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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  April 9, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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quote, several days. and president obama will take a stand against gay conversion therapy. but first t south carolina police officer charged with the murder of a black resident had a history of excessive force. it's thursday april 9th. and this is "now." more disturbing details have surfaced today about the south carolina police officer charged with the murder of an apparently unarmed black man. a shooting death that has been caught on video. according to police documents, officer michael slager had two complaints lodged against him over the past five years. one of those complaints that he used excessive force against an unarmed black man in 2013. officer slager was accused of deploying a stun gun unnecessarily on an innocent man, mistakenly thinking the man was a suspect in a burglary. at the time the police department decided to exonerate officer slager a decision they now plan to review. today in an interview with msnbc's joy reid the man officer slager tazed in 2013,
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described what happened to him. >> he tazed me. he tazed me and put cuffs on me. sat hon my back twisted my arm. and my mom came around. she is sick. she came around around and got up off of me. >> how did you feel when you found out the officer wasn't punished for what was done to you? i felt it was wrong, and they put me under a certain label. oh he's a criminal so we abt going to worry about him. we don't lock him up. he ain't going to say nothing. he's a black man. i live in a dominant black neighborhood. they consider us messed up. >> his lawyer said this afternoon they plan to sue the north charleston police department. joining me now is jodi rooe reporter for the associated press, michael besicker and
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washington columnist jonathan capehart. you just spoke to him in the interview. he clearly thinks race is a part of it. how exploes it is that in terms of the narrative we've been presented about officer slager? >> i think it's really important to building the narrative. and this is a young man who really reluctantly came forward. he was very nervous and extremely reluctant about telling the story publicly. he said when he saw the current case, he decided it was time to speak out again. he spoke out before in terms of filing a report. and this is the incident report from the the not arrest because he wasn't arrested. but from the innocent in which he was tazed. it points out police were looking for matthew allen gibbons, his brother. somebody considerably shorter than him. lighter come plegs.
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but it was a case of mistaken identity that wound up with him being tazed and brutalized by mr. slager. >> there are major discrepancies between what mr. gibbons says hamd to him and what the police department says. >> actually, my reporting partner interviewed him yesterday. the things that struck us was, one, officer went out of his way to say the two brothers looked just alike. that people couldn't tell them apart. he also did not does the fact that there was a woman there, the woman that reported the burglary. he was yelling, you've got the wrong guy. that's not him. officer slager also made it sound like justifiable use of force. he said he resisted him. that he refused to follow the directions of the police officer. and you know made it sound like
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he deserved to be tazed, or at least required to be tazed in order to subdue him. >> michael, when your colleague spoke to him, was he -- do you know if if he was nervous then. we know he was very nervous in this press conference as joy mentioned. at one point he walked out of the room because of the cameras. was he nervous when you first started investigating the story? >> yes, he was very reluctant to talk. we came to his house. my reporting partner is a pretty persuasive guy. he managed to talk to his mother, who was also there during the incident. convinced her that the sun should talk. but it took some convincing. he did not seek out the media or seek out to tell the story. we made an effort to find both him and the other witnesses mejsed in the police department. >> michael, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> details of this past incident involving officer slager come as we learn more about the witness who shot that disturbing video
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of walter scott's killing. in an extensive interview last night, that witness said he thought about erasing the video out of fear for his safety. >> i thought about erasing the video and getting out of charleston and living some place else. >> leaving town? because you were that scared? >> like i say, as soon as i saw the video, i knew the come didn't do the right thing. and like i say. i feel kind of scared. >> jonathan, there's so many disturbing aspects to the unfolding drama here and of course the killing of walter scott. one of the things we're learning about today is the amount of fear that both victims and onlookers, witnesses have about confronting the police or even telling their stories. which certainly tells you something about the state of play. >> yeah. and think about it.
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part of the -- what santana told craig melvin that was also pretty shocking and disturbing say side from his fear of his own safety and thinking about deleting the recording, that he actually went to the police to try to tell them look what is being reported isn't what happened. i've got the video, here's the video. and the cops look at him like what? goes away comes back and says here, wait a moment. and that was when he told craig melvin he decided i know how this is going to end. and he bolted. and thank goodness he bolted and ended up getting the video into the hands of media and to the scott family. so that we could all see what rpd happened. your last guest was talking about the police report between the the last incident that michael slager was involved in. when you read the police reports
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in the walter scott killing, you don't get any kind of information. when you try to match it up against what we see in the video, it's total fabrication. >> joy, that notion that jonathan points out. the action bolting, leaving police headquarters with the video because he thinks that's the right decision to make. generally, the conventional wisdom is that was the right decision to make. that's a real indictment of the north charleston police department. which it must be noted. has 209 suspects. not just charleston. south carolina. 209 suspects shot by police in south carolina, between 2010 and 2014. you're on the ground there. what is the -- is there some ap pit for reopening any of those cases? ? >> well, i can tell you i think it's not so much about this particular police department, but we're talking about a sort of baseline black and brown fear and nervousness about the
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police. let's just be honest. we have three different people involved in different ways in this story where whether it's mario, the young man who was tazed, saying he was afraid to come out of his house. that's the reason he didn't want to leave his house. one was black. one was white. he knew he was being dragged out of his house and tazed for no reason. in that instance. i just got finished talking with their spokesman. they said they are looking into the claims that mario has made. incident two is the young man who videotaped the killing of walter scott who was afraid to stick around when the police wanted to come back and talk with him and thought it would be safer to go away. i had people texting me thinking, run away you don't want that officer to see you. these are black and brown people. in the third incident, you have the older brother saying when he went to the scene and took pictures, his phone was taken away. he's much older. he was saying he was arguing for
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his rights. in that case he did get his phone back with the photos still on it. when i asked the the spokesman, they referred me to this the south carolina law enforcement division. and they said it was sled officers who wanted the phone so they could see if there was evidence on it and then the phone was returned. but there is a sense of people not feeling police are accountable, or just being plain afraid of them. >> in terms of the national narrative, that police are widely given the benefit of the doubt in recreating narratives, there's a new msnbc poll out that shows a reapdeep racial division. white respon dantdents, 20% think
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black people are treated more harshly. ft 50% of black americans think they are treated more harshly. do you think there particular case will shift those numbers? >> i'm not sure. i'm not surprised by that poll. black and brown people particularly african-american people, when situations like eric garner happen when michael brown happened when walter scott happened. it rings something deep inside of us of fear and unfairness. and my editor said something yesterday in our morning meeting that is very very true. without video, the tie in a situation like this goes to the police officer. before that video showed up michael slager was given more than the benefit of the doubt. he was seen as being justified in what he did. what we're learning now, first with eric garner and now again with walter skod. for if not the safety of black
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and brown people then if they are unfortunately killed for their own name there must be video tape. either cameras on the police officers or video on cell phones of bystanders to show what really happens. as we see from the police reports. what's in the reports do not match what we now know from that video tape. that's why you she the divergence there in those numbers. african-americans in particular know deep down that this isn't the first time something like this has happened. >> yeah, the narratives here are chilling. joy reid and jonathan capehart thank you for your time. >> after the break, rand ball gives the first stump speech of his presidential campaign and chooses one of the most inauspicious locations ever.
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plus, why doesn't america have a woman on any of the dollar bills? or bills period. we'll look at who could replace andrew jack on. and later, a prak sis some called gay exorcism. i will speak with a man forced to undergo that ahead on "now." (son) oh no... can you fix it, dad? yeah, i can fix that. (dad) i wanted a car that could handle anything. i fixed it! (dad) that's why i got a subaru legacy. (vo) symmetrical all-wheel drive plus 36 mpg. i gotta break more toys. (vo) the twenty-fifteen subaru legacy. it's not just a sedan. it's a subaru. uh, and i know my iq. okay. uh, and i know-uh-i know what blood type i have. oh, wow!
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hours ago, rand paul gave one of the first stump speeches of his presidential campaign. >> when tyranny threatened the world, america led the way to rid the world of nazis. resolutely, we stood decade after decade against communism. we won the cold war.
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america and freedom are so intertwined that people are literally dieing to come to our country. zbr >> the speech cam after a time honored tradition of politicians using aircraft carriers to appear presidential. of course there was george w. bush and his infamous mission accomplished moment in 2003. but this particular aircraft carrier has been the slate of stump speeches by john kerry, john mccain and mitt romney. one thing all of those candidates have in common they lost. rand paul may be hoping for a different outcome just one day after a media tour that mr. paul probably wishes also had a different outcome. >> before we go through a litany of things you said i've changeded on. why don't you ask me a question. that would be a better way to approach an interview? >> no no you've editorialized. no, no no no.
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you've editorialized. let me answer a question. you ask a question have your views changed instead of saying my views have changed. >> i think i've been universally short tempered and testy with both female and male reporters. it's hard sometimes. >> joining me now is sam stein from the huffington post and communication director for emily's list. which is worse? being testy only with female reporters, or being testy with all reporters? >> i'm not sure being an equal opportunity bully is necessarily a selling point. i think it's probably unlikely that he would have shushed a mail reporter like he did to the woman on cnbc who was asking them the questions. but that's besides the points. he has a lot of indefensible policy positions. but a presidential campaign is really long, and he's going to have to defend them. when you do your first media
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tour, your first rollout, a few things you know will come up. his flip-flopping on israel is one of those things that was going to come up. >> stop editorializing jess. >> calm down. be quiet. just relax. sorry, go ahead. >> whether or not he supports an exemption on abortion bans for the cases of the wife of the woman. that's a real question. >> that's another one that's maybe going to come up. >> you think he could have prepared for this just a little bit. >> maybe just a bit. sam, he was, senator paul was speaking with another female reporter last night, and this is what he had to say to megan kelly. >> do you regret it? do you regret shushing the one reporter? savannah guthrie is not exactly known for her aggressive unfairness. >> right. i think the question was unfair. do i think that i responded appropriately? you know i would rather not have contentious interviews.
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i would rother do 30 minutes with charlie rose in a la-z-boy chair? okay sam. wouldn't every presidential candidate like to have 30 minutes with charlie rose laid back in a la-z-boy chair. unfortunately that's not the way campaigns are run in america. >> well that sounds really nice. i would like that, too. >> me too. i didn't think what savannah was doing was all that contentious. as jess said they were fairly basic, straight guard, good questions about policy issues and we often hear that they think too much on substance. as much as senator paul would like to script all the interviews he had, it just doesn't work that way. i think, you know obviously reallies somewhat play off perceived media hostilities. i'm sure he'll use this to his advantage. but the truth of matter is if you're going to run for president. you're going to face a lot
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harder things than statements about questions from journalists. you have to get used to it. >> do you think, jess this could be -- in so far as there is a silver lining or a point to be played on this do you think rand paul can use this, all these unfair editorialized questions about his views on foreign policy et cetera? can he use that as evidence of the the lame stream media in the republican primary process? >> you can cry liberal media bias an i guess include megan kelly in that which seems a little farfetched. but the people who really don't like not having their questions answered and who will ask really tough ones are iowa primary voters. and i want to see how he behaves when he gets exactly the same kind of treatment, only frankly, probably far more tough and contentious because they're not media personalities, from the folks he's trying to ask the votes of. when you're running for president, you're introducing
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yourself to an electorate. you're asking for their vote. you need to earn it. and he seems completely unwilling to explain why he thinks he deserves to be the leader of this country. >> sam, yeah. and not only is he a supin the voter, he's looking to win over the endorsement of his party. there are republicans who have legitimate questions or how much support he wants to give to israel. it seems his campaign is adrift on how to answer the questions, a very serious problem heading into the next few months. is it not? >> yeah, and i think he'll hammer that out. what we've seen not in the course of the contentious interviews but in the speeches he's given, he's drifted from where he was in the past. he'll say, well he wasn't in politics back then. he was campaigning for his father back then. the truth of the matter is that took place during the kous of the time during the united
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states senate. it's not as clear cut as he would like to say. i have a feeling as the things progresses, as he talks to voters in iowa and new hampshire, he'll get more comfortable talking about it a little bit, if only because he has to. these are primary concerns among primary voters. unless he gets a more fleshed out convincing response one not as agitated as the one he gave to savannah he's in trouble. >> yeah jess speaking of agitated. the a.p. asked senator paul about reproductive rights issues. and he responded, why don't we ask the dnc, is it okay to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus? you go back and you ask debbie wasserman-schultz if she's okay with killing a seven-pound baby that is not born yet. is that okay? >> that seems like a screeching halt to any sort of discussion. democrats are clear on this we want to leave it up to doctors when that's appropriate.
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rand paul means it should be left up to him. which means he has to answer more questions. not having exemptions for the life of the mother is so outside of the mainstream even among people who call themselves pro-life. if you hold that position you have to explain why. if you want people to put their trust in you. he seems entirely unwilling to do it. i think the rand's blaming phenomenon is more problematic if he tries to be a different kind of republican which is how he's branding himself. he's trying to bring new people into the tent. that's the whole point. he's going to talk to voters that republican party has traditionally left behind. but if he does hit this way, he's going to alienate the people already in the tent and would be willing to support him. >> needless to say, maybe standing on the same aircraft carrier where there defeated nominees have stood is not the most auspicious beginning to one's presidential candidacy. sam stein and jess mcintosh thank you for your time. q&a rage is not unique to rand
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rand paul's campaign for president is barely two days old, and he's already launched a new verb. the practice of politicians losing their cool in front of reporters is as old as journalism itself. >> the worst republican in the country. is that true? >> what speech did you listen to? >> stop lying. quit distorting my words. if i see it it's bull [ bleep ]. come on man. what are you doing? >> did i stay on topic? are you stupid? on topic. on topic. next question. thank you all very much. i'm sorry for the idiot over there. >> so you did fox's bidding on the show.
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you did your nice little conservative hit job on me. what i want to know is -- >> wait a minute sir. i want to ask a question. you don't think it's a legitimate question. >> it's a perfectly legitimate question. but i want to know how many people in the bush administration you asked this question to. >> you want me to tell you what my husband thinks? my husband is not the secretary of state. i am. you ask my opinion. i will tell you my opinion. i'm not going to be channelling my husband. >> are you actually going to watch the game? >> of course i watch the game. >> are you going to sit down and watch? >> you know like football? you know coverage and all that? >> i know football. >> and the answer to your question, sir, and the next time i prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question. i didn't ask for an argument. i'm answering you question. it is the right thing to do for the american people. >> the head of amnesty international says secret sites are against international law. >> we disagree with them. and plus my job is to protect you. and most american people if i said that we had who we think is
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the master mind of 9/11 they would say, why don't you see if you can't get information out of him, without torturing, which is what we did. my job is to protect this country, matt. and i'm going to. within the law. >> those are your words. not mine. >> thank you very much sir. >> that was kind of strange. >> this is what separates american media from british media. >> what about what's going on in the personal life? how do you deal with that when you've been so exposed? >> how you doing? nice to see you? thank you, brother. is it a hunger for the big job in the power? >> it's hard to take you seriously? >> what is it you want to do? >> oh the hunger for the big job. hello. >> governor, you did say on camera in other places that at times you thought it would be a model for the nation. >> you're wrong, brett. >> no no. >> no the tape out there, continue to read the tape. this is an unusual interview. [ laughter ] all right, let's do it again.
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this is an unusual interview. [ laughter ] all right, let's do it again. >> joining me now is host of msnbc's "up" steve kornacki. steve, archivist that you are, politically speaking what is your favorite politician reporter moment. >> you know mine is there's this epic on-air battle between george bush sr., he was the vice president at the time running for president, and dan rather. dan rather the cbs anchor. it was over iran contra. and rather p you shalling him for answers about the hostage trading going on really was. and it stretched out for like eight minutes on live television, on the cbs evening news and george bush sr. went into this with a reputation for being sort of a wimp and he came out of it looking a little bit different. >> i think we have that clip. the magic of television. can we play it? >> i don't want to be on here. >> i want to talk about why i want to be president. why those 41% of the people are
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supporting me. and i don't think it's fair to judge a whole career -- it's not fair to judge my whole career by a rehash on iran. how would you like it if i judge your career by those seven minutes when you walkeded off the set in new york? >> get schooled. thank you, steve. hang with us. just ahead, what is worse than taking a knife and fork to a slice of pizza, british prime minister david cameron found out the hard way. that's next on "now." [ alex ] transamerica helped provide a lifetime of retirement income. so i can focus on what matters most. [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. transamerica. 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.
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president obama has offended some on the right over his comments about christians. and is it time to replace andrew jackson with a woman on the $20 bill? but first the politics of the iran nuclear deal. following senator chuck schumer's defection at the beginning of the week democrats are rallying around the president and demanding changes to a bill scheduled for a vote next tuesday that would severely limit the president's
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flexibility in finalizing the deal. most republicans insist they're seeking a better deal. most republicans except for tom cotton. despite being in the senate just four months the arkansas senator seems determined edd to be war hawk in chief. this week's pushing for a military strike on the nuclear program because it wouldn't be all that difficult. >> the president is trying to make you think it would be 150,000 mechanized troops on the ground. that's not the case. it would be more along the lines of what president clinton did in december of 1998 during operation desert fox. several days of air and naval bombings against the mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior. all we're asking is that the president simply be as tough in the protection of america's national security interest as bill clinton was. >> back with me is host of msnbc's "up" steve kornacki. host of the gist podcast for slate and journalist janelle
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ross. steve, mike tom cotton has gotten this all figured out. this is like operation desert fox, no biggie. >> the problem for the white house is you're dealing with one hand the hawks like tom cotton that will never be for an iran deal, that's the reality the white house is up against. the other issue the there are other republicans and democrats like chuck schumer who look at this and say that there is a role here for congress because what's involved with the negotiations is removing sanctions that congress put in place. >> but let's be clear, tom cotton is an outlieer in thinkingthink ing bombing iran's nuclear facilities is easy. >> if the white house was only up against that the white house would be in a good political situation right now. but they're up against people in congress who look at this and say i'm not where tom cotton is. i'm not for let's bomb iran tomorrow. but they say, hay, i'm in congress. congress put these sanctions on iran. that's the problem for the white
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house. >> but the problem for tom cotton is he sounds like donald rumsfeld. the idea of a long lodge battle is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990. this is talking about the invasion of iraq. five days or five weeks or five months. but certainly is not going to last. >> it has wlif of the cake walk predictions. the nuclear facility, which is burieded 350 feet underground. there is one missile, one bomb on earth that can penetrate it. that's not guaranteed. it's the massive ordnance pen traitor. apparently the united states is showing israel this. israel does not have this bomb. this is not anywhere close to a sure thing. and you no e, the first u.s. troop this year died in afghanistan. it was confirmed a couple days ago. so we've gone a year. we've gone a little less than a year. >> the mess has not been cleaned up. >> it seems like without peopling dying that it's just okay, let's go to war again. how long will it take before these guys realize, these are actual lives you're talking about.
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>> and tom cotton's name is being floated as a presidential vice presidential pick in the republican presidential campaign. >> i think the idea that you know warmongering in and sort of talk of war is very attractive to a certain group of people, perhaps a certain group of male voters you know has everything to do with that. but whether or not this is based on anything real, anything factual is clear. no. clearly not. i think the other question is also like, who are the reporters who allow tom cotton to say these things and don't ask them what this is based on. >> that was the family research council. so iran has their hard line clerics. we have hard liners and clerics and sometimes they get together and talk. >> moving on president obama's comments about christians at an easter prayer breakfast angered some on the right. >> as a christian, i am supposed to love. and i have to say that sometimes when i listen to less than
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loving expressions by christians i get concerned. but that's a topic for another day. >> less than loving christians. that did not win him any favors in some part of the right-wing blogosphere. isn't it fair to say there are un-christian things said about the president from time to time? >> certainly. but it's also certainly fair to say there are different strains or versions of christianity that people choose to practice. and without a doubt, some people are very into the fire and brimstone aspects of christianity. some people are into the punishment and embarrass aspects of christianity. and some people are into love. it's fair to say those people exist. and certainly that president kbaum has had maybe more than his fair share of interaction with those others. >> do you think steve, rand paul's pastor said on tuesday, after the campaign announcement. five years we'll find out what obama's real religion is i
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think the efdvidence is not friendly towards christians. i wonder how much the narrative, the sort of otherism of obama is going to have a place many n the 2016 campaigns. t. >> i don't know about the 2016 campaign. i do wonder what effect it's had on obama himself. it surprised me, p you think back a year two or three years ago, if you say he's making a public statement like you he just said. i wouldn't have expected that. when he was talking about the state of islam but look at the history of christianity. i wouldn't have expected him, the first-term barack obama to be going there, to be making comparisons like that. he's certainly smart enough to recognize that politically he's going to be kicking up a real firestorm when he goes in that direction. it was something he resisted very much in the first term. the first part of the second term. i wonder if at this point, he's got this what do i have to lose attitude? >> and i think he believes in
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con contextual contextualizing things. i think he thinks it's a legitimate point to keep in mind. >> and it is legitimate bow not to some on the right. this whole, we need platitudes. we need our president when it comes to religion. he's not going to get a fair shake no matter what he says. it shows he's a questioning person with a keen excellent that thinks some things some wouldn't want you to think. i don't think he loses one votes. >> there are no more votes left for him. >> the people jumping on this are the people who hate him no matter what he says i think. >> this is -- this is maybe my favorite story of today. a group is pushing to replace andrew jack on on the $20 bill. they are rosa parks, harriet tubman eleanor roosevelt and wilma. do we need a woman on some --
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some of america's currency. other than susan b. anthony and the $1 coin which everybody can agree we hate? a dollar coin. i love susan b. anthony. >> i would say i don't like the dollar coin itself or the weigh of it. but i honestly don't have a really firm and strong feeling on this. if people are interested in this that's great. i wouldn't object to it. certainly there's a solid argument to be made for the idea it's important for women to be memorialized and recognized as important sort of shapeers of history. >> well, we spend half the money. shouldn't we have some of it with a lady on it. >> the problem with the dollar coin is any vending machine you go to you put a 5 in it. it gives you four dollar coins back. i don't like the dollar coin. >> the deep frustrations of steve kornacki. >> it's not about if you want to honor a female on our paper currency or whatever. it's also, think about andrew jackson. >> trail of tears. >> yes. but also think about this. he hated central banks. why is the guy who hated the
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central bank on the currency? >> look at that dashing figure. i want to stick up for andrew jackson. >> i think of it as christopher lloyd on the $20 bill when i see it. >> i don't know if you could buy 1.21 gigawatts. >> the yenand he won the battle of new orleans, that didn't need to be fought. i get all that. i think sometimes we judge our historical figures by today and it's kind of unfair. without andrew jackson, we would not have -- >> i think a lot of native americans in the country -- >> no there aren't a lot. >> yeah well there's a point. well, this is for you, steve. david cameron's food-paux. he was seen eating a hot dog with a knife and fork in the middle of election season. this is in large part steve, because labor leader was savage last year for a disastrous
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photo-op eating a bacon sandwich. it was very messy. cameron obviously trying to avoid that by doing something that i think is akin to eating an ice cream cone with a knife and fork. >> but how do they view in that in britain? we would look at this as a fete thing. oh my goodness. only the most preposterously out of touch person. is this as ridiculous in britain? >> i think it's as ridiculous in britain. you can't eat a hot dog with a knife and fork mike. >> it's not as bad as pizza. >> no it's worse! >> you think it's worse? >> it's worse! it's a hot dog. in a bun. >> he also did an interview where he claimed he was related to a kardashian. that's true. >> you know no lows man. steve kornacki janelle ross thank you all. you can catch "up" with steve kornacki weekends at 8:00 a.m. on msnbc. we'll have more after the break.
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they're known in some circles as gay exorcisms, and the white house is trying to ban them. more on that coming up next, but first, josh lipton with the cnbc market wrap. >> u.s. stocks closing higher as investors digest the earnings report and look for more signals on the timing of the interest rate hike. the dow rose 56 points. the s&p 500 climbed 9 points. the nasdaq added 23 points. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. know your financial plan won't keep you up at night. know you have insights from professional investment strategists to help set your mind at ease. know that planning for retirement can be the least of your worries. with the guidance of a pnc investments financial advisor, know you can get help staying on track for the future you've always wanted.
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tomorrow the white house will announce another step forward on the issue of lgbt rights, calling for a state level ban at therapy aimed at converting or repairing gay, lesbian and transgender youth. the move comes to a response on a petition on the website. it sites the case of leelah
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leelah alcorn a transgender teen who committed suicide in december. she said i never got the therapy i needed to cure me of my depression. i got more christians telling me i was selfish and wrong and that i should look to god for help. joining me now is matthew, a spokesperson for nclr and a survivor of gay conversion therapy. thank you for joining me matthew. >> thank you. >> tell me about the gay conversion therapy that you underwent. >> so i'm 26 years old now. i was 16 years old when i came out to my father. he was really supportive and had his own worries and concerns of what it meant to have an openly gay son if i were to choose that going forward. so he researched for therapists and he came across someone who practiced conversion therapy. she was a university professor -- >> the therapist. >> the therapist. who had his own clinic outside of the university and explains to my father that there is no such thing as homo sexuality. and i was suffering from a void
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that can be cured. especially because i was so young and inexperienced sexually, this was the opportunity to do it now. and my father thought, you know trusting his advice and this is really just something in my head, it was worth a shot. and my fears as a 16-year-old that i wanted my father's approval. and the fact that there was a university professor saying listen, you don't have to come out. there's other options. and that also meant, i don't have to come out to my peers in high school. that's something i never wanted to face which is my own self. >> so you were a willing participant in this. you thought maybe this would be an easier path forward. >> willing is not the word i would use. it's fear based. i thought i was doing something to save my life. i was told i had a higher chance of committing decide if i did not take therapy. >> what was the the therapy like? therapy in the traditional sense of therapy? >> no. >> in terms of talking and sitting. tell us about it. >> so, conversion therapy is an umbrella term. there's all forms for exorcism
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to talk therapy. mine was talk therapy 101, group and a conversion camp in virginia. yes, my therapy was in four states and five years from ages 16 to 21. >> wow. >> and even though it was talk. i had to do certain things. so the belief is that the first steps in curing homosexuality is spend as much time as possible with men, spending at least time away from women. this is to make sure you don't pick up any feminine behaviors, keep women as the mysterious opposite sex while having healthy male bonding. so you can fix or heal your masculinity, that there was a trauma that happened as a chide. one, i never had a trauma. i came from a loving very close knit family. i had a beautiful upbringing. i had to look for something that didn't exist. and then i went through the therapy, avoiding women. this including my mother and my sister. so i was not in communication or almost very limited communication with my mother for three years. >> wow. >> ages 16 to 19.
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>> why did you stay with it? >> i was scared. i really thought, you know i was scared to be bullied. there wasn't a single openly gay person in my high school. and i wanted my father's approval. it was something that he felt very strongly about. like this is an opportunity and you're saving your life. and then having a professional tell me the list of horrible things and the theory soundeded really, you know to a 16-year-old sounded reasonable that i'm innately heterosexual it's not real. i just went through something. i had two older sisters. fitted the mold of what this therapist was describing. and i just kept saying okay i wanted my community to be happy. i want my family to be happy. i want my parents to be happy. so i continued. >> well it's amazing you were able to come through that experience and be here to sort of talk about it. you know successful adjusted
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person that you are, out, congratulations on making it this far. i think it's a great step that the white house is trying to get states to ban this at the state level. we'll see what happens in the coming weeks and months ahead. it certainly brings the issue to the table, which is a good thing. matthew, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> we'll have more after the break. ♪i leave a story untold... ♪ he just keeps sending more pictures... if you're a free-range chicken you roam free. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance you switch to geico. it's what you do. ♪ two wheels a turnin'... ♪ audible safety beeping audible safety beeping audible safety beeping
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oil and natural gas. supporting millions of new jobs. billions in tax revenue... and a new century of american energy security. the new energy superpower? it's red, white and blue. log on to learn more. have you ever showed up to a peting you weren't invited to? one involving the president of the united states. that was the case for this 26-year-old solar cell designer. he works for vivid solar. you can see him here sitting on the right, wearing a white polo shirt. he showed up at hill air force base in utah for what he thought was a chance to be an audience member during a news conference with an unnamed senior white house official. turns out that was the commander in chief. no biggie. he is a member of the utah national guard. he said the president personally
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asked him questions about solar energy and he told him it's a growing industry and a great opportunity for a stable career path. of his brush with fame and improper choice of at tire he quipped, if i had known it was my commander in chief, i definitely would have been wearing my blues. that's all for now. "the ed show" is up noex. >> good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show." live from new york. let's get to work. tonight, hillary's issues with the issues. >> everyone who is running for president should be talking about what they plan to do to strengthen and rebuild america's middle class. >> plus new details in the south carolina police-involved shooting. >> what do we want? >> justice. >> i took my phone out and started recording. >> later a drought dilemma. >> water is so precious. >> and wisconsin's anti-climate change crusade. >> the climate change threat real?


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