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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  April 26, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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ngieslist.com. no more calling around. no more hassles. and you don't even have to be a member to start shopping today. angie's list is revolutionizing local service again. visit angieslist.com today. struck again. a major aftershock shakes nepal as teams intensify efforts to rescue those trapped by the first quake. a live report next. the white house hack. a new report on how russians were apparently reading some of president obama's emails. in the past few hours, a new response from the clinton foundation to questions of its transparency over donations. those details up next. plus -- >> my advisers asked, mr. president, do you have a bucket list? i said, well i have something that rhymes with buck the list. >> oh he does. laugh lines in the next hour. hear some of the funniest
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moments from the annual inside the beltway soiree. very good day to you. it's high noon in the east, nine in the west. welcome, i'm in for alex witt. a strong aftershock shook nepal as the death toll is at more than 2,500 people three americans now dead. the aftershock measured at 6.7. the strong tremors sent people running into the street. yesterday's quake measured 7.9. rescue teams are frantically searching for survivors as relief workers and supplies arrive from nearby countries. nbc's kelly cobiella is monitoring the situation from london. and by any count, even a 6.7 is very large. >> reporter: and very frightening, particularly for the people who have already gone through this 7.8.
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and considering how many buildings are at risk of falling down there, at least 17 of the dead were on mt. everest. the number of missing unknown. the danger still very real. those strong aftershocks this morning triggered more avalanches on mt. everest. and in kathmandu, there's a very real risk of building falling down. as daylight broke over nepal, rescuers searched for miracles survivors in the endless rubble spread across the country. [ siren ] >> reporter: some were pulled out alive, but the number of dead and injured tons climb. thousands are being treated at makeshift hospital. with at least 20 aftershocks rattling the region, people are sleeping and living in streets and parks. on mt. everest rescues are beginning. the quake struck at the height of the climbing season. and hundreds of climbers many westerners, remain stranded at base camps and worried about
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aftershocks and more avalanches. >> we just felt fresh tremors here. big pieces of ice just came down from this glacier today. it didn't seem so good. >> reporter: climber daniel mazur tweeting aftershock at 1:00 p.m. horrible here in camp one. avalanches on three sides. c1, a tiny island. we worry about ice fall team below. alive? more than 1,000 were on the mountain when the main quake struck triggering a massive avalanche. some hiding behind boulders as the snow barrelled down. 17 are believed to have died making it the deadliest day in everest history. >> this is how we get ready for everest. >> reporter: among them google engineer dan fredenberg his second everest trek. >> avalanche came through the camp, and he seemed all right at first. but then wasn't. and then he ultimately passed away. >> reporter: actress sophia bush once dated freddenberg.
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she tweeted, "there are no adequate words. today i find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart." today, injured sherpas were brought off the mountain. many still waiting to hear whether their loved ones survived. some experts have been warning of a massive, catastrophic earthquake in nepal for decades. with shoddy construction and an area prone to strong shallow earthquakes, they say it was a matter of when, not if. >> nbc's kelly cobiella with this report. thank you very much. in a few minutes, we'll get a report from more than's chief foreign correspondent, richard engle. he's just arrived at a makeshift camp of earthquake survivors trying to cope with the disaster. a new report claiming president obama's e-mail has been read by russian hackers. "the new york times" was told by senior official that some of the president's electronic correspondence was swept up by the hackers in a breach of the white house's unclassified computer system. nbc's kristen welker is at the white house on this sunday.
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what too we know about the security breach? >> reporter: well, according to "the new york times," russian hackers swept up far more information from the white house's unclassified servers during a cyberattack last october than originally thought, even gaining access to some of the president's emails. it's important to stress these were unclassified emails. still, the hackers could is gained access to sensitive scheduling information, e-mail exchanges with diplomats even discussions about legislation. when asked about the "times" story, the white house told me they have no comment at this time. the hacking in october led to a partial shutdown of the white house e-mail system. the hackers appear to have been kicked off of the systems by mid-october, but they continued to pose problems for the state department systems. this isn't the first time the president has been hacked. during the 2008 election hackers broke in to then-senator obama and mccampaign's campaign computer systems. now this latest incident raises serious questions about the security of the president's emails. one official telling me that
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hacker tried to break into the computer systems here at the white house almost every day and countering that threat is an ongoing and ever-pressing challenge. back to you. >> at the white house on this sunday, kristin welker. thank you very much. street demonstrations turned violent on saturday, protesters upset over the death of freddie gray. it forced a shutdown at camden yards after the game. fans staying inside for safety. tom costello has more. >> reporter: in the streets of downtown baltimore violent clashes with police late saturday as isolated pockets of demonstrators, several hundred in all, blocked intersections, smashed car windows and storefront vandalized police cars, and faced off against officers who responded in force using pepper spray to push them back. >> can you all please please stop the violence. freddie gray would not want this. >> reporter: one week after 25-year-old freddie gray died of
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a fatal spinal cord injury he suffered in police custody the week's peaceful protests ended in confrontation and arrests. >> i am profoundly disappointed to see the city, to see the violence in our city this evening. >> reporter: the police department's strained relationship with its citizens on full display. police commissioner anthony batts was in the crowds trying to keep temperaturers in check, holding hands. he himself has acknowledged that his department has a lot of work to do. >> we're a police department that phase many struggles and many challenges. over the years we have had a number of incidents that have tarnished this badge and the reputation of this department. >> reporter: a wake for gray is set for later today as the people on the streets are still asking how did freddie gray die and who is responsible. this city could be in for a long week. with police not expected to hand over the results of their investigation to prosecutors
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until friday. tom costello, nbc news, baltimore. joining us, jane miller investigative reporter at wb la and activeist and chief of strategy for alum communications. jane, a new investigation by the "baltimore sun" out, as you probably saw points to key gaps in the 45-minute timeline. tom costello asking the question, what are some of the answers to those gaps. what happened and how did he die? what gaps stand out in your reporting that you have seen? >> well the question of the 45-minute fap is not new at all. we've known from the beginning that freddie gray was in the custody of the baltimore police department for 45 minutes. we have some answers as to what happened when in that time frame. obviously, the key question is what is it that happened in the time he was in their custody to cause a fatal spinal cord injury. and the problem is that there's no video inside that police wagon. there's no witness inside the police wagon except the driver
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of the van until much later in the trip. so there's -- the 45-minute time frame, it's not a gap so to speak. there are periods of -- key in a moment that period -- >> within the 45 minutes. that's right. >> correct. and maybe they will and maybe they won't ever be answered. there's no guarantee. i -- >> you pinpointed the van -- >> go ahead, jeff. >> i also think we're not asking the critical question about before the 45 minutes because when six men on top of you -- i don't think we're asking the right questions around the amount of force that was used during the arrest. while he was being restrained and how that played a role in any injuries prior to going in the van. i think people have speculated about that as a result of the video that look like his legs may not be -- he may not be able to use his leg. i think there's a real question about the kind of force that was used prior to him getting inside the van. and if we're not talking about that, we're really missing the
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real issue, too, around the use of force in this department. >> can i interject -- >> to that point, the tapes. we don't have that information yet, the 911 calls, the dispatch discussions. that's been part of what critics have been asking for to fill in gaps within the 45-minute time period as well as before. jane? >> yeah, and can i raise one thing? even before that there's a very important question here as to whether he should have been seized in the first. >> right. >> in other words, the initial stop -- >> absolutely -- >> was -- he was chased down the street and stopped. at this point, of there probable cause to put him on the ground handcuff him, and then search him to find this knife which may or may not be an illegal -- we don't know yet. >> right. >> there's even before the -- i'm going to say this because we've done a lot of reporting on this. we have reported on this is
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there is no other injury to him except those injuries related to the spinal cord injury, the breaking of the neck, and then the partial severance of the spinal cord. there is no broken other bones, none of that. there's no bruising on his body that would explain other things. that is what we're working with. and that's why we have focused our reporting since this happened all the way back on april 12th we have focused our reporting on what may have happened once he's in the wagon. >> one of the questions i was asked by the "baltimore sun" in their investigation today was let's look at some missed opportunities by the police, it's been discussed before to gather certain pieces of evidence like the convenience store video that was taped over because police did not ask for it on their same-day visit. instead, they asked for the tape a week later. as you have been there, jeff what are the residents asking? what are they saying we want to know specifically? >> the residents want as much
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information as they can get. they want to see what they perceive to be a greater level of transparency from the police department. still knowing that there was one police officer that hadn't been interviewed, hadn't made a statement. that those statements had not been released at this point. i think that there is just a total and complete lack of trust on the part of the community of city leadership. they don't know who to trust and don't feel like the system is transparent. i think if as we hear more and more quantified information come out from these investigations, people may not be happy it it. but there's going to be answers at the least that people can respond to. >> so that's a very good point made there, jeff. as we look at the parallels of other recent incidents and in recent discussions although it's months later when we look at ferguson where was the trust, no trust of the police officials, no trust of government officials, no trust of the press itself. is that full dynamic being played out there in baltimore, as well jane? >> i wouldn't say fully.
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there's -- i think that there's been -- we have done a lot of reporting on this story and have gotten information out in the public over the past two weeks. it raises critical questions. what this boils down to is what do we know. we know that police officers did not secure him in the police wagon once he was handcuffed and shackled, as required by policy. we know that there were two or three times, according to police commanders now, that they probably should have called for medical attention before he ever gets to the district. i'm going to throw another monkey wrench into this because on friday we reported that according to the information we've gotten from the medical reports and from the calls for ambulances, there was even confusion with that. so when the paramedics finally get dispatched to go to the district, where he is still in the van and unresponsive, it doesn't -- the call doesn't go out for an unresponsive man. goes out for a guy with a broken arm. >> right. >> that's a very different kind of call for the paramedics.
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they're not expecting to find someone who's barely alive. >> that's why the tapes are so key here that i was alluding to earlier. we'll see when that does come out. i want to finish with you here jeff. who do baltimore residents trust there? >> i think you have to ask them that. i think depending on which community you'll hear different answers. there have been activists that have been on the ground. they're not national folks. they're folks that have been local. there are young people that engage those communities. let's be honest much of the baltimore community, especially the baltimore community around the western district is not the baltimore community that people care about. and so if you're not within the shadow of the inner harbor or fells point or harbor east, in many cases, those citizens feegl neglected. it's local leaders, not necessarily institutional leaders young people are looking to. if you look at the people leading the protests yesterday, they're not part of large-scale organizations, they're not large-scale pastors. and so outside of reverend jamal bryant, may be one of the most
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recognizable pastors, i think the young people have their own leaders who they're looking to and have a whole new process for how they're going to lead the protests moving forward. you've got young people from ferguson and other parts of the country that are now here. what the danger -- dangerous thing to be careful of is who are the out-of-town agitators that in many cases want to see violence take place, verse white house are just angry young people from baltimore that are acting out of a great deal of frustration that's larger than freddie gray. >> much larger. >> but is part of decades' long abuse and neglect in a city that they love but don't feel like loves them back. >> well said. jeff johnson, thank you very much. jane miller, thank you. great reporting and bringing us the latest on what you're doing there at wbal. appreciate you both. >> thank you. the clifton foundation is responding to allegations about its tax returns -- the clinton administration is responding to allegations it its tax returns. and the fight for marriage equality returns to the highest court this week. what issue could factor into the
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ultimate decision, next. first, a look at one of the funniest jokes from last night's white house correspondents dinner. here's president obama talking about how he copes with the stress from his schedule. >> never easy i still have to fix a broken immigration system issue veto threats negotiate with iran, all while finding time to pray five times a day. [ laughter ]
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it's an honor to think that my love for john his love for me and our decision not to take it and to stand up and say we matter, we count it's humbling
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to know that that could result in marriage quality from coast to to coast. >> that was the lead plaintiff heading to washington as the supreme court begins to debate gay marriage. tuesday, justices will hear arguments related to six cases from ohio, kentucky, michigan and tennessee. the states are fighting to uphold gay marriage bans voters approved. >> i think it's best left to the states. that's how we come to a consensus in this country. as abortion remains an issue every election 3 4 years later, it will continue to be an issue. >> as long as you don't restrict it, everybody's treated equal under the constitution. what you can't do is you can't say some people are second class. >> joining me editor of scotusblog.com. thanks for being here, amy. what a week this could be. what happens tuesday in the 400-seat courtroom which you know so well what will you be
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looking for? will it be the so-called swing vote of justice kennedy? is it going to be argument made around 194th amendment? what are you -- the 14th amendment? what are you looking for? >> it's like a broken record, but in all of the high-profile cases we're watching justice anthony kennedy closely. that's going to be the case on tuesday. he's been the author of the last couple of major gay rights decisions. and we can say the former liberal justices will be on board to hold that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. so we're really going to be watching justice anthony kennedy. you know two years ago in the proposition 8 case, the skaurt heard oral -- security heard oral argument it just didn't decide. he said what about the children what happens to the children of same-sex couples if they're treated differently. what about the children in the sense of what do we know about the effects on children of being
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the children of same-sex families. he's not the kind of justice who plays devil's advocate in oral argument. he voices what's on his mind. we're going to be watching closely. >> 37 states as you know now allow same-sex marriage. what else tells you that the court might rule in favor of same-sex marriage, and then if they do how might conservative chief justice roberts based on what he writes, with against the same-sex supporters and what they want? >> sure. so basically i was here back in october, after the court's decision two years ago in a case called united states versus windsor. lower courts all over the country started striking down state bans on same-sex marriage. so when the court came back from its summer recess last fall, it had a bunch of requests from states not the states involved on tuesday to take up the lower court decisions striking down bans. the supreme court said no. and what that meant was that same-sex marriages, tens of
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thousands, started happening all over the country. you know, one of the states that had asked the security to weigh in was virginia. the supreme court said no at 9:30. by 1:00 a.m. in day, same sex couples were getting married in virginia. i think that more than anything else was the signal that the supreme court is heading toward a ruling in favor of the challenges. striking down these bans. it's really hard to put the genie back in the bottle and say we've had these tens of thousands of same-sex marriages, but we're not going to have them anymore. >> chief justice roberts, as he writes, what could he do to moderate that development? in favor of same-sex marriage if that does happen? >> yeah. there's not a lot -- i funding there are five justices the four liberals and anthony kennedy the most likely fifth vote to say these state bans are unconstitutional. i'm not sure there's a whole lot that he could write. one possibility, the supreme court is not hearing just the question of whether or not states can ban same-sex marriage.
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they're also hearing the question of whether or not a state like tennessee, one of the states at the oral argument on tuesday, can refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who got married somewhere else. they flew maryland, got married, and moved back to tennessee. there's a suggestion that that's the fallback argument. if the justices were to hold that there's no right to same-sex marriage in every state, but states have to recognize the other same-sex couples' marriage from other states, that could be sort of a middle ground. i'm not sure there's much the dissent can say if there are five justices on board for same-sex marriage. >> a lot of eyes ears listening tuesday. and amy howell's two ears listening to. that thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. stop calling it nerd prom okay? we'll talk to one writer who says the annual white house correspondents dinner is anything but that.
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the transpacific trail deed will be discussed when the president hosts shinzo abe at the white house this week. the president appearing to win high marks in the leadership poll around the world. the 45% approval of the highest among the powers, the lowest, russia. it would just a 22% rating. the zillow study finds the highest property taxes in west chester points. the median tax bill almost $14,000. folks in tunica mississippi, the lowest at $216. a new report onary fares shows prices are 9.5% cheaper than a year ago. people flying out of ft. myers florida, last month concrete treated to the biggest drop, 5%. the increase was the highest in dalai lama dallas.
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people don't want to go inside their buildings, they don't want to sleep inside. they are sleeping in open areas, in parks. almost every green space in the city has been turned into a campground. families with cooking pots and their children are living on the sidewalks, living in the middle of the streets because they don't want to be near the buildings. a lot of the buildings in the city are made of brick, made of concrete. because of the aftershocks, bits and pieces of the building, entire walls in some cases, are still falling down. you don't want to be anywhere near them. we felt one of the aftershocks this morning, quite a strong one, 6.7. we had just arrived in the country, were at the airport. the building started to shake, we were going through immigration at the time. the customs official and immigration officials ran away. they ran for cover. then after a few minutes, they came back and business went more or less back to normal. and i must say the people here
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in nepal have been incredibly calm about all of this. we haven't seen a lot of fighting, no evidence of looting, there's a -- you could see they're distributing food, families living together so i would say there's been a very relaxed atmosphere for what has certainly been a national tragedy. nbc news kathmandu, nepal. >> thank you very much. just in to us here at msnbc, from the acting ging ging ceo of the clinton administration to the ongoing disclosure of contributions. in this letter posted titled "a commitment to honesty, transparency and accountability." posted to the clinton foundation website today. this sunday. the acting ceo in the letter writes about past tax forms saying "we will likely re-file forms for some years." while some have suggested this indicates a failure to accurately report our total revenue, that is not the case. the total revenue was accurately
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reported on each year's form. our error was that government grant were mistakenly combined with other donations." also written, "yes we made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do. we are acting quick three remedy them." that's what she wrote. lauren fox of "the national journal" and phillip bump from the "washington post." if i'm reading this correctly, and i read through it a couple of times, government grant, according to what was written, was combined with other donations. that's what i'm paraphrasing there. does this mean certain donations you think have not been accurately name thursday? >> well, i think we have to wait and see as they re-file tax claims that they need. to what this does this opens hillary clinton up to more suspicion about, you know, government money that was raised through the clinton froungz through the governments -- fungz ss foundation and through the governments, it's alleged that
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clinton as secretary of state created favors for foreign governments. a lot of mainstream news organizations that have exclusives with the book's author i think certainly it's going to be a rough couple of weeks for the clinton campaign as they try to get ahead and try to make their case on the ground for the campaign. >> let me work off your lead there. i want to play a little from what the author of the book "clinton cash," that you're alluding to said this week. let's listen. >> what's important to note it was confirmed on thursday by the new york times and the "wall street journal" that there are multimillion dollar non-disclosed donations that were made to the clinton administration that were never disclosed by the clintons. this is a direct breach of an agreement they signed with the white house. >> the clinton camp put out a statement saying there's no shred of evidence that secretary clinton took any action to help the clinton foundation. fill up, to you on this in the end, is this really about disclosure of donations and not really influence in the broader scope? the clinton camp claims there
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are no dots to connect here. >> right. i mean, it's true. there's a lot of smoke. there isn't any fire. i think the statement today was intended to dissipate some of the smoke. a lot of the issues that we're dealing with here are very nuanced and intricate financial transactions. there's a gentleman who is canadian who used to own the company, at the center of the story. he got a commitment to get money contributed to his philanthropic efforts, then that came during the time that they weren't supposed to be accepting donations. it wasn't reported because it was in canada. there's a lot of intricacy to this. i think the point that ms. fox made is the right one, that people look at this aren't like what is happening, what -- i see all this smoke, something must be under that. granted clinton's numbers are declining in part because she's a candidate, so she's getting attacked more. recent polls show more than half of americans don't find her trustworthy. that's partly this partly the e-mail stuff. and that's not what she wants to see. >> you're saying smoke. lauren, what do you make of this short explanation posted just today on this sunday, the day
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after the white house correspondents dinner, the foundation ergo the hillary clinton camp, are they confident or worried about the developing narrative that's been -- now kicking off a new week? >> well, i think that there is a concern that a narrative is building. that hillary clinton isn't trustworthy. like phillip said we've seen some campaign numbers showing that voters have serious issues that the clintoning think they don't have the same -- the clintons think they don't have the same rules applying to them as to the rest of the americans. in polls that's a revealing question to look for. they want to get ahead of this. i not that's what we would expect from any campaign that's facing allegations against them. certainly this is an intricate and difficult sort of issue to be deciding. you know one week into it. >> and it's not a friday dump. it's here on a sunday as we begin a new news cycle. phillip, have you read the letter? the. >> i have. >> it says fill an therapy has changed over the -- philanthropy has changed over the past 15
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years, and now includes government and nongovernment entities and things that were not part of philanthropy 15 years ago. basically saying the foundation is evolving with the evolving fill an therapyphilanthropyic standards. what do you think? >> i think it's true. the clinton foundation's role was effective, it has got a lot of money for charitable organization, got a lot of money for the clintons particularly bill prior to hillary's having left the state department. i think that at the end of it, voters aren't going to pay attention to the nuance. they aren't going to pay attention to the details. i think the clinton campaign is happy to have cgi, the clinton global initiative release the letter. it keeps them separate from the campaign. this is a cgi problem, not a hillary clinton campaign problem. voters aren't going to see that. >> phillip since this is your column or in a column this week i want to get this to you. you rail against calling that beltway extravaganza that was
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just alluded to last night the n red prom. i was -- the nerd prom. i was teasing it's not, stop calling it this. >> yeah. it's -- calling it nerd prom the analogy i use is if a bunch of football players and cheerleaders decided they would join the chess club to burnish credentials for college. this hollywood celebrities going. if it were newt gingrich and elizabeth warren sitting quietly and telling jokes, maybe that's a nerd prom. this is hollywood celebrities, media people, god police everyone in the media, of course. it is nothing to do with nerds. there's a self-effacing aspect that's sort of d.c. culture like. oh, come on, we can fight the power. it's the most powerful room in the country that night. >> to you, lauren, quickly. thumbs up or thumbs down? should we call this full of nerds or no? >> i think that there's just too many celebrities and too many great dresses throughout. >> too many great dresses -- >> that you can call it the nerd prom. >> i enjoyed talking to you. appreciate your time. lauren phillip have a great
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erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. ask your doctor about viagra. a recent gallup poll shows more americans show themselves as politically independent rather than wed to a party. the two major parties at this moment polarized. why focus on just the two major nominees? a republican and democrat? no strong third party or candidate has bubbled up as of yet. in the late 20th century, there were several that did bubble up john anderson, ross perot, and ralph nader. nader has been on the ballot at least five times. in 2000 he got nearly three million votes as the green party nominee. consumer advocate and former presidential nominee ralph nader joins us. good day you to. your book, "return to sender: unanswered letters to the president," interesting premise
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here. so mr. nader, tell me this we'll get to the book in a second, but as i was talking about, a third-party candidate, today's "philadelphia enquirer" column saying change the 15% poll rule. you have to get that to be in the debates. is that keeping good third-party candidates from getting traction over time from voters across the country? >> very much so. it's the only way because they're not multibillionaires that they can reach tens of millions of people by being on the same stage as the other candidates. if they qualify to be on the ballot, if enough states have the votes to win, they should be allowed. in canada norway a lot of countries have five six seven eight on the stage. look at the republican primary in 2012. they had eight nine on the stage. >> do you have one name you're watching for 2016, independent candidate? >> well i'd like to say bernie sanders do, it i would like to see jill stine, dr. jill stein, harvard grad on the green party. >> now to your book, it's about more than what, 100 unanswered
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letters that you sent to two presidents president obama and president george w. bush. and in one of those letters, you wrote this -- this is about syria and to president obama. you say, little did your fellow harvard law review editors who elected you to lead that venable journal imagine that you could be a president who chronically violates the constitution. federal statutes, international treaties, and the separation of powers at depths equal to or beyond the george w. bush regime. what kind of response did you want from president obama? >> i wanted a legal response. what is a legal authority of the president to overthrow the rumors in libya, to send drones anywhere in the world, crossing national bore terseders-- boreders where they're not supposed to be. battling dictators with hundred
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tabular bill crates shipped by the froerve places like kandahar. it's a total anarchy and side steps congress seriously. this book focuses a lot on the proper separations of powers that our founders envision. it's just being destroyed. in terms of heavy concentration in the presidency. our founders didn't want another king george. >> you wanted a legal answer. the book's subtitle here is "unanswered letters to the president." the "washington post" calls your letters, and i'll quote "rude and bizarre." where why do you could they ignored your messages? did they think it was rude and bizarre? >> no, they're a couple that were tough and candid and forthright. sometimes you shouldn't fudge your words. but most of them are substantive. anybody who buys eats, pays taxes, who works, who has to go abroad in the armed services will be interested in the letters in this book. it illustrates higher expectations for our president
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that letters should be promoting. what presidents are doing, not doing, what they don't know about inside their own government or around the country. it's a popular media, and it should be respected. letters to your president. >> and so mr. nader, it sounds like you're not going to give up 100, give up 200 maybe? >> i'm going to continue to write my president. i think that's a duty of citizenship. and i don't think one out of eight people have ever written to their president. and the more they feel that they're never going to get acknowledged the way the prime minister of canada at least acknowledges a letter they'll be less likely to express their views. >> okay, you just started writing letters. you also do talk about how it letter-writing tradition goes back to thomas jefferson and president adams. how has letter writing changed? do you think it might have been replaced by social media? twitter? the 140 characters? >> you're right. it is twitter, emails. i think the white house has a limit of 2,500 characters. it doesn't really allow for
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deliberation. the same is true for congress. most senators don't reply to substantive letters. they have robo signed letters or will go for constituent service like losing a social security check or veteran's check. they're closing off the public that want to express itself. that's when this book is about. it's not fun, you know putting yourself out and saying i've written over 100 letters they haven't answered. >> right. last question one word to describe 2016 and the election. >> mono cultured. if the democrats persist in the hillary clinton monoculture, it's extremely dangerous politically. if she falters they don't have a plan b, they don't have a vibrant primary. >> a man of more than 100 letters, thank you very much for your time today. >> thanks. nearly 17 million people watched the bruce jenner interview. how much impact will it ultimately have on tolerance and
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acceptance of transgender people? and in case you're wondering where alex of last night, look no further, my friends. there she is right there. uh-huh. she hosted the white house correspondents dinner on msnbc. she met up with olympians terra lipinski and john weir on the red carpet. alex alex, you look marvelous. also marvelous, the president's joke about him nearing the end of his presidency. take a listen. >> and welcome to the fourth quarter of my presidency. [ laughter ] >> it's true i -- [ laughter ] >> that was michelle cheering. [ laughter ] >> fact is i feel more loose and relaxed than ever. those joe biden shoulder massages, they're like magic. [ laughter ]
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it got the most social media reaction of all time for a friday non-sports broadcast. "people" magazine bruce jenner's interview with diane sawyer. >> for all intents and purposes i am a woman. people look at me differently, they see you as this macho male. my heart and soul and everything that i do in life, at this part of me. that female side is part of me. >> why now. >> i just can't pull the curtain any longer. >> joining us, a member of the board of g.l.a.d., and author of "she's note there. -- "she's not there." i don't know where the other picture came from. thank you for being with us. we'll see shortly. as we look at that video and you were part of this production with abc -- >> indeed -- >> you were speaking with them as they were having the interviews along the way.
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then you saw in the final production, very personal story very much, he could have kept it to himself as he went through the process. now we have an insight into what he's thinking as well as those who care about him. where's he at? >> the first thing to say, this was spectacular, it made a huge impression -- i think everyone who watched this show sudden leely thought, oh, my goodness i know somebody who's transgender. it's been a problem because people think this is something they don't know. now they know someone, and it's someone they feel strongly it. there's a lot of love for bruce jenner. >> that's it. there that surprised you, that love for bruce jenner. we know the narrative. coming from reality tv and all of those machinations and now this straightforward, very good -- a lot of people loving the interview and what they learned. people saw someone who seemed earnest, who seemed serious, who
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was gentle who had a sense of humor. and above all, someone who seemed very much like themselves. it reminds me there's a thing oscar wild once said, be yourself, everyone else is already taken. >> very well said. and you are that. you wrote in your memoir about life as a transgender person. that -- this process and that thinking. what do you see in terms of similarities and differences from the bruce jenner story? >> from my own life and bruce jenner's? >> right. >> when i won the decathalon back in -- >> you were on chart to say as those watch the story of bruce jenner can they make any associations with the non-bruce jenners? >> jenner looks in a very particular world, not just as someone who's part of the kardashian universe but someone as established as an american hero. as a champion. so i don't have that much in common with that. but what is universal and even if you're not trans you know
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the struggle to become yourself you know the idea that often in life there is a dragon that stands between you and the person that you need to become. and we -- i think we saw bruce uner slay the dragon. -- bruce jenner slay the dragon. >> thank you very much for your memoir and perspective. >> a pleasure. >> thank you very much. that will do it this hour. i'm richard lieuy in for alex witt. -- richard lui in for alex witt. next, taking the hill with patrick murphy. you know i tried one of those bargain paper towels. but the roll just disappeared. bounty is 2x more absorbent so one roll lasts longer.
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