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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  January 17, 2016 7:00am-9:01am PST

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now mother, we are settlers.o directv? i've settled for cable all my life. but directv has been number one in customer satisfaction over cable for 15 years. we find our satisfaction elsewhere. the boy has his stick and hoop. the girl - her faceless doll. and you have your cabbages. and you...have your foot stomping. i sure do. (vo) don't be a settler. get rid of cable and upgrade to directv. call 1-800-directv. this morning, i question just what is the future of the movement. plus the democratic showdown going down in south carolina. and the doctor trying to save kids from flint's water. but first, the latest on the diplomatic break through in iran.
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good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. and we continue to follow the breaking news out of iran, where earlier this morning, three of the five americans who had been imprisoned in iran left the country own a plane, reportedly bound for a military base in germany. one of the men on the plane was "washington post" correspondent jason rezaian, who will be detained in the country for more than 500 days. a u.s. official says one of the men released along with jason rezaian in a prisoner swap deal was not on the plane that left iran. a fifth american whose release was unrelated to the deal departed iran yesterday. the release of the prisoners came as the u.n. verified that iran has scaled back its nuclear program, triggering the removal of international economic sanctions against the country. now, iranian president hassan
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rouhani declared the nuclear deal a golden page in the history of iran and a turning upon the issues thus join point in the country's economy. keir simmons joins us from germany. what can you tell us but where the americans are headed now? >> reporter: well, we think that they are coming here to this u.s. medical facility in germany. it is the biggest outside of the u.s. this is where military victims, injured military, or whether it be civilians in this kind of case, they quite often do come here for medical evaluation and psychological evaluation before they head home. this is where we think they are coming. right now it appears they are in switzerland. and it may be that with those two planes on the tarmac, the u.s. plane and the iranian plane, some kind of a prisoner swap is happening there now.
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but what we do know, though, is that movable u.s. prisoners are now out of iran. their families, the "washington post" who of course deployed the tehran correspondent, he was one of those prisoners, celebrating their release, while at the same time, as you mentioned, this news that one of the prisoners appears to have chosen not to get on the plane, not to leave. >> we'll obviously continue to follow that story throughout the morning as we learn more details. thank you so much for joining us this morning, keir simmons in germany. now, the news out of iran, this release of american citizens, including a "washington post" journalist held for more than 500 days, echoes with historic resonance because of the undeniable parallels with the headlines out of iran 35 years ago. the day ronald reagan was gnawing rated as 40th president
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of the united states, just minutes after he takes the oath of office, 52 americans held hostage in iran board a plane in tehran and fly to freedom after being held captive for 444 days. now, the timing was of course no coincidence. reagan's predecessor, president jimmy carter, had spent the last night of his presidency working with his predecessors on 11th hour negotiations to free the hostages. but the iranians orchestrated the hostage release to make sure history would not record the long-awaited moment as a victory for the carter situation. the iranian hostage crisis ultimately cost jimmy carter a second term in office. carter considered the safe return of the hostages his personal responsibility and made it the top priority of his administration since they were first captured on november 4th, 1979. that day, a group of iranian students stormed the u.s. embassy in tehran and seized more than 50 americans on the
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staff. they were protesting u.s. support of the shah of iran, the former leader who was ousted in iran's islamic revolution. before the uprising he had risen to power with the help of the cia and u.s. military. after his exile, he was allowed into the united states on humanitarian grounds to receive treatment for cancer. the iranian students refused to release the hostages until the u.s. sent back the shah to stand trial. they said billions of dollars had been stolen from the people of iran. president carter, concerned that a military strategy could endanger the lives of the hostages, initially exhausted every option available for a negotiated resolution. but economic sanctions freezing iran's assets gave no results. in 1980, carter authorized a high risk rescue mission that failed spectacularly when a
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military helicopter crashed and killed eight american soldiers. by that time the story of the iranian hostage crisis had become an american obsession. the subject of daily wall to wall national news coverage. and in the midst of a presidential election, it became one of the biggest liabilities as president carter tried to hold on to his presidency. public sentiment, which initially favored carter's diplomatic approach, turned against him and crystallized after the attempted and failed rescue. it prompted many to brand carter as feckless and incompetent and a sharp contrast to ronald reagan's aggressive approach to foreign policy. on november 4th, 1980, one year to the day after the hostages were taken, ronald reagan defeated jimmy carter by a landslide in the national election. in the end, the hostage crisis
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was ultimately resolved by president carter and his patient, persistent diplomacy. but history remembers the each of the as one of the great failures of his administration and it would come to define decades of hostile relations between iran and the united states. fast forward. today, another presidential election year. another group of american citizens during month after month of captivity in iran. another american president committed to his own strategy of patient and persistent diplomacy to secure their release. this time, success of the strategy will leave as part of a presidential legacy, a victory instead of defeat. joining me now, a professor of international affairs at the new school. a national republican consultant. a fellow of the roosevelt institute. and washington correspondent for
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"the nation." so nice to have you all here. nina, i want to start with you. for me, this was not the first moment, this actually is a reminder that there has been a cold war of sorts between the u.s. and iran that really goes back to this moment almost exactly this week, since 1980. >> it was a cold war. and it's really interesting, the relationship that has been slightly thawing for the last year and a half, two years. we all remember that the relationship will be turning out, because hollywood tells us these things first. i think it is an important understanding that in the cold war, that kind of very subtle diplomacy ultimately brought the end of the soviet union. and it is interesting that you
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mentioned that reagan took credit for carter's achievements because in some ways reagan was very good that way, in diminishing his achievements, yet it was the same thing, go gorbachev was ready to change policy and reagan took advantage of it and argued that he was the one ending those crises. reagan was great at taking credit for other people's doing. >> and the iranians helped him do that, they were literally watching the inauguration, they're like, okay, reagan's president, now they can go. >> that makes a good president, a media-savvy president, is that you know that you use other people's -- other countries' political necessities to your advantage. i think reagan was really very good that way. but i cannot help but think that this kind of undercurrent relationship between iran and the united states is very
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similar to those undercover relations between the ussr and america 20 years ago. >> part of i think what we would say about the sort of thawing of the cold war between the u.s. and the ussr and the u.s. and russia is that the world is safer as a result. and the question that you asked yesterday was, is the world now safer as a result of this decision, this pact, not so much about the hostages, but that the hostages are part of this larger deal. i think want to listen to what secretary of state john kerry said in response to your question yesterday. let's take a listen. >> today marks the first day of a safer world. one where we believe it is possible to remain safer for years to come, and particularly with the compliance of this agreement. i think we have also proven once again why diplomacy has to always be our first choice, and
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war our last resort. >> kerry says we're safer. >> he says we're safer. and in the middle of this election, i'm going to pivot back to june of 1980 when i was working for ronald reagan and jimmy carter was beating us by double digits. we had a communicator who was our nominee in june. we had a fight in '76 we all participated in where the sitting president beat him. i understand that reagan takes credit. but if you look at reagan's rhetoric, he was playing off of the crisis, he was playing off -- a lot of similarities, a weak military. a lot of things are real similar. we've got clinton who looks like the nominee, we'll talk about that later. will we be safer next week? i don't think so. a country that said they're a nation builder of terrorists, a sponsor of state terrorism, a country that wouldn't let us
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inspect, we think we're going to have inspections, a country that has won this, in our opinion, the ayatollahs have won the negotiating, they let our hostages go which they should have before. we'll see a lot of this on the trail, about the size of our military, the current state of our military, from the republican candidates. >> okay. but i do think rhetoric is part of what matters, positioning is part of what matters. on the one hand, the president clearly has been 100% clear about the relevance, the importance of diplomacy. this is maybe the clearest victory around diplomacy. but diplomacy has not been the only foreign policy strategy. and i just have to point out that there was that fully boss moment when the day after the national press club, after he had just had that sort of sunny moment with donald trump about birtherism, he walks to the podium, right, in fact he actually preempts "the apprentice" on nbc, shows up and
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lets the country know that osama bin laden, not has been negotiated with, right, but has died, right, has been killed by the u.s. military. and in fact he brought that up in the state of the union on tuesday, before then finishing and enacting this. i see them as both parts of what the obama strategy is. up next, remember when they said that senator obama was crazy for promising to negotiate with iran? i bet president obama does. ♪ those who define sophistication stand out. those who dare to redefine it stand apart. the all-new lexus rx and rx hybrid. never has luxury been this expressive. this is the pursuit of perfection. that reminds me...
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on saturday, "the new yorker" reported that the prisoner swap which secured the release of four americans from iran was a deal 14 months in the making. require robin wright reports president obama authorized a top secret second diplomatic channel
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in iran to negotiate for freedom for americans imprisoned in iran. president obama has long been committed to opening channels with countries like iran with whom the united states has had hostile relationships. think back to this presidential debate in 2007. >> would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of iran, syria, venezuela, cuba, and north korea in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries? >> i would. and the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration, is ridiculous. >> the "washington post" reported on the immediate resistance to then senator obama's claim, citing, quote,
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older politicians who questioned the wisdom of his proposed action, and hillary clinton, who called it irresponsible and frank ll lly naive. john mccain called it reckless and said it demonstrates poor judgment. the rest is history. now, for four or five freed americans, their world just became a whole lot safer. how will we know whether or not the president was right? >> i think there are some silicon valley terms that come to mind, descriptisrupter, inno. in terms of foreign policy, i think ultimately that's what this president's legacy will be. he's taken the best from carter and reagan and remixed it with diplomacy and a different showing of strength. last year, speaker of the house
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john boehner said, no deal is better than this deal. he's wrong. and actually the republican party is now in a bit of crisis when it comes to foreign policy and diplomacy, because this is a real world example of diplomacy working, versus, say, ten, 15 years ago, remember the axis of evil that george w. bush announced? w.'s former high level negotiator worked on the negotiations in this case. this was important for ending iran's nuclear program ultimately. >> when barack obama was given the nobel prize at the start of his presidency, there were an awful lot of people in the united states who said, what the heck is this about, why is this happening? >> he himself said, i don't think i deserve this. >> and i was one of those people who said, boy, maybe wait a year or a few.
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however, what you just showed, there's a very interesting dynamic here. if we imagine that the nobel prize was given not for the acts of a presidency but for that possibility of shifting toward diplomacy, and what we now see in the last year of this presidency is a realization that the arc of diplomacy, and tough military actions at times, some of which i've disagreed with, but what we see is this president has gotten to a place where in effect he has, i would argue, legitimized many of the hopes and dreams of a lot of people who put their faith in him. if i could just throw one other element in here too. we were talking about all this, and i think one of the biggest challenges in this moment is that we have a wholly different media system today than we had in 1980 and 1981. what started in 1980? cnn.
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on late night tv, "nightline." we started to expand 24/7. >> "nightline" literally happened in order to keep up with the iranian hostage crisis. that's why it existed. which in part is interesting to me because as huge as this is, it is also true that for most americans, i suspect that they have forgotten that there were americans many hundreds of days being held hostage in iran. the thing that is not different, the thing that is very much the same, is that hillary clinton continues to break with the president on his foreign policy strategy, which is a little stunning given that she was his secretary of state. >> it was amazing to me yesterday, when i saw the clip that hillary clinton was going to push for more sanctions. that might be the exact terminology. >> and there are still are sanctions in place, which is important to understand. >> but i don't think the public knows about that. what i saw yesterday, and i've had a great time watching democrats tell republicans
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what's going on in their primary, i'm going to reverse and tell you what's happening in south carolina among democrats. i saw the numbers from a credible pollster last week that came out. and hillary clinton looks like she's got trouble in iowa and new hampshire. she's going to hit the firewall of south carolina that president obama wiped her up in 2008. huge organization, big turnout. she's got to have african-american president obama loyalists to win, because bernie sanders is picking up the democrat white vote. you'll see it by pretty good numbers. now i say there's going to be a contest. >> don't take my 11:00 hour, but yes, i think we're -- real quick, super fast, the other thing that was important, it seems to me about this, i want you to weigh in on this, 15 seconds, how important is it that all of this happened in secret? >> that's what diplomacy is all about. you announce your diplomatic achievements when they're actually ready to be announced. i think that's where obama was
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very, very good, because as with osama bin laden, as you said, they keep it in secret and then they say, hey, we have this, and it worked for us. one very quick point on hillary clinton and sanctions. i think she's channelling reagan, she does this trust but verify thing, we're lifting some but we want to make sure you remember, if anything goes wrong, sanctions are going to be there. >> reagan has been mentioned a lot this morning. up next, the president declares a state of emergency for an unnatural disaster in flint, michigan. that's why there's coricidin® hbp. it relieves cold symptoms without raising blood pressure. so look for powerful cold medicine with a heart. coricidin® hbp.
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crisis. according to the president's statement, "the president authorizes action with the department of homeland security and fema to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures authorized by title v of the stafford act, to save lives and protect public health and safety and prevent a catastrophe." a disaster, an emergency, the threat of catastrophe. but you know what did happen in flint? a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake, or any other natural disaster that happens from time to time when mother earth decides to remind us that she makes the rules. no, the crisis in flint is an entirely man-made disaster. and not just man-made in the sense of mankind. this is a man-made disaster that
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can be traced to one particular man. michigan governor rick snyder. the reason flint, michigan is in a state of emergency is because the city manager, pointed by governor rick snyder, not elected by the people of flint, made a cost-cutting decision to change the water source for the city. when the water from the cheaper flint river corroded the city's pipes and tainted the city's water with lead and potentially poisoned the people of the city, well, none of the officials in charge, officials who report to governor rick snyder, did much of any damn thing about it. so yes, there is an emergency in flint. and the emergency is michigan governor rick snyder, who has spent weeks denying, evading, minimizing, and offering ill-fitting water filters to the tens of thousands of people who are being poisoned by choices of
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officials he appointed and who report to him. on saturday, presidential candidate bernie sanders added his voice to that of flint residents calling for snyder's declaration. thankfully the federal government will now help provide water and other emergency items for the people of flint thanks to president obama's declaration. but this isn't caused by some tragic set of forces they can't control. this time the disaster has a cause and a make it. rick snyder. back to our table, time for governor snyder to go? >> yes. but i would suggest to you that we need to put this in perspective. these water wars have been going on for a while. last summer in detroit, people were marching through the
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streets of detroit demanding that detroit stop shutting off water in people in the lowest income neighborhoods. they did finally get that turned around. but detroit also has been under an emergency manager system. i cannot emphasize enough, when you combine austerity economics with a shutting down of local democracy, you end up in a situation where for purposes of cost cutting, you put people's lives in jeopardy. this is not something that a local elected government would do. to my mind, when rick schneider decided that he would deal with the economic challenges of a state that has suffered a lot of de-industrialization, taken a lot of hard hits from trade policy, by taking power away from the people who care the most for their neighbors, who are elected by their neighbors, and putting it in the hands of technocrats who look for the way to cut costs, you end up with
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disastrous situation after disastrous situation. it isn't just flint. i'm not diminishing flint. but i'm saying that this is an ongoing challenge. and to my mind, rick schneider has shown -- he should have woken up to this a year ago, with detroit. you don't mess with water. it hasn't happened. i think it comes to a resignation moment. >> this feels to me like one of those moments where, within the context of a national partisan election, folks can distinguish themselves and their identity, so everybody who is running as a republican, you can show that you are a different kind of republican by saying that right there is unacceptable, right? so for me, democrats can do it around, for example, governor nixon in missouri and the way he handles ferguson and say, all right, we may all be democrats, but that right there in ferguson is not acceptable. so democrats are not, we're not
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standing behind and beside governor nixon. similarly, is it time for gop candidates to be asked about the flint situation in a gop debate, and what kind of answers would you like to see from candidates? >> first, i don't think they will be asked that. maybe, maybe not. and second, governor nixon is still there and governor schneider will still be there, they're not going to move. it's a disastrous situation. anybody who has been, like i was, in the flood in south carolina, fema came in for weeks. we understand the discomfort the citizens are under. then the tragedy of a bad situation and some bad managers. but he's the governor, these are his appointees, he's responsible for it. go back to nathan deal when they blocked the highway with the big storm, and his election looked like he was in trouble. he came back. >> look, i get you. you know, new orleans, right? i get what a hurricane does. i understand needing the water, filling up the tub. lead poisoning is forever.
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>> that's right. >> this is not about the problems that come from the short term water boiling situation. this is infants and children who have been poisoned, who will have behavioral and cognitive consequences for life, full stop. >> it's a tragic, systemic failure of an organization that he runs. does that mean that they call for him to resign or he does resign? i just think realistically that's not going to happen. >> the access to clean water, it's a fundamental human right. with fresh water, a body of fresh water. so there should be criminal charges. this is going to go down as one of the worst social experiments in history, up there with
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tuskeegee. someone needs to be held accountable. the governor has poisoned thousands of kids, as you said, melissa. how are we not infuriated by this? >> again, i get bad things happening, fema coming in, disaster. we just need a different word for this one. >> it's not a natural disaster. >> it's not a natural disaster. it's not a tragedy. >> it's a political choice. >> to offer another element here. >> you can, but after the break. we await president obama's remarks, he's planning to speak very soon on the iran nuclear deal and the prisoner swap. don't miss the democratic debate for candidates tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on nbc. you show up. you stay up. you listen. you laugh. you worry. you do whatever it takes to take care of your family. and when it's time to plan for your family's future, we're here for you.
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white house, as three of four americans released in a prisoner swap with iran are on the way home. a u.s. official has now confirmed their plane has left iranian jurisdiction. "washington post" reporter jason rezaian and his wife are among those on board the plane which left tehran this morning. in exchange for their release, the u.s. is offering clemency or pardons for seven iranians. the prisoner swap was part of a dramatic day that also included the implementation of a landmark deal on iran's nuclear program and the lifting of economic sanctions against iran. right now i want to go to nbc's ron allen, who is joining us now from the white house where we expect to hear from the president very soon. ron, i know yesterday we were expecting to hear from the president. i know we actually are going to hear from him today. any insights on what he might say to us? >> reporter: we're going to hear from him very soon, melissa, in the next few minutes perhaps. we've just been told that he's
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going to make a statement about iran. you're right, we thought we would hear from him yesterday when the prisoners were released, but apparently the white house waited until the entire situation had been resolved and the former prisoners were out of iranian airspace and safely on their journey. we believe their first stop is going to be geneva, switzerland, and then on to germany to a u.s. military base and hospital there for checkups before continuing on to the united states. that's what the president is likely to say. senior administration officials have been saying on his behalf that this has been a significant, a huge, an historic diplomatic accomplishment, emphasizing diplomacy. the president himself said the iran nuclear deal helped avert war, it's that serious. and this deal, the monitoring system that's in place, will stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon any time in the near future, in the next decade or
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so. there's also been criticism from republicans and others about the prisoner swap, some saying the u.s. gave up too much. the administration officials have been saying that about 14 months ago, a new channel of communication opened up whereby they saw a way to begin discussions about the release of these americans who were now headed home. they continued it, and they say there were fits and starts. and by the summer, when the iranian nuclear deal was in place, momentum picked up in the discussions about the prisoners. and they said that as these two tracks came together in the final two to three weeks, they saw an opportunity, and they took advantage of it. they say it was the right thing to do, to exchange the iranians for the americans because they did not want to leave the americans in iran once they saw that there was a way to bring them home, melissa. >> do you know, ron, whether or not the president has in fact spoken with any of the released hostages? >> reporter: no, i do not.
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i'm not sure exactly where they are. when they land and what they do when they get there, i don't know. i don't know whether the president has spoken to any of those individuals directly. i know there has been some reporting that state department officials and others have been in touch with families here in the states, and there is a delegate of u.s. officials waiting for them in geneva. hopefully, i would expect they'll be landing there shortly. >> stay with us, because the president is expected to address this issue any moment now. why do some cash back cards keep throwing obstacles at you? first - they limit where you earn bonus cash back. then - those places change every few months? i think i'll pass... quicksilver from capital one puts nothing in your way. you simply earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere.
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some had seizures while taking chantix. if you have any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse or of seizures. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you have these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. tell your doctor if you have heart or blood vessel problems, or develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery. most common side effect is nausea. life as a non-smoker is a whole lotta fun. ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. earlier today, presidential candidates from both parties appeared on nbc's "meet the press" and weighed in on iran. here is some of what they had to say. >> they need to know that this is a good step forward with respect to the nuclear weapons
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program, but there are other areas of their behavior that we're going to continue to be focused on. >> the question was asked of obama, would you sit down and talk to the iranians. and he said, yeah, i would. point being that you talk to your adversaries. you don't run away from that. secretary clinton i think called him naive. turns out that obama was right. >> when i become president of the united states, our adversaries around the world will know that america is no longer under the command of somebody weak like barack obama. it will be like ronald reagan who took over and saw the release of hostages from iran. >> it's like they were watching the show this morning. how will this end up playing in our partisan politics? >> i think actually -- i mean, it is very good for barack obama, unless they make it not good for barack obama, because one of the problems i think with this administration is that yes, they do go for diplomacy, but
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then somehow they get off message, and then their opponents kind of take advantage of their getting off message and reinterpret it in different ways. another thing, when we talk about barack obama is a great diplomat in this regard, yes, he does talk to his adversaries. he doesn't talk to less adversaries, like vladimir putin, for example. it's not really consistent. and i think that's the problem of this white house. it's not entirely kept. >> it's interesting, because part of what we were talking about in the break is whether or not now, as the president is going to come to the podium the next few minutes, whether or not he's going to behave -- john, i heard you say, as explainer in chief. and ever since the new year we've been saying this president in his final moments, in his final year as president, now what's a certain discursive freedom that maybe is different, maybe not only explainer in chief but also standing up for his own positions in a way that
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we haven't seen previously. >> i think these things go together. we just saw a state of the union address which had a very strong, confident president. so this is not -- this speech yesterday is not a time for popping champagne corks or being celebratory. this is a time to be an explainer in chief. it is a time to be the competent, strong, despite what marco rubio says, the confident, strong, president of the united states, intervening in a bit of a problem situation, which is that our media, until a couple of days ago, wasn't even paying any attention to the fact that we were at this pivot point that some things were going to happen. we have had a lot of things happen very fast. this president will, i suspect, slow it down, take us back and say, look, a long time ago we started working on one arc, which was to dial down this nuclear threat. then more recently, we started
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working on another arc, we wanted to get these hostages out, we've been trying to get them out for a long time. with diplomacy things start to interweave. bottom line is, we had incredible things happen over the last 24 hours. he should put that in perspective. then he should say, or he i suspect will say, and this shows us what we can do when we try to treat our enemies, our challenges, seriously rather than simply come out bombastically. >> will mr. trump be live tweeting the event? >> i'll tell you what mr. trump will do. we called it yesterday. >> didn't we, though? there's the president of the united states. we'll go straight to the white house to listen as he speaks about the iran deal. >> once again, we're seeing what's possible with strong american diplomacy. as i said in my state of the
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union address, ensuring the security of the united states and the safety of our people demands a smart, patient, and disciplined approach to the world. that includes our diplomacy with the islamic republic of iran. for decades, our differences with iran meant that our governments almost never spoke to each other. ultimately, that did not advance america's interests. over the years, iran moved closer and closer to having the ability to build a nuclear weapon. but from presidents franklin roosevelt to john f. kennedy to ronald reagan, the united states has never been afraid to pursue diplomacy with our adversaries. and as president, i decided that a strong, confident america could advance our national security by engaging directly with the iranian government. we've seen the results. under the nuclear deal that we, our allies and partners, reached with iran last year, iran will not get its hands on a nuclear
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bomb. the reasonabgion, the united st and the world will be mohr secure. as i've said many advertisements, the nuclear deal was never intended to resolve all of our differences with iran, but still, engaging directly with the iranian government on a sustained basis for the first time in decades has created a unique opportunity, a window to try to resolve important issues. and today i can report progress on a number of fronts. first, yesterday marked a milestone in preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. iran has now fulfilled key commitments under the nuclear deal. and i want to take a moment to explain why this is so important. over more than a decade, iran had moved ahead with its nuclear program, and before the deal, it had installed nearly 20,000 centrifuges that can enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb. today iran has removed two-thirds of those machines.
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before the deal, iran was steadily increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium, enough for up to ten nuclear bombs. today, more than 90% of that stockpile has been shipped out of iran, meaning iran now doesn't have enough material for even one bomb. before, iran was nearing completion of a new reactor capable of producing plutonium for a bomb. today, the core of that reactor has been pulled out and filled with concrete, so it cannot be used again. before the deal, the world had relatively little visibility into iran's nuclear program. today, international inspectors are on the ground, and iran is being subjected to the most comprehensive, intrucive inspection regime ever to monitor a nuclear program. inspectors will monitor iran's key nuclear facilities 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. for decades to come, inspectors
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will have access to iran's entire nuclear supply chain. in other words, if iran tries to cheat, if they try to build a bomb covertly, we will catch them. the bottom line is this. where is iran was steadily expanding its nuclear program, we have now cut off every single path that iran could have used to build a bomb. where is it would have taken iran two to three months to break out with enough material to rush to a bomb, we've now extended that breakout time to a year. and with the world's unprecedented inspections and access to iran's program, we'll know if iran ever tries to break out. now that iran's actions have been verified, it can begin to receive relief from certain nuclear sanctions and gain access to its own money that had been frozen, and perhaps most important of all, we achieved this historic progress through diplomacy, without resorting to
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another war in the middle east. i want to also point out that by working with iran on this nuclear deal, we were better able to address other issues. when our sailors in the persian gulf accidentally strayed into iranian waters, that could have sparked a major international incident. some folks here in washington rushed to declare that it was the start of another hostage crisis. instead we worked directly with the iranian government and secured the release of our sailors in less than 24 hours. this brings me to a second major development. several americans unjustly detained by iran are finally coming home. in some cases, these americans faced years of continued detention. and i've met with some of their families. i've seen their anguish, how they ache for their sons and husbands. i gave these families my word, i made a vow that we would do everything in our power to win the release of their loved ones.
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and we have been tireless. on the sidelines of the nuclear negotiations, our diplomats at the highest level, including secretary kerry, used every meeting to push iran to release our americans. i did so myself in my conversation with president rouhani. after the nuclear deal was completed, the discussions between our governments accelerated. yesterday, the families finally got the news that they had been waiting for. jason rezaian is coming home. a courageous journalist for the "washington post" who wrote about the daily lives and hopes of the iranian people. he's been held for a year and a half. he embodies the brave spirit that gives live to freedom of the press. he has already been reunited with his wife and mom. pastor saeed adedini is coming home. held for three and a half years, his unyielding faith has
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inspired people around the world in the global fight to uphold freedom of religion. now pastor saeed adedini will return to his church in idaho. amir hekmati is coming home, a former sergeant in the marine corps. he's been held four and a half years. today his parents and sisters are giving thanks in michigan. two other americans unjustly detained by iran have also been released. nosratollah khoshawi and matthew trevithick, an iranian who was in iran as a student. their cases were largely unknown to the world, but when they're reunited with their families, that's something we can all celebrate. i want to thank my national security team, especially secretary kerry, susan rice, my national security adviser, brett mcgurk, admiral haynes, ben rhodes, our whole team worked
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tirelessly to bring our americans home, to get this work done. and i want to thank the swiss government which represents our interests in iran, for their critical assistance. meanwhile, iran has agreed to deepen our coordination as we work to locate robert levinson, missing in iran for more than eight years. even as we rejoice in the safe return of others, we will never forget about bob. each and every day, but especially today, our hearts are with the levinson family and we will not rest until their family is whole again. in a reciprocal humanitarian gesture, six iranians are being granted clemency. these individuals were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses. they're civilians and their release is a one-time gesture to iran, given the unique opportunity offered by this moment and the larger circumstances at play, and it
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reflects our willingness to continue to engage with iran when it advances our interests and the security of the united states. so, nuclear deal, implemented. american families reunited. the third piece of this work that we got done this weekend involved the united states and iran resolving a financial dispute that dated back more than three decades. since 1981, after our nations severed diplomatic relations, we worked through a diplomatic tribunal to resolve claims between our countries. the united states and iran are resolving a long-standing iranian claim against the united states government. iran will be returned its own funds, including appropriate interest, but much less than the amount iran sought. for the united states, this settlement can save us billions of dollars that could have been pursued by iran, so there was no
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benefit to the united states in dragging this out. with the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well. of course, even as we implement the nuclear deal, and welcome our americans home, we recognize that there remain profound differences between the united states and iran. we remain steadfast in opposing iran's destabilizing behavior elsewhere, including its threats against israel and our gulf partners and proxies like syria and yemen. we still have sanctions on iran for its violations of human rights, for its support of terrorism, and for its ballistic missile program. and we will continue to enforce these sanctions vigorously. iran's recent missile test, for example, was a violation of its international obligations. and as a result, the united states is imposing sanctions on individuals and companies working to advance iran's ballistic missile program.
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and we are going to remain vigilant about it. we're not going to waiver in defense of security or that of our allies or partners. but i do want to once again speak directly to the iranian people. yours is a great civilization with a vibrant culture that has to much to contribute to the world. in commerce, science, the arts. for decades, your government's threats and actions to destabilize your region have isolated iran from much of the world. and now our governments are talking with one another, following the nuclear deal, you, especially young iranians, have the opportunity to begin building new ties with the world. we have a rare chance to pursue a new path, a different, better future that delivers progress for both our peoples and the wider world. that's the opportunity before the iranian people. we need to take advantage of that. and to my fellow americans,
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today we're united in welcoming home sons and husbands and brothers who in lonely prison cells endured an absolute nightmare. they never gave in and never gave up. at long last they can stand tall and breathe deep the fresh air of freedom. as a nation, we face real challenges. around the world and here at home. many of them will not be resolved quickly or easily. but today's progress, americans coming home, an iran that has rolled back its nuclear program and accepted unprecedented monitoring of that program. these things are a reminder of what we can achieve when we lead with strength and wisdom, with courage and resolve and patience. american can do and has done big things when we work together. we leave this world safer and
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more secure for our children and grandchildren for generations to come. i want to thank once again secretary kerry, our entire national security team led by susan rice. i'm grateful for all the assistance that we received from our allies and partners. and i am hopeful that this signals the opportunity at least for iran to work more cooperatively with nations around the world to advance their interests and the interests of people who are looking for peace and security for their families. thank you so much. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. >> that was president obama, of course addressing the nation on the iran nuclear deal, and the prisoner swap, starting his remarks by saying, this is a good day. joining me now from tehran is nbc's ali arouzi.
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>> reporter: the iranians are excited about sanctions being removed. the deal happened in august. and now it's been implemented today. i think it's going to spell a lot of relief for ordinary people here. the last eight years in iran, when the sanctions have been particularly difficult, have been very hard for iranian people. they've been squeezed out of the international banking market. their currency is de valvaluede. their they're hoping to change all of that. joining the international community has been very important for iranians. iranians felt like they were pushed out into the cold, that they were a global pariah, and they didn't like that. they said this was a misrepresentation of who we are, and they want that desperately to change. we were out in the streets today, we were in the bazaar, we
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were talking to people, and they were very happy. they said, we hope this is a new chapter for iran, we hope this is a new chapter for iranian-american relations. we want to be careful not to overstate that. we've seen new sanctions imposed on iran. president obama pointed out a whole host of other issues that the united states still has with iran. so there's still a very long way to go before there's normal relationships with these two countries. but this is certainly a step in the right direction. this has really been a triumph for diplomacy since this nuclear deal. and we've seen the culmination of it here with the deal coming through, the prisoners being released, and the incident with the u.s. sailors not spiraling out of control. the two sides may not be best friends, but they are talking, and they're not letting the situation deteriorate out of hand, which has got to be a good thing, melissa. >> it felt to me like the president made an important distinction towards the end of his remarks there between the iranian government on the one hand and the iranian people and
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the ancient persian culture and the contribution of arts and the sciences and kind of the possibilities for young people. is that the same kind of distinction you're seeing on the ground there? >> reporter: definitely. the iranian people, i mean, that would be music to their ears. for the most part, melissa, the iranian people like america, they like american culture, they don't have any animosity towards america. people are always asking me, what's america like, how can i get a visa to go there. there's a lot of common ground between people here in america and a lot of iranian people would like the opportunity to study and visit america. they would like to see american tourists here. that's all easier said than done. elements of iran's hard line government are ideologically opposed to the united states. but when an idea comes to fruition, it's very difficult to get in its way. we have to see how that pans out over the course of the next few
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months and years. it's also a very delicate situation. as president rouhani came into power and president obama was in power, i think the stars aligned for this deal to happen, but it could also very easily fall apart. iranians here talk about if donald trump became president, what would the situation with iran be, or someone who was very anti-iran, would everything fall back to the way it was before and become possibly worse? it's always predictably unpredictable, relations between those two countries. >> thank you, ali. nbc's keir simmons joins us from germany. what can you tell us about the status of those americans now? >> reporter: well, we expect them to come here to this american medical base in germany to undergo a medical examination and psychological examination. the president there confirming that at least one of those
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americans, the "washington post" journalist, has met with some members of his family. even in the statement from the "washington post," we're hearing about some of the treatment that he underwent. the "washington post" saying we're relieved that this 545-day nightmare for jason and his family is over, after enduring deplorable conditions and inhumane treatment, the priority must be his health and well-being, other families saying how delighted they are that their family members will be headed home soon. we don't know how long that will be, it could be a number of days. if they come here to this medical center, they will want to expedite those psychological examinations as quickly as possible. but plainly they will need to go through all of the questions they need to ask before those folks can head back home. >> thank you, keir simmons in germany. back with me here in new york,
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our panel is joined by the reverend al sharpton, host of msnbc's "politics nation" and founder of the national action network. what did you hear from our president? >> well, i think that i heard a statement of one who had achieved something, that he was in some circles viciously attacked while he was proceeding the negotiations that have now resulted in bringing these americans home. let's not forget that he was roundly attacked, as was secretary of state john kerry, saying they didn't even bring the american prisoners up. and they were at that time negotiating the release which now has apparently happened. so i think that what we saw was a self-restrained victory lap by president obama. >> yes. he was totally doing it, nuclear deal, done, american families,
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done, financial deal, done. >> all the things that they said wouldn't get done. he did everything. >> and you don't want to do a victory lap at the beginning of a process. but there was, and this was an important, y'all kept yelling at me about this. and it was happening but i could not talk about it while it was happening because, you know, real g's move in silence. >> the president had a good day today. the proof is going to be in the pudding for the next administration. about what we're going to have to watch in the next two or three weeks is the position of syria and what iran does there. then maybe the president will surprise me, that that's been a big negotiating tool the entire time. the ayatollah are high fiving, much like the castros were high fiving. >> opening cuba is the right thing to do. >> iran, we just gave them
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legitimacy in the middle east. they've now got their economic power. i will give the president the most credit of anybody, when he threw financial sanctions on them, we had them by the throat. we wouldn't be here today. and everybody applauded that. the big conversation came when we eased the sanctions, versus republicans, versus the democrats, and the president. what i want to see is, when the next president has to deal with, much like iraq, the inspections, and they turn us down and says, i'm sorry, you can't see them, and i want to see what happens in syria the next few weeks. >> does this strengthen the fight against isil, does this give us the strength to cope with a humanitarian crisis in syria, and this this ensure viability long term for
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visibility of his program, because there will be a new president, democrat, republican. will we be able to see this program in iran? >> i think that's exactly a good question. i think the president did a very good job, as john said, he was explainer in chief, he did a very good job explaining. but the question is how it plays o out. we started the conversation with the cold war. it's same thing. reports in iran were exactly the same way that the soviets felt when suddenly the borders were opening, suddenly america is a country you can visit to. now russia has the lowest relationship with the united states ever since then. fine, iran has ten or 20 more years. but what i really would like to see is how then not only diplomatically but in structural terms, in systemic terms, that does play out, whether this white house and this president and this state department is
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cab capable of playing many games at the same time and consistently. >> but it's got to be on isis, on syria, on the question of sort of transparency of the program, that it will be better than it would be if we were at hot war with them, right? >> of course. >> i'm not sure that it will be perfect, but it's got to be better than if we were in active aggression. >> we'll with the american people on this one. i don't want another war in the middle east. the bottom line is that's where the president came from. one thing, i just want to counsel, people keep saying the next president. we have a long year ahead of us. this president, who is in some ways freed to not have politics pressure him. there are going to be economic challenges. that oil is coming online, that's going to be a factor in the middle east. there will be diplomacy challenges. but right now you saw a strong president talking about how he's going to deal with the rest of the world. so while i'm very interested in what the next president will do,
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i'm also extremely interested in this president's next year. >> he had strength, he addressed the ballistic missile question which has been on the table. >> and mr. levinson. >> and he just bought himself a relationship. in the meantime we'll still be talking about the next one. coming up next, we're talking about 2016, hillary and bernie. are you feeling the "bern" or climbing the hill? don't miss the democratic debate on nbc. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends, three jobs... you're like nothing can replace brad. then liberty mutual calls, and you break into your happy dance. if you sign up for better car replacement™, we'll pay for a car that's a model year newer with 15,000 fewer miles than your old one. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance.
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. tonight, the three contenders for the democratic party nomination will square off in a debate on nbc. i'm going to say something i
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wouldn't have expected to say three months ago. i'll be watching with keen interest because it turns out there actually seems to be a primary contest happening in the democratic party. not for you, martin, sorry, that's still not actually happening. i'll let you know if that changes. i'm talking about the relatively surprising and durable "bern" surge showing up in poll after policy in iowa and new hampshire. when bernie sanders announced his candidacy last may, it sounded admirably quixotic. but shortly someone would an actual chance of winning would throw their hat in the ring, someone with a solid foreign policy record, someone who had long been on the national stage, who could introduce themselves to the american people with respect in washington and ordinary folks as well. we waited for the real primary
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to begin. but, you know, that didn't so much happen. so when it was clear and the field was set and plenty of observers took a deep breath and assumed that all the action, the only action was the very, very unusual action happening over in the other primary. and that has been honestly 85 uniquely fascinating. but amid the breathless anticipation of the biden bid and the open-mouthed awe about trump's supremacy has been a little campaign chugging along. now ahead of tonight's debate in south carolina, televised by nbc and sponsored by the congressional black caucus, we have evidence that bernie sanders is an actually contender. the nbc/"wall street journal" poll shows clinton with a lead nationally over sanders. but last week's "new york times"/cbs survey has sanders
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just 7% below clinton. those two national polls, let's be clear, they matter very little in primary season. in iowa and new hampshire, it's an even closer race. these candidates are effectively tied there. and whether or not you believe that bernie sanders is a long term threat to the clinton nomination, i can tell you one person who does seem to think that he is. former secretary hillary clinton. because the shift in her strategy is clear. clinton has been sharpening her criticism of sanders and doing a media blitz that we have not seen from the secretary, whose interviews are typically few and far between. >> and secretary hillary clinton joins us now. >> hillary clinton is clear joining us live. >> welcome back to "morning joe." >> thanks, everybody. >> tonight we're joined by a special guest who is hard to get. she was here in the building to do "the tonight show with jimmy
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fallon." we asked if she could swing by. she could. >> this morning clinton and sanders are getting in their debate prep with major sunday morning news program warm-ups. sanders managed to appear on four morning news shows, "meet the press," "face the nation." hillary clinton was also a guest on those shows. she's taking jabs at senator sanders. this is her on tuesday. >> i wish that we could elect a democratic president who could wave a magic wand and say we shall do this and shall do that. that ain't the real world we're living in. >> i'm sorry. because i think maybe i just had some deja vu. because clinton just said something remarkably similar to something that she said during the 2008 primary. >> the celestial choirs will be
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singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect. maybe i've just lived a little long. but i have no ill usiusions abo how easy this is going to be. >> in 2008, then-senator barack obama was down in the national polls by 9 points, an even wider gap than the 7-point lead clinton currently has on bernie sanders in the "new york times"/cbs poll. joining me now are a writer at large, the co-creator of black lives matter, reverend al sharpton, host on msnbc.
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joining us is the national press secretary for the bernie sanders campaign. nice to have everybody here. simone, how are you this morning? >> i'm great. i'm feeling good. how are you guise doing? >> we're doing pretty well. you guys are making some really interesting national press this morning. i'm wondering about whether or not you realistically believe bernie sanders's campaign can go the whole distance and actually challenge hillary clinton for the presidency. >> yes, melissa, i do believe it. our campaign has the resources to fight all the way through to the convention, and we plan to do so. we have state directors and operations in almost all of the march 1 states. we raised $33 million in the last three months of 2015.
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we raised $73 million last year. i think we're in pretty good shape. >> so one of the claims is that the kind of stunning fundraising that's occurring right now, just over the past week, has happened in part because the sanders campaign has made a claim that the clinton campaign has gone negative and the clinton campaign said the sanders campaign went negative. has anyone actually gone negative at this point? >> we haven't gone negative, melissa. bernie sanders has never ran a negative campaign in his life and wasn't going to start with this presidential election. we've been clear about the senator's record. he has a great record to stand on, whether it's talking about advocating for better trade policies in america and leading the fight against the trans-pacific partnership, or whether we're talking about leading the fight against the keystone pipeline, because the senator believes that climate change is one of the greatest threats to our national security. advocating for hard-working
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everyday americans, standing up to wall street. i think a few folks are getting nervous. look, our fundraising i think has been strong from the beginning, because the senator's message is resonating with americans. we are speaking to the life and death issues that people care about. you know what, americans across the country, they want to know how you're going to put more money in their pockets, keep food on their tables, keep their families and communities safe. they care about education. those are the issues that senator sanders is speaking to. i think our average contribution right now is $27.16. we have over 1.3 million individual contributes ors to o campaign. of those 1.3 million folks, they can continue to give again because they haven't maxed out. this isn't just because the clinton campaign is nervous. this is a movement. >> damn, girl, that is supposed to be what you do on a cable tv show. but stick with me, i want to
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give you a chance to respond. i'm not kidding, you're good at your job, in the role that she's in right now, you take that mike and you go, right? >> and don't stop. >> and don't stop unless somebody says you must now stop. i'm interested here, because this is the kind of -- one of the things in particular, when i think about african-american voters, that black voters are looking for is not only the question of whether or not someone, you know, meets their interests and coincides with their concerns, but also, you know, the vote is precious and you want to feel like when you go to vote, you're not throwing it away, that this is a candidate that is viable and viable in the long term. how are you reading what's currently happening? >> i think that they are missing hitting it dead in the center, from my view. when i look at south carolina, and i ran 11 years ago, so i'm not just talking. >> yes, sir. >> when you are debating in north charleston, walter scott was killed by policemen in north charleston, a little over a year
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ago. ironically, when we went down and dealt with that, and young and old, some of us couldn't even agree on tactics, but everybody was outraged, it was on video. reverend pinckney led the prayer for us, who was then later killed in charleston at his church in emanuel. are you all going to seriously deal with policing and guns tonight? because you're there in north charleston and charleston where this happened. and i don't think we have a clear policy or commitment from the democrats. >> so when you say y'all -- >> let's not forget try angulation. we went through reagan, four years of bush, and try angulation of clinton, and then eight years of obama. >> who is the "y'all"? >> hillary clinton, bernie
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sanders, and o'malley need to address that. it didn't even come up the other night in north charleston. >> we don't have a representative from the clinton campaign. let me ask you, since we do have you here from the sanders campaign, will mr. sanders be able to address directly that question of police violence tonight? simone? >> definitely. and furthermore, reverend al, senator sanders talks about addressing police-community relations, police violence, police brutality all the time. this is not an issue he's shying away from. you can expect him to speak to that from the stage tonight. >> you're doing a great job, i wish i had you when i ran. but let me say this. i'm not talking about addressing police-community relations. i'm talking about criminality. a man shot in the back. we're not talking about a relationship here. away talking about locking up people that break the law, whether they are dealing from blue jeans or blue uniforms.
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>> senator sanders has been extremely clear, more than any other candidate, democrat or republican, that when a police officer breaks the law, he or she must be held accountable, before anybody else was talking about sandra bland, senator sanders was talking about it. he invokes her name because it matters. he wants no one to forget that police brutality in mrsa real thing. he believes criminal justice reform is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. it's not just ending the mass incarceration of african-americans in this country. it's talking about, again, police-community relations and police brutality and police violence. the senator has been all across the country. when he travels, he's not just having these rallies. we're having small group meetings, meeting people on the ground, young people, activists, people who have been affected by gun violence. if the question is who is best positioned to speak to police
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brutality in new york, that candidate is united states senator bernie sanders. he will go on that stage tonight and demonstrator that. >> simone sanders, no actual relation, in charleston, south carolina, thanks for joining us this morning. everyone else is sticking around. thank you to john nichols. up next, bernie sanders and the voters who could hold the key to this campaign. ♪ i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line. what's in your wallet?
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>> what's happening, why bernie? >> i think it relates to a lot of the questions that are on this table about electability, about viability. what happened at the end of the day was that in conversations, and i won't speak for the others, it is my sense is, there was an excitement about the extent to which sanders had connected to a lot of movements that are out there, not always as well as he should, not always as fully as people want him to, but bringing in the $15 wage, strongly supporting it, bringing in the fair trade movements, a lot of these economic movements, then when confronted by black lives matter activists, rising to that and bringing a lot of that into his dialogue, into his speeches. i think that -- i don't want to be glib about this, but i do think there are times when you
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endorse a candidate and a movement, and movements. and i think that was a big part of this editorial. if you read it, you'll see a lot of else on the many movements that sanders has been affiliated with, some going back to the early '60s, and the extent to which his campaign seems to have energized some of these. >> one of the things that's interesting to me in this moment, going to south carolina tonight, to a congressional black caucus led event. so bernie sanders is not senator obama. he just isn't, right? i love all the comparisons and the polling and all of that. and he may even win the nomination, who knows, he may become president, stranger things -- well, no stranger things have happened, but strange things happen. he's no senator bomb. there are weird resonances appearing. the cd krch dchlcbc, members of
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establishment hilining up for hillary clinton, eric holder showing up in some weird timing to give his endorsement. what do you think is going on around hillary clinton's sort of clear understanding about the need for african-american voters and the way she's pursuing them? >> well, i mean, i think that there's a real race. there's a tight race. as you say, it's great for everybody, i think it's great for hillary clinton, it's great for bernie sanders, and great for the democratic party and for america that we're engaged in this, right? so it's forcing both candidates to sort of keep working, right? nobody is lazing into this. when it comes to issues of racial inequality and justice, it's forced both candidates to
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grown, we see simone sanders doing a great job of articulating this argument. he's going to historically black colleges this week. great. i have got to say this, you don't often get to say hillary clinton is leading in some radically progressive area, but she is. this woman who has a history of being cautious on reproductive issues, it's not that she's invented it, but she's running for president, a major presidential candidate and a woman who has a history of being, you know, with her language around reproductive rights, her language has been iffy, she's out there saying not just i oppose hyde, but we should give more money to planned parenthood, not less,
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and articulating that this issue is key to economic equality for poor women and women of color. that's a radically progressive thing to do. you couldn't tell me that she would make these moves if there weren't a robust fight going into the primary. >> honestly, the panic i was feeling when i thought there was going to be no primary on the democratic side, was that -- and you and i had this conversation 100,000 times in 2008, right -- was that the one thing the democrats benefit from is more registrations, and registrations happen in primaries when people feel like their vote is going to matter because the primary is going to go on long. and i just thought, oh, my gosh, if this is over by super tuesday, republicans win in a low turnout election, because there is -- that said -- so --
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is bernie sanders and hillary clinton, is that the thing that is actually going to activate an electoral arm of this already intense social movement already exiting among young people of color around the country? it's not a movement that needs to be born, it exists. but there's not necessarily an electoral arm of it. >> i think what we'll be seeing over this next year is a real push to transform the way democracy happens in this country. black people have always had a complicated relationship to american democracy, because we've consistently been locked you of it. we consistently participate, we give a lot to the democratic party and we get very little back. so i think what we'll be seeing is people pushing around, it's not so much a question of whether it's hillary or bernie. the question is what are we going to do to transform society and what will we do to make sure that black lives matter.
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>> that question for me, will that show up tonight, will lester holt ask that question tonight at the cbc? >> i don't think that we know if lester holt will ask the question. but i think that people are going to demand that answer. so if i'm running, or if i'm representing one running, i need to get to that answer. because not only do you not have the lack of enthusiasm of young blacks or older blacks. i mean, because this is uniform. this is across all demographics. because we're all living in the same reality, even though we may see it from different prisms. you also have 15 states that have new voting laws that are impediments for the first time. we don't even know in some of these states how that will impact black and other voter turnout. so you've got -- for the first time you have 15 states this year that did not have voting
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laws before that we've got to overcome. so to go to her point, i've got to have a real reason to go through all of this to vote for a candidate, if you are not addressing my reality and what i'm against. and you can't do that without dealing with the hole transformation of the body politic, not just narrowing it to your political candidacy. >> yet there is this moment that will occur when, with all this transformation that's going to happen, there will be a moment when people have to cast a bo ballot and overcome a set of concerns. i guess i'm still wondering whether or not there's going to be a generational divide like we saw in 2008 with african-americans, with cbc, with institutional leaders showing up for the clintons again, and potentially young folks showing up across the institutional divide for the opponent. and i'm just wondering what they may end up looking like.
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>> i don't even know if it's generational. don't forget reverend joe lowery and others and i were with obama. >> that's right. >> i think you're going to see an ideological and a tactical divide, and you're already seeing that. and i think that bernie sanders is 74 years old, he's older than hillary, and he's appealing to young people. >> i have to say thank you to rebecca and john. stay with us. still to come, we'll talk about activism in america. were the first in my family to graduate from college, raised active twin girls, and trained as a nurse. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor and he prescribed lyrica. nerve damage from diabetes causes diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is fda approved to treat this pain. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or
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the voting rights act of 1965 was a crowning achievement of the civil rights movement, a hard-fought victory that is finally supposed to force open the doors of american democracy for all people. it proved i mpermanent. the supreme court struck down the formula to determine which jurisdictions needed federal preclearance before they changed their voting laws. now 15 states have new voting restrictions that will be in effect for the first time in a presidential election this year. more than 15 years ago, a set of committed activists ushered in the voting rights act. but today has the era of the vote ended? here to help me answer that question, henry fernandez, senior fellow at the center for american progress, focusing on state and municipal policy and civil rights. alycia garza, co-creator of
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black lives matter. the reverend al sharpton, host of "politics nation" on msnbc. and the reverend william barber, president of the north carolina chapter of the naacp, leader of the moral mondays movement and author of "the third reconstruction." reverend barber, what does the vote matter these days? >> we have to put this in serious context. this is the first time since 1965 that an attorney general has not had the power that an attorney general had in 1965. that is the power to enforce section 5 of the voting rights act. congress has had a two-year fill filibuster. democrats haven't pushed to fix it. we're going into an election now where we are engaged in what we call retrogressing.
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we are seeing votes taken to take away the very things that brought us obama, like in north carolina, same day registration, take it away. out of precinct voting, take it away. and finally, the reality is that when it comes to voting, black lives matters is on the ballot. healthcare is on the ballot. education is on the ballot. that means life or death is on the ballot. because in each of those policy areas, when you don't have access to healthcare, don't have access to money, don't have access to control of the criminal justice system, people die. >> so let me frame it just a little bit differently. so you said the things that brought us obama. so on the one hand, i am with you. so alycia, let's also talk about the fact that in the era of an african-american president, of an african-american attorney general, a second african-american attorney general, not their fault, not
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because they caused this, but simply because it turns out the levers of power are as difficult to use as it turns out they are, is also the era of the death of tray these things happened simultaneously and we learn something about the limitations of electoral politics. not that these office holders are responsible for these but that we simultaneously learn about the power of the vote, put these people into office and learn about the limitations of the vote because they do not keep these injustices from occurring. so what does that then tell us about the continuing needs of the movement? >> what it means is that we need to create alternative structures where we're governing in local and state areas in a different kind of way. and it also means eventually that we have to actually disrupt and transform the electoral system which systematically keeps black people from being able to make decisions on our own behalf.
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>> what kinds of policies are disruptive? >> i actually reread dr. king's message from the birmingham jail. given that it's the king holiday coming this morning and and i was struck by the -- this is the message he's delivering to seven liberal clergymen, white clergymen in alabama. he's singled this message. they've said they should not be engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience but should be waiting for the courts. and so to what alicia said, i think we're now in a moment in time where we need to recognize as dr. king did that we both need strong policies, but we also need those people who are willing to stand up and protest. willing to create, as dr. king called it, the tension that would make it possible for
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powerful people to feel the need to come and negotiate. so i think we're seeing that. and the policies that delivers are essential. whether it's the issues of black lives matters or immigration issues. that's what will get out voters. >> one of the things, and i'm glad that he said that i'm glad we're having this discussion because one of the myths the media has is it was not a one-dimensional movement then and it's not one now. martin luther king was not the only one moving at that time. so even though i come out of the king tradition, i'm proud of it, but there was a black power movement. there was a movement that didn't believe in voting at all. there were young people that felt king was wrong. there was malcolm. there was -- and it created a creative tension because by everybody not being on the same page it kept everybody accountable in moving toward an end goal. and i think this perception of a monolith sunhealthy and also is
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saying we're stupid and unhelpful and it's very important that we understand when you see disagreements and different tactics and tensions today, that is no different than it was then. it's even probably less now because some of them got a little violent. when i was growing up under julian barnes generation and there was always fights. then we came about. going back to his point, when i was a kid and read, "where do we go from here," dr. king's book. i was 13 when he died. he said dislocate transit systems. that's where we got the day of our rage from when we closed the subways. >> we're going to come back. i'm going to give you the last word. [ coughing ]
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>> together we have to fight -- the people that are fooiting us are together, we need to stay together. we need reconstruction. we need a moral fight.
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hold arms together. different tactics. we can't throw away anything. protest or voting. it's not either/or. it's both/and. let's do this because we're strong together. >> thank you to all of our guests today and all of you for tuning in. come back next week. and tune to tonight nbc for the democratic debate. arthriti, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira giving me new perspective. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure.
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