tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 5, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PDT
i'm never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in washington. >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports," no apologies, president obama doubles down and gives his strongest defense yet for exchanging high level taliban gitmo detainees for american p.o.w. bowe bergdahl. >> we had a prisoner of war whose health had deteriorated. and we were deeply concerned about it and saw an opportunity and we seized it. i make no apologies for that. >> meet and greet, president obama heads next to france where he'll come face to face with individu vladimir putin. but putin is making headlines about what he had about a potential future president. the greatest generation will go
a look back at the moment that changed the course of history. >> this means a lot to us that fought over here. >> those people in the cemetery up on the block, they are the ones responsible for guys like me and the rest of the vets you see to get back home. they paid the price. they are the heroes but those are the guys i come back for. >> good day, i'm kristen wichrk live in washington. president obama telling reporters in belgium, politics didn't play a role in a decision made without consent from
congress. >> i think it was important for people to understand that this is not some on straks or political football. you have a couple of parents whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land. they hadn't seen in five years. and weren't sure they would ever see again. and as commander in chief of the united states armed forces, i am responsible for those kids. >> and the great andrea mitchell does join us now live from normandy. we'll talk about the d day anniversary in a bit. but i want your reaction to president obama side swiped about not notifying congress. what do you make of his comments? >> reporter: he's fight back. they did not expect this to blow
up as badly as it has and fighting back with the argument that you don't leave your soldiers behind on pt battlefield and those parents deserve to have their son returned. it's an emotional argument but not a legal argument. what congress is saying and this includes democrats as you know as well as republicans, that there is a legal obligation to notify congress 30 days in advance. and what congress is also saying to the president's argument, they had to move quickly, that security was very important, this was a tense moment and they had to deal with it delicately. they would say and they have said we knew about the bin laden raid, which was a higher security priority and much more certain to need to avoid leaks. they night about that for months in advance and in fact for days before hand. they were notified of that raid, why not of this exchange. >> andrea, the other big issue
that has overshadowed this trip of the president's, of course, the crisis in ukraine, the rift with russian president vladimir putin. i want to play a little bit of what president obama had to say about president putin and get your reaction on the other side. take a listen. >> i have no doubt that i'll see mr. putin and he and i have always had a business-like relationship. should we have the opportunity to talk, i will be repeating the same message that i've been delivering to him throughout this crisis. >> andrea, it sounds like the president is preparing to have some type of interaction with putin. do you anticipate that's what's going to happen? >> it's unavoidable to see each other. they are world leaders gathering here for commemorations. russia suffered grievously in world war ii. the fact is putin is kind of crashing this party and the other allies in western europe
don't seem to mind that at all. in fact, while president obama tried to isolate him and not have him at that g-7 meeting, would have been the g-8 before the anexation of crimea. the fact is that president hollande has invited him to supper we're told at the palace after he has an earlier dinner with president obama, that he's going to meet with prime minister camera and angela merkel. the other allies are not doing what the u.s. expected and hoped isolating vladimir putin. he's being welcomed back into the fold. while they did make statements coming out of brus sels, they were not as strong as what the u.s. hoped for in terms of threatening increased sanctions against putin for what he's already done, not just what he might do. >> quick follow-up on that point, andrea, some discussions
on the sidelines about potentially increasing sanctions. no real threat of that though. how is putin responding to that? >> well, in fact, president hollande is continuing with an arms export to russia and the president had to acknowledge at that news conference that they disagree with the french about that. the french are not doing any favors to president obama and the u.s. position here and i think vladimir putin might be strutting a little bit when he gets to normandy. >> we'll talk about this more in depth later in the show. set the scene in normandy as you prepare to mark this anniversary tomorrow. >> reporter: i can't even convey just how emotional and meaningful this is to people of all generations. i was here when ronald reagan spoke, you are the boys for the 40th anniversary and here with bill clinton for the 50th.
the fact is that this -- you can see i'm surrounded by the crosses and the stars of david and the other head stones for more than 10,000 men who died here. and they died so that the rest of the world could be free. so you see the flags and the welcome here for the british and the americans and the canadians who stormed these beaches is extraordinary. we see these 90-year-old and 92-year-old and 95-year-old men returning 70 years later and it is quite extraordinary, some of them coming back, we've been doing interviews with college students who are coming with them. they are trying to pass on what they've learned and what they experienced so it is not forgotten. >> andrea, thank you for that perspective and we look forward to talking with you more in depth later in the show about
it. >> you bet, freappreciate it. >> let's get to comments from our without communications director. >> happy to be with you, kristen. >> as you heard president obama says he makes no apologies but as you know there is still a lot of bipartisan frustration on capitol hill. there was a briefing last night, all 100 senators were briefed and shown a prove of life of bowe bergdahl, they weren't all convinced. this is what senate intelligence committee vice chairman saxby chambliss had to say on "morning joe". >> there's no indication that there were any health issues with sergeant bergdahl. i can say that very matter of factually. he was probably coerced into mum bling the words that he mum bled and didn't look good but -- that's not enough to tell me that he's in imminent health
danger from a health standpoint. >> jen, a lot of senators not convinced. was it a mistake not to give them a few days head's up about this transaction? >> reporter: i guess first i would say that the president and the national security council rely on the advice of the military advisers on this kind of action. general dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs have spoken clearly about this and he said we saw this as the last best chance to get sergeant bergdahl home. and you know, in terms of congress, we're trying to balance the desire and need to keep this protect this mission, keep it safe and secure with informing our partners in congress of actions we're taking, but the truth is that this -- the possibility of this type of swap has been discussed with congress going back a few
years, from 2011 -- >> jen, but they say they haven't been briefed -- >> reporter: as our -- as our deputy national security adviser tony blinken briefed the congress last night, this possibility was discussed again with? of the committees in congress in january and february of this year when we saw the proof of life video that the senators were shown last night. when that came to light it was brought up again with some of the committees in congress to let them know that development had happened and to be aware that this possibility was still on the table. so you know, we have a -- the president i think spoke very forcefully and clearly about this today. we have a sacred obligation to protect you're soour soldiers a them home. we saw this as the last best chance to do that with sergeant bergdahl. that is the obligation that we have, that military said it was our last best chance. and we took it.
and the president doesn't make any apologies for it. >> jen, as you know, the administration's handling of this has been criticized. i want to read you something in the wall street journal today from the editorial board which says, we think sergeant bergdahl deserves the benefit of the doubt until the facts are all known, but our guess is miss rice oversold him as a hero this past weekend because the white house was hoping to turn the swap into a big foreign policy victory, thus mr. obama hosted the sergeant's parents in the rose garden on saturday in front of the tv cameras while defense secretary chuck hagel took a victory lap in afghanistan and ms. rice called it a great day for america. do you regret selling this as a foreign policy victory when there are still a lot of unanswered questions about bergdahl? we did not sell it as a foreign policy victory. explained the action that he had taken on behalf of sergeant bergdahl. you know, the truth is that
anyone who has the courage to put on the american uniform, who has the love of country enough to put themselves in battle, deserves to be -- we don't ask questions, that you are -- we bring you back. it doesn't matter as admiral kirby said the other day, doesn't matter if you were pushed, fell or jumped off a ship, the a ship will turn around and get you. we knew this was going to be a controversial decision. that was why we wanted the president to speak to it. we knew congress based on past conversations, there were going to be people who were probably going to have concerns about it. we knew that there were people -- there was information in the public domain, some people who were critical of sergeant berg cal, critical unfairly and we don't know what happened. we knew it was going to be controversial and that is why you want the president of the united states to speak to the people and explain why he took this action.
so it is not something that we expected to be a good news story. it was something that the president as commander in chief was obliged to do and he explained why he took those actions. >> let's talk about the five released detainees. you have assurances from qatar that they will protect the u.s.' national security interest for the next year and stay in qatar and not be allowed to leave. what happens after that year, jen? can you assure these american people aren't going to come back and attack the u.s. or its interests? it didn't seem president obama was able to do that when he was asked a similar question. >> the president spoke to this in warsaw the other day. as you said there and the secretary of defense also discussed today, as you said the qatar, being monitored in the qatar for this current year. if at the end of the year they leave, the united states, the president noted this, we have a mechanism to continue to monitor them.
if they return to afghanistan, combat operations and there at the end of this year -- >> what are the mechanisms to monitor -- >> kristen, let me -- well, we have tools available to monitor them and tools available to take action against them should they pose some kind of -- and some matters you can't get into details on. suffice to say that we have the ability to monitor them. if there's a problem, the president said we would take action against them. i think it's also important to note, this war is winding down and the combat mission ends the end of this year. this is not a situation where american troops are going to be facing any afghanis, including the taliban on the battlefield next year. >> jen, we're running out of time. i want to ask you about broader question about guantanamo day. lindsay graham will move to impeach president obama should
he try to release prisoners without notifying congress. is that the ultimate goal, to unilaterally close gitmo? >> it's the ard mrgs's long-held policy we should close gitmo. there's a legislation and law that permits you to do that and we're following the letter of that law and that is what we did, including within this -- within this particular circumstance. so we'll continue to pursue the closing of guantanamo and do it lawfully and legally and with the priority to do so. >> your reaction to the fact that you have lindsay graham threatening to impeach the president if he continues to act unilaterally? >> i'm not going to react to senator graham's comments except to say that this president will continue as he always does, act legally and with good judgment of what's in the best interest
of the united states security. >> all right, jen palmieri, appreciate your time this afternoon. >> thanks, kristen. >> for more on this, i'm joined now by congressman peter king of new york, a member of homeland security committee. thank you for joining me. i appreciate it. >> thank you, kristen. >> let me get your reaction off the bat to what you heard about the closing of gitmo, seems as though this is something that the administration is going to continue to pursue. >> it's obviously the president wants to shut down gitmon, he hs to abide by the law and shouldn't be using a prisoner exchange as a way to close down gitmo. from listening to the president and jennifer palmirei, there's real arrogance, for the president say he's not going to apoll giz and not acknowledge
the legitimate questions and if they don't see the symbolism of having the parents of bergdahl in the white house in the rose garden for really a ceremonial type of event when you think of soldiers who have been killed and those mothers and fathers were not welcomed to the white house that way. there's reports that a number of soldiers killed attempting to rescue bergdahl after he walked away from the base, whether he deserted or abandoned or whatever, if the president were to going to do this. it should have been done in a low key, matter of fact way, not with a ceremony at the white house and not having the father speaking in pashtu and the tweets he was making. >> the president would argue, this is an american soldier. he was serving in this war. yes there are questions about his service, that's being investigated, the d.o.d. currently investigating those
six deaths of other soldiers. but nonetheless he's still an american and the president makes the point we do not leave an american soldier on the battlefield and reiterated when he said he makes no apology. is there not some validity to that point? >> there would be val itdty and it's a balance that has to be struck here. there's still no reason why he had to bring the parents to the white house. when you think of mothers and fathers who could not have their son returned home, perhaps because they were killed attempting to rescue sergeant bergdahl. as far as bringing back every soldier. i do agree with that principle but you have to weigh the price and considering all of the questions around sergeant bergdahl, i thought it was wrong to return five terrorists under these conditions at this time and the fact that the president, what makes you more suspicious, they've told so many different stories. you have susan rice saying he performed as a hero and jennifer
palmieri saying they didn't have time to notify congress. let's say they made two days or three days or five days and for them to say they've been in contact with members of congress, mike rogers, cham of the intelligence committee and dianne feinstein, the chair of the intelligence committee in the senate. both say they were never told anything. they are the ones -- certainly nothing in the last sefrm years, they are the ones who were supposed to be notified -- >> congressman king, let me pick up on that point. senators were brief and shown a proof of life video which showed bergdahl having trouble speaking and some senators said they were convinced his health was really deteriorating and life was in jeopardy. i know that you haven't seen the video, but based on what you know about the video, does that not change your opinion about this at all that, the white house just didn't have time, their goal was to save this
person's life? >> they certainly had time to make a phone call to dianne feinstein and mike rogers and speaker of the house, that could have been done. that would have taken five or ten minutes. as far as the video you have saxby chambliss say he looked as if he might have been drugged and he didn't look there as he was about to die. when you have two different type videos, to me it could well have been the first one he was induced. even if that was the white house' belief, there's no reason why they shouldn't have told the top people in congress. i'm one of those conservatives who does not believe the president as commander in chief has to notify congress. but as a matter of collegiatety, the president should have contacted them, almost now as if they are trying to cover something. that's where there's a whole
cloud over it -- >> congressman king, we have five seconds just very quickly, the white house is accusing some of your colleagues are trying to swift vote bowe bergdahl and some republicans who prior to his release were urging the white house to make a deal are, are they trying to swift vote bowe bergdahl? >> no, apparently what was done to john kerry to this, every allegation that's become made by this troops and people in the field with them, they are the ones we should listen to. these are men who served with him and felt betrayed. 23 no one has better knowledge than they have. >> we appreciate your time. >> the ceo of jen motors said 15 employees have been fired because of how they handled a defect in ignition switches linked to deaths. a pattern of incompetence but no evidence of a conspiracy to cover up facts. >> it represents a fundamental
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♪ sleep train ♪ ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ the obama administration wasn't expecting so much bipartisan backlash but the reality of this swap set in for a white house doing damage control while the commander in chief is away. joining me now, chris cillizza and "washington post" editorial columnist ruth marcus and jean cummings, thangz for being here. chris, your reaction to jen palmieri, she knew it was going to be complicated but still
getting heat for bungling this. >> the thing i was struck by in the interview, we knew this was going to be controversial, those are her words. they may have known there would be a little blowback. i can't imagine that they thought it would grown into what this has become, particularly because they did an event with the president of the united states and bowe bergdahl's parents. that kind of image and scenery, it seems as though they wanted to see this president is getting things done. i don't think they saw -- i think they knew there might be -- some republicans would say, should we have done this swap? i think the partisan nature, dianne feinstein thinks the president broke the law, i can't imagine they thought that. >> they are trying to clean this up. what do they need to do? >> they started with the video which was apparently very moving. and i think that the president
is talking about his role as commander in chief and saw the opportunity to bring this soldier home. i think they really need to clean up their congressional relations. it's a little too late to notify them in advance. i think they need to clear up their message, right? did he serve with honor and distinction or is it somewhat questionable? they need to hammer home from my point of view this was a judgment call and i exercise my judgment as commander in chief to bring home an american soldier. >> is this something that could have implications? >> it could but on a small important level. that is a special election in mississippi. senator thad cochran's office tweeted out, a welcome home. and then all of the controversy broke about whether this seldier was a good guy or bad guy and they pulled it back but we know
it's out. he's in a special election in two weeks. his opponent is stirring the pot in that regard. generally kn lly no, anybody on hill can take whatever action they want. i don't think this will last long unless congress comes up with better arguments than we really hated the rose garden ceremony. that compared to bringing a soldier back for the american public, i don't think they wait -- >> i want to, to ruth's point, one thing we overlook is that the lack of a relationship between this white house and congress. >> it's coming back to life. >> it comes back in a lot of ways. this is one of them. you have people -- this includes democrats, who just aren't willing to give him the benefit of the doubt to maybe button it down because they feel as though on other issues they haven't been sort of consulted. >> it's clear the white house doesn't respect them. they could have made the phone calls as peter king said. and feinstein and rogers have been anything about honorable in
keeping secrets. >> they have been honorable. >> they have been, i'm sorry, yes but they didn't make those phone calls. >> one more headline i want to discuss very briefly. vladimir putin's comments on hillary clinton making headlines. this is of course hillary clinton compared his actions to hitler. he says it's better not to argue with women but miss clinton has never been too graceful in her statements. i think in this case we could reach an agreement when people push boundaries too far it's not because they are strong but because they are weak. maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman. ruth? >> maybe not the worst quality for a woman. i think, here's hillary clinton, thinking about whether she's going to run for president. on the one hand people accusing her in a photo shoot of leaning
on a walker. who needs to deal with that hassle. here's vladimir putin saying this outrageous thing. it has to make her think i'm going to become president and show him who's weak and not weak. >> so tone deaf, i know it doesn't matter. but -- >> it's classic putin. and. >> better not to argue with women. >> weakness, weakness. >> you're strong. >> coming up, all politics is local. can the state level fight for immigration reform spread nationwide? if i can impart one lesson to a
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bill to erase 187 pass in 1994 it banned public services like health care and education for illegal immigrants and deemed unconstitutional by the federal courts but it's still on the books 20 years later. joining me now, maria theresa kumar, thanks for joining me. >> thanks for having me. let me get your reaction to what's happening in california. people will be surprised to prop 187 is still on the books. but it has had implications in other states as well, right? that's the crux of problem. >> what happened with 187, it became the blue print for the arizona law we saw not too long ago and also deemed unconstitutional that became the blue print to other states including georgia and alabama and texas. what we found though is that by the republican party back in 20 years ago to pass legislation, they basically made california once a swing state a solidly blue state. you had a record number of
voters saying i'm american and you're saying you want to pass immigration reform under the goois of racial profiling. >> an effort to bring legislation that would call on congress to pass presencive immigration reform and to stop deportati deportations. what does it say about the fact we're seeing this happen at the state level. does it speak to which the extent the effort was stalled nationally. >> it speaks to the larger narrative. when you're talking about congress, this congress is broken and stalled, everything from supporting the minimum wage to passing gay marriage, you name it and including immigration, everything right now is happening at the state level. congress can't seem to pass anything. what we're going to see whereas four years ago you saw a lot of anti-immigrant legislation in the books in state levels, now you're seeing reverse, rahm emanuel saying i don't believe in security communities, let's provide people who are undocumented as long as they pass a background check the
opportunity to work. you're seeing maryland pass their own version of the dream act. states are saying we need our immigrant communities and if you're not going to provide relief at the federal level, we're going to try to do it the best we can. >> we've heard some law make ares say if immigration reform doesn't get done by this summer, some saying august, it's effectively dead. what do you make of that? what is your level of confidence at this point that we'll see any movement at the national level? >> this is a tough decision. the president last week said he was not going to review the current immigration reenforcement agencies that are in place and wait for the review until august with the hopes that boehner can go ahead and pass. it's not going to happen. if it doesn't, we already have a senate bill that in congress really wanted to pass, they can basically conference and we'll have a bill by the end of this year. by not using this opportunity come next congress we'll have to start all over. that's painful.
between now and august we're expecting 45,000 families going to be disrupted because you have 1,000 deportations every single day and you're playing games with people's lives at this point. >> and the closer we get to 2014, the harder it becomes. >> much more difficult for the presidential, absolutely. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. stay with us on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. [ female announcer ] grow, it's what we do. but when we put something in the ground, feed it, and care for it, don't we grow something more? we grow big celebrations,
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aware of what the possibilities are, i think they change the minds of some of the legislators. president lincoln said public sentiment is everything. >> congresswoman donna edwards was a key part of the tour. thank you for being here. i appreciate it. >> thank you. good to be with you. >> the goal is to drive upturnout at the polls. talk about the timing. why is the timing so important and what type of reception did you get on the road snd. >> women's voices are incredibly important in the midterm elections and getting them to turn out on vote on three pillars, equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave and also making sure we have quality affordable childcare. and the crowds were terrific and they were tremendous. we had great weather that's always nice. >> especially on a bus tour.
>> how important is this issue in terms of motivating women? do you think they are responding to that message about minimum wage? >> i think they are. 2/3 of workers who work for the minimum wage are women. that means when you're working for minimum wage you can be working 40 hours a week and don't even make it to the poverty line. this impacts women and families and children and women really get that. we had so many minimum wage workers who showed up at each one of the different events and told us how important it was for us to fight to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. >> you, the white house pushing for that number, $10.10 an hour. there doesn't seem to be a lot of momentum on capitol hill, it doesn't eem politically viable. and there has been some discuss about a compromise, raising it to $9, for example. is that something you would agree to a compromised legislation? >> $9 doesn't get you to the poverty line. if you go to work every single
day, you should make a wage that allows you -- >> is some increase better than no increase though? >> what i would say we haven't raised the minimum wage since 2006. leader pelosi said public sentiment is everything. we have to raise that in every congressional district across this country. then we'll have a congress that understands the importance of raising the minimum wage to $10.10. >> can i get reyour reaction to the white house's handling of this deal to release bowe bergdahl? they have gotten a lot of chris six for mishandling this and taking a victory lap. what do you say to that? >> i'm actually confident that the president has done what it takes to make sure that we live up to what we promise those who serve and in combat regions and not going to leave any service soldier member behind. i think that's an important value. it's a value statement for us as americans. you know what, the circumstances
surrounding sergeant bergdahl and what he did, those things can be sorted out later. we still have an obligation to every family and every service member to bring them home. >> should he have notified by congress, which is required by law? >> i think the president -- you'd like toe do a lot of things with lots of notice. and the fact is the commander in chief, the executive has to make the call when the call needs to be made. i'm actually confident that the white house handled this the way they need to. those who are members of congress can sit on the sidelines, it's the president who has make the decision and service members have to make the sacrifice. >> thank you for joining us, appreciate it. >> thank you. >> the first edition of our new series andrea mitchell book reports, a fitting narrative as we mark the 70th anniversary of d-day. andrea's interview with the author of "the last train to paris" is next. that, my friends, is everything. and with the quicksilver card from capital one,
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with memorial day behind us, summer reading season is here and we're kicking off a new series called book report, where we're going to share some of our picks for summer beach or backyard reading. today a look at a historic aal novel "last train to paris" it is based on the real life kidnapping of my shell zach him's distant relative. tell us how you got interested in returning to this pre-war era in europe? >> i've written about it a lot in all of my books. but i came across an article that janet had written about a woman who had be murdered in 1937 and it turned out to be a distant cousin of mine. so i decided to find out what that meant. >> and the persona, the pro tag nist is a reporter, add ventu
venturous and goes to pre-war europe. >> she's the beginning of pre-war journalism with women. she watched the whole destruction of europe as an american woman and using martha gel horn and people like that as examples. and really though, a good american persona. >> and you went to berlin and went to paris. you started to recreate that era and pulling at the threads of the story. what really is so powerful to me is what we don't know about other people. i guess in war time, of course, but you know the world was coming apart. and here you have these characters falling in love and living lives of deception and trying to find a corner of humanity in the midst of this
collapse. >> it was hard. it was hard for anybody to do that. but rose, because she was an american, she had a bit of more -- i would is a huts ba. she would often get her hand slapped for doing that but she was real in that sense. she was curious insatable with her curiosity and with loving. >> and she takes big risks. >> uh-huh. >> talk to me about that, about the sort of the courage and perhaps fool heartiness, that balance of being gutsy and taking risks and being perhaps too daring. >> a lot of it was naive. she had come out of american west, using mark twain as her teacher and moves herself through new york to paris at a time when i don't think she
really knew what was going to happen. i think she just needed to do something new. and naively so, she did. >> how does the whole context of pre-war europe and what the germans were doing and threats everyone was feeling. how did that play into the novel? >> it was called the silent war. constant anxiety about what was going to happen because the first world war had been such a horrible, horrible thing. and nobody wanted to see that happen again. but it was happening. >> well, it's a fascinating story. last train to paris, it's wonderful to read, a story with a strong woman. we thank you as well, michelle za zacheim. >> andrea joins us with a preview of the d-day ceremony. stay with us.
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we want to go back to andrea for the story we'll follow the next 24 hours. andrea, what are you anticipating for tomorrow? what do you expect to hear from president obama? >> president obama is going to talk about the integration of europe and it's a big test, this platform for him. i was here when ronald reagan came, the first american president to speak at the d-day commemoration. eisenhower did not want to. he went to camp david for the weekend. in '64 lbj wasn't going to travel overseas after the assassination for at least a year so he didn't. richard nixon was otherwise
occupied. reagan set the standard and that was the speech that was so eloquent during the world war. we have the tensions with putin and they talk about as a new cold war but doesn't involve nuclear weapons aimed at each out but there is a lot of tension. it is not just an american story. we had parachuters, paratroopers coming in and that included today, a xotsmen named jack hut ton who did the same years ago. >> we look forward to your reporting throughout the day, the evening and of course tomorrow. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports" "ronan farrow daily" is next. nting amazing new cleaner, like his newest invention, liquid muscle,
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