tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC April 1, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT
looking at an executive order to aid in that communication and to make it clear that arkansas wants to be a place of tolerance. and more questions, no answers. lufthansa now admits the pilot of the doomed plane was treated for a previous episode of severe depression. so what does the ceo of the airline have to say? >> i'm sorry. i'm sorry. >> why did it take you so long to publish -- >> sir, your employee crashed a plane. why are you refusing to take questions? and a very good day. i'm kristen welker in washington, where we're following breaking news from switzerland. secretary of state john kerry and iranian negotiators could announce an agreement on the framework for a possible nuclear
deal any minute. both sides could also walk away from a week of talks with nothing. andrea mitchell is live in lausanne in what could be the final hours of the talks with iranians. andrea the obama administration had been adamant they weren't going to extend this deadline. now they have. based on your conversations there on the ground are they getting any closer to a deal? >> well they certainly were. they were talking about progress overnight. the president was briefed by the team here. there was a full national security meeting with defense secretary, national security adviser rice, the president all in the situation room, which you know so well in the basement of the white house. a video conference. it was midnight here. john kerry took a break. he was accompanied by the energy secretary, who is a key player here, a nuclear physicist, who along with his iranian counterpart, both from m.i.t. by the way, are the two detail people. this is a highly technical
negotiation. and they briefed the president of the united states the vice president and all of the others. as i say, it was midnight here. then they went back to more staff meetings. there were meetings this morning. they had a full session with all of the other countries. russia china, and france had already left at the ministerial level, but their political directors were present. then one on one with john kerry and the iranian foreign minister, followed by lunch that kerry had with the german and british foreign ministers. so they've all been talking. kerry has now been out for a walk. at this point, we just don't know how close they are to announcing a framework. and there is another wrinkle here. there is the flight crew time for his air force plane. under andrews air force rules, at a certain point, since they were up early this morning,
ready to go with an announcement and departure, at a certain point there are too many hours left, and we would have to spend yet another night here. along with me is "the new york times" top national security correspondent michael gordon. michael, we've been talking to sources, talking to the other delegations. we've heard the iranian deputy foreign minister speak very positively on iranian television today about the likelihood of a deal, but it is in their interest to push the u.s. say oh, we've got it we're going to announce it today. but also from some of the other delegations as well. they're very close to something. how specific do they have to be for it to be taken seriously? >> well i think the longer this has gone on the more important it's become for secretary kerry to bring back something substantial to washington. if he really wants to hold off the pressure for congressional sanctions, he has to do what the state department said they were going to do. come back with some sort of understanding that has concrete numbers in it to restrain the iranian nuclear program.
>> especially with the drum beat coming from netanyahu today. we saw john boehner in israel this week. we've heard from arkansas senator tom cotton who was the instigator of the 47-member republican letter to the ayatollah. all of this extraordinary political pressure democratic as well as republican. when you say specific numbers, we're talking about numbers of centrifuges, what to do with the enriched uranium, which you and your colleague reported exclusively the iranians are now saying it will not be exported which had previously been on the table. they're specific thing, and not just an agreement on when sanctions would be phased out. >> well, president obama has said this agreement will extend the breakout time the amount of time it would take iran to produce enough nuclear material for a bomb to one year. that's his metric. it's his standard. and it's a standard by which the
administration's agreement can be fairly judged. and they have to show that whatever the elements are, the size of the stockpile, the number of centrifuges, the kind of -- whatever happens to their plutonium production capability that that adds up to a year it extends it to a year. if they come back with something less than that they're going to be severely judged by their own criteria. >> one other thing, the iranian deputy foreign minister today was talking about the sanctions being lifted which is one of their key demands, and suggesting as they have previously that it doesn't have to be all of the sanctions. there are u.n. sanctions, which started in 2006. and there are clinton and obama administration -- rather obama administration sanctions under secretary clinton and tim geithner as treasury secretary which restricts banking, financial activities. very seriously under the patriot act in 2009 2011.
there are eu sanctions, which had less bite. what sanctions do we see being lifted? >> well, there are things the united states and the eu can do up front just simply by suspending them on the financial side, the oil side the banking side. the u.n. sanctions that are tied to a resolution of suspicions about iran nuclear design work will take years, really to be i think, fully satisfied. you know i think it was probably a mistake by the administration to set end of march as a deadline because i think the dynamic here is the united states is working against essentially a self-imposed deadline that it seems to care about more than the iranians. i think that has made secretary kerry's task all the more difficult. >> and that deadline is also congress coming back april 14th with a threat to do something like impose sanctions or take control of this process or threaten to which would require a presidential veto that could be overridden, which would make it even more fraught and could
be used by iran to blame the u.s. for blowing this deal up which is exactly what they don't want. they want, if anything to be able to blame iran for walking away from the table. >> i think most of all, they want an agreement. they want a decent agreement, an agreement they can defend. i think it's more important to get that than to get it on a particular day. and i think president obama understands that. i would guess that was probably one of the messages he delivered in that closed-door meeting last night. >> indeed. michael gordon thank you so much. and joining me now from washington is robert ian einhorn, a senior fellow from brookings brookings. you've been this round. you know these sanctions. you know the iranian nuclear program. what do you want to see in this deal to conclude that it's serious, that it will actually restrain iran's nuclear program going forward? >> well andrea the goal was to get a complete framework, all the basic elements of a deal
and then have them fleshed out by june. it's not clear whether they're going to meet that goal. the deputy foreign minister of iran said this morning that no deal would be announced today. he said there would be a press statement indicating progress that had been achieved. now, the americans have pushed back against that saying that any joint statement today is going to have to be very concrete, very detailed. so it will be important that some of the key issues that were left unresolved before this week of negotiations would be worked out, including some that you discussed with michael gordon. >> bob, when we look at the iranian nuclear program, they've made advances on centrifuges. they started with 20,000 came down to 10,000 then 6,000. then "the new york times" story, which was that they were not going to export their enriched
uranium, which according to people we've spoken to here and you would know this better than anyone, would mean maybe changing and going back to them and saying if you're not going to export your fuel, then you have to dilute it more or you have to have fewer centrifuges. what are you going to do with this new facility the plutonium facility, that you're promising to re-engineer so it cannot be used to make a weapon. there are a lot of different pieces to this jigsaw puzzle. >> that's exactly right. the amount of enriched uranium iran possesses is a key factor in determining the breakout time and in achieving the administration's goal of at least one year breakout time. the best way of limiting the possession of enriched uranium would be to ship out the stock to russia. there was a wide assumption for months that iran had agreed to that. apparently they're taking that back or saying it was never agreed. if that's the case then another
means will have to be found to limit their amount of enriched uranium, including perhaps by diluting it from the 4% or 5% to below 1% which is what exists in natural uranium. but this is going to be a difficult issue to resolve. >> and bob, when iran says that it has every right as a cig signatory to the nonproliferation treaty for isotopes for medical use, that's a legitimate legal argument. we counteract that by saying they've cheated in the past. one of the big things that critics are pointing to is that in these negotiations the administration has apparently conceded that iran will not have to account for warhead design and missile design and other suspicious activity that the international atomic energy agency has cited them for and asked for an accounting, that
will be up to the u.n. international atomic energy inspectors, the weapons inspector, to determine and certify it to the u.s. so that's already giving up a very big component of the suspicious activity that the u.s. has long complained about. >> i don't believe that the u.s. administration is giving up on that. it's very important that we have a better understanding of these past iranian activities that seem to have been related to the development of nuclear weapons. the iranians have stone walled the international atomic energy agency for over three years on this question. and i think the administration believes iran has to make a much better accounting of what it did in the past if there's to be an agreement. i don't believe the obama administration has given up on this point. >> bob einhorn, thank you so much. you've been there in the chair negotiating all of these things. we really appreciate that. our thanks to michael gordon. and kristen, if you want to know
how slim the pickings are here from a standpoint of covering this thing i want to show you some buzzfeed video of john kerry taking a walk. this is the fist time we've seen the secretary of state in quite a long time. you can see the distance. he's across the street from the hotel, getting some air. i think you can see that there is actually somewhere there the secretary of state and a large entourage of security people. passers by and tourists here chanting "i love you, john kerry." i guess he could use a little bit of love. he hasn't had a whole lot of it at the negotiating table. there was reportedly some tough conversations with the president and the whole national security team. there's some sense in washington they don't want to appear too eager for this and want to project they're holding out for something important. so at least kerry got some air. we did see him at lunch. no pictures were permitted in
there. but there have not been any permitted photo opportunities or cameras in any of the meetings for the last oh 24 hours, which is pretty extraordinary. >> extraordinary indeed and underscoring just how close to the vest they're keeping these talks. we're going to check back in with you in just a few minutes as you continue to monitor the fast-moving developments. meanwhile, we're going to check in on another breaking news story. another state, another controversy as arkansas passes its version of a religious freedom bill. what it could mean for the world's biggest retailer. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
the law, which the governor was expected to sign but just moments ago governor hutchinson responded to the controversy, calling for changes to the bill. >> the issue has become divisive because our nation remains split on how to balance the diversity of our culture with the traditions and firmly held religious convictions. it has divided families and there's clearly a generational gap on this issue. my son seth signed the petition asking me dad, the governor to veto this bill. >> joining me now from little rock is nbc's sarah daloff. i'm going to start with you and the reaction we're getting on the ground. first, i want to read this from hillary clinton. she tweeted, like the indiana
law, arkansas bill goes beyond protecting religion would permit unfair discrimination against lgbt americans, i urge governor to veto. what other reaction are you getting there on the ground? and this was obviously a surprise not what we were expecting to hear. >> it is not what we were expecting to hear. arkansas's governor previously indicating he was going to sign this bill now asking legislators to either recall and amend it or pass a follow-up measure that would make it mirror more closely the federal religious freedom act of 1993. this was very unexpected for people here outside the state capitol. protesters who started showing up about an hour and 90 minutes ago, never thinking this was what was going to happen, believing up until that press conference that, the governor did, in fact plan to sign this legislation. so everyone here right now regrouping and trying to see what the next move is. it's important to note that the legislature was scheduled to adjourn tomorrow. so we're going to have to see how they're going to work this
out. are they going to push something through quickly? are they going to make these amendments quickly? or are they going to extend their legislative session? this all follows quite a bit of backlash from corporations and the business community, including arkansas based mega retailer walmart, who said in a statement that the law threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state of arkansas. and you heard from the governor. he's even getting backlash from his own son, who signed a petition, asking his dad the governor, to veto this bill. we're watching closely here at the state capitol just how legislators are going to react to this and what they are going to do, if they're going to make those changes that the governor has requested. back to you. >> john i want to switch over now to you. this is obviously putting some pressure on governor pence. what is the difference between these two laws and what's the early reaction there on the ground? >> well, kristen, the more important thing is not the difference. it's the similarity the specific provision that governor
hutchinson wants taken out of the arkansas bill is in the indiana bill. and it's a flash point here in indiana. critics of the bill say it could be used to embolden some businesses who may not want to serve same-sex weddings based on their religious beliefs. as a matter of fact, we already have a case or the yelp page of a pizza shop in a small town in northern indiana, who's already blowing up after reports that the owner said he'll serve gay men and lesbian women in his shop but he would not serve a wedding, a same-sex wedding. some of the comments talking about the intolerant special with toppings of hate bigotry, stupidity, and old-fashioned beliefs. also saying that -- another one saying that they don't support restaurants with unethical business standards. statements made by the owner of this establishment are
unthinkably backwards. now, governor pence's spokesperson tells us we should not expect to hear a statement or a response from the governor about any of this. either governor hutchinson's response or what's going on with this pizza shop in northern indiana. but yesterday he did say he wants to clarify this bill. he doesn't want to change the legislation itself but he wants to have clarifying language accompanying it. but a law professor we talked to said that he doesn't think that's going to be enough. >> well just -- >> i'd like to see that on my desk before the end of this week. legislation that is added to the religious freedom restoration act in indiana that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone. >> at this point, that's too little too late. amending the statute is not going to in my view reassure
hoosiers and the rest of the country that indiana is open for business to everyone. >> the controversy here in indiana not dying down. the university of connecticut men's basketball coaching staff saying they're not coming to the final four and the ncaa meeting surrounding it. pat hayden the former college and pro quarterback, who's now the athletic director at usc, saying he's not coming to the football meetings around the final four at the ncaa because he's afraid this law would act against his son, who's gay. kristen? >> a lot of questions about the long-term economic impact there. john yang sarah dallof thank you so much. and still to come new revelations about what the german co-pilot at the controls of that doomed airplane had been treated for as he trained to fly. but first, back to switzerland. what will it take to sell any deal on iran's nuclear program to the skeptics on capitol hill? andrea mitchell will ask the top democrats on the house
intelligence committee. that's next. stay with us. ♪ at mfs, we believe in the power of active management. every day, our teams collaborate around the world to actively uncover, discuss and debate investment opportunities. which leads to better decisions for our clients. it's a uniquely collaborative approach you won't find anywhere else. put our global active management expertise to work for you. mfs. there is no expertise without collaboration. now? can i at least put my shoes on? if your bladder is calling the shots ... you may have a medical condition called overactive bladder ... ...or oab you've got to be kidding me. i've had enough! it's time to talk to the doctor. ask your doctor how myrbetriq may help treat... ...oab symptoms of urgency frequency, and leakage. which may mean fewer trips to the bathroom.
myrbetriq (mirabegron) may increase your blood pressure. myrbetriq may increase your chances... ...of not being able to empty your bladder. tell your doctor right away if you have... ...trouble emptying your bladder or have a weak urine stream. myrbetriq may affect... ...or be affected by other medications... ...so tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. before taking myrbetriq, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney problems. common side effects include increased blood pressure, common cold symptoms, urinary tract infection, and headache. take charge by talking to your doctor about your oab symptoms and myrbetriq. find out if you can get your first prescription at no cost by visiting myrbetriq.com how much protein does your dog food have? 18 percent? 20? purina one true instinct has 30. active dogs crave nutrient-dense food. so we made purina one true instinct. learn more at purinaone.com i'm one... i'm one... i'm one... i am one of the one's who discovered always discreet underwear for sensitive bladders. it makes me feel secure, confident. i feel protected. i mean i feel comfortable to move in them, they move with me.
i love always discreet underwear because of the fit. the fabric is very soft. i can wear whatever i want to wear. always discreet has made me a very happy woman. join over 500,000 women who've discovered always discreet underwear. for more stories and your free sample go to alwaysdiscreet.com so bladder leaks can feel like no big deal. when the moment's spontaneous, why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use is approved to treat both erectile dysfunction and the urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision or any symptoms of an allergic reaction stop taking cialis and get medical help right away.
ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a free 30-tablet trial. and welcome back. we want to go back to switzerland and the nuclear talks with iran. andrea mitchell rejoins us with the very latest. andrea? >> thanks kristen. even before there is a deal to announce here, if there is a deal to announce here israel's prime minister netanyahu took a pre-emptive verbal strike at it today with a very tough statement denouncing the negotiations. >> yesterday an iranian general brazenly declared and i quote, israel's destruction is nonnegotiable. but evidently giving iran's murderous regime a clear path to the bomb is negotiable. this is unconscionable.
>> and prime minister netanyahu has a lot of company. speaker boehner, for one, is in jerusalem today, just one month after boehner hosted netanyahu for that controversial speech to congress. california congressman adam schiff is the top democrat on the house intelligence committee and joins me now. congressman, thanks for being with us. >> great to be with you. >> first, do you have any reaction to what netanyahu had to say today? >> i really don't. the prime minister has been very outspoken about the agreement, which he has every right to be. it is obviously a deep concern of israelis whether iran is able to progress in their nuclear program. i would fully expect the prime minister to continue to speak out, as indeed is his right and obligation. >> one of your colleagues congressman steve israel from new york who's a member of the leadership as you know he spoke today, and he said that this is not a baseball game. these talks can't just drag on forever. you can't keep going into extra innings. this is a really serious issue.
is the team here john kerry and the administration making a mistake by going on and on into another day, potentially another day tomorrow if there isn't a deal, a good deal to be had here, should they just call it a day and go home? >> if it's clear there can't be a good deal, yes, they should call it a day and go home. i don't think we need to press on any particular date. the real date that makes all the difference is at the end of june. but if we put too much pressure on ourselves to get a deal within 12 hours or 24 hours, that works in iran's favor. i think in many ways, the pressure congress is putting on the administration to get something done now ahead of the deadline because we may enact additional sanctions in the interim plays into iran's hands. is a frankly, i would favor giving negotiators time to see if they can get a good deal. we'll know soon enough if they
can. if they can't, we'll pass new sanctions in a heartbeat. i'm less concerned about these additional days and whether we can get a good deal or not. >> of course as we've been pointing out the negotiating team that set march 31st this was no magic number. it was an american proposal to set that date because of congressional pressure, as you just pointed out. what would happen if as part of this deal as is being discussed, president obama does agree to phase out the u.s. sanctions that were imposed, the toughest ones under this administration by tim geithner when he was treasury secretary? those are the banking sanctions that really bite. >> well a lot will depend on whether this is part of a deal that congress views as a good deal. i think if congress comes to the conclusion this is not a good deal, the administration has given too much iran has given too little then you will see additional legislation that attempts to tie the president's hands. there are some things the
president can do through his executive power, but i think ultimately lifting all the sanctions would require congressional approval, and president obama has acknowledged as much. it's going to be important to show this is a deal that carries on well into the future. ten years to me seems like an awfully short period of time. inspectors need access to old sites and new sites, where we're not sure what kind of work is going on. it's going to be important these sanctions can snap back into place quickly. these are some of the key remaining issues left to be ironed out. i think if they're not, then the president will have a hard time holding congress back from additional action. >> congressman, as a member of the intelligence committee you know very well there are going to be classified briefings, even that go beyond your committee, that john kerry is going to make
potential potentially. the real details of this will be briefed to you in a classified form. what can you do about that when the critics, to put it kindly are going to come right out and potentially distort what has been briefed to you. i'm not sure once you've learned about it in a classified way you'll be able to respond. how is the administration going to defend this against those who cherry pick and take things and put it in the least positive context? >> well i think our most important arguments are going to be those made not in closed session but made openly to the american people and to the world. and that is what are the basic parameters of this agreement? the classified briefings, i think, can shed light on some of the technical aspects. you know why do we believe this certain combination of centrifuges and curbs on research et cetera, will limit the breakout time to no less than a year? so those kind of technical conversations, what we really
know those can happen behind closed doors, but the basic parameters of this deal i think, have to be made public. they have to be fairly specific if the administration is going to get us to june 30th and that's the challenge they face. but i don't think, frankly, the classified conversations are nearly as important as what the parties are willing to say publicly. >> adam schiff from the intelligence committee. thank you very much, congressman. >> thanks, andrea. >> and kristen, back to you in washington. >> we're going to check back in with you in just a few minutes. don't go anywhere. great conversation. thanks for that. well, the political backlash from whatever comes out of lausanne switzerland, will make waves across washington and into 2016. more ahead on andrea mitchell report, only on msnbc.
sunday dinners at my house... it's a full day for me, and i love it. but when i started having back pain my sister had to come help. i don't like asking for help. i took tylenol but i had to take six pills to get through the day. so my daughter brought over some aleve. it's just two pills, all day! and now, i'm back! aleve. two pills. all day strong, all day long. and for a good night's rest, try aleve pm for a better am. you've been part of the family for as long as i can remember. and you just mean so much to all of us. the holidays wouldn't be the same without your crescent rolls. we got you a little something. we got you jeans. it's about time. pipin' hot pillsbury crescent rolls. make easter pop! doug. you've been staring at that for awhile, huh? listen, td ameritrade has former floor traders to help walk you through that complex trade. so you'll be confident enough to do what you want. i'll pull up their number.
re-election. >> thank you. the hard part begins now, as you know. that was the easy part. >> the elections are always the easy part. >> little bit of laughter there. house speaker john boehner met in israel with prime minister benjamin netanyahu. and although speaker boehner did not comment directly on the iran nuclear talks that continue today in switzerland, the photo op is ending its own message about the politics of a potential deal. joining me now for our daily fix, chris cillizza and jean cummings. thanks, both for joining me. i want to start with you, jean. what is the impact of speaker boehner meeting with prime minister netanyahu? obviously not a coincidence. and sending a pretty strong message. >> actually his trip was planned several months ago. at a certain level, there is a bit of a coincidence happening. it's good for netanyahu and those who are very concerned about what this final deal is going to look like. >> we've known about this deadline for a while though. >> exactly. and this just brings all the
attention on those negotiations and adds into the conversation the voice of the opposition, of the opponents. had they not had this particular moment, they wouldn't have been behind the podiums and all of the shots would have been of kerry and the negotiateing and people talking on capitol hill. it puts them square in the middle of the conversation, which is a challenge for the white house. >> and you raise the term opponents. one of the biggest opponents, senator tom cotton. he authored that letter written by 47 senators sent to the ayatollah. this is what he had to say today. take a listen. i'm going to get chris' reaction on the other side. >> this is not the way you negotiate from strength. i don't know finanyone who has an ounce of sense that would negotiate like this. you have to walk away from the table and reapply leverage to iran. the fact we're not doing that that we're still sitting in switzerland negotiating when three of our negotiating partners have already left just
shows is iran can demand dangerous concessions from the west. >> cotton hitting president obama on the fact he has extended this. how does he sell it? >> thank you for making the point, which is even if a deal is reached in theory this is not an easy sell to congress by any means. i would include some democrats in that group. we've focused on tom cotton and the open letter to iran but there are democrats who are worried about this as well. i don't know is the answer. i think the white house is very well aware that the longer this strings out, it's already been going on for quite a long time. the longer it plays out in the public eye, the more damaging that is for president obama's ability to go and sell the bill. forget to congress but to the american people or the deal more broadly to the american people. i think what they're trying to weigh is can we get to a place in another week in another three weeks? that will be a legacy item and we'll sort of reinject a u.s.
role in iran a management that can go beyond this president. then that's worth it in their mind. it's worth sort of hanging out as they are right now. if they can't, it's a fish or cut bait situation. i don't know when that exact moment will be. some cotton >> great point. that moment getting closer wefr minute. i want to get both of your reactions to the breaking news out of arkansas. the governor there surprising everyone by announcing that he's not going to sign that religious freedom bill. he said he wants it amended before he's going to sign it. >> we all thought that he was going to sign it. so that is -- this is a real moment of news here. important politics. asa hutchinson always was one who walked the line between the business wing of the republican party and the social conservatives conservatives. he's standing right on that line, and it appears as though he's going to be able to manage it. i think this puts a lot of pressure on indiana governor
pence, who also straddled that same line but didn't do so well in this case. >> chris, it also puts a lot of pressure on the 2016 republican candidates it, who were quick to say they supported indiana governor pence's decision to sign the bill. >> look the truth of the matter is if you ask them all candidly with a few exceptions how much time do you want to spend talking about the religious freedom laws in arkansas and indiana on the campaign trail the answer would be somewhere between 5% and 0%. not because he doesn't believe in these things but because they know this is not a winning issue. asa hutchinson's statement on this is fascinating. his son, he said look the politics of this are really complicated. my son signed the -- you know a pledge to get me to not sign it. especially with young people even young republicans, there is a real resistance to talking about social issues on things like gay marriage and abortion.
those views are changing particularly on gay marriage even among younger republicans. so the jeb bushes scott walkers, marco rubios chris christies, rand pauls of the world really don't want to spend much time talking about this and i think asa hutchinson looks at indiana and says, i don't want to become the next mike pence. sort of national fire storm of attention on me. that may be at least part of why he changed his mind. >> all right. chris cillizza jean cummings fantastic conversation. appreciate your insights. well it only took a few hours for the critics to come crashing down on trevor noah the man picked to replace jon stewart on "the lady show." some of his older tweets about jewish people and women. he responded, quote, to reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn't land is not a reflection of my character. for their part comedy central is standing by their choice, saying, quote, like many comedians, trevor noah pushes
boundaries. he's provocative and spares no one, himself included. to judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair. trevor is a talented comedian with a bright future at comedy central. we'll all be watching. that's for sure. well today in france the ceo of lufthansa remembered the victims of the germanwings crash but refused to answer questions about when his company knew about the co-pilot's treatment for depression. more next on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. how we do business so businesses can reinvent the world. from pharmaceuticals to 3d prototyping, biotech to clean energy. whether your business is moving, expanding or just getting started... only new york offers you zero taxes for 10 years with startup ny business incubators that partner companies with universities, and venture capital funding for high growth industries. see how new york can grow your business and create jobs. visit ny.gov/business how much protein does your dog food have? 18 percent? 20? purina one true instinct has 30. active dogs crave nutrient-dense food.
ugh... ...heartburn. did someone say burn? try alka seltzer reliefchews. they work just as fast and taste better than tums smoothies assorted fruit. mmm... amazing. yeah, i get that a lot. alka seltzer heartburn reliefchews. enjoy the relief. as workers continue to search through the wreckage of germanwings flight 9525 ceos from germanwings and lufthansa paid their respects to victims at a memorial site near the crash. this comes just after new documents reveal that the co-pilot, who is believed to have intentionally crashed the plane, notified his flight school about treatment for severe depression to explain a gap in his training in 2009. now, it's not clear when the airline learned of that.
the ceos dodged questions on the issue while speaking to members of the media today, including nbc's bill neely. take a look. >> sir, when did you find the 2009 e-mail from lubitz? >> i'm sorry. i'm sorry. there's no -- >> why did it take you so long to publish -- >> there's no questions and answers. sorry for that. >> sir, your employee crashed a plane. why are you refusing to take questions? >> joining me now from the french alps is nbc chief global correspondent bill neely and msnbc aviation safety analyst and former ntsb investigator greg phife. bill, first to you. incredible line of questioning. you didn't get the answers you were looking for. have you gotten anymore since that exchange? >> no not at all. we've asked lufthansa for
further comment. they simply won't give it. some legal analysts would say it was very wise for the ceo of lufthansa not to answer any questions because, of course lawsuits are expected. as you saw probably there, the ceo came wearing a black suit and a black tie, looking somber and sounding somber. he laid a wreath at the memorial close to the crash site and then he made that statement to the press, saying he'd like to thank the searchers, he'd like to thank the people of france. he offers all help to the families for as long as help is needed. the key section in his statement was we're just very very sorry that such a terrible accident could have taken place, especially as we in lufthansa put such a focus on safety. i'm just very very sorry, he said. well, of course exactly how much focus lufthansa put on safety is the key going forward. that's what lawyers are looking at in germany and france and the u.s. lufthansa's insurers have set aside $300 million to cover the
cost of what happened here but if it's shown in court that lufthansa was negligent in letting lubitz fly the plane that he crashed, the damages against lufthansa would be unlimited. so this airline is certainly an airline that's under severe pressure. >> well, and greg let's pick up right where bill leaves off. lufthansa officials admitting on tuesday that they knew the co-pilot had depression in 2009 but he was cleared to fly. how significant is that development? and should the airline have done anything differently? >> kristen, that's a very big development. the fact that they came out early on and said the pilot was at 100% cleared to fly, and all the sudden they've had to basically backtrack on those statements and say, yes, we knew about his depression now the question is how much did they know about his depression? did they have additional
examinations done by a qualified psychologist to determine? because this young man said he was in deep depression. so that means that there was probably some medication involved, and a lot of the medications are banned. so there's a series of actions that should have been taken by the airline. he was in training. they could have washed him out for that very reason. so now the question is why did they allow him to continue? and that's going to be a question for the investigators. i know bill talked about the litigation side. but the investigators need to know because that may be the basis for recommendations going back to the airlines and changing of regulatory standards and requiring psychological exam as well as a physical exam. >> and just to be clear, it's not exactly known when the airline became aware of his depression. we want to make that point very clear. let me ask you about these reports that a cell phone was recovered. this is coming from some tabloid newspapers saying there's a cell
phone that shows the final minutes of the flight. french authorities are disputing those reports. i want to get both of you to weigh in. greg, first to you. what do you make of this? >> we've seen this with mh-370 where there was a lot of information that started to bubble out of the investigation. it was unverified. it was leaked to the press. i can't imagine that anybody -- because that's a very controlled accident site. i cannot believe that anybody from the bea or anybody else that is associated with the on-scene wreckage retrieval and of course the victim retrieval would put anything in their pocket, take it to the tabloid, unless there was a lot of money involved. if there was then that person or persons needs to go to jail. they've created a lot of devastation, not only with the so-called description, but now they've created, i think, some devastation amongst the families because if these stories are, in
fact true which i really have a hard time believing, but if they are, then that's going to be very devastating because that adds to the trauma for the families. >> and bill just final to you, ten seconds, what are you hearing there on the ground about those reports that are now disputed by french authorities that there is cell phone footage? >> well, we spoke to the reporter who saw the video. he sticks by it. the police here last night said it was a fake. the prosecutor says they haven't analyzed any video and have appealed to anyone who has such a video to hand it in. >> all right. bill neely, greg feith, thank you so much. more from andrea many switzerland and what the next few hours could bring to the nuclear negotiations, right after this. audible safety beeping audible safety beeping
switzerland. i understand you have some breaking news, andrea. >> well at least one official who is in a position to know says a deal is less likely tonight. they're working well into the evening and we don't know yet if it's going to happen tonight, but it is less likely tonight than it was before. so that tells you, kristen, that they still have some things to work out. and that secretary kerry does not want to rush through this. you know that he was advised during that conference call the secure video conference with the national security team and the team here late last night, that they should not accept something that's not tough enough. that's the last thing they want to do as it is. it's going to impede their efforts to persuade congress that this is a good deal. the longer this goes the more that they're going to face criticism that they have stayed too long. as we said earlier, some are saying this is -- that it's time to get the iranians to either fish or cut bait. >> all right.
andrea i have a sense we might be checking back in with you tomorrow from switzerland again. thank you. and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." my colleague thomas roberts joins me now with what's coming up. >> you've had a busy hour. that's for sure.busy two hours coming up. arkansas's governor recalling the state's religious liberty bill. he didn't mention the problems his counterpart is having in indiana. he did, however, mention his own son, who signed a petition for him to veto it. but was it really walmart who changed the governor's mind? and then, from the french alps lufthansa ceo walking away from questions about why his airline knowing let a mentally ill pilot in the cockpit. it's all coming up. don't go anywhere. to your store, a container ship delivered it to that truck. here in san diego, we're building the first one ever to run on natural gas. ships this big running this clean
does all greek yogurt have to be thick? does it all have to be the same? not with new light and fluffy yoplait greek 100 whips! let's whip up the rules of greek! hi everybody. i'm thomas roberts. coming up today on "msnbc live," the fire storm of controversy over indiana's religious freedom law spreads to arkansas where a similar bill was poised to
become law today, and the governor is speaking out against it. >> my son seth signed the petition asking me dad, the governor, to veto this bill. >> so we are also watching and waiting the negotiations over iran's nuclear future. it drags into another day. should the u.s. walk away from the already drawn-out talks? and an nypd detective is caught verbally abusing an uber driver and a passenger in the car captured it all on video. we start with the developing news out of arkansas where hours after the legislature passed its religious freedom bill the governor, asa hutchinson, is sending it back. he wants changes. >> my position is clear. i've asked them to remedy it. i've asked them to change the current law and i've asked them to recall it and change the language on it. >> that decision just 24 hours after indiana governor mike pence asked legislators to send