tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC May 11, 2013 4:00am-5:01am PDT
join us again for "dateline" wednesday at 8:00, 7:00 central. i'm lester holt. i'll have new details in the case of the three missing women found alive in ohio next on "rock center" with brian williams. newly disclosed e-mails are producing mounting pressure over the white house talking points on the benghazi attack. also, a decision in what to do with the site of sandy hook elementary school. plus, in this morning's office politics, luke russert tells alex why he thinks congress is like a jenga game. and after an abrupt recess, what's next for jodi arias? she says she wants the death penalty. will she get it? good morning, everybody, i'm betty nguyen. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." now, here is what is happening today. first, to front page politics. the white house says republicans
are playing politics as new details surface in the benghazi attacks. at issue, the disclosure of e-mails related to the attacks on the u.s. compound in libya that killed four americans, including ambassador chris stevens. nbc news has confirmed that the white house, with input from state department officials, had edited talking points about the benghazi attacks 12 times in the hours following the incident. white house spokesman jay carney disputes claims the e-mails suggest the white house was more involved in the crafting of talking points about the attacks than about what actually happened. >> republicans have chosen, in the latest iteration of their efforts to politicize this. to provide, you know, leak this information to reporters, information that we provided months ago, to republican lawmakers from the relevant committees, and republican leadership, as well as democratic. >> all right. meanwhile republicans are asking for investigations into the irs. the agency apologized friday
after some employees of their cincinnati office were found to have flagged groups with the words tea party or patriot ahead of the 2012 election. those groups received extra scrutiny during the tax exempt application process, including being asked to provide a list of donors. so joining me to talk about all of this. national political reporter for politico wanda summers and congressional reporter for "the washington post" ed o'keefe. thanks for being with me today. >> great to be with you. >> thanks for having us. >> ed, let me start with you. jay carney said in november that there was just a single adjustment made to the talking points, changing the word consulate to diplomatic facility. well, now, we're seeing there were, in fact, 12 separate drafts, with significant changes, including eliminating references to terrorism. but keeping the point about the cairo demonstration as the spark that really set off the attacks. so, ed, what does this do to the administration's credibility? >> well, it only prolongs what the white house was hoping was an issue that would go away
sooner rather than later. but the fact that these e-mails are now out there publicly demonstrating that there really was sort of a back and forth between the state department, the cia and just a few white house national security officials about what exactly should be said publicly about this attack, just, you know, means that there's probably going to be another call for hearings, perhaps somehow continuing to discuss this in the public realm. i'll tell you having been already what amounts to what is the beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign trail that you mentioned the word benghazi in a room full of republicans, and there's a lot of emotion about this issue. there's a lot of interest in it. >> no doubt. >> and they're very eager to see this through. and i think republicans understand that this is a real opportunity for them to hold the president accountable so they'll continue talking about it as long as there are questions out there. >> and so will we, as we are this morning. wanda, the big question for many, especially looking to 2016 is whether this benghazi controversy could really affect hillary clinton's chances at a run for president. as you know, republican senator
rand paul, whose name has also been mentioned as a possible 2016 candidate wrote this op-ed in "the washington times" on friday, saying, quote, the evidence we had in january already suggested that mrs. clinton ignored repeated requests for more scrutiny in benghazi. the new evidence we have today, and that continues to mount, suggests that at the very least mrs. clinton should never hold high office again. the former secretary of state adamantly denies she had any role in writing the talking points, and i want to ask you this, will benghazi, as we've been talking about, continue to haunt her if she does run for president? >> i don't think that there's any chance that congressional republicans and those in some of these interest groups will let it stop haunting her. rand paul, kentucky senator, has really rolled out what could be the republican playbook if hillary clinton does run for office in 2016. he said this disqualifies her. he said yesterday in a speech in iowa that she should never be in a position to make these kind of decisions or to fall down on her duty again. that's a very early preview of what this race would look like
and i think if she runs, quite frankly, it would not be pretty. even some democrats have some questions about what happened on september 11th, 2012. >> i want to shift gears now, ed, because the other big story is the irs actually apologizing for singling out groups with the words tea party and patriot in their names, giving them greater scrutiny. how big of a deal is this? >> this was a big deal. you talk about scandal. this one certainly has the makings of it. pretty clear that all of washington, the left, the right, democrats, republicans, get to the bottom of it this one. remember this involves career employees based at a facility in cincinnati that's responsibility for reviewing the tax exempt status of various organizations applying for it, and a woman basically who runs the division made an admission in a meeting of the american bar association on friday that, in fact, it looks like those employees were probably improperly targeting groups that had either tea party or patriot in their name. all that does is confirm the suspicions of these types of groups who've been saying for
the last three years that they thought they were being unfairly targeted. so very quickly now you're seeing congressional republicans again saying they want to hold investigations on this. >> oh, yeah. >> and you're seeing a lot of democrats saying that's probably not a bad idea. >> speaking of those republicans, juana, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell called the obama administration to review quote these thuggist practices. the irs has apologized but is that enough? >> i don't think it is. this has set the stage for an interesting and politicized fight over campaign finances, as ed mentioned, republicans and republican groups have been talking about this for the last two years and what they feel is unfair treatment by the irs while at the same time congressional democrats have really pressed the agency to protect that tax exempt status for overly politicized groups. you're going to see debates with mitch mcconnell, dave camp saying this deserves an investigation and we're not going to let this go. >> o'keefe,
thanks for being with us. later a live report on the white house's response to the release of the benghazi e-mails coming up in about ten minutes. now to newtown, connecticut, where a task force has decided on the fate of sandy hook elementary school. the panel voted unanimously to tear down the school and rebuild on the current site. 20 children and six adults were killed in the shooting there last december. joining me now from newtown is nbc connecticut reporter stephanie jimenez. stephanie, good morning to you. >> good morning to you, betty. >> this has been an incredibly difficult task. what were the options? >> well first there were 40 options and the task force narrowed it down to two. the two were either to move the school to an entirely new facility in a different location, which would have been down the street from the current facility. and the second option was to either keep the current facility, but either renovate or rebuild. now, the renovation idea didn't
go over quite well during the meetings, so they ultimately decided to keep the school at the current facility, but rebuild. >> okay, so we know the task force voted unanimously, but were the residents all on the same page when it came to this? >> no. no. as a matter of fact, these meetings have gone on for several weeks, a lot of the people here felt that they were just eager for a decision, any decision, to come through. they think that the town needs to move forward from this tragedy, and that -- and that school is sort of a symbol of carnage, and so they wanted the town to move on, but for a lot of the people who were directly impacted by this tragedy, they have an entirely different opinion. we've heard from family members of the victims, they think that a memorial should be built on that site. they think it's really a disrespectful to have the school there, but a lot of the teachers there, who, who from sandy hook elementary a lot of them said
that they refused to ever step foot in that place. so we don't know how this is going to turn out. >> yeah, that's understandable, too. stephanie, thanks for being with us today. we appreciate that. >> >> right now the third woman rescued after a decade of unimaginable horror inside a house in cleveland has been discharged from the hospital. the hospital actually put out a statement on behalf of michelle knight, asking people to respect her privacy. knight, amanda berry and gina dejesus were rescued monday. police accused 52-year-old ariel castro of kidnapping and raping the three over a period of ten years. knight also told police she had been impregnated several times by castro, but starved and beaten to force miscarriages. nbc's ron allen has more. >> reporter: with michelle knight released from the hospital on friday, all four survivors are now safely home. ariel castro, locked away, and now with his own lawyer, is the father of amanda berry's daughter, born in captivity, based on dna tests. and investigators say those same
tests do not link castro to any other missing person cases in ohio. another emotional jolt for families like the summers. their daughter ashley was 14 when she disappeared in 2007. not far from where castro allegedly kidnapped the three women a few years before then. summers' mother spoke exclusively to nbc news about her hopes and fears this past week. >> i've been feeling all kinds of emotions. happy for the girls that were found, very sad that it wasn't my daughter. >> reporter: in fact, there are 34 teens and young women who have gone missing within ten miles of castro's house over the past six years. the same house where that dramatic rescue and escape happened. >> we found them. we found them. >> i was shaking, and hysterically crying. >> reporter: jennifer was the police radio dispatcher who sent the officers to the castro house after the 911 call came in. like many of the cops that
night, she recognized the name amanda berry instantly. >> i couldn't believe that i was hearing her voice. to actually hear her voice, even as hysterical as she was, to hear her voice, it was -- it was the most gratifying moment of my career. >> reporter: the rescues, and then a day later the family reunions would soon follow. bringing an unimaginable ordeal to an end. >> it was joyful. it was a joyful moment. we were crying, and clapping, and it was even still today, it gives me chills. >> that was nbc's ron allen reporting. later this hour, a live report from an investigative reporter in cleveland who's been uncovering new information about ariel castro, and what he's been telling police since his arrest. now, to whether residents of arizona, they simply are facing something that is very dry. take a look at this dust storm that sent debris and dirt into the air, bringing visibility
dangerously low. nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer is here with that forecast. good morning, dylan. >> thanks, betty. we are going to see some heavier rain move into the east coast through the day today. we're already starting off the day with some showers. we'll get a break, see some sunshine, then more thunderstorms will redevelop as we go into this afternoon. you can see the rain is moving across the northeast, heavy in spots, especially just off the southeast coast of long island. and then we are going to see some breaks in the clouds before more showers redevelop. also heavy rain falling right down near new orleans where we could pick up a couple inches of rain through this morning. but the biggest threat for severe weather will be in to maryland, also into virginia, and the eastern carolinas where we could see some large hail, damaging winds, and even some isolated downbursts possible. so we could see some wind damage out that way and we are looking for those who form, especially late this morning, and into this afternoon. temperatures will be warm up and down the east coast, highs topping out in the upper 70s to even lower 80s. 90 today in orlando. cooler air, though, does start
to work back into the northern plains. minneapolis only 53 degrees today, but 87 in boise and even seattle should make it back into the mid 70s once again today. then on mother's day that cool air settles in to the northeast. we are going to see temperatures fall back down into the 60s and only 50s in the great lakes. again those showers, though, will be exiting most of the country. betty? >> that is good news. especially for mother's day. thank you, dylan. in about an hour, 200 miles above us, a spacewalk for the crew of the international space station. two astronauts will spend more than six hours in the vacuum of space to tackle an ammonia leak in the station's cooling system. now, this spacewalk comes just two days after the crew noticed the leak, and nasa officials say planning the repair in such a short window is unprecedented for the agency. good luck to them. the likelihood of jodi arias getting the death penalty. plus, prince harry heads west, and makes a birthday dream come true. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, like me,
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ongoing attempts to politicize a tragedy that took four american lives, you know, we're now seeing it resurface together with, you know, sort of political assertions by republicans. >> that's white house spokesman jay carney reacting to new questions over the obama administration's handling of last year's attacks on the u.s. diplomat compound in benghazi, libya. nbc news has confirmed the white house, with input from state department officials, edited the talking points about the benghazi attacks, 12 times in the hours following the incident. so let's go live now to the white house and nbc's peter alexander. good morning, peter. what else is the obama administration saying about all of this? >> yeah, betty. recognize that this has now been exactly eight months to the day since that deadly assault on the u.s. diplomatic compound in
benghazi, libya. and it's obviously still stirring up anger and sharp division. a very big partisan divide on this. the blame game over the white house's initial account of what happen has really put white house officials on the defensive. this is all about leaked e-mails that show that the white house was much more deeply involved, as you noted, in revising those now widely discredited talking points about the attack that they had publicly acknowledged. there were, as you noted, 12 separate drafts. the e-mails from the days immediately after the attack show that the white house coordinated with the state department, and the cia, and other agencies to prepare the talking points, the ones that were used by u.n. ambassador susan rice on tv just days later. in particular the state department then run by hillary clinton pushed to drop references to al qaeda and cia warnings about other possible terrorist attacks. and on friday, white house officials pushed back. the press secretary jay carney again insisting that its involvement in the talking points was quote very limited and to use his language, nonsubstantive.
take a listen to jay narnny on friday. >> -- remains the case is the intelligence community, cia, drafted these talking points, and redrafted these talking points. the fact that there are inputs is always the case in a process like this. but the only edits made by anyone here at the white house were stylistic and nonsubstantive. they corrected the description of the building where the facility in benghazi, from consulate to diplomatic facility. >> republicans have largely seen this benghazi issue as really an opportunity, an opening to go after then secretary of state hillary clinton who, of course, is a likely hasn't for president, betty, in 2016. senator rand paul of kentucky himself a likely candidate in a few years from now, was leading the charge last night in iowa the white house argues republicans are simply trying to politicize this. that it was national security staff involved, not political advisers, who had any role in
offering input during the process of making those talking points. >> all right, peter. thanks for joining us. ahead, record territory for the dow. plus a warning before you fire up that grill for mother's day. what do you think? that's great. it won't take long, will it? nah. okay. this, won't take long will it? no, not at all. how many of these can we do on our budget? more than you think. didn't take very long, did it? this spring, dig in and save. that's nice. post it. already did. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. show mom why you're her favorite, with a 12" infinity color bowl, a special buy at just $14.98. a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem,
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probably going to see these gains perpetuate for the next couple quarters here. >> okay. are people buying for mother's day? is this good news for mom, as well? >> everyone loves mom so you want to spend on mom. so, yeah, we're seeing nrf, the national retail federation is expecting spending to be at above 11% of last year's spending. >> oh, really? >> it's going to be close to about $20 billion being spent for mother's day. now the main -- the main gift everyone's going to be buying is bling, of course. the average spent on that is going to be about $100. >> don't say that. now mom's -- >> expectations are very add. add the jenner ek gifts, flowers, candy, that's getting eclipsed by electron igs. ipad, kindle and bling for mom. >> who wants flowers when you can get an ipad. summertime is upon us. a lot of people grilling. barbecuing. but that's not such a good thing. >> right, right. well, holy cow, those beef prices are going up. so per pound it's going to be
about $2.18. now that seems, you know, okay, average. but just to put it in perspective. prices haven't been that high since 2003. also cow herds are also at the lowest it's been since 1953. and part of the reason why is because of the drought that we had last summer. that really affected crop. and also overseas demand for beef is driving down the, the, the availability for that beef, and also prices up. >> so we're paying premiums for hamburger? >> right. the only option is to just go veggie but i don't know how great a grilled veggie is going to taste. >> portobello mushroom. no, not at all. thank you so much, hitha. >> thanks, betty. in this morning's one-minute playback a salad mix-up that has vegetarians fuming. here's jimmy fallon last night on "late night." >> did you hear about this whole foods is apologizing for switching the labels on some salads which caused vegans to accidentally eat chicken. so, if you're a vegan who
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good morning, everybody and welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." i'm betty nguyen. it's about 29 minutes past the hour and time for your fast five headlines. people in pakistan voted today in an election marred by violence. at least ten people were killed in separate attacks. the election marks the first time in pakistan's history 65-year history that a civilian government has completed a full term. a murder investigation is under way in mexico, where a grandson of malcolm x died after a fight outside a bar. meanwhile the grieving family of 28-year-old malcolm shabazz is making plans to go to mexico to recover his body. in west, texas, a criminal investigation into that devastating fertilizer plant explosion is now under way. but authorities will not speculate about any potential connection between the blast and the first responder who was arrested for having materials to make a bomb. federal officials say bryce
reed is a volunteer paramedic who allegedly gave the materials to a friend who then contacted a local sheriff. a homeowner in port angeles, washington, is accused of going on a rampage with a bulldozer-like vehicle. get this, to get even with his feuding neighbors. really? he's accused of destroying two homes, damaging two others, and knocking out power to thousands. he was arrested for malicious mischief. and a school bus driver in central florida is accused of encouraging two teenage girls to fight, and even, listen to this, took them to her home so they could fight some more. she's been fired and is facing several charges, including child abuse, and those are your fast five headlines. now to cleveland where the last of the three women kidnapped in cleveland is now out of the hospital. after over a decade of just horrific captivity. knight was rescued monday, michelle knight, along with amanda berry and gina dejesus.
she was the first of the three women to be kidnapped back in 2002. police say 52-year-old ariel castro repeatedly raped the women over a period of ten years. joining me now is scott taylor. he's an investigative reporter with woio-tv in cleveland. good morning, scott. what's the latest? >> well, right now the fbi is taking ariel castro, the prime suspect, his dna, and really searching their database with open cases to see if that dna matches any of those. yesterday we saw the ohio attorney general in the crime lab do that. it cleared ohio, and now it's with the fbi. >> scott, you have been leading the reporting, and really an extraordinary letter that you discovered that castro apparently wrote in 2004. what do you know about this letter? what can you tell us about this letter? >> well, the letter really details how mr. castro, if he is the one who wrote this letter,
actually picked up the girls. first michelle in 2002. at a family drugstore. then amanda berry, only 17 years old, and then gina dejesus. he captured both of them by just asking them if they would like a ride home. in that letter he talks about killing himself. he talks about eventually taking all of his money and giving that money to his victims. he says that basically he's a sexual predator. he's sick. and he has something wrong in his head and he needs help. >> hmm. all of it is just so chilling. as you've been reporting it appears ariel castro actually played favorites with his captives? what do you know about that? >> yeah, i think he did. obviously the first victim in 2002, michelle, she was 20 years old, then a year later, grabbing amanda, and in the letter he talks about why does he have this urge to have another girl in the house when he already has two. then he moved on to amanda berry, and obviously we've heard
from relatives that he called amanda his girlfriend. and then, what's really key here, he talks about gina dejesus and says that he didn't even realize how young she was, thought she was a lot older, and also did not realize that gina dejesus was the daughter of felix, who he says in the letter, that he actually went to school with. now we've reached out to felix, gina's dad, and he did confirm with us that, yeah, i did go to school with this guy. we weren't good buddies, close friends, but we briefly went to school over at lincoln west high school here in cleveland. >> all right. quickly, they're questioning ariel castro. how cooperative is he being with this investigation? >> yeah, there's a little debate over that. some of the outlets say that he is cooperating. he's confessed to some things. no details on that. we're hearing that he real ly hasn't been extremely cooperative. yesterday i talked to jail officials. they say right now he's in a
cell, by himself, in their 24/7, and his emotional state right now is, they call it subdued. >> okay so that being the case, will we see a grand jury convene any time soon? what's next in this case? quickly. >> well, yeah, obviously they do want to get that. but they have a mountain of evidence they pulled out here for the last five days. so i think it's definitely going to be awhile. >> oh, all right. scott taylor, thanks so much for your insight. you've had a lot of great information on this. we appreciate your reporting. all three of the kidnapping victims are, of course, in need of help to rebuild their lives. so the cleveland courage fund has been set up for anyone who wishes to help them. you can go to clevelandfoundation.org and click on the cleveland courage fund link to make a contribution. so the irs is finding itself under the microscope today. it's been revealed that during last year's presidential election, it scrutinized and held up tax exempt status applications for groups that it deemed politically conservative. well, the irs has apologized and the white house said that it
needs to be thoroughly investigated, and action would be taken. so, talking about all of this, and joining me with his insight is republican congressman michael burgess of texas. good morning to you. >> good morning. thanks for having me on. >> absolutely. what was your reaction when you heard of this? >> i was just incredulous, and of course, you know, the takeaway line from the whole ordeal was the irs spokeswoman saying i'm not very good at math. i mean, how many of us have sat there with those forms and that shoebox full of receipts night after night trying to prepare those things and really felt the same frustration. >> no doubt. >> look, they had an obligation. they had an obligation to treat these applications in a fair and impartial manner and that's what's really disturbing about all of this. >> have you heard from your constituents? are they talking about this? are they demanding a review? >> i think there is no question that the review has to happen for the sake of credibility for the administration at this point. you know, the review must be
done from outside the administration. i know both senator hatch, and representative darrell issa in california have talked about congressional reviews. but this thing is clearly cries out for an independent analysis. >> i mean, is this just a mistake? or, you know, the head of the irs unit that handles attacks has actually apologized but she also said that the employees didn't do it because of political bias but as a shortcut to centralize cases. do you accept that? is this possibly just a mistake? >> well, no. at this point, absent the investigation, it does look like it was flavored with a political overtone, and really it's almost nixonian in its activity, when you think about enemies lists and how her previous administration might have used the irs to damage its enemies. sure. >> so you really believe something sinister like that was behind this? you truly believe that? >> when you look at the parties the -- the electly agreed
parties and they all follow one political persuasion they were looking for key words, tea party, patriot. patriot is not a bad word. why in the world would they have targeted those keywords in the application to say, ah-ha, here's some extra scrutiny required? >> good point. senator mitch mcconnell is calling for the obama administration to do a governmentwide review to make sure that not just the irs, but other agencies aren't targeting people or organizations for their political views. do you think that's necessary? >> well, you know, obviously the main focus i have right now is on the department of health and human services and some of the activities related to the rolling out of the affordable care act later this summer and early next fall. it begs the question there, as well, the transfer of funds from the prevention fund to purchasing advertising. those things raise a lot of questions. >> well, the campaign ads have actually write themselves at this point looking at the scenario. how do you think this is going to play out in the 2014 elections?
>> i think it will, you know, this likely will not be a marquee issue. with so many other things, but let's be honest, this was a bad week for the administration when you talk about the affordable care act, benghazi, now this. there are lots of things that are going to be competing for people's attention in 2014. but this is not good. >> yeah. definitely not good. it has been a tough week, as you've said. congressman we appreciate you joining us this morning and providing us with your thoughts on this. thank you so much. >> great. thank you. the do nothing congress, is it really that bad? alex witt talks to luke russert about that, next in office politics. alec, for this mission i upgraded your smart phone.
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while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] england's prince harry is in colorado today where he will attend the fourth annual warrior games. the games feature wounded u.s. service members and veterans competing in olympic-style events. nbc's mike taibbi is in colorado
springs where prince harry will be attending the opening ceremony. good morning to you, mike. >> good morning, betty. how are you? >> it's a little chilly in colorado springs this morning. it's going to heat up over the next six days with some 260 ill and injured and wounded veterans from all five u.s. service branches, and from the uk this year. that's new. we'll be competing in seven paralympic style events, adaptive versions of basketball and volleyball for example and then archery, track and field, swimming, cycling. it will go on for six days. now it's important that harry is here, and he was warmly welcomed yesterday, not just because he's a prince and one of the most famous people on the planet. >> oh, no, not because of that at all. >> no, not because of that at all. but also because he is a soldier. he is a fully operational pilot of an apache attack helicopter. he did two tours in afghanistan that lasted four months and ended in january. and deadly helmand controversy in afghanistan one of the still hot zones in afghanistan. 12 years into that war. so he knows firsthand the
soldier's life and risks and has long embraced wounded warrior activities and programs as an issue that he would spend a lot of time on and support. so that's why he's here. in colorado springs, he'll be here for the opening ceremonies, which start at about 2:45 eastern time and then through the first day of full activities and competition tomorrow. and he knows, as everybody who's organized these games from the department of defense and the usoc how important getting reacquainted with physical activity is for those soldiers and service members who suffered in many cases grievous life-threatening physical injuries. important to both physical and psychological recovery. the games, of course, are a way to get a lot of attention to measure the recovery to this point. to take the temperature of their resiliency because it requires all of that. i've seen some of the wounded warrior activities in the past before they actually organized these games four years ago, and some of the vignettes you see are just so inspirational in a way. >> they are moving, aren't they? >> you can't help coming away
from this, absolutely moving. and prince harry knows about that and he'll be certainly a very interested spectator for the next couple of days. >> absolutely. looking forward to watching that. thank you so much, mike. we appreciate it. >> sure. >> and this week's office politics alex sat down with nbc news capitol hill correspondent luke russert and talked about the next round of the budget battle, and his office view that puts it all in perspective. but alex began by asking him if the so-called do-nothing congress is really as bad as it seems. >> no, it's pretty unproductive. i think what you've sort of seen is a blocking minority from the house gop, and they believe that's why they've been sent to washington. one of the more popular things we like to say in d.c. and chuck todd says this all the time is that elections have consequences. and it's very true. i think one thing that you see here in the capitol is anyone can go up on a soap box in their home district and bang their
hands together and say i'm going to do this, i'm going to change that, i'm going to make this happen. when you actually come to washington, and you come in to this building, and you see the degree of difficulty and what it takes to actually take an idea and make it a law, how it has to go through a committee, how we see lobbyists come in through these doors 24/7 to put their own two cents in on the bill, it has to be approved by this group of people, that interest group, so it's like a jenga piece. if you pull one piece out the whole thing can collapse. so when i say congress is unproductive is when you have divided government, it lends itself to being unproductive because that's what a lot of folks here feel the voters want to see. a lot of that comes back to gerrymandering which is a whole other conversation we could have. it is as unproductive as you see. in the house this week we're voting on what they know has no chance passing the house. >> okay so when that's happening, the level of frustration, i mean there are
those who would deem it to be just a waste of time. is it a procedural thing that just must be done -- >> essentially it's a procedural thing that it needs to occur for these folks to lk like they're doing the work. >> how about when we can expect the next budget fight? is that coming later this month, debt ceiling and how ugly is that going to get? >> that will be more likely than not end of summer during the fall. it's going to be very ugly. there's many ideas being thrown out there this week the house is voting on an idea that let's prioritize what debts the treasury would pay in the event that we come up to the debt limit, and sort of mini extension. but this is one of these chances, boehner and obama get in a room and hammer out some type of debt deal that includes more revenue, includes entitlement cuts. good question. we don't necessarily know. it's just the time it's going to work. probably not. mitch mcconnell is in an election fight. he's not going to want to put anything through the senate that could make him look weak to the conservatives. but you never know. president obama and john
boehner, there's one thing that they both really need to work on that benefits each, you know, that's mutually beneficial and that's their legacy. they need a legacy issue here. they don't have that yet. >> so this has been a long time coming. we've been wanting to get down here. >> yes. >> i think it's because you want the million dollar view. how do you get your work done? >> it's quite impressive, isn't it? >> it is. >> the only time i don't like the view is around 4:30 or 5:00 when it's sunny out. because then you just get this amazing blast of sunshine right into your eyes. and it's a very bad glare. in fact, when i have to deal with that i have to put on my now with alex wagner hat on so i can actually type on the key board. >> yeah. >> but other than that you look out there, it's extraordinary. and when there's big moments when there's ever a protest on the mall, or inauguration, or when they light the christmas tree, it's phenomenal view. >> oh, it does. >> it's a phenomenal view. a lot of times you sort of just stare out there. it really does, it puts things in perspective. you know, you look out.
you see this mall is constructed. all the different sort of tenets of government. you have a lot -- you have the secretary of education right over there. and you have the entire mall, the washington monument, the lincoln memorial. you see it all. it's pretty neat. >> indeed. a lot of history there, as well. more of alex and luke's conversation today at noon. they talk about the difficulties of john boehner's job, and what it meant for luke to return to boston to cover the marathon bombings. jodi arias says she wants to be put to death. but, will she get her wish? withe extraordinary purpose... to get "man of steel" advanced screening tickets. [ movie announcer voice ] at walmart. see "man of steel" at your local theater before anyone else. get in line 8 a.m. may 18th at walmart. rated pg-13.
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look at that jubilant reaction wednesday outside of the phoenix courthouse with jodi arias was convicted of killing her boyfriend travis alexander. although the fate of jodi arias is yet to be determined the twisted story of sex, lies jodi arias cold-blooded murder is fast becoming a lifetime movie.
oh, yeah. it is in production jodi arias it will air next month but writers are changing the script of the jodi arias story to include the more sensational moments from the trial. actress tanya from "lost" fame will star in it. jurors are at home before decideding the penalty phase of the jodi arias trial. they have the next few days off after being abruptly sent home following a bomb threat. arizona police said they arrest ad man who saint tweet threatening to blow up the courthouse. court does resume wednesday but arias is spending the weekend under suicide watch after she told a local tv station that she would prefer death over life. all right. let's talk about all this. joining me now is a defense attorney jodi arias a legal analyst. good morning, ladies. all right, lisa, let's start breaking this down. the judge usually determines punishment, right, after you determine, you know, okay she's
guilty so this is where we go. but not in this case. what happens next? walk us through what's going on. >> sure thing. is this a death penalty case. prosecutors have sought the death penalty jodi arias now under arizona law we got two more mini trials to go through. first to look for aggravating factors jodi arias second is putting down the ultimate penalty. will jodi arias be put to death, will she serve life in prison. >> aggravating factors like what? >> what we're going to see was this crime cruel or heinous. so what the prosecution gets to do as lisa said is basically put on yet another trial. witnesses jodi arias evidence. they will probably bring in the medical examiner. again show those very, very graphic photos of the body. i mean these are very graphic. so, this will then lead to the prosecution's statement that the jury please find that this is heinous jodi arias cruel so that -- >> what's the difference?
what's the difference between heinous jodi arias cruel. help me understand this. >> they see it the same. heinous jodi arias cruel. a further level of murder than just murder. >> just murder. i see. >> aggravating factor to the death. >> basically we'll have to go through all this all over again. will they put her back on stand. would you put her back on the stand? >> her testimony which went on for days jodi arias days in the first phase of this trial didn't seem to help in the end. jury found her guilty, jodi arias certainly the court of public opinion found that her story which changed many times wasn't particularly credible. i think there's more power to her story perhaps in the final phase than the penalty phase. >> jodi arias so we'll hear these witnesses. we're just going to go through all of this once more. >> it's just restricted to the type of death he faced, jodi arias what happened during the exact happenehappened.
>> she was proven guilty by a jury she wants to die instead of spending her life in prison. does the judge have the ability to give her that. does the juror have the ability to give her that. is it plausible here or is she just crazy? >> the arizona statute really requires the judge and the jury in this case to go through evidence and you can't take a voluntary statement from a defendant and say well, you know, fine, you get what you want, we won't bother with the cost and time of a trial. so, you know, it's interesting to hear what she has to say. one can only speculate what she's thinking. for purposes of arizona judicial
system we'll do this by the book. >> what this might really play into is when the jurors are faced with that interview, if the judge allows that in, which there's a possibility he may not because i think that that's why we saw thursday a closed session with the judge, but if the judge let's that interview and let's the jury see that interview it could affect them. it could affect their ability to say well if she wants death we'll give it to her. >> she also said the jury convict me and they did. who knows what happens from here. do you think she will get death? >> in this situation i'm thinking that the jurors are definitely considering it strongly. >> really? >> i think we have to see the facts and the evidence. >> i would say don't ever under estimate the seriousness that jurors bring to a trial. they will take this very seriously. >> ladies thank you for breaking that down. and that wraps up this hour of
weekend with alex wit. alex will be here for a two hour' addition at noon. straight ahead more part political talk up with steve kornacki. then at 10:00 hurricane irene it's melissa harris-perry. have a great day. i should be arrested for crimes against potted plant kind. [ clang ] my house is where plants came to die. but, it turns out all i was missing was miracle-gro potting mix. it's got what a plant needs like miracle-gro plant food that feeds them for up to six months.
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