tv Ronan Farrow Daily MSNBC January 28, 2015 10:00am-11:01am PST
country. the justice department is embroiled in questions about police brutality, presidential executive power. the senator started with the easy stuff. >> do you believe that the president has a legal authority to unilaterally deford the deportation in a blanket manner in the country illegally and grant them permits and other benefits regardless of what the u.s. constitution immigration laws say? >> the ultimate responsibility of the department of justice is to always when presented with issues by the white house or any agency to review those issues carefully. to apply the relevant law and make a determination as to whether or not there's a legal framework that supports the requested action. >> nbc justice correspondent pete williams following every beat of this hearing. pete, it's good to hear you. any surprises so far? >> no not really. what she's basically said about the immigration policy is a nuanced answer. what she says is i didn't have anything to do with approving it
in the first place. i've gone back and looked at the legal memorandum that the justice department drew up that said some of it was okay and some of it was not. and seems to be reasonable. in other words, she's not endorsing the program directly, she's endorsing the legal analysis of the justice department did of it. but she went on to say that she thinks the job of the attorney general is to tell the president when she thinks the president wants to do something that's illegal and that she will do that she will try to be independent. she's tried to say i will work with this committee. she's repeated that over and over. and at one point, she said i'm not eric holder. in other words, she's trying to say i will do things differently. i know you've had your differences of opinion with the attorney general, and let's have a fresh start. >> and eric holder did, indeed prove divisive. her coming out and saying that's so explicitly is something we expected in theme. but that is a very very clear statement of her setting herself apart. thank you so much for that
update. >> okay. and in south carolina a courtroom moment happening today that was 54 years in the making. the judge tossed out, finally, the conviction for the surviving members of the so-called friendship 9. they were african-american men charged and convicted decades ago after a sit-in. in january 1961 the students from friendship college went to an all-white lunch counter. they were arrested before they could even sit down. sentenced to hard labor. joining me from that courthouse in rock hill is nbc's mark potter. mark, why now? what finally brought us to this day? >> well this all came about because of a children's author that's hard to understand perhaps, but a woman named kimberly johnson who wrote a book about the friendship 9 and who also studied at the king center in atlanta thought there might be a way to throw out their convictions without having it look like they were being pardoned for something they did wrong. she didn't want to create that impression. so she went to the prosecutor here, the solicitor and
suggested that they find -- they overturn the conviction based on the fact that they were convicted of trespassing because of the color of their skin only. that is patently illegal. that fact alone should be enough to have the convictions overturned. and that's what was done. the national media here. this is a big day in court. it also gave us an opportunity opportunity -- about what it was like on that day, january 31st 1961 when they engaged in that sit-in at the five and dine to protest against segregation. they walked through an angry crowd and barely had a chance to sit down before they were grabbed by police. let's listen to a couple of sound clips here.
>> the men decided nine of the men, 9 of the 10 decided they were not going to pay. and they did the 30 days of hard labor. that became the jail no bail strategy which electrified and reenergized the american civil rights movement. and so the men are not only seen as civil rights heroes but also as civil rights pioneers. today, an interesting moment when the prosecutor again, called a solicitor in south carolina, turned to the men and said on behalf of the state of south carolina he was offering them an apology for what happened back then as he supported the move to throw out the convictions. and, again, a very emotional and important day here at the courthouse behind me ronan. >> important day and a long overdue one for civil rights justice. nbc's mark potter the best thank you for being with us.
appreciate it. overseas today, hezbollah is claiming responsibility for a deadly attack on an israeli military convoy along the lebanese border. two israeli soldiers were killed in that attack others were wounded. this all happened in a disputed area along that border. israel's responded with air and ground strikes and it's now threatening further action. this is a tense situation we're going to keep an eye on and bring you any news that happens on that border. back here at home the fbi's investigating a new round of terror threats against passenger planes. they targeted several delta flights along with planes from southwest and american airlines. all the flights landed at their destination safely, no cause for alarm here but similar threats prompted an f-16 escort for a delta flight headed to atlanta over the weekend. that makes 16 twitter threats, two flights in the last four days alone. again, the fbi's investigating where that all came from. and our cold icy hearts were
complemented by cold icy blizzards in the last two days. today, people are still digging out from the remnants of that blizzard. feet of snow left behind. marshfield, massachusetts, seen right here. there, the snow and waves crashed along the shoreline combining to bring down power lines and ice over houses. worcester, mass, also buried. the bay state really taking a beating there. chris pallone joins me from worcester. chris, how is cleanup? that's quite a shot there. >> yeah, ronan. the big question for city leaders here in new england's second largest city is what do you do with the largest snowfall in the city's history? 34 1/2 inches of snow fell here in worcester during this blizzard over the last couple of days. and as you can see, as they plow as people shovel it's making snow banks about 5 feet tall all around the downtown area here. okay. that's fine. it's out of the road that's the first problem. but then you've also got the problem of businesses need to open. well, what do they need to do
before they can open their stores? they've got to shovel their walks. business owners have been out shoveling their walkways trying to make sure that the area's clean so that people can get into those things. there are more than 400 pieces of snow removal equipment here in worcester, but they have 500 miles of roads, and they also have 16 miles worth of sidewalks that need to be clean. so the immediate response is to try and get everything out of the road first, try and get the sidewalks cleared and then they will come back in and they will try and clean everything out after that. so it's it's a continued cleanup. the good news is we are seeing the sun. even though it's still very very cold out here today, we are seeing the sun. that is actually melting the leftover slush and snow that's in the road. so things are much much better than they were even when i drove through earlier this morning when there was absolutely no traction whatsoever. >> looks pretty nice out there. chris pallone and a strategically placed pile of snow. appreciate it, chris.
and in tennessee, darker story, a jury convicted two former vanderbilt football players of raping a former student. both men mounted a defense blaming a college culture of binge drinking and sex. took the nashville injury three hours to convict those men. that's partly on the basis of a video taken by one of the players that helped decide the case. former football players scheduled to be sentenced on march 6th could face decades in prison. of course, that trial coming at a time of national debate about rape on u.s. college campuses. nashville, this week officials are meeting about how exactly to confront sex assault on campus. and finally to the white house where there are new details emerging right now about that infamous drone crash on the white house lawn. the cause of the crash, well "new york times" sums it up this way. their headline today, drunken lark is how they characterize it. a man who turned himself in admitting he was drinking at a nearby apartment says that he took his friends drone for a
joyride apparently into the white house. allegedly lost control of that drone. he texted his friends he was worried, as you can imagine. it did, indeed go down exactly where he had feared on the white house grounds. he then fell asleep so he didn't report it to authorities. the man is actually this is interesting, an off-duty employee for a government intelligence agency of all things. he's apparently cooperating with the secret service. hasn't been charged with anything. not a good look. and that's why mitt romney and i stick to milk. up next inside today's tense confirmation hearings for a woman who would be the first black female attorney general. loretta lynch. one influential lawmaker joins me to explain what's at stake. you want a loan to build a factory in america? you can't do that. nobody builds factories in the us anymore... you can't do that. using american raw materials makes no sense... you can't do that. you want to hire workers here in the states? they're too expensive, you can't do that. fortunately we didn't listen to the
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i will never forget that i serve the american people from all walks of life who continue to make our nation great as well as the legacy of all of those whose sacrifices have made us free. and i will always strive to uphold the trust that has been placed in me to protect and defend our constitution to safeguard our people and to stand as the leader and public servant that they deserve. >> the very first major confirmation hearing in front of the new republican-dominated senate. in the hot seat attorney general nominee loretta lynch. she spent hours testifying. the hearing's expected to reconvene in 20 minutes. if approved lynch would be the first black female attorney general in u.s. history. she's spent all morning facing a mine field of tough questions. covering everything from immigration to the death penalty. let's bring in senator amy
klobuchar of minnesota who serves on that committee and wade henderson to give us the big picture. thank you for taking the time. it's been busy with this hearing -- >> well i say she showed a lot of grace under pressure she did an incredible job. there was her dad, the retired minister sitting right behind her. talked about growing up going into church on his shoulders, she talked about the fact that she still stood on his shoulders and her mother's shoulders. and her incredible career as a u.s. attorney i just learned that since 2001 she has prosecuted more terrorist cases than any u.s. attorney in the country and u.s. attorney's office. that is the kind of experience that she'll be bringing to this attorney general's job. and yes, she got a lot of tough questions. i think she expected it. but not once did she get flustered.
>> one of the big challenges has been how much to differentiate herself from eric holder who was divisive on the hill. lynch's allies have sought to differentiate her from an outspoken liberal voice in the administration who clashed with the republicans who accused him of politicizing the office. did she strike a markedly different tone? at one point she said, i'm not eric holder. >> she did say that. she talked about how she would be an independent attorney general. and i think some of my colleagues, i mean it's their right to ask whatever they want. they get ten minutes each. and i'm sure they'll be going at it all afternoon. but there's a lot of relitigation of past decisions that the attorney general had made. those were decisions he had made. she did talk about how she supported the legal analysis behind the immigration executive order and made that clear. but the point is, she is a different -- comes from a different background. she spent her entire life as a u.s. attorney and before that in the private sector where she had some extensive experience, she's also taking on cases in
rwanda and human rights cases. and she just comes from really her last job was u.s. attorney. her job before that was private sector, and her job before that was u.s. attorney. so she has done a lot of extensive prosecuting of cases and i think that's how she looks at the world. >> and generally regarded with respect in the legal community. it's interesting to get that take on how it's going down politically. on that front, i want to ask you about one of the key and most difficult issues she's going to confront. that's the controversy about potential overreaches of executive power. tell me whether you think the concern about overreaches of executive power, particularly republican complaints about the delay of the employer mandate for obamacare are politicized or is there genuine bipartisan concern on that issue? >> well to me she seems like an attorney general that would look at each case on a case-by-case basis. and that is what she talked about today and i think you want that in the nation's attorney
general. i'm sure under any attorney general, there's questions that come from a president and they say, well you can do this under the law, you can't do this under the law. certainly that happened with the immigration order. but i do think when you look at some of these decisions the president has made you look at the immigration executive order, why did that happen? well, it happened because the house of representatives wouldn't act on immigration reform despite the enormous bipartisan effort in the senate where you had republican and democratic senators working together to come up with a comprehensive bill that passed with 68 votes. and you just didn't see that kind of effort under the republican house. and i believe when you look at what's been going on in this country with immigration reform that's why the president acted and made it clear he would be more than happy to tear up that piece of paper if the congress would be willing to come together and pass immigration reform. so, yes, every case has to be looked at a request from a president should be looked at. we have the duty to do oversight. but when you look the a that
specific case which he was extensively questioned about in the immigration executive order, you have to look at the facts and why the president came to make the decision he did. >> on obamacare, on immigration a lot of complaints about executive power. she'll have a difficult legal ground to tread here, but sounds liken o the democratic side well received so far. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. as a lawyer i know you appreciate what she went through there. and i thought she did a great job. >> and seems she's striking a careful balance. and wade i want to get a wrap-up point from you. in your view how is she walking that delicate line? >> well i agree completely with senator klobuchar. that is that loretta lynch is an outstanding nominee with extraordinary academic credentials and work experience. i think she is really balancing that fine line between support for policies that she knows are within the bounds of the constitution, but at the same time, making clear that she would make decisions on a case-by-case basis and that indeed, she is distinct from the current attorney general.
i think she has done an outstanding job not overcommitting herself to any change in policy but at the same time underscoring the fact that she would bring balance and reason to every decision she makes. and i think she has really done an outstanding job in wooing not just democrats, but republicans, as well. and i think when you look at the base of support that she has gotten from republican lawmakers as well as democrats you see an individual with a real distinction as a law enforcement official and someone who is highly regarded on both sides of the aisle. >> nevertheless, she walks into an extraordinarily difficult political environment. we know attorney general holder was the first attorney general to be held in contempt. so this is a heated setting that she's walking into she has to be very careful here. seems like that's exactly what she's trying to do. wade henderson, thank you so much. >> thank you ronan. just ahead, stay with us. the touchstone franchises of the 1980s are rebooting en masse,
including this one, new faces all around. which casting will be the best ever? next in our daily spike. it's all reboot themed. stick around, everybody. ♪ ♪ ♪ you're only young once unless you have a subaru. (announcer) the subaru xv crosstrek. symmetrical all-wheel drive plus 34 mpg. love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru.
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snapchat says it's going to rely on editors and artists to curate your experience. pretty good judgment for the guys best known for turning down billions in acquisition offers for no apparent reason. next up is nothing sacred? well certainly not indiana jones after that whole detour. deadline's reporting that disney is looking to relaunch the explorer kind of professor but nobody can figure out what he teaches franchise. george lucas has this next beat. it has bought the rights from paramount and reportedly looking at chris pratt to star. but you know which indiana has our hearts here at "rf daily." >> throw me the idol. no time to argue! throw me the idol i throw you the whip. >> give any the whip. >> adios, senior. >> worst archaeologist ever.
another reboot ghostbusters, after various projects for years, sony's decided toin favor of kristen wiig leslie jones, this according to the hollywood reporter, the casting is trending in a big way on social media as we speak. over 125,000 mentions since the news broke earlier today, an all-female cast. funny thing if it were men, we'd just call it a cast. but we leave you with a more important question. will they have the same warm communicative relationship that the mayor had with this gang. >> what do you mean biblical? >> what he means is old testament, mr. mayor, real wrath of god type stuff. fire and brimstone, river and seas -- >> 40 years of darkness earthquakes -- >> human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass
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liberty mutual insurance. it's what some are calling a political victory today for isis. jordan's government offering to swap one of its prisoners in exchange for a hostage held by isis. confirming it is completely prepared to release the prisoner if moaz al-kasebey is released. a convicted terrorist involved in a 2005 attack in jordan's capital. meanwhile, in a message purportedly released by isis yesterday, another hostage, the japanese journalist goto who so many around the world have been watching and fearing for said the female terrorists must be let go in exchange for his life and the pilot's.
and joined by evan coleman, also a partner at flash point global partners. policy and editor in chief of the online journal "the interpreter," also the author of "isis." start with you, michael. is isis going to accept this offer from jordan, do you think? >> it might do. one of the things isis has been looking to do is gain some measure of legitimacy. it wants to be taken seriously. when it calls itself the islamic state sees itself as a governance role. and this would be a great propaganda victory if there's a p.o.w. exchange conducted. it's important to understand this coalition that has been built to fight isis particularly the arab members of the coalition is very tenuous. a lot of the governments do not think there's a u.s. strategy that's going to ultimately defeat isis. and jordan which i would say is actually the most sympathetic to u.s. goals at this point isis seized that weakness and is trying to exploit it.
and, remember these guys are very clever. you know, they understand that debates are taking place in western policy circles, understand sort of the pressure the democratic electorate can bear. offered $150 million in aid for the enormous refugee crisis inside its own borders. a lot of movable parts. >> strategic relationships at stake. also a complex array of prisoners involved here. and i want the audience to understand clearly, there are two that could potentially be released, correct? >> correct. >> tell me about those two. >> meaning the -- the pilot, the japanese journalist, i'm sorry and the jordanian pilot. >> comes from an influential tribe in jordan. his father has been outspoken. and remember in jordan we're not talking about a liberal democracy. if you criticize the king the monarchy, you're breaking the law, but we've seen internal domestic pressure brought to bear saying we have to do a deal, we have to get our son home. this isn't, i mean i don't mean
to sound -- this isn't sort of an any man soldier, an any man airman. this is somebody quite influential and comes from a privileged background. and if the government can say, look, the u.s. released five taliban members for a soldier who is now being charged with desertion. this guy was well respected, the jordanian pilot by the u.s. military, seen as very professional. you have to understand how isis presented him. they were quick to put the photographs of plucking him out of the river or the body of water that he crash landed in. they also used him in the latest issue of their in-house propaganda magazine. and they forced him to say, you know, this is my fate i'm going to be killed. they're not playing games here with this guy. >> so there are two prisoners at stake that isis has in their possession japanese and jordanian and that's a helpful take on that side of that. let's turn to the other side what isis wants out of this. why is al-rashawi so valuable to
them? >> the wife or the widow of one of al qaeda in iraq's original founders. one of the closest aides and advisers. but the real reason, the fact that she was supposed to serve as a suicide bomber in november of 2005 in a series of attacks on western hotels in jordan. those attacks, or at least the attacks succeeded in some regard, hers failed and she was captured wearing the actual explosive vest. she is someone considered to be you know hard core obviously, al qaeda supporter, would be suicide bomber and because of the fact that she's the widow of a senior al qaeda leader she also has this mantra of being, you know for jihadists in terms of wanting to release her from prison. >> and what's striking about this situation is how adept isis has become about getting out these threats, getting out their propaganda broadcasting images of the characters here. there's a very difficult dilemma in newsrooms about how much you can cover this without
reinforcing that narrative and also a difficult question for social media companies as they navigate what of this content should be taken down. >> i just testified yesterday in front of the house subcommittee about the problem of western social media companies serving as a bridge for isis and al qaeda and others to get the material out and to recruit people. and it's kind of disturbing, if you think about it. a lot of people don't realize this, every single claim of responsibility on behalf of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula aqap were distributed on twitter. and the forum that was used to disseminate the video in which he claimed credit on behalf of isis for the paris attacks, the same forum where a lot of these videos of the others are coming out through, this is being protected and guarded by a billion dollar company based in san francisco called crowd flair. and they know they're protecting terrorist groups and the philosophy is it's not against the law. we should be able to do this.
and that's very troubling. according to u.s. law, it's actually illegal to provide assistance to a terrorist group to aconvince them to adopt -- by protecting their forum and their website which is used to spread messages inciting mass murder. there's a logical paradox there that has to be resolved. >> and we talked when i was reporting this out for a number of publications but did a column on it for the washington post. and i talked to a lot of the players at the social media companies. a lot of them fearful about incurring liability. it seems the system is set up in a way. thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. all right. stay with us. the super bowl is up next. it's famous for two things football and ads. and when we come back we're going to look at how the league is using that ladder category. that precious and very expensive space to try to play defense on one of its most important issues right now. stay with us.
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will they be punished? probably not. not as long as roger goodell are still taking pictures at their respective homes, you know. i think it was just at crabbe's house last week you talk about conflict of interest. >> four days away from the super bowl and deflate gate is overshadowing the game. we're not talking about richard sherman or about tom brady, the patriots' quarterback with giselle, the supermodel wife. but the controversy surrounding how the new england patriots may have handled footballs. that is what's dominating the conversation right now as well as difficult questions about whether and to the extent they may have cheated. ron mott, thank you so much. what's the laterst on the investigation, first of all?
>> reporter: well, the latest, we're trying to find out who this ball attendant, locker room attendant who is purportedly seen on surveillance footage between the patriots and the colts carrying both sets of game balls, one for the colts and one for the patriots into this bathroom and emerges 90 seconds later and then the balls make their way to the field. what happened during those 90 seconds, of course, is crucial to the investigation. and we know that tom brady as of late last week has not talked to the nfl and the nfl is not going to sit down with him while he's trying to prepare for this game on sunday to talk about this. but he's going to be key in trying to determine whether these balls were deflated in that locker room but an atten attendant who was acting on his own. >> and, ron, you heard richard sherman questioning the integrity of the nfl's investigation, talking about the close relationship between patriots owner bob kraft and goodell. how does that relationship in fact, complicate the situation? does it? >> well i mean i think, you
know perception is reality, what a lot of folks would like to say. they are close. they have been for years. and i think if you had to ask the commissioner you know to point to some of the better run organizations in this league the patriots would certainly be up there. they have been big, big winners and he's a big reason for that bill belichick also. but i think in the long run, it probably won't have much bearing on what the league decides to do in this case in the long run. but richard sherman is well known for attracting attention. >> all right. thanks to ron mott for that report. really appreciate it. >> okay. of course, underinflated footballs is the latest in a series of controversies dogging the nfl. some of them with significantly higher stakes. like that footage of ray rice punching his girlfriend or like adrian peterson's controversial beating of his young son. that's why it was so significant that the nfl has used one of the super bowl's biggest platforms. it's ad space to call attention for domestic violence.
this is a story we've been following today. an ad using audio from an actual 911 call. >> 911, operator 911, where's the emergency? >> 127 -- >> what's going on there? >> i want to order a pizza for delivery. >> ma'am, you've reached 911. >> a large with half pepperoni and half mushroom. >> you know you called 911. >> do you know how long it'll be? >> ma'am, is everything okay over there? do you have an emergency or not? >> yes. >> and you're unable to talk -- >> right, right. >> is there someone in the room with you? just say yes or no. >> yes. >> okay. it looks like i have an officer about a mile from your location. are there any weapons in your house? >> no. >> will you stay on the phone with me? no. see you soon, thank you.
>> howard bragman is founder of 15 minutes pr. that's an incredibly arresting ad. as a pr expert how much is this likely to change opinions on this issue? >> i think the nfl has learned its lesson. the nfl's had a horrible year, as you pointed out on many fronts. and forget, forget the past year. i think this ad stands alone as a very important message. you know the first thing i think about, i look at this ad and say, is it a good ad? and i think it's hard to look at this ad and not get chills up and down your spine. it's a very powerful ad. second thing i look at ronan, and say, does it belong in the super bowl full of girls in bikinis and puppies? and i think the very fact that it's so heavy and so different is going to make it stand out.
the nfl has made a lot of mistakes. let's not overlook that. but i think this ad is really part of their plan to turn that around. and i think it'll go a long way towards raising awareness. i think it's a teachable moment. families are going to be watching the super bowl parents, kids, grandparents. and i think this is something that's going to incite a lot of positive discussion. >> and perhaps, as you say, because of the prevalence of girls in bikinis and puppies, it's high time for something like this ad to come into the picture especially at this moment where there's so much at stake. who does this ad seem to target when you look at it this? is this to draw in women that have been skeptical of the nfl? is this about targeting sports fans. how do you read this? >> i can, you know the super bowl is one of those grave ad moments. there'll be more than 100 million people watching. it's the largest tv audience
every year. you get essentially a third of the country watching. and just like the super bowl targets everyone this ad's going to target everyone. men, women, families. i think the message i don't think who you are, you can't help but be moved by the message. and the message is you have to start listening. you have to start looking for the subtle signs. abuse and domestic abuse is not always obvious. and i think it's important to listen to the words between the words, and that's what this ad's saying. and for that very reason, it could have a difference in people's perceptions. >> super bowl ads are, of course, a storied tradition in general. outside this atypical case they showcase the best new directors, best ad firms. i know people who watch just for the ads. some ads are already stirring up controversy this year that are a little tamer. take a look at this one from go daddy.
>> look it's buddy! i'm so glad you made it home because i just sold you on this website i built with godaddy. ship him out! >> get your domain and website all in one place at godaddy.com. >> all right. i mean, people are laughing in the studio here, but obviously some thought that was a too light hearted touch on the serious issue of puppy mills. so godaddy pulled that ad after online controversy. good move? >> a smart move on their part. you know, it used to be you'd never know what was going to come on until you watched the super bowl. now, a week before the ads start to get leaked or at least excerpts from them. and then you actually see the ad on the super bowl. and then following up, the ads are all rated by numerous marketing and advertising
publications who made the biggest hit here. this gave go daddy a chance to go in a different direction and say, well, this isn't going to work for us and go daddy's always been the last few years been a big super bowl advertiser advertiser. so it gives them a chance to change directions without too much damage. so they should be kind of fortunate that the word got out this ad wasn't going to play well. >> and for anyone at home wondering what the fate of that puppy was, the company ceo released a statement titled we're listening, message received. rest assured buddy, the name of the puppy came to us from a loving breeder in california. he's now part of the go daddy family as our chief companion officer and lives permanently with one of our long-term employees, so they didn't sell him to the giant puppy mill in the sky. >> is this an ad though a missed opportunity if they used a rescue dog? could this have been a positive statement for them? >> well, absolutely. but, go daddy has never been known for subtlety, ronan.
go daddy has been known for taking a hammer beating people on the head and they're one of those people that believes all attention is good attention. and i think you're going to expect something equally outrageous from go daddy. i'm sure they have 27 swim suit models in bikinis ready to run around with puppies and kittens to make everyone happy on sunday. >> and that has been their bread and butter in previous years. thank you. appreciate it. >> thanks ronan. >> up next did the first lady make a diplomatic fashion faux pas. we're going to cover the big issue engulfing saudi/u.s. relations right now. huh, fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. everybody knows that. well, did you know you that former pro football player ickey woods will celebrate almost anything? unh-uh. number 44... whoooo! forty-four, that's me! get some cold cuts... get some cold cuts... get some cold cuts! whooo! gimme some! geico. fifteen minutes
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saudi arabia. they were paying respected to king abdullah and paying tribute to king salman. she had a high neck on. notice anything missing? i didn't at first. but the first lady had a major faux pas. michelle obama unveiled was tweeted about 2500 times and she received an unlikely vote of support on this issue back home. ted cruz saying kudos to michelle obama for standing up for women worldwide by refusing to wearing a head scarf. and joining us steve clemens, and linda sar sur. linda, i want to start with this characterization from ted cruz. certainly, we know people in our
livers voluntarily wear the hij ab, is it fair to say that it is a statement of feminism or support for women around the world? >> absolutely not. as you can see, i wear it. it is a joyce for me to wear and cover my hair for religious observation and i consider myself to be a feminism and someone who supports the rights of all women. so this conversation we're having needs to be about not obsessing over michelle obama wearing or not wearing a head scarf which she is not required to do in a place like saudi arabia specifically in jebda. she was not a mosque so she was not required. so what about women who choose to wear hejab. and i'm proud of what i wear. >> and she wasn't in a mosque.
she was a foreign dignitary visiting. and my understanding that not wearing the head scarf was not a breach of standards? >> absolutely not. it was not a breach. she was advised by the saudi and american side that she dressed modestly and this is not the first time our first lady has been criticized for breaching a protocol with dignitaries like she did in england when she slightly put her hand on the back of queen elizabeth. again, we need to be focusing on much more serious things like human rights or women's rights than what she is wearing when goes to england or saudi arabia. and tim, there are those issues at state and there are talks about human rights in the kingdom, like the flogs and the beheadings do you anticipate this stopping with this new leadership.
do you see substantial change coming out of it? >> no. i think you will continue to see the same actions you have seen in saudi arabia, in the case of the blogger that has been flogged, his case has been stepped up. new kings come in and they are in kremental and the new personnel is very slow and i think it is wrong to expect you will get significant shifts in the human rights dimensions in saudi arabia. that said i'm a big fan of linda and i'm proud that she's caring her hijab but i think at the same time michelle obama did something to show herself as a proud woman and in control of her situation and i think that is a showing to those in saudi arabia, including those that are following a different course. so i think there was a bit of politics here that shouldn't be
giggled at. i think she did something important. >> and interestingly, linda, the part of the obama visit that got the most traction online wasn't the head scarf controversy, it was this tweet. this is the man who left the leader of the most important country to pray king salman leaves obama to pray which he did. that got more than 170,000 tweets admiring the piet etty of the king. what is the difference in what they are looking for. >> piety is something important and we have to respect what people prioritize in their own nation state and prayer for muslims is an important part of their day. there pay five times a day and there are times i'm at meetings and they stop to pray and i think we should respect that but we are having conversations about isis and beheadings and
human rights violations across the world but we are still having diplomatic relations with people like saudi arabia and as a country we need to take a stand when human rights violations are happening regardless of where it is happening. linda sarsour, thank you and tim clemens, appreciate it. that wraps up today's rf daily. "the reid report" is up next. my colleague is in for joy today. don't miss it. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. two full servings of vegetables for only 50 delicious calories. they challenge us. they take us to worlds full of heroes and titans.
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