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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  April 6, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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siness right here in this community and that's you know that's the person that they're going to vote for. >> all right. annette taddeo always good to have you with us. best of luck. we'll follow the story so much. >> thank you ed. >> that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton begins right now. good evening, rev. good evening, ed. thanks to you for tuning in. i'm live tonight from washington, d.c. we start with breaking news on the full-court press from president obama selling the iran nuclear deal. moments ago, president obama responding to israel's prime minister who says any deal should include an iranian commitment to israel's right to exist. >> the notion that we would condition iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on iran recognizing israel is really akin to saying that we
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won't sign a deal unless the nature of the iranian regime completely -- that is i think a fundamental misjudgment. we want iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can't bank on the nature of the regime changing. >> the president laying out the logic of the agreement under the framework, iran would scale back its nuclear program and accept inspections. in return for lifted sanctions now. the fight turns to congress. already the attacks from republicans are getting ugly. >> probably the best deal that barack obama could get with the iranians because the iranians don't fear nor do they respect him and our allies in the region don't trust the president. obama is a flawed negotiator. nobody in the region trust him. the iranians do not fear or respect him.
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>> the gop attacks are predictable, but what's interesting is some democrats are open to a republican bill giving congress the power to approve or deny the lifting of sanctions before a june deadline. >> i do believe congress has a role. we're the ones who impose the sanctions. so we have a role on reviewing any agreement. >> but what would that role be? and could republicans use it to undermine the deal? president obama says he's willing to work with congress on iran, but he also says the u.s. sacrifices none of its strength by pursuing diplomacy first rather than racing toward a military option. and he vows the u.s. will defend israel if necessary. call it the obama doctrine. >> we are powerful enough to be able to test these propositions
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without putting ourst ingting ourselves at risk. it's not as if in all these conversations i'm leaving all my, you know rifles at the door. we're walking these negotiations and everybody knows that we've got the most firepower. the doctrine is we will engage but we preserve all our capabilities. >> joining me now is nicholas burns, former u.s. ambassador to nato now a professor at harvard university. and salon.com's joan walsh. thank you, both for being here tonight. >> thanks, reverend al. >> thank you. >> ambassador let me go to you first. you heard the president's response to the israeli prime minister. what's your take? >> i think it's a tough spot for the president to be in but he's right on the merits of the issue. one thing at a time. we've been -- we vice presidenthaven't
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talked to iran strategically and continuously for 35 years. we're in negotiations. we have a sure thing. it's not a sure thing, but an opportunity for a final deal by june 30th. we have to focus on preventing iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state then take it from there. obviously the united states should want iran to recognize a state of israel as a jewish state. at some point in the future. but to make that to make that a part of the negotiations and a condition for the negotiations i think, will mean the negotiations will fail. and just one more point to give you some hsistorical perspective when president nixon opened up relations with china in 1972 historic visit, it took seven more years before the u.s. established full diplomatic relations with china in the carter administration. these take time. we have to focus on nuclear weapons first. it's the greatest danger to peace in the middle east. i think what president obama has done is a good step forward, this agreement if it can be achieved and if we can hold iran's feet to the fire by june
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30th. >> but, you know joan what is interesting is the president's selling this plan to democrats trying to keep his party on board. we're not talking at the fact that democrats have now said some of them may be open to the proposed republican bill that would say they would have to approve it. that's his next big test. democrats. the situation doesn't happen often. how do you see this playing out? >> well you know i really agree with ambassador burns who's laid out exactly what the president needs to do. we really need to see him work congress in a way that he hasn't often worked congress to be honest, to win support from democrats. i really -- i know he's talking to senator ron jauns andohnson and other republicans, god bless him. i don't expect that to make much difference. i think a full-court press with democrats will make a difference and some democrats expressing doubts and reservations they're not sure that the frailwork is clear enough et cetera i really think they can be brought
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on board by this president. this will be -- there's still a lot of ifs here -- his signature foreign policy achievement. and an important interest to our country. it's not just a great feather in his cap. i think the president will sell it and think democrats will be hard pressed with a few exceptions will be hard pressed to resist this president and do anything that undermines his negotiating power or sides with lindsey graham who by the way, how does lindsey graham know what the iranians think about president obama? it's so preposterous. they don't miss an opportunity to insult him. >> but, ambassador the fact there are some tmdemocrats now openly saying they may entertain this, what does he have to do to get their -- what he being the president have to do to get them over solidly behind him in this? and let me show you what the president said about the congress' role in this. in his view. >> we are committed to finding a
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mechanism for appropriate congressional involvement and oversight. what i'm not interested in seeing is folks who are hellbent on just defeating any deal aren't interested in listening to the nuclear scientists, aren't interested in listening to the experts but are viewing this purely through the lens of partisanship. >> now, how much of a risk is it ambassador that the republicans could use this for leverage in terms of their partisan view and the fact that some democrats are not with the president or at least saying they're open to a bill that would subject this deal to congress before the june final deadline? >> i think there's no question that this is a potentially major barrier to a deal with iran. that is a failure to get the united states congress to go along or the congress taking action that would make it impossible for the president to
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proceed. and as you know reverend sharpton, the constitution gives any american president substantial authority to conduct the foreign relations of our country. congress has a major role but this is not going to be a treaty. this agreement with iran and the permanent five powers. it's going to be a nonbipding agreement, so it doesn't require senate ratification. if congress chooses an up-or-down vote to approve or disapprove this agreement, before the president even has a chance to finally negotiate it by june 30th i actually think that's very unwise for the congressional leadership to go in that direction. they ought to give the president a chance to complete the agreement, then the president needs to bring it back after it's fully agreed on june 30th and sell it to the american people convince the american people and the congress it's the right way forward. congress then has its role because congress will be asked to lift some of the sanctions that congress voted, and that's the appropriate role at the appropriate time i think for congress. >> joan, here's what gop senator
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tom cotton who by the way, wrote the letter that 47 other senators signed that was sent to iran. here's what he's saying about using military force. listen to this. >> the alternatives to this deal is a better deal with continued pressure through the credible threat of military force and more sanctions. and if necessary, having to take military action. we need to be serious about the credible threat of military forcing. >> i mean you get the feeling, are some in the gop more anxious, or at least rather see war than diplomacy? >> i don't think there's any other conclusion you can draw when you listen to that reverend al. i mean that is just an amazing thing to have said and to stand here when there is so much uncertainty and just be so cavalier about the use of force and the risk of other people's children's lives is really kind of stunning at a moment when
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diplomacy -- when it seems like there's still plenty of room for diplomacy and diplomacy has worked and this is a better agreement, the framework of this agreement, it is better than many people many skeptics had hoped. so the president has done much not everything. but much of what he needed to do. he's asking for a longer runway. we'll learn more in the next two months. and this cavalier talk about military action as though you know, it's just something we should promise or threaten regularly, it doesn't make sense to the american people. i -- you know, except many republicans i have to admit. >> ambassador let me read something to you that you wrote. you said "the framework agreement will put the country at least a year away from having enough weapons-grade uranium to make a bomb. that is a deal worth getting. even if it does not seem so to benjamin netanyahu or to some conservative u.s. lawmakers."
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put this in context quickly for me, ambassador. what is the alternative -- >> sure. the way to judge this deal is president obama's option versus walking away from the table. and president obama's option right now iran's about two or three months away from having the capacity to build a nuclear weapon. president obama's restrictions on iran will make that about a year away. so we lengthen the time when we deny them that ability. i also think that what prime minister netanyahu and some others are recommending is we walk away from the table, we'll lose the unity of the world which has been isolating iran the sanctions will dissolve. the united states can't sanction iran on its own because we need the europeans, the japanese the indians to do that. so i think the president's way is a significant step forward. it's better for the national security interests of the united states. i hope he can be successful by june 30th. >> ambassador nicholas burns and joan walsh, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you, rev. >> thank you so much. coming up think jeb bush is
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the inevitable pick for the gop nomination in 2016? think again. why is he apologizeing for a, quote, mistake today? plus "rolling stone" apologizes and retracts a story alleging a gang rape at the university of virginia. that fraternity is now vowing legal action. and being interviewed by this comedian is no laughing matter. how john oliver got edward snowden to answer some hard-hitting questions. big show ahead. please stay with us. meet the world's newest energy superpower. surprised? in fact, america is now the world's number one natural gas producer... and we could soon become number one in oil. because hydraulic fracturing technology is safely recovering lots more oil and natural gas. supporting millions of new jobs.
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breaking news. wnbc's jonathan deinst reporting prosecutors have charged a fourth man in new york city in a
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new york city terrorism case involving recruitment by isis. three other men were arrested in february accused of plotting to join isis bomb an amusement park and potentially kill president obama. and tonight, the breaking news prosecutors in brooklyn charging a fourth man in the case. tylenol was ok, but it was 6 pills a day. but aleve is just 2 pills all day. and now, i'm back! aleve. ♪ ♪ ♪ you're only young once. unless you have a subaru. (announcer) the subaru xv crosstrek. symmetrical all-wheel drive plus 34 mpg. love.
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"the new york times" digging up his 2009 application and discovering he checked off the wrong box in the race ethnicity section. labeling himself hispanic. of course, jeb bush is not hispanic, and this morning, he tweeted an apology. "my mistake. don't think i fooled anyone." and he retweeted his son's message, "come on dad, think you checked the wrong box. #honorarylatino." maybe it was a simple mistake, but it also echoed political rhetoric bush used in the past. >> if bill clinton is the first black president, i'm definitely the first cuban at least or latino governor of the state of florida. >> again, maybe it was a simple mistake, but does he have a serious problem ahead? the "times" reports many in the
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gop are pushing back against the idea that he's quote, inevitable. saying "no so fast." then if not jeb, then who? ted cruz is already in and rand paul is formally announcing tomorrow. this is going to be interesting. joining me now are the "washington post's" dana milbank and the democratic strategist jamal simmons. thank you, both for being here tonight. >> good evening, rev. >> good evening, rev. >> dana let's look at this registration card again. jeb bush says it was just a mistake. what do you make of this? >> well, obviously, reverend, there's only one way to resolve this. we need to see jeb bush's birth certificate. not the short form but the full long form here. i suspect this is probably a one-day story and a joke that will come up. it's -- it's pretty obviously a mistake of some sort but, you know it does get at that sort of liability that jeb bush has. not in a general election but in the primaries where people are trying to say he's been too
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soft on immigration, and is all about amnesty and, you know of course, he has a wife and children who are, indeed latino. and they will no doubt use that at least subtly in some way to suggest that he's just too soft on illegal immigration. >> you know, jamal, "the new york times" reports, you know the voter registration card may be, as dana said a one-day story, but "the new york times" reports that jeb is raising a lot of money, but it might not be enough. "he is grappling with the republican party's prickly and demanding ideological blocs. he's struggling to win over grassroots activists." and a recent poll showed jeb is not the front-runner everyone expected him to be. governor scott walker is in the lead at 15%. jeb's three points behind him at
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12%. followed closely by ben carson ted cruz and mike huckabee. what's going -- what is it going to take to get a clear front-runner in this race? >> you know rev, i -- you know, i thought and i think a few other democrats thought that jeb bush might be the toughest of the bunch out of this crowd, but i think there's something else that's stacking up here. we may find out that jeb bush maybe he's not the smart bush brother. maybe he's not the one who's the straight talker. maybe he's the one who we got to you know double check everything that he says to make sure it's true. i think the hispanic check mark is probably something that doesn't matter, unless it becomes part of a pattern along with his behavior with the indiana law last week his wobbliness on some of the education stuff. whether or not this is a pattern of jeb bush where we have to start to double check and make sure what he says is actually real and if that's not true we may find jeb bush is an easier candidate to take on than we thought. >> you know moving on from
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bush dana another republican, senator rand paul expected to announce his candidacy tomorrow. but today he released a video giving a hint about his platform. watch this. >> it's time for a new way. a new set of ideas. a new leader. one you can trust. one who works for you. and above all, it's time for a new president. >> rand paul! rand paul! >> now, dana you saw the slogan there. "defeat the washington machine. unleash the american dream." but he's part of the washington machine. he's in the senate. how's thing go to play with the voters? >> well, he's more and more a part of the republican and washington establishment every day. you know, rand paul is a very talented politician. i think he's underrated in the campaign, but he's got quite a challenge here so he's running
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as this sort of libertarian in the model of his father but in order to make himself viable as a presidential candidate, unlike his father he's tailoring all these positions particularly on foreign policy to the mainstream at republican party, so he's sacrificing a lot of what made him appeal to his base of supporters. so it would be interesting to see how much support he can maintain that way. i have no doubt that he'll have his moment in this primary season like scott walker is now and like all the other will. they're going to twogo through the flavor of the week. >> let me pick up with that on you, jamal. the "washington post" is reporting paul is straying away from his libertarian roots to win over a broader bloc of the gop. they write "paul is a candidate who has turned fuzzy. having trimmed his positions and rhetoric so much that it is unclear what kind of republican he will present himself as when he takes the stage." now, how big a problem will this be for paul?
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does he need his base to have a real shot in this race? he seems to be reaching out. he seems to be trying to be more of a mainstream republican. i remember when i had breakfast with him, didn't meet in an office where you went in the door. he said, let's meet in the senate dineing room in front of everybody. >> right. >> he seems to want to send different signals that seem to be far broader than his libertarian base first would suggest he would be. >> that's right. well, the first rule of politics is, of election secure your base. once you secure your base, then you start venturing out. it looks like rand paul has work to do to make sure that his base feels comfortable with him, and it's a troubling trend in the entire republican primary because the purists on their party, whether they're evangelicals or libertarians or the tea party folks, they don't seem to be willing to let anybody stray away from the particular dogma of their pure corner. so what you got to do as a
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candidate it seems like is kowtow to one of these extreme bases and then hope that everybody forgets what you said you know, in the early part of the campaign and supports you later on. >> all right. dana milbank. jamal simmons. thank you both for your time this evening. >> thanks, reverend. >> thanks. thanks for having me. coming up "rolling stone" is retracting its bombshell story on an alleged gang rape on a college campus but will the magazine face a major lawsuit? and the boston bombing case is about to go to the jury. what was said in the closing arguments today? the "justice files" coming up. bring us those who want to feel well rested and ready to enjoy the morning ahead. aleve pm. the first to combine a sleep aid... plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. for pain relief that can last until the am. so you... you... and you, can be a morning person again.
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developing news tonight on the "rolling stones" sexual assault story. the magazine has apologized and retracted the article. detailing a rape on campus at the university of virginia published last november. in it, the victim known only as
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jackie described being gang raped by seven men at phi kappa si fraternity at a fraternity party. the story sparked outrage of sexual assault on college campuses across the country, but after the "washington post" and other news outlets started reporting, the facts of jackie's story did not hold up. after a months-long investigation, police announced last month they had no evidence to support the claims made in the "rolling stone" article. the magazine commissioned an investigation by columbia journalism school which was released this weekend. it found three major failures in "rolling stone's" reporting involving, "basic even routine journalistic practice." "rolling stone" issued an apology to the readers and all
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those damaged by the story and ensuing fallout including phi kappa si attorney. president of uva teresa sullivan slammed the magazine in a statement, "irresponsible journalism unjustly damaged the reputations of many innocent individuals and yustuniversity of virginia." late today the fraternity announced they would sue "rolling stone" over the discredited story. could anyone else face legal action? that's just ahead in the "justice files." good. very good. you see something moving off the shelves and your first thought is to investigate the company. you are type e*. yes, investment opportunities can be anywhere... or not. but you know the difference. e*trade's bar code scanner. shorten the distance between intuition and action. e*trade opportunity is everywhere. ♪ nexium 24hr. it's the purple pill.
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i take these out... ...to put in dr. scholl's active series insoles. they help reduce wear and tear on my legs, becuase they have triple zone protection. ... and reduce shock by 40%. so i feel like i'm ready to take on anything. it's time for the "justice files." joining me tonight, criminal defense attorney eric guster and former prosecutor and host of "judge faith," faith jenkins. thank you both for being here. >> thanks rev. >> thank you, reverend al. >> we start with the legal firestorm "rolling stone" may now face. the fraternity at the center of this article, a rape on campus
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says it will sue the magazine. phi kappa psi says the decision to sue come the, "after 130 days of living under a cloud of suspicion as a result of reckless reporting by "rolling stone" magazine." and clearly our fraternity and its members have been defamed." faith, how strong of a case do they have? >> i think they have a case. i've seen defamation cases and lawsuits filed on less than what they have here. i think the challenge for them is going to be like the challenge is in most civil defamation claims and that is proving damages to the fraternity's reputation, and that means proving damages against this fraternity as the organization because remember there were no individuals named in "rolling stone's" article. it was just the fraternity as a whole. so that's going to be the biggest challenge for them. i think coming on the back end of columbia journalism school's
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report that "rolling stone" never should have published this article, they centurysimply didn't have enough to support jackie's claim, i think that helps them in their case going forward. >> eric which means that they could be guilty of the lawsuit, but the damages be little to nothing because it's hard to show any individual damage and it would be questionable how much the fraternity was damaged, or at least they'd have to establish that. >> and that is the case because in civil litigation the issue is how much is this case worth? and when you're looking at a case like this the question is "rolling stone" published this article. how much damage did it actually cause phi kappa psi? did they lose membership? did they lose reputation? and did it cost them any money? whether it's actual money as in dollars and cents, or with their reputation going forward how much is that worth? and like faith said i believe they have a decent case however, the issue is what is it
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worth as far as the damages that were caused by this is? >> what is it worth, faith? >> it depends, rev. you have to think about this. when these civil lawsuits go forward, it could be a number of years before a case like this could go to trial and the members of the fraternity that are in college now, members of the fraternity now they probably will have graduated by the time this case reaches court. and how are they going to prove that they were damages? what are they going to do going forward? again, i think they have a case here. i think they could file a lawsuit. but altsso that's going to keep this story in the news for them. what's the defense to a defamation claim? the truth. so then you're going to have as a defendant "rolling stone" magazine trying to prove the truth of the allegations. do they want to keep the story? the media, the news in that manner? >> now, the manner -- >> who else has possible case against "rolling stone" if a lot of the students are going to graduate? eric, are there any others that may have a chase here?
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>> yes skirir. i believe the students have a stronger case opposed to the fraternity as a whole because the students were looked at on campus as rapists, who violently raped a woman, took advantage of her, gang raped her and they were violent people. they have a strong case individually because their reputations as a individual were damaged by "rolling stone's" article. >> no individuals were ever named. >> that is true, but they were all members of the same fraternity, and because day were members of phi kappa psi on that campus they were all individually suspect in this article. that's the damage i see in this case. >> it's going to be very complicated, either way, but -- >> and take a long time. let's move to boston. the jury in the boston marathon bombing trial now has the case. and they start deliberations tomorrow. in closing arguments the prosecutor played the video of the explosion and the minutes leading up to it. he said this about dzhokhar
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tsarnaev. "he wanted to make a point. he wanted to terrorize his country. he wanted to punish america for what it did to his people." tsarnaev faces 30 different counts in connection with the explosion that killed three people. 17 of them carry a possible death penalty. he pleaded not guilty. but his attorney admits he did it. question comes down to whether he was under his brother's influence at the time. eric, if everyone agrees he was involved, what do you expect to see from this jury? >> the jury is trying to decide whether or not to spare this man's life or not. every defense lawyer who tries a lot of cases have been in this situation where we've had a case where we have to fall on the sword and say, yes, my client did it but don't -- please spare him the death penalty, don't kill him. and that's what this jury is going to have to decide because this is essentially a long drawn
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out guilty plea and the issue is punishment and whether or not he'll be punished by the death penalty or life without parole? >> faith what do you expect? >> i think the real question going -- i suspect that he is going to be convicted on all of these counts. and i think the real question going forward is will his life be spared? and how will his attorney -- he has a very skilled attorney in miss judy clarke. how will his attorney show this injure that he deserves any kind of mercy? i just don't see that sympathy in a case like this really exists, but, again, it has to be a unanimous agreement. once they get to the death penalty phase of this case, it has to be a unanimous agreement that he gets the death penalty. it can only take one person to go against that rev, but in a case like this i think that in order for his life to be spared i think he would have to take the witness stand and somehow show remorse. however, i don't think that's going to happen. >> now, if he took the witness stand and tried to convince the
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jury he was under his brother's influence, even though it's too late for this part of the trial, but before sentencing, do you think, eric it is possible that he could turn one member of that jury to say, i think he's guilty, bullet i don't think he should face the death penalty because there's an outside reasonable doubt that maybe his brother influenced him? >> that is very possible. when a person's facing the penalty phase of a capital murder trial, they want to beg for their life because they get a chance to look into the eyes of the jurors and say, please don't execute me, and this is why. i was under the influence of my brother. i didn't know i was doing. i was young. i was influential. i'm sorry for what i did. i'm sorry for maiming those people and my part in it but please spare my life. sometimes they get that one juror who wants to spare them their life and just like faith said without a unanimous verdict, they can't get a
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conviction of -- they can't get a verdict of the death penalty. >> i just don't see that argument going very far in this case. the prosecutors have done a tremendous and thorough job of painting a vivid picture of the death, carnage, and destruction that this young man and his brother caused. rev, i have to tell you, when i was 12 years old i threw a ball and broke a window in my neighbor's home. i pointed to my brother when my mother came over i said he's responsible, he made me do it. it didn't work then and it won't for the defendant in this case. >> we'll be working what happens tomorrow. erric eric guster, faith jenkins, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you. still ahead, loretta lynch has the votes, but what is senator mcconnell saying about a vote? and john oliver's hard-hitting interview with edward snowen has a lot of people talking today. "conversation nation" is next. ed the stuff? it's evil.
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- by 2018, there will be more than 2 million jobs available in engineering, science, technology, arts, and math. so let's give our kids the skills for success. it all starts with education. the more you know. time now for "conversation nation." joining me tonight, democratic strategist, margie o'mara. political comedian and sirius xm radio host, john fugalsang. and "huff post live" host alana menkowski. thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> want to go back to president
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obama selling democrats on the potentially historic nuclear deal with iran. nbc news "first read" reports, "the first test for obama is making sure that his own party doesn't scuttle the deal by providing enough votes to override a presidential veto on bipartisan legislation scrutinizing the deal." the bill would need 2/3 of the senate or 67 votes to override the president's veto and they reportedly have 66. margie, can the president sell this deal to democrats? >> i think so because i think the american people want to see deliberation and thoughtfulness but also not using important foreign policy debates as political footballs. as just another venue for the back and forth partisan bickering. and i think you see a lot of language on the right that really suggests that maybe that is what people are doing, and
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that's a little bit different from, you know, having something that's actually binding is a little bit different from having a way to express yourself in saying we want to have some conversation about the framework and the details as they get filled in. i think that's where you see some democrats who want to be part of the debate and the sort of reactionary language that you sometimes see on the right that i think is going to alienate a lot of these democrats. >> but john doesn't that -- if those democrats take that position, doesn't that give the republicans leverage to undermine the deal and undermine what the president and secretary kerry has negotiated? >> well the republicans will find any excuse to undermine the president in any way they can. let's not forget they worship ronald reagan a man who famously and was praised for talking with our enemies. there's a lot of fear and wartime kons layerconsularies and
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it will be a test of how well peace can sell. iran's population is majority under the age of 50 now. the ayatollahs know their old order is rapidly changing. and the vast majority of iranians don't want to get blown up with a nuke by launching a nuke of their own. this is going to be a test of intelligence versus fear, and i hope the cooler heads will prevail. >> alana, what's your take on this? >> i just think that it shows that in a historic moment like this when you finally have negotiations over iran's nuclear program, if this fails, and if it does not go through and is blocked here, it's going to be because of domestic u.s. politics, and this is a big moment for the world. and i think it kind of points out for those who say a nuclear armed iran would be so dangerous. try this. try this. if iran agrees to a deal and goes back on their word, take other drastic measures but you at least have to let it try to
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file before blocking it head-on. >> she has the votes for attorney general so when will loretta lynch's vote happen? 51 senators have publicly said they will support her nomination but majority leader mitch mcconnell isn't budging. he said he wouldn't schedule the vote until democrats pass a stalled sex trafficking bill containing controversial abortion language. today mcconnell's office telling "talking points memo" there's, "nothing new on that front." it's been 149 days since loretta lynch was nominated to be attorney general. margie can mitch mcconnell keep her waiting forever? >> i mean i don't know. it seems like he's trying to find more ways to alienate women voters. one is by holding up loretta lynch lynch's nomination, two is by having the vehicle for this be a sex trafficking bill where you have victims who really need help, and third, because what
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we're debating here is whether or not the fines levied against the traffickers, themselves can be used for abortion not taxpayer funds because that's not allowed. that's not what this is about. this is about fines levied against the actual traffickers and how do those get used? and it's really unconscionable. >> john? >> well look loretta lynch still wants to keep on locking up people for using marijuana. she has no problem with nsa spying and wiretapping. she loves the death penalty. you'd think the republicans would realize what a good deal they've got with her. i could only deduce rev sks they must have a secret crush on eric holder and just want to keep him around a little bit longer. >> well aloyna i mean the votes are there, and they won't give the date. a lot of people, as margie said in the women's community, my convention, national action network, a lot are going to be
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screaming, where is the vote? how do they pressure to get mcconnell to vote? >> it puts mitch mcconnell in a difficult position. he's the obstruction king. he doesn't want to support something the president is pushing forward. they hate eric holder want him gone as attorney general. nominate nominating, excuse me, pushing through loretta lynch would admit defeat because that means the president picked someone who they agree with. >> well i think that would be probably unfortunately the truth. everyone, stay with me. when we come back john oliver's revealing interview with edward snowden. what the comedian got the accused spy to say. that's next.
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we're back with our panel, margie john and alyona. next up there is truth in comedy, and it turns out being interviewed by john oliver is no joke. on last night's episode of hbo comedy news show "last week tonight," host john oliver asks whistleblower edward snowden some pretty tough questions about why he leaked classified nsa documents to the media. >> how many of those documents have you actually read? >> i've evaluated all the documents that are in the archive. >> you've read every single one? >> well i do understand what i
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turned over. >> there's a difference between understanding what's in the documents and reading what's in the documents. >> i recognize the concern. >> so "the new york times" took a slide, didn't redact it properly and in the end it was possible for people to see that something was being used in mosul on al qaeda. >> that is a problem. >> well that's a [ bleep ]. >> it is [ bleep ], and these things do happen in reporting. in journalism, we have to accept that some mistakes will be made. >> right. but you have to own that then. you're giving documents with information you know could be harmful, which could get out there. >> yes. >> john oliver certainly didn't pull any punches. alyona was this unexpected? >> not really. i think john oliver did a great job, but it wasn't unexpected because i think that we've seen time and time again that our serious or professional journalists, or so they're
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called, often do a really bad job interviewing people and subjects like edward snowden. there's a couple other things that i want to hit on here too, which i think that you know edward snowden gave a very good reasoning for why he put these documents out there which is that he wants the american people to be able to judge for themselves what kind of government they want. so if one mistake is made i still think that mistake is worth it because then you have people being able to come to the conclusion as to whether or not they feel that it's right for the government to be spying on millions of american citizens who are completely innocent. and, you know, one other thing that happened here, too, they showed man on the street interviews asking people if they knew who edward snowden was and a lot of them didn't know and i think a lot of krit irkicscritics of edward snowden used that as a big blow against his credibility and the effect he's had. glen greenwald had a great piece in the "intercept" pointing to polls americans don't know what the three branchs of government are, who the supreme court justices are, who the vice president of the united states is. >> let me get to the rest of the
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table. i'm going to run out of time. marge, does one mistake appear as aloyna said, a small token for the bigger picture? what do you think? >> what i think is a mistake is to hold up snowden as a progressive hero. i mean he's posted online about being a gun-toting nra fanatic. he's donated money to rand paul. i mean he's said disparaging remarks about seniors and social security. i mean he -- you know i think he is not the hero that sometimes he's made out to be, and i think john oliver you know, pointed that out in a way that was funny and accessible to everybody. >> but he's for transparency. not that many people claim he's a progressive hero. >> we have to move on. i'm sorry, john i'll make it up to you. marge, john and alyona thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back.
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the man known as america's preacher, and prince of preachers, dr. gardner c. taylor. the civil rights icon passed away sunday at the age of 96. for 42 years, he preached to 14,000 at concord baptist church of christ in brooklyn. i knew him since i was a young boy. he lived across the street from my pastor. he mentored generations of preachers, including some of my childhood heroes. in 2000 president bill clinton awarded him the presidential medal of freedom for his life's work. he was more than a preacher. he was an influential civil rights leader. a trend setter. he and dr. martin luther king jr. founded the progressive national convention. it seems fitting and appropriate that after a long journey of almost 100 years, dr. taylor
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would go see the lord on resurrection sunday. i've known and have been blessed to be around dr. taylor literally all of my life. when i received news he had passed, i talked to his successor at concord, gary simpson. as i hung up the phone, i wondered why was i so sad? someone in their 90s, you suspect they will not live forever, but i thought about how not only was i sad because we will not have him around anymore, but the likes of him we probably will never see again. a regal bearing, a silver tongue a fertile mind. integrity unquestioned. he represented and personified the real highest form of american preaching and experience of the black church. gardner taylor only happens every once in a while. i'm glad this while i got to
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meet him and got to know him. rest in peace, dr. taylor. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. opening day. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. tomorrow morning in louisville kentucky, the 2016 presidential campaign gets into real action. rand paul, who just beat hillary clinton in a respected pennsylvania poll, announces his presidential candidacy. and before you sell this guy short, just watch how far and how fast he's moved. in 2010 he knocked out not only the establishment republican candidate, mitch mcconnell's candidate, but beat the democrat in november by a dozen points. he shellacked the guy. now he's a genuine contender for

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