tv MSNBC Live MSNBC June 19, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT
hi, everybody, good morning, i'm thomas roberts. topping our agenda today, republican revolt. as we speak outspoken gop critics of immigration reform are holding court on capitol hill. and they're led by iowa's steve king. these republicans, they're staging a six-hour news conference. they have one goal, they want
that make their dissent known. >> immigration policy that i believe at its heart and core amnesty. >> don't come in to be a taker. come in to be a giver, and if you'll come in to be a giver, give us your tired, your poor, because we'll give you a chance to work but we should not be giving a chance to be a taker. >> amnesty is the buzzword of the day and this six-hour slog comes as speaker -- house speaker john boehner plans to huddle later today with members of the house hispanic caucus, that meeting just a day after he said that he'd need this to bring an overhaul plan to a vote -- >> i don't see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn't have a majority support of republicans. >> so, from the house to the senate where republicans are jockeying to ad amendments to the bipartisan plan that was hammered by the immigration eight, a new congressional budget office report is giving that plan added street cred,
projecting that it would cut the government's budget hole by 197 million over the next decade. >> this report is a huge momentum boost for immigration reform. it debunks the idea that immigration reform is anything other than a boon to our economy and robs the bill's opponents of one of their last remaining arguments. all right, let's dig down on this and joining me now for more is mark murray. mark, it's good to have you here. we know from the lead figure on the immigration gang of eight has been senator marco rubio, however he's been saying recently the bill needs stronger border security measures. other republicans like senator john cornyn of texas want things like a 100% situational awareness, 90% apprehension on the border. as we look at what senator rubio's motives are now, is he undermining the hard work of the immigration eight by entertaining these amendments or is this just politics as usual? >> thomas, i think it's actually
more trying from marco rubio's perspective to strengthen the bill to get more republican support. the gang of eight is still together. i mean, there are sometimes it's been reported there's been a little of annoyance about some of the requests that senator marco rubio has made to have more security but it's been his goal to have more republicans in the debate, someone with his stature and association with the tea party and what he's been asking for time and time again is adding more border security to the proposal. now, what democrats say is that they don't want any type of trigger where that -- any type of the pathway to citizenship would be predetermined by having to meet all of these goals and where that path to citizenship might be jeopardized. so, that's where the debate is right now. and what we've been looking all along is just how big support can the democratic measure and the gang of eight measure get. how many republican votes can that end up getting and that could impact the house.
>> we also know that republicans are slamming the cbo report, showing that the senate immigration bill would reduce the federal deficit as well as grow the economy. these are some of the statements we've gotten from senator tom coburn of oklahoma saying when is the last time you saw them accurate about anything. and john thune is saying his office is getting one-sided calls and senator rand paul from kentucky saying there's no groundswell of republicans telling me vote for this. is there significant will on the republican side to get this done? mark, you would think that there would be given the autopsy reports from the rnc and what they figured out after the election of 2012. >> they're two cross pressures, thomas, on the one hand you have the republican elites and the establishment who realize, look, we can'tlution the hispanic and latino vote by 71 percentage points to the democratic victor like president obama who was able to grab 72% of the latino vote in 2012. they can't let that happen
again. on the other hand, you have a republican base as some of the comments that you just showed that are adamantly against any type of immigration reform, any type of pathway to citizenship. republicans are caught between this. time and time again it's usually been that the establishment on the republican side ends up winning a lot of these fights. we'll see if that holds true again. you mentioned the congressional budget office and the debate over that, when people like the numbers, they tout those numbers and when they don't, they say somehow the game is rig but i think it's a pretty big development for reformers, it was pretty big news for them. >> thank you, mark. i want to switch gears to the president and his trip overseas and a news conference with german prime minister angela merkel today, president obama addressed several issues that brought him criticism in europe including his failure to close guantanamo bay and the use of u.s. drone strikes. >> it continues to be my policy that i want to close guantanamo. it has been more difficult than i had hoped, in part because
there's been significant resistance from congress on this. as we defeat al qaeda, we have to i think very carefully examine how these technologies are used. i can say, though, that we do not use germany as a launching point for unmanned drones. i know that there have been some reports here in germany that that might be the case. that is not. >> and the president once again defended the government's sweeping surveillance program, which has also received a lot of criticism in europe. >> we know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information, not just in the united states but in some cases threats here in germany. so, lives have been saved. >> so lives have been saved. meanwhile right now fbi
director robert mueller is facing questions at the latest congressional hearing on the government surveillance programs and the leaks by edward snowden. >> as to the person who has admitted to making these disclosures, he is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. these disclosures have caused significant harm to our nation and to our safety, and we are taking all nemssacessary steps hold the person accountable for the disclosures. >> joining me now is dna koets from indiana a member of the senate intelligence committee. it's good to have you on with me. >> thank you. >> you said what edward snowden did borders on treason, what do you think should happen to him? >> i think he should bee extradited back to the united states for a criminal trial. he took a sworn oath not to released classified information when he took the job. he also has greatly exaggerated what has been said, but much of it has been damaging and lives will be lost as a result of
that, i believe. and i think this is someone that needs to come before the justice system to account for what he's done. >> senator, you wrote a "wall street journal" op-ed titled to my congressional colleagues stop the nsa grandstanding. explain what you mean by that? >> well, all i'm simply asking my colleagues to do is get the facts before they come to a conclusion, you know, there's been a trust deficit here based on the irs scandal, benghazi and the narrative changing all the time, the attorney general's situations and i think the american people just have lost a lot of trust in government. in terms of what government does. this program does not violate their privacy. this program is layered with oversight. i'm on the intelligence committee, but it's not just me, it's the administration, it's the fisa court. we're looking at this carefully to protect americans' privacy, that this program has saved lives. it has stopped terrorist attacks. but some are taking advantage of it politically basically saying government is in your bedroom,
government can listen to everything that you say. these are not the facts of this case. i think the president has outlined to his credit what is and what is done and what isn't done and hopefully we can stay with the exact details of the program rather than exploit it for political purposes. >> sir, you certainly recognize, though, that there is a catch-22 that has evolved out of this debate and not just from the fact that we need our government to prove the fact that they're not doing anything illegal and we can trust them, but also with the fact that snowden's reveals to give that evidence to the public to recognize any type of constitutional court challenge. he has to break the law to do that, but for the public to get that type of information, to then run it up the chain judicially, it does break a law. so, there is a catch-22 for us to recognize and then flesh this out, we need people like a snowden to leak this information so the american people can know what our government is doing. because we're not going to learn it from the fisa courts. >> listen, snowden could have gone to the inspector general or
any member of congress, any member of the intelligence committee whether it's a democrat or roishl and basically said i'm very concerned about, are you looking into it, what are the details here? instead he goes public to the world, you know, guess who else is listening? our enemies are listening. the terrorists who now know how we do this, it compromises our ability to stop future attacks and it puts americans at risk. we have to find this balance between privacy which i think is in this program. it's built into the program. the president supports it on that basis as do many republicans and democrats who have seen the details of this program. but we also have to recognize that we are at war. people are trying to kill us. and to the extent that we can stop these threats as we now have done in over 50 cases, we need to keep doing that. >> senator dan koets of indiana, thanks for joining me this morning, i appreciate it. >> all right. it is clear that the members who approved this bill, the all-male republican members on the house judiciary committee,
are not only disinterested in protecting the well-being of women but are also disinterested in the profession of the medical community. >> we're here because we care about women. we're here because we care about the unborn. >> the house passes a controversial bill banning abortion after 20 weeks, why are republicans so focused on abortion when there are so many other issues to focus on like jobs and immigration reform in d.c.? i'll talk with terry o'neil president of the national organization for women coming up. hey, look! a shooting star!
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all right. i want to show you a live look on capitol hill right now where house critics of immigration reform are holding an all-day news conference showing their dissent to immigration reform as it stands right now. in the senate, though, the efforts continue, they're under way to add amendments to the gang of eight's bipartisan deal and joining me right now is democratic senator robert
menendez, a member of the bipartisan gang of eight. sir, it's great to have you here. and i want to start out with marco rubio and the fact that he has shown an inclination to listen to senators john cornyn and others about borden security and it's lacking in this reform bill. are you worried? can you trust marco rubio at this point? and what his motives are moving forward if this is really going to pass? >> well, look, i take senator rubio at his word, that he is committed to the gang of eight's proposal that he helped craft, and that he wants to see it pass in the senate. and, look, we're all open to consider constructive suggestions on any element of the bill as long as they're simply not poison pills which are sought to undermine the very essence of the bill and a pathway to citizenship. so, i take him at his word. we met last night at the gang of eight and he was intimately
involved, i suspect he's trying to maximize votes on his side and have company and we look forward to the ultimate result being positive. >> sir, meanwhile, you know, out of the senate side of things as we came in showing the shot that's taking place right now, steve king holding this all-day news conference so those at the house side can show their anger with what's going on with immigration reform, the house speaker john boehner has signaled that he's not going to bring an immigration bill to the floor unless he has the support of a majority of his caucus and meanwhile dana rohrabacher has kind of threatened the speaker that if he permits a vote to come forward on this that he should be removed as speaker if he doesn't have the majority ahead of time. do you think this intimidation tactic will stall what most americans want to see comprehensive immigration reform? >> well, look, i'm sure that speaker boehner doesn't take well to threats, and at the end of the day, right now, what we are focused on is passing a comprehensive bill in the senate, that yesterday the
independent congressional budget office said what we knew all along, that this would be good for america's economy, that it would increase the gross domestic product of the united states by about 3.3% in the first 10 years, 5.4% in the next 10 years that it would reduce the deficit by $197 billion in the first 10 years and another $700 billion in the second 10 years, that's almost a trillion dollars off the backs of americans by simply having comprehensive immigration reform, so for republicans who oppose this, ultimately they're going to be left having seen that the economy is going to actually improve as a result of immigration reform, seeing the new opportunities that are going to exist for businesses to grow, and to have greater, secure country, their only arguments left will be cultural ones and i think that will leave them in poor standing. >> i want to get you on the record about what's going on with syria because i know you and democratic senator carl levin and republican senator john mccain wrote a letter to
president obama asking for stronger military action in syria, but do we really know what we're getting into with that one, whether we can actually solve anything, and if we're trusting the right people, especially when we consider the u.s. is it expected that we get involved in every regional and sectarian conflict? >> well, look, no, we don't. it's only when our national interests and security are at stake, and what are our national interests and security and drove me and senator levin and john mccain the ranking member to send that letter to the president? number one is in addition to the humanitarian tragedy which is over 93,000 lives lost, 4.5 million people displaced within the country and over a million people outside of the country, we have challenges of a failed state that could ultimately allow terrorists, hezbollah, al nusra, iranian revolution guard and others, and al qaeda affiliates to launch attacks against our allies and ourselves out of syria, we have chemical
weapon caches that ultimately can fall into the hands of those that would be terrorists at the end of the day in terms of using it, we have the potential collapse of jordan next door which has been an ally to the united states and the ripple effect that has in the region and on our ally the state of israel. when you look at all of that, it dictates we have a vital national interest and the question can we actually tip the scales and get to a political negotiation that means assad leaves, we have a coalition government and we can move forward and end the bloodshed and pursue our interests. >> senator robert menendez of new jersey, sir, thanks for making time for me. i do appreciate it. >> thank you, thomas. that brings us to our big question for you today, do you agree with senators menendez, levin and mccain that arming syrian rebels potentially won't be enough? go to our twitter and facebook pa pages to let us know. (announcer) at scottrade, our clients trade and invest
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we have more and more evidence that life does indeed begin at conception. >> babies at 20 weeks are still at risk for being brutally, mercilessly and painfully killed. >> women deserve better than abortion. >> we are here because it is imperative that we take an action and that we address these abortions. >> those were some of the republican women on the house floor yesterday for their reasons why the 20-week abortion bill should be passed which it did, 222-6. the bill won't be taken up in the senate but bills restricting abortion in the states, well, they're still going ahead. yesterday, for instance, the texas senate voted on a plan that would allow abortions only in surgical facilities. it would also require doctors to perform an exam before giving
abortion-inducing medications. good to see you. marsha blackburn was on our show yesterday and he led the debate on the house abortion bill and one of her points she said she hoped the bill would crack down on rapists, take a listen to this -- >> we can rid our society of these perpetrators who carry out these crimes, many times repeatedly on their victims. >> how do you -- how do you fight rapists with an abortion bill? >> what we are seeking to do is fight the this and to end this practice of late-term abortion which is killing these babies, which is harming women. >> so, the congresswoman was talking about perpetrators, she was really meaning the abortion providers when she said they carry these out over and over again. >> yeah, thomas, i think the incoherent nature of the congresswoman's remarks really represents the mask slipping off of the republicans who are
pushing these kinds of bills. look, after the 2012 elections, polls showed that well over 70% of the people in this country of voters want roe versus wade to remain the law of the land. the bill that just passed in the republican-controlled house is a bill that is intended to challenge roe versus wade, and get it before the supreme court in an effort to overturn roe versus wade. and by the way, i think one of the ways you can tell that is that the proponents of this bill repeatedly denigrated and demeaned the experience of rape and rape survivors and incest survivors. they're going right back to the legitimate rape comments of todd akin from 2012 saying, oh, women just don't get pregnant from rape. so when they're having that kind of language wrapped around this anti-roe v. wade bill, the war
against women is continuing and ferociously and it will continue to cost them seats in the congress in the next election cycle. >> we have in from republican congressman michael burgess saying something during a house bills committee hearing on a house bill that's gotten a lot of attention. why he supports the 20-week ban. take a listen to his thoughts. >> you watch a 15-week baby and they have movements that are purposeful. they stroke their face. if they're a male baby they may have their hand between their legs. they feel pleasure. why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain? >> all right, we want to know that burgess is an obgyn trained medically and says the law -- to ban abortions at 15 weeks says that it should exist. the science, though, on that is uncertain. what do you make of the comments like that from our elected officials in congress and they go on record with those kind of statements? >> you know, that kind of statement is just shocking and deeply, deeply offensive to
women, truthfully. suggesting that roe versus wade should be overturned because a man thinks that a fetus is masturbating. it's just -- it's just -- i mean, i had one of my staffers say that she thought their psychologists call that projection. i think that what i see with that is women voters who were already beginning to pay attention in 2012 now that that attention level is up, it's not going to go down. the republican party needs to understand that it is going to lose votes. it's going to lose seats in the house and in the senate by promoting these kinds of bills. it's really strange to me, what i can't figure out is why the republican leadership thinks this is a good idea. clearly leaders like bobby jindal in louisiana said stop talking in this way. i mean, although he admittedly said let's continue our extremist agenda, but just talk about it in a different way.
this is continuing the agenda and talking about it in a deeply offensive and often bizarre way. it's not helping the republican party whatsoever. >> we have a jobs bill we need to get passed, immigration reform, a lot more that they could be devoting their time to, yet we get this. terry o'neil, great to see you. we had a lot of responses to our question of the day yesterday on this very topic that we wanted to share with you today. we asked about the 20-week abortion bill, would it cost the gop women? and greta wrote, bottom line, a woman's choice is none of their business, period. bonnie said, where is the jobs bill? when is boehner going to bring that bill up for a vote? and then larry pennington weighed in, i sure hope so. party wake up call, ring. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health
republican bluff on the irs scandal. elijah cummings of maryland released a full 200-page interview that he says proves the white house was not involved with targeting the conservative groups, the interview is with an irs manager. the manager calls himself a conservative republican. and denied the white house directed him to play politics. he says one of his screeners flagged a high-profile tea party group and did the same with others in order to maintain consistency. cummings alerted i eed issa yes that he would be releasing the whole transcript. he only cited portions of the interview when he said the president's enemies were targeted. >> let's not, you know, cherry pick a few facts, a few lines from a transcript and then give one impression when exactly the opposite will be seen if the entire transcripts of all the transcripts are put out there
and that's what this is all about. >> this is the topic of the agenda panel. we've got an msnbc political analyst and a writer from "the american prospect." it's great to have you here. >> good morning. >> it's been fascinating to see the 200-plus pages that have been put out there for everyone to read about the question-and-answer session. i want to show the first part, the question being in your opinion was the decision to screen and centralize the review of tea party cases the targeting of the president's political enemies? answer, i do not believe the screening of these cases has anything to do other than consistency and identifying issues that needed to have further development. the interview goes on to say are you aware of political bias of employees of conservative views? i'm not aware of that. are you aware of any political motivation behind the screenings centralizing and developing tea party cases? answer, i'm not aware of that. do you have any reason to believe the executives in
washington directed the screening of all the tea party cases? i have no knowledge of that. david, what do you think? >> i think the 200 pages are full of bureaucratic nitty-gritty. there's no intrigue. it's not the watergate tapes -- >> you are saying it's for people with insomnia, not for people that are interested in this scandal, alleged scandal? >> exactly. it shows there is no scandal. it shows there were bureaucratic decisions made that might be improper and they came about because they were as you said earlier wanting to treat the groups the same way after having flagged a particular group because it was hard to figure out what was too much politics, if you ply for nonprofit status you are able to do some political activity but not a lot of political activity and it flummoxed them and as they were flailing they came up with guidelines from outside their
bureaucratic perspective looks really odd. but if you look at darrell issa and other lead republicans like dale camp and rogers what they've been saying the past few weeks and months that the this was an enemies list and targeted from the white house and it didn't begin in cincinnati, these 200 pages prove them all wrong. >> issa led the brigade on the rhetoric with the loudest of drumbeats because it was earlier this month when he went on cnn and said jay carney was the white house's paid liar but it was his interview on cbs "this morning" in may where he thawked about the white house's enemies list. take a look. >> this was the targeting of the president's political enemies effectively and lies about it during did the election year so that it wasn't discovered until afterwards. >> all right, so now we fast-forward, it's a little over a month later and the fact that now these pages have been released, issa has responded to the release of these documents saying i'm deeply disappointed that ranking member cummings has
decided to broadly disseminate and post online as 200 page transcript that will serve as a roadmap for irs officials, after unsuccessfully trying to convince the american people that irs officials in washington did not play a role of tea party groups and declaring on national tv declaring that it was solved and congress should move on, this looks like flailing. is this just proving that issa was the boy who cried wolf on this situation? >> absolutely. it's very obvious that issa came into this with a forgone conclusion that barack obama and his white house have already -- have decided to target conservative groups and suppress dissent and so on and so forth and now we have evidence that none of that is true, that this is just a bureaucratic, i wouldn't say arrogance necessarily but a bureaucratic mess-up, he's lost in the water a little bit and is trying to figure out some way to move us back to, you know, this conversation about how obama is threatening conservative groups
when he has no evidence and we all know he has no evidence. it's, you know, it's indicative of the this broader lack of republican agenda that they have nothing to say about immigration or they're arguing about immigration, they have nothing really to say about the economy other than let's do more tax cuts and let's deregulate more, and so instead they're focusing all their attention on phony scandals, on phony controversies in an effort to distract people from the fact that they have nothing really constructive to do. >> it did get people's attention, though, because we look at the new cnn poll about who ordered political group targeting, 47% thought that the white house this ordered it. irs acted alone, 49%, but the 47% number, that number was up by ten points from may. so, david, this did catch fire and it was kind of a fake it until you make it scandal. >> yeah, exactly. a big lie can sometimes work, you know. they kept pushing these narratives, they used the benghazi, you know, scandal, i put that in scare quotes, first
and then that fell apart and they turned to the irs where there was actually some improper activity going on so they had a little bit more smoke to deal with and they make a big deal and outlandish charges and people hear about it. and it actually cuts through. the irs controversy when it began was very real and had people very concerned even the white house. so, they exploited this to the maximum and you see the results in the polls. you know, some ways, you know, in washington if you are willing to lie and say things that aren't true, it often rebounds to your -- to your benefit. it doesn't always, you know, end up being a problem. >> yeah. well, the irs it gets all of our attention because as americans we all collectively have a disdain for the irs. gentlemen, thanks much, i appreciate you making time for me. when the president spoke in berlin earlier, he sent a message directly to russia, cut your nuclear stockpiles and the u.s. will do the same. the president said he was proud to stand on the east side of the famed brandenburg gate, a symbol
of the cold war's end. 50 years ago, president kennedy gave his famous ich bin ein berliner speech just steps away from the west side of the country, of course, was divided in 1963. president obama pointed to how far the world has come since then but said that russia and the u.s. they need to go farther to reduce nuclear arms. >> after a comprehensive review, i've determined that we can ensure the security of america and our allies and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third. and i intend to seek negotiated cuts with russia to move beyond cold war nuclear postures. >> today had a big crowd but nothing like the rock star reception that the president got with his visit to berlin in 2008. these days the president faces tougher criticism among germans over nsa surveillance and the use of drones. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare?
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here's a look at some of the stories topping the news now. the promises search for teamsters boss jimmie half fa was another dead end. federal investigators ended their search of a michigan field without finding remains. the latest efforts came from what officials call a highly credible tip. new allegations in the investigation in to the 1996 crash of twa flight 800 was botched by government investigators is this claim and the plane exploded and went down on the coast -- off the coast of long island killing all 238 people. an independent filmmaker said a missile caused the crash. federal investigators said a short-circuit in the fuel tank caused the explosion. a new decision by the medical association to classify obesity as a disease, it's got a lot of people talking today and could change the way doctors and insurance companies treat and cover patients. the ama's designation means that obesity could require medical
treatment and prevention. at least one-third of americans are obese. all right, so, now back to one of our top stories today, the immigration debate. it certainly is heating up in congress right now. several republican lawmakers are holding a daylong news conference on capitol hill. we have texas congressman randy weber a short time ago. take a look. >> mr. president, build up this wall. we need some sanity. the things that made america great are americans like you that work and understand that it's sacrifice. you don't get to come over here and be takers. >> so, today's event comes one day after immigrant rights advocates protested at a house judiciary hearing on immigration. the republican bill focused on enforcement and would criminalize undocumented immigrants. joining me now is congressman luis gutierrez, he's a member of the house bipartisan group and he'll meet with house speaker
john boehner later today along with other members of the congressional hispanic caucus. it's great to have you with me here today. we see in politico gop support on immigration dissipating. we talked earlier about how the future of immigration reform lies in the house of representatives and yesterday it was speaker boehner who said that he won't bring any immigration bill to the floor unless a majority of republicans can get behind it. how worried are you that the bipartisan bill that comes out of the senate side of things will never see a house vote? >> i am concerned, i think properly so. look, we'll meet with the speaker today. it's unprecedented for me to watch 25 democrats watch into a republican speaker of the house and to extend, not an olive branch, but to extend a branch of understanding and cooperation, and to say to the speaker, you have said you wanted to get comprehensive immigration reform done. we're here to ask you how do we help you get there. i think that one of the -- the
wonderful things about immigration reform is while we have benghazi and the irs and the ap and the nsa and so many controversy really hot rhetoric, bipartisan fighting around these issues, immigration thus far hasn't been a victim to that. and i think we need to keep immigration away from those things, so i think, look, in the house of representatives, i do not have any fear. 218 votes plus exist for comprehensive immigration reform that can settle our broken immigration system once and for all, but it's got to be democrats, republicans. as a democrat, i can think, well, from a partisan point of view, let the republicans continue with their anti-immigrant rhetoric and their enforcement only -- >> sir, they're doing it all day today. they're saying build up that wall. they're calling these people takers. we're back to the -- it feels
like we're back to the 2012 campaign, you know, makers versus takers. >> and i could say there is no hope. that there is no road for us that we can find to get it done, and do you know what you will have? you will have a counter response to that. but i think what we should do is not think of immigration as -- as i say, a republican or a democratic issue, because we haven't thus far, but act as americans and not in a partisan point of view. what they're doing is exactly what you have expressed, acting in a partisan manner. we need to bring, republicans and democrats, so when we meet with the speaker we're going to ask -- number one, we're going to extend to him our cooperation and ask him how is it that we collaborate so that we can get this done so that the american people are better served. >> do you think that speaker john boehner is intimidated by threats of not bringing a vote to the house floor if this makes it over to the senate side, if the votes aren't there? >> do you know something, he has been extremely helpful thus far. he has spoken each and every
occasion. he's had an opportunity about the need for getting it done. i know i had conversations with him before he was speaker and subsequently. i think i know where his heart is at on this issue. >> right. >> and i think he's got to find a way, as leader, as speaker of the house, to lead the american people. and all i'm saying is, i'm not going to question his motives, i'm going to go there and say thank you for allowing us to come in a historic manner to come and talk to you and let's figure out how we get it done together. i don't want partisanship to bring this into the morass of bickering and fighting in washington, d.c. >> we wish you luck in the meeting, thanks again. we asked and you answered today's big question, do you agree with senators menendez and levin and mccain that arming syrian rebels won't be enough? back in the good old days the argument would have been to help assad disappear. totally agree it will take much more to stop the daily atrocities and mark wrote, ridiculous, it's idiotic for us
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republican senator lisa murkowski of alaska said she's coming out in support of marriage equality. she supports the right of all-americans to mayry the persn they love. it encourages people to have a commitment to each other. she is the third republican senator to back marriage equality. back at home, you may not recognize the name allen chambers and you don't recognize his face. you probably recognize his ministry, exodus international. it's gay reparative therapy. >> i'm the poster boy for this, the proof, if you will, that change is possible. >> how did you overcome
homosexuality? >> people say once you're gay, you're always gay, you can't break free from that. that's not true. >> so now chambers has a new message and it's an apology. joining me live is lisa ling. she has a special on god and gays. lisa, it's great to have you on here. alan chambers came to you and asked for your help in this to arrange for this interview to help him apologize to a group of reparative therapy survivors. i want to play a small clip of what he had to say. take a look. >> you acknowledge that exodus has hurt a lot of people. how do you make up for that? >> i don't. there are things that you can't undo. there are wounds that won't be healed in this life, and that's a hard thing. the only thing i can do is say i'm sorry. >> lisa, why does he want to issue this type of an apology? why does he want to express zero yos regret? >> he's had such a change of
heart over the last couple of years. in fact, he said after the experience he had with us working on our first episode, pray the gay away, he started to think about one of the questions i asked him, which was do you think you'll see gay christians in heaven? he said he thought about that question for over a year and ultimately he came to the conclusion that if one professes to love god, then they will be in heaven just along with everyone else and at a certain point he declared that 99.9% of people, even the people who have gone through exodus programs, cannot change their sexual orientation. he himself says that he deals with a same-sex attraction on a regular basis and tries to better figure out how to kind of control that behavior, those feelings. and so a couple of months ago he called and said that they wanted to apologize, that he wanted to acknowledge the pain that his organization has inflicted upon
so many people. >> it's amazing because as we see in just some of the film there, we saw alan meeting with people that have been through the conversion therapy and meeting face to face, i think there are ten different men and women included in your special. what was that like for them? i mean, this had to be deeply emotional for these people who were kids or at some time in their young lives that were sent to him and he was offering some type of, you know, cure for their sexuality. >> thomas, it was one of the most emotional experiences i've ever had. this was unprecedented. sitting president of exodus sitting face to face with people who have been harmed by the organization. it was -- it was such a rare opportunity for me and to hear the stories of these survivors. for anyone who still thinks that people can be changed through prayer from gay to straight needs to watch this special and needs to hear the testimonies of
these people. and, by the way, so many of the people who are sitting in that circle still profess to have really strong faith despite the condemnation that so many of them have felt in their church. in fact, two of the people who are in that circle were recently asked to leave their church. so, again, for those people that don't think this is still going on, this is prove that it still is. >> it's really fascinating. i can't wait to watch it and just a reminder for everybody, god doesn't make junk, that's for sure. lisa ling, thanks for joining me. i really appreciate it, lisa. that's going to air on own at 10:00. >> that will wrap up this hour for me. i'll see you back tomorrow at 10:00 eastern time. joanne is going to fill in on "now" next. is like hammering.
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this is "now." i'm joy reid in for alex wagner. yesterday after a tough day of setbacks in the house and dlib bir ra ber races in the senate, they got a big boost. the senate immigration bill would decrease federal budget deficits by $197 billion between 2013 and 2033. the -- 2023. the washington post ez ra clyne writes, this isn't just a good cbo report, it's a wildly good cbo report. they're saying immigration reform is a free lunch. the report comes at a critical time with majority leader harry reed and the gang of 8