tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 2, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EST
thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> that's tonight's last word. the "rachel maddow show" is up next. among her guests, new york city mayor, michael bloomburg. >> thank you. we are covering the world. thanks. appreciate it. thank you for staying with us for the next hour. what happens next? we have been asking that every day as we have covered what appears to be a revolution in the world's largest arab country. what happens next? today, seriously, a new what happens next? our own president said an orderly transition must begin in egypt now. he used the word now. he said it after the man the protesters said they want gone will go, but not quite yet. he will not stand for re-election this fall. the engine driving the previously unimaginable change
in the largest arab country in the world is protest. mass popular leaderless protest. hundreds of protesters camped out in the tahrir square. they rose with the sun this morning. they were joined by men and women of all ages for the planned march of a million. estimates of how many ultimately turned out for the march, widely, the associated press said 250,000 people, al jazeera said 2 million people. they waved the egyptian flag, they hanged things looking like mr. mubarak. do the protests have a religious character? reporters on the scene saying no. reporters saying a few protesters showing "god is
great" were shouted by in tahrir square were shouted down. the egyptian army did not use force today. the demonstrators reciprocated by giving soldiers flowers. stores remain shuttered. banks closed. gas stations shut. foreigners in the airport looking for flights out. these people here today rallied in support of president mubarak in cairo. in alexandria, an estimated 100,000 people took to the streets demanding his resignation. many staying out past curfew. they sung the national anthem. the statement came late into the night.
he did not announce he was stepping down immediately as protesters hoped. he did say he would not run for re-election in september. he said he would forego running at the age of 83 for another six-year term as president. then he started speaking of himself in the third person. >> translator: mubarak addressing here today takes pride in the long years he spent serving egypt and its people. this dear and beloved homeland is my homeland like it is the motherland of all egyptians in which i lived and for which i fought. i defended its soil, sovereignty and interest. i will die on the soil of egypt and i will be judged by history
for my merits and demerits. >> the crowds in cairo and alexandria greeted the speech with cheering and booing. tens of thousands of protesters shouting "get out" in unison. dramatic and scary scenes captured live on camera. >> they certainly do not seem to be firing any shots. there are people -- okay, okay. do you hear the gunfire? >> we hear shots being fired. who is doing the shooting? is that the military? >> reporter: we had to duck. >> the shots from alexandria carried life live on al jazeera. the my farininto the air loin septoate pro-vernment and anti-government. after watching the speech and speaking with president mubarak for a half hour, president obama made his first comments since friday.
he expects a transition of power in egypt to start immediately. >> it is not the role of any other country to determine egypt's leaders. only the egyptian people can do that. what is clear and what i indicated tonight to president mubarak, is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, peaceful and it must begin now. >> it is not yet done in cairo, right now. it is wednesday in cairo. protesters calling for another day of demonstrations after friday prayers to demand president mubarak leaves office now. we are going live to cairo in a moment. i have one more thing for you to consider from today's news. if president mubarak's speech seemed familiar to you, consider this --
>> translator: i have spent more than 50 years of life in the service of tunisia serving in the army and 20 years at the presidency. every day of my life was and will always be on the service of my country. i have made countless sacrifices. >> sounding like hosni mubarak did in egypt? that was january 13th, the night before he fled the country. joining us from cairo, the fantastically overworked richard engel. thank you for joining us, my friend. >> i love the clip. i was talking to people about that tonight. that was the last major speak the tunisian president gave. he announced the exact same thing president mubarak said.
the tunisian president said, i hear you, i hear the people and i won't seek another term but let me finish my term. he then got on a plane, reportedly after his wife looted the bank and is in saudi arabia. mubarak has not done that. it's what the egyptians would like to see. not the looting of the bank part. >> in tahrir square, they saw forces almost picking fights with protesters. are you seeing anything like that? >> we are hearing lots of that. i know what he's talking about. i saw that as well in tahrir. the footage you saw in alexandria is the same incident. we heard the same thing happened other places. the protesters are somewhat more organized. the cell phones are back
operating. according to the leaders of the protest whom we have spoken to, they said shortly after mubarak spoke, gangs, thugs that are supporting mubarak started throwing bottles, bricks and heavy, dangerous things on the protesters attacking them, trying to provoke them into fights so that this movement would go get out of hand. if it was an organized campaign, the protesters claim, or people inspired by the president's speech described as lawbreakers, people who were involved in looting. it's hard to know. according to witnesses we have spoken to and protesters, three locations after the president spoke, there were attacks, provocations on to the protesters. they are paranoid.
i was with the protesters today. you get a lot of people together. if i screamed that person over there is a policeman, everyone would have attacked him. they are on edge, they are nervous. you can have mob rule when you are in a mob. >> one of the things we are going to talk about for most of the rest of the hour is the prospect mubarak is laying the violence in the way he's talking about them as lawbreakers and a criminal mob. you are discussing paranoia. do you think they can resist that and stay fairly peaceful? >> not really. there are too many people on the ground. too many emotions running high. there's too much at stake at this stage. i was with -- i was at the headquarters of the main protest movement, a fascinating place. it's a little, tiny office. a few rooms run by ten volunteers. the woman who runs the protests,
the woman organizing it all on cell phones, a 36-year-old single mother. she was an english teacher at a school. well, you can't see it now, it's dark. just across the nile river, she taught there. her daughter was with her in the office. she's living on coffee and cigarettes. they were trying to decide if they should march on friday to the palace. some people decided they were going now. she was calling saying no, wait until we have bigger numbers. other people started to move. moving a million people with bad communications and a lot of them unemployed and excited is not an easy task when trying to do it with a cell phone. >> what is the implication if mubarak does go. we played the clip of tunisia. he says he's staying. maybe he will go.
if he leaves, given what you are describing, what happens as an interim step? does that mean it's the army that steps in to become a caretaker government until elections can be organized? >> well, if mubarak were to leave, which the protesters want. if he boards a plane to go somewhere, the protest movement would be elated. they would be so excited. they would calm down immediately. a lot of people would accept a caretaker government. they would accept the vice president. they would accept almost anyone. that's really not important. they would have someone in charge to organize this new election. it would be an open election, if you ask the protesters what they want. a parliamentary system according
to the number of seats they win. they form a new government. it's what they would like. it could be the military that holds power during a transition period. if mubarak were to go, i don't think the country would descend into chaos, the situation might get calmer in the short time. >> i know you speak arabic so you don't have to listen to the translations of these like us dummy's do. >> you are not a dummy. >> when mubarak said he wants to die on egyptian soil, how significant was that language choice by him? >> if you look at the body language, i did listen to the speech in arabic, as you say, and the tone and the body language was aggressive. he was on the surface offering a concession. he's not going to run for
another term. most egyptians were expecting him to die. he is not in good health. he's thin. some thought he wouldn't last a year or two. for him to say i'm not going to run for a six-year term wasn't that impressive. what was more striking to egyptians was how he was talking act law and order, how he has to restore the honor of the country, how this movement has gone beyond asking for legitimate rights and how the country is in chaos. he described the silent majority of egyptians not taking part and terrified. that was the tone. that did signal to a lot of people a confrontation could be necessary or could be coming. he repeatedly stressed, i'm a man of the military. i'm from the military. that is indication, don't think you have a big divide between the protesters, military and me.
he was saying, i am mr. military. lastly, you talked is it important to say he will die in egypt? very, very important. the protesters are saying, "go, leave, leave the country." he said no, he's going to stay here until he dies. that means there's not much room for compromise. he's playing a striptease by offering a little bit more. he changes government. he appointed new ministers. now, he's saying there's not that much more i'm going to give. i'm going to stay here. the protesters don't want that. when you have opposing views, it's hard to see a compromise. >> every day, the story gets bigger and scarier and more exciting to cover. this is important stuff. richard engel, live in cairo tonight. thank you very much. get to bed. >> thanks. more live from cairo in a moment.
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here was a rang of things the egyptian president could have said. hey, my americans say i don't have to go anywhere i don't want to go. or see this plane behind me, i'm going to london for an extended stay. free and fair elections will be held. that was the range of possibilities for what could have happened. what actually happened, he said he would not run for re-election, then he issued a warning, the police, army and security services were not leaving the streets. what that warning means and what it feels like in person, next.
>> translator: show responsibility and undertake its duties to protect and save the citizens in absolute dignity and honor, rights freedoms and dignity. i also call demand and controlled powers to immediately take the necessary procedures to continue to identify and arrest those who perpetrated the security mayhem and the chaos egypt has seen, looters, arsonists and those who
intimidated the unsuspected citizens. >> mr. mubarak calling protests a mob of criminals. that's what the media has been doing as well. it's to turn people away from the protests. there by making them pine for the iron fist. as wielded by old uncle hosni. it's one thing to play for propaganda purposes. it's another thing, all together to ferment the violence yourself to blame it on the protesters. in alexandria, army uniforms were stolen. that led to this mind-bending request to the protesters. >> reporter: the army asked people not to come out today. they said they were concerned all the uniforms were looted. they said they were worried
people masqueraded would turn on protesters. >> a request to not protest. a request to not protest couched in a threat people looking like the army might shoot at the protesters. assume the people shooting are not really the army, even though they look like the army. yeah. in the end, anti-protesters took to the streets along with the pro-government protesters. the army shot into the air to the sides to stay apart from one another. if they want the protests to appear violent, what is to stop them from infiltrating the protests? >> human rights has been on the ground. they reported two looters were caught in alexandria with police id cards and members of an undercover force.
al jazeera reported looters who were shot by the army and brought to hospitals were carrying police id cards. who is a protester? who is army? who a police. the extent the identities can be made into lies determines whether or not they are safe in the days ahead. it's starting to feel like a jason born movie. we have a producer for democracy. thank you for staying up into the middle of the night for us. >> thank you for having me, rachel. >> we are hearing friday will be the next major protest day. what do you expect will happen between tonight and friday? >> well, we saw the reaction in tahrir square today. they waved their shoes in the air. the majority of the protesters
are not satisfied. friday is expecting to be a big protest. gathering for the noon prayer. it brings millions of people into the streets by 1:00 p.m. they are expecting people to march in a bigger protest into tahrir square. one week anniversary of the protest, a flood of people, an ocean of people into tahrir square. >> president mubarak tried to portray the protests as violent and threatening today. describing them as a criminal mob. do you see that? do the protesters see that as a threat to use violence and force to put the protest down when they reconvene? >> there's been a substantial amount of evidence to indicate
there was an organized campaign to loot and sponsor individual lanty groups to commit acts of violence. it remains to be seen what will happen after that. the fact of the matter is, if you go into tahrir square, it is like a carnival. it's like a festival. they are celebratory. there's a protest going on now. this is an ominous development we have to watch. it's 200 protesters compared to 250,000 in tahrir square. >> we are hearing reports tonight from cairo, that forces are picking fights, they are trying to -- whether out of attempt to be provocative or out of their own feelings and
frustration are trying to start fights with anti-mubarak protesters. is that what you mean when you say an ominous development? >> yes. we have seen this kind of thing before. coming in, provoking the protesters and that's the issue here. i don't think they dare go near tahrir. the protesters remain with one voice and they remain peaceful. it remains to be seen what will happen. i think, going forward, the protesters are speaking with one voice. they will continue to protest peacefully to do that. >> he's joined us two nights in a row now. thank you for sharing your reporting. >> thank you very much. more on a revolution ahead and how it's affecting us here. also, cable tv anchors mistaking funny people for the same opportunists in american politics. people making big mistakes on
to happen, every event you are called to comment on is a new reason to comment. republicans tend to really, really, really, really, want tax cuts, right? in and of themselves, they have their own republican reward. if the government has budget surplus, it's a reason to call for tax cuts. >> a growing surplus exists because taxes are too high and government is charging more than it needs. the people of america are being overcharged. on their behalf, i am asking for a refund. >> yeah. george w. bush arguing in 2001 because we had a budget surplus, we should have tax cuts. now that america has a budget
deficit, republicans say, it's also time for tax cuts. >> obviously, you think the deficit is a major problem, don't you? >> i do. >> was the tax deal, in your opinion, worth the $900 billion added to the deficit? was it worth it? >> washington does not have a revenue problem, washington has a spending problem. i think it's worth it. it will create jobs and help the economy. >> if you want tax cuts, then x happening in the world is a reason for tax cuts. if the opposite of x happens in the world, that, too, is a reason for tax cuts. that's opportunism in action. here is how it's working about the egypt story. here is the former ambassador for the u.n. he thinks it means it's time for somebody to bomb iran. >> i don't think there's much time to act. i think the fall of the egyptian government committed to the
peace agreement will speed that up. as of now, i think israel could do what needed to be done, but they can't wait much longer. >> there are other occasions he thought they should be bombed. unrest in gaza, he said that was a good time. when george w. bush was leaving office, that was a good time. there was a random tuesday last february when it was a good time to bomb iran because their president said something he didn't like. now egypt. something is happening in egypt. time to bomb iran. the situation in egypt is being used by the drill baby drill crowd. some have responded to the protests in egypt by calling for oil drilling in the u.s. of a. drill baby drill. the strugish u.s. economy in 2008, reason to drill. a landslide victory in 2008 by
republicans, a reason to drill. china was magically drilling for oil off the coast of cuba. reason to drill. packers are in the super bowl, reason to drill? for some folks, opportunity is always knocking when it comes to their chosen policies. for some, it's not about pushing for a specific policy. it's about choosing every occasion to push for their favorite idea or story. like the idea, the story that it's the end of the world. >> this is the coming insurrection. it is imperative to get up to speed. do your homework. this is not about egypt. this is about your hometown. it is important to see what is really going on and what this leads to. i believe, again, the coming
insurrection. >> now, the people protesting against mubarak in egypt means it's upon us because china is going to take over new zealand. also, the muslim world is one country. >> there are three powers that will emerge. muslim's that control the mideast and parts of europe. china controls asia, part of the middle east, australia, maybe new zealand and god knows only what else. russia that controlled the soviet union block, plus maybe the netherlands? not sure. their strong arm is coming. >> poor amsterdam. russia is back. they are going to be like the soviet union, but worse. mr. beck and others, it turns out an uprising in egypt is
better evidence of this being the end of the world than say the last evidence we had, which was president obama passing wall street reform last july. >> god is creating a massive government beaurocracy with the power to watch your bank account and track every credit card account over your shoulder. help your economic liberty. what is wrong with us america? why are people not in the streets? your republic is over. >> wall street reform. your republic is -- the mainstream and congressional leaders are supporting what the obama administration is doing now. they are being cautious and diplomatic. to the right of them, within a
span of one week, protests on the streets of egypt to china is going to take over new zeeland. protests on the streets of egypt to barack obama supports the secret annihilation of israel and so do you. it went to this is a secret plot hatched by unions. if you are wondering, yes, this is an elaborate excuse for us to believe christwire.org was something more than satire. it could become a defining moment for sarah palin. she needs to speak out for an american-led invasion of egypt to protection our interest in north america. the u.s. has a tremendous investment in keeping egypt stable and terrorist free. other western nations are sure to join us. an american-led invasion of north africa.
it's what they are asking sarah palin to do. those folks asking her to invade north africa are writers for a website called christ wire.org. in a world where china taking over new zealand is what passes for analysis on the situation in egypt, how do we know that's not satire, too? >> this is the coming insurrection. this is what i have been warning about.
to be totally frank with you, it has been hard for us to turn away from events in egypt this week to stay on top of what's going on in american news and american politics as well. we have another live update on what still appears to be a revolution in egypt, coming up in a moment including a preview of what is expected for the next
big round of protests. we are stepping away from that news story for a second because of something confrontational and eye opening that an american politician has done on an issue which everyone says progress is not possible and politics are like a clogged artery. most americans disagree with on this issue. an issue where the president seem sos far reluctant to say or do anything when the country needs someone to show political leadership. it turns out, it is the mayor of new york city who is refusing to back down on the issue of guns. new york city has sent investigators to an arizona gun show. they sent them two weeks after the tucson massacre to look at the market for illegal gun sales and for gun sales that are
technically legal but asounding. it is on video tape. please watch this. >> are you set on this price, man? >> $525 out the door. >> no tax? >> i'm not a dealer, so i don't have to worry about taxes. >> that's good. so you are not one of those dealer guys, right? >> no. no tax. >> no background checks? >> no. >> that's good. i probably couldn't pass one, know what i mean? i like this. you take five for it? cash? >> do you have your id? >> i thought you didn't do
background? >> okay. that's many. that's arizona. >> that's all i need. >> that's what happened when michael bloomburg sent a team of investigators to phoenix called cross roads of the west. it's 15 days after the tucson massacre. yeah, he might have checked for residency and he was not required to do a background check. because he was told he probably couldn't pass a background check, maybe he was under indictment or a convict or fugitive from justice or unlawful user. because the would be buyer gave him cause to believe there was something in his background that would keep him, it was illegal. did they look scared like they were going to get caught? it wasn't isolated, either. a man accepting $450 after saying he probably wouldn't pass a background check.
they were per chased at this gun show by private sellers. it took minutes to purchase a glock with no background check what so ever, all perfectly within the law. mayor bloomburg is kind enough to join us in the studio. thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me. >> the tape you released shows two kinds of transactions. one is legal. the other is illegal because the person says i think i couldn't pass the background check. those illegal sales, who should have prevented it from happening? >> the person doing the selling is breaking the law. the trouble is, congress has done this. they do it repeatedly. they show a law tough on the bad guys but don't give you the
where with all to support it. put all the data of who has mental problems or a convicted felon in a data base. see, we passed the law, but i kept them from getting the money so they can't do anything with it. it happens all the time. some of it, the president could change. he can say he directed. he will send the data to this data base and i want you to certify every six months to me that you are doing that. we also have to have some ways to get the states to do it. the federal law requires to states to do it. there's ten states that haven't sent a name. think of the tens of thousands of drug addicted people in the country, the people with mental problems. the number of people convicted
of crimes. they pass a law showing that they're tough on the bad guys and then they don't give you the wherewithal to enforce it. congress only appropriated 5% of the moneys needed for example to put all the data of who has mental problems, who is a drug dealer, who is a convicted felon in a data base so they can say to both sides, you see, i passed the law that you wanted and they say to the other side, wink, wink, i kept her from getting the money so she can't do anything with it. that happens all the time. and some of the stuff the president could fix right away and i urge him to do that. he could stand up and say to federal agencies that he directs you will send the data to this data base and i want you to certify let's say every six months to me that you are doing that. we also have to have some ways to get the states to do it.
the federal law requires the states to do it but there are ten states that have never sent one name and 20 states that have sent less than a hundred. think about the tens of thousands of drug-addicted people in this country, the people that have mental problems and shouldn't be allowed to buy guns, the number of people who have been convicted of crimes. none of this data gets into this data base. >> in terms of your focus as an advocate on this issue, which in beltway terms is supposed to be this completely -- there can be no progress made on these guns, you have chosen to focus on illegal guns, your mayors against illegal guns. >> we have a coalition of 500 mayors roughly and we are focusing on one thing only. it is nothing to do with the second amendment. it is we want the federal government to enforce the laws that prohibit you to sell guns illegally. and when we, for example, in any city in this country when law enforcement, government seizes a gun after a criminal event, invariably, it is a stolen gun. invariably it is owned by somebody who shouldn't own that gun. criminals can commit crime after crime after crime. we all know the serial -- that's one of the big problems. so once they've done the first and get convicted for it by definition if they have a gun it's an illegal gun. very few times do you seize a gun after a criminal event that is legal. because you are lobbying mostly
on enforcement of existing laws that means your constituency is the executive branch, is the administration that can control how these things are enforced. is it not? >> well, that's partially true but remember congress has to appropriate moneys for these agencies to do what the law says they have to do. >> right. >> and that's the same thing of having it both ways. so, yes. i think the president should stand up and i will keep urging him to do so. i thought he missed an opportunity in the state of the state message, state of the nation message and he should have gone out and said we should do this but i've been told by his staff that he is going to give a speech on guns and i look forward to that. i think it is one of these issues that he can build a legacy on. this country has got to stop all this carnage. our kids are getting killed. our cops are getting killed. innocent people just walking down the street are getting killed. you know, we brought crime in new york down so low that it is dramatically safer than almost any other big city in the country. on the other hand, we can't stop the guns that get brought across the border from other states. that's up to the federal government. in fact, route 95, which goes from here down through pennsylvania all the way straight down the coast line is called the iron pipeline because of all of these guns.
people buy them in a store, put them in the trunk, and drive up. >> are you and the mayors and law enforcement a potential count weight in d.c.? functioning already as a counterweight to the nra? >> in washington they think of guns as toxic but if you do the polling the public thinks of them as fatal. if you poll nra members and gun owners 86% think reasonable gun restrictions are appropriate. the supreme court has ruled on this and said reasonable gun restrictions are appropriate. so nobody is saying you can't buy a gun. nobody is saying you can't shoot the gun. but you can't, if you're a criminal or a minor or a drug user or mentally ill, buy a gun. that's federal law. if we just enfce those laws and if we got rid of a few places where we could catch people that are breaking the law, for example, going at gun shows, gun shows are a loophole congress should enact another law to close. you would take care of most of those 34 a day.
it would be dramatically lower. and then i think the nra is on the wrong side of this. one of these days the public is going to say enough and then they're going to put in gun restrictions that the nra might not like. this is hardly something the nra should be against. how can they argue that criminals should continue to buy guns? that's just making the world more dangerous. then they say of course it's dangerous. everybody should be armed to prevent that. do you have a gun at home, rachel? you are 22 times as likely to die from a bullet than if you don't have a gun at home. the bottom line is let's make our city safe. we've done that in new york. it's a constant battle. we'll keep doing it. i think the president and congress have to get together and stand up and say enough. we've got to have some sensible things to just keep illegal guns out of the hands of people who should not own them and particularly after you saw what happened in tucson, once again, people talked about, we have to be more civil to each other. i didn't hear a lot of talk
about let's get the guns. this guy who did the shooting, allegedly did the shooting because he hadn't been convicted yet, has a 33 bullet magazine. the only reason you need that is if you want to go kill people. if you're a sportsman you don't need 33 bullets. >> the world's worst sportsman. >> you're not a sportsman if that's the kind of thing you have to have. that is just killing, not sport. but this is a guy who the army knew had a problem. the army rejected him and said, you can never in your life join the army. but they didn't tell the fbi. >> they should have. >> the federal law says they should have. >> yeah. >> and they both work for the president. the president should sit back, call them both and say start talking. if you remember, that massacre at fort hood, in that case was exactly reverse. the fbi knew the guy had a problem but didn't tell the army. after 9/11 we always talk about, i love the phrase, connect the dots. >> yeah. >> well, these dots are pretty big. this isn't hard to do. >> mayor bloomberg of new york city, redefining the art of the possible on this issue.
an orderly transition must be meaningful. it must be peaceful. it must begin now. >> president obama tonight making his strongest statement yet on the uprising in egypt, saying the transition from the mubarak era needs to start now. mr. mubarak himself said tonight he will not run for re-election but he won't step down either. his speech greeted by chants of "get out" by egyptian protesters still out and defying curfew tonight. protesters planning another big demonstration after midday prayers this friday. live reports from cairo from nbc's richard engel describing a