a mess with running clashes. today we have these two standoffs but it has been relatively calm. >> i like your reading on what happened in the elections in teheran and across iran
yesterday. how do you read avoiding a runoff what we consider a moderate victory? >> reporter: i think it was an incredible vote of confidence. the last election four years of ago caused such anger and such frustration because most people thought it was a phony election, that the opposition really won and they had the resulted manipulated on them. you have had anger brewing in the country and then enormous economic hardships. i think the government thought if it tried to play with the elections this time when there is so much frustration because of the currency being devalued and enormous inflation in that country that they could have had an explosive problem. so it is a bit of a carrot to give to the iranian people. we'll give you a more moderate candidate, somebody who is a
centrist because we recognize the last election went so badly and there are economic problems that nobody can deny. i want to talk about syria. i was listening to your panel. it looks different when you talk to the rebel commanders and rebel fighters. we have been in touch on a daily basis with the overall commander of the rebels. he is so frustrated that he was actually in tears with us when we were speaking to him yesterday. he says that what the united states is offering is really just a half measure. that this is coming out of washington. that white house officials are talking about maybe providing at some stage light arms to the rebels. butd that he himself hasn't been informed of anything. no one has told him when any weapons are coming, if they are coming, what kinds of weapons may or may not be coming. he says is unless something comes soon he is going to lose.
hesb that most of the ground fighting is being done by hesbullah and the syrian regime is using artillery to soften targets and level them and hezbollah is doing the ground work. if you just provide the rebels, he hasn't been informed that this is going to happen, with extra small arms that hezbollah is going to send more small arms in. he wants game changing weapons. he says the united states is a superpower. anybody can provide arms. what they need is something that will shift the dynamic. at one stage he was almost brought to tears of frustration. he wants the united states to tell him, are they with him or not. if not they should stop pretending that they are. >> thanks for coming to us from turkey. isn't it great to hear the call of prayer in the background.
>> what richard said was really interesting because it gets to the point i was trying to make earlier of commitment. putin seems 100% committed to assad. obama administration probably for a good reason is not 100% committed to a rebel force that we don't know a lot about and that has elements aligned with enemies of ours. sometimes falling on that thinking gets you in more trouble. when you have one side committed to victory and one side trying to bring them to the negotiating table, it's not a fair battle. >> it is the chinese curse. don't get what you want. i want to get to a couple of questions like the constitutional questions in this country. by what right does the president take us into the right in syria? congress hasn't voted.
there hasn't been a tally by the american people. we have to look at the possibility of perhaps avoiding a war with iran. the supreme court possibility on same sex. we will bring you the latest as fast as anybody can do it. the citi simplicity card. it doesn't charge late fees or a penalty rate, ever. because she's got other things to stress about. ♪ go to citi.com/simplicity to apply. if you have high cholesterol, here's some information that may be worth looking into. in a clinical trial versus lipitor, crestor got more high-risk patients' bad cholesterol to a goal of under 100. getting to goal is important, especially if you have high cholesterol plus any of these risk factors because you could be at increased risk for plaque buildup in your arteries over time. and that's why when diet and exercise alone aren't enough to lower cholesterol i prescribe crestor. [ female announcer ] crestor is not right for everyone.
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peter from the "daily beast." you and i have brain soup. we all have views and they all come to the floor eventually and sometimes we change our minds. we all learn, of course. let's talk about the president. president obama i think has one brain strain that he can predict. he is antiwar. he is a dove. not like carter. carter was a passivest. i think he is anti-war. he has a problem with getting involved in a land war in the middle east. he wants to stay back. that is why he was elected. he seems to still have a pension for avoiding military involvement. how does that work its way through two fronts, the syrian situation and the iranian situation which has green sprouts over the weekend but we don't know what that means in terms of our fight over nuclear weaponry. >> i think obama's model is
eisenhower. at the height of the cold war was able to keep america out of vietnam and other costly military interventions and therefore keep the economic foundation of american power strong. i think obama believes america's military overcommitments have hurt us economically. the problem in syria is that the question is can you stay out if the syrian civil war spirals across the middle east bringing in lebanon and iraq? empowering al qaeda because all of these jihadists will jump in. is that -- can you hold to that strategy in the face of this metastasizing civil war. on iran question i think obama very deeply does not want to start a war with iran. he knows we have no idea what the consequences of that war can
be. on the other hand because of his own commitment to nuclear proliferation and the red lines he has set out about an irany nuclear weapon he cannot be the president that allowed iran to get a nuclear weapon under his watch. those are the very difficult balancing act he is trying to maintain. >> what do we do if we advertise our love for democracy and you see a legitimate election held and they elect the most moderate they can elect just like jimmy carter beat the liberals in '76. if rowhani sits with it what are we saying hto iran? >> we are stuck back with the weakest of the arguments all along on the nuclear question which is to say to iran, do you
want to be a big boy or not? do you want to be a part of the internam international community? do you want in? that is something that iran has sort of moved past. they think they are in anyway. and there is a national consensus at really every level of society that the west has mistreated iran. whatever they think of their current leadership, iranians would say that the focus on the nuclear program has been unfair and that it has put the country into an untenable economic position really for no good reason. >> back in the early '50s. i'm not a radical but i remember history. they had an elected government. we put in a guy that would deal with us and israel on oil.
that guy is known as the shah. we are putting in a monarchy. now we are facing the election now of a truly elected moderate. what do we do to respond to that? >> i think you respect the findings. my guess is that if he won with 50.7% of the vote -- if he didn't get over 50 there would have been a runoff. they could have shaved a point off to make sure there was a runoff. they chose not to do that figuring it might debtinate public sentient. i think it takes a lot of incentive away from the people calling for war in this country against iran. we saw the iranian people come out and they all support the nuclear program. >> that's -- peter, nothing really accelerated more our
antagonism towards iran than the appearance of ahmadinejad in columbia. that together with a nuclear plan was nuclear politicly in this country. now you have a moderate 63 years out from a university in scotland. "wall street journal" rubbed that out of his resume. how is that going to go. "wall street journal" is trying to really put it down. is it an idea logical question between left and right? >> i don't think we should overestimate the democratic legitimacy here. the supreme leader decides who gets to run. it is definitely true that thiran yns spoke in supporting a moderate.
i think you guys are right that from what we know while iranians load their regime they support having a nuclear weapon. this nuclear weapon program began under the shah. the ultimate person who controls this program naut going to be rowhani. it wasn't ahmadinejad. it is the supreme leader. there is a prettier face on the regime. does this guy have the capacity to try to move towards making a deal that wouldn't have been possible before? i truly hope so because it is in our interest and iran's interest to have a diplomatic resolution that allows iran to have the prestige and recognition they want without having a nuclear weapon and without having war. >> that is what makes you so interesting because i am trying to watch you to figure out which way the world is going.
when clark came in south africa i saw hope. when he said we are going to legitimize the african national congress i knew that was the end of the game for white supremacists there. when gorbachev came in i saw hope, too. i think some people see hope. george herbert walker bush didn't understand who gorbachev was. i saw immediately who that guy was having served in the peace corps. i knew any white government they were saying bye-bye to power. thank you. we are going to come back and talk about the president. he will probably be speaking soon at the g-8 meeting. i'm a careful investor. when you do what i do, you think about risk. i don't like the ups and downs of the market,
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we are on supreme court watch. we learned moments ago no decisions on california's prop 8 or the defense of marriage act, affirmative action or the voting rights act question. the court did strike down arizona's proof of citizenship law. pete williams is live outside the supreme court. what does this decision come to? >> reporter: this is a prop 200 from arizona which established that anybody who wants to vote in a federal election in arizona has to bring proof of citizenship in order to vote. that is in conflict of the federal motor voter law which has a form that you register and check a box. arizona imposed an additional requirement and said if you are a naturalized citizen you have to show proof of naturalization. a number of groups sued and said one of the problems is you are not allowed to make a copy so
you can't register by mail. today the supreme court said arizona couldn't do this. what the supreme court did say. this was a 7-2 decision, what the supreme court said is if arizona really felt strongly about this then it could ask the people that draw up what is on the form to change it for arizona. if the feds won't do it then arizona can go back to court. this is important for this reason. very few states do what arizona did. i think it was a total of two. if this law had been upheld there was a strong indication that other states might try to follow arizona's lead and lawyers for immigrants and for naturalized citizens said this was an extra burden for them. none of the biggies today. we will get decisions on thursday. we have 14 decisions left. and we think we have three or four decision days remaining in the term as the supreme court
tries to get all of the homework done by the end of the month. >> we'll be back thursday. let's bring in washington post opinion writer. congressional reporter and we also have the constitutional law expert suzanna sherry who is a professor at vanderbilt school of law. let's go around the horn right in a row. let's start with the question about the difficulty of going to vote. i have spent a lot of time on "hard ball" talking about voting suppression. what does this mean with not mucking it up with more requirements? >> i think it is important to have the least barriers possible to go into the polls. people who erected these barriers try to argue they open the door for fraud. without proving there has been
fraud related to identification it is hard to make the case that you need additional barriers. the voting right is so fundamental to our citizenship you want to make it the least burdensome possible. >> where do you think we are heading in terms of the new rules that the rnc under reince priebus seems to be popular with coming up with new nostrums. >> it seems as though the republican party and those who want requirements are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. as joy said they are trying to prevent fraud but there hasn't been any fraud that anyone can point to, really. this is not a huge problem that republicans and folks who are trying to throw up barriers say that there is. >> the right of a state to set laws and the right of the federal government to ensure the
rights of people to vote, how much federal power is there to knock down these laws? >> the federal government does have preimminence in the area which is why the supreme court found arizona law was in violation of the act. it closes the door for states that want to add extra burdens. the interesting thing about this case is there was not a direct issue of racial profiling but the civil rights advocates who dislike this law found it would harm hispanics and people of color. >> it usually does. your thoughts on this? >> i think it is important to distinguish two things. this is about voter registration and not voting. the arizona law required people to prove naturalization in order to register to vote, not like a voter i.d. when they show up to vote. the other thing is this is about congress and about federal
preemption and not about the constitution. the court a few years ago upheld indiana's voter i.d. law as constitutional but here they are saying congress has already passed a law that sets what the registration requirements are and arizona can't add to it. >> so that is like running for the senate or congress you can't set new residency requirements for running for federal office. >> that's correct. except here it's not the constitution that says you can't set new requirements. it's the federal motor voter law. >> let's start with joy. how is this big decision going to come down? we keep hearing probably it crashes to the ground but prop 8 is dealt with narrowly and they let it stand. >> it is really interesting. i think the closer we get to the idea of all of these rulings on one day it makes it -- i am
trying to read john roberts' mind that the court is looking to make negative news on one of the big rulings and try to cloud it all with positive news about another ruling. personally i think if you see doma go down, if you see doma sort of go away meaning that they advance the rights of gays and lesbians in the country i think you will probably see a more negative ruling on voter rights or affirmative action. it would be a good news/bad news situation. it is a difficult situation for the president because there is a push for him regardless of the ruling to change the way the federal government looks at how federal benefits are given meaning you make it based on where people marry rather than where they live. it would be based on where you got married. >> you are an attorney, right? >> me? no. >> i think it's such a political
take, i am shocked. he thinks the supreme court files the election returns. here is a proposition we heard from joy that the supreme court mixes up the decision to create a moderate pallet there, a moderate plate. >> i think that is probably more strategic than they are. they put the decisions off because the decisions aren't ready. as soon as the decisions are ready they are going to release them because they want them over with. i think what is happening in these cases is that there are multiple opinions. there is probably a majority opinion and at least one concurrence and one dissent and they are going back and forth. somebody says if you will change that paragraph i will join your opinion. so it goes back to the drawing board. they are going to release these when they are ready and that may
be all on the last day. >> jonathan, when i was young growing up we would do it just like joy. you mix in the one bad with all kinds of softies so the priest wouldn't notice the one you snuck in there. do you think the supreme court puts these together so it looks okay? >> i have to agree with the professor. once the decisions are ready the supreme court will hand them down. the doma case is a whole lot easier than the prop 8 case. doma is a constitutionalal question. with prop 8 does the supreme court decide to allow same sex couples to get married in california or do they write a less than narrow ruling that would make it possible for same-sex couples who are married or in states where there are civil unions and domestic partnerships and allow them to get married. if that happens you would have seven states where same-sex
marriage would become legal like that. >> and that argument is based on what? once you give rights to marriage you have to give them the name. >> exactly. you can't have the same benefits for civil unions and straight married couples but call them different names. >> california -- >> i love the way the court rules. >> so as far as the home stretch goes we have three more days and 14 more opinions coming down. the big four, the math looks bad for progressives here. it looks good for conservatives because the supreme court tends to split up the opinion between the justices and the conservative justices have the most to write. >> do you agree with that professor sherry? >> i think it depends on who you call conservative. justice kennedy may be writing the gay rights cases and they are like not to look good for
conservatives. i suspect they strike down doma and prop 8. in california they might strike down prop 8 narrowly so it applies just for california. the lower court opinion said you can't give the right of marriage and then take it away from some people. and that's what california did. so they could write a very narrow opinion that strikes down prop 8 but applies only to california. >> professor, i'm putting my money on you. i'm putting my $100 on you. thank you. up next more on president obama at the g-8 summit in belfast. on the agenda, aran, syria, turkey, the works. can support overseas bring more for the president at home? on something that concerns all of us. obesity. and as the nation's leading beverage company, we can play an important role. that includes continually providing more options.
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actions. so i'm reading the paper this morning and the argument was made if we don't do something like this and we get hit again the country will be even more into a mood of let's do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen again and we get much more restrictive in terms of privacy. >> there is an interesting debate about whether this program did, in fact, prevent terrorist attacks and how much people are willing to give up order to have that assurance which is an impossible assurance to make for any government, be it george bush when the architecture of this was built or obama. but one thing i have been very interested to see as we talked about snowden is that across the
board people in government say he couldn't know the things that he is saying. he couldn't actually have been able to see and do what he's claiming to have been able to do. so there's another question here as to whether is the public version of this via snowden really correct? >> everybody has a different attitude. he has the tinted glasses and designer stubble. everything about him says i am going to be a celebrity and this is part of the confection of my identity i'm creating. i don't think he is hiding from the press. >> i think he is probably hiding from the fbi and others. >> by having an online chat? >> through encryption no doubt. i am less concerned about snowden than i am by the information that he has brought to bear which is really creating
this important debate. obama has said it has been a stock line. we don't have to trade privacy for national security. actually to a degree you do. >> been on a plane lately? >> exactly. to some degree you do. the question is, what is the right balance? any system that is going to be secretive looking at phone records is going to entail some degree of privacy invasion. the question is how far are you willing to let that go. if you have no privacy restrictions the cysystem probay will work better. if you let five people do it it might work better. because of the system we live in we say you can't do it 100%. so it won't be as efficient and we have to aagree to live with that degree of uncertainty. >> let's go to checks and balances. can we have a real system of oversight where not just dianne
feinstein and a few others but all of the grownups, if you will, in the house and senate. a lot of people know what we are doing generally. there is some sort of republican form of government when it comes to surveillance. >> i think you have hit the nail on the head. i think most americans are willing to give up some degree of privacy. we already do want airplanes. the key is checks and balances. we know that unsupervised executive apower is going to expand and expand. it always will and will create terrible abuses. we elect people to be a check on the power of the executive branch. i don't think they have been doing that. we have to have a stronger form of surveillance by the courts, as well. if that is in place then i think we can begin to move towards a reasonable mix. >> what is the difference between this administration and the last one when it comes to torture and war and
surveillance? it seems like a pick your poison kind of thing. obama seems to be a little more discrete. he is not a torture guy. he is a surveillance guy. he is get the bad guys. >> obama wants to wage the war on terror on the cheap by defining it more narrowly. drones are relatively cheap and they don't put u.s. troops on the ground. but i think the important point is whether you like obama or don't like obama presidents have the tendency when the power is there and unchecked to use it. it grows and it is abused. it is not about whether you are a nice guy or a bad guy. that is the message that is really important here. >> absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely. >> democrats and republicans. >> one thing in obama's favor. under bush what was the issue? warrantless wire taps and
whether they had programs, people like the director of the fbi thought they were legal and had confrontations in the hospital room. while obama has expected the expanse of use of surveillance has tried to have a little more legal regimen for it. >> good work here, guys. thank you all. you are doing great stuff these days. we follow you intently. david corn, thank you. thank you peter beinart who i watch. ♪ roundup
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man: how did i get here? dumb luck? or good decisions? ones i've made. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money. about tomorrow. here's to good decisions. who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. ready to plan for your family's future? we'll help you get there. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. walking a diplomatic tight rope with an international audience watching president obama is in ireland for the g-8 with syria
threatening the delicate balance. at this hour the president is at the resort where the g-8 is taking place in minutes. we are expecting to see the meeting with david cameron. >> you're the blueprint to follow. you are the proof of what is possible because hope is contagious. they're watching to see what you do next. >> he is going to have his first sit down in a year with russian president vladimir putin. it is their first face to face since white house announced a red line had been crossed in syria's war. new revelations of spying courtesy of edward snowden. this time with claims the british government spied on delegates attending another gathering. the g-20 summit