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tv   MSNBC Live With Tamron Hall  MSNBC  December 10, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST

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no child left behind law. now, this new bill allows states to choose their own academic standards rather than imposing what the white house calls cookie cutter federal solutions in the no child law. it does keep the contentious statewide testing mandate in place, but encourages states to reduce time spent on testing. some critics are skeptical questioning whether the changes will really make a difference. nbc's ron allen joins me from the white house. and, ron, it is a rare time that we say this has bipartisan support here. we don't hear that word often regarding that town, but here we are with this case. >> exactly, tamron, especially on an issue so contentious and so emotional for families as education. this one is called every student succeeds, the bill. you're right, it's massive. and there's republican and democratic support for this bill, which is why in part the president's going to sign it in a short while. the headline of all this is that it is the end of what some are
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calling the era of the federal government policing or micromanaging the nation's classrooms. this is giving a lot of authority back to states, back to local school districts to determine how schools are run, how teachers are evaluated, how what will be done to poorly performing schools and how students and teachers will be evaluated and assessed. now, there's still going to be testing in reading and math, but those tests are not going to be as significant as they have been in recent years under no child left behind. schools will be able to use other criteria like graduation rates and surveys and such to evaluate how a school's performing. and perhaps more importantly what to do about that school if it is performing poorly. now, on one inspection there is conservatives who are most concerned about getting the federal government out of the classroom. at the other end of the spectrum perhaps there are civil rights groups concern about what's going to happen in poor minority neighborhoods where there are traditionally poor schools, poor performing schools, will they be protected, what will they do in the case of a school not doing
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well. some of those questions remain to be seen, but the big headline and why this is so significant and massive is that it's a real step forward -- or step away if you will, from policing, from micromanaging the nation's classrooms giving teachers, students, more freedom. more opportunity to create solutions and to try to raise the game of the nation's students. ultimately that's the goal. >> ron, it's interesting. "the washington post" had an education policy expert from georgetown university saying many students were left behind in the era of local control. and now we're going back to that era. it puts school districts in charge of fixing failing schools, the same school districts that are running the failing schools now -- or ruining the failing schools now. >> well, i think the solution to this, tamron, is somewhere in the middle because the era of federal control didn't raise the standards. by the standards of the no child left behind many schools in the country were failing. and there was a goal of kids being proficient at math and reading by 2014 that most
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students have met. so the question is how do you measure these things. but ultimately this bill, bipartisan and with the president's signature is essentially saying there's got to be some balance here. that this situation, this question of how are our children educated the answers to those questions should rely primarily in the states and local districts. but the federal government will have some role. that's another question, how much authority will the federal government have to intervene in a situation where it sees a need, that's another big question. >> all right. we'll carry of course the signing of this bill every student succeeds act. we'll bring that to you in a few minutes. thanks, ron. let's get caught up on the political headlines also while we wait for the president to speak. we turn to the republican race. nbc poll numbers in this morning suggest donald trump is only getting stronger, solidifying his lead even amid bipartisan condemnation over his proposal to ban muslims from entering the united states. in south carolina trump has now
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opened a 20-point lead leading ben carson 35 to 15 with ted cruz and marco rubio close behind tied for third place at 14%. now, the poll conducted saturday through tuesday found that trump's numbers went up one day after he unveiled that plan to ban muslims from entering the country in south carolina. that's where he unveiled that plan. now, trump support is also up nationally, a separate poll shows him pulling a 19-point lead over the rest of the field. that poll was also kublgted before and after trump's remarks. and donald trump is making more news today announcing on twitter that he is now postponing an upcoming trip to israel and a scheduled meeting with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu until, quote, a later date after i become president. here's how trump explained this decision this morning. >> i didn't want to put him under pressure number one. i also did it because i'm in the midst of a very powerful
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campaign that's going very well. and it was not that easy to do. so i would say lots of different reasons. i could have done it. it was semi-scheduled, but i decided i'd really focus on this. >> what's interesting here this aboutface comes a day after prime minister benjamin netanyahu rejected trump's muslim ban in a statement released saying, quote, the state of israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens. in the wake of the controversy this week trump also publicly denied an associated press report that he was also planning a trip to jordan later this month. let me bring in nbc news senior political editor mark murray. in addition to that benjamin netanyahu said in that statement that he was willing to meet with any and all of the presidential candidates, not just donald trump. this was an exclusive for him, this was an invitation as netanyahu says he is engaged in what's happening with its greatest ally. >> that's right, tamron. and of course you know i think a lot of eyebrows were raised when trump set that december 28th
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date in going abroad over israel given we know the iowa caucuses are february 1st, new hampshire is a week after that that that is a time in which right after christmas, right after new year's you're supposed to be in iowa and new hampshire, not in the middle east. but it's going to be interesting to see if somehow that netanyahu's rejection of donald trump's proposal for muslims entering the united states had anything to do with this. but of course as trump ended up saying he just wanted to get back down to campaigning and not being in the middle east. >> but it's still interesting. we know what he said versus, again, this plan or the releasing of the information that he would visit israel and then the backtrack there after netanyahu's statement. >> yeah. and, tamron, what we've seen is international condemnation of this. of course that comes as you just mentioned in a slew of new polls that are out today. three new polls where donald trump is in the poll position in the republican race. but i would remind you and you and i have talked about this
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time and time again that at this point in the 2012 race, newt gingrich was leading mitt romney by 17 points. we have a long ways to go. the person leading 50 days out is not always the winner. that said, tamron, what has been extraordinary about donald trump has been his staying power from the moment getting into this race despite all the controversy, all of the scrutiny, all of the different news cycles, his numbers have still either remained the same or gone up a little bit. compare that to ben carson when he started getting scrutiny his numbers came down. and so that is what makes donald trump extraordinary. i think the question that you and i have is that continue to last 50 more days. >> what's also remarkable you point out where we were in the last election cycle and where gingrich was for example, but you also had other names getting a buzz whether it was herman cain and his 9-9-9. we're not seeing that shared space. donald trump is taking up the media cycle. people can blame the media, they can blame the voters, they can blame themselves for being willing to talk about this over
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the kitchen table. nevertheless there's not that challenger for the attention of the public. >> that's right. and what donald trump has also been able to do is just change the news cycle. so it was 24 hours ago we were greatly debating his proposal on barring muslims from entering the united states. now it's dominated by whether or not he's now not going to israel and visiting benjamin netanyahu. 24 hours later it will be someone else. tom ran, i think it's important to take a step back. 50 days from now we kind of have an idea of how this race will turn out. one of three possibilities, either donald trump is going to storm through iowa and new hampshire on his way to the republican nomination even being out the republican establishment. that's one possibility. the second possibility is that ted cruz, the person who a lot of people aren't talking about but who is well positioned to win, or is it someone from the establishment? and i think all three are legitimate possibilities right now, tamron. >> and to your point, the first you pointed out cruz is on the verge of conserving that
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christian conservative block of voters. and we're seeing consistent improvement in the numbers. and even the reaction to some of the things he said. but i am interested in your thoughts on fact that, again, ted cruz was speaking with morning joe refusing to take on donald trump saying that this is his way of handling all of the candidates. you have muhammad ali putting out this statement choose to make islam a religion of violence. he says i'm a muslim and there is nothing islamic about killing innocent people in paris, san bernardino or anywhere else in the world. true muslims know the radicals goes against the tenants of our -- a leader like ted cruz not willing to -- you don't have to insult donald trump but take a stronger stance as so many in his party have done. what is his strategy? >> well, this has been ted cruz's strategy from the get-go,
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from the very first moment that donald trump said things controversial including about john mccain's war record is that ted cruz hasn't been willing to criticize donald trump at all. and one of the reasons i think ted cruz realizes that if trump ever does falter, he would end up being a recipient and a beneficiary from that. but i think to your point, tamron, i mean, even among republicans wlo decided to criticize donald trump after his comment about muslims entering the united states, we saw some tough words from jeb bush saying that that kind of policy is unhinged. we saw some tough comments, but people don't often say we disagree but we still vote for him. and in that i think to a lot of people as you mention has not really met the outrage that we've seen in other quarters and also some other international quarters. >> all right. thank you very much, mark cht i want to get our audience caught up on breaking news. this one coming out of boston. the fbi is looking into whether a subway train was tampered with when it left a station without
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an operator and blew through several stops, passengers were onboard that train. rail workers managed to stop the train by cutting power to the third rail. deputy city editor for the boston globe mike bellow joins us now from boston with more on this story. mike, what can you tell us? >> well, this is a bizarre instance. i've never seen anything like it before. it happened around 6:08 a.m. this morning. apparently a red line train on the way into boston, the operator of the train notices something is wrong at the braintree station, apparently goes outside to check it and the train suddenly starts moving. the conductor, the operator, is brushed by the train, treated for some injuries. not serious. that train continues on for several stops and is finally stopped when they depowered the third rail somewhere near the north quincy mbta station and people were able to get onboard and run that train to the jfk station. but for a couple of stops, three stops at least this train was going without an operator.
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>> give us a better idea, mike, of three stops. how far of a distance are we talking about here? >> oh, it's about -- you're looking at a couple, three, four miles at least, maybe more, going without an operator. and what's interesting is, i mean, they're looking at possible tampering of some kind of safety device in the cab of the train. nothing has been definitively established. the transit police are involved in the investigation, they are the chief people involved. the fbi has been asking if they need some assistance in this investigation, but right now there is a possible case of tampering they're looking into this instance that happened earlier this morning. >> we know this is all still developing, i'm not sure how much you know about security measures put in place. there's a great focus as you know nationally and internationally on train safety. what's in place to ensure something like this doesn't happen? >> well, i know the mbta has had increased visibility of transit police on the trains. there's all kinds of safeguards
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regarding devices onboard the mbta trains. so this is a highly unusual incident. obviously the transit police, this tied up train traffic throughout the morning on the red line, which is one of the most heavily traveled lines in the city. so they're obviously looking at what actually happened with this thing and law enforcement is involved. >> we're looking at live pictures, mike, of the scene. you see a number of personnel there in yellow jackets near this train. it is quite remarkable and incredible that people were not injured here given as you pointed out this train went without its conductor for several miles going through stops at a very busy time of the morning. >> yeah. it's also interesting they're trying to figure out how the train was operating, what are the mechanics involved. could this have been human error? could equipment have been altered? those are all kinds of questions that the investigators are looking at. they're also interviewing witnesses, interviewing passenger who is were onboard that train. >> mike, thank you. we'll keep following that breaking news. let me quickly get you caught up on the latest developments out
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of san bernardino where new focus is on shooter syed farook's neighbor who's also a relative. officials say back in 2012 farook talked to enrique marquez about staging an attack in los angeles, but he got cold feet. investigators say marquez, who's related to farook by marriage, bought the assault rifles used in the san bernardino shooting several years ago. and he's been talking to the fbi. authorities say he's been cooperative. he's not been charged with a crime. and we're also learning new details about other attacks the shooters may have planned. multiple sources tell nbc news that farook and his wife left behind evidence they may have been targeting other locations in southern california. let's get to nbc's pete williams. he joins us now with more. pete, what can you tell us about these other locations they may have scouted? >> not much, tamron. they are looking at the phones that were left behind. they found some pictures, but the pictures are -- don't really -- they're very ambiguous. for example, there were pictures
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of a local high school. now, at first blush you might think, well, was this some place that syed farook was casing as a possible location for an attack? on the other hand his job was as a county health inspector. so he went to that particular high school twice a year to look at the school cafeteria. that was part of his job to look at restaurants, swimming pools, other places where public health laws were involved. so the pictures themselves don't really tell much of a story. the assumption here, tamron, is that they were planning other attacks simply because of the huge arsenal that they had acquired. they were working on lots of pipe bombs, so many thousands rounds of ammunition. >> all right, pete, thank you very much. we're going to take our audience now to president obama where he's about to sign the bill that overhauls the very controversial no child left behind law. let's listen in. >> welcome to the white house. first of all, i want to thank antonio for being such an outstanding role model.
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back in 2011 when he was much shorter i visited kenmore middle school and saw firsthand their great work helping students like antonio achieve their potential. and that's why we're here today. this is an early christmas present. after more than ten years members of congress from both parties have come together to revise our national education law, a christmas miracle. a bipartisan bill signing right here. [ applause ] so as i was telling lamar we should do this more often. i love it when we're sign iing bipartisan bills. today i'm proud to sign a law that's going to make sure every student is prepared to succeed in the 21st century. the goals of no child left behind, the predecessor of this
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law, were the right ones. high standards, accountability, closing the achievement gap making sure that every child was learning not just some. but in practice it often fell short. it didn't always consider the specific needs of each community, it led to too much testing during classroom time. it often forced schools and school districts into cookie cutter reforms that didn't always produce the kinds of results that we wanted to see. and that's okay. sometimes reform efforts require you try something, it doesn't work, you learn some lessons and you make modifications. so my administration when we came into office tried some different things. we tried to lead a race to the top. that's why we acted to give states that were willing to embrace reforms that they helped
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to formulate more flexibility in how to improve student achievement. they were receiving waivers from some of the requirements of no child left behind. but the truth is that could only do so much. and that's why for years i have called on congress to come together and get a bipartisan effort to fix no child left behind. it took a lot of time. it required a lot of work. but thanks to the tireless efforts of many of the people on this stage and some people in attendance here today, we finally reached that deal. there are some people that i especially want to thank. first of all, senators lamar alexander and patty murray on the senate side, and representatives john klein and bobby scott on the house side as well as their dedicated staffs. this would not have happened
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without them. [ applause ] i just want to point out that it's not as if there weren't some significant ideological differences on some of these issues. no, there were. but i think that this is really a good example of how bipartisanship can work. people did not agree on everything at the outset, but they were willing to listen to each other in a civil, constructive way. and to work through these issues, compromise where necessary while still keeping their eye on the ball. and i think it's really a testament of the four leaders of the respective committees that they set that kind of tone. and that's something that we don't always see here in washington.
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there wasn't a lot of grandstanding, not a lot of posturing. a lot of really hard work. i want to thank them again for outstanding work that they did. [ applause ] i also want to thank my outgoing secretary of education arnie duncan. he has dedicated his life to the cause of education. and sometimes in the nicest possible way he's gotten on peoples nerves because he's pushed them and prodded them and tried to make sure that we set high expectations and that we are holding ourselves accountable for childrens performance -- or the schools' performance and how they were delivering for our kids. and had he not been, i believe as tenacious as he was, i think that we would not have as good
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of a product as we do here today. and so i could not be proud er . [ applause ] we are going to miss arnie duncan a lot. fortunately, in addition to some great staff that he assembled that is going to be staying on, we also have a great replacement in dr. john king who's going to be doing outstanding work helping to implement this. [ applause ] in addition obviously we've had some outstanding advocates. we've got, you know, our teachers unions, we've got our civil rights organizations, we've got philanthropies, all of
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who -- community groups who've been active and involved in the governors' organizations and school districts have also been involved, the superintendents. so we want to thank all them for their contributions. all the stakeholders have really buckled down to make this day possible. and the law comes at an important moment. over the past seven years the good news is that our students have made real strides. you've seen states raise academic expectations for all students. that means that we're in a better position to outteach and outcompete other nations at a time when knowledge is really the single biggest determinate of economic performance. high school graduation rates have reached all-time high, dropout rates have hit historic lows. the number of high schools so bad they're called dropout factories has been cut almost in half. we're training tens of thousands of outstanding math and science
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teachers. more students are graduating from college than ever before. and more than a million additional black and hispanic students are now going to college. so there's some real good work that's been done, a foundation to build from. but we're here because we all know that there's a lot more work to be done. as wonderful as antonio's school is, as wonderful as a learning experience as a lot of our young people are receiving, we know that there are other schools that just aren't hitting the mark yet. and in today's economy a high quality education is a prerequisite for success. we're going to have to have our young people master not just the basics, but also become critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. and our competitive advantage depends on whether our kids are prepared to seize the opportunities for tomorrow. so we need to build on the
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momentum that has already been established. we've got to learn what works and do more of that. and we've got to get rid of the stuff that doesn't work. and that's exactly what the every student succeeds act does. first, this law focuses on a national goal of insuring that all of our students graduate prepared for college and future careers. it builds on the reforms that have helped us make so much progress already, hold iing accountable empowering states and school districts, dedicating resources to our most vulnerable children. and this law requires states to invest in helping students and schools improve and focusing on the lowest performing schools and closing those big achievement gaps. second, this bill makes long overdue fixes to the last education law replacing the one size fits all approach to reform with a commitment to provide
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every student with a well-rounded education. real partnerships between the states will have new flexibility to tailor their improvement plans and the federal government which will have the oversight to make sure the plans are sound. it helps states and districts reduce unnecessary standardized tests, something we talked about a couple of months ago. because what we want to do is to get rid of unnecessary standardized tests so more teachers can spend more time in engaging and student learning while at the same time making sure parents and teachers have clear information on their childrens' academic performance. number three, we know that the early years can make a huge difference in a child's life. this law lays the foundation to expand access to high quality preschools. innovative approaches for learning and supporting great teachers. and finally this bill upholds
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the core value that animated the original elementary and secondary education act signed by president lyndon johnson. the value that says education, the key to economic opportunity, is a civil right. with this bill we reaffirm that fundamentally american ideal that every child regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live deserves the chance to make out of their lives what they will. so this is a big step in the right direction. a true bipartisan effort. a reminder of what can be done when people enter into these issues in a spirit of listening and compromise. but of course now the hard work begins. laws are only as good as the implementation. and that means that we're going to have to be engaging with the schools and communities all across the country, educators, school leaders, families, students, elected officials,
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community leaders, philanthropists all to make the promise of this law reality. and by the way it's going to take students like antonio. he's doing his part. he's taking advanced classes to get a head start on high school credits. he plays the violin. he plays sports. he volunteers. he owns one share of stock in tesla. [ laughter ] so he's clearly going places. i'd invest in them if i could. but one of the reasons antonio's thriving is he's got great teachers. and a great principal at kenmore. they saw that spark in him and like all great educators they're helping him to harness his energy and curiosity and atale s talents. that's what we want every single child in america to have. we just want to give them a chance. and so many of them are full of that same talent and drive, but we let them slip through the
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cracks. or we're not creative enough in thinking about how they can be engaged. or they just don't have the resources that they need in the classroom. or they fell behind early because they didn't get the support that they needed given the tough circumstances they were born into. and we want to make sure that through this piece of legislation with our hard work, with our focus, with our discipline, with our passion, with our commitment that every kid is getting the same opportunities that antonio is getting. i want this not just because it's good for the students themselves, not just because it's good for the communities involved, not only because it's good for our economy, but because it really goes to the essence of what we are about as americans. there was a time i think when
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upward mobility was the hallmark of america. we've slipped on that front compared to other countries. and some of it is where we used to be so far ahead than other countries in investing, now on some indicators we've been lagging behind. hopefully this is going to get us back out front. there's nothing more essential to living up to the ideals of this nation than making sure every child is able to achieve their god given potential. and i could not be prouder of the people on this stage and those of you in the audience who helped us take just one step closer to that reality. so with that let me sign this bill. all right. [ applause ]
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>> there you go. all right. [ applause ]
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>> surrounded there by a bipartisan group after eight years the president noting that u.s. lawmakers have finally moved forward in removing the no child left behind law that really for so long has been quite controversial. this new law, the bipartisan bill, as the president noted, would make progress in elementary and secondary education in an attempt to reduce what's been called overtesting and a one size fits all federal mandate established under george bush. so we will continue to follow these developments. right now this has the support of the national education association, the large union there supporting it referring to it as a national nightmare that is now over. so we will continue to follow this story. but the reaction for the most part support, but still
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questions on how this would work and the role that these local districts will play in the lives of the millions of students of course impacted by this. we'll continue to follow the developments and reaction. meanwhile, coming up as well, conservative supreme court justice antonin scalia sparking controversy, he cited a controversial theory that african-american students might be better off at, quote, slower track universities. but how much of what's being reported is accurate? and developing now, we are waiting that verdict in the case against a former oklahoma city police officer accused of raping 13 african-american women while on duty. we'll have the very latest on the verdict watch there.
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freed in exchange. and today's report suggests the president had political motives to free them. the news comes on the same day that the radio podcast launched a new season featuring bergdahl, the man now accused of deserting, described the night he left his post. >> 20 minutes out i'm going, good grief, i'm in over my head. suddenly it really starts to sink in that i really did something bad. well, not bad, but i really did something serious. >> nbc's kelly o'donnell read the report from the house armed services committee. kelly, let's talk about this report and the accusations in it. obviously very serious. >> it is serious. and, tamron, unlike my of the stories we talk about from congress, there is some bipartisan agreement here. and that centers on the issue of the law did require that the administration would alert congress not every member of congress, but the key committee,
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those who are responsible for certain oversight, if there would be any transfer of detainees from guantanamo bay prison. that has been a contentious issue. so that notification was written into the law. that did not happen. democrats also concede that did not happen. but they believe there was a justification for it. republicans argue in this report after studying lots of e-mails, documents and conducting witness interviews that there may have been a political motive. and that is the president of course from the beginning of his time in office has wanted to close guantanamo bay. in order too that detainees there must be transferred to other countries. a lot of that has occurred, but these five taliban detainees are among the most hardened if you will, and there was great concern that they might return to the fight. so there was a deal struck with the country of qatar. and they are sort of the custodians of these taliban fighters. and that deal has held so far. but congress was supposed to have been told. and the report indicates
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especially from the republican side that there was an awareness that this requirement was in place and that the administration did not do it knowingly. there was concern that the deal might have blown up, if you will, if it had leaked out. lawmakers here say that the committee involved here, armed services, is known to not be one of the big leaker committees, if i can use that phrase. and it is also one of the more bipartisan committees by its nature. they oversee things that have to do with our men and women in uniform. so there is more of a bond than you might find in other committees. so this is an important report. it really dives in to detail about a very controversial episode. and then what comes next? they have already tried to put some new restrictions in. again, that process of notifying congress if detainees are moved out of began tguantanamo bay. the president would love to get that done before he leaves but there are real questions about should congress have been in the
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loop and it clearly was not. >> kelly, thank you very much. coming up, new indications that evangelicals may be deciding the deciding vote in the republican presidential race. so the new numbers out just this morning reveal the influence of chris chance activists in iowa. and there's a big endorsement coming now for ted cruz at the top of the hour. we'll be right back. lutely lovew york apartment, but the rent is outrageous. good thing geico offers affordable renters insurance. with great coverage it protects my personal belongings should they get damaged, stolen or destroyed. [doorbell] uh, excuse me. delivery. hey. lo mein, szechwan chicken, chopsticks, soy sauce and you got some fortune cookies. have a good one. ah, these small new york apartments... protect your belongings. let geico help you with renters insurance. ♪ everything kids touch during cold and flu season sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs
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we'll continue to follow those deliberations for you and bring you that verdict as soon as we hear it. to politics now. we want to take a closer look at the gop primary and how some candidates are putting their best -- or their bets on evangelical voters in iowa and the south as their path to the nomination. now, it comes as ted cruz is expected to consolidate his position as the top choice for christian conservatives with a big endorsement today in iowa. msnbc host and political correspondent steve korinacki here. it's not a big revelation. we did see a little dust-up with mitt romney for reasons we've discussed for many times throughout that election cycle, but it would be wise for the nominee to focus on the ev evangelical vote. >> well, yeah. will anybody lock down that evangelical vote? and if so who will lock that down? you mentioned that big endorsement. we'll tell you about that in a minute and the implications it
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could have. to put in perspective these are newest numbers out just this morning in south carolina. south carolina of course one of the earliest states on the republican side. about 65% of all the votes that are going to be cast in that south carolina republican primary are from evangelicals. you see donald trump way out in front in south carolina. and it's no mystery why. he is cleaning up with evangelicals. he's got basically the same amount of support with them as he does statewide. however, this is the risk for trump. much more attention has been paid by the candidates personally right now to iowa. iowa a state where just about the same number of evangelicals are going to be voting in those leadoff caucuses. well, where the voters are maybe paying more attention and where the candidates are focusing more time and attention, look at this, among evangelicals in iowa a very different story right now. ted cruz has opened up a big lead there. he's jumped well ahead of donald trump. and that's why you have some polls coming out of iowa right now that have ted cruz in the lead over trump. so of course it raises the
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question, if cruz can consolidate that evangelical vote in iowa, does it have a ripple effect? if he consolidates it, if he wins iowa, does that fold over to south carolina? and what comes after south carolina? on the first of march you have what they're calling the s.e.c. primary, a bunch of southern states with a ton of delegates, states filled with evangelical voters. that's what ted cruz is going for. now you mentioned that big endorsement. really about 15 minutes from now a man named bob vanderplate seeing him there in 2008, next to rick santorum in 2012, known as the evangelical king maker in iowa. he endorsed huckabee in '08. huckabee won. endorsed rick santorum in 2012 when he was running at 3% in iowa. santorum ended up winning iowa in 2012. 15 minutes from now bob vanderplats is supposed to hold a press conference to make his announcement. the expectation, tamron, that endorsement will go to ted cruz.
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if that is the case ted cruz has that opportunity we're talking about to really lock down that evangelical vote in iowa. and if he can do that, he is well positioned in iowa. >> but how is say king maker when you point out the two people huckabee and santorum did not secure the nomination. >> a king maker among evangelicals. so the -- >> but it wasn't enough to help either of those candidates. >> it wasn't again. but look how the map is set up this year and how the party's evolved. if your ted cruz and you can win iowa and roll that out and week after south carolina win alabama, georgia, you can sweep the south potentially. you could be off to a major delegate. >> some might assume ted cruz has the advantage being from texas as well appeals to some of the southern voters there. but when you look at the things that are important to the evangelical vote, in the past we've talked about abortion, same-sex marriage, what's important now? is it all about national security? >> well, there's one factor in
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iowa people don't necessarily appreciate, ted cruz's father is a pastor. and he has been very active in iowa working the grass roots evangelical vote on behalf of his son. i think that counts for an awful lot. >> very interesting. we'll see what happens. and we'll see that big endorsement for ted cruz and whether or not that puts him in a strong position against donald trump who's still surging in the polls. the fast food giant -- or chain that's thrived on its campaign to be fresher and healthier, alternative to all the rest, is doing damage control this morning amid news of a norovirus outbreak wider than first thought. at least 120 boston college students got sick after eating at chipotle. the restaurant has been slapped with three critical violations. and that norovirus outbreak comes on the heels of a separate e. coli outbreak. this morning chipotle's founder and ceo spoke exclusively on the "today" show. >> this was a very unfortunate incident. and i'm deeply sorry this
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happened. but the procedures we're putting in place today are so above industry norms that we are going to be the safest place to eat. >> chipotle's now warning investors of a possible double digit drop in sales this quarter. and coming up, conservative supreme court justice antonin scalia is sparking controversy for comments on affirmative action that some are calling racist. he cited a controversial theory that african-american students might be better off at, quote, slower-track universities. but how much of what's being reported is accurate? we'll take a look at what he said in court. surprise!!!!! we heard you got a job as a developer! its official, i work for ge!! what? wow... yeah! okay... guys, i'll be writing a new language for machines so planes, trains, even hospitals can work better. oh! sorry, i was trying to put it away... got it on the cake. so you're going to work on a train? not on a train...on "trains"!
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we want to get you updated on breaking news we have been following this hour out of boston. boston transit officials say no passengers were injured after a train without an operator left a station and traveled through several other stations this morning. our boston affiliate whgh reports the operator got off
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that train to check on something and was injured when the train began moving. state officials say they are still investigating a report that a safety device in the train was tampered with. passengers reported confusion as that train moved past those stations before the power was turned off. >> everything was dark. everything was stopped. and we were trying to open the doors and we couldn't, and we were trying to press the button to the emergency room and nobody heard, and the people that was on the first car was trying to knock on the door of the conductor and that's when we discovered there was nobody there. so we had no idea. >> so the fbi says it's aware of the incident and is in contact with the transit police. we spoke with mike bella earlier from the boston globe, who indicated that train traveled at least four or five miles through those stations before it was stopped. we have new reaction this morning to controversial comments made by supreme court
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justice antonin scalia involving african-american university students. the justices were hearing arguments in a case challenging affirmative action at the university of texas, which could affect colleges nationwide. during the proceedings, scalia suggested quote, there are those who contend that it does not benefit african-americans to get them into the university of texas, where they do not do well as opposed to having them go to a less advanced school. a less -- a slower track school where they do well. now, those remarks triggered instant backlash online with justice scalia still trending on social media this morning. the remarks are also dominating headlines today. some even suggesting that scalia's remarks were outright racist, but was that the intent here and what did he say? at least one writer from the "l.a. times" says it was not. we put ari on the case. he has been looking into what happened there. i got to be honest, like you, i saw these headlines quoting scalia as if these were his
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words, and then you dig deeper and what do we see? >> it's more complicated than that. let me start with something i think a lot of viewers know. justice antonin scalia likes to be controversial. he is like your uncle at the table that wants to say something, get everybody riled up, and he often talks that way. having said that, when judges are asking questions in supreme court oral argument, we can't assume that when they put out a question, they are reflecting their views or their conclusions. the lawyers come in and make arguments, the judges ask questions and sometimes pose hypotheticals, sometimes they will specifically say i don't believe this or this is for the sake of argument, what about this, what about that, and then they will continue to talk and state a view. it's not necessarily their view. so you have to be very careful. a lot of people say do we want cameras in the courtroom. this may be an example where taking one thing out of context may give people a mistaken idea of how it really works and what's going on there. justice scalia is referring to a fairly controversial argument or theory that some people say well, if you open the gates for
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diversity program, do you end up putting people in a class in a way they may not ultimately benefit. a lot of people disagree with that. but i think there's been overblown reaction to some of what he said. >> obviously given some of the other comments as you pointed out from this justice, and the tension surrounding this, i know that you refer to him as the uncle that -- i don't have an uncle like that. >> you don't have a justice scalia uncle. >> but with that said, in all seriousness, this case hinges on the university of texas, fisher versus the university of texas. at the heart of this, certainly will send tremors through universities around this country. >> universities and beyond. the court has repeatedly heard these questions around affirmative action diversity programs and has upheld them but each time narrowed them. the question that goes beyond the criticism is whether the court is poised to completely undercut it. i can tell you who thinks that's a bad idea. the u.s. military, which has said repeatedly that in their education, in their officer training and in their leadership, they want to have
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the ability to take diversity as a factor. one among many, but a factor, because they find the military works better and excels when it is diverse, when it looks like america. so i think justice scalia's likely conclusion that we know from his last decisions on this is out of some of what we might call the mainstream or at least how a lot of fortune 100 companies in the military run. i think that's separate from how people are jumping on one quote. >> interesting remark. certainly the reaction to it. thank you, ari. appreciate it. that does it for this hour of "msnbc live." i'm tamron hall. up next, peter alexander takes over for andrea mitchell. see you tomorrow.
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports," war story. telling a story publicly for the first time, sergeant bergdahl describes what happened when he walked away from his army outpost in afghanistan. >> suddenly, i really start to thinking i really did something
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bad. well, not bad, but i really did something serious. previous plots. investigators say syed farook was discussing another attack as early as 2012. >> we're working very very hard to understand did they have other plans either for that day or earlier. and rerouted. donald trump postponing his scheduled trip to israel to visit prime minister netanyahu at least for now. >> but i didn't want to put him under pressure, number one. i also did it because i'm in the midst of a very powerful campaign that's going very well and it was not that easy to do, so i would say lots of different reasons.

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