tv MSNBC Live MSNBC February 7, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PST
that farm bill, a rare bipartisan stroke of the pen as we head into the weekend but we start with those games, the official opening of the olympic games after all the buildup and anticipation, training, construction, of an olympic park and the security preps of course, after all of that, the wait is finally over. the opening ceremony taking place in real time at this very moment in sochi. the games open surrounded by storylines, some of them controversial, just consider the feed coming in from the twitter handle sochi problems, which is seen its following to well over 200,000 in the past few hours, posts about questionable drinking water and strange signs about using the tie lets there. that one. then there are far more serious issues like protests surrounding russia's anti-gay legislation and laws passed last year making it a crime to spread so-called
gay propaganda. with any major event, especially one in a foreign land, security has been a main concern. president obama talked about the precautions being taken with bob costas yesterday. >> i think the russians have an enormous stake obviously in preventing any kind of terrorist act or violence at these venues and they have put a lot of resources into it. we're in constant communications with them. both at the law enforcement law at the military level, at the intelligence levels. >> that entire interview by the way will air tonight during nbc's special coverage of the sochi olympic ceremony. i'm joined now by my colleague, keir simmons. live in sochi, we should note for viewers at home, right behind you, we don't want to fool people, the opening ceremonies are about the halfway point. we will of course see the entire ceremony tonight here on nbc. but do we have a flavor yet of what's going on inside that
stadium? >> well, we have a flavor just by sitting outside the stadium and listening to the cheers going up, the rousing sounds coming out of the stadium every now and then if you like and at the beginning the fireworks went off above the stadium to set things going. it began you'll know here we are a long way ahead of you in terms of time, so that it began at 8:14 local time to kick off the 2014 winter olympics, president putin is in there with ban ki-moon and other dignitaries and we know they are going to be going through a kind of russian history, all of the things that russia is proud of, to ballet and peter the great, they are going to really kind of try to celebrate being russian and director as well has talked about the parade of nations, the
period where all of the teams come out very special and important moment for olympians but it does continue for a long period of time. the director will make it more interesting and fun that the athletes will walk out of a world projected on the floor. they are going to walk out of each of their individual nations. it sounds exciting in there. you know, but that's about as much as i can tell you. >> while you were talking we were showing pictures that we just got in a few moments ago of those opening ceremonies as they unfold behind you. there has of course been so much talk about how prepared is sochi for these games. there were tweets about clean water and odd facilities. on a larger scale though, keir, at this very moment, you're there and in the moment. is sochi -- is it ready to actually host these games? >> i think it's -- two sides to it really. the thing you have to remember
is that we're standing in a place where there was virtually nothing. there was the city of sochi on the black sea where this is being held. but this whole olympic park has been created from almost nothing. so it is quite a spectacle and piece of work. there's this down here by the sea and all of the pretty spectacular events, locations up in the mountains. in that sense, it is a great achievement. on the other hand, in the last weeks i've been here, you have seen the trying to get things fixed. you know about the reports by journalists staying here about the problems with the hotels. i have to say, a lot of hotels are really great. but there are clearly hotels that aren't ready. my hotel, i don't have a shower curtain in my room but it's hardly a hardship. >> who needs a curtain? >> reporter: two sides to this things. i think i'll buy one and put one
up. >> attendance so far, how is it? >> reporter: i missed that question. >> attendance so far, how is it looking at the event. >> reporter: i think that it's relatively full in there. it's hard to tell. i have to say that we did watch while it was opening and it looked to me as if people were still coming in and trying to get into the stadium. msnbc chris jansing described on the amount of security and how difficult it was particularly today with the security stepped up. i think the attendance is good but i say again, it's difficult to know without being inside and we'll see when the pictures emerge exactly what it's like. >> keir simmons, stay safe and enjoy the festivities, sir. let's get straight to the power panel, political strategist angela wry, chip saltsman and
jackie ckucinich. >> let's get to something the president said in the interview with bob costas, about his relationship with president putin. >> i wouldn't call it icy. the truth of the matter is when we're in meetings, there's a lot of exchanges, there's surprising amount of humor. and a lot of give and take. my sense is that's part of his sh tick back home, wanting to look like the tough guy. >> chip, we know it's fully impossible to separate politics from the olympics, does the fact it's in russia right now, does it add a certain cold war tenor, whether we like it or not? >> of course it does. not only did we boycott the olympics back in the '80s when the cold war was in full blown, but obviously they have not had a great relationship.
you talk about snowden and other deals, what they've done with israel and things in the middle east. not a great relationship. and this just really highlights that the president obama not going to opening ceremonies and i think he brings out a good reason. let's face it, they are not that good of friends, if they were, he would be there. >> he seemed to provide cover for mr. putin, jackie kucinich. >> i think frenemies may be the best way to describe the relationship, particularly right now. the president had come out and said something disparaging, the focus would be on the president instead of the olympic games and that's something he doesn't want and putin doesn't want. going forward it makes sense he would say that at this time. >> this issue of gay rights, has been closely watched over the past year. are the olympic games actually working to the advantage of those fighting for gay rights since it's shined such a
spotlight on the issue there for the last year or so? >> it very well could, craig. we know gay rights is the same as civil rights, we've watched that evolve over time and enjoyed watching gay rights become a major part of an overall civil rights agenda, even including in this country, immigration reform. any time you are allowed to call out bigotry for what it is and educate the masses on the challenges that prevent people from loving who they want to love or whatever else, it's a great moment in history. i think absolutely we know that on an internet search provider, they are using this platform to also highlight ways to educate people on this important issue. absolutely. >> really quickly, all three, favorite winter olympic event, go. jackie, we'll start with you. >> ice skating, i mean -- absolutely. >> chip, is that yours as well? you like the pairs? >> i like the bobsledding but do like to watch ice skating just for the drama. >> downhill ski racer so skiing it is. >> no one mentioned my favorite,
curling. don't go far, we're going to bring you back in a few minutes to talk about more domestic matters, including something that senator rand paul this morning that has a lot of folks talking. coming up on the other side of this break, tgs a jobs report friday and analysts are calling it disappointing. part of the problem, may be the weather according to some. we're going to explain and dig into those numbers. a quick remainder, in case you hadn't heard, we got them, stay with nbc family for complete olympics coverage, including those opening ceremonies tonight at 7:30 eastern. ♪ [ screaming ] ♪
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wall street is taking the bad jobs numbers remarkably well. on the day we hit the debt ceiling those numbers were much more of a miss. the 113,000 jobs gained in january missed targets by about 60,000. while the unemployment rate nudged down to near a tenth of a point, revisions added 33,000 jobs to november but only 1,000 to december's already low numbers. that's making economists wonder if those heavy days of october and september have given way to a new trend of lower job growth. asked about that this morning on msnbc economist mark zandi had this to say. >> i think the weather is all over these numbers -- >> december too?
>> pardon me? >> you feel that for december an january? >> yeah, i do. i think it's going to bleed into obviously now into february given how cold and stormy it is. i think the weather is all over this. >> katherine is here, financial reporter, soon to be with the "washington post" as a columnist. con grats on new gig, by the way. >> thanks. >> most everyone has a weather related story. but here's the thing, when you look at certain sectors of this particular report, for instance construction right there, you see it up 48,000, leading the way for january's job creation, how can you say the problem was weather? >> well, weather seems to have held back the december numbers. it's not as clear that it actually held back the january numbers. that's because while there were indeed some terrible storms in january throughout the united states, they seem to not have coincided with the actual week that the labor department is focusing on when it reports these january numbers. when the surveys are conducted basically. if you look at the numbers for
january and what number of americans say they weren't able to get to work because of weather, it's actually down this past january relative to previous ones. >> there are a few silver linings in this report, for instance, while the unemployment rate barely moved, the labor participation rate, the number of people out looking for jobs, that did tick up, a rare occurrence as so many baby boomers are going into retirement. a big drop among the long term unemployed. what can we glean, if anything, from these numbers? >> i think it's encouraging that you're seeing people going back to work -- going back to the job hunt in many case because there has been a lot of concern over the last few years that it's not just been about demographics and baby boomers that people have been giving up. the fact we see people returning to the job hunt, pounding the pavement again is very encouraging. and the fact that the unemployment rate fell or has fallen for that reason, for the
reason that people are getting jobs rather than taking themselves out of the picture, that's a good thing. >> katherine, soon to be columnist for the "washington post." good to see you as always. good or bad jobs report, neither would have helped the 1.7 million unemployed who suffered yet another set back on thursday when the senate once again failed this time by one vote to reach the 60 vote threshold in the process to restore extended unemployment benefits. richard blumenthal is with me now. one might assume this jobs report would help the case to extend unemployment insurance but the same could have been said of december's report. what effect, if any, does this report have? >> i think this report will help us, we're just one vote away. we've come a long way and many of the long term unemployed are in states with republican senators such as illinois, ohio,
arizona, tennessee. and they are thoughtful, intelligent. we've come a long way with the great leadership of senator reed and that kind of willingness to compromise and work together is going to enable us to get that one more vote that we need. remember, there's no great idealogical principle at stake here. three republican presidents approved this kind of emergency unemployment for the long term unploiped without any payback or any offset and so i think that there is progress to be made. >> here's the thing, you and i both know as we have this conversation, if you do manage to horse train this one additional vote, the bill is dead on arrival in the lower chamber. what then? >> not necessarily dead on arrival. i think there's enlightened self-interest at play here. rejecting this bill and obstructing it would be really dumb and dumb founding for the republican majority in the house because many of these states where the unemployment rates are
highest are red states with representatives who have to listen to the voices and faces -- these unemployment reports are numbers and statistics but behind them are real cases of economic insecurity for the middle class, people who want to work and have worked their whole lives and struggling to find work and need to keep a roof over their heads and meals on the table and families together. >> one more topic here before i let you go. more reports this week suggesting almost even odds that republicans take the senate. what do you think the odds are that you are a member of minority party come seven months from now? >> i am very, very hopeful, even optimistic. i won't use confident, that we'll be in a majority again, simply because we have great incumbents working so hard and i think they'll be successful and i think we may actually gain some seats. >> if i were more self-interested, you be the con
from connecticut and me living in west port, i would have spent more time asking about snow plowing but we don't have time for that. >> we'll take care of that. >> i'm going to hold you to it then, richard blumenthal. we'll bring back the power panel to talk about the fate of immigration reform and little bit of that 2016 itch. as we go, take a look at this. shot earlier today, another beautiful shot from sochi, postcard perfect. it's about to get its close-up. welcome back. how is everything? there's nothing like being your own boss! and my customers are really liking your flat rate shipping. fedex one rate. really makes my life easier. maybe a promotion is in order.
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>> there's widespread doubt whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. and it's going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes. >> i think that the challenges within the republican party on this issue are well known and they certainly don't have anything to do with the president. but as i noted before, the progress has been significant. >> the power panel is back, angela rye, jackie kucinich, jack saltsman, how surprising was this decision by john boehner? judging by previous comments maepd by republicans and framework unveiled last week, if seems they may have been laying the groundwork for this announcement for some time. >> we know this is going to be a moving target for a while. a lot of republicans aren't really willing to go along with immigration reform. this is going to be a very tough push for john boehner. i think you are going to see some back and forth,
particularly until after the primary season because he's got a lot of members that are facing primary challenges. so i think this is a setback for immigration reform, but it's not -- it's not a done deal. >> chip saltzman, you know what this country is going to look like, next presidential election and the cycle after that. it would seem what the speaker is essentially saying is that in the short term, i'm going to take my hands off, but you've got to wonder about the long term consequences of a decision like this, no? >> well, i mean, certainly we all know the demographics but what the speaker is doing, this is the start of a very long distance as we go to immigration reform. some of the people i talked to in the caucus, during the house retreat and post the house retreat up until this week, the conversation is try to be comprehensive reform or try to do it piecemeal. the caucus wants to start with piecemeal and find the common ground of enforcing borders and
those kind of things to show there is some common ground between democrats and republicans to get the ball rolling. that's the only hope we've got for immigration reform. one big immigration reform package i don't think is going to pass either chamber. >> angela, at this point as you heard me talk to senator blumenthal about, it's almost a coin flip. should they do that, what then happens to immigration reform then? >> well, craig, i'm not really sure. what i do know is that this piecemeal approach that you know, is being discussed is not really going to work either. so for example, the republicans have been pushing border security despite the fact that under president obama the borders have been more secured and less porous than they've been in years. why are we focusing on border security when the rest of the nation is saying we really do need a pathway to citizenship. not just legalization as the president -- as the republicans have kind of played this semantics game. i think they will have a very tough chance at winning the
senate back, particularly if they continue to stay on the wrong side of the issues with the american people. there's something to be said about paying some kind of attention to what the polls say, not just what your gerrymander district says. >> angela, i want your take on something else. a short time ago speaking on c-span's news makers program, an interview that will be airing on sunday, senator rand paul, he said this and i'm going to read a snip pet of what he said. he's talking about bill clinton, once again and we know what he said a week or so ago, called mr. clinton a sexual predator for his relationship with monica lewinsky. apparently this morning he said they can't have it both ways, talking about democrats. so i really think that anybody who wants to take money from bill clinton or have a fundraiser has a lot of explaining to do. in fact, i think they should give the money back, mr. paul said. if they want to take a position on women's rights, by all means do but you can't do it and take it from a guy using his position
of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace. it would seem to be an odd strategy, angela rye at this point, to go after -- to go after bill clinton and by extension of course, hillary clinton. what can we make of this strategy? >> i think it's very odd but that's not surprising given rand paul's trajectory. we've seen him do other strange things. that doesn't surprise me. it's interesting he would bring up an issue that happened decades ago and just hope that he can take his focus on something else, particularly if he wants to have a future in 2016, he should have a much better well thought out strategy than that. >> chip, what's the logic? it does seem very strange. >> yeah. i like rand paul and known him for a while and i think he's a great senator. but i'm not real sure on where he's going with this strategy. i agree with what was just said. this happened 20 years ago. i think most people don't think it was despicable then and some
people forgiven bill clinton and others haven't. but the country has moved on. let's talk about the issues that matter, rand paul has a lot to bring to the table and that takes away from this. >> you've also got -- one of the chief complaints as you know, chip, one of the chief complaints with rand paul is he's out there, he says things and got positions on certain things and he's out there. and then when he says things like this, that really just seems to fuel that fire, no? >> well, as somebody that's worked on the hill there's a lot of democrats and republicans on the hill that are out there. >> yeah. >> as a whole rand paul does a pretty good job representing kentucky and brings some -- a lot of interesting issues that he championed like drones in the senate. but this issue kind of takes away from the hard work and i hope he moves past it. >> as a family member used to say, people don't take you seriously when you talk crazy from time to time. jackie, i want to switch topics to 2016 and let's talk about
hillary clinton. yahoo! news started the latest piece this way, let's be clear about this much, no matter what the soothe sayers on cable tv tell you, that's us, hillary clinton is no more likely to clear the democratic field and avoid a primary in 2016 than dennis rodman is to become her secretary of state. let me go around and jackie, i'll start with you. give me the name of the one person that hillary clinton should be most concerned about at this point? >> hillary clinton. i think that, you know, we're looking at these very early polls. she's so far ahead of everyone, not only in name recognition but also in money. the money she could raise. even joe biden is something like 60 points behind her in the next poll. so i would have to say, she's the only person that can challenge her right now. >> angela rye? >> unfortunately this is where i agree with rand paul. the person she needs to be most concerned about is bill clinton. it's -- making sure he keeps hi
powder dry and saying the right things in the right time is really what matters. i know there's a lot of criticism about whether or not there should even be fundraisers happening for 2016 but democrats are right to keep their eyes on the prize and fight you'uture b clinton can't get in the way. sorry, bill. >> we'll end with you. >> there's only one way go and that's down. even though she said she's not running, i would be concerned of an elizabeth warren or somebody else who can run well to the left of her and get all of excitement and hillary clinton can't muster with the democrat liberal base. >> our power panel, have a fantastic weekend, folks. >> thanks, craig. >> we're going to look at the weekend weather forecast, jackie kucinich mentioned, while we wait, we can always count on moments like this. >> if i blindfolded someone and
took him to 2:00 in the morning into the airport in hong kong, and said, where do you think you are? this must be america, modern airport. if i took him blindfolded and took him to laguardia in new york, you must think i must be in some third world country. i'm not joking. hey guys! sorry we're late. did you run into traffic? no, just had to stop by the house to grab a few things. you stopped by the house? uh-huh. yea. alright, whenever you get your stuff, run upstairs, get cleaned up for dinner. you leave the house in good shape? yea. yea, of course. ♪ [ sportscaster talking on tv ] last-second field go-- yea, sure ya did. [ male announcer ] introducing at&t digital life. personalized home security and automation. get professionally monitored security for just $29.99 a month. with limited availability in select markets. ♪ [ cellphones beeping ] ♪ [ cellphone rings ] hello?
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take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ starts with freshly-made pasta, and 100% real cheddar cheese. but what makes stouffer's mac n' cheese best of all. that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care for you or your family. it has been a wintry week for most of this week. some folks still waiting for power to be restored. no big surprise there. i suppose. it is february after all, but it has been a story we've been covering all week. so on this friday, two more weather notes, first, what once looked like another dumping for the northeast this weekend, well, not so much anymore. and perhaps even more
importantly, the west, desperately in need of good news, here's some, that badly needed moisture headed their way. the pine apple express as it's actually called. that's what the system is referred to it as, heading west. they are going to get rain on the west coast this week as i said, it is february and don't hold me to what might be on tap for next week though. let's pivot back to politics the olympic games under way in sochi, russia. between the fun and competition, security remains a major concern and this is far from the only international security issue that the united states is keeping an eye on today. in syria, the evacuation of civilians from the city of homs is under way with 200 expected to ultimately be evacuated, expected being the operative word there. additional a three-day cease fire has been agreed to allowing
humanitarian aid allowing those to get through who remain in the city. homs is one of the first to erupt in protest against bashar al assad, resulting in violence that has left much of that city destroyed. while there has been progress on that front, there are mounting concerns about assad's regime missing another deadline wednesday for destroying its chemical weapons, leading to suspicion that assad's regime is potentially stock piling weaponry. for more on the situation in syria as well as the security issue in russia, i'm joined by msnbc contributor and editor at large for "the atlantic", steve cleme clemens, let's start in syria. i want to ask about the situation on the ground, that cease fire allowing the residents of homs, some of them to be evacuated. that is something that is referred to as a lands mark agreement. on the other hand, you have the destruction of chemical weapons not going as planned. if syria continues to miss thsed
deadlines how concerned do we need to be that the entire agreement is going to fall apart? >> i think we need to be concerned about the chemical weapons and we need to be very concerned that russia for whatever reason is not putting diplomatic pressure on syria to abide by this agreement because this also reflects on russia, there are some that have said recently you can't allow the olympics in sochi to become camouflaged by the lack of compliance by the syrian regime on the chemical weapons. it's a very serious issue and if it unravels, it puts the obama administration in a very complicated place because it's hard to gin up the kind of pressures were at hantd before. >> why are they foot dragging? >> i think since the chemical weapons deal, bashar assad has only gotten stronger.
the opposition has been frag meanted and at war with itself. the geneva process, women and children and old men being bussed out of the center of homs, that is the one and only positive sign that has come out thus far. the syrian government has agreed to come back to the syrian peace talks in a few days. you can look at that as positive. bashar al assad has only gotten stronger and stronger. and i think he's begun to shirk off concerns that the west will come after him again. >> he's not afraid of us? >> no. >> let's switch to sochi really quickly. olympic games and secretary of state john kerry sat for an interview, this one yesterday with ann curry. take a listen. >> if people want to go to the olympics they should go. we're certainly not deterring people from doing that, but we advise people to be vigilant, to
just be aware of their surroundings and make certain that they are acting wisely as you would anywhere where this threat may or may not exist. >> steve, how safe is sochi? >> look, i think with the revelations we're hearing about about toothpaste bombs and concerns about printer cart ridges, one of the groups that had been involved with the previous bombing had said that they may go as far as chemical weapons, there's a big magnet drawing in folks, particularly the dagestan network, a very high priority concern for threat watchers and i think it will be a miracle if we get out without an incident. we just reported a few minutes ago an airliner where someone attempted to hijack the airlines. it landed in turkey but wanted to go to sochi. some of them may be crazy and some may be very real to bring the world into shock, if you
will, with some incidents, i think we have to be on very high alert. it's very hard to say if something will happen or won't happen but we have to be very worried that something will happen and need to be prepared for that and what comes after. >> president obama, of course, also gave an interview yesterday talked about bob kcostas and that's going to air tonight during the opening ceremony. take a listen to what he said to say about his relationship with president putin. >> the one thing i'll give mr. putin credit for, when we sit down and talk, there's not a lot of beating around the bush or niceties. i think it's all business and i tell him where i strongly disagree with him and he does the same. >> the president also used more playful language, his tough guy persona is more schtick than anything. is the relationship, is it perhaps better than is generally assumed or not? >> i think there are no illusions in the relsship, it's
probably the most classic realist relationship completely driven in the interests with each other. where the interests converge, you'll find cooperation and collaboration and when they die verge, you're going to see tension and the russians trying to maximize their position, in ways that create penalties or cost for us. it is a very different relationship than we may have remembered president bush saying when he looked in the eyes of putin and say a good man. this is a no illusions relationship and i think that's as it should be. >> steve clemens, thank you, we're going to update our viewers on breaking news, we're following breaking news right now involving what officials describe as an attempted hijacking. this happened on a commercial airline that was traveling from the ukraine to turkey. according to officials, a ukrainian passenger told the
flight crew he had a bomb on board and demanded the flight be diverted to sochi, to russia. the pilots instead flew into turkish ir space and the plane we're told has since landed in istanbul and negotiations with the hijacker are ongoing but again, breaking news that we continue to follow, that plane from the ukraine now grounded in istanbul. a passenger, the alleged hijacker, demanding that he be taken to sochi. we'll bring you more details as we get them. ... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, this can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain and improve daily physical function so moving is easier. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen,
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your ground law. yesterday they gave their opening statements. >> when that defendant opened fire, jordan davis was sitting in his car seat with the door closed, with nothing in his hands. his words to michael dunn were i'm going to [ bleep ] kill you. i should kill you right now. >> joining me now, attorney former prosecutor faith jenkins. who do you think gave a stronger opening statement? >> you remember john guy, from the zimmerman trial, he gave the opening in the zimmerman trial. and a lot of people were critical because they brought back the same attorneys from the zimmerman trial to do this case. i have to tell you, i think john guy is one of the best trial lawyers i've seen. his opening statement was very powerful. and they know -- the prosecutors know essentially what the defense is going to be in this case because dunn gave all of
those statements. they focused their opening on not only telling the story and their version of what they want to prove in the case but also undercutting that self-defense and focusing on the facts that undercut the self-defense claim they know dunne is going to put forth. >> the defense claims he threatened michael gunn with a pipe and shotgun. the pipe is interesting because allegedly holding something out of a window that could be used as a weapon, does it constitute a threat that could fall under stand your ground in florida? >> that is a great point. and a lot of people missed that yesterday because the reason why dunn was able to go to trial, he was saying a gun was introduced so i have to shoot in self-defense. the threat has to be imminent. if someone pulls out a gun and points it at you, you can safely assume they may actually shoot you. if someone is in another car and you're in your car and they pull
out a pipe, the threat isn't imminent, you're not in imminent fear because you can drive away. there's a car between the two of you. if i pulled out a pipe and held it out and there's nothing between you, you could argue it's imminent. not under shows circumstances and the facts of this case. >> we should note for folks who may not follow this trial as closely, when police searched the car, they did not find a gun. >> right, but that is a part of what the defense is going to do here. they are going to play on worst stereo types about four young black men in a car listening to this loud hip hop rap music, of course they have a gun. they are going to put forth that argument and argue it to the jury because they are going to play i think on fear and racial stereo types. >> faith jenkins, thank you so much, do preappreciate your insight. we'll continue to follow this case as well. coming up, we'll preview president obama as he gets set to sign the farm bill at
michigan state university this afternoon. we also continue to follow breaking news here, that attempted hijacking on a flight from the ukraine to turkey, according to officials, a ukrainian passenger told the flight crew that he had a bomb on board. and then demanded that the flight be diverted to sochi, russia. the pilots flew into turkish air space where they were escorted by fighter planes. it has since landed in istanbul. there is an active hostage negotiation under way right now with the hijacker in turkey. we've got our eyes on this and we'll bring you more details as we get them. ng? yeah. getting your vegetables every day? when i can. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. two full servings of vegetables for only 50 delicious calories. there's nothing like being your own boss! and my customers are really liking your flat rate shipping. fedex one rate. really makes my life easier. maybe a promotion is in order.
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white house correspondent kristen welker joins us from pennsylvania avenue. what can we expect to hear from the president this afternoon. >> reporter: president obama using east lansing michigan as a back drop as he touts what he's going to argue are steady gains in the agriculture sector. the big center piece will be president obama signing the farm bill into law. it gives him a chance to highlight a rare piece of bipartisan legislation, in this case farmers see this as a win. it increases export insurance, also scales back some subsidies, but the most controversial part of this legislation is that it cuts about $8 billion in food stamps. now that really has angered some democrats, but you'll recall, craig, this was the source of fighting for the past two years, lawmakers unable to get a deal on the farm bill because of those food stamps. republicans wanted cuts that were much deeper, $40 billion.
so the prad is going to argue that this marks a good compromise and announce an executive action called made in rural america, which is going to be aimed at helping rural businesses increase their exports but again, the big focus today is that farm bill. the question is does it signal more bipartisan legislation and what does it mean for immigration reform. a lot of people say don't get too excited because hopes for immigration reform not too high. >> kristen welker. we'll have that speech for you live here on msnbc as well. back to breaking news, an attempted hijacking on a flight from the ukraine to turkey, according to officials, a ukrainian passenger told the flight crew he had a bomb on board and demanded the flight be diverted to sochi. they were escorted by turkish fighter planes. it has since landed in istanbul. steve clemens is back with us, editor in chief at the atlantic
as well. steve, in broad terms here, just a general reaction to the news as we continue to gather more specific information as well. >> as you and i just discussed this is right along the line that many people are attracted magnetically to sochi and those that have grievances or causes they want to pursue are going to be drawn to try to get headlines or to create damage or to god forbid really do something quite dramatic with bombings. i think it's been very alarming when you look at the intelligence assessments and reports about a big concern about toothpaste bombs and the tsa has put out an order that no liquids whatsoever, nothing of liquid form will be allowed on flights going to russia. that's the level that they are trying to sort of deter anyone from coming in. this is just an example of what you and i just discussed. >> steve clemens, thanks for sticking around. that is going to do it for me. we are going to continue to watch the situation as it
unfolds on the ground now in istanbul, turkey. i'm craig melvin, "andrea mitchell reports" up next. ses a. helps reduce the risk of heart disease. ses a. it seems that 80 is the new 18. grannies, bless your heart, you are bringing sexy back! eat up. keep heart-healthy. live long. for a healthy heart, eat the 100% natural whole grain goodness of post shredded wheat. doctors recommend it. crest 3d white whitestrips vs. a whitening pen. i feel like my lips are going to, like, wash it off. these fit nicely. [ female announcer ] crest 3d white whitestrips keep the whitening ingredient in place, guaranteeing professional level results. crest whitestrips. the way to whiten. guaranteeing professional level results. one day you'll be standing on a podium.ar future olympian, and here's exactly how you'll get there. you'll work hard, and you'll fall hard. you'll lose sometimes when you really should have won.
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just another way allstate is changing car insurance for good. >> good luck and go team usa. right now on "andrea mitchell reports", let the games again, the opening ceremony is under way, athletes from 88 countries marching on the stadium to kick off the most expensive games in history. but president putin's games are more than sport and spectacle. we'll have the more on breaking news with an attempted hijacking today with the hijacker demanding the plane go to sochi. and the spotlight on human rights and political gamesmanship. >> the one thing i give mr. putin credit for, there's not a lot of beating around the bush
or niceties. i think it's all business and i tell him where i strongly disagree with him and he does the same. >> and throwing more cold water on the u.s./russia relationship, fallout from the eves dropped phone call between victoria nuland and u.s. ambassador to ukraine. >> i'm obviously not going to comment on private diplomatic conversations other than to say it was pretty impressive trade craft, the audio was extremely clear. >> and the teacher, former secretary of state colin powell, joining me to talk about a different side of leadership, this time in classroom. twist and shout, a look back at the british invasion 50 years later. >> half done at all? >> i had one yesterday. >>