tv The Reid Report MSNBC May 30, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
initiation, which i'm sure will last maybe two days or perhaps two questions. we're going to let him hang around a little bit to milk it for all it's worth. thank you, guys. >> thank you. >> breaking news, this is the reid report, i'm jonathan capehart joining in for joy reid where we heard from president obama. press secretary jay carney is stepping down. and we start with breaking news out of washington. and an answer to the question everyone's been asking. i'm sorry, we now have nbc white house correspondent kristen welker there on pebble beach. kristen, quite a surprising announcement today from the president. >> jonathan, i'm literally picking my jaw up off of the ground. i was not expecting that and i have to tell you, the rest of the press core to my knowledge didn't get a heads up about this. this really was a surprise announcement. that is rare at this white house for the press corps to be
surprised. but this is one of those rare occasions where probably the majority of the people sitting in that briefing room now are quite surprised. there had been some discussion about jay carney thinking about leaving the white house, but those discussions never went beyond sort of the thee hethe t level. he's been the press secretary for a good several years, a about chunk of the first term. he'll be replaced by josh earnest, president obama described him as a straight shooter, based on my interactions with josh earnest, that has been the case. of course, the job of press secretary is a big promotion for josh. so this is certainly a big day out of this white house, particularly coming on the heels, jonathan, as you know of the announcement that secretary shinseki offer his resignation earlier today in the wake of the
va scandal. >> speaking of, i want to talk to you about the va scandal and the resignation of eric shinseki, what was the final straw? >> reporter: really important question, jonathan. you heard president obama talk about how much he respects secretary shinseki today when he was announcing his resignation. we're getting reaction pouring in from capitol hill, democrats, republicans, all praising secretary shinseki because he really did have a wealth of goodwill here in washington. at the white house, and on which capitol hill. the breaking point for this administration and this president was that i g report that we received on wednesday that essentially showed that the misconduct at the va was widespread, and that it was systematic. you will recall president obama, when he talked about this scandal initially said, that's the key question he wanted to answer. was this an isolated incident,
the 40 veterans what died while waiting in phoenix or symptomatic of a much broader problem within the va nationwide. and the answer based on that preliminary ig report is that the problems within the va are widespread, systematic. that issue was addressed earlier today when he was speaking to veterans prior to offering his re resignation to president obama. he had been misled about that. he thought that the problems were isolated. so i have been told that when president obama realized that, realized the breadth of the misconduct, that was what pushed him over the edge. you, jonathan, it bears mentioning, you had more than 100 lawmakers calling for secretary shinseki's resignation. one fifth of senate democrats were calling for his resignation. the pressure is mounting on capitol hill.
once president obama saw that ig report that was the only decision according to my conversations here that he felt he could make. >> nbc's kristen welker, thank you. joining me now, darryl richardson, his brother dennis was a vietnam vet who had liver cancer. he was told he would have to wait seven months for an appointment at the phoenix va hospital. dennis died five months later. thank you very much for being here. >> hi, jonathan. >> tell me about your brother and his struggle. >> well, my brother was a decorated vietnam vet, served in the ground water navy, ran patrol boats on the dmz in vietnam. and had a lifetime of post traumatic stress and survivor syndrome, having lost all of his ship mates in battle. and returned and was obviously
very active in the military organizations, especially vfw and the legion. in the summer of 2012, late july, he was experiencing a lot of problems, went into the hospital in wisconsin and was destinationed with liver cancer. immediately packed up and he wintered down here in arizona and came down to the va hospital here. started trying to get an appointment, was told it would be seven months before he could see a primary care physician. and then get referred to an oncologist. >> your reaction to today's resignation. >> well, initially, i was one of the people that said that now is not the time for new leadership. we needed to give shinseki the authority to act.
he had the responsibility. but he didn't have the authority. and, you know, there are several bills that are sitting on the senate leader's desk now that could have given him the authority to do that. but having said that, now that he's gone, i hope that they have put somebody in that has executive experience and turn around experience. and that's probably the most important thing is that we need a leader in there now that can work for my veteran brothers and sisters to help turn this organization around and take action immediately. >> the person leading the department is david sloan as an interim. what qualities would you want to see in the next leader, the next secretary of the va. >> i would look for someone that has large company executive experience in turning around operations. the problems in the va are very
deep. not to begin with saying the appointment system has to be completely revamped. and then from the scheduling, it goes into the actual delivery of the care. it is somebody that has to have the understanding of the complete process and has dealt with these kinds of situations before. >> thank you for being here today. >> thank you very much. up next, a congresswoman with a very personal connection to the va story. not only is she now representing vets who are struggling, she was also a vr nurse for more than a decade. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, like me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain. this is humira helping me lay the groundwork. this is humira helping to protect my joints from further damage. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years.
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veterans affairs, i extended an apology to the people whom i care most deeply about and that's the veterans of this great country. >> that was eric shinseki, just a few hours before he submitted his resignation to president obama. even with shinseki's departure, several senators are joining the call for the department of justice to investigate the scandal. in a letter today to attorney general eric holder, senators barbara mikulski and richard shelby say, these problems have dragged on long enough. we request that the department of justice immediately begin appropriate criminal and civil investigations into allegations that the va falsified patient records at one or more of the medical centers and 820 community out patient clinics. joining us now is pete williams what will an tropical depression entail. >> the justice department and the fbi, federal prosecutors
looking at it. it is important to understand that what the government said was the inspector general at the department of veterans affairs was looking into this and the justice department would wait for the results of that. in the last couple of weeks, the inspector general has begun to give information to prosecutors that they think could suggest that there is criminal activity. so the government -- the justice department is beginning to assemble this information and if it reaches a point where federal prosecutors think there might be indications of a crime. they'll launch a full investigation. right now, they're in the fact gathering process right now. but if they see evidence that they think could suggest a crime, then the fbi and justice department would step in and be a full blown justice department investigation. like any other. but for now, ball mainly in the court of the inspector general
at the va. >> jeff cornyn is calling for the fbi to investigate. will the fbi get involved? >> i think it is possible. i just don't know what the evidence is going to show. clearly things happened here that shouldn't have happened. the question for the justice department was is it criminal activity. there has to be signs of criminal intent, not just stupid decisions, not just mismanageme mismanagement. but an attempt to cover something up for financial gain, could that be a crime, that kind of thing. >> pete williams, thank you. >> you bet. >> until the president outlines a plan, today's announcement really changes nothing.
one personnel change cannot be used as an excuse to paper over a systemic problem. our veterans deserve better. we'll hold the president accountable until he make make things right. >> that was house speaker john boehner moments ago, reactsing to the resignation of eric shinseki. there was a growing call earlier. eddie bernice johnson of tex testify worked as a nurse at the dallas va hospital before joining the u.s. house of representatives. she joins us now live. >> does removing shinseki address any of the problems within the va system? >> i can into the see how it
does. lots of these problems were before he joined the va. we have attempted to get information to him. we're aware that much of that information because blocked without getting to him. i have visited with him personally. he seemed so surprised that we had sent him anything four and five weeks earlier. seekcrecy runs throughout the v system. next to him, it goes around the country, and these buddy ships and all of these vas are have rupted, and yessed. >> let me read you something
today. oofri ing offering up mr. shinseki as a sacrifice, allows politicians to waste their hand as part of the scandal. they give the va month are cash to fix problems like long waits that never get fixed. is that a fair assessment? >> well, it is somebody's opinion. and i respect that opinion. what my opinion is, until you give someone the thrt to go in, to move these senior people around him, out of the way, and allow people to speak freely because retaliation has been a way of life. when we make plans, they want to know who told us. one person is not going to do
it. >> earlier today, secretary shinseki apologized and outlined a course of action. let's take a listen. >> i will not defend it because it is indefensible. no vha senior executive will receive any type of performance award for 2014 of this year. so congresswoman, now former second said and some of the other things he announced today. do they go for aenough in addressing the problems. p dallas, texas, is at bass orr worse than phoenix.
>> congresswoman, so now we have to find or the president is going to have to find a new permanent secretary of the vachltra. . how many problems do you think he'll have getting that person concerned? >> i'm not part of the senate, so getting that person confirmed is out of my hands. however, i do think that it needs to be a good manager, someone not easily followed. someone with the authority to move people around and someone willing to listen to the investigators. and the people at these sites. i have volumes of information that have been reported to me, that when we do report them, all i can is who told us, where did it come from even when they're vendors, who are complaining about their pay, they go after the surrender than trying to
correct the pron. it is massive. it is engrained. it has to be changed. congressman eddie bernice johnson, thank you very much. >> back to our breaking news at the top of the hour. white house press secretary jay carney is leaving his post. here is what said moments ago. >> i want to thank the president, vice president, first lady and dr. biden. i the privilege to work with them including denis mcdonough and everyone here. there will be more time for more that of that. it has been an maamazing experience. as i said, as we surprised some folks in here, in the nuts before i came out, that probably the best part about it is that
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today's we the tweeple, everyone from veterans groups to journalists to regular americans are weighing in on this morning's announcement that eric shinseki had resigned. let's start with veterans groups. here is a tweet from the american legion. shinseki resignation the beginning, not the total solution. #vaaccountability. and the iava seems to second that, tweeting, america's veterans will not accept the symbolic change of management alone. va secretary eric shinseki has resigned. now can we please focus on the real issue, fully funding the va. you can see shinseki's resignation is a step obama really did not want to take. and joe from indiana had had this to say. i want to thank you general shinseki for his service but
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about to end, we will never stop working to do right by you and your families. >> president obama has tapped deputy va secretary sloan gibson to run the va on an interim basis while he searches for a new secretary. make no mistake, whoever gets this job will have a daunting task ahead of them. right now, there are nearly 22 million veterans in the united states, nearly 9 million of them enrolled in the va health care system, a system that includes more than 1200 va vet centers, hospitals and outpatient clinics. joining me now, nbc's chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski. let's begin with the search for a new secretary. >> there is a list already circulating around the white house that includes general ray odierno, the current chairman of the joint staff, general marty
syst dempsey. and colin powell has been kicked around. even robert gates. as i looked at the list and talked to people combing the list, i thought why would any one of those individuals take this job right now. >> that's leading to my next question what will the secretary have to deal with if they took this job? >> everybody's talking about throwing more money at the va. and i've talked to a lot of the people at the va over the years. and many people on capitol hill who believe that there is really no way -- not enough money to fix all the problems at the va. and it is not just about money. if you have a bureaucracy, such an entrenched bureaucracy, with the philosophy and working guidelines that say it's okay to cook the books, it is okay to put veterans on secret lists, to
pump up your own bonuses, perhaps, and then in some cases allegedly it is okay to then try to hide that evidence when the inspector general comes around. so there needs to be an entirely new cultural change at the va itself. and for all the serious minded members of the senate and the house i talked about this issue, the va is overwhelmed, underresourced and don't think, again, there will ever be enough money to fix that. so they say there has to be alternatives provided to these veterans so that if they can't get immediate care, when they need it, where they need it, that they be be given the option to seek alternative care outside the va system that the u.s. government would foot the bill for, which many who put the pencil to this say what actually saved the va some -- and the government a lot of money. >> jim, some republicans have
suggested private sizing the department of veterans affairs. what do you make of that? >> some people in the va i talked to said there was some talk about that at the end of the '90s, approaching the year 2000. when the number of veterans using the va system was actually declining, and they said there was an uproar not only within the va about the idea of maybe privatizing the va, but not only in the va, but many members of congress who covet their va systems in their states. and if you -- some of these veterans groups too, they would not sit still for eliminating or privatizing the va. so if that's the case, if that's politically unacceptable, not viable, then there have to be some alternatives according to some members of congress to have -- keep the va, but then provide additional services when and where they're needed. >> and change the culture as you
mentioned in your previous -- jim miklaszewski, thank you very much. i'd like to bring in nbc military analyst, retired four star general barry mccaffrey and goldie taylor, an msnbc contributor. president obama vowed to make things much better for america's veterans. let's take a listen. >> we're going to do right by our veterans across the board as long as it takes. we're not going to stop working to make sure they get the care, benefits and opportunities they earned and deserve. we will not tolerate misconduct. i said we have to do better, and we will. >> general, your reaction. >> look, jim was dead on target with everything he said. i have long admired shinseki. he's honorable. he's effective. he's a war hero. he's a badly wounded guy. he made a huge difference at va. but there are systematic
problems over there, including insteg ri integri integrity. i think his point was, you got to give veterans an option. a health care card. that kind of fix wasn't going to happen given the current congressional environment. two nights ago, they held a hearing and had a bunch of va dupes over there being hammered. weren't allowed to speak. through november, this is going to be a political theater. too bad. congress has to help fix the problem. we need accountability. and i, you know, 1100 some odd va health delivery systems, most of the vets who are inside one of those hospitals love it. these are terrific people but need a new look. >> you say the va has been overwhelmed with an influx of
returning veterans. are you concerned they haven't done enough to deal with that? >> there no clean hands here. i think general mccaffrey is right about this. when we had returning war veterans, we questioned whether they should be been raised in the first place. there was influx of new patients into va but we did not have the staff or facility to care for them. these back logs began to happen and this congress did not step up and put in the necessary resources it meant to take care of this new influx. we have a missing 5,000 medical professionals who we have not hired and filled shows shops in why. as a medical professional, working for the va is of last resort. there does have to exist a
monumental sea change. we have to begin to work on the integrity question. anyone who falsifies documents for va and turns around and receives a financial benefit for that, in my mind has committed a crime. to keep that information from an inspector general, from the secretary of the va, to do that, i think speaks, you know, volumes for those people and those heads out to roll too. >> general mccaffrey you previously said general shinseki was the right man to fix the va. political winds have shifted. probably time for him to go. what was the tipping point? your perspective? >> look, at the end of the day, the control of the senate is at stake, at he baobama administra doesn't want a disaster for the next two or three years. we had republicans shamelessly
capitalizing on the situation and it wasn't going to get any better. i'm a friend of rick's. i think he's one of the best soldiers he ever had in uniform. i think we need new leadership and we need congress and this is not going to happen until after the election, to settle down, give the secretary accountability. not just more minh. we have to get some outside health care people to look at is the va effective in doing what they're doing. i think there is real problems there also. >> in this political environment, how hard will it be for president obama's next va secretary nominee, how hard will it be for that person to be confirmed? >> i think it will be quite difficult but voting for the confirmation hear, i have to tip my hat if a well qualified
candidate steps forward. at this point, the gop isn't -- they got him out of the way. they'll turn their ire on to the president and this fall election. this is still a hot political football. i think the democrats side and the republicans -- people have lost their lives while waiting on that list, waiting to get medical services with the va system. >> any of the names on the short list to permanently replace shinseki that you find interesting or think would be a good candidate? >> some of the names you put on air are great people of our time, secretary gates, colin powell. there are others. i watched governor nathan diehl get an award from the national drug system. senator rob portman in the senate. there are people that can do this. but there is going to be an
argument. they better -- they better get a dignified huge person to step forward and take charge of this. >> i would say exception to nathan diehl since he can't shovel the snow in georgia. i have a hard time thinking he's going to be able to deal with the va. >> we have to leave it there, thank you. up next, the other big story today, the billion dollar buy. husband donald isn't playing ball. honestly, the off-season isn't really off for me. i've got a lot to do. that's why i got my surface. it's great for watching game film and drawing up plays. it's got onenote, so i can stay on top of my to-do list, which has been absolutely absurd since the big game. with skype, it's just really easy to stay in touch with the kids i work with.
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billionaire microsoft mogul steve ballmer for the staggering price tag of $2 billion. in a statement, donald sterling's lawyer says, donald sterling is not selling the clippers. donald sterling has not agreed to sell the clippers at any price. in a statement released overnight, shelly sterling said, quote, ai am delighted that we are selling the team to steve who will be a terrific owner. he thanked her in the same statement saying, l.a. is one of the world's great cities, a city that embraces inclusiveness in exactly the same way the nba and i embrace inclusiveness. that was a direct reference to the major firestorm sparked by donald sterling who was caught on tape making racist remarks to his court side companion v. stiviano. that prompted a major uproar beyond the nba which ousted the unapologetic sterling and pushed for the sale of the team. joining me now is warren zulig,
executive editor. what are donald sterling's legal options at this point? >> at this point, nothing is really changed for him other than shelly sterling's claim she can sell the team. he's still on schedule to wait for the nba to make a -- to have a vote next week about forcing him to sell the team. now the question is who has the ownership of the team, does shelly sterling have the legal ability working through the sterling family trust to sell the team and the nba certainly would like a sale to go through sooner rather than later and have it be be something the sterling family chooses to do as opposed to being forced, but we shall see. >> the sterling family would make a massive profit if they sold the sterlings, paid $12.5 million for the clippers in 1981. if the sale goes through for $2 billion, that's a nearly 16,000% return. why wouldn't donald sterling
want to sell or is this just more posturing on his part? >> there is posturing going on here. you look at the financial figures it staggering. even talking about the capital gains tax being imposed, you're talking about a substantial amount of money. the question is, does donald sterling want the money or want to fight? he's shown to be litigious in the past, but that amount of money seems to be something that should draw some attention and quite frankly many of the nba owners are also looking at that amount of money and thinking about the possible depreciation of their franchises if the clippers do sell for $2 billion. >> speaking of the owners, this sale announcement comes days before nba owners will meet to vote on whether the league will force donald sterling to sell. how do you think that will play out? the owners have been consistently unanimous in their statements that they will force donald steriling to sell the clippers. they feel they have the legal right to do that despite
potential antitrust claims that he may make. i think their goal is to do it sooner rather than later. they don't want this hanging over the head of next year's season. they would like new ownership in place at the beginning of next season. the question is, will that happen? >> donald and shelly sterling are going through a divorce now. does that complicate matters? >> it complicates matters, but, again, it comes down to who has the legal control of the sterling family trust and who has the ability to actually sell the team. each team has a single owner that is the person that the league has authorized to sell the team and so long as the family trust can prove that donald sterling has given up that right to do it, they're happy to make that sale. there is no doubt that divorce proceedings could complicate things. that's part of what the nba is concerned about. they want to make sure if a sale goes through, they have some level of immunity that the sterlings, both donald and
shirley, are part of the ownership group. >> magic johnson who is reportedly a perspective buyer of the clippers had this to say. clippers fans, you'll love steve ballmer as your owner. another tweet, steve ballmer loves basketball, is a smart businessman and will probably shake every fan's hand outside the arena on opening night. so if the sale goes through what does steve ballmer bring to the table as the new owner? >> obviously he's got deep pockets, a great reputation. so far he indicated willingness to keep the team in los angeles there were rumors about him interested in moving a team to seattle. the clippers as an investment and as a franchise in the los angeles market is something that appears -- is safe for them and seattle will have to look elsewhere for potential owner. the other thing that has been talked about is whether or not the nba would allow a new owner to change the name of the team.
you've got the los angeles clippers, which has not had a particularly successful run in terms of -- in the league, and so there is also a possibility he may want to change the name to reflect a new brand as he brings a new ownership group to the league in the fall. >> would the fans go for a name change? >> i don't know. that's certainly a question. are they deep in the history, and the tradition that is the clippers franchise? that's a name that came from the clippers when they moved from san diego. certainly the other l.a. teams have the lakers name which came from that franchise when they're in minnesota. the question is how much brand allegiance is there and has sterling's latest snafu caused any ill will towards them anyway and looking for a clean start. >> warren, thank you. >> thanks for having me on. next, reading between the line on who's being left out in the fight for lgbt rights.
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take a look at this remarkable cover of the latest issue of "time" magazine. that's laverne cox, star of the hit netflix show orange is the new black. she's also a transgender woman. the t in lgbt. since the stone wall riots here in new york city 45 years ago next month, america has been getting to know lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. that process has been and continues to be a learning experience that has seen the nation go from actively resisting their quest for respect and equal protection under the law to majority support for issues such as same sex marriage. we as a nation and as the lgbt community to be frank don't talk enough about the t. let's be honest. many of us don't understand transgender issues, let alone know exactly what they are. but as the time magazine cover and the story inside made clear,
that's changing. laverne cox hasn't been shy about using her tinseltown platform to educate the public on issues as she did with katie couric last year. >> the preoccupation with transition with surgery objectifies trans people and we don't get to deal with the real lived experiences, the reality of trans peoples lives is that so often we're targets of violence. employment rate is twice the national average if you're trans person of color, four times more. if we focus on transition, we don't get to talk about those things. >> here's what the 2011 national transgender discrimination survey found in time. 80% were harassed at school. 90% were harassed nearly 20% said they were denied
a place and 41% attempted suicide, only 1.6 of the general population has made such an attempt. cox isn't alone in coming out and speaking out as a transwoman. from janet mock's best-selling memoir "redefining realness" to cassidy, elected homecoming queen of her california high school last year, folks in the trans community are finding its voice and feeling more comfortable being who they are. and they're starting to be heard, according to the national center for transgender equality, 91 jurisdictions nationwide explicitly protect people based on gender identity or expression. that includes eight states. just two hours ago, an independent federal health board ruled that medical care for transition related surgery can be be paid for by medicare.
maura keysling told me this decision allows health care decisions to be made by seniors and their doctors. and she added this, quote, as more and more trans people are coming out, they're educating everyone around them and making their communities more inclusive. so, are we at a transgender tipping point as time declares? absolutely. that wraps things up for "the reid report." i'm jonathan capehart. joy will be back here monday at 2:00 p.m. eastern and be sure to visit our show onlin online @thereidreport. "the cycle" is up next. hey, cyclists. >> good to see you in the hosting chair. great job there. super proud of laverne cox and the way she's living her life now. we have a super packed show. a lot of breaking news. we'll talk about eric shinseki's firing. we'll talk about steve balm blms big purchase. i'll do a deep dive on the
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just in time for the start of hurricane season, rafael miranda is watching an area of possible tropical trouble in the gulf. it's "the cycle." >> let's start with the flurry of activity going on right now at the white house. just last hour, the man who deals with all of us, press secretary jay carney, made news of his own, resigning effective immediately. you can hear shock in the briefing room when president obama made a surprise appearance to announce it. it was the president's second stop in the briefing room today. this morning was the big news of the day. >> last week i said that if we found misconduct, it would be punished and i meant it. with considerable regret, i aced