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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  May 17, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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right now on "andrea mitchell reports" -- on the griddle. the fired irs chief in the hot seat. over his agency's targeting of conservative political groups. as acting commissioner i wants to apologize on behalf of the internal revenue service for the mistakes we made and the poor service we provided. is an apology enough? congressional republicans want to know why steven miller did not disclose the targeting after being told of it last year. >> when asked the truth, and you know the truth and you have a legal responsibility to inform others of the truth, but you don't share that truth, what is that called? >> i always answer questions truthfully, mr. camp. >> you knew the targeting was taking place. you knew the terms tea party, patriots were being used. you just acknowledged a minute ago that they were outrageous and then when you were asked about this after you were
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briefed about this, that was the answer you gave us? how can we not conclude that you misled this committee? >> so that was a lot of questions, sir. >> it's one, how can we conclude that you did not mislead this committee? >> i did not mislead the committee. i stand by my answer then, i stand by my answer now. the pentagon's shame, president obama tells the military to fix the problem of sexual assaults and do it now. >> this is a priority. and we will not stop until we've seen scourge from what is the greatest military in the world. eliminated. >> plus, rearming assad. ignoring u.s. appeals, russia ups the ante, sending syria the most advanced anti-ship cruise missiles. and megalottery matted in, people are getting the fever with two massive jackpots up for grabs this weekend. >> good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. you would think they would know
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better than to use an old watergate dodge. but today the outgoing irs chief actually told lawmakers mistakes were made. steve miller told house members today the motive was not political. >> i think that what happened here was that foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection. the listing described in the report while intolerable, was a mistake and not an act of partisanship. >> joining me to go over the weekend day is the host of "hardball," msnbc's own chris matthews. what a week it has been. >> let's review the bidding, we've got today's hearing one of those extraordinary moments where you've got steve miller, he's already been fired. he's only going to be in office another couple of weeks, here he is trying to explain the unexplainable. >> i think it's going into people's permanent memory about the irs and government generally. they're going to say when they did the tax returns, look at the pay envelopes, they're going to
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say wait a minute, those guys, those people in washington, they're partisan. they're a bunch of liberals or whatever. they don't like our conservative point of view. they punish us, they're bullies. this is going into the permanent record, unless as charlie rangel, the long time member of the ways and means committee. made the point. unless you cut out the cancer, another watergate term -- >> cancer. >> there's going to be an assumption that everybody in the irs is part of the problem. >> you know, so smart about that. >> i've known former irs commissioners, republicans and democrats in different administrations. this used to be the agency you could trust other than in the nixen years, to not do political things. >> they're proud, the guy that landed on d-day, great men, great people that have worked over there. and yet there seems to be some tin ear, even in mr. miller's case where he said bad customer service. that's not it. there's a perception. i always say this to people on the progressive-liberal side.
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suppose under w, the irs was looking at any group called progressive or liberal or anything like it and targeting them for what looked to be harassments. would you think that the administration then in power had nothing to do with this? would you think even in a narrow kay, they weren't being biased politically? of course you would assume they would. >> listen to newt gingrich on npr with a little bit of caution to his fellow republicans. >> i think we overreached in '98. how's that for a quote you can use? they need to be calm and factual. for example, i think a subcommittee of ways and means should invite every single tea party conservative patriot group that was messed over by the irs, every single one of them should come in and testify. so that they could build this deadening record of how many different people were having their rights abused by the administration. >> i think the second part is true. i don't think they run in the same risk. by the way, this is to me the
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great opportunity for the conservatives in this country. to prove the government is bad. i don't agree with them. but this is the great opportunity to say government -- the whole fight isn't over obama. he's leaving office. hillary clinton is not here yet. it's not about personalities, this is one of the cases where the institution is at risk. if people don't trust the federal government on issues like civil rights, fair taxation, all kinds of issues, regulation, conservatives win. they've been saying for years, you can't trust the government. liberals have a stock in government, they're a stakeholder, they believe government works, it worked in the '60s on civil rights, it's given us social security, when we get old we'll have a check coming in once a month. it takes care of our health care after age 65 and now promises to take care of our health care generally. liberals believe generally what government can do for people. republicans to this day don't believe in the federal government. who is looking good this week, the government? no. no. >> you have two possible scenarios here. either they are incompetent in this case in the justice a.p. case, in benghazi, it's either
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incompetence or ma little lens. >> i think it's both. i think it's bullying and the president looks like he doesn't have control of the steering wheel. when he has to tell us, jon stewart, he's brilliant, has shown us, every time the president learns about something, it's by picking up the newspaper. and the president ought to know what's going on. in the government if he's going to run it. that's, he doesn't have to know what's going on in an fbi investigation a.p. but he ought to know ha his attorney general has just recused himself in a case involving the "associated press." he awed to know there was an irs investigation a while back and there was an i.g. report. he should have got it first. that was leaked so well, the i.g. report, very little came out the night it came out. we knew it all, how come he didn't know it? >> that's a good question. chris matthews. you answered and asked the question. >> he can look weak.
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when voters vote for somebody like him. they want to know the steering wheel if you go a little bit to the left, the government is the guy they voted for. they don't want to be told, you got no control over things. that big bullying government is coming at you no matter who you vote for. i think that's a bigger problem. >> chris matthews, thank you. joining us for our daily fix, chris cillizza, msnbc contributor and managing editor of postpolitics.com and nbc capitol hill correspondent luke russert. you're up there where the hearing is going on and it's been contentious since early this morning. >> quite contentious, when the hearing started, some folks thought there would be sort of bipartisan aim at mr. miller from republicans and democrats. and that's how it did start. but dave camp, the chairman of the house ways and means committee aggressively going after miller. asking when did you know about these types of allegations or improper things going on within the irs? he answered back in may of 2012.
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and the answer is, well why didn't you tell us about that. he sort of dodged that question. that's something that republicans really harpooned him on time and time again. another thing i found interesting, andrea, republicans really made an effort to try to tie the irs to the white house. dave camp bringing up the national organization for marriage. how is that document of their tax returns, how is that released? where did that come from? miller said he was not aware about that. that he read it from media reports, a lot of instances where that occurred. because that happened, you sort of saw this bipartisan spirit going into the hearing dissipate. then andrew crowley. joseph crowley became the good soldier, trying to defend the obama administration saying look this is much more about an institutional problem we have here at the irs that's gone on through folks appointed by republicans and democrats. we need to fix the system as a whole. and that sort of where the agreement would come from both parties. but andrea, from talking to aides here on capitol hill, a lot of folks are saying look this is just, cliche, the tip of the iceberg. there's going to be more next
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week when you have the hearing the senate side, the former head of the irs, which is mr. shulman and the whole idea about what ms. learner knows. democrats throwing learner under the bus during this hearing itself. it's going to be fascinating to see what else is uncovered next week and how long this plays out. because it does not help the president's domestic agenda in any capacity. >> and shulman, the democrats in the senate will be quick to point out was a bush holdover. let's take a look, chris cillizza, at what happened between congressman brady and miller. >> can you assure this committee that none of the information provided to the irs by these groups was shared or given to any other federal agency? >> that would be a violation of law and i do not believe that happened. >> you can assure us there was absolutely no sharing of this information -- of a government agency. >> tigda and others will look at that. but i would be shocked, congressman, if that happened, shocked. >> if your earlier agencies are
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any indication, we will all read about it in the media. we ought to be getting the truth from you. >> chris cillizza? >> well, look, i'll tell you, andrea. i wouldn't want to be steven miller today. i was watching the hearing and thinking, well, if he hadn't sort of resigned or been asked to resign earlier this week, he probably wouldn't have held on to his job after today. it's an almost impossible situation he's in. but look, again, you got to listen to the words "i don't believe that happened." i would be shocked if that happened. he's trying to basically say look, i don't know everything that happened here. and luke mentioned this. this is the tip of the iceberg situation. republicans believe that this is something that the american people want investigated further. that they owe it to their constituents to sort of see how far up the chain of command this went. and i would say look, the irs has done itself no favors, including mr. miller. by the fact that if he didn't
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lie, he certainly misrepresented in the past his knowledge of whether the irs was or was not targeting folks. and i think that's why you see such a hostile atmosphere for him at the same time. because members of congress do not, do not like the idea that they sort of asked him these questions and they at least feel as though they didn't get full answers. so you know, this is, i think the first act of a many-act play. >> and charlie rangel, the top democrat on the committee, former chairman of the committee, raising a question and perhaps the broader scandal beyond the targeting is that they weren't going after the big guys. let's take a look at rangel. >> it's almost an invitation as to the law is written for abuse in terms of political activities for corporations in a primarily are supposed to be doing social service work. is that not correct? >> it is something that we have to look at closely, yes, sir. >> i mean you should have wanted to look at this earlier before
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this, what my friends call a scandal, i mean this is wrong to abuse the tax system. this screams out for tax reform, does it not? >> i think it's an area ripe for redefinition and reform, yes, sir. >> but luke russert, tax reform could be one of the casualties of all of this. is they're going to be investigating the irs. the ways and means committee isn't going to get to tax reform. it took years for bill bradley in the '80s to come up with that in a bipartisan way. >> tax reform from talking to people here is probably the most complex type of legislation in any capacity that congress does assemble, andrea. but dave camp, the chairman of the committee. made that point starting out that said look one of the ways that we could fix this problem is by having comprehensive tax reform. this is obviously his last term as chairman. something he would like to see. the only way you would see any type of tax reform if it was part of a broader deficit and
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debt reduction deal. which we all know with this most likely poisoning the well, makes it most difficult. it's not seem easy. lastly, i think what rangel is really hinting at, something that a lot of democrats are saying and mrs. pelosi was saying, is this is all happening because of citizens united. citizens united opened up the floodgates and the u.s. government didn't know how to respond to it. not necessarily a good thing for democrats when the irs is now going to be much in charge of implementing their health care bill. >> indeed. luke russert, chris cillizza, thank you very much. and the clean-up continuing in texas, in granbury texas, where the devastation stretching for miles, six people are dead, but all of the missing have been accounted for today, that's some good news, 16 tornadoes touched down wednesday night. including the first e-4 storm to hit the area in decades. governor rick perry is expected to tour the area this afternoon.
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60 homes built by habitat for humanity were destroyed. all that's left of one house, the slab of concrete. >> when you can put a name and a face that you worked beside the people that built that house and you know how much that home means to that family, it's very devastating. i had enough of feeling embarrassed about my skin.
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welcome back to say it's been a tough week for president obama could be an understatement, as his administration now works overtime trying to control a lot of damage the doj's tracking of reporter phone lines, the benghazi attacks and now today's hearing on the irs targeting of political groups. joining me now is "u.s.a. today," washington bureau chief, susan page and the "washington post's" karen tumlety. we were thinking we could hang out here. great having good friends.
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karen, we've been watching the irs hearing. we've seen the drama before as luke russert was just pointing out. the senate side will have their go at it next week with the bush administration's holdover, who had left the irs. but it's just not good for the administration to see this kind of drama unfolding. >> this, when i've talked to people at the white house this week. this does seem to be the one of these three scandals or controversies or whatever you want to call them that we're in the middle that they are worried about. they think is feeds a narrative that there's so much hatred out there anyway of the irs. this is a question that if there, if it does turn out there is anything that went outside the irs itself on this, a stray email to somebody at treasury or something, the administration is really going to have to get out ahead of bad news on this. and make sure, because within of the things we kept hearing in the hearing this morning is you know, why didn't you tell us when congress was actually already raising questions about this.
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>> there's no good answer to that. >> there wreelly isn't. >> it's still not clear that any of these will turn out to be scandals or significant events that in fact tarnish the white house. but boy there's a cost even if they don't. there's a cost in president obama's credibility. there's a cost in the distraction to his administration. the thing that president obama no longer has is time. he has a relatively limited window here, the start of the second term to get some things done. he would like to be working on immigration reform or gun control or a budget deal. not on trying to defend himself from these controversies. >> talking to someone yesterday. one of the points that's been very obvious is that democrats are not rushing to his defense. he has not and his white house team have not made friends in this town. it sounds sort of petty to say well they don't socialize, they don't call people in until recently with the golfing and the dinners. but the fact is he doesn't have a whole reservoir of goodwill up on the hill. >> i think the thing that would
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get them out of this is to actually get something done. i mean you know once say immigration passes or something like this, then this is going to sound like sort of a distant memory. >> is that going to happen, all of these house hearings are piled on each other. so can eat of you see a way that the gang of eight, yes they're working, but isn't this a distraction that at some point at some point there's going to be a republican meeting in some room off campus or on campus and they're going to say wait a second, do we really want to do this? do we want to give him a victory, even if it helps us politically? because right now, they're in a defensive crouch in the white house and maybe we want to go into 2014 that way. >> a big calculation on the part of republicans. are they so ill-served by not getting an immigration bill through, that it's worth giving president obama a victory? the one thing the scandals have done is they have united a republican party. the republican party wasn't agreeing on a hole lot of things, including immigration. now they're agreeing on the idea
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that it's a smart thing to criticize the president. they're openings that the administration has provided to them to get their own ranks united. >> one of the surprising things has been what chris matthews was referring to at the beginning of the program, karen. you've covered this white house, you've watched this president so intensively. why he's not been more proactive. it took him too long by robert gibbs' own admission on this program tuesday, too long to get his arms around benghazi and the other emerging controversies and certainly the irs issue. >> this is a down side of having been blessed by four years that were relatively free of this sort of controversy. they say you compare it to the clinton white house. i mean they were dogged by one gate or whatever from -- >> from day one. travel office, everything. >> they had an entirely separate unit within the clinton white house that did nothing but damage control. there is no such mechanism in the obama white house.
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and i think that in the second term they have become even more insular than they were in the first. >> the white house counsel's office has been beleaguered with all of these extraneous issues when they really need to be focused on vetting and getting the nominations up to the hill. you have a whole state department with barely any assistant secretaries. you have the second and third-ranked officials, all vacant in so many different departments. >> but the idea of being a little slow to respond when there's a big controversy, we saw this all the way back to the 2008 campaign. that the obama team, now maybe it's that they're thoughtful and that would be a good thing. but i think when controversies erupt. it almost seems to take them some criticism that they're not responding before they're finally galvanized into doing so. does it matter? it took them a couple of days to get going in response to this trio of controversies. but now they are. you've seen them very active in the last 72 hours about it. maybe that's fast enough to take control of a situation that was
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getting a little out of control. >> susan page and karen tumlety. thank you very much. there are more indications from new york that anthony weiner does want to run for mayor. our nbc affiliate wnbc spotted he appearing to be shooting a campaign-style video at his home in brooklyn. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our history matter to you? because for more than two centuries, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. ♪ and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ and the next great idea could be yours. we've been bringing people fotogether.5 years today we'd like people to come together
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new tensions now oversyria. "the new york times" is reporting today that russia has sent a battery of advanced cruise missiles to syria. weapons that could be used to defeat a prospective allied no fly zone or other efforts to support the rebels. joining me is "reuters" foreign affairs columnist, david rohde, his book, "beyond war." david, the state department is saying that this is not a new shipment, rather, but i think what the russian response is that this is completing a previously signed contract. but it's definitely something
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that the u.s. had argued against. that prime minister netenyahu had gone to moscow to argue strongly against because the weapons are so advanced. and frankly, my understanding is that israel does not have defense against this. this is not like some dumb scud. >> this it is a anti-ship missile, it's got a range of 185 miles, it's a real issue for the israeli navy. it would make any kind of embargo if the u.s. was going to act and cut off supplies to the syrian government. there is a more sophisticated missile, calling it the s-300, a surface-to-air missile that the russians have not provided to syria. that's the one figure leaf they're giving the u.s. they're not providing the s-300s, but these are very sophisticated long-range anti-ship missiles. it's a signal, kerry was in moscow last week, he's going back to the middle east this week. we're trying to get the russians to help bring the two sides to the table. yet they're still sending these weapons, so it must be
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disappointing for the white house. >> the fact is that the white house and john kerry shuttling back and forth, trying so hard to get the conference going. getting the russians to commit to the conference, getting the syrians to commit to the conference and the rebels, all sides without preconditions. the conference that has not yet been scheduled. but it's supposed to be in early june. how important is this, or is this just another stab at diplomacy, while people are being slaughtered? >> i think, i hate to agree with you on last point. but i think it is a stab at diplomacy. there's another front-page story in the "times," about syria disintegrating into different enclaves. the u.s. has lost its leverage here. saw it yesterday in the press conference with prime minister erdogan of turkey. the red line of chemical weapons, it happens, we don't act. we talk about arming the rebels, but we don't actually do it. there's not much pressure on assad or the russians to change
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their position. because right already oh wrongly, the u.s. is dell graphing the united states is not going to intervene. >> this is what the president had to say when asked about the red lines yesterday when he was there with the turkish prime minister erdogan. >> the use of chemical weapons are something that the civilized world has recognized should be out of bounds. and as we gather more evidence and work together, my intention is to make sure that we're presenting everything that we know to the international community. and as an additional reason, an additional mechanism for the international community to put all the pressure that they can on the assad regime. >> with the president did point out is that the conventional weapons that are being used to slaughter the civilians and
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rebel forces is so profound now the latest estimates are more than 80,000 people aside from the chemical weapons. >> it's a spiraling situation. and the issue is the chemical weapons. so theoretically we can step back and do nothing and the terrible civil war continues. the sunni resistance is dominated by jihadists. there are chemical weapon supplies, can the syrian government maintain control of the chemical weapons? i don't think they can. and that's why this is such an important international issue. kerry is sort of dogged about this. like i said he'll be out again this week. he thinks there can be diplomacy that can come out of this. u.n. officials do as well. even if we're talking about the disintegration of syria, that there should be an effort to manage it. secure the chemical weapons, see if there could be some agreement to somehow you know, slow this descent into chaos. and as the fighting has gone on, the jihadists are dominating particularly on the rebel side. >> david rohde, thank you very much.
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and first lady michelle obama today is offering some advice to the graduating class of bowie state university. mrs. obama received an honorary degree. before delivering the commencement address, she praised the class of 2013 and challenged them to make sure that future generations receive the best education possible. >> i want to talk about the obligations that come with a bowie state education. no matter what career you pursue, every single one of you has a role to play as educators for our young people. please, stand up and reject the slander that says a black child with a book a trying to act white. reject that. in short, be an example of excellence for the next generation. it's less than $3.00.
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drr northen thank you very much for joining us. a lot of concern and a lot of wonder about what angelina jolie did. can you try to help people understand about the genetic map here. and why she went ahead with it? why someone with her genes would have? >> i think you've identified the important part of the story. which is we live in a time when some women can find out by cog a simple blood test that they're carrying an extremely high risk of getting breast or ovarian
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cancer at some dime in their life. in this one particular case, her mother probably had the abnormal gene. she had breast cancer when she was very young and eventually tragically died of it. so angelina went for testing and found out that she also carried a mutation, that's a change in her dna that also predisposed her to getting breast cancer and frankly, ovarian cancer at a very, very high rate. so she decided to do something that many, many women are doing, and that is to remove the breasts as a preventive maneuver. this is not to treat breast cancer, but to prevent breast cancer from occurring and then she underwent reconstructive surgery and was left with what she is saying a really good result where it's cosmetically very acceptable and at the same time has dramatically reduced her chances of getting breast cancer. the point is that this is not for everybody. this is for people with a high predisposition. who also elect to do this. as a preventive procedure. >> now, there are other options.
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you can wait, you can be screened frequently to make sure you don't develop breast cancer. that is another alternative. >> you know, every woman is different and every situation is different. risks are different. we're doing a lot of research now finding out so some women who carry this abnormal genetic change are higher risk than other women for example. that's an important area of research. you can be followed carefully. we found out for sure that doing mri screening for example in addition to mammography absolutely helps, finding the cancers when they're small and have a higher chance of being occurred. with this particular kind of mutation, often the kind of cancers that arise, even in a very carefully screened population are very serious ones and may involve requirements for aggressive treatments, such as chemotherapy sometimes don't carry a perfect prognosis. the cancer can still come back with the very best treatments. some women want to avoid all of that and maximize their chances of not getting breast cancer. they elect to do this.
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this has to be individualized. each woman has to find out what her risks are. if she is at high risk. which a lot of people are not. in fact, can you do prescreening, and find out what your odds are of carrying an abnormal mutation. what we don't want to see is a lot of women who are not at increased risks having proef prophylactic mastectomies. >> the expense of the testing, how difficult is it for people who don't have insurance or coverage. and secretarily, is this limited to certain ethnic groups? heard to the jewish genes? >> first of all we know issues with health care and the availability of health care, it's not just this testing, it's a good therapy in general, that's something that obviously as a society we're wrestling with.
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if you do have insurance, most insurers will pay for the test if you have anything or than a very small chance of having the abnormal gene. so people have to know about that. and we're finding these mutations really in all groups and everywhere throughout the world. it's not just in one particular population. if you're not an jew for example, you can't say there's no chance that i'm going it carry an abnormal gene. it doesn't work this way. family history is probably the most important determining factor. you can't rule out because of your historical background, you can't rule out that you're carrying a mutation. if you do have a strong family history. >> is this a sex-linked gene? or is it handed down from father or mother to a child? >> another very good question, yes, you can get it from your father or your mother. so knowing your family history on your mother's side and father's side is very important. >> dr. larry norton from memorial sloan-koettering, thank you very much indeed. there was an interview with
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dr. larry norton at memorial sloan-kettering. attack the problem of sexual assault in the military as a top priority, not a side issue. >> not only is it a crime, not only is it shameful and disgraceful, but it also is going to make and has made our military less effective than it can be. and as such, it is dangerous to our national security. so this is not a sideshow. this is not -- sort of a second-order problem that we're experiencing. this goes to the heart and the core of who we are. and how effective we're going to be. >> joining me now is monica medina, former special assistant to the secretary of defense. monica, thanks so much for being with us you were at the pentagon working for leon panetta and briefly working for chuck hagel as well. do the secretaries of defense realize how important this is. now that women on the hill have
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made it such a high priority. >> yes, they do, so do the military leaders, that's what gives me hope that perhaps we've turned a corner on this problem because of all of the light that you and senator gillenbrand and senator mccaskill and the many women who have spoken out about this issue have really shined that light and now i think the secretary is very much focused on it. and the president has given direction. it's clear, that i believe there's hope today. >> what is it about the culture, we see the witnesses testifying on the hill. an air force leader who said it's the hook-up culture when they come into the military. which was frankly, deeply offensive. >> andrea, i think it's that the military itself had discriminatory policies against women until very recently. and secretary panetta ended those in january. the military combat exclusion rule kept women from being active on many, many jobs in the military and the sort of
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second-class warrior status really hurt them and i think created and helped to contribute to the culture. and in fact the chairman when they lifted that, that rule, the chairman noted that he hoped that by lifting the rule. he might help improve the problem of sexual assault in the military. and that was one of the things that motivated the military leadership and the civilian leadership in the pentagon to take that very, very important step. >> you were instrumental in making that change, that leon panetta put into effect. but what has to happen now for the pentagon to get it. that this is really serious? >> well i think they are getting it. and the report itself, the numbers are shocking. and that when half of the women in the military are experiencing the kind of harassment, take out the sex, just that kind of harassment, it's impossible for the military to be effective. i think it's gotten to the point where they know that they have a crisis in the ranks and they can't do their jobs, the president has made it clear, the secretary has made it clear. there is no overnight solution.
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the long-term discrimination against women is just now beginning to end. it will take a lot of time and determination by commanders at all levels. and a real focus on the issue. the fact that sexual assault prevention officers within the military weren't really taking it seriously is a sign that despite the tough talk at the top, it hadn't permeated through the ranks. it's time for that to take hold now. >> what about legislative remedies, such as re removing it from the command authority. and not permitting commanders to overrule the unanimous verdict of a jury? >> i think those are important steps and will help to mend the system of criminal justice in the military. you have to end sexual assault. by the time the case gets into the criminal justice system, it's well beyond the point where it had no impact. it's had a terrible impact on the military. i think there lass to be an attack on this problem at every step in the process, at every level in the military.
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and i hope that the commitments there, i certainly saw it in secretary hagel when i worked for him. and it just will take some time. if the military commanders all see sexism and sexual slurs and that kind of behavior as the same, as offensive as racism, maybe the attitudes will change. maybe it will take an attitude change to really end the problem. so in addition to mending the system, we need to end the problem, m problem, nip it in the bud, sexual harassment, all of those cases need to be addressed. >> monica, thank you very much. and we'll be right back.
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continuing on the subject of sexual assaults in the military, joining me now, new york senator kirsten gillenbrand, a member of the armed services committee who has been leading the crusade against sex abuse in the military. senator, thanks very much. the president said yesterday he tasked the pentagon leaders to make this a weekly commitment to
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get on it. this is hurting our national security. is that good enough? >> i think the pez has taken strong leadership on this issue. i'm urging secretary hagel to do the same. the secretary hagel said he wants to remove from the chain of command, the ability to overturn the a verdict. we would like to add to that the ability of a commander to decide whether or not to go to a trial. if those two things can be moved to the judicial system, so a trained military prosecutor can make that judgment about whether a case can go to trial, i think that's going to begin to solve the problem that if you have 26,000 assaults a year and only 3,000 reported, you have a large structural problem. and i think this is what the victims have asked for. they want to feel that they have an opportunity, a chance for justice. and i think if you no longer have to report to your chain of command, you'll have more reporting, which means more investigations, more prosecutions, more trials and ultimately, more convictions. >> so, that would require
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legislation. >> correct. >> the legislation you have introduced and others have been sounding off on in both the house and the senate. but secretary hagel was supporting one, but not both of those changes? >> he's left the door open. he actually said all options aren ott table. i'm hopeful that through advocacy and through working with our colleagues, and some bipartisan support in the house and senate, we will begin to have a broader conversation about what types of structural changes will create the accountability and the transparency and justice for victims that is so sorely lacking right now. >> just before you got there, we were talking to monica medina, interviewing her in her prior role at the pentagon. and she said one of the prevalent problems is sexism. sexual harassment. even before it gets to the level of sexual assault, there's so much sexism in the military. that women are abused in other ways, i think that is an issue. of course. i think the work that secretary
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panetta did to actually allow women to serve in combat roles so that they can be elevated, so that they can continue to rise in the ranks was a very important change to help change that culture. but you have to remember, andrea, more to remember, andre more than half these assaults and rapes are committed against men. it is not just about gender. it is also about the nature of the crime. these are crimes of violence, crimes of domination and crime of aggression. when you have a perpetrator who is actually a predator who targets the victims, waits until the victims are weak, they will continue to commit these crimes. we have to create a system where by victims can receive justice to give confidence to other victims that they can come forward and hold their perpetrators accountable. >> we have testimony last week of the u.s. air force secretary mark welsh and others who were pushing back and saying this is not that prevalent. i know what you said at the hearing. how do you change the attitudes of the command?
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>> it is highly prevalent. if you have confidential reporting of upwards of 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact, assault and rape, that is outrageous. and one of the pieces of testimony that was most disturbing is when the chief of staff said that he felt the incident rape was due to the hook-up culture lingering from high school. obviously, there is a real disconnect between what is assault and rape. what is the nature of these crimes? these are violent crimes. these are not dates that have gone badly. these aren't crime of romance. these are crimes of aggression so they have to be treated accordingly. that's why we want to elevate these cases. we want them to go to a prosecutor to be able to assess and prosecute. that's how victims i think will receive justice. the more victims that are actually seeing justice done in their cases, again, that will increase the reporting which will begin to change the culture. >> senator gillibrand, thank you for being with us today. we'll be right back. i'm here at my house on thanksgiving day,
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and i have a massive heart attack right in my driveway. the doctor put me on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. go talk to your doctor. you're not indestructible anymore.
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which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours? chris cillizza, i don't know that we can take any more political headlines. >> golly! a busy week and a bad week any way you slice it for president obama. i think the question going forward, is this a bad week that you look back and say, wow, that was a really bad five, six, seven days. is this the first week of a series of bad weeks? the obama administration doing everything they can to limit the political damage to this week. they do it? >> that's the question. chris cillizza. thank you. enjoy the weekend. win the lottery, enjoy the preakness, have some fun. thank you all. and craig melvin has a look at what's next. >> wouldn't it be great to win
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the lottery? good to see you. next hour -- >> i would share it with you. >> i'll hold you to it. up next, the ousted irs chief apologizing for, quote, mistakes and poor service after the agency targeted conservative groups. all of that came to that heated house hearing that wrapped up a short time ago. we'll have the highlights from that. also, how the gop is now trying to use the irs scandal. to dismantle the president's health care law. plus, is it art or an invasion of privacy? folks who live in a new york city apartment complex finding personal pictures of themselves on display at an art gallery. the photos taken in secret through a window. the photographer calls it art. others are calling it downright creepy. it is our "news nation" gut check, next. ♪ ten hut! you up for the challenge suds-maker? i'm gonna need more than that to get through the rest of these dishes! i want more suds! dawn? you won't last.
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i'm craigel tamron hall. the "news nation" is following developing news. today's heated congressional hearing into the irs scandal has wrapped up after nearly five hours. it is the first of many hearings into the irs. lawmakers heard testimony from ousted acting irs commissioner steve miller and the agency's inspector general, jay russell george. most of the questions accused miller of lying to congress. >> why did you mislead congress and the american people on this? >> mr. chairman, i did not mislead congress or the american people. i answered the questions as they were asked. >> you didn't mention targeting based on ideology. you didn't mention targeting based on words like tea party or patriots or 9/12. you knew that but you didn't mention this to the committee. did you not think that was a very incomplete answer? >> i answered truthfully. i never said i didn't do anything wrong. what i said is contained in the

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