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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  May 15, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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railroad to nbc tom costello. >> what do you say to americans that ride this northeast corridor everyday and may be worried about how safe it is? >> it's a safe railroad. new called arms from the leader u.s. hoped was injured or dead. how safe is the homeland from an isis attack? >> we're in a new phase of the global terrorist threat. we have to be concerned about the independent actor. the threat has evolved. >> we'll talk to former ceo deputy director about isis, hillary and benghazi and his new book. ♪ ♪ and the thrill is gone. lester holt on the king of the blues, bb king, idol and
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inspiration. one of the legendary of our time dead at age 89. >> people call me king of the blues. i've heard it many, many times. do you think i think that? no, i do not. it's a lot of people that can do exactly what i do. a lot of them can do it better. they're just not me. ♪ ♪ good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. we begin with breaking news. a recovery operation in nepal. a u.s. marine helicopter found in the quake devastated mountains tuesday night after taking off on a relief mission
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with americans on board. a u.s. military official said after a survey of wreckage, there's no indication anyone could have survived the crash. in the last hour, president obama honored the men for putting their lives at risk to aid others. >> as we gather today, our prayers remain with families of our marines and two nepalese soldiers as their helicopter has been found in a remote part of nepal. they went to that a remote land to help people suffering loss this is the terrible earthquake. they represent a truth that guides our work around the world. our friends are in need america helps. >> a very sad day. >> indeed. even though they located the wreckage, it's not clear they've
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recovered all victims a board that helicopter. lieutenant marine corps general said the nature of the crash makes it clear no one could have survived. they've only recovered perhaps the three victims found inside the helicopter and since been removed. because of the conditions there are so stark it's on the side of a mountain in a heavily wooded area. there are 30 miles per hour winds at least, sub zero temperatures. in fact, heavy thunderstorms and lightning that they had to call off the recovery efforts today. so they will be back there tomorrow. they were only eight miles from
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the place they took off. it took three day, hundreds of hours of aerial searches to eventually locate this wreckage. it's in a very dangerous area. again, the idea that anybody has survived is likely out of the question. the marine corps is now no longer calling it search and rescue. they're calling it a recovery operation. >> jim with the sad details. thank you very much. the first funeral is underway for one of the eight victims of amtrak train 188. 20-year-old justin zemser is buried with full military honors. 150 ship men are attending the the service on long island. the flag outside the naval academy flies at half staff. the investigation continues. ntsb could speak with engineer brandon bostian as early as
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today. we're learning the train was accelerating before the engineer hit the brake moments before he hit the curve before the train derailed. tom costello is in philadelphia. you've been all over this story all week. what have we learned today about the train and the conditions leading into that acceleration and the braking and the fact he was going twice as fast as would have been expected going into the curve. >> reporter: yeah, couple of things. first of all, one headline is nbc news has learned they are attempting to interview the engineer today. that's the plan. we'll see if that comes to as the day wears on. you talk about the speed. they mentioned in the minute leading up to this crash it was getting faster and faster. 16 seconds before derailment, he was at 100 miles per hour and still accelerating. the question becomes well why? was he simply not paying
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attention to speed? ntsb indicated so far when they've done checks of the tracks and of the train itself and of the switches, everything seems to have been operating normally. no anomalies is what they say. then you look at was he distracted? the attorney representing him said no, he had his cell phone turned off in a bag. the philadelphia police have gained a search warrant to look at his cell phone records. they want to verify there were no text messages or phone calls happening just before the crash. to make sure he didn't have more than one device, they'll look at all potential device to see if there was history of texting and phone calls. also a lawsuit. the first lawsuit has been filed in this case. it comes from one of the amtrak employees who was actually off duty riding the train. he was thrown violently about. he claims he suffered significant injuries including
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brain trauma. he and his family are suing amtrak. there's a problem here. federal law caps the maximum amount of money that can come from a single incident at $200 million. everybody suing on this incident for example, the maximum payout is $200 million. divide that by 243 people, less than $1 million per person. some died, some suffered horrendous terrible juries still in the hospital. others walked away. this is going to have to navigate through the courts. that would take an awful long time. the immediate concern is getting mr. bostian's testimony. ntsb doing that today. the hope is they would be able to reopen the section of the northeast corridor tuesday, fully reopen it. when i was on the tracks yesterday interviewing ceo, they had made progress. they have now removed all cars down there all damaged cars. they had to rebuild all the cat
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claw what they call them, massive structures up and down the corridor. it's a big, big job. they'll continue to work through the weekend. they hope to be back up and running full force tuesday. >> thank you so much tom. joining me now is a veteran amtrak locomotive engineer and officer who operated trains on the exact route. thank you very much for being with us today. first of all, what conditions could explain this acceleration? >> well, the -- let me start by saying this is my route. this is the route that i worked across throughout my career. >> you know that curve? >> absolutely. there are three curves in the distance between washington and new york city that have special concerns because there can be change of speed up to 50 miles
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per hour or more depending on your equipment. that's one of them. that situation only exists in the westbound direction. the direction he was traveling on train 188, the track speed would be from 80 miles per hour all the way up to the point where it becomes 50 miles per hour. so the acceleration in one respect is to be expected. a normal operation in that situation is to go up from 60 to 65 in a curve out to 80 and down to 50. all that operation takes place in a very short distance, short amount of time. >> up to 106. that's what i don't understand. >> exactly. that means for some reason in the really critical number of seconds that are necessary, braking did not begin. i don't know why that is.
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i can tell you this is appropriate up to less than two miles from that situation he would be accelerating. that would be what you would do in order to operate the train. >> but they indicate sod far from the black box is that the braking didn't occur until moments before the crash. >> as a matter of fact according to the reports i've heard, it was emergency application of brakes. if that's true, there was a reason he didn't do what ordinarily would take place. i wasn't there. i would tell you what i have done in that situation. with that equipment in that situation, almost as soon as i reached 80, i would reduce the throttle and put on the brake. it's a short amount of time. that's the thing that makes us the professionals in this matter. it's a split second thing. it appears there was no braking earlier.
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>> let me ask you about the cab and what you're doing. there's apparently a red button you're pushing constantly to indicate you're a wake, functions. this is a constant motion. you're also looking at a screen, looking at the equivalent of odometer i suppose. then there's emergency brake. it's a fairly complicated mission. why aren't there routinely two people in that cab as there are two pilots? what if you have a physical problem? what if you have distress? what if you need to go to the restroom? >> these are very important questions. they are ones we've asked for a long time. those things are settled mostly by federal regulation, legislation, in some cases by contract rules. from the point of view of operating engineers, we think
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that these kinds of decisions get made by other supposed experts never by the people that do the work. >> let me ask you about the difference between the old cars on the trains and these cars. i was on philadelphia to washington yesterday. what the people were telling me as distressed as any members of the amtrak family would be, this has been horrendous to all involved. they're saying there's a different center of gravity in the cars. that the excel car could take more speed on the curves than the older cars. >> that's true. we operate effectively five classes of trains across the same territory. they have different physical
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characteristics. as you suggest they have different speeds. speeds we've been talking about here are appropriate for what's called a b time of train. that's what he had. in that respect, that was -- >> your reaction to the fact the automatic system was apparently southbound was in place but not northbound. >> right. >> what we understand from reporting today was not only did congressman dated it but did not authorize the money for the wave band necessary so that amtrak has to negotiate individually at each leg of the trickp. >> we think positive train control can be valuable. we have to understand the ground for basis of the accident that took place there on tuesday began march 23rd. it began with deliberate policies that were designed
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to -- they weren't designed to but in fact they increased the risk of fatigue to operating engineers. >> in terms of scheduling -- >> that is something you're not going to fix with technological magic. there are questions about something like that. what's important in this instance -- we documented this and had repeated conversations can -- i believe you have received some of the documents that we provided where we warned of exactly the kinds of dangers that took place that would happen if you put crews in harm's way more than necessary. if you increase the level of risks. we think this is what happened. >> this is going to have to go into the calculation as we continue to learn about these investigations. thank you. >> thank you. up next inside the cia
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in the last 24 hours new audio surfaced reporting to be the voice of isis leader calling on troops to take up arms wherever they may be. former cia deputy director talks about his experience at the helm of u.s. intelligence. mike joins me now. >> great to be with you. >> great to be with you. >> how seriously should we take this threat to our homeland? new call to arms, somewhat more
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dated currently than the engagement we thought he may have been injured or killed. >> it's absolutely clear now he was not killed. he's well enough to run the organization. isis capability right now against the home land is not direct attack. they can't direct an attack. they can rally young men and women. we saw it last week in texas. we are going to see it again. >> how do we counter react it? there's been reporting, particularly "washington post" last weekend. failed efforts most agree to mount a social media campaign that is credible to effectively counter react isis recruiting. >> it's hard for two reasons. you can't shut down servers they've got social media. if you do that, two hours later,
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it will pop up over here. the narrative itself is difficult for us to take on. this is a conversation ability their religion at the end of the day. we don't have credibility in that conversation. we really need leaders of muslim societies. we need leading muslim claireericclerics. governor say .gov sissi in egypt has begun that. >> there were reports it was a u.s. pakistani operation and in fact pakistan officials at a higher level than anyone else reported knew all along that he was hiding barely a mile from there at west point. you write about this in your book. let's talk about what you say in
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your book about how secret this was. you talk about the fact that it was held so tight it was referred to as the mickey mouse operation that a the secretary of state hillary clinton wasn't informed until weeks before. that when the president was briefed, security cameras were turned off inside the situation room. closely held inside the cia. >> secretary of homeland security -- >> fbi director -- >> fbi director. they were notified 24 hours before. >> this was the most secret involvement i was involved with. i can absolutely assure you seymour's accusations are wrong. we found him through a courier not a pakistani walk in. i was there when president obama directed we not tell the
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pakistanis about this. not because we didn't want to. we would have liked nothing better. what better way to solidify the relationship between the countries. we couldn't trust that there wouldn't be a leak in their system. the president decided we can't do this. i was there when pakistanis were incredibly angry at what we had done and embarrassed. >> when was that? >> in the aftermathd. the president sent me in the aftermath to paper over. your earlier report on this is on the money. what seymour has written is not right. >> he says on the way out, seal team six took body parts and threw them over and never, what you describe in the book laying out the body. have a member of the team lay next to him to measure was he
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six foot or whatever. >> right. >> you did facial recognition from the agency. you were waiting on dna. the president wanted to go to the people. you knew it might leak. he wanted to announce. you didn't have full certainty. then head of the joint chiefs called his counter part and that was the final confirmation. he said yes, you've got bin laden. >> congratulations you've got bin laden. >> when did he know? does that support any aspect -- >> no. what happened was the pakistanis quickly got to the compound after we left. we left behind all women and children. they interviewed them, quickly discover had the they were bin laden's family and bin laden's wives. they figured it out quickly. >> how high up was the knowledge within pakistani intelligence bin laden was there all along? >> i'm not 100% but 98% certain the pakistani government didn't
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know the leadership of intelligence service isi and pakistani military did not know. i'm not convinced there wasn't somebody in that isi detachment or in the police department that didn't know who wasn't in some way protecting him. that's probably true. the higher ups in the government, i'm pretty sure they did not know. >> i'm going to ask you about torture and use of torture. you were there for all of this. the argument has been made by the cia that it was necessary and produced real results. >> right. >> in your book you said mohamed tried to deflect questions about the courier and mohamed when he went back to his cell told the
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other de other detainees don't talk about the courier. he lived there. if he gave it up over what you heard him say in his own cell. >> that was after he had been through enhanced interrogation techniques. i don't call it torture by the way. just because he was compliant on a bunch of issues doesn't mean he was compliant on absolutely everything. when he wasn't compliant on the courier, it told us something important about the courier. let me say a couple of things about enhanced techniques. first is was it legal? there was a debate now but at the time the justice department said this is legal. this is not torture. the second question is was it effective? in my mind absolutely
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effective. i looked at this very close. >> still to this day you say that? >> absolutely. i looked at it closely when senate democrats did their report. i convinced myself that it was effective in getting people to tell us things they wouldn't have -- >> have you read the report now? >> i read the summary conclusions and case studies. that was 300 pages. i skimmed the rest of the report. i wonder how many other people have read 6700 pages. let me say effectiveness, the third question is necessary. we'll never know the answer to that question. we'll never know if there was some other way. we'll never know whether suspending habeas corpus was necessary to win the war? that's a question we'll never know. the last question, was it the right thing to do, moral? that's where the debate should be. the senate democrats never got to that question in their report. >> before i let you go quickly
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on benghazi. you were in the middle of testifying and talking points. >> sure. >> do you think hillary clinton is hiding some secret issue here? >> no. absolutely not. the absolutely not. with regard to the cia and me, there's a long history as you know andrea of cia getting stuck between policy debate or political debate. people use what we say, cherry pick what we say. it's part of the business right? >> lessons learned. >> lessons learned. there were lessons learned for me. i talk about them in the book. i'm one of the few people in this benghazi affair that said i could have done better here. >> mike morell. the book raising questions about what was going on during the fight against terror. thank you so much. >> great to be with you. >> thank you. we're on jury watch in boast deciding the fate of the
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convicted boston marathon bomber. you're watching msnbc.
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welcome back. a decision in the penalty phase of boston marathon bombing trial could come at any moment. jurors deliberating a third day today. the fate of dzhokhar tsarnaev on 37 count, 17 carrying death penlts. at the -- carrying death penalty. pete there's no way to know what the jury might do. any way of knowing what they may consider? >> we all have theories, but usually questions are no guide to what they eventually do. they've been at it 12 hours now andrea. this is a long forum they have to go through. i'm sure when they were initially handed the form wednesday after the closing
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arguments it was baffling. i think as you go through this form and it guides the jury through the process it would become clearer to them. maybe the longer they go faster deliberations would become. basically a three step process is. they have to decide was he 18 when he committed the crimes? that's a no brainer. answer is yes. his lawyers say that. then separate this crime from ordinary run of the mill murder to make sure they're able to look at death penalty. then they get to factors. here's why the government says they should impose the death penalty, why the defense says they shouldn't. then they make up their minds. it's entirely up to them. it has to be unanimous. now the judge did not explicitly tell them something. he didn't say if you can't agree, i'll impose life without
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parole. i think the jury probably get that. there's question whether they have to be unanimous. who knows what's going on inside the room. >> such a complicated issue. we'll watch for decisions from boston. thank you sir. >> you bet. and fighting the iraq war. politics of it. up next bush and his brother jeb. that's next on msnbc. and now, i'm back! aleve. ♪ [announcer]when we make beyond natural dry dog and cat foods. we start with real meat as the first ingredient.
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candidate had a series of slipups but none bigger than multiple answers on the war on iraq, the war his brother fought. we have karen and sam "huffing post" political editor. thank you both for joining us. karen, what about jeb bush's rough week as he tried to explain. we know a number of things people say was going on. he didn't want to dismiss the service, people who sacrificed their lives families, survivors. obviously there's the family relationship. everyone else in the republican party who is running or potentially running for president has been clear that is not a war they would have done or invaded. an invasion they would have orredor ed -- have ordered based on weapons of mass destruction. >> they made this clear after jeb's stumble. his opponents saw an opportunity
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here. what was jaw-dropping about this is that this is probably the most predictable question you could have imagined that jeb bush would have to come up with an answer to and they hadn't thought their way through that. his comment that that's a hypothetical. running for president is a gigantic exercise in answering hypothetical questions. so i think that there are a couple of factors. this is a guy that hasn't been a candidate since 2002. politics are like athletes. they can get out of practice. also, it's this weird world, this twilight zone of not quite being a candidate. not quite announcing. i think that that also put him into this kind of area where he thinks he has leeway that he just doesn't. >> of course that's dictated by not wanting to give up his
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connection to the pack which he will have to. the legal fundraising implications once you declare. here's what happened sam stein when the young woman, the student confronted him, and he took her question. >> well you know, he had said in his speech. she was motivated to go and ask him the question about isis. he was blaming obama for creation of isis. she was saying your brother is the person responsible for what happened in iraq and isis. one point here he at least exposes himself to these questions. the other candidate, the person i've been traveling and covering, hillary clinton, has not exposed herself to any average people or any reporters.
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>> yeah got to give him kudos for exposure. he certainly put himself out there. i do give him credit. he's answering questions. they're important questions too. to karen's point, to say this is a hypothetical which he did at one point as a way of dismissing the question. of course running for president is giant hypothetical. if he's not going to talk about the initial invasion on grounds it's hypothetical i think he can't be on good standing to criticize the decision to withdraw knowing it's hypothetical hypothetical. he can't have it both ways. >> these are things he'll iron out. his ability to answer these questions will get better over time. for me, it's not so much the question of knowing what you know how what would you have done. the better question is knowing what we knew then, if you had been in that seat, what would you have done? that gives insight into his
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world view and what he would be like as a president. it gives you a sense of his foreign policy. that's the better question for jeb bush. >> very, very interesting. i like the way you reframe it. thank you sam. thank you karen. >> no problem. up next lester holt joining us to remember a giant of blues and rock-n-roll. bb king dead at 89. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. ♪ ♪ why pause a spontaneous moment to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use, is approved to treat both erectile dysfunction and the urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours.
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of his life because of declining health. lester holt looks back at king's extraordinary life and career. >> his fingers on the career are what he called extension of his voice with unique and unmistaking style. he helped push to the main stream. he was born riley b king on a plantation in mississippi. he sang and played gospel music in church and played for dimes on street corners. in 1987 he hitchhiked to memphis. he once told johnny carson where the name bb came from. >> it stands for blue's boy. i was a disk jockey in memphis. they used to call me the bill street blues boy. some would abbreviate and say bb. >> bb had his first number one.
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more chart toppers would follow. two decades later he found fame as a cross over artist opening for rolling stones and later recording with u2. >> great in every way. the only person that doesn't think bb is great is probably bb. >> king referred to his black hollow body gibson guitars as loucille. >> what he could do with loucille was grace. >> how much of an influence has he had on your life and career? >> not my life. every guitar player i know. those shoes will never be filled. >> bb king earned 15 grammys,
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remember of rock-n-roll hall of fame awarded by george w. bush and sang with is president obama at the white house. >> people call me king of blues. i've heard it many times. do you think i think that? >> no, i do not. it's a lot of people do exactly what i do. a lot of them do it better. they're just not me. ♪ ♪ >> and lester holt joins me now from new york. thanks so much for being with us. you're a musician. what was his influence? you know it better than anyone else i know. >> so much of rock-n-roll based and forms on the blues. he had signature licks he would lay down. if you had the right ear, you'd hear it. look at the lives he's
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influenced, so many contemporary artists of the last century, last many many years were influenced by his music. >> and that continues to this day day. >> starting in the 70s he crossed over and started collaborating and recording with rock artists and his audience then of course expanded. the audience knows. i was sitting this morning eating breakfast. they were displaying bb king music. some songs we have forgot about. they've become part of our lives. >> we see him receiving the medal from the president. he said he gets stuck in your head gets you moving doing
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things you shouldn't do but will always be glad you did. bb may be gone, but that will be with us forever. >> as you play, and i know you play the base and i think the guitar as well. >> just the base. >> just the base okay. the influence that he has on amateur musicians such as you're yourself yourself. someone that could take the bars and sing like loucille. the story goes he had a cheap $30 guitar. he left it inside when he had to evacuate. they were fighting over a girl named loucille. he managed to rescue his guitar.
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he had several guitars. he called them loucille. >> the expensive gibsons were always loucille. lester holt, thank you. what a week you've had. >> good to be with you. >> we'll see you tonight on nbc "nightly news." now, here's more of bb king's performance at the white house in 2012 singing "the thrill is gone." ♪ ♪
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you can't make it up. what story will make head lines in the next 24 hours? how about the fight night in salt lake. sam stein is back with us. i don't think i've ever said fight night in salt lake. >> it might be the first. >> look at the weigh in. why is mitt romney doing this? why not? >> he's in the twilight of his career. he fought in one heavy weight bout. it will be good. it will be the fight of the century. not really. >> it's going to be a lot better than the fight last week in nevada i think. >> we'll see how it ends up.
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let's hope holyfield realizes it's not a real fight. let's hope he realizes it's not a real fight when he gets back in the ring. if he doesn't romney is in for a real fight. >> how old is mitt romney? >> 68 i believe. looks pretty good for 68. >> yeah. he seems to be in a very comfortable place post presidential defeat. not an easy role to play. he's done it gracefully. >> yeah i mean, i think once he went through the ringer. running for president is an incredibly tough draining often humiliating process. when you come out at the other end and lose, people feel sympathy and bad for you. he's had a rejuvenation process. we had the mit documentary on netflix. he stayed involved politically. he's an elder statesman in the
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party. i think his reputation has bounced back fairly well since 2012. >> are they doing this for charity? >> yes it is. mit didn't just decide to become a boxer overnight. >> i figured that. capitol to politics to heavy weight champ ship of the world. >> it's revolution, right? >> sam have a great weekend. thank you very much from me and us. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." remember to follow the show online on facebook and twitter. thomas roberts is next. i'm meteorologist bill
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karins. problem weather in the middle of the country. texas to north dakota. chance of tornado saturday evening. kansas to oklahoma. sunday severe storms continue this time up towards the great lakes. sture control potting mix, plants only get water when they need it. fight ended. or shifted? miracle-gro. life starts here. ugh... ...heartburn. did someone say burn? try alka seltzer reliefchews. they work just as fast and taste better than tums smoothies assorted fruit. mmm... amazing. yeah, i get that a lot. alka seltzer heartburn reliefchews. enjoy the relief.
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ideas come into this world ugly and messy. they are the natural born enemy of the way things are.
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yes, ideas are scary and messy and fragile. but under the proper care, they become something beautiful. hello everyone. i'm craig melvin in for thomas roberts. the last wrecked cars there the deadly train derailment have been pulled from the scene. we'll tell you what it will take to get service back on for next
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week. brandon bostian could talk to investigators as early as today. and george is apologizing and pulling out of his role in the planned gop presidential debate. plus round and round he goes after multiple attempts to tackle questions about his brother's iraq war policy. jeb bush appears to be sticking with response number four. today we're asking you. will the fumbles on iraq hurt his 2016 chances? weigh in on then there's this. >> i think this is just a joke, but i'm taking this very seriously. yep, that's him, former presidential candidate mitt romney taking on former heavy weight champion


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