tv MSNBC Live MSNBC May 19, 2013 3:00pm-5:00pm EDT
good sunday afternoon. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. >> there is no question that republicans are trying to make political hay here. >> obama communications adviser dan pfeiffer insisting its gop overreach. looking at what's in store in the days ahead for the administration as they try to clean up a week rot with scandal. >> some of you are graduating summa cum laude. some of you are grade waiuating magnum cum laude. i know some of you are just graduating thank you, lordy. >> and president obama at moorehouse today. what it was like having the president in the house and also talk about making college a bit more affordable.
get out your wallet. check your ticket if you haven't. it could be you if you bought it in florida. someone in the sunshine state is now really, really rich. maybe even wealthy. we'll get to those story nas moment, but we begin with our sunday afternoon political headlines. the irs controversy, possible overreach by the justice department in its investigation of the associated press. and the benghazi investigation. all of those scandals still rocking the white house to a certainly extent. front and center on the sunday talk shows. dan pfeiffer made the rounds this morning, he ran the gauntlet. hit all five sunday shows. stood by white house claims that they knew nothing about the irs investigation until this week. >> the secretary of the treasury was made aware just that the investigation was beginning last year but no one in the white house was aware and reporting what we actually knew. an investigation was coming to conclusion, not the results. we didn't see the report until
it was released last wednesday. >> meanwhile, republican jason chaffetz continued to ramp up charges about the benghazi attacks, recovered by the white house. invoking the boston bombings. this days after the white house released 100 pages of e-mails over the benghazi attacks and its attempt to do oishz. >> this administration says they want to be open and transparent but they haven't. understand, we have four dead americans. four dead americans. 4 1/2 months after the attack the secretary of state sill says it, well, the people on the ground made those decisions. the people on the ground never made those decisions. people deserve the truth and the families deserve the truth. i can't imagine that this administration would say those same things about what happened in boston, where we had four people killed by terrorists, and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, one of the president's biggest critics offered this charge against the obama administration. >> there is a culture of intimidation throughout the administration. the irs is just the most recent
example. what quewe're talking about is attitude that the government knows best, and that it's here to tell us what to do and if we start criticizing, you get targeted. >> so how is the administration dealing with everything that happened last week and how is it affecting the president's popularity and second-term plans? national political reporter for "the washington post," also the writer for the national journal and goldie taylor, msnbc manager and contributor. good morning to all of you. coming under fire for not attacking the scandals head-on. a piece in your paper, in "the washington post" today that in part, "obama has been willing to push the bounds of executive power when it um cans to making life-and-death decisions about drone strikes and on suspected terrorists but at other times, skittish." how is president obama in fighting back against these
scandals? end imagined, perhaps? >> i think he started in some ways fumbling the ball out of the game, seeming to be disengaged. he said he first learned about the irs scandal, and investigation, in the newspaper. not exactly of a sort of robust leadership i think people have come to expect from a president, from this president. but you saw him be much more robust in the last couple of days, with a press conference. you saw some heads rolling from the irs. the head of the irs reappointing someone else to lead the irs. so i think they are playing catch-up. you saw dan pfeiffer, of course, do the full monty on those sunday shows. so i think they finally got a bit of a handle on this, playing offense much more smartly than they have. i think we don't know what's going to happen with this, because there are going to be further investigations. i think the good news for this white house so far is that this sort of trifecta of scandals hasn't so far affected the president's approval rating.
it seems to be something like 53% and uptick, i think, in the cnn poll from what it was a couple weeks ago. >> goldie, talk about the numbers. the president's popularity. it actually appears to be gaining this month, in spite of the scandals. the cnn poll, the president's overall approval rating at about 53%, actually two points higher than in april. why aren't these scandals so far, at least, negatively affecting the president? >> you know, it really doesn't happen often, i happen to disagree with this particular topic. the president is gaining in approval rate, largely because the american people simply don't believe us when we say these might be scandals. in terms of the irs, the law is pretty clear. the president cannot use the internal revenue service as political henchmen and is not involved in the day-to-day running. one political appointment that serves at his pleasure. the other are protected by civil
service. to say heads must roll or should have been more accountable to this president and this administration is a misnomer op. the other side of this, what happened with the a.p. or benghazi, most american whosesy they disagree what happened in benghazi can't point to it on a map. to say this president is disengaged, not ahead of these issues. he's right where he ought to be pup making decisions based upon the facts as they come in rather than as a lot of us are doing in some of the op-eds i'm seeing in these magazines articles, that we are assuming for ourselves what the facts are, and concocting our own scandals. >> the "new york times" this morning, and i don't know where my copy is. i had a copy. i was going to show it to you, basically reports this morning that the irs went beyond conservative groups. more than 400 organizations came under scrutiny, including at least two dozen liberal meeting ones and some that were seemingly a-political.
that part of the story seems to be getting lost in all this, as we learn more. how much of this seems like it was, it was political, and how much seems like it was a few overloaded government employs looking for an easy way out? >> that has yet to be seen. part of the reason why so much focus has been ot on the list, when the news of the scandal first came out, based off of two tea party groups targeted noorn oth more than other groups. it's important to note the irs scandal can particularly motivate and mobilize the conservative and tea party base in an off-year election. so maybe the majority of americans aren't expressing vast outrage over this, but in an off year election, in 2014, when the conservative base is so needed by the republicans to come out and come out to the follpolls a vote, this could serve to mobilize and get them there. >> is this something folks will be talking about in six months,
nine months, much less a year from now? >> depends how this investigation shakes out and how the obama administration handles it. whether more heads will roll and whether there will be a full accountability and visibility. >> as we've been talking about, white house senior adviser dan pfeiffer appeared on five talk show, on "fox news sunday" he defendeded president's so-called lack of engagement. >> the investigation, a real problem -- which sass a department of justice investigation. a real problem would be if he was involved in the snanss. like i said, cardinal rule, you don't get involved in independent investigations and don't give the appearance of doing so. >> how good a defense is that? how good a defense is that? >> i think it's a great defense in terms of the department of justice. you're exactly right. it's an appearance he was meddling in that investigation, it would be improper. with the other investigation,
the i.g.'s investigation into the irs, i think he came out saming to not know what was going on at the irs. reports we heard about. issa had known about this i think a year ago and there have been reports in papers about this investigation, about this possible, a possibility of improper behavior. i think the takeaway for the irs, if you read that i.g. report, it is -- there is not sense of this was necessarily political, but it appears it was incompetent and i think you will have tea party groups on name dropping this scandal. some call it scandal. some say it's scandal sort of in quotes, bufrt i think this is going to be something that's motivating and what you learn from mitch mcconnell's interview there is that they are prepared to have this narrative where the irs scandal is an example of government overreach. it's an example of why government shouldn't have such a prominent role in our lives and are also going to tie this irs scandal to health care and a,
should the irs actuallien involved in implementing health care pap nice narrative goingen into 2014. we'll see what the president said. >> we've already seen that story be told. all right, big thanks to all of you on this sunday. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> thank you. i have to say that it is one of the great honors of my life to be able to deas address this gathering here today. >> president obama delivering the commencement speech in moorehouse college this morning. next, we'll talk to the president of moorehouse and one of the groud grcrowd graduates impressive story. later, one lucky person awakened a whole heck of a lot richer today. we go live to florida where that winning $590 million powerball ticket was sold. this is msnbc. clearly, it wasn't me. on everything. everything.
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nobody is going to give you anything that you have not earned. nobody cares how tough your upbringing was. nobody cares if you suffered some discrimination. and moreover, you have to remember that whatever you've gone through, it pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured, and they overcame them, and if they overcame them, you can overcome them, too. >> that was president obama just a few hours ago down in atlanta, georgia, giving the first commencement address by an african-american president to the all-black, all-male graduating class at moorehouse college. he also had this to say, which countered the controversy, small controversy, sparked around this
speech. >> my job as president is to advocate for policies that generate more opportunity for everybody, and it is important for all of us, black, white and brown to advocate for an america where everybody's got a fair shot in life. not just some. >> joining me from atlanta, the president of moorehouse college, dr. johnson wilson jr. and leyland shelton who graduated today and also mentioned in the president's speech. good to see both of you. legalland, leyland, a big congratulations, sir. >> thank you, appreciate it. >> thank you. >> i'll get to the controversy in just a second, dr. wilson, but, again, a big day for moorehouse. first african-american president speaking and the country's most prestigious historically black college or university. what did it mean to the young men who are graduating today down in atlanta to have him there? >>. meant everything. president barack obama has a
strong message, and he sounded just like a moorehouse man today, so we're very proud today to have made morehouse man by giving him an honorary degree. a great moment for morehouse college. >> what struck you most? >> i think the entire speech was so very personal. obviously. he did a lot of homework. this speech was for this graduating class. there's no question about it. he didn't go big time policy. he didn't go across the globe. he didn't talk about the economy. he wanted to talk to these young african-american men, and that's what he did, and i think they heard it. it was very clear that they heard it from their reactions. >> leyland, again, you graduated a few hours ago, but morehouse was not an easy road for you. the president had this to say about your journey. >> when leyland was 4 years old social services took him away from his mama. put him in the care of his
grandparents. by age 14, he was in the foster care system. three years after that, leyland enrolled in morehouse, and today he is graduating phi beta capa on his way to harvard law school. >> leyland that is -- that is one impressive story, my friend. how does it feel to graduate today? how does it feel to have the president of the united states give you that kind of shout-out? >> to be in front of at dream realized. a dream that i had as a child. probably 4, 5 years old i found about what college meant. i want to go to morehouse. today a dream is realized and also to have him give me that spotlight during his speech, it was something i'll never forget. i know my family and loved ones will never forget that moment. >> what's next for you, sir? what's the post-morehouse plan,
leland? >> i'm starting at harvard law school in the fall. >> after that? >> after that i plan on pursuing a career in public interest law especially child advocacy. my particular interest. >> we're saving this tape, because you strike me at the kind of guy that might one day decide he might want to be president of the united states. no? >> i can't speak to that. >> look at that's already got the answers down. >> dr. wilson, i want to talk to you about reverend kevin johnson's criticisms of the president, and you're familiar with this at this point, and that philadelphia tribune column back in april, he talked about something a lot of folks have been talking about with with regards to president obama. especially his second term. he wrote, in some, when one compares the first african-american president to his recent president saysers, the number of african-americans in senior cabinet positions is very disappointing. clinton, seven, bush, four,
obama, one. obama has not moved african-american leadership forward, but backwards. the president has dealt with that criticism before. why the decision, then, dr. wilson to change the saturday program to a three-person panel only to go back to having reverend johnson speaking solo? >> you know, craig, we had a great back laureate service, and that was a setup for today's commencement, and our entire spotlight, our entire focus, has been on the president of the united states being on this campus, and that's what happened today, and we enjoyed it immensely. all right? it was a great message from him. it is precisely the kind of message that you would hear at morehouse college. the kind of message our undergraduates have been getting four year, work hard and you can go very far in life. nobody's going to pity you. nobody's going to feel as if,
that your hardships matter a whole lot. you have to pull yourself up and you have to work hard. that was his message today, and it is a great message. he's been a great president, and he sounded just like a morehouse man today, and that's why we celebrate him being a morehouse man officially on this day. >> dr. wilson, before i let you get out of here i want to take a look add listen at something else the president had to say about educational opportunities. >> but that doesn't mean we don't have work, because if we're honest with ourselves, we know that too few of our brothers have the opportunities that you've had here at morehouse. >> former director of the white house initiative on hbcus and now in your position at morehouse, simple question -- how do we get more funding for young men and women of color especially to attend not just morehouse but colleges and universities all over this country? >> our plan is to go private
sector. we have to improve, sharpen and enhance our value proposition as morehouse college. we want to get in front of a lot more of the wealthiest people in the world. there's about $300 billion available every year in charitable giving. $30 billion goes to higher education, at morehouse we're getting something like a poun0. it. raising cash each year. we need to improve our value proposition, trumpet is better and let other people, a lot of people know, why we're great. we think we can do that, because the president of the united states was on our campus today. he recognizes a lot in us, and we need to tell the world about it. i think the money, the funding, the philanthropy will come toll morehouse and others when we start teting a better story and what better story can we tell
than a graduate like leland? a great day for morehouse college. >> fantastic day for morehouse, great to see you, and leland, your story is inspiring. good luck to you and, please, keep in touch. let us know when you decide to run for office in 12, 16 years. >> appreciate it. >> fantastic. >> congrats again. dr. johnson wilson jr., president of morehouse and leland shelton. we are ep cooing a close eye on the really rough weather across the plain states today. the conditions are ripe for tornadoes. the latest forecast coming up. first, though -- there's some folks, believe it or not, up in arms over this image still. what do you think? we're going to check it out. the political playground. you're watching msnbc. a simple question: how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing.
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a change of suits, but i don't know about -- our prime minister. there we go. that's good. you guy, i'm sorry. >> so in all the serious stuff rocking washington this week, the president's light-hearted request there, putting two marines on umbrella duty during his press conference with the prime minister of turkey apparently sent some conservatives over the edge. form are gop vice presidential candidates sarah palin took to facebook saying, mr. president, when it rains it pour, but most americans hold their -- hold their own umbrella. yes, folks, umbrella gate is now in full effect. into the political playground with talk the latest scandals koss derail his second-term agenda. the "new york times" says the president has in private expressed a desire to "go bulworth." a troerchs that 1998 tongue and
cheek movie. starts breaking into rap songs how he really felt. check it out. ♪ one man, one foot, now is that really real ♪ ♪ the name of our game is let's make a deal ♪ ♪ people got the problems, the haves and have knnots make me b 20-second spots ♪ >> fresh often his victory, newly scorn in congressman mark sanford wasting no time taking to the house floor. for his house floor debut, a familiar vote. >> i rise with the course of others in this whole notion of repealing obama care. primarily because of financial impact. that i join with the course of others in urging to repeal this bill. with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> mark sanford. he's back. we know where the winning $600 million powerball ticket was sold and we know it was not
sold to kerry sanders, because he's live reporting for us next hour. and the republican party, plenty of red meat. throwing it the war room for what some are calling gop overreach. you're watching msnbc. the place for politics. "easy " sundays are the warrior's day to unplug and recharge. what if this feeling could last all week? with centurylink as your trusted partner, it can. our visionary cloud infrastructure and global broadband network free you to focus on what matters. with custom communications solutions and dedicated support, your business can shine all week long.
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where apparently that ticket was sold. do we know who it yet? >> reporter: there is no winner announced yet. we're waiting to see if that person is going to step forward. it is not uncommon for somebody to have a winning ticket. this is a losing ticket, in fact. i will show you right there where it says, "not a winner." because as i turn it over, that's what $20 gets you. a bunch of numbers worth nothing, but it is not uncommon for somebody who won come down and present the ticket to confirm what they are looking at with the numbers they've seen over and over again on television, but that person has not shown up here. it may be that that person is doing what a very smart person would do after thinking that they've won all that money. they need to move slowly, because they're eventually in florida going to be out and everybody's going to know who this person is. may not hold a press conference,
but part of public record. a small town. 13,000 people. this is a ridiculous amount of money at $590.9 million. how much is that? if the city budget were put into place with that money, this money would keep the city going for the next 12 years. that's how much money there is here. so, yeah. one thing that's interesting. most people are assuming because this is a grocery store it's in at neighborhood, that it's probably a local, but there is not too far from here the drop zone where people come from all over the world to go skydiving, a people come and spend a week or longer. may be somebody from outside the area who stopped in to do grocery shopping, bought a ticket. heard about the money and now haven't stepped forward. so the mystery continues t. it indeed, kerry sanders. who apparently will be working for us for years to come. good to see you, my friend. here's a quick look at some of the other stories making news on this sunday afternoon. officials in bridgeport,
connecticut, continue to clean um today's. they are removing railcars from the spot where those two commuter trains crashed into each other during friday's rush hour. more than 70 people. hurt, 9 of them are still in the hospital, and at this point, we still do not know precisely how that accident happened. another terrible accident. nothing sinister here, we're told. what officials are saying about what happened in virginia saturday afternoon. authorities say it looks like the elderly driver who crashed into a parade in the town of damascus had some kind of medical emergency. at least 50 people were hurt there. and jodi arias will be back in court tomorrow. a jury will be deciding whether she lives or dies. arias was convicted earlier this month of first-degree murder in the killing of her ex-boyfriend travis alexander. arias shot, slashed and stabbed alexander at least 25 times. talk of scandals continues to dominate washington, but does
the country really care? straight to the war room. democratic strategist chris, worked on john edwards presidential campaigns and republican strategist matt, shlap, priolitical director for george w. bush. >> great to be with you. >> former secretary of defense talked about benghazi saying the president simply can't lead. >> you think of a manager, a leader. when something like that happens, you call people in. you sit them down, and you let them know that you intend to find ground truth fast. and he seems not to have done that. >> what do you make of secretary rumsfeld's take there? chris? >> i'm not sure i can say on tv what i really think. >> it's cable on a sunday afternoon. you can say whatever you want. >> yeah, well i mean, expletives aside, the reality here is donald rumsfeld is not one to be criticizing any administration on any matter especially
questioning the integrity of this administration. i mean, when it comes to benghazi, everyone understands there was a report done. there were mistakes made. the add min installation been very clear mistakes were made and that things have to be done to make sure it never happens again. for donald rumsfeld, the republicans, i'm at a loss why they are fixated on this like dog on a bone trying to make this into a grand conspiracy. four americans died. a terrible event. the notion somehow anyone including the president wanted this to happen is somewhat perplexy they would even suggest that. this is not a controversy except in the sense that there were mistakes made and any time government fails to do anything right, it needs to be addressed, but republicans i think have gone too far and with don rumsfeld as your spokesman you know you're having a bad day with republicans. >> a lot of folks understand the irs, matt, stuff. they get that. they can get their heads around that. again, who doesn't really hate
the irs, i suppose? but with benghazi, and you know this. i mean, with benghazi, it's a lot tougher to get folks to understand that one. at what point does the republican party run the risk of overreaching on benghazi especially or convoluting the scandal pool, so to speak? >> i think it's fair. they run the risk on all scandals making it look like they're fanning the flames for their own political benefit and have to be careful. i disagree with both of you on benghazi in the sense i think when you have dead, four dead people, our first ambassador killed in a generation, you know, when you look at the facts it is incredibly troubling, and what was more trouble here i think to a lot of people and this goes along with the irs scandal we're reading about is the fact that there was a desire to kind of push these things beyond the election. push them forward. i think they did a good job as an administration. you always try to, trying to push things away from that big, important day.
after you get through the election you've got to deal with the facts. i think the facts around benghazi are not positive for the administration. >> david rove wrote something. talking about mr. obama's perhaps perhaps resulting from the way that he runs his white house. saying in part, "obama came into office promising op openness. from counter terrorism to domestic policy his white house has been secretive, insular and controlling." republicans are bent on destroying obama's presidency but an aloof president has alienated his democratic allies. chris, how much has the president's -- how much has his demeanor, how much has his approach to governing contributed to some of this? >> well, i mean, that's a pretty harsh, you know, rebuke of the president, in terms of his style. i mean, i kind of take a little bit of a different take. my perspective as a democrat, i believe and we believe the government can do good things.
it can make people's lives better if you create the right policy, and you target it well, and you implement it well, and i think the mistake that we've made sometimes in government, and this is true for both republicans and democrats, is we don't make -- we don't make sure that when that policy is adopted and being implemented that it's being implemented right. we don't go back and check making sure it's running effectively. that is a responsibility of the president, obviously. no question about that. that's the responsibility of every president, but i think we've got to somehow, got to make a distinction here between mistakes that happen as in the course of governing, and mistakes that happen because somehow the president went out of his way to make them happen. i'm not sure that's fair yet. i mean, let's wait and see how this plays out in terms of the investigation of the irs, but i don't think this was somehow a culture that the president somehow wanted to happen. no president wants these kind of mistakes to happen. i think this is something that goes to the heart of some of the
problems we have in government period across the board. >> i was taken aback when senator mitch mcconnell on "meet the press" said this white house is -- is part of this culture of intimidation that he talked about and he said the white house routinely does things like this, but he didn't have any facts to back it up. do you have any facts to back up a statement like that? >> well, i guess the facts i would have to back up a statement like to is the fact they did something that's very strange. two different scandals. one that probably upsets the right and one that upsets the left, but really should upset all americans. tapping the phone lines of reporters seems to be on the pale. i have a lot of liberal friends who are appalleded by that. uses the irs -- >> the phone lines weren't tapped, for the record. >> but he got the phone records and a bunch of personal information that i think upsets a lot of civil libertarians. look at what the irs did. i'm not saying the obama administration was controlling what the irs was doing, but no question a tone set.
once a lot of these actions were before the election -- >> before the obama administration, let's not kid ourselves. the irs is, you know, it has not been a perfect picture of a function for a long time. >> that's right. i mean, the last thing -- it would be irresponsible of me to lay every problem of the irs at president obama's footstep, and on this scandal we don't know what happened with this. i think one thing is clear. after obama was elected in '08 and the tea party movement started, there was a tone somehow these people were a problem, and all of these slurs, all of these racial slur, the fact they were haters is somehow translated into the bureaucracy which could have done it on its own and took very inappropriate behavior. i'm not ready to say that was controlled by the white house. the key thing for the white house and for all americans is to just get the facts on the table. the american people are fair. they'll look at the facts, make their decisions. i think that's what we have to do going forward. >> chris, i want to call your
attention to some numbers here. the latest cnn poll that the president's popularity at this point. again, e not only has it not taken a hit, according to the cnn poll, he's more popular now than he was a month ago. what can we make of those numbers? >> well, you know, i think there's a couple of ways to look at if. i think right now a lot of these scandals have to do, i think, with, focus on the government itself. i mean, you know -- the favorability that the american people have towards the federal government and congress, i think is around 15% or 16% pr basically family members and immediate friend. in terms of direct popularity. that, i think, is one distinction. in terms of how this goes to the president, you know, i think we have to wait and see in terms of, in the coming weeks, there's always going to be a lag effect between these kind of controversies and the effect on a particular president. i think the american people give the president the benefit of the doubt, because they like him personally. i think they trust him
personally, and until they see evidence top the contraircontra they're not going to buy right ring rhetoric it's part of a grand conspiracy by the president to intimidate his opponents, but i do this where it will hurt is our desire as democrats to go out there and say that government can do things. that is where this, these controversy, particularly the irs, that's where it hurts us, i think. and we've got to address it forcefully. >> we'll leave it there. good to sueee you both. up next, what if you could give yourself a raise any old time you wanted. sound pretty good? up until 1992, congress was able to do just that. we'll flash back, negs. and -- hello washington monument. check out that iconic landmark as workers get ready to make some much-needed repairs. we're going to talk to a bona fide washington were monument
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folks, we are watching some developing news right now. a fear weather threatened several states from the plains to the upper mississippi valley. you can see it on radar here. oklahoma city, tulsa, po pica, joplin, missouri hit with a devastating tornado two years ago. all of those places right now are in the cross hairs. we'll keep you one to date on anytains to the weather. as they come in. time for flashback, it begins more nanthan 200 years ago. 1789, when congress first tried to approve the amendment for states to ratify, the goal, limit the ability of congress to set its own salaries. but it was not until this day in 1992 that the amendment was actually officially added tz to the constitution. 12 days before that, michigan became the 38th state to ratify
the 27th amendment. you recognize that guy. right? here's some of nbc's andrea mitchell's report on that. >> the revolution is about -- >> reporter: when michigan dame the 38th state to ratify the amendment it was official. a few hours later, new jersey added its voice. one more state needed. written by james madison, the idea was simple. a pay raise should not go into effect until after the next election so the voters could have their say. when the senate voted a pay raise, public outrage boim eboi over. some sap the amendment is not valid because it took too long to ratify. >> it stretched over a period exceeding two centuries. i think on the legal merits, it would be judged not timely and, therefore, not a valid constitutional amendment. >> reporter: republicans vowed to fight for it. >> i hope the bureaucrats and anyway s
naysayers will not try to steal this from the american people. >> reporter: politicians are not likely to challenge this amendment given the current political climate. andrea mitchell, nbc news, at the capitol. that was or flashback from the day. the 27th amendment became the law of the land. in fact, here as of january 9, the most recent adjustment, ranking file members of congress make $174,000 per year. leaders maybe $193,000, and the speaker of the house makes $223,500. up next, an expert on the washington monument tells us what the workers who at the top of the largest free-standing stone structure, what they will have to do to keep that iconic landmark standing tall. and later, one indiana pastor takes a new and very personal approach to fighting gun violence. we'll tell you what it is. stay right there, you're watching msnbc. they're like a clean team.
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hang on there! stunning images, stunning images from up high, courtesy of a helmet cam. that's near the top of the washington monument. and the video captures the first phase of repairs, which involve building some scaffolding around the entire structure, from top to bottom, in fact. you'll recall that the iconic monument suffered extensive damage in the august 2011 earthquake. it has been closed ever since. formal repairs are set to start in about three weeks. for more on the repairs, i want to bring in someone who knows all about it, literally from the inside out. his name is thomas allen. he's the author of "the washington monument: it stands for all." thomas, good to see you. it took construction workers three months to just build the scaffolding all the way to the top of the monument. how long do we think it's going to take for these repairs to be
completed. >> i think they're being optimistic in saying it will be a year, year and a half. i think as they get closer into it, they're going to see the same thing that was discovered on the national cathedral, which is that there were tiny bits of damage that you can only see when you build a scaffolding like that and get right next to the monument itself. >> how significant was the damage to the monument. >> well, i think it was significant enough so the park service closed, you know, the icon of a visit to washington. i think there's been concern about the monument all the way down through the years, and a lot of it has to do with the foundation of the monument. when it was first built, there was some fear that you couldn't be able to go more than, say, 200 feet or so. and a brilliant army engineer came in and he dug tunnels
underneath the existing 200 or so feet and realized that the foundation had to be rebuilt. if you can picture the situation, you're underneath this tall piece of rock, and you're going to dig everything out, and then put a new foundation in, while it's still standing. and that was the decision that really produced the washington monument. you can't see it, but that's what produced it. >> go ahead, i'm sorry. >> beg your pardon? >> will the workers, when they're working here to repair some of the damage, are they also going to be putting some safeguards in place to help prevent future damage? >> i don't think there's much they can do. i think that the very fact that it rests on a foundation that is enormous is what helps it when it catches a little tremor in the earth. i mean, that was a pretty good tremor in itself, but the
damage, the visible damage didn't seem to be that much. i think it's always what's going on inside what you can see. >> roughly 600,000 visitors per day visit the washington monument. for folks who have not been there, folks who have not seen it up close, what is it about the washington monument specifically that holds so much meaning? >>, you know, when i first moved to washington, you could actually walk up the inside. and you felt you were walking through history, because it's full of wonderful, big blocks of stone that have been contributed by states, by societies, by fire departments. it was pulling people to that monument, they wanted to do something for george washington, going all the way back to the revolutionary war. and they kept working and working on what could they do. and they finally came up with this clean, solid, wonderful
piece and somehow it gets right into our psyche, our patriotic attitude, something. and it was only at the last minute that they realized that it was going to have the feeling of a obalisque, something about reaching to touch the sky, and there we are, we have the best icob that any country's ever had, of somehow capturing the freedom that we felt. >> thomas allen, the author of "the washington monument: it stands for all," thank you for your time. >> next hour, we'll chat with the brain trust as they tackle all things politics. and more from kerry sanders on that $600 million winning powerball ticket out of florida. stay right there. this is msnbc. otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second.
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[ [ male annououncer ] it's p practicallyly yours. testst dri! bubut we stillll need your s signature.. vovolkswagen s sign then d drie is back.k. and d it's neverer been easisir to get a j jetta. that's t the power of german n engineerining. get $0 dowown, $0 due at t signing, $ $0 dep, anand $0 firstst month's p pt on any n new volkswawagen. visit vwdedealer.com t today. a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen,
naproxen and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, like celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. don't take celebrex if you have bleeding in the stomach or intestine, or had an asthma attack, hives, other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history. and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit celebrex.com and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. good sunday afternoon. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc, the place
for politics. and as they recover from perhaps the worst week of their administration, the white house enters damage control mode, deploying senior communications adviser, dan pfeiffer, to make the rounds on the sunday morning shows. we'll take a look at what needs to be done to stem the bleeding going forward. plus, one lucky winner hit the powerball jackpot last night. was it you? we'll check in with kerry sanders. he's live in zephyr hills, florida. and a little bit later, i'll talk to an indiana pastor who has embarked on a 40-day fast to fight gun violence. his sacrifice ends today, but the mission lives on. we'll talk to him. first, we start with our political headlines on the sunday afternoon. from the irs controversy to the benghazi investigation, president obama's handling of the scandal talks the sunday talk shows. leading the talks, the irs investigation into the targeting of tea party groups up for special tax-exempt consideration. congressman paul ryan, a tea party favorite, joined the course of lawmakers accusing the
administration of being behind an attempt to systemically scrutinize tea party groups. >> this is arrogance. this is big government cronyism. and this is not what hard-working taxpayers deserve. people deserve a government that they can trust, that's honest, that's impartial. equality before the law, and that is not what we are getting here. so to try to suggest that this is just bureaucratic snafus, we already know that that is not true. >> when asked if his comments of former secretary of state hillary clinton's role in the alleged benghazi cover-up should preclude her from running for president, this is what senator rand paul had to say. >> you know, in bill clinton's administration, when les aspen did not provide security in mogadishu, the famous black hawk down, he was asked to resign and he left and admit head made tragic error. >> sure, but nobody asked him to do it in iowa or new hampshire -- >> tragic errors were. >> and as the president gets
round for another round of damage control this week, charges from democratic congressman charlie rangel against the right. >>s there no republican agenda, except to stop the president of the united states. it just seems to me that there's no evidence that whatever went wrong, it was known outside of cincinnati. they should have been better trained to deal with a very sensitive piece of legislation that was abused by the left and the right. >> and again, obama adviser dan pfeiffer, ran the gauntlet this morning, appeared on five of the sunday morning shows, defending the president. lanni davis knows a thing or two about defending a president around fire. he is, of course, former special counsel to president bill clinton. he's also the author of a new book called "crisis tales." lanni, it's good to see you. >> thank you for having me. >> let's start in the obvious spot. what advice would you have for president obama and his staff at this particular junction. >> well, dan pfeiffer had it
right on the shows that i watched this morning. and let me at least challenge congressman ryan to come up with one fact to support what he said, that there was any white house involvement in what happened at the irs. one fact. you notice that he uses lots of adjectives. and what about the hypocritical senator rand paul. when ronald reagan presided over the loss of several hundred marines in the lebanon barracks, i don't recall him referring back to the secretary of state then, who should have resigned. and the hypocrisy that he doesn't mention that there were attacks on embassies under president bush when he ran for senate in kentucky, never asked for the secretary of state under president bush to resign. this is pure hypocrisy, exploiting the tragic deaths of americans by rand paul, who i used to admire for intellectual honesty, i no longer do. >> lanny, is there anything that
you would have advised the white house to do differently last week? >> sure. >> what would you have advised them to do? >> the fact that republicans have been contradicted and therefore should apologize for suggesting that susan rice and the white house put out their own version of the facts for political reasons, using the word with t"spontaneous" and in by cairo protests in describing the terrible attacks in benghazi have been contradicted by the actual talking points written by, indisputably, the cia, and all the e-mails that we just read. my question for mr. fivpfeifer some time has been, why didn't the white house publish those when susan rice was left drifts in the wind, several other ir respond members of congress, including this particular congressman, who ran for vice president, paul ryan, falsely suggested that the word "spontaneous" was made up by the white house, when we now know
from the white house that they were written by the cia. but the white house should have put those talking points out six months ago, rather than waiting until just recently. >> you wrote in "the hill" last week, if the white house knew about the irs abuses and did not tell the president, she should have resigned. the president says that he found out about many of these scandals from the news. at what point when something is developing should staffers bring the president into the loop? >> if you're the white house counsel, immediately. i said "if," and i have the greatest respect for the white house counsel and her legal credentials, but if she knows about an investigation about something with the media and political nuclear capabilities of an irs activity, even if it had nothing to do with the white house, even if the investigation was incomplete, of course, as white house counsel, she should give the president heads up. i don't know whether she did or not. i said, "if." but so far the president and jay carney have denied that they
knew anything about this. and i'm wondering, if she doesn't give them a heads up, then she doesn't realize the job of white house counsel is more than about legal final conclusions, but you need to give the president and the press department a warning to be prepared for a crisis that's about the to come. >> lenny, i want to ask you about something else before i let you go, this assertion that senator mitch mcconnell made on "meet the press" this morning, that this is the irs scandal that's emblematic of a larger problem. that president obama and his white house are essentially bullies. that there's this culture of intimidation that exists at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. >> fact free. rhetoric is easy. characterizations and adjectives and partisan words are easy. did senator mcconnell mention one fact that is true to support the conclusion of intimidation by the white house? again, he speculates about the irs. we have an ig that said, there's
no evidence of anybody outside the irs, other than these rogue irs employees, who, by the way, i take very seriously the misconduct of those employees. but when you have senator mcconnell speculating, using innuendo, that is not the same of fact. that's pretty sad, since he's the senate minority leader, and should focused on facts, not innuendo. >> lanny davis, thank you for your time on this sunday afternoon. we do appreciate you. >> thank you. other big story this week, leaving washington right now, secretary of state john kerry will be heading to the middle east and africa this week. the 2-year-old syrian civil war, no doubt, will be at the top of his agenda, as well as trying to restart peace talks between israel and the palestinians. shivly telhami is author of the upcoming book "the world through arab eyes," and raul jabrill is
a big friend of the weekend broadcast here. good to see you. shibley, thanks for coming back this week. let's start with syria. aside from the ongoing and very important topic of the middle east, syria going to be the topic of discussion around secretary kerry's trip to jordan, israel, the west bank, i understand. where do we stand right now when it comes to syria? >> that administration simply doesn't have any good options. certainly, the new development is an attempt to work things out with russia, a little bit of realistic about fobthe possibilities, but, really, frankly, when you look at the options, the administration is a tough place. last week, there was this u.n. vote, urging more recognition of the opposition. got 109 votes in the general assembly. that's in comparison to 133 for a similar vote, just a year before. it tells you momentum is
shifting somewhere else. the options for that administration are all tough. certainly, the administration doesn't want to get involved militarily, and doesn't want to do so, certainly without u.n. support. u.n. support isn't going to come without russia, because russia clearly will exercise the rveto. and in the arab world, where most people in the arab world, according to my polls, do oppose the assad regime, but a majority of them don't want to see an american military intervention to solve the issue. so it's a very tough position for the administration. there are no good options on the table. >> raul, the other part of this story that paste to be getting lost is the refugee crisis. and it's a full-blown crisis at this point. refugees pouring boo lebanon and jordan, 3 million refugees at this point. what do we do about that crisis and how much worse can that get
before it forces our hand. >> and frankly -- let me bring rula in. >> we're doing nothing. we're ignoring the refugees for now and trying to help the germinating government by giving them money. we are not doing anything. we are actually cautious, but at the same time, we're arming the rentals through the saudis. and we aren't doing that. we're already involved in a civil war that will drag for years to come. and we've been seeing, over and over, on the internet, the true nature of the free syrian army. look, the regime is a horrendous one, atrocious, and will be, sooner or later, will have to leave. and there have been accusations of war crimes, rape, and torture. but the free syrian army and the youtube videos that we saw, with one of them killing a soldier
and eating his heart, and seeing this element, hard-core element and islamist element, they're not for sunni -- they're mainly for sunni supremacy, and not only for democracy, they want to come after the minorities and slaughter them. >> shibley, what were you trying to say there? >> well, on the refugee, i think you put your finger on a really major humanitarian issue. obviously, within syria itself, the situation is horrific. and thousands of people dead sunday a and wounded. but the pressure on the neighboring countries is immense. and there's a huge humanitarian, 1.5 million refugee. and i think it has consequences beyond the humanitarian issue. so those countries are facing political crisis down the road. that's really the immediate pressure. you're right in putting framers on there. but even for that, beyond some kind of humanitarian aid, a solution like having a safe haven in syria, which is one option that's on the table,
simply cannot be effective without the support of neighboring state and the international community. even for something like that, that seemingly is a humanitarian solution to prevent the refugees from overflowing, requires coordination with russia, china, and others. >> rula, before i let you out of here, the other agenda -- the other item on the agenda for secretary kerry will be once again, attempting to restart the mideast peace process. at this point, israel and the palestinians have relationship. what's the feeling of the palestinians, just toward the u.s. effort in general to even restart the peace talks? >> i think every u.s. president would love to end his, you know, second term with peace, you know, agreement between the palestinian and israel. bill clinton tried it, bush tried it, bush senior. i mean, if the parties are not involved and not convinced there's nothing to be done, one of the officials, one of the
adviser of bibi netanyahu last week said, you know, kerry is a guy who has a lot of energy. he can try and try and try, but at the end of the day, we are the ones that have to be convinced and we are the one that will make the final deal. and with syria upside down, with the syrian civil war dragging on, with hezbollah being involved more and more, so the lebanese borders are not safe anymore, the egyptian borders are not safe. >> rula ja brooel, thank you so much. up next, fasting for peace. the indiana pastor who's taking a different approach fighting gun violence. we'll talk to reverend bill mcgill live. he hasn't eaten in a long time. we'll tell you a little bit more about that. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing.
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gun violence continues to plague communities all over this country, while americans wait on leaders in washington and elsewhere to move forward on gun control legislation. one person decided to turn to god. since april 9th, reverend bill mcgill of ft. wayne, indiana, has been on a fast of only water, for 40 days. his hope is that god will intervene in his city's gun violence program. joining me live from ft. wayne, indiana, on the last day of his fast is a slender reverend bill mcgill. good to see you, reverend. >> thank you for having me, craig. it's a real pleasure and privilege to share with your audience. >> how much weight did you lose, first of all. >> yeah, 34 pounds and 6 inches off my waist. i started at 34 waist and am down to 28. >> you didn't have a whole lot to start with. >> no, sir, not at all. i have a loving mother that was real concerned about this,
obviously, and an adorable daughter that said she is athletic, so she couldn't participate. i reminded her prayer didn't use any energy, but anyway, i couldn't get her to make this journey with me. but a loving congregation, a supportive congregation, and energy from all across the country that helped push us through this. >> what prompted you to take up the fast? >> you know, craig, we had had a rash of shootings in our area, like urban areas all across our country. easter weekend, we had six shootings, two of them fatal, and god started to lay on my heart that there had to be a spiritual response. and i have to admit, i was going through a crisis of my own faith. nearly four decades in preaching at that point, and i'd started hearing those words of carl marcus, that religion was the opiate of the peep, that somehow that's what, unfortunately, i thought in many instances, he had become. so i said, you know what, someone needs to step up and show that there's some real
sustaining power in prayer, that those of us that have real christian convictions, and indeed, i would say any faith conviction, that that kind of energy and light can bring something punitive to darkness. and so we started the journey, and here we are, 40 days later, completed it this morning after our morning worship, had -- the nutritionist gave me a choice of watermelon or cantaloupe, neither which i like, so i had a little bit of both to see which the lesser of two evils will be. i stale don't like cantaloupe. apparently i wasn't hungry enough, but the watermelon tasted pretty good. >> i understand there have been members of your own congregation who have been affected by gun violence. >> yeah. unfortunately, both our drummer and our guitar player had nephews and/or cousin affected by this rash of violence. so like families all across the nation, nobody seems to be exempt anymore. >> what would you say to the
politicians that are considering various gun policies right now, as it relates to gun control. what do they need to do? >> well, craig, i think like most reasonable, progressive people, i was a little disheartened when i thought what was a reasonable approach, at least around background checks and those kinds of minimal engagements, weren't able to find much support on the hill. so, again, i'll let the politicians keep being politicians. they do what they do. but at the end of the day, i think that the faith community, and obviously, i'm a christian, in particular, have been given some real great assets that i think have gone unused. in matthew 6, christ only shares two assumptions with his followers. and we've forgotten that they're so basic. he says, "when you pray," in verse 6, just assuming that you'll pray, and in verse 16, "when you thatfast." so real basic tenants of our
faith that i think have gone unused, and i wanted to put it back on the map in churches around our region and now you've allowed me to share it with the nation, that if perhaps we get back to the very basic fundamental tenants of our christian involvement and engagement, who knows what will happen. i can submit to you that in my community, a rash of events stopped, we went 42 days without any civilian homicides, we did have, unfortunately, two political actions that were deemed homicides. but no civilian homicides happened for 42 days. and so it worked for us. and i'm sure that it could work other places. >> reverend bill mcgill in ft. wayne, indiana. good to see you, reverend. congratulations and thank you for your time. >> thank you for sharing, craig. >> go get you a steak. >> well, i don't eat red meat. but a piece of salmon. >> get you a piece of salmon. we'll be taking a spin in the political playground and still ahead, i welcome to brain trust as well. stay right there, you're
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dare to take the pantene 5 signs challenge. pantene daily moisture renewal. really, tea party, really? you're surprised you were targeted by the irs. you named yourself after a group of people who proudly and historically violated tax laws. look, if i had a vanity license plate that said weed420, i might expect to get pulled over now and then. >> if you had that license plate? >> not now. >> all right. >> into the political playground we go. amy poehler and seth myers were not the only one bringing the funny this weekend. take a look at what first lady michelle obama had to say to graduates in nashville yesterday. >> failure is the key to success for so many great people. there's this guy, barack obama, who lost -- i could take up a
whole afternoon talking about his failures. but he lost his first race for congress and now he gets to call himself my husband. >> but the president was not going to let the first lady be the funnier of the two obamas the this weekend. oh, no, take a look at what the president said earlier today during his commencement speech at moorhouse. >> i see some moms and grandmas here, aunts in their sunday best. although they are upset about their hair getting messed up. michelle would not be sitting in the rain. she has taught me about hair. >> the president might have to do some explaining when he gets back to 1600 pennsylvania. jackpot!
one lucky powerball ticket sold and the winner has yet to come forward. perhaps they're busy making plans, deciding how they are going to spend some $600 million. kerry sanders with the latest from zephyr hills, florida, next. stay tuned. you're watching msnbc. man: the charcoal went out already? ... forget it. vo: there's more barbeque time in every bag of kingsford original charcoal. kingsford. slow down and grill. the act of soaring across an ocean in a three-hundred-ton rocket doesn't raise as much as an eyebrow for these veterans of the sky. however, seeing this little beauty over international waters is enough to bring a traveler to tears. we're putting the wonder back into air travel, one innovation at a time. the new american is arriving.
do you have the lucky ticket? there's just one. the winning powerball numbers were drawn late last night. 10, 13, 14, 22, 52, and 11. i don't know why i'm reading them so slowly. i'm sure whoever won the lottery at this point knows they won it. the jackpot, the second largest in u.s. history. nearly $600 million. so who is the powerball winner? well, apparently the lucky ticket was sold at a publix supermarket in florida. nbc's kerry sanders is outside that publix supermarket in zephyr hills, florida. kerry, do we expect that we might hear something from them
tomorrow? what's generally the time frame that one of these winners would come forward? >> reporter: you know, there is no urgency to do it in the next 24 hours. but, remember, this is $590.5 million. one winner. so that person may want to consult an attorney, may want to consult an accountant. may want to consult the family, may want to change their phone number, may want to leave town. i'm not exactly sure what you do when you win that kind of money. of course, everyone here wants to know, is it their neighbor, is it their friend? some people might put their hands out, others might slap him on the back and say, hey, congratulations, that's awesome. when you look at the amount of money in this winning jackpot, the second largest in u.s. history, it is so large that if you took the city government budget here, you could rain this city for the next 12 years with these winnings.
that's how much money here is going to come to one person. zephyrhills, florida, just a little bit north of tampa, a little south of gainesville. a lot of people know about this community, even though it's small, because of the zephyrhills spring bottled water. they also know it, if you happen to be a sports enthusiast, especially if you like parachuting, because they have one of the top drop zones here in all of the united states. so people come from all over the united states to do their skydiving here. which means it may not be a local resident, it could be someone who came from the week to do some skydiving over here at the publix and thought, hey, i'm going to pick up a powerball ticket, and maybe theirs is like mine right there that says, "not a winner," which is a polite way of saying loser. it could say loser, but it doesn't. >> at least you tried. >> anyway, we're waiting to see if this person reveals themselves. in florida, they cannot -- >> anonymous? >> reporter: anonymous. they eventually have to come
forward. don't have to hold a press conference, but we'll know who they are. >> kerry sanders outside the publix where that winning lottery ticket was apparently sold. kerry, thank you. ladies and gentlemen, here's a quick look at some of the stories making news this afternoon. some new information just in about the commuter train crash in connecticut. ntsb, the national transportation safety board says the trains were going 70 miles an hour when they crashed during friday's rush hour. more than 70 people were hurt. nine of them are still in the hospital. the investigation into precisely what caused that crash continues. lots of severe weather is expected in the week ahead and it starts today in the midwest. take a look at the map right now. right now, people in the plain states are facing some serious tornado threats. the severe weather is expected to continue into tomorrow. also tomorrow, jodi arias will be back in court. that's when a jury will decide whether she lives or dies. arias was convicted earlier this
month of first-degree murder in the killing of her ex-boyfriend, travis alexander. arias shot, slashed, and stabbed alexander at least 25 times. time now to bring in the brain trust to talk about all things politics. dana milbank, political columnist for "the washington pos post". bob franken, syndicated columnist for king features, and amy holmes, author at the blaze. good to see all three of you. one of my favorite brain trust segments here. dana, i'm surprised we were able to get you after your "saturday night live" debut. >> that was a significant upgrade for me last night, craig. i'm afraid you got the genuine article today. i'm sorry about that. >> we are going to get to your "snl" debut a little bit later. but let's start with what everyone else seems to talking about, especially in your neck of the woods. the three scandals, real and imagined, plaguing the administration right now. how much and which one, dana, is going to plague this president in the long run potentially?
>> well, the one that should plague him in the longest run, and the one that is the most significant is the one that probably won't harm him at all, and that is the justice department pawing around in reporters' phone records. and that's for very simple reason that no one particularly cares about reporters and it's going to sound like reporters whining, even though it is, actually, a significant violation of the first amendment and people should be concerned about. the one people will be most agitated about a certainly republicans here in washington will be is benghazi. and that is the least significant of them all, because that's not about the scandal itself, it's about sort of how they handled the aftermath of it. and in between, you've got the irs, unclear whether it's a political scandal or just a case of botched, bad government. but either way, it's going to -- the circus is going to be in town for quite a while. >> bob, do you share that sentiment? are we in for a side showshow f
months to come? or at some point do folks decide to move on with their lives? >> actually, i think the one that's going to resonate more than any of the others is the irs scandal, if we ought to use that word, because i think that's something people can relate to. everybody hates the irs. so i think that that's the one that could possibly cause the damage, particularly if any of this is able to move toward the white house in any way. as far as the ap scandal is concerned, i think that we have to look at the bright side of things and point out that at least they didn't waterboard any of the journalists. >> amy holmes -- >> so far, anyway. >> also so far, there's been no direct connection to the white house. i mean, so far -- >> with which scandal are you discussing? >> again, real and imagined. >> and number four with kathleen sebelius at hhs. >> with the irs, you're talking about the fact that she's been out asking for money to help fund -- >> correct, yes. >> you think that's a legitimate scandal? >> shaking down insurance
companies to give money to the government or else. but i think that the scandal they agree with bob, that has the most legs here is the irs scandal. we have both bipartisan fury if you watch that steve miller hearing up on capitol hill. again, it's something that average americans can understand. and you know what, we have 500 conservative organizations that may have been targeted. all of those stories to tell. we still haven't heard from the folks who are being scapegoated in cincinnati. they have their own side of the story to tell. i think we have five or six house committees that are being investigated. this is a huge deal. >> dana, two things that seem to be getting lost inside of this irs story. first of all, were the majority conservative groups? yes. were they all conservative groups? absolutely not. that's one thing that seems to be getting lost in all of this. wouldn't you say? >> well, i think so, and that's why i sort of hesitate to think that this blows up into something other than that. a crucial ingredient that you need here is white house involvement. there is white house involvement in the benghazi talking points. now, as i said, i don't think
there's much of a scandal there. we're so far, at least, missing that element of white house involvement in the irs. now, if one of these 500 committees investigating this comes up with something along those lines, well, that's a different story. but what i'm seeing so far is it's already spinning out into all of these wild conspiracy theories. you're going to see democrats there circle the wagons and start defending the administration rather than -- >> but dana, we're already creeping up to the cabinet, what we do, the deputy secretary of treasury knew. >> dana raised an interesting point. and i'm sure you saw this news conference a few days ago, where you had michele bachmann talking about impeachment and senator ted cruz already appearing to start overplaying it. ed and said, at what point does the gop become concerned that they're overplaying their hand? >> well, they've already expressed concern. and the chairman of the rnc, he has told members, hold off on talking about impeachment. that is way, way, way, you know,
out there at this point, given the facts that we know. but the facts that we do know is that the ig informed the deputy secretary of the treasury that this investigation was going on. it begs belief to imagine that he didn't tell tim geithner, tim geithner is a member of the cabinet. wouldn't he have told the chief of staff? and if he didn't, what is the culture of management at the white house -- >> is it about the culture of management or is it about the culture of the irs? >> possibly both. and also could be the culture of any bureaucracy, be it federal bureaucracy. and the point i would like to talk about is the one that dana raised in his column, that they're already makie ining foo themselves. dana, i have to say, you missed the really big one, which was from congressman louie gohmert, the republican pride of tyler, texas, who told the attorney general that he was tired of him casting aspersions on his
asparagus. will somebody explain that, please. >> you know what, we're going to take a quick break. we're not going to attempt to explain that, either, on the other side of this break but we will continue our conversation right after this with the brain trust. stay with us. [ male announcer ] from red lobster's chefs to your table our seafood dinner for two for just 25 dollars! first get salad and cheddar bay biscuits. then choose from a variety of seafood entrées. plus choose either an appetizer or a dessert to share. offer ends soon at red lobster! where we sea food differently. red jars are all the same right? wrong! you need three uses of a $15 cream to equal the moisturizing power of one use of regenerist microsculpting cream. seems not all red jars are created equal. olay regenerist.
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the latest app from ink. so you can spend less time doing paperwork. and more time doing paperwork. ink from chase. so you can. folks, right now you are lacki inlooking at live picturef president obama arriving back boo washington, d.c., after that day trip to atlanta, georgia. the president spent the morning at morehouse college, addressing rain-soaked graduates there. and a live picture, lacks like president obama getting ready to -- there he is. joint base andrews just landed a few moments ago and president obama, of course, has a busy week ahead of him. of course, after last week, president obama and the white house hoping, sin serial, that this week is a little bit better than last week. and let's get back to the brain
trust. dana milbank, bob franken, amy holmes, anchor at the blaze. dana, bob alluded to it and i read your column about some of the gop members already starting to overplay there. give us a few of those examples you cited in your column. some of the things we heard in that news conference. >> well, michele bachmann, she is the one who has leading off the press conference. you know they're going to depart planet earth in very quick order. but she went to impeachment. others said that the only solution to the irs scandal is to repeal obama care. and you had ted cruz suggesting that the irs was being used as an arm of the obama re-election campaign. so, anyway, i mean, if any of these things turn out to be quite true, yes, that would be interesting, but we have a long way to go before we've actually
demonstrated anything like that. >> i don't think the solution to the irs is repealing obama care, i think it's getting rid of the irs. >> really, that's the solution? let's eliminate the irs. >> we're talking about all these scandals and i think we've forgotten one here. we really should be talking about umbrellagate. that's the one that -- >> or the hypocrisy, the hypocrisy, bob. you saw that facebook post from sarah palin and then, you know, a few hours after that facebook post, we see all these pictures of her having someone hold an umbrella for her. hypocrisy -- >> when it rains, it pours. >> i do want to talk about another scandal that the -- you know, it's something that got, perhaps, in the wave of scandals. gun violence in this country. polls have shown that most people want to at least to see stronger background checks for guns. that measure, obviously, did not pass. it does not look like it's going to come back just yet. i want you to watch this clip of s.e. cupp, a colleague here on msnbc. this is s.e. cupp on "realtime with bill maher" friday.
take a look. >> should i be able to hide a gun?! >> what's the rationale -- >> clearly you've never thought or confronted the idea of domestic violence or being assaulted by another man in a dark alley. why do i want to conceal it? why does anyone conceal -- >> i have the feeling that they're breaking up now. >> you can see how passionate she is about gun rights there. and truth be told, whatever your politics, whatever your position is on gun rights, my colleague did a pretty good job friday night of explaining hers. bob, how badly did the white house misjudge the deep love of guns in this country? >> well, apparently, badly enough that they weren't able to get the congress to pass the minimal gun legislation that they were talking about. i mean, there's a really twisted love affair with guns in the united states and i think that sometimes you lose sight of that in this country. but, you know, onward and upward, i guess. >> onward and upward.
>> for the administration, i will say that the vice president has said that he wants to pursue more gun legislation. i think it would be a huge political mistake for them. >> since newtown, dana milbank, nearly 4,000 adults, 290 children have been killed by firearms. this is not something that we continue to talk about anymore. what happened? >> no, what you see happening is in places where you've had these massacre, in connecticut, well, they made some progress and adopted some gun control legislation. same thing in colorado. does that mean the other 48 states have to have their own massacre to have their own gun control implemented there? it seems we wonl respond to times of crisis here, and even in a time of crisis, if you don't react quickly enough, and the administration didn't, it doesn't happen here. they weren't misreading public sentiment. if you look at polls overall, public sentiment was with them. but they were misreading the electoral map and they couldn't get that sort of thing through the senate. >> and they were no match -- craig, they were no match for
the national rifle association. i mean, the national rifle association bullied the administration around. >> but is it just that? i mean, is it just the nra or is there -- because we had other groups that popped up and there was, you know, there was ofa that was supposed to help the president move the agenda forward. >> mayor michael bloomberg. >> sure. was it just that the power of the nra, bob, or is that an oversimplification? >> that probably is an oversimplification, but, hey, i do television, so. >> what's what we're all here for. >> well, to try to -- i appreciate your candor. >> craig, i'll try to add some nuance here. >> no, wino, i don't do nuance. >> we also polling data, and you and i have talked about it many times, where there might have been broad public support, that support was about an inch deep and this is sympathetic that was warned by bill clinton, he warned democrats of overreaching, mother jones, he wrote the same thing.
this was recognized on both the left and right, unfortunately not recognized in the white house, which i think spended a lot of wasted political capital on this. >> well, i don't know if you can call it wasted political capital. >> he didn't get a thing passed, craig. >> but that doesn't mean that the political capital was wasted. there are a lot of folks, especially parents of dead kids in newtown who would argue it would have been a lot more disappoint fg they didn't try to do something. >> he didn't craft a solution nor does he appear to have the legislative ability to knock heads to get the minimal thing done. >> here's something we could all agree on. that is the people that fervently want their guns have more passion about it, apparently, than the people who want some sort of gun control. >> i think we can all agree on that. >> and bob, we appreciate your nuance. >> that's right! he only doles it out sparingly. more brain trust. when we come back, for folks who did not see dana milbank on "snl" last night, we're going to show you. [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health
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joining me is dana milbank of "the washington post". >> hello, there, reverend. >> dana, what is this about? >> once again, reverend, republicans are taking a real problem and attaching unreal political motives to it. >> okay. but i want to know, what is this about? >> mm-hmm. >> i mean, you a man, but your name is dana. >> well, al, i mean, there's a lot of men named dana. >> well, i don't trust it. you know what? i'm going to call you dan-a. >> and from this point on, on this network, dana milbank, you are you dan-a. did you see it last nightlife, or did someone have to call you up and say, hey, you're on "snl". >> suddenly twitter exploded and i got lots of e-mails so i went back real quickly and found it. >> but why the glasses? i've never seen you in glasses? >> i used to wear glasses,
craig. i think it's become jason sadekis is a bit thinner so he needed to look like a journalist. >> that old job you had at "the washington post" is nothing. now you're "snl" fodder. >> very exciting. >> but dana, which one of those two were you. >> did you see the rest of the skit, though? did you go back and watch the whole thing? >> it was high-quality, there. i mean, it wasn't quite as good an al sharpton imitation as amy holmes has done. but still quite good. >> amy holmes. >> he's referring to my jokes about mr. sharpton shouting in all caps. >> what'd you say, russell? >> well, i don't know about a simpsons parody. we're going to leave it there. we don't want to get into anymore trouble here. dana milbank, al franken, amy holmes, we'll get you back here
at some point in the very near future. thanks for your time on a sunday afternoon. thanks to the bain trust and a big thanks to you as well. that's going to do it for me on this rainy sunday afternoon. we appreciate you spending at least a portion of it with us. don't forget to tune in tomorrow. up next, it's the brand-new ed show with ed schultz. he's standing by, he's rearing to go. don't go anywhere. he's right after the break. with the spark cash card from capital one... boris earns unlimited rewards for his small business. can i get the smith contract, please? thank you. that's three new paper shredders. [ boris ] put 'em on my spark card. [ garth ] boris' small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase every day. great businesses deserve unlimited rewards.
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for sein a whole new way. for seeing what cash is coming in and going out... so you can understand every angle of your cash flow- last week, this month, and even next year. for seeing your business's cash flow like never before, introducing cash flow insight powered by pnc cfo. a suite of online tools that lets you turn insight into action. good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. mitch mcconnell takes a trip down memory lane. rummy, oh, yeah, he's back at it. he's running his mouth again, still not telling the truth. and paul ryan still doesn't know the meaning of the word arrogant. this is "the ed show." let's get to work.