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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  April 21, 2015 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT

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get to work! >> tonight -- >> this is absolutely good. not just american businesses but for american workers. plus -- >> they want a new fresh face to take on hillary clinton. later -- >> american warships including an aircraft carrier sailing off the coast of yemen. and -- >> ground zero of the oil spill. >> the nation the world didn't understand how bad this oil spill was. >> good to have you with us tonight. we're coming down to the wire on the transpacific partnership. but of course it is the tpa. the transpromotional authority. this is the lunch pinynch pin of it all. earlier today, president obama spoke down with chris matthews and spoke about it in general. you can watch the full interview at 7:00 p.m. eastern on "hardball" tonight here on
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msnbc. the president out and about selling harder than ever on the tpp. >> mr. president, obviously the hot question. the u.s. senator elizabeth warren is out there saying things like this about the trade agreement. it's going to help the rich get richer and leave everyone else behind. she also says it challenges u.s. sovereignty. they're throwing the kitchen sink at this trade agreement which will involve 11 nations and ourselves in the pacific rim. why are they saying these things? >> i guess they don't want it to happen. i love elizabeth, we're allies on a whole host of issues but she's wrong on this. chris, think about it. i've spent the last six and a half years yanking this economy out of the worst recession since the great depression. every single thing i've done from the affordable care act, to pushing to raise the minimum wage, to making sure the young people are able to go to college and get good job training to what we're pushing now in terms of sick pay lieveave.
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everything i do is focusing on how do we make sure the middle class has gotten a fair deal. now, i would not be doing this trade deal if i did not think it was good for the middle class. and when you hear folks make a lot of suggestions about how bad this trade deal is when you dig into the facts, they are wrong. >> well, mr. president, respectfully, i think we need a little bit more devil in the detail and that's something your administration has not given this country. simply to say that elizabeth warren and others in the senate are wrong on something just isn't enough meat on the bone. this isn't about president obama's resume. this isn't about what he's done. this is about what the president is about to do. if he has this authority, if he goes along with the tpp, it's irreversible and it's damage to the economy and the president doesn't answer those direct questions. can you guarantee that this will create jobs? can you guarantee that there will be no pressure on wages in
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this country? now, i have supported president obama immensely on many issues. but not this one. the transpacific partnership is going to wipe out a lot of good this president has done if it goes down that road. president obama should not have fast track authority. this congress needs to engage and deny it. just because other presidents have had it doesn't mean the conditions are the same. president obama is siding with the chamber of commerce who fought like hell to make sure they didn't get elected and also siding with people like this. >> i agree with every word he said in the speech with respect to trade and asia and getting in there and helping write the rules instead of china writing the rules. the president is in the middle of negotiating a trade agreement with asian nations. this means more jobs for america. this means more exports for us. this is something we have to get on top of and i agree with him on that. >> trade promotion authority allows the administration to negotiate with our colleagues and allies around the world to
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expand trade. >> i emphatically support tpa. i support the tpp. we need to be opening markets everywhere. >> so that's who the president is hanging out with on this deal. on the other side you have elizabeth warren, and every single union in this country. >> i do not believe that continuing a set of bad policies policies that are failed makes any sense at all. we need a new direction in trade policy. and the tpp is not that direction. >> millions of jobs paying good wages, and cities and in suburbs and in rural america that have simply disappeared. some have been lost to technology. far too many have been lost to unfair trade practices as jobs are moved overseas. >> so the answer is not only no but hell no. no i'm not going to be doing any single handed trying to
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defeat it. i've told everybody how i feel. that's the way it is. >> so the partly sunny's challenge here is to prove that this will not ship jobs overseas and he can't do that. meanwhile, history tells us u.s. trade agreements are bad for american workers in the economy. there is a ledger. there is a history here. earlier today, richard trumka testified during the hearing on trade. he said this is about the tpp and jobs. >> a climate without a border adjustment, tpp will not stop manufacturing from closing up shops in the united states moving to tpp countries with no carbon reduction scheme. in fact, it will encourage china, not a member of this agreement, to move dirty manufacturing plants to countries that are partners to this and be able to send dirty products back here to the disadvantage of american
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producers. >> trumka and other union leaders have a number of other concerns with the tpp. the deal's investor state settlement would allow multi-national corporations to undermine american law. think about that. does that sound good? does it sound good that the people that work in this building behind me would really have no say over authorities from another country that want to do business in america, and because they're not making the kind of profit they want to make, they can stick it to us legally and we can't do anything about it? let's play to the common sense of the american jury here. does that sound good? senator elizabeth warren said this provision would "allow foreign companies to challenge u.s. laws and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers. that would be your dollars, folks. without ever stepping foot in a united states court. so we're talking about due
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process here in circumventing american law. i ask you the question again tonight. does that sound good? new york attorney general eric sneiderman said the tpp could gut state laws. there are still concerns with labor practices. environmental regulations and transparency in the whole deal. why is it that people on capitol hill haven't been a part of this? enforcement is going to be next to impossible. this country doesn't have a history of telling other countries how to handle their work for us. so how are we beginning to do that? just because barack obama has trade promotional authority? this deal will hijack 40% of the global economy. there won't have to be any other trade deals after this. and there's nothing we're going to be able to do about it if it's bad. which it is. fast track would prohibit congress from making any changes to the trade deal! now, congress should have the right to make changes.
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i mean, what the heck it's a massive trade agreement, that's what you elect him for, right? on the flip side president obama is making the arguments like this. >> what we are doing is negotiating the highest level, highest standard trade agreement in our history, with strong enforceable labor provisions, strong enforceable environmental provisions and i will be able to show when the final agreement is presented, that this is absolutely good for american businesses but for american workers. >> strong enforceable. interesting. the president is saying "trust me." trust me across the board. i know that all the unions in america are wrong because they're against it just on principle and the president said that. that's still lack of meat on the bone. key words there. when the final agreement is
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presented, by that time folks, it's beginning to be too late. president obama and opponents of this trade deal need to prove right now this deal is good for american workers in the economy. so far, they haven't done that. they can't do it. there's a focus on unions in this, but it's just not unions. it's every worker in america that works anywhere for a wage. your wage is going to be challenged by multi-national corporations that will not invest in the american economy. they're going to go where somebody's going to work for nothing. and i haven't heard the president answer that question. i hope he does tonight. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. this is about the american public tonight. ask yourself the question. do you feel you know enough about the tpp and trade promotional authority? you can go to pulse.msnbc.com/ed to cast the vote. that's the profound question. do you think you as an american
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taxpayer know enough about the tpp. let me bring in richard trumka and larry cohen. >> ed thanks for having us on. >> mr. trumka you first. enforceable, i need you to explain where this is enforceable as opposed to other trade deals, because the president says it is. >> this is no different than the same agreement that george bush negotiated on may 10th. it gives us no additional enforceable rights. we were told that violation, murdering a trade unionist or having violence against a trade unionist does not violate these trade agreements. there's no rights to be enforced here. it is what it's always been and
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that's a lot of talk. employers, companies, can use this system to file cases themselves. >> trade disputes. >> correct. >> so if other words, if someone doesn't like what's going on, and they challenge it, what's the recourse? >> they can go through the courts and if they lose to the courts, they go to a private secret tribunal and they can overturn it and give them profits. with us, we have to wait for a government to do this. we do it with guatemala, but it's going six years. we did it in colombia. since the labor chapter was written there, they were told it was strong it was enforceable, it was protectable. since that has happened 105 trade unionists have been killed in colombia and there's no recourse. >> i don't want to overstate the fact that this is an attack on wages. is that correct? >> this agreement covers 40% of the world's gdp. it is designed to expand so that any other country can come into
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this agreement. it's probably the last agreement or could be the last trade agreement we will negotiate. it is flawed. it will result in outsourced jobs. it will result in people losing work. >> now, the president said in an interview last week that these outsourced jobs that's already taken place. that's true. 60,000 factories have closed. but there's still a lot of them out there that we want to save and bring back. he doesn't address currency manipulation. epi says if they address currency manipulation we could get 5.8 million jobs back. this doesn't even address that. >> that's one of the things, mr. cohen, what we've seen in the past is to get restitution on bad trade deals. we have flawed deals in the past don't we?
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>> absolutely. we get reports. very long reports on honduras, on guatemala, on our own situation. they get reparations. i was encouraged to see that in hillary clinton's new book you have to wade through it, on page 509, she questions investors and says we need to look at equalizing the kind of protection businesses have. i would agree with 85% of house democrats. mr. president, we say no to fast track. why should we be the only democracy in the world that has fast track. the other 12 countries, they don't have fast track. their parliament gets to decide whether they agree with it or want to change it. >> mr. cohen, what's your response to the sound byte that we just played for the president where he says basically trust me. he talked about his resume about how he's fought for the middle
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class his entire presidency. what about that? i have said to him, we have said to him, it's not about trust. it's about participation and results. we know how to read the language. our coalition is millions of environmentalists, students, every immigrant rights group. it's not just a labor. none of us agree with him. >> mr. trumka, the chamber of commerce tweeted out today, nearly 40 million american jobs depend on trade. >> well, that's true, but they're going the wrong direction. we've had a $500 billion trade deficit year after year after year after year. ed for every billion dollars in trade deaf significance, you lose 12,000 to 13,000 jobs.
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you do the math. >> so trade deficit with south korea has also skyrocketed. >> doubled. >> 60,000 jobs lost to south korea just since we signed that agreement. >> let me ask you this. if barack obama had been talking about this on the campaign trail, what would that have done to middle class families? what would that have done to union support? i think we can make the case that had he not had union support, he might not have been re-elected or elected to beat john mccain to start with. would that have changed the equation? >> it would have changed the equation with our members. they felt the sting of bad trade deals. they try to make the case that this is either tpp or nothing. it isn't that at all. you can have trade with a company, but have good trade
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rules with that country. our members have felt the sting 60,000 factories have closed in this country since the year 2000. that's hurt our membership. if this position had been brought out, it would have made it far more difficult for us to mobilize our members and get them out to the polls. they may have not voted for the other candidate, but they would not have voted. >> the entire base of the democratic party. all the environmental groups. immigrant rights. the whole base. that's where we are as well. it's all of us. >> gentlemen, thanks for being here tonight. >> thanks ed. >> remember to answer tonight's question at pulse.msnbc.com/ed. we'll have the results for you after the break. follow us on facebook and watch my facebook feature "give me a minute" and you can get my video podcast at wegoted.com. we'll have more on the trade deal and what it means for the backbone of american
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manufacturing. hillary clinton is weighing in. senators bob casey and tammy baldwin join me live. plus big money and the race for the white house. keep it here. we're right back on the ed show.
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here's where we stand on tonight's bing pulse poll. do you feel you know enough about the tpp and trade promotion authority? well, 89% of you 90% of you say no. we're coming right back to the nation's capital here on "the ed show." stay with us. 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. 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. why do we do it?
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why do we spend every waking moment, thinking about people? why are we so committed to keeping you connected? why combine performance with a conscience? why innovate for a future without accidents? why do any of it? why do all of it? because if it matters to you it's everything to us. the xc60 crossover. from volvo. lease the well equiped volvo xc60 today. visit your local volvo showroom for details. we are back. if the transpacific partnership is approved it will impact every aspect of the american economy. technology, the pharmaceutical industry manufacturing, media, agriculture, steel production electronics. wall street loves it. and even mining is going to be affected. when 40% of the global economy is involved everyone has a stake in the deal. for more let me bring in
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senators tammy baldwin of wisconsin. also with us tonight, senator bob casey of pennsylvania. great to have both of you with us tonight. senator baldwin, you first. do your residents know what trade promotional authority is? has there been a lack of knowledge amongst the american public as to the severity and the impact of this decision? >> i think my constituents have vivid recollections of the last go-around of this. they remember very vividly nafta and the fast-track authority that went before that. so those recollections are vivid. they're very curious about whether this has changed at all in the years since. i'm going to be sad to tell them i really don't think it has changed. not only is it frustrating that the fast track hasn't kept up with the times, but in terms of trying to understand what's in the tpp, what's in the trade
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agreement that's being negotiated with the european union, that is next to impossible, even for senators let alone the constituents that i represent in wisconsin. >> senator casey, if it's hard for senators to understand because of lack of access to exactly what's in the deal you're going to be trusting the president of the united states with a real leap of faith if people in the senate go along with this. >> i think people expect us to make sure they have the information they need. unfortunately, the process has been so rushed of late that you can't often get the kind of information out that you want to. we've got to use this time and that's why it's so important to make sure that people know this is really in the end whether it's the trade promotion authority debate or the agreement itself, the transpacific partnership, that it comes down to jobs wages, and once people have the facts, i think they'll understand our
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point of view. >> what doo you think of the president's speech basically saying trust me. i've always been for my middle class. is that enough? >> no it's not enough. nor would it be enough if i said it. it's a very important debate about these issues. after nafta and all the agreements since then the job loss results, not just from trade negotiations. what happens when china joins the wto. years ago, the impact on our state in the six figure job loss. meaning over 122,000 jobs lost. so this is very important, a very important debate. even when we have disagreements within the democratic party. we're supposed to have debates like this. >> yeah. senator baldwin, taking a look at what the president is saying there's not much detail in his
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answers. i mean he's very coy. he's saying trust me you know? look at my presidency. is that enough? i'll ask you the same thing is that enough? that seems to be the primary sales pitch at this point. >> right. and that's what the president is saying. we now have legislation to review. and i would say you can't even trust that. they talk a lot about the objectives in the negotiations. those are just objectives. those are instructions to the negotiators. but there's no guarantee the tpp will contain provisions that make those objectives real. also on enforcement. you just had a great discussion about the lack of enforcement. how can you trust if there's not tools and teeth to be able to make sure that commitments made are commitments going to be kept. >> wisconsin and pennsylvania. two very important states to the democrats in 2016. this is the president addressing the tpp and the threat of outsourcing of jobs.
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here it is. >> companies that are looking for just low-cost labor they've already left. we're already at a disadvantage right now. and the trade agreement i'm proposing would actually strengthen our ability to force other markets open. strengthen our position compared to where we are right now. >> and will workers in your states buy that? that's the fundamental point, isn't it senator? >> it's not about buying the rhetoric. it's about living with the consequences of what we do here. and i'm very concerned that if we eventually see an agreement like tpp come to fruition that we are going to see significant job loss in a manufacturing state like wisconsin where a significant sector of our economy still makes things. provisions like buy america
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where we use taxpayer dollars to support american jobs will be very weakened by this type of trade. >> your thoughts on that senator casey? >> one of the things i'm going to try to do tomorrow is offer an amendment. we have this debate about trade promotion authority. i think the bottom line here in terms of jobs and the impact on wages, we would be having a different discussion today if we had confidence that this process would lead to a level of the playing field. our workers can outcompete anybody in the world if given that level playing field. these agreements don't do that. >> senator bob casey, senator tammy baldwin, great to have you with us tonight. appreciate it so much. coming up why u.s. warships are heading to the coast of yemen. and later, a billionaire backer gives us the real scoop behind reports that he is endorsing scott walker for president. keep it here. we're right back. ow uncomfortable it can be. but did you know that the lack of saliva
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welcome back. unrest is mounting in yemen's civil war. now a u.s. warship is heading to the region. the possible showdown comes at a sensitive time in american-iranian relations. nbc's brian moore has more. >> reporter: with yemen descending into civil war, president obama ordered the aircraft carrier and missile carrier to join an international blockade. the white house still negotiating a nuclear deal with iran. >> the specific mandate of the roosevelt is to ensure the free flow of commerce and the freedom of navigation in this region of the world. >> reporter: the humanitarian crisis in yemen is escalateing as rebelled battle the government. >> by putting our forces offshore not allowing more
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weapons to come into the fight, hopefully we're sending a pretty strong signal that ultimately the best path forward here is talking and diplomacy rather than escalation of this proxy war. >> but it's not without risk. >> this is really now a game of chicken. will the iranians in effect continue their arms flow. will they try to break this blockade. and will in effect the united states carry out its threats? >> reporter: a military show of force aimed at restoring peace in yemen. >> steve clemens, editor at large for the atlantic joins us tonight. how can this not affect or have some kind of profound effect on the nuclear talks? your thoughts? >> i know it will color the environment. and i know it's hard for some people to understand why this wouldn't possibly derail the talks, but the fact is even with the soviet union at the worst of our relationship we were still negotiating arms deals. we'll put these into different boxes because securing a strategic deal with iran has a certain place high in the
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hierarchy of our national security interests. this also matters, but it will be offset by the informal working together that we've been doing with iran against isis in iraq. so i know it seems like it should be related, but we'll keep these in different boxes, and we have a legacy of having done that with other geostrategic challenges particularly the pacific union. >> thanks so much for that. stick around. "rapid response panel is next here on "the ed show." we're right back. stocks end mixed. the dow falls 85 points. the s&p 500 is down three. the nasdaq adds 19.5 points. chipotle is out with earnings that beat estimate but revenue fell short. yahoo reported revenue profits that missed according totargets.
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welcome back. hillary clinton is facing new questions about her time as secretary of state. a soon-to-be published book by a conservative writer is accusing clinton of pay-for-play tactics. they received favors from the state department if they donated to the clinton foundation or hired bill clinton as a speaker. here's what karl rove said about the book. >> the author is a very meticulous detail-oriented person. he's got a good reputation as a conscientious researcher and a careful writer and my suspicion
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is when this book is fully revealed on may 5th this is going to cause a lot of indigestion inside clinton world. >> hillary clinton responded when she was asked specifically about the pay-for-play allegations. >> it is worth noting that the republicans seem to be talking only about me. >> meanwhile, on the republican side, big donors are choosing their candidates. "the new york times" is reporting the billionaire koch brothers are ready to back scott walker. we reached out to david koch. he sent back this statement. >> let me be clear, i am not endorsing or supporting any candidate for president at this point in time. joining me tonight, karen finney senior spokesperson for hillary for america. great to have you with us. >> great to be with you. >> this book is it going to cause consternation within the clinton camp and a problem on the campaign trail? what do you think? >> i don't think so. we made it clear.
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we're going to fight back, but we're going to also try to make sure that our campaign and hillary stay focused, as she talked about, talking about issues talking about people's concerns. i mean you raise some of the concerns and some of the questions that have already been raised about schweizer and his accuracy shall we say. and he even admitted -- and this is one of the things i think is really important. he has admitted he has no proof. and b, makes these insinuations that are partisan-fueled fiction. he tries to insinuate something with regard to the free trade agreement. when she was secretary of state, hillary clinton was not the person making the decision yes or no. so there are a lot of things it's my understanding in the book, where he tries to make these insinuations and i think while it may be a flash in the
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pan, i don't see this you know being what they're saying. >> is hillary clinton going to get in the habit of constantly answering a question about these allegations, or is she going to be done with it at some point? >> i think that's part of what the campaign is for. she addressed it as you pointed out, earlier this week. and again, i think the issue here is these seem to be accusations that are not actually based in fact. it's sort of partisan fiction. and so we're going to triy to make sure she is able to keep focused. the republicans want to talk about her, she wants to talk about ideas. why don't they talk about some ideas? why don't they talk about small businesses and education and their ideas for this country. >> lots of conversation about trade in this town.
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without wigging in for or against the tpp, hillary clinton commented today and i want your reaction. >> any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security. and we have to do our part. we need to make being middle class mean something again. we need to elevate work that is meaningful that can be done to further our economy, our manufacturing sector. >> karen, what is hillary clinton's position on trade promotional authority in the tpp? it sounds like she's favorable to the middle class there. but where's the absolute? is she for or against it? >> i think the absolute ed is because we don't have final language, and i think she believes let's see what's actually ends up in the deal. but i think what the absolute is, the conditions that you heard her just talking about right now in terms of protecting wages. protecting labor. they're environmental concerns.
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they're concerns about currency manipulation. >> so is she for it or against it? she doesn't have enough information at this point to make a decision? there's a lot of people that are wondering where she's going to come down on this. >> well i hear you, but the point she has made is any trade gremt has to meet these two conditions. your guest even pointed out, let's see what's in the final agreement. what is the language? because that's what really matters. that is the point that she's made. >> all right, karen finney, great to have you with us. joining me tonight, bob shrump. also with us mercedes schlap republican strategist and former spokesperson for president george w. bush. mercedes, is this going to be a problem, this clinton connection foundation to the campaign? >> oh, absolutely. it's a huge distraction for the campaign. i've been on a presidential campaign before and any time when a candidate is not able to talk about the issues and the messages they want to push through to the american people it becomes a bigger issue. what we know about peter is he
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caused havoc with his former books of extortion and throw them all out and capitol hill. i can see right now that the clinton campaign is panicking. >> bob, how does she manage this at this point? >> first of all, i don't think she's pan aching. secondly this is the phoniest scandal of all. it's funded by rupert murdock. flaked by rupert murdock. published by rupert murdock. i think there is absolutely no evidence of any quid pro quo from the state department in return for money given to the clinton global initiative. people have raised the question of disclosure, which was agreed to when she became secretary of state. so take the example of algeria. gave 500,000$500,000 to the global initiative to help the victims of the earthquake in haiti. inadvertently, not reported to the state department. but it was right up there on the clinton global initiative website. no one was trying to hide it. >> they did determine there was a violation of the ethics agreement. >> was it disclosed? mercedes, was it disclosed? what was the quid pro quo
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algeria got? name one quid pro quo algeria got? >> no, that's a good point, but we've got to go get to the facts here. the fact that you're talking about the fact that this book is going to just be a distraction for the hillary campaign. >> they're not going to get distracted. people are going straight ahead p. >> when you have "the new york times" and "the washington post" that have these agreements with this author and with the publisher basically saying let's look into it let's see if we can poke holes into his research, i think that's going to determine a lot in terms of what's going to be coming out. >> this guy has a long record of retractions and bad stories. he had this crazy story about the french recruiting a spy from inside the british government. the london "times" looked at it. it completely collapsed. but this will be the pattern in the attacks against clinton.
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kellogg's® frosted mini-wheats®... 8 layers of wheat... and one that's sweet. for the adult and kid in all of us. (supergrass' "alright") plays throughout ♪ kellogg's frosted mini wheats® feed your inner kidult. bring us your baffling. bring us your audacious. we want your sticky notes, sketchbooks, and scribbles. let's pin 'em to the wall. kick 'em around. kick 'em around, see what happens.
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because we're in the how-do-i-get-this-startup- off-the-ground business. the taking-your-business- global-business. we're in the problem-solving business. 400,000 people - ready to help you solve problems while they're still called opportunities. from figuring it out to getting it done we're here to help. $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory south of the border pay a dollar an hour for labor. pay a dollar an hour for your labor. have no health care. that's the most expensive single element. have no environmental controls. no pollution controls. and no retirement. and you don't care about making anything but money. there will be a giant sucking sound going south. >> ross perot sounded the alarm
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on nafta's economic impact more than two decades ago. now a new trade deal that will impact 40% of the world's economy is up for congressional approval. tonight president obama will make the case for the transpacific partnership. we'll hear it first here on msnbc. the president sits down exclusively with my colleague chris matthews tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern to discuss the trade deal and a host of other issues. stick around. there's a lot more coming up after this. and haven't for 35 years. with the hightest standard of animal care in the world, our whales are healthy. they're thriving. i wouldn't work here if they weren't. and government research shows they live just as long as whales in the wild. caring for these whales, we have a great responsibility to get that right. and we take it very seriously. because we love them. and we know you love them too. if you have play dates at your house. be ready to clean up the mess. the kids have fun, but it's pretty gross. (doorbell) what's that? it's a swiffer wetjet.
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and finally tonight, five years after the deep water disaster sent millions of gallons of oil into the gulf of mexico, bp says it is still committed to the region's recovery. >> i grew up in louisiana so i care deeply about the gulf. >> five years ago we made two commitments to help the gulf recover and become a safer company. >> bp has spent nearly $28 billion so far to help the gulf economy and environment. >> and we've toughened safety standards, too, including enhanced safety and 24/7 on shore monitoring of our wells in the gulf. i'm proud of the progress we've made both in the gulf and inside bp. >> while bm has pledged billions of dollars for recovery efforts, the damaging effects of the spill still linger. earlier this year i visited what remains of cat island a barrier island that felt the full impact of the spill. locals are fighting to save this critical piece of the gulf's ecosystem.
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>> the nation the world didn't understand how bad this oil spill was. >> the images were iconic. louisiana state bird covered in oil, a symbol of the gulf disaster. p.j. hahn was there to document it >> the media would get out there before the workers would get out there and once they saw the birds covered in oil gasping for air and the pictures came back we said yeah we'll get some help. >> authorities did not want the media to see that did they? >> absolutely didn't want us to see that and as a -- as an amateur photographer so to speak, i was out there photographing, taking photographs, and i had a lot of the media with me and we happened to catch birds in oil that were trapped in the oil, covered in oil. ♪ >> so if that story had gotten
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out, there may have been more of an intensity to save cat island? >> i believe more intensity to get more equipment down here because we're being told there's a lot of equipment. the problem is they would leave land, load up their boats, and by the time they got on the water it was 11:00 in the morning, and then they only worked until 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon and by the time they got dark they were coming back off. the locals people that were locally hired, those guys worked until the middle of the night, wore lamps on their head just to go out and collect the oil. >> off the coast of louisiana, barriers islands provide a sanctuary for wildlife. >> little groups of islands, they were anywhere between four to six acres in size and there were pelicans and various other types of birds, even endangered species using those islands to nest.e they are far away from any type of predators. now, they had seven to
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eight-foot mangrove trees on the island, so thick you couldn't get on to the island. you could only drive around the islands, couldn't actually get on the islands. it was covered with birds. >> cat island was one of the barrier islands off the coast of louisiana that saw the most damage from the oil spill. >> cat island was ground zero to the oil spill. there's a series of barrier islands that run along the louisiana coast. what happened was the oil came along the west side of the mississippi river, came through what they call quatro bayou pass and as they came through the little islands were there to greet them. >> not that there's a good time for the oil spill, but it was the worst time because the birds were nesting at that time so you had the pelicans and shore birds and a variety of other birds using the islands at the time to nest, and, unfortunately, the oil was coming in so thick that as it covered the mangrove, it would kill the mangrove trees and the other vegetation that were on the islands. >> when the root system dies of any plant out here in the gulf what happens is the land starts
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to fall apart because there's nothing to keep the root systems. >> sure, and then the erosion takes place. >> and then the could be stant wave action and erosion from different storms or just the natural wind and wave action that hit these islands and probing them apart. >> can you believe what you're looking at right now? >> i'm shocked. it's really gut-wrenching. >> this is all that's left of cat island? >> this is it. >> right off the islands when you get into shallow water and the prop starts to run aground a little bit, it kicks up the ground, and this is what comes to the surface. you can actually smell the oil. it's literally amazing. the prop went through there with the two engines, kicked up the surface and there's the oil. it comes right to the surface, and it stinks. birds are still on these islands coming in here and feeding, so you can just imagine the contamination that takes place within the wildlife. as the island slowly disappears
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so might the migratory birds that have made the island their breeding ground. >> we've lost of the pelican which is our state bird back in the '60s due to ddt. louisiana's only got six bird islands left and they are all disappearing. u.s. wildlife and fisheries did studies on the birds and discovered that what happens is when these birds are born on these islands, they imprint to those islands. they will come back every year year after year to those same islands. >> they are going to move where they have to move. it's just that you know we're running out of operations for them to go to. >> if we don't start rebuilding these islands and it's the small little habitat for them we're going to lose the pelican again because of habitat. >> there is a massive effort now being put forth to restore this to bring it back to its nature position. >> so your goal is to rebuild cat island? >> absolutely. >> which is going to take how much? >> $6 billion. we've been able to raise $3 million, and we've got a great cooperation. our new parrish president, amos
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cormier, has decided to step up the pace and help as well by using some of the funding that the parrish has, so we've got money that we've cobbled together from donations. i know we can bring it back. we've got to bring it back. i mean it -- the birds are depending on this thing. it's going to be a -- a beautiful bird sanctuary once it gets completed. >> and they are getting support from some unlikely sources. >> shell oil put up $1 million to help us rebuild this island. they are not all bad. they are not all bad. >> yeah. >> this actually at one time belonged to apache oil, and apache oil, i approached them to donate to the parrish and they did. >> what has bp done to restore it? >> nothing. >> not a dime. >> not a dime. it's a shame that we have to pay for something that we had no responsibility of committing this. >> we've reached out to bp and invited representatives to join us here on "the ed show" and declined our invitation. you can see their full statement
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on our website at ed.msnbc.com. politics nation with al sharpton begins right now. we start with breaking news protesters under way outside the western district police station in baltimore. hundreds have gathered in what so far appears to be peaceful demonstrations over the death of 25-year-old freddy gray. those protests starting just about an hour ago. it all comes on the same day the justice department announced it's looking into gray's death for possible civil rights violations. the 25-year-old suffered a severe spinal cord injury allegedly in police custody. cell phone video captures the moments after freddy gray was

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