tv The Last Word MSNBC June 17, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
and so we just do this every year. while congress hopes that more men die so they don't have to figure out a way out of the problem they built for themselves. who is going to figure out how to short-circuit this thing? president obama responds to ed snowden. >> the army shores right now interior people living in the grip of conflict. >> president obama is in northern ireland today. >> president obama is in ireland for the g8 summit. snowden has resurfaced and is taking questions. and he struck again today. >> saying he had a disillusionment with president obama. >> president obama was a factor in his decision -- >> which led to the decision to release -- >> secret surveillance documents. >> i think he's a traitor. >> former vice president dick cheney. >> i think it's one of the worst
occasions in my memory. >> this pissing match between vice president cheney and edward snowden. >> i think he's a traitor. >> it's unbelievable. we've fallen down the rabbit hole. >> meanwhile. >> meanwhile. >> meanwhile at the hall of justice! >> the supreme court strikes down arizona's controversial law. >> this is a prop 200 from arizona. >> requiring voters to show proof of citizenship. >> that's in conflict with the federal motor voter law. >> the high court this morning has handed down five decisions -- >> we have 14 more opinions coming down. >> the justices are holding back. >> we'll get decisions again on thursday. >> on marriage equality, voting rights, and affirmative action. >> i think we can relate this back to education. >> last night's miss usa pageant. >> what's going on with these pageants? >> the topic, equal pay for women in the workplace. >> i think we can relate this back to education. >> really the only other format where this happens are political debates. >> if you let me talk about education. >> education, blah, blah, blah. >> really it goes back to education. >> education, blah, blah, blah. >> are these questions really that important? >> it's time to let it go.
>> it's just as important as the others. >> ha, ha, ha, ha. >> swimsuit! eveningwear. talent! poise! good evening. i'm alex wagner in for lawrence. ed snowden speaks, and president obama responds. the nsa leaker did an online chat today with "the guardian," the newspaper that introduced him to the world last week, where he leveled some serious charges against president obama. in response to the question why did you wait to release the documents if you said you wanted to tell the world about the nsa programs since before obama became president, snowden answered, "obama's campaign promises and election gave me faith that he would lead us toward fixing the problems he outlined in his quest for votes. many americans felt similarly. unfortunately, shortly after assuming power, he closed the door on investigating systemic
violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in guantanamo, where men still sit without charge." in an interview with charlie rose that will air later tonight on pbs, president obama addressed the criticism. the president said, "some people will say, well, you know, obama was this raving liberal before, now he's, you know, dick cheney. my concern has always been not that we shouldn't do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances?" despite ed snowden's self-professed disillusionment with the american government and his harsh criticism of president obama, snowden expressed hope that the president could ultimately emerge a hero. in the chat today snowden said, "this disclosure provides obama an opportunity to appeal for a return to sanity, constitutional policy and the rule of law rather than men. he still has plenty of time to
go down in history as the president who looked into the abyss and stepped back, rather than leaping forward into it. i would advise he personally call for a special committee to review these interception programs, repudiate the dangerous state secrets privilege, and upon preparing to leave office begin a tradition for all presidents forthwith to demonstrate their respect for the law by appointing a special investigator to review the policies of their years in office for any wrongdoing. there can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny. they should be setting the example of transparency." president obama told charlie rose that what he plans to do to respond to concerns about what exactly the nsa is doing. "what i've asked the intelligence community to do is to see how much of this we can declassify without further compromising the program, number one. and they are in that process of doing so now. number two, i've set up a privacy and civil liberties oversight board made up of independent citizens including
some fierce civil libertarians. i will be meeting with them. and what i want to do is to set up and structure a national conversation. not only about these two programs but also the general problem of data, big data sets, because this is not going to be restricted to government entities." president obama would not say whether he thought ed snowden should be prosecuted, only that the decision about charges and possible extradition would be made by the justice department. today ed snowden's father spoke candidly about his son. >> i would like to see ed come home and face this. as someone who served my name for over 30 years honorably, and i took an oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states, that's not something that i could have done. but i'm not in ed's shoes. i don't know what he has seen, what he has been exposed to. but i know he is a principled young man. i know what he walked away from. >> snowden's father also made a personal appeal.
>> i hope, i pray, and i ask that you will not release any secrets that could constitute treason. >> joining me now, richard wolffe, editor of msnbc.com and sam stein, political editor and correspondent for the huffington post. richard, the president has said he welcomes a debate. it seems like maybe we're actually having that debate. are we? >> maybe. i mean, there's a lot of misinformation out there, some of. intentional, some of it not. i'm surprised that snowden as a guy working in intelligence could make so many misstatements in his guardian chat. he said that this program was in violation of the law. actually, the problem is it's actually legal. i mean, we can have a debate about whether congress should have authorized it or not. but it seems by all accounts to be legal. you know, there is a question about whether or not the president has somehow betrayed the promises and hopes, that's what he -- what snowden says is wrong about this president. but actually, he was pretty up
front in 2008 about saying this kind of eavesdropping was just fine as long as the fisa court said it was so. and he reversed himself just before he got the nomination. he got enough votes for the nomination but hadn't yet gone through his convention. he reversed himself right there. he flagged this up. you know, the truth is people have tried to engage in this debate on the civil liberties side, journalists, even politicians and not many people have shown much interest. >> sam, talking about the fisa courts, the president in the interview with charlie rose that's airing later tonight, says basically -- he talks about the warrants. he says what happens, if the fbi, if it wants to get content, if it wants to start tapping that phone, it's got to go to the fisa court with probable cause and ask for a warrant. now, ed snowden in his online chat with "the guardian," basically says more detail on how direct nsa's access is is coming. deep tease there. but in general the reality is this. "the restrictions against this are policy based, not
technically based and can change at any time. additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications." that is a tit for tat on just how wide the breadth is for warrants. >> this is the big remaining question, at least for me, is what extent the law allows the administration to actually look at the content of what is said or in the prism case, in the case of prism, what is e-mailed. and there's been conflicting reports the last couple days over whether or not and to what extent the administration or the nsa has access to that content. i think we need to see more information with respect to that. but the broader point is also a valid one here, which is do the fisa courts provide a stopgap or even an oversight for what the administration is trying to do. and i think this is a huge question mark. this is what a lot of the senators who are civil libertarians have been arguing about. they say we actually need to make public the opinions the fisa court is issuing or at least make public the arguments the administration is offering the fisa court to get this type
of data. and i think that's sort of the low-hanging fruit but it would be very revealing fruit if which were to see that. >> revealing fruit. richard, when you look at the fisa court and its decision making over the last 33 years of its existence, it has declined just 11 of the more than 33,900 surveillance requests made by the government. president obama sort of stumbled on that when charlie rose pressed him on it. and i guess to sam's point is that he was outlining sort of i guess if you will concessions he's making to the question of civil liberties. do you think he's got to increase transparency around fisa courts to satisfy certain ends of this debate? >> i think transparency around national security intelligence is extremely difficult but we need a fisa court which has some teeth. and actually, congress can apply those teeth. it can actually slot them in like dentures. it could actually say, you know, we want to have real oversight. if we only get one shot at authorizing this law or reauthorizing this law every few, then at least let's have a court that can turn down these applications, these warrants and
actually say -- even if they can't show what the full reasons are, they can actually have a robust debate with the prosecutors in this case, with the nsa going to find those warrants and saying you know, what there is actual oversight that's worth the name. >> if congress decides to take it up. i mean, sam, this is something that you actually brought up a couple weeks ago and something that ed snowden mentioned in a chat, which is this notion that national security has sort of become the third rail in american politics. and at one point snowden says -- he's sort of asked about -- he brings up the idea of our national security apparatus and he says bathtub falls and police officers kill more americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it. >> yes. i mean, this is a big issue i think in the broader context, which is are we properly allocating the resources that we have, the tension that we have, the emotions that we have as a society in the right places. and i think there's a legitimate mathematical argument to be made that we're overextending
ourselves in the national security front to the detriment of other things. it doesn't have to necessarily be bathtub deaths. but it could be government workplace deaths. it could be other things. now, of course, looming in the backdrop of that is that one incident in which a terrorist attack does take place and the casualty is much greater than any workplace casualty. however, if you look at the statistics, it is a debate worth having. and i think maybe this of all things, this will prompt that type of discussion. >> richard, the president sort of said -- continuity sort of say. said that whatever happens to ed snowden will be determined by the department of justice. a poll on asking a "usa today" pew research poll today asked if snowden should be criminally prosecuted. 54% of respondents said yes. 38% say no. that said, i think because of the public -- the public profile that ed snowden has created for himself, this is not an open and shut case of traitor, not traitor. and you also have the weird
alignment of dick cheney saying that he's a traitor aligned with some members of the left who also say he's gone against our laws and should be prosecuted as such. >> the politics are fascinating. it's splitting in all sorts of different ways. but it seems pretty obvious on the face of it that this man broke the law. as a contractor he's in the national security intelligence system. he's bound by very strict laws. others clearly broken them. and if the reports out of china are true, out of the "south china morning post," he's been handing some of those secrets to a foreign government. you know, i don't know how his defense lawyers could ever stand that up in a court of law. >> well so, snowden denied that he'd been in contact with the chinese government in his chat today, but i agree with richard that on the strict definition of the law he did break it. but i do think this debate over whether he's a traitor or a hero or brave or not is sort of a distraction. and he made the point as well, which is that the media sort of in a very knee-jerk fashion went and tried to find every single detail on his life, whether it was his girlfriend's pole dancing, an interview with his
dad, what he wore as a 17-year-old and we kind of took our eye off the ball, and the big picture here is the surveillance state that we've built. not necessarily what edward snowden did when he was a teenager. >> well, and i think the fact that the president is in his way responding to that changes the contours of the debate and the focus of the debate as well. we have to leave it there but richard wolfe and sam stein, thank you very much for joining me tonight. coming up, would you say no to this man? the other national incident we learned about over the weekend involving vladimir putin, the new england patriots and a super bowl ring. also ahead, the supreme court weighs in on voter suppression laws. and the gop revealed this weekend exactly what the party has learned since its losses in 2012. hint. nothing. that's coming up. vo: traveling you definitely end up meeting a lot more people but a friend under water is something completely different.
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ruling today on arizona's voter law. a supreme court justice cited bush v. gore. in his dissent justice clarence thomas cited the court decision that gave george w. bush the 2000 election. in mentioning the ruling, thomas joined retired justice sandra day o'connor, who also reminded the public of the highly divisive ruling, but unlike justice thomas went on to add "maybe the court should have said we're not going to take the case, good-bye. it gave the court a less than perfect reputation." up next, the striking down of arizona's voter law and why jan brewer now loves one tiny little huge piece of president obama's agenda. joy reid and ari mel behr join me. [ female announcer ] the best thing about this bar
today in a 7-2 ruling the united states supreme court struck down a 2004 arizona law that required would-be voters to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote. in the majority opinion justice antonin scalia wrote that the arizona law goes against the national voter registration act's motor voter form, which requires voters to check a box and sign a statement under penalty of perjury swearing that they are united states citizens. this ruling could affect similar voter i.d. laws in kansas, alabama, and georgia. but the court left it open for arizona to appeal to the federal government to add proof of citizenship to its requirements, a move that could complicate things down the road. shortly after the decision shrinking violet and republican senator ted cruz wasted no time writing on facebook, "this whole federal statutory law allows non-citizens to register and
thereby encourages voter fraud. i will file a common sense amendment to the immigration bill that permits states to require i.d. before registering voters." joining me now, msnbc's ari melber and joy reid. hey, joy, what is the point of the supreme court if you have ted cruz? i mean, really. >> what's the point of having government at all? let's just have ted cruz rule over us all. >> yeah, it's great. the thing that's so interesting is you do have all these other laws that are supposedly fixated on stopping non-citizens from voting. but arizona, when they passed this law, they could only cite 19 cases out of 2.7 million people that had ever been, you know, non-citizens voting. meanwhile, there are like 35,000 people who weren't allowed to register to vote. this is like a very serious reality, particularly in states out west where you have indian reservations, native american reservations where people may not even have a birth certificate, where you have people born before 1940 who may or may not. somebody was born at home. there are all these circumstances where you might not have one. and the hardship of having to go
get one and pay for one, it's basically a poll tax. >> yeah. and you're talking about ted cruz putting forth a commonsense amendment. which is a bit like tom cruise saying he's going to have like a relaxed and mellow media appearance. i look forward to seeing his common sense. i think this is a significant but as you pointed out in the lead potentially limitable ruling. >> it's complicated. not just like the movie but in reality. i mean, there really is. the door is open for states to enact these laws if they get through the appeals process. >> and justice scalia basically in the back half of the opinion gave his advice to whoever might be listening that wants to limit it. but it goes to a tension that's so important in this supreme court term and that we've seen throughout american history, which is are we a democracy where voters pick politicians or where politicians pick voters? and we've seen these efforts again and again. this underlying proposition, 200 in arizona, was passed in 2004, obviously an election year, and it did several things. not only did it do this
vis-a-vis vote by mail. it also did input the first voter i.d. standards, which unfortunately the supreme court has ruled are constitutional. and voter i.d. standards as we've seen and reported are often motivated by racial animus and often motivated by desire to suppress voters. it's a very serious thing. and next week we're going to see the voting rights, again a question of whether we're going to let politicians pick the voters. >> what i don't understand, joy, is there's this veil of sort of we're marching against voter fraud but it's all politics, right? and if you look at 2012, the politics of voter i.d. laws did not work well for the republican party. for the first time a higher percentage of eligible black voters voted than white voters in 2012. 66% of eligible black voters voted. and as you know, as we all know at this point, voter i.d. laws disproportionately target minority, older, and poorer voters. so if that's the strategy, it doesn't seem to be working. >> it has the opposite effect. i was in cuyahoga county the week of before the election. and there were african-americans there who said look, president obama disappointed me with the whole gay marriage thing, i'm
very religious. i was thinking, you know what, maybe i'll just skip this one. but these republicans are trying to keep me from the polls and nothing is going to hold me back. i mean, there was a passion to vote that was partly obama but partly just independent of it and partly republicans. they motivated a lot of black voters in places like florida, in places like ohio. and the things is that these are galvanizing ideas for the other side. and at the same time republicans have to find a way to appeal to hispanic voters. this is the opposite of doing nap this is saying you can't vote. >> we were just talking about this in the hallway. if we see a conservative supreme court come in next week and go at the voting rights act, which republican senators unanimously supported, which even the republican party in its somewhat nativist form today doesn't have the heart to oppose, i think it would be bad law, bad jurisprudence. i think politically you will see a tremendous backlash not only among minority voters but among a lot of other people who -- >> it's effectively a referendum on the republican party, puts them in a very difficult place, as is actually prop 8 and doma.
but i want to talk about the weirdness of arizona for a moment because today in arizona republican governor jan brewer signed into law a bill that would expand medicaid under the president's affordable care act. it was of course the right thing to do, jan brewer tweeted as much saying "right thing to do for #az proud to sign medicaid restoration into law this morning." i am glad for the people of arizona. 300,000 more poor arizona residents are getting coverage because of it. but this of course jan brewer, she of eating scorpions for breakfast and wagging her finger at the president. a small bit or a giant meteor size bit of iron descending on the state of arizona. >> she gets some golf claps. >> she pulled a christie. she basically put her state first. and florida's governor tried to dot same thing. and rick scott, his nickname is voldemort. his whole life was dedicated to destroying obama care. and he also said hospitals will
go out of businesses. if you look at big hospitals in states with lots of retirees, lots of elderly people like florida the hospital system must have this money. it's free money. for the first five years it's free money. >> it is free money. >> and turning it down is insanity. and the idea of any governor doing the opposite of what she's doing is crazy. >> which is why seven republican governors have also supported medicaid. >> this is one of those things where the national republican like frank lutz, you know, seminar on what you should do and let me give you good advice, they've gotten a lot of bad advice. governors are much closer to the people they represent. they have a lot more basically interactions with a wider array of their own constituents. >> humans. they have to deal with humans. >> i didn't want to go back to romney lessons, alex, but it's sort of humanoid contact is what we're seeing here. and parks are a place where people gather. what did he say? >> and the tree -- humanoid contact is good. we could say that definitively. >> some parts of politics and the law, we're talking about some of these decisions are a little convoluted, this is one
that is very simple i think. governors see what people want, they see health care is something people need and they're not going to just do it to sort of try to do a solid for the national republican party for everyone. >> #nobrainer. ari melber and joy reid, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you. coming up, the head of the republican party says the gop can't change its values, so it's going to change minds. ryan grim and nia-malika henderson will join me to discuss the efforts of that success. and later, what a contestant in the miss usa pageant can do to turn a negative into a positive. i want to make things more secure. [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases.
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focus groups described our party as narrow-minded, out of touch, and "stuffy old men." the perception that we're the party of the rich unfortunately continues to grow. >> in the spotlight tonight, the republican party reveals it has learned absolutely nothing. that was republican party chair reince priebus 89 days ago after his party lost the presidency and seats in the house and in the senate. here is the chairman speaking at this weekend's gathering of the conservative faith and freedom coalition. >> i just want to let you know, i'm a christian. i'm a believer. god lives in my heart. and i'm for changing minds, not changing values.
are you with me? >> here is how priebus plans to change minds. >> a permanent across the country coast to coast ground operation and focused in asian, hispanic, african-american, ander, evangelical, veterans. branding and marketing. digital and data. we need to control the moderators. we need to set the parameters of the debates. when we talk about moving the convention from the end of august to the end of june, it's so that we can get to the general election money. >> priebus did not make a single policy recommendation. but that's what you do when you desperately want your audience to like you. >> this is not an establishment takeover. this is using your brain. it's not an establishment takeover. i'd rather win together than lose together. we're all a part of together. i would just ask you that we
come together. that's what we have to do together. and together, let's build it together, and let's win together. god bless you. >> not in attendance at the faith and freedom coalition event was the most popular republican in the country. governor chris christie was busy in chicago, receiving praise from arguably the most popular democrat in the country. >> the enduring image most americans have of you is standing there in your jacket, grieving with your people, working with them and working with the president. and you've got both praise and damnation for ignoring the political differences that you had then and still have with the president and all of us who are in the other party to do something that was really important. >> joining me now, washington bureau chief of the huffington post and an msnbc contributor,
ryan grimm, and the "washington post's" nia malika-henderson. ryan, i go to you first on this. reince priebus has not hitched his wagon to a single substantive policy recommendation, except for this one. he said after the house -- the republican autopsy came out, he said, "we are not a policy committee but among the steps republicans take in the hispanic community and beyond we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform." today, ryan, the "washington examiner" reports that house speaker john boehner will not violate the so-called hastert rule on an immigration bill. "no way in hell" is how several described the chances of the speaker acting on such a proposal without the majority of a majority. it does not look to be the best strategy, if you will, ryan. >> well, you know, boehner always says that he's not going to violate the hastert rule. right up until the second that he violates the hastert rule. so you know, he's very fond of saying, you know, hell no to whatever's coming down until
it's actually right in front of him, and then he makes a new decision. and he's gotten away with that time and time again. so i think if it steamrolls through the senate and gets to the house then he might actually put it up. but all that aside, you're right. reince priebus didn't mention immigration reform in his speech. he didn't try to talk truth to the power that is the -- this teavangelical base, as they call them, at all. and he fed into their kind of delusion that if it weren't for hurricane sandy, if it weren't for their long debates, if it weren't for romney's failures when it comes to technology then we'd be talking about president mitt romney now. and that is what a lot of republicans believe now, that with a few technological tweaks, you straighten out the convention, you don't have the crazy guy with the chair on the stage, then maybe actually you win national elections. and that is a prevalent view among a lot of republicans now. >> nia, i feel like the branding and marketing reframe is
incredibly cynical. and then you look at that in conjunction with the legislation, and i put that in sort of quotes because i don't -- there is no thought this stuff will actually become law. but tomorrow house republicans are considering congressman trent franks' bill that outlaws abortion after 20 weeks of gestation. and you look at that in combination with some of the rhetoric out there around women and women's health, this is not great branding and marketing for the gop. >> that's right. and they ended up having to make some concessions around that bill because trent franks got into trouble with language around rape, saying that pregnancy only resulted in rape in very low incidences. so they ended up having to put that rape and incest exception into that bill, something that democrats wanted. in some instances -- and they also put marcia blackburn as the face of that and pulling trent franks back a little bit. in some instances i think there is some realization that they have to at least put a different face and a different sort of framing on some of these issues. but also i think if you look at that, faith and freedom coalition, the line-up there, all of those people were, to be
frank about, it they were losers. paul ryan, sarah palin, gary bauer ran for president in 2000, lost. all of these people have tried their ideas in the marketplace and they lost. the republican party is supposed to be the party of the market place, the marketplace of ideas, free enterprise, but they keep going back to these same people and same ideas and arguing to themselves that maybe if we say it differently this time or maybe if those -- there's also this myth that 6 million white people stayed home in 2012, so that gets them around the whole idea of this demographic edge that democrats have. so it's just interesting that they keep, you know, bringing the same ideas, the same people out, but you know, it's almost like trying to sell the pet rock over and over again. >> speaking of pet rocks and losers and the same faces over and over again, ryan, governor rick perry made an appearance this weekend and had some choice words, as he always does. let us listen to rick perry's advice for the republican party.
>> our party has frankly lost that example of the happy warrior. ronald reagan died a little less than a decade ago. and sometimes i fear with his passing we've forgotten that conversations should come with a smile. >> ryan, according to rick perry's prepared remarks, the governor meant to say conservatism should always come with a smile, although he did not follow that flub up with an oops. >> oops. >> nonetheless, is it not oops-worthy to even have rick perry on the stage? >> it is. and rick perry is kind of evidence of an effect that is emerging ever more clearly here, and that is that there are two republican parties here. and that's why it's so hard for them to change. one republican party is quite satisfied with the status quo, and that's the one that controls the house and with gerry manderring they could control
the house for the foreseeable future and they could control a not insignificant number of governorships. in fact a majority of them. but then there's the party that would actually like to possibly win a national election. rick perry is kind.95 both because he tried to run for president but he washed out. he knows he really doesn't have a shot at becoming a viable presidential candidate in the future. so he can kind of get on the republican speakers tour and he can be part of that governors' party and that house party, he can rally that right flank. and as long as you have that strong flank that's satisfied with controlling the house, controlling a lot of governorships, they can stop a lot of legislation so, they do have some power, then it's very hard for the other element of the party, which only consists of people like chris christie who could possibly win a national election, it's hard to see how they get out of it. >> and nia, ryan brings up the elephant in the room. chris christie and his
bipartisanship. he making the case for government during the clinton -- at the clinton global initiative this weekend basically says no one in my state was arguing that to me on tuesday october 30th when the state hit, governor, you should privatize the response to the storm from here on out, making the case for the role of governor in public life. >> that's right. and who knows whether or not that meeting with bill clinton will come back to bite him when he runs for president, if he runs for president in 2016. it looks like ultimately republicans tend to go for the person they think would win, and i think chris christie, as much as bill clinton is cozying up to him there in chicago, he should watch out because in many ways you wonder if somebody like hillary clinton would be afraid to go up against someone like chris christie because he's very fresh. if he runs for president in 2016, you would get to see him in action because he'd still be the governor of a state. so you'd get to see his brand of leadership in real time. we'll see what happens.
>> we'll see what happens. perhaps the clintons have some kind of master clintonian plan, tbd. nia malika henderson and ryan grim, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. coming up, a new meaning for the phrase "putting a ring on it." vladimir putin, a super bowl ring, and yet another international incident. that's coming up. hey kevin...still eating chalk for heartburn? yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief!
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hi. [ baby fussing ] ♪ congressman darrell issa has once again ignored calls for the release of the full transcripts of the house irs investigation interviews. instead, he has once again released only parts of committee interviews with irs staffers. the ranking democrat on issa's committee, elijah cummings, asked for complete transcripts with redactions as necessary by the end of today. issa's current reasoning for only releasing partial transcripts -- a release of full transcripts would be "reckless" and would provide a road map of the committee's investigation. indeed. reckless transparency that might show no connection between the white house and the irs controversy. up next, the interview portion of the program, and why a
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what if you were competing in a pageant on national television and you were asked this question? >> a recent report shows that in 40% of american families with children women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. what does this say about society? >> what would your answer be? might it include something about how our country still has a long way to go in terms of gender and pay equity? would you invoke women leaders in business like facebook c.o.o. sheryl sandberg and xerox ceo ursula burns or female politicians hillary clinton, who have continued to break glass ceilings? well, miss utah was asked that very question last night during the miss usa pageant. here is what 21-year-old marissa powell had to say. >> a recent report shows that in
40% of american families with children women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. what does this say about society? >> i think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to figure out how to create jobs right now. that is the biggest problem. and i think especially the men are seen as the leaders of this, and so we need to try to figure out how to create education better so that we can solve this problem. thank you. >> joining me now is erin carmone, staff writer at salon.com. erin, thanks for joining me. so marissa powell did not win the competition last night. erin brady from connecticut won. and we were looking into the duties of a miss usa. and as miss usa erin brady will get posh digs in new york city
and an opportunity to travel the world while promoting the organization and acting as a spokeswoman for breast and ovarian cancer awareness. now, i think it's really important and good to raise awareness about breast and ovarian cancer. but i also think if you're going to raise questions like the ones that were raised last night about gender equity and pay equity it would be great if miss usa and the contestants in the miss usa pageant could talk about the issue of pay equity and gender equity and the way society treats men and women and perhaps talk about the pew research analysis from 2011 showing there is a massive income gap among breadwinner families, single moms, married moms, and a whole host of other issues pertaining to women shattering the quote unquote glass ceiling. >> the most generous interpretation of marissa powell's admittedly incoherent statement is when she said that men were seen as leaders she was talking about sexism and when she said we need education maybe she was saying we need better knowledge of the ways in which the patriarchy holds women back. maybe. maybe, maybe.
look, i think -- i don't look for a property that is owned by donald trump to be evincing perfect feminist values. many of the women who have competed in these pageants are very intelligent. it does not appear that marissa powell is the most articulate spokeswoman for them. but she doesn't sound that much better than a lot of republican leaders. i mean, look at some of the statements by elected members of congress where they say, for example, as marsha blackburn did, that women don't want equal pay. so you know, we can laugh at her. i think people want to see beautiful women taken down a notch. but also we can say look at our elected officials. a as charlie pierce put it, they just use better grammar. >> yeah. i also -- to say nothing of the miss usa pageant, these are very serious issues that are underdiscussed. and you talk about education. women earn 61.6% of all associate degrees in 2013. 56.7% of all bachelor degrees. 59.9% of all master's degrees. and 51.6% of all doctor's degrees. women are better educatd than
men in the class of 2013. yet it turns out one of the reasons women pursue higher degrees is because they know they will be paid less than men if they don't. a cnn analysis says it turns out persistent wage gaps in the labor market -- in the short term men who drop out face no financial penalty in their entry-level salaries. women, on the other hand, pay a steep price right away for dropping out. since female dropouts earn entry-level pay that averages $6,500 a year lower than what their male counterparts earn. why is it that -- i mean, i guess i keep going back to this idea that that is somehow a political issue that cannot be talked about on the national stage -- on the miss usa tour you have to focus on cancer. when what is happening to women and the inequalities there and inequities there are not something that is fodder for mainstream conversation. >> well, there is -- there is
definitely legislation that could help with the wage gap. not only those numbers that you show. even like for like, when women have the same education as men when they graduate with the same qualifications from the year they graduate, there's still a 5% gap and it widens. it widens when they get married and then it widens when they have children yet again. even when you factor out career interruptions, the wage gap is there. so yes, women are seeking more education. they're filling the ranks of the educated people. it's not actually making a difference for the wage gap. the paycheck fairness act, which has gone in and out of congress, has been blocked by republicans. sometimes women who are making less money don't even know. so wage transparency, you know, there's a lot of measures we could do to help when it comes to this. >> that is how to turn a negative into a positive, which is what our -- what nene leakes suggested marissa powell do. we hope she takes our advice and nene's advice. irin carmon, a new member of the msnbc family, welcome. we are so happy to have you. congratulations and thank you for your time tonight. >> thanks, alex. coming up, why there is a patriots super bowl ring at the kremlin, and how it got there. ring-gate is next.
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>> all right. >> i'm not aware of like any discussions that may have happened with mr. kraft. this did not come up in the meeting between the presidents. >> that was white house press secretary jay carney and deputy national security adviser ben rhodes in ireland today responding to a question about ring-gate. the owner of the new england patriots, robert kraft, revealed last week that when he met vladimir putin in st. petersburg in 2005 putin took his super bowl ring. kraft says he showed the ring to putin, who then put it on and said, "i can kill someone with this ring." the kgb then ushered putin out of the room before kraft could get it back. kraft says the bush administration asked him to let the russians have the ring to avoid an international incident. it is now on a display in a museum in the kremlin along with other state gifts.
the kremlin was surprised by the announcement, and today a spokesman for mr. kraft released a statement. "it is a humorous, anecdotal story that robert retells for laughs. he loves that his ring is at the kremlin, and as he stated back in 2005, he continues to have great respect for russia and the leadership of president putin. in particular, he credits president putin for modernizing the russian economy. an added benefit from the attention this story gathered eight years ago was the creation of some patriots fan clubs in russia." joining me now is executive producer of "rachel maddow show," bill wolfe, who is also a former producer at fox sports and espn. no more qualified person to weigh in on this. >> or less, alex. >> okay. so an international incident. >> yeah. >> the bush administration apparently got involved in this anecdote. >> you believe that? >> maybe i will read -- a spokesman for putin today said the ring was clearly a president. what mr. kraft is saying is now weird, said dimitri peskov, a spokesman for putin.
"i was standing 20 krmds" -- you have to do the metric conversion. "away from mr. putin and saw and heard how mr. kraft gave this ring as a gift. the russian president does not wear the ring. it is on display at the kremlin's library where all official state gifts are kept." who knew a super bowl ring was worth this much hullabaloo? >> i don't know if there's a picture available on file. they're the size of chevrolets. they're these giant horrible rings. they shouldn't be rings. there are 124 diamonds on this particular ring. do you know how big a ring -- a ring should be nice and small. you can put it on your hand. >> a ring expert as well as rachel maddow, espn and jewelry. >> i would not call myself an expert. i would call myself a person of taste. so wearing an ash tray or like a crumpled up piece of tin foil with the shiny side out just balled up like this is not a good look. so of course he's not wearing it. >> what is interesting to me is ben rhodes and jay carney were asked about this incident. it is a testament to how icy,
rocky, whatever adjective you prefer, relations are between the u.s. and russia that ringgate is even making it into a press conference. >> as i watched those poor guys, take politics out of it. i make no judgment about either ben rhodes or jay carney. they're guys doing their jobs. what lousy jobs they have. like have you ever thought you wanted to be a spokesperson for anything have to do with anything? sir, there's this joke story about a really rich guy who owns a football team and a really mean guy who runs a country and one guy has the other one's ring. and nobody's really sure. does the president have a comment? then they can't just laugh. they can't say you're disqualified from being here because you asked that question. they have to say the president will have no comment at this time because it's a very -- what a terrible day those guys had. >> i will say just to end this, bill, and get your thoughts on this. 1991 super bowl ring -- the super bowl ring of hall of famer lawrence taylor sold last year at an auction for more than $230,000. >> oh -- >> it may not be an ashtray but it's worth something to someone. >> well, that's lawrence taylor -- you don't know where that ring's been.
it may have intrinsic value we don't know about. >> bill wolff gets tonight's last word. thank you, sir. >> my pleasure. >> i am alex wagner in for lawrence o'donnell. you can catch my show "now" weekdays at noon eastern right here on the channel called msnbc. before we get into another war, shouldn't we have a vote or something? let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. we americans enjoy our traditions is u.s. open in philadelphia this weekend, the nba championship heading back to miami. the stanley cup. we had another tradition called democracy. it's called giving the people, yes, the people out there beyond washington and new york the final say in whether we get involved in a war or not. you know, i'm talking about the people who aren't on the sunday