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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  January 31, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm EST

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senator lindsey graham and senate nominee chuck hagel. he was confronted with past remarks the former senator made that leaders on capitol hill are intimidated by the, quote, jewish lobby. >> name one person in your opinion who's intimidated by the israeli lobby in the united states senate. >> well, first -- >> name one. >> i don't know. >> well, why would you say it? >> i didn't have in mind a specific person. >> sir, do you agree it's provocative statement. i can't think of a more provocative thing to say about the relationship between the united states and israel and the senate or the congress than what you said. name one dumb thing we have been goaded in to do because of the pressure of the israeli or jewish lobby. >> i have already stated that i regret the term nlg. >> you said back then it makes us do dumb things.
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you can't name one senator intimidated. now give me one example of the dumb things we're pressured to do up here. >> we were talking in that interview about the middle east. about positions. about israel. >> now that exchange followed another faceoff earlier today with senator john mccain over the war in iraq. >> will you please answer the question? will you correct or incorrect when you said that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since until nam? were you correct or incorrect? yes or no? >> my reference -- >> are you -- the question is, were you right or wrong? that's a pretty straightforward question. >> well -- >> i would like to answer whether you're right or wrong and then you're free to elaborate. >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer on a lot of things. >> let the record show he
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refused to answer the question. please go ahead. >> well, if you would like me to explain why -- >> i actually would like an answer. yes or no. >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no. >> okay. >> i think it's far more come placated than that. >> senator mccain said hagel's refusal to answer the question could play a role in whether he votes to confirm his fellow vietnam war. let me bring in a member of the armed services committee against hagel's nomination. thank you, sir, for your time, i appreciate it, mr. wicker. >> thank you. thank you for having me on the show. >> let me first ask you, how do you measure or what is your opinion of chuck hagel's performance so far? >> well, i don't think it's going very well for senator hagel. you know, there's a telling part at the beginning of the hearing where it was mentioned that senator kerry, the newly confirmed secretary of state, came out of his committee on a unanimous basis.
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confirmed with only dissenting votes in the senate. i think it's very, very telling that although a number of us disagree with senator kerry on a number of issues, we have confidence in him to represent capably the united states view and, frankly, a lot of us served with senator hagel. i think the fact it's going to be close, there's hardly any republican support for him from people who worked with him and in caucuses with him and on committees with him. i think it speaks volumes about the level of confidence that we don't have about this individual to head really the number one national security job in the united states. >> i want to get to the votes in a second. some of the number that is are out there. but i want to play your exchange with chuck hagel during this hearing today. your questioning of him regarding israel. let's play it please. >> okay. >> when you talked about the
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jewish lobby, were you talking about apack? were you talking about norpac in were you talking about christians united for israel? and do you still believe that their success in this town is because of intimidation? >> i have already said i regret referencing the jewish lobby. i should have said pro-israel lobby. i think it's the only time on the record that i've ever said that. now, you all have done a lot of work with my record and, yes, it is appropriate, by the way. >> senator, is that answer acceptable to you? >> well, he didn't say who he was referring to. we may be able to get to that. was he talking about apac? was he talking about the various christian organizations that deeply support israel? we didn't get an answer to that. maybe we will later on. >> are you a no? i know you said that before. >> yes. i'm absolutely a no and there's
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nothing that's gone on today to counter what we all know. that you could not pick a united states senator from the last decade that has had more anti-israeli comments, that has had more troublesome votes or more troublesome positions or statements against the nation of israel. this vulnerable democracy in the middle east than chuck hagel. it's a stunning choice by a president obama from someone who says he's supportive of the jewish state. >> you have thad cochran to vote for confirmation for el. first read says it puts it about 56. the question is, if all of the democrats support mr. hagel, do republicans really pursue a filibuster against their former colleague and the answer is, what? >> well, the answer is that i
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would consider that but it's something that i would have to think long and hard about and not made a judgment about that so i cannot tell you how i would come down because the hearing isn't over. the follow-up questions on the record aren't over. but it is a very troublesome nomination for someone like me who really, really supports the right of this little country of israel to exist in such a hostile environment. as well as all of the problems that senator hagel has with regard, really, to the global leadership of the united states. i think it's -- he could not have picked a more troublesome, out of the mainstream nominee and i'm not alone. "the washington post" in an editorial early this year begged the president not to choose senator hagel as being totally out of the mainstream. >> senator wicker, thank you for your time. i greatly appreciate it. >> thank you. let's bring in nia-malika henderson, jim rootenberg and
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jack jacobs. jim, i would like to start off with you. you were on yesterday and discussing an article you'd written discussing who's behind the television ads and radio ads who have gone after chuck hagel on israel, on his comments that were seen as anti-gay. the list goes on and on here but we know it's coming from secret donors. this factor in to the questions that we heard today from the senators? >> i don't -- you know, i have to say to me this is the real stuff and these are obviously lawmakers putting the faces on television and asking it so i think you have to look at them as two very separate -- one is a campaign and the business of government and it show that is this is the real challenge to hagel's nomination and those tv ads seem to me much less in comparison, obviously. >> the point of the tv ads to get people to call the very lawmakers that we watched today and pressure them, if you will,
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to come after hagel on the issues of israel that we had heard just now from senator wicker. >> that was definitely the intention but, you know, i can't say that there's a causal connection there. maybe the groups will want to take credit afterward and maybe the anonymous donors would step forward but otherwise, you know, these are a lot of substantive issues on the hill regardless. >> so far, you've had analyst who is are saying that chuck hagel appears unprepared, that he seems to be taken aback, if you will, by questions surely he was expecting. how would you characterize his testimony so far? >> it has seemed to be unsteady at times. certainly, he is no hillary clinton who was a pretty steady very prepared in her testimony. on key issues, he seems to not know what the president's approach is to iran, for instance. he talked about containment. that's not the president and this administration's policy.
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and he just seems unsteady. he called the government of iran legitimate. it, of course, is not a legitimate government. and it seems to be rigged in favor of the current president so this is a surprise. here's a man who obviously does know the issues well and has been prepared for this moment and talking to senators over these last couple of days and weeks preparing for this very moment. so for him to come in and stumble on the high profile questions and questions that he certainly knew were coming is a bit of a surprise. >> right. let me play an exchange, colonel, folks are talking about right now. another between senator john mccain and chuck hagel, this one regarding syria. let's listen in, please. >> do you believe that we should be more engaged in syria? >> i know this administration is very engaged in working with its partners. >> so you don't think we should do more? >> well, when you say do more, do you mean -- >> do you think we should put -- make sure that the syrians get
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the weapons they need and perhaps establish a no-fly zone do you think we do? >> i believe that part of our review is looking at those options. >> it's been 22 months, senator hagel. >> colonel, how would you, again, assess that exchange? and also, the dynamic of two vietnam vets. there have been folk who is said there's bad blood between them. senator mccaskill said things are personal here, maybe an endorsement not coming the way of john mccain that he would have liked from hagel. is this personal or are we looking at as jim pointed out substantive issues and questions that hagel should be able to answer on syria, iran, iraq? >> there's no doubt about the fact that senator mccain -- there's a personal animosity between the two of them. and we would expect, you know, on a one on one like this for it to come out. it's also certain that senator
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mccain was something of a junkyard dog in the initial exchange the first questions that he gave senator hagel. there's no doubt about that, too. that doesn't change the fact that senator hagel is woefully unprepared for a situation in which he should be very well prepared for a guy who's a politician, that's what he does for a living. he's been very impolitic. >> jim, you have hagel having met privately with over 60 senators so a lot of these questions perhaps not asked with the same passion or the flam boy yans and still asked in private of him and you had senator wicker, for example, who just came on us with and wouldn't answer if republicans are prepared to filibuster here saying they want to hear more. but nevertheless, there's a sense of this could not happen -- this could be derailed here. this is not a john kerry confirmation here. >> yeah. i mean, there's been some chatter among the pundit classes
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and here i am in a similar seat. >> now you are officially a part. >> no, no. but this is going to sail through an it looks like he's going to make it. you know, you just don't know because if we think back to the last big contentious cabinet fight for john r. bolton in the bush administration's second term they knew there was resistance of democrats and thought he would get through and he didn't so this is where the rubber meets the road. it is in this hearing and i think it's a jump ball. now, you know, kelly o'donnell can tell you better in terms of whip count and things like that but we see real issues here that are rising and it's not going swimmingly to say the least. >> the no-votes so far, senator corning, senator in hof, senator wicker, tom coburn, pat roberts, dan coates. but going back to the television ads and, for example, the one ad i have seen a lot that tempted to put pressure on chuck schumer for coming out and supporting
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hagel basically alluding that some secret deal made with the president so that schumer would give i guess the thumb's up to chuck hagel and other democrats would come along but you heard wicker on just now say how he believes that hagel is anti-israel. i believe he said the most anti-israel nominee that he's seen or something to this extreme extent saying he was out of the mainstream here. so the fire continues, jim. >> yeah. definitely. and i don't want to say that these ads having zero affect but they were as you noted directed at people like senator schumer so far standing by him and left himself an out, right? going to watch it carefully and make sure that he stays consistent on israel. i haven't seen him double back on this, stated support he's been asserting a lot recently but, you know, some of the guys could change. there's no indication that will happen yet but that's more important to methane republican senators who we expected to come
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after him coming after him. >> right. >> come net, let me play what vice president joe biden recently said, defending hagel as well as kerry. let me play it. >> to suggest that two, two war heroes earning the bronze star, purple heart, silver star, taking over both the -- excuse me, state department and defense is a -- whatever the phrase was, is ridiculous. >> obviously, colonel, because you've served does not make you a saint. and it does not erase controversy here but when you hear the vice president rattle off the accomplishments of hagel, you hear the story that he volunteered along with his brother, the only siblings to serve in the same squadron, both saved one another other's lives and then dynamic of being questioned by other individuals that never served this country and they have as lawmakers but not in the capacity of a man on
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the ground protecting this nation. how does that make you feel? >> well, it's very complex. i'm somebody that believes everybody ought to serve. i'd like to see everybody in uniform one time or another. i laud those who put the uniform on when nobody else would and doesn't necessarily make you qualified to run the defense establishment of the united states of america. it especially if you have views which appear at least on the surface to be counter to those of the president of the united states himself. i think if -- i think hagel will probably get confirmed but i think it's rough going between him and the congress. between him and the rest of the defense establishment. and also, i believe between him and the white house in the years to come. >> colonel jacobs, thank you. nia-malika, 1yijim, as well. is a secret background check deal on gun buy earls in the
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works? details on the report that talks are quietly under way and include senator manchin who has an a-rating from the nra. and are republicans turning against senator marco rubio coming to immigration reform? republican senator david vitter calls rubio, quote, amazingly naive on the issue. we'll get the first read on mark murray. you can always join the conversation on twitter. what do you think of the hearings so far for chuck hagel? constipated? yeah. mm. some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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on capitol hill today, reports a secret deal is under way to move forward on gun control legislation. "usa today" reports a bipartisan
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group of senators including republicans coburn and kirk along with democrats manchin and schumer, it's working on a proposal to expand background checks on gun buyers. that is a policy that was soundly rejected by nra's wayne lapierre yesterday but one that most americans support. on monday, president obama will travel to minneapolis to promote the white house's proposal on gun violence. in an interview with jose diaz balart the president was asked about gun violence in hometown of chicago and that claimed the life of a young girl who performed at his inauguration. >> well, the problem is that a huge proportion of those guns come in from outside chicago. if you are just creating a bunch of pockets of gun laws, without having sort of a unified integrated system, for example, a background checks, then, you
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know, it is going to be a lot harder for an individual community, a single community, to protect itself from this kind of gun violence. >> joining me, chris koffinis and "the washington post" political reporter nia-malika he henderson with us. does it surprise you that senator manchin is involved this? >> no. i mean, senator manchin, i think, like all of us deeply impacted by what happened in newtown. i think he wants to do something. he obviously is, you know, very strong supporter of the nra. and, you know, guns and the role of guns in west virginia is different than, let's say, some other parts of the country but all that being said i think he looks at it in terms of what can we do that is reasonable and can pass. i think from -- you know, his style is to work with
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republicans and democrats to kind of try to come up with common sense reforms. the difficulty said in terms of doing that is you have kind of three forces. you have one force that doesn't want to do anything. you have i think one force on the other side that wants to do a lot. and then the middle is what is that compromise? what is that reasonable thing that can pass? that's where it gets really difficult. >> absolutely. and we know the emotions involved and we have watched hearings, for example, in connecticut with the family members of children who were killed and spouses who were killed and the newtown massacre. you know, you have the president talking about chicago and today rahm emanuel, the mayor of chicago announced some 200 police would be taken off of desk duty and put on the streets and i wanted to play for our audience kyle jones, she was a witness on the shooting in chicago where pendleton was killed. just listen to how she described what happened, why they were just in a park, innocent victims of more violence in chicago.
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>> she was running and we were all running because we heard the gunshots and then she stopped and she was, like, i think i got shot. >> this was one of the witnesses there, 200 more cops on the streets there. and the daily beast eleanor cliff put it this way. i want to read this. she says bill clinton got an assault weapons ban passed in 1994. democrats went on to lose both houses of congress that year. the betting is that president obama won't gate assault weapons ban but that this could be the democrats' ticket to winning back the house in 2014. not that this is a calculated way to win, but when you hear kay lynn jones talk about her friend mowed down in front of them, we hear the hearings in connecticut, if a deal is not reached, some kind of reasonable, common sense deal, might we see a change in the house? is that the only way to take care of some of the business at hand, important, urgent business? >> that can certainly happen.
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it does seem like the white house is not only looking at 2014, but 2016. around this issue. and engaging that obama coalition. for so long, the passion and enthusiasm had been on the gun lobby side and now you see on the gun control side. i think there had, i think, in some ways been a bit of an apprehension and linking sandy hook to the things going on in chicago for many, many years. over the last three years. 270 school-aged children in chicago have been gunned down. >> yeah. >> that's many, many, many sandy hooks and so i think this incident tragic as it is will in some ways link these two events and link what has been going on a lot of times in the cities around increase gun control and background checks to this larger conversation. we'll see, of course, obama in minneapolis, on monday. doing interesting things there. but again, i think the assault weapons ban, it will be a difficult climb. i think it is interesting and surprising that joe manchin is
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in this fight, at least in terms of the background checks and i think we have seen this energy now on the gun control side that we haven't seen. >> 92% of all americans in favor of a universal background check. nra households, 85%, chris. we have said that number many times. but going back to this group of senators who are working on this deal reportedly, tom coburn, mark kirk, we know his ties to illinois and the chicago area, of course. and chuck schumer and we have seen legislation in new york, even i just saw a report that governor cuomo approval rating took a dip as a result of some people believing he went too far with new legislation in the state but when you look at this group, these four men here, are they the best faces to at least get something moving coming to background checks? set aside legislation on assault weapons. but just on background checks and widely supported. >> i mean, i think it's a good diverse mix in terms of if you
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will, centrist conservative democrats, moderate democrats. you have conservative republican and gives just in terms of the geography and the politics of the senate, it kind of -- it's a smart group to be sitting down and negotiating this. listen. if anybody wondering why something needs to be done, read the column the parents of one of the child lost in newtown wrote in "the washington post" yesterday. it's incredibly powerful for -- and the words are very clear and basically, you know, and i'm going to cruelly summarize it. something needs to be done. a background check will not satisfy and passing criminal checks may not satisfy everyone and by no means do i think anyone thinks it will do everything but maybe help address the problem and that's a good thing. >> chris, thank you. nia-malika, thank you, as well. >> thank you. still ahead, are we becoming a drone nation? plus, former vice president
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al gore stops by "the daily show" and faces tough ques about the sale of his former network to al jazeera. >> you add an opportunity to make a statement probably about your principles and some people would feel and for me, as well. i thought it was an odd move. and that is just one of the things we thought you should know. we'll play more of that exchange. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app.
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deal like many other democratic constituen constituencies. low-income households headed by single mothers and dependent upon some form of welfare are not looking far excuse to join forces with paul ryan and pat toomey. meantime, senator rubio scheduled to address a business convention in washington in the past hour where he was expected to find a friendly audience for his full court press on immigration reform. joining me live now, senior political editor of nbc news, mark murray. you guys quote "the national review," as well and follow up with a wow. i guess in reaction to those words with "the national review" regarding marco rubio's role. >> the totality of that editorial seemed to be diss missing a lot of people. maybe, yes, they're demographically democratic voters and probably don't want to be discarding any type of future voters in presidential contests. especially among the fast-growing demographic of
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latino voters and editorial seemed to ignore some recent history. george w. bush won 40% of the latino vote in 2004. while that wasn't a majority, it was higher than what mccain got, 31% in 2008 and mitt romney's 27% in 2012. tamron, that could be the difference between losing and winning an election. >> absolutely. eric ericsson with red state had the headline i don't like marco rubio's plan. rubio said i don't pretend this is a perfect solution. i know the idea of accommodating people that violated the law makes people uncomfortable but better off solving this once and far all. that's pretty much what he said to rush limbaugh. if you had score and early in the game, appears tock picking up teammates from his own party or are people standing in the lines they were in if you will before this all was proposed? >> well, there could be two goals. one, marco rubio and the charm offensive with conservatives is
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trying to get them to support immigration reform but he could be trying to do that and also try to soften any opposition folks might have. if rush limbaugh remains opposed to comprehensive immigration reform but doesn't make it a crusade in the radio broadcast he did in 2006 and 2007, that might be a win for marco rubio. that's one of the more interesting developments and media personalities on fox, for example, much more receptive than previously. >> yeah. when you have a fellow senator calling you naive coming to this topic, how does mario rubio counter that with keeping them in the fold but also keeping i guess in step with this blueprint from this bipartisan group? >> well, and this is a very big challenge for marco rubio to do. one in his advantage is star power in the republican party. something a lot of colleagues don't have and seeing rush limbaugh, for example, disagrees
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with him, later they say i'm impressed with that marco rubio and might give him protection even if a lot of conservatives against him on this particular issue. >> all right. mark murray, thank you. >> thanks. coming up, the latest on the ethics complaint filed against senator robert menendez. harry reid was just asked about the allegations against menendez. we'll have his comments for you. but first, there's a lot going on today and there's some things we thought you should know. al gore got a grilling you might say last night when he joined jon stewart for "the daily show." stewart asked the former vice president about the sale of the television network to al jazeera owned by the nation of qatar. >> i thought it was an odd move, not because of the other things but because it's backed by fossil fuel money. >> i get it. i get it. but it was an easy choice after doing the diligence on the network itself. >> right. >> can you -- >> can you see how people at home might think -- >> absolutely.
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join us. [ male announcer ] at edward jones, it's how we make sense of investing. welcome back. here's a question for you to ponder. are we becoming a drone nation? that's the question posed in the cover story of "time" magazine latest issue. quote, the u.s. seems to be struggling to adapt to its 20th century moral code of warfare to the practice of sending flying robots in to the other countries to kill people. it appears that drones are evolving faster than the americans' understanding of how to legally and ethically use them. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> let's start with the numbers here. ten years ago, the pentagon drone arsenal as you pointed out, 50. thousand 7,500. >> it's a complete transformation. and you can see why. i mean, dreens are incredibly
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powerful. they provide an instantaneous response. they gather their own surveillance, information. and they're very cheap. they cost less than a conventional aircraft. >> and so that would make for logic in use but as you pointed out, our ability to understand how legally and ethically to use them, we have talked about other countries, for example, and what if it's turned on us? those are the questions that you pose in this in addition to domestically, there are law enforcement agencies, you told me in the break about a dozen. and brings up your rights as a citizen of this country. >> i find it interesting that the technology so disruptive in the battle space, we are still in all kinds of moral quandaries of how to use them, where to use it, what does it mean? now bringing them back home. giving them to law enforcement and also to private industry. >> such as? private industry? >> hollywood wants to use them to take movies. real estate agents like to use
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them to take little video clips of houses trying to sell. farmers use them to survey crops. scientists use them to track populations of animals. >> that's obviously people shrug them off. >> right. >> what are the concerns of drones domestically? i assume law enforcement. >> privacy in general. drones are the most powerful surveillance tool ever invented. still learning about military systems. argus. this stuff comes here and you have the police using it. so far very circumspect about it but the laws aren't clear of where things stop and also private citizens. drones are low-end technology. simple, chep. >> right. >> anybody can fly them. >> obama administration, criticized for the use. give us numbers here for perspective compared to the prior administration. >> well, obama's continued the curve basically. i mean, he has enthusiastically
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embraced drones. more than 300 in pakistan last year since obama took office. so it's something that obama's come to rely on very much but we still haven't clarified the legalities. >> and international opposed to domestic. harold ford jr. on "morning joe" today and former congressman, obviously, and he pointed out he get it is controversy and the moral issue but when it comes to putting boots on the ground, see it is logic in using drones in that respect. and i think a lot of people might agree with him to save a life of a soldier using a drone and then talking about domestically, people change. no one wants a drone over the home growing pot or not and some of the usage of the law enforcement personnel. >> sure. by the way, we right now are the only drone superpower. that's not to stay the same. drones are not hard to fly. other countries will be using them.
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we have to think about the precedent we are setting on the international scene for the use of drones. we fly them in to other people's countries and kill people there. if somebody did that to us, we'd be upset. >> everyone should check out the article. i appreciate you making time to come out. >> thank you. >> thank you. the hostage standoff in alabama involving a 5-year-old boy is now going on 48 hours. what will the next move be for police? i'll talk with fbi former chief hostage negotiator clint van zant. what leverage do authorities have over this man holding the child at this point? san francisco 49er chris culver is apologizing for his anti-gay comments he recently made. a lot of folks are still asking, should he be suspended, taken out from the super bowl? it's your "news nation" "gut check." ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios!
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mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
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developing now in alabama, we are learning more about the man police say is holding a 5-year-old boy hostage after murdering a bus driver nearly 48 hours of negotiating, investigators now say the man holds strong anti-government views and the fbi has reason to believe the shooting of the driver was a hate crime. right now, police continue to communicate with jimmy lee dix through a pipe. the child kidnapped is id. >> fied now only at ethan and receiving needed medicine and said to be okay. joining me now, clint van zant. clint, i have seen reports. this is a bunker as described that the man would have food and other things that he would need to stay down for a very long time. so what do negotiators do to get him out of there or at least get that child out of there? >> as long as the negotiators satisfied themselves that the little boy is relatively safe, in essence, medical conditions
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cared for, he get it is medicines, he's being fed, i mean, it's a terrible situation. i have eight children. i don't want my children or anybody else's chirnd or grandchildren in that but the reality is as long as nobody's being hurt right now, time is on the side of the negotiators and of the authorities and as you say he's got this bunker, this 4 by 6 by 8-foot deep bunker. he spent a couple of years. it's going to take a little bit of time, a couple three days before he gets tired of being in there and wants to come out for his rule purpose which i think is to tell the media, maybe tell the world how people have taken advantage of him. >> if that report is accurate, regarding the feelings toward the government, working to get more details on it and basically telling us they would wait him out. i know you're right if the boy is receiving medicine. but again, this child turns 6 in a couple of weeks. he is in a bunk we are a stranger. saw perhaps the bus driver shot
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there. they simply wait him out in fear of if i guess they go in or try to do something they might take his life and worse the child? >> we have a phrase in negotiations, the tyranny of the urgent. that means people say nothing's happening and we have to do something. well, you know, the worst-case scenario that the police or fbi go in, shooting takes place, the little boy's hurt. someone in law enforcement is shot. so right now, time is on their side to develop a scenario to help get him out of there. >> clint, thank you very much. certainly, keeping the audience up to date on the story. thank you. and gut check after a quick break. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg.
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just a short time ago, senate majority leader harry reid responded to a question of an ethics complaint of new jersey democratic senator menend menendez. reid called him my friend and outstanding senator and didn't know about the complaint.
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this after federal agents searched the office of a florida eye doctor whose trips to the dominican republic with senator menendez prompted the complaint. chief nbc justice correspondent pete williams has more for us. >> reporter: in florida, federal agents held away boxes of material tuesday night and wednesday from the office of a west palm beach eye doctor. he and members of the family are big political contributors giving more than $33,000 in the past 15 years to u.s. senator robert menendez. >> this hearing of the senate foreign relations committee -- >> reporter: the new jersey democrat that took over as chairman of the foreign relations economy teet. menendez and melgin appeared last year for a media organization. the senate ethics committee received a complaint of a new jersey republican official who claims that menendez got rides on the private plane to a resort in the dominican republic and elsewhere without disclosing
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them. >> senator menendez accepted the flights, well, let's see, a flight to the dominican republic, there was a flight to puerto rico, a flight to washington, et cetera, from this doctor down in florida on his private jet which he had failed to report. >> reporter: in a statement, the senator called him a friend and political supporter for many years. and said he took three trips on that plane but paid for and reported them properly. but his chief of staff tells nbc news that the senator wrote a check a few weeks ago, two months after the ethics complaint was made to reimburse the doctor $58,000 for 2 trips in 2010. the senator's refers to a series of claims of conservative websites saying that he met with prostitutes while in the dominican republic. those allegations the menendez statement says are manufactured, politically motivated and false base odd an is series of e-mails that first surfaced last april sent to a political watchdog
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group in washington crawled crew but a crew official says when the tipster repeatedly talked on the phone they turned the messages over to the fbi. >> seems he has no real law enforcement issue. it seem that is he's much more interested in seeing it bra tougt light as a big scandal. >> that was nbc's pete williams reporting. as for the search in florida's federal officials tell nbc news agents from the department of health and human services were involved which suggest they may have been looking in to allegations of health care fraud. time now for the gut check. the super bowl-bound san francisco 49ers are dealing with a public relations nightmare just days before the big game after the cornerback culver's anti-gay remarks in a radio interview yesterday. >> what about gay guys? any of them approach you? >> no. i don't do the gay guys, no? >> any on the 49ers?
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>> no. they don't got no gay people on the team. they have get up out of there. can't be with that sweet stuff. >> culliver apologized writing the derogatory comments i made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head but they're not how i feel. it's taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. the 49ers also released a statement saying we reject the comments and av addressed the matter with chris but "the huffington post" said that's not enough writing for the gay content of the remarks he must be suspended if the nfl is serious about the claims to be taking on homophobia in the ranks. sunday he comes face to face with marriage equality advocate brandon who's said that he will use the super bowl as a platform to champion gay rights.
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well, just last month, the 49ers suspended running back brandon jacobs for airing grievances about the team on social media and back in september, the toronto blue jays suspended player es cobar for sporting eye patches that had a no ho nophobic slur on them. should chris be suspended and not allowed to play in the big game? go to to cast your vote. thank you for joining me. i'll see you tomorrow. or it... [ dog ] you know, i just don't think i should have to wait for it! who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans, we won't make you wait for it. our efficient, online system allows us to get you through your home loan process fast. which means you'll never have to beg for a quick closing. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. bonkers, look at me when i'm talking to you.
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♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove [ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. take an extra 10 percent off storewide now through sunday. i'm krystal ball. defense. not just for sports. chuck hagel wants to run the pentagon but first a few senators want to run a few questions by him and they were specific. like, can women be defense secretary? i'm steve kornacki. here's a state that senate democrats didn't have to worry about this year. new jersey. all that's blooming in the garden state is drama. i'm s.e.


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