tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 27, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT
tells me we have to gopcome to grips with gun violence in our society. >> what concerns us is the prevalence of firearms in our country. we don't know what's going to happen with that debate but certainly it's a at the time bait worth having. red flags. louisiana's governor says the gunman's mental health history should have kept him from buying the gun he used to kill two people at that movie theater in louisiana. >> one of the disturbing patterns we're seeing is folks in mental illness, a history of mental illness being able to get these guns. that should have never happened. and over the line. presidential candidate mike huckabee says the iran deal would take israelis and march them to the door of the oven. today jewish groups across america are condemning the holocaust comparison as have the president. >> when you get rhetoric like this, maybe it gets attention and maybe this is just an effort
to push mr. trump out of the headlines. but it's not the kind of leadership that is needed for america right now. >> good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. republican presidential candidate mike huckabee has set off a storm. his comment at the iran deal would, quote take the israelis and march them to the door of the oven has sparked a swift condemnation from president obama in a news conference in ethiopia. >> you know the particular comments of mr. huckabee are, i think, part of just a general pattern that we've seen that is -- would be considered
ridiculous if it weren't so sad. when you get rhetoric like this maybe it gets attention and maybe this is just an effort to push mr. trump out of the headlines. but it's not the kind of leadership that is needed for america right now. >> and interestingly, it was the president who brought up mr. trump in his answer. he was not asked about donald trump. and just now at a news conference or a quick q and a with the press, should say, in iowa this was hillary clinton's response on the subject of mike huckabee's comments. >> comments like these are offensive and they have no place in our political dialogue. i am -- i'm disappointed and i'm really offended personally. i know governor huckabee. i have a cordial relationship
with him. he served as the governor of arkansas. but i find this kind of inflammatory rhetoric totally unacceptable. >> joining me now for our daily fix, chris, founder of the "washington post" fix blog and ann gearen. well, the mike huckabee comments setting off a storm from the president throughout the rest of the country and the political sphere. chris, you're just back from surgery, so welcome back. >> thank you. >> glad to see you. curious as to what you think and whether you think it is an attempt, analogous to perhaps lindsey graham throwing his flip phone against the wall and trying to destroy it. this s. this what happens when republicans are so desperate to get back the stage from donald trump? >> maybe, i think is the answer
to that. mike huckabee is not -- this is not the first time he said something controversial, andrea pre-donald trump in the race. and all of the way back to 2008. i do think, though that there is sort of an attempt to break through. this would not be the way in which any candidate, mike huckabee, included would want to breakthrough. i do think there is something -- that there is negative publicity. it's not just all publicity is good publicity. i think they feel a level of pressure, particularly as the first debate approaches in ten days' time to not only be on that stage but to be a player. remember, this is mike huckabee who won iowa going away by eight points in 2008. he sort of slipped into the middle of the pack. i don't think that's why he made this comment. i think he has a tendency particularly as it relates to israel to make some comments that many people would see as over the top. but i do think there's a broader pressure at work here among
everybody in the field not named donald trump and a nervousness about what that first debate is going to be like. >> and huckabee has now responded to president obama putting out statement saying what's ridiculous and sad is that the obama does not take the iran threats seriously. for decades, iranian leaders have pledged to destroy, annihilate, and wipe israel off the map with a big holocaust. never again will be the policy of my administration and i will stand with our ally israel to prevent the terrorists in tehran from achieving their own stated goal of another holocaust. ann gearen never again, of course is the cry after the real holocaust. and so that has resonance. is this trying to compete in the sheldon adelson primary for money from very conservative supporters, the big dollar supporters? >> yeah i think you're definite definitely on to something there. this is part of the jewish republican money primary. it also is as chris said, an
issue on which huckabee is sort of more pro-israel more-jewish than the israelis. you don't hear prime minister netanyahu making overt comparisons to the holocaust, it's implicit about what he says about it -- >> exactly. >> but he doesn't use the word oven. that is something that just takes people aback. >> and, in fact it's not done by israelis. and the israeli, as you will see in my interview tomorrow with director clapper, the israeli intelligence officials disagree with the prime minister. they sdproo agree more closely with clapper who was just in israel talking to both, to the prime minister as well as the intelligence officials. new polls showing why the republicans are correct to be concerned about donald trump. looking at iowa trump is close second to scott walker from neighboring wisconsin and jeb
bush in third. the rest of them pretty well clumped behind. and then in new hampshire, trump is the mu leader. and this should not be surprising, chris, to anyone who followed what happened with let's just say you know buchanan and others in new hampshire. new hampshire has a strong independent streak. and donald trump would be very appealing to a lot of the republicans in new hampshire. >> right. i always remind people i'm from the northeast but if you're not from the northeast and never make it up to new hampshire, there's a reason why live free or die is the slogan on the license plate. there's a populous sentiment in that state, antipolitician sentiment in that state. i'm going to keep saying this although i may keep being wrong, andrea. i still think donald trump is sort of a vessel through which people are expressing their discontent about the system. maybe their discontent about the choices of jeb bush and those sorts of things. i'm not convinced people say, i
know of all of donald trump's work and i'm supportive of him because it just doesn't seem to me that could possibly be the case. he's clearly hit on a sentiment. i think it's more about that sentiment and that message than it is about him the person saying those things. >> and briefly, ann? >> there's a comparison to the bernie sanders effect for hillary clinton. it's a way to cast a protest vote to say, hey, i don't like my choices here 100%. people probably aren't going to end up voting for donald trump for president but they can sure as heck say now that they support the kinds of things he represents. >> ann gearan chris cillizza thank you. attorney general loretta lynch sat down with me this weekend to talk about isis, inspired terror threats and the recent shootings in louisiana, chattanooga, and charleston. i asked her about the recent comment. >> the recent shootings in charleston have shown us that sadly what we thought was in our
rearview mirror is still here living among us. this was a young man who is alleged as established a website that put forth derogatory comments about african-americans, sought to create racial discord, sought out african-americans to kill them. and even worse, wanted to go to a church to find african-americans to kill them. all to create racial discord, to right some sort of perceived wrongs that had been committed on whiteblacks against whites. the anti-klan acts. so what we see is this type of crime, this type of racially motivated violence, frankly, fueled by hatred is the original domestic terrorism designed to intimidate and to strike fear into the hearts of people. >> what is happening to our society? we've had ferguson we've had what happened with mr. garner in
staten island. one case after another. baltimore. it just seems as though the country has seen one eruption after another. what can law enforcement, what can you do to try to ease the fears, the concerns of people on both sides of the divide? >> well, i think there is a divide unfortunately. but i think one of the things that's coming out of this divide is a discussion into why it exists. because once we start talking about why it exists and frankly, acknowledging that it exists, we can start to work on it. we've seen situations we've seen cities that have been as challenged as baltimore, that have seen the strife of ferguson. the cities where the department of justice has had to come in and bring a pattern of practice investigation, impose a consent decree on a jurisdiction, and we've seen many of those jurisdictions move on and do very well in terms of their police community relations. one of the things that's very
important to me as attorney general is to highlight those jurisdictions where we have seen positive change. >> what do we do about mass shootings? we've had charleston. we've had chattanooga. we've had louisiana. how do we deal with this outbreak of violence in this country? >> grave concern. grave concern on the part of all of us in law enforcement. the department of justice and our state and local colleagues. one of the things that we're doing obviously is trying to ascertain where violence may break out by seeing what's going on in a jurisdiction, seeing where people may be engaged, and talking about certain acts or planning certain acts. but often as we've seen these incidents erupt. individuals may erupt for a variety of reasons. some of them may have a specific affiliation, some of them may be simply troubled. we have to look at the host of things that go in to that. certainly one of the things that concerns all of us is the prevalence of firearms in our country.
we don't know what's going to happen with that debate. but certainly it's a debate worth having. >> the president said recently it's been the most frustrating example. he feels stymied by the failure to accomplish his goals on closing the loopholes, the gun show loophole, the things that are most obvious. >> well, certainly i share his frustration because as a prosecutor i deal with the aftermath of that. but you know it's a very -- it's a very -- some say divisive issue. it has been divisive in many parts of our debate. it's an issue that brings forth a lot of strong opinions. i think all of those opinions should be heard. they should be at the table. my view is always if we can get past talking about each other maybe we can talk to each other about how to manage the firearms in our society. >> when we talk about community policing and police relations, the sandra bland case. and i know it hasn't been
adjudicated. but just the video of that arrest and how that escalated tells you volumes about how something can go off track so quickly. what are the lesson there's? >> there are a number of lessons to be learned there. i think the one thing that has come out of this tragic tragic situation, this loss of life of this young woman, has been a discussion about specific police techniques. many of the things that we see police departments doing across the country, frankly, is working on exactly the type of techniques that would have been helpful here. as part of my community policing tour i've talked to officers who have said one of the thing that they have appreciated most is training in de-escalation tack tactics. to get away from the classic of let's stop and arrest or chase and arrest. figure out how can we calm a situation down. we provide grants for training and equipment in this area. i think that this case is going to highlight the need for that.
this case also highlights the need for discussion on the issue of how people interact with the police. many people see this situation escalating. and i think it shows the frustration that many minority communities feel when they feel that you know maybe it wouldn't have escalated in a different community. and i hope that that can bring this situation to light as well. so that people understand the frustration that many minority members feel when they're stopped by the police. >> we see situations where officers will reach out to young people and work with them that go into the classrooms with them. and so we are hoping that these examples can be models for other police departments but we're also hope that community leaders can work with police departments to build these connections so that we can all tell our children how to respect authority but not to be afraid of police. >> what do we do about the spike in violence in chicago and the
horrific toll, especially in the minority community in chicago? >> well, chicago is an example of what we are seeing in terms of an uptick in violence in several of our major cities and within our cities certain neighborhoods within our cities. we have to look at this from all fronts. law enforcement needs me information about what's happening. it's a very serious problem. when there's a kind of violence that keeps people from living their lives, from enjoying their communities, when they live in fear. you essentially are shutting off all types of opportunity. you are telling those young people that their lives are subject to being snuffed out at a moment's notice. that's telling them that they don't matter. that's telling them that they're not important and we cannot do that for any of our children. >> we've seen the violence in chattanooga and the violence in louisiana. are we in an era where we have to rethink going to a strip mall, going to an army recruiting center, to a movie,
do we have to have magnetolsmeters in public spaces? >> i think we're seeing a shift in the type of violence and sadly we still have violence directed in domestic situations and people who know each other. but these random acts of violence are incredibly disturbing. law enforcement is looking at this from a number of angles. what i would say i do not want americans to feel that they cannot enjoy their communities, their places of entertainment, places where people come together and create the communities that make this country strong. i want people to continue to engage in all of those activities be careful, if you see something, say something, is an old saying but it still holds true. keep your eyes open. be vigilant. do not let people who have an agenda of violence or simply causing chaos take us off track of living our lives and enjoying our country. >> coming up more with attorney
general loretta lynch on the fight against al qaeda, against isis and the opm cyber hack. hint she was one of the victims. first, how can the man who opened fire inside that louisiana movie theater get a gun despite his history of mental illness? captain mark kelly, the husband of congresswoman gabby giffords joins us on that, next. want bladder leak underwear that moves like you do? try always discreet underwear and wiggle, giggle swerve and curve.
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this afternoon for julian johnson, her husband called an exceptional wife. as the mourning continues investigators are learning more about the gunman john rusty houser. questions are being raised about why he had access to guns after a history of mental illness. nbc joins me now from lafayette. jamie, we've had these victims. three others who are hospitalized. do you know anything about their condition? >> city officials say that they hope that the people that remain hospitalized will make a full recovery. you may know i spoke to a u.s. congressman last night from the district u.s. representative who told me one of his cousins -- >> and i'm so sorry we just lost the signal from louisiana. we apologize. we'll get you additional facts coming up. this shooting of course is the latest incident adding fuel to the national debate over gun control. joining me now is captain mark
kelly, co-founder of americans spor responsible solutions. captain kelly, thank you very much for being with us. how can this keep happening? >> well, it keeps happening because we don't make any changes in the laws. particularly around background checks. who has access to a gun and what procedure do they need to go through to make sure that people that are dangerously mentally ill like this individual was, convicted felons domestic abusers can't getting access to firearms. pretty simple and common sense solutions to address this problem. >> this is rick perry, one of the presidential candidate, of course, the former governor of texas, when asked on cnn about the background check issue and the gun show loophole. >> i will suggest to you that these concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea. i think that you allow the
citizens of this country who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded know how to handle and use firearms to carry them. >> now we have several cases including charleston because roof should not have had a gun. we now know that the fbi somehow missed his problems in the background check. so the background check itself is not fool proof. >> well, they never are. but we do know that over ten-year period we stopped over 1.7 million convicted felons from having access to a firearm, from getting a gun. the problem is where did they go next? did they go on the internet, did they go to a gun show places that traditionally you don't have to have a background check to getting access to a gun. we have a really big hole we can basically drive a truck through and to address governor perry's points you know, you know i
disagree we. i don't think the answer is everybody carrying a gun. imagine in that movie theater a dark place. one person starts shooting. you know maybe under the best of circumstances somebody who is incredibly trained, maybe like a police officer would have been able to do something about it. but in general, i mean that is not the solution for everybody to be armed. >> what about the mental hale l health reporting? >> well, you know some states do really good job at reporting people with mental illness. there are 12 states i think that have reported less than 100 people ever to the national institute criminal background check system. i don't know where louisiana or alabama fall on that ranking. but better reporting is certainly important. and you know like governor jindal said after this happened, bobby jindal said that we need to make sure that people, you know people like the shooter in this case do not have easy access to guns and that all states should address
this problem. i would like to challenge, you you know governor jindal to partner with our organization and let's figure out some common sense solutions that protects people's second amendment rights but at the same time will make it more difficult, like somebody like who did this in lafayette the other day from having access to a firearm. it's not too difficult to do. >> commander, how is gabby doing? >> she's doing really well. we've been on a long trip, you know traveling around the country. you know talking about this issue and, you know, we're making a lot of progress and a lot of different states. working in a dozen states now. we've helped new background checks bills get passed in a bunch of different places. but we need to do it in washington as well. we need to do other things about domestic violence and gun trafficking and, you know what access do the dangerously mental ill have to firearms. 15 to 20 times have a worst rate of gun violence in any other industrialized country.
the sad thing is we can do something about it. >>. and not to mention chattanooga and all the other incidents, the recent incidents which bring this to mind. >> you know in time you think you noekser eventually you start to looz count of these. they seem to happen all too frequently. it's that daily gun violence that really, you know adds up every i think isle day with nearly 100 people, you know being shot in this country. 100 people dying from gun violence in this country every single day. it's a staggering number. >> mark kelly on the case. thank you very much commander. our best to congresswoman giffords. >> you're welcome. thank you very much andrea. and up next the latest in the search for two 14-year-old boys missing off the florida coast in a small boat. and later, in an exclusive interview i talked to the director of national intelligence james clapper about the iran nuclear deal and more.
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and information developing now from south florida where the u.s. navy now has joined the search for perry cohen and austin stephanos, two 14-year-olds that went missing in the atlantic ocean. they were last seen friday afternoon buying $110 worth of gas before setting out for a day of fishing. the coast guard has already searched the area the size of ipd difficult anna and they just released this video of the boys capsized boat. the 19-foot vessel was found overturned sunday abilityout 67 miles off the florida coast while the parents said they were only going to be in the inland waterway. the family and famous neighbor football legend joe namath said they're confident the boys knew what they were doing in the water. >> until there's final resolution, good or bad, and we
know it's going to be good we're not giving up. >> we're just going to continue to try to find those kids. you know? anyone out there understands when someone needs help we should lend a hand. >> these kids were raised on the water. if you don't live in florida, you don't understand how children are raised here. as i said before both families very experienced on the water for generations. and we've taught our children all the right things. >> namath and the family have put up a $100,000 award for anyone who finds the boys. we'll keep you up to date on this story and any new information that comes in. and still to come president obama condemns some of the republican criticism of the iran deal. we'll talk to a leading critic of the agreement, republican congressman of kansas. and later, more from attorney general loretta lynch, including the challenge of combating isis' recruitment of lone wolf in the u.s.
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huge stir in congress. how confident is the intelligence community that you will know if they cheat? couldn't they try to get something from north korea from pakistan without you knowing? they've done it before. >> well, i will say this about the deal, the joint comprehensive plan of action is that from an intelligence perspective it puts us assuming we're in compliance, big assumption, do comply it puts us in a much better place to observe the entire industrial infrastructure of the iranian nuclear capability. then we are today without it. >> that was part of my exclusive interview with james clapper, direct of national intelligence. you will see the full interview tomorrow.
today in ethiopia president obama had strong words for congressional critics of the iran agreement. >> we've had a sitting senator called john kerry pontias pilot. we've had a sitting senator who also happens to be run for president suggest that i'm the leading state sponsor of terrorism. these are leaders in the republican party. >> kansas republican congressman mike pompeo serves on the house committee and joins me now. i know you've been an active partner with tom cotton. one of those the president was mentioning i'm policelis implicitly going to vienna talking to the national atomic energy officials. have some of the republican criticism been over the top as the president is charging? >> andrea this isn't about politics. when the ayatollah chants death to america he doesn't say death to republican or death to
democrats. what senator cotton and i learned about these two secret ideals is deeply alarming. the administration says nothing to see here. but these secret deals which no member of congress and so far as i know no member of the american government has seen go to the very core of our ability to verify what took place at important sites inside of iran including this. this isn't about politics. this is about keeping americans safe. my focus is to make sure we getting access to the entire document which we're entitled to do under the law. and to ensure that the american people get a chance to see what it is our president has actually agreed to. >> congressman, what about mike huckabee's suggestion that the iran deal is like telling israel to march to the ovens? is that an appropriate analogy to use? >> you know andrea i'm so focused on making sure that members of congress understand what's in this deal. we now have two documents that the administration first denied they existed, senator cotton and i learned of these when we
traveled to speak with the iaea. these are documents that secretary kerry told me directly he has not read and yet he told the president this was a good deal and we don't know the terms of the verification regime. i heard mr. clapper in the segment you ran before talk about the intelligence community being in a good position to learn about what's going on. but we don't know what iran has agreed to. only the iranians know what they have agreed to. this is a deal that doesn't do the verification that any american ought to be comfortable that will actually know if the iranians are complying. >> but i think all republicans should have an interest in assessing whether their candidates for president are using appropriate language. what about what mike huckabee said? >> oh, i think the american people get every opportunity to evaluate all of the candidates that are running on our side. i think the democrats will get a chance to evaluate all the candidates running on their side. we have 40 plus days left before
congress is going to be asked to make the biggest vote at least in my time in congress. this goes to the very security for every american whether we can trust the iranians to have drafted a deal for verification the iranians are believed to have done testing for nuclear triggers and we don't know what is in those agreements. the administration has said nothing to see here. don't worry about this. and yet secretary kerry could not strike the deal with the iranians over the inspections and so he turned it over to a u.n. agency to do it and said i don't even need to see the agreement. that is dangerous. it's irresponsible. and we all need to see what's in those agreements. >> congressman, let me pose to you something that general clapper said, which is that he would rather have one of the world's greatest sponsors of terror, iran not have a nuclear weapon at least for 10 12 13 years that have a nuclear weapon. can you argue with that? >> oh, no that's -- i agree. if your option set is limited to giving them a nuclear weapon
today and delaying them 10 or 12 years, i vote for 10 or 12 years. i vote for 10 or 12 years. >> but right now the breakout is two to three months. >> yes, andrea. the breakout after this deal won't change significantly. we don't even know what the verification regime looks like. so mr. clapper says he wants delay. i want to delay them from getting that weapon too. but this agreement simply didn't do that. the president didn't achieve any of the things he said needed to be done. he said we needed anywhere any time inspections. we don't have that. he said we needed to get all the enriched uranium out of iran. we didn't do that. this president ended up getting a deal for the sake of a deal and we now know he even reached a deal that he doesn't know the terms of. >> congressman mike pompeo thank you very much. >> thank you. have a great day. >> you, too. and we'll have more from attorney general loretta lynch coming up on isis and the aftermath of the opm hack including on her. >> in terms of reaching out to
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about diabetic nerve pain. tell 'em cedric sent you. how serious is the isis threat to the homeland? well, that's the challenge for national security officials. including of course attorney general loretta lynch. we talked this weekend about how the fbi is often blocked from spotting potential lone wolves inspired by isis because their online communications are encrypted or in the intelligence term, they go dark. >> it's a serious challenge for law enforcement rf, for all of us focused on this issue. isil represents the morphine of the terror threat that many of us have seen for a number of years since 9/11. even al qaeda has morphed and changed from the large-scale organized 9/11 type of attacks to smaller, more focused attacks. anything they can do really to spread fear and discord. isil actually an off shoot of al
qaeda has taken it further. they, in fact, have encouraging individuals to act on their own, to commit an act of violence in asia, in europe in the u.s. and claim isil has backing for it. isil views that fact as sufficiently in the terror mode they will claim it as one of their own. they essentially are pushing forward almost an independent contractor model of terrorism. and they're looking at people that frankly al qaeda would not be working with and would not be utilizing because they would not be part of the structured system that al qaeda tends to use. it's tremendously difficult because we see people who can be lost, they can have issues relating socially or frankly, they can be looking for an outlet through which to commit violence. they go online. they find isis message. they usually use communications through twitter, for example, to talk about what they might want
to do to get inspiration. and the message is do something local, do something where you are, and we'll take credit for it. and once they advance to the point where isis is sufficiently convinced that in fact they're worth claiming, they usually move to an encrypted platform and it goes dark. it makes it very difficult for law enforcement to carry out our core mission which is preventing terrorist attacks. >> are you in conversations with the companies because they're very concerned about engaging with government. is there a way that the government and these companies can get around the encryption problem and their privacy concerns? >> their privacy concerns are very rallied. we share their privacy concerns. government actors also feel that encryption is very important. as someone who carries four phones, i actually think encryption is a very good thing. but i think we have to have a way to allow companies to have their commercial model and to keep private data safe very
very important. but also allows them to continue to work with law enforcement as they traditionally have done. we are engaging in talks with the tech companies. many of us in government are engaged in those discussions. we have frankly found tech companies willing to talk about this issue. it's not their business model to support terrorism. we understand that. we will continue to have this problem arise. not just in the national security front, in our traditional criminal cases. kidnapping cases, child pornography cases cases in which vulnerable victims are in great danger and we need to move quickly and we need all of the information available to us to save lives. this is also of importance to the tech companies. and i know that it is, from my discussions with them. so we look forward to continuing those discussions. >> and cyber attacks are a big priority. trying to defend against them, the opm hack on such an
enormous scale. how does the u.s. combat this? and do we need to retaliate just in terms of deterrence? >> you know it's an interesting question as to how we're going to handle the epopm hack. we're handling it on a number of fronts in terms of reaching out to people who have been personally effected by that. i'm one of those people. >> you are one of those people. >> i am indeed. as is almost anyone who has worked for government for the last 20 years. maybe 15 years. so we're reaching out to people and encouraging them in way in which they can protect their personal data. also dealing with the type of hack, trying to recognize it trying to examine it to see has it been done before using it to see what we can learn from it. this is certainly a classic example of identity theft gone wild. and causes grave concerns there. it's really also similar to other types of cyber attacks that we've seen. we also have grave concerns not
just about state actors or hackers reaching in and obtaining personal information, grave, grave risk there. we're also very concerned about state actors and other hackers reaching out and obtaining commercial information. our countries intellectual property, our country's economic thoughts are also at risk. >> but there are reports that the identities of some of our covert operatives in china, for instance, have been permanently compromised and these are operatives who can never go back in the field. >> grave concerns there. grave concerns there. it certainly highlights the risk of cyber breaches in a very very real and very very life threatening way. it's simply one more example of why this is such an important issue and why everyone has to be so vigilant. it literally is sometimes as simple as what they call cyber hygiene. making sure that companies have strong personal protections through their employees for data.
many times we see someone getting into a company's systems through a small back door, through a virus, through a phishs e-mail. no one means to let that in. once they are in they have the keys to the kingdom and they do great damage including as you mentioned possibly on the national security level. >> loretta lynch, the attorney general. coming up president obama showing off his moves. when you do business everywhere, the challenges of keeping everyone working together can quickly become the only thing you think about. that's where at&t can help. at&t has the tools and the network you need to make working as one easier than ever. virtually anywhere. leaving you free to focus on what matters most. put your hand over your heart. is it beating? good! then my nutrition heart health mix is for you. it's a wholesome blend of peanuts,
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president obama is in ethiopia today, the second leg of his historic visit to africa where he met with other african leaders today about south sudan and counter terrorism. senior white house correspondent chris jansing is traveling with the president and joins me now from addis ababa. chris, first of all, also human rights a big issue there in ethiopia. >> tremendously big. it's part of this complicated relationship that you know so
well, andrea. on one hand it is the cooperation that we've had with counter terrorism and just before the president arrived here in abbis ababa yesterday, there was a bombing and a dozen people killed. on the other hand, he faced criticism coming here because of the human rights record. just a couple of examples this is the number one twotwo nation in africa for jailing journalists. in the atlanta election in the spring that the united states said they hoped would be fair and impartial, the ruling party got 100% of the vote. so these are the kinds of issues that critics say the president shouldn't essentially give credence to by standing next to the prime minister here. the white house position is you have to come and look these officials in the face and make that criticism. and today in a press conference the president was very open about his concerns about human rights and, in fact the prime minister of sudan was asked
about it and admitted that more could be done. later what senior white house official said that they were actually kind of surprised how unusual it was in a situation like this for there to be any sort of admission that perhaps there needed to be changes. they look at this as sort of affirmation of what their approach to these kinds of issues is, that is better to engage than it is to stand to the side andrea. >> i was fascinated by your coverage yesterday from kenya because he just confronted president kenyatta not only on gay rights but on corruption. >> yeah, he did. and that's sort of an interesting sort of contrast to what we saw today in that press conference because kenyatta said about gay right, it's a nonissue. basically has said in so many words that we don't want western intervention. this is our culture. in fact, what has been said
about gay rights by africa leaders is, these are differences that we have that are internal. we have eliminated for example, the death penalty in many countries. the united states still has it. we don't go after you for that cultural difference. you saw that contrast yesterday with president kenyatta and what we saw here in ethiopia today, andrea. >> chris jansing fascinating trip. that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow on the show more of our exclusive interview with director of national intelligence james clapper. remember follow the show online, on facebook and on twitter @mitchellreports. "msnbc live" with thomas roberts is up next. [announcer]when we make beyond natural dry dog and cat foods. we start with real meat as the first ingredient. we leave out corn,wheat and soy. and we own where our dry food is made-100 percent! can other brands say all that?
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will take the israelis and march them to the door of the oven, end quote. this morning during a news conference in ethiopia the president was asked about those remarks. >> you know, the particular comments of mr. huckabee are, i think, part of just a general pattern that we've seen that is is -- would be considered ridiculous if it weren't so sad. >> huckabee shot back with this statement reading in part quote, what's ridiculous and sad is that president obama does not take the iran threat seriously. for decades iranian leaders have pledged to destroy, annihilate and wipe israel off the map with a big holocaust. former secretary of state hillary clinton just weighed in a short time ago and chastised the former arkansas governor. >> comments like