tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC August 12, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT
governor demands answers from the epa today. >> we are from that school that we trust, but trust but verify. >> we'll talk to the governor of colorado this hour right here on "andrea mitchell reports." and good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. hillary clinton giving in to pressure to turn over her server, has told her aides to hand everything to the fbi. long-time clinton lawyer, david kendall, is also turning over two thumb drives containing clinton e-mails. this comes after clinton repeatedly said she would not turn over the server and said none of those e-mails were classified. >> i did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail. there is no classified material.
so i'm certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material. >> but the inspector general looking into the issue for the intelligence community says that two of those e-mails that clinton turned over to the state department should have been classified top secret. the state department spokesman, john kirby, says that those e-mails were not marked classified at the time. clinton's decision to turn the server and thumb drives over to federal investigators has guaranteed that this e-mail issue is going to drag on for months. even as clinton faces a new poll in new hampshire showing that bernie sanders is now leading in that first primary state. joining me now, anne geran and nbc justice correspondent pete williams. thanks to both of you, pete and anne. you both -- anne, you've covered every agency, the pentagon, the state department, the white house, pete, you know government inside and out. i've just talked to john kirby
and he explains that they are appealing that ruling by the inspector general. they have asked the head of national intelligence, the intelligence agencies to rule as to whether those two e-mails should have been top secret, so you do have, as clinton has claimed, a dispute, an internal dispute within agencies. that said, pete, what is the justice department now going to be looking at? >> well, they want to have -- remember, the whole point of this investigation is to see whether classified information was mishandled, so it's only natural that the fbi would want to get the best evidence, if you will, get the actual servers, get the thumb drives. we understand that that process of turning over that material to the fbi will probably be completed by tomorrow. it hasn't happened yet. at least it hadn't happened by mid-morning. so the fbi wants to see if there's still anything on the servers. secretary clinton said they were erased. it's one thing to delete files on your computer. it's another thing to have a forensic expert wipe them clean.
the fbi is going to see if anything can be retrieved. they just want to see what was on the servers, was classified information mishandled. no one knows yet whether mrs. clinton actually e-mailed any classified information. we're told repeatedly that the fbi is not investigating people, it's investigating how the system worked and did classified information wrongly get onto the server. >> anne geran, there's going to be a cloud of suspicion, though, by those who want to see conspiracy theories. there's almost no way she can clear this up to the satisfaction of critics on the other side in terms of the politics on this, and it's taking its toll. >> certainly she's not going to clear it up to the satisfaction of trey gowdy or other congressional republicans. a larger remember for her is going to be can she clear it up to the satisfaction of any
undecided voters, or voters who may be inclined to vote for her but have some lingering questions about her trustworthiness. you and i have seen her on the stumpomp in recent weeks appea to address that deficit. she's really going out as a fighter. she's trying to tell democrats and she's trying to tell anyone who might be undecided that she's going to go after republicans, that she is their champion and so forth. that is one of the ways that she's politically trying to address the trust question. the other potential liability for her here, of course, is as pete said, this is the first part of the investigation. this is what actually happened to that material and was it mishandled. a potential second part of the inquiry could be and who did what with it, and that is where she has a liability that she didn't have even two, three weeks ago publicly that we knew and that is going to continue to hang over her until it's finally cleared up. that could be a very long time
from now. >> pete, one of the issues here is that according to the inspector general, according to the code words that he cites to the intelligence committee, not only was this top secret, which is the highest classification, but it was top secret involving material information that came from satellites that was electronic surveillance from satellites as well as photos from satellites, so this is the kind of material that in fact it said no foreign use, no sharing with even our close foreign allies. that creates an even higher level, you know, of concern certainly for the fbi. of that as well, how likely is it that they will be able when they see a server that has been professionally cleaned retrieve other data? >> if it's well done, if it's truly wiped clean, there won't be any way to retrieve the information from it. but sometimes when people delete
material from a computer, all they're doing is taking the little indexes away that tell the computer how to assemble all the data into a coherent document. if that stuff is still on there in bits and pieces or any part of it remaining, they can try to reconstruct it. you make an interesting point here. to some extent what the state department is saying is in 2009 and 2011, this information that the intel community now says should be classified was on unclassified state department e-mail systems, raising a question was it wrongly on unclassified systems or was it not classified at the time. the difficulty in reporting this story is we don't know what the documents say because they're classified, so we're -- we're all stumbling around here in the dark a little bit about what exactly these documents were, where they came from and that's what the fbi is trying to figure out. >> and it's also a problem, frankly, for the clinton team because they don't know what e-mails are being addressed and
certainly the clinton team doesn't know what could be in any one of -- there were 33 -- 31,000 e-mails. to the politics of this, anne, we don't know exactly the internals of the poll as to why hillary clinton is behind in this new poll, but the suffolk university poll, boston herald poll shows person bernie sande and she at 37. look at the change from march, he was only at 8 points in march so this is a surge. this is not necessarily people who think he will be the nominee, according to the poll, but there's something going on out here. >> yeah, there are a couple of things going on. one of them is a protest vote clearly. many of these people, as you say, probably don't really think that at the end of the day bernie sanders will be the democratic nominee or the president of the united states, but he is capturing their attention, their affection and certainly their energy right now in a way that hillary clinton has been struggling in new
hampshire particularly to do. she was just in new hampshire for two days, she did a variety of events. her stump speech i thought was much better than it had been. very energetic. but she has clearly got an energy deficit. this was the first poll to show that in terms of sanders being slightly ahead. there's a big margin of error in this poll, 4.7%, almost 5%, so by the time you add that up plus or minus, it's sort of a statistical tie but he has a first edge and that is the first time that's happened. >> anne gearan and pete williams, thank you both so very much. now let's turn to my interview just moments ago with congressman trey gowdy. we talked in detail in the clinton e-mail issue. >> first of all, what are your concerns about hillary clinton's e-mails now that she has agreed to turn the server over to the fbi? >> well, my primary concern is as a member of the benghazi committee is whether or not the
public record is complete. that was always my concern. whenever you self-select documents and your open attorney determines what's public record and what's private, i have a concern about the wholeness or completeness of the public record. secondarily, it's very important, it's just not primary to the jurisdiction of our committee would be the integrity of her server and whether or not classified information was passed in a way that could potentially compromise it. but that's something that the fbi and the intelligence committees and the department of justice are much better equipped to look into than our committee. >> have you been able to talk to the fbi, the justice department, about whether they can restore what has been deleted from that server? do they have the technical ability now to try to restore the missing e-mails? >> i have not, andrea. i was a prosecutor in a former life, and i know that they should not and cannot talk to me about any ongoi o save the awkwardness of asking.
i do think it's important, you use the word "delete." i think it's important, you and i probably both delete e-mails all the time but we don't go through the extra steps of wiping something clean. deleting it because you just find it too cumbersome or burdensome to carry it in your inbox is one thing. taking affirmative steps to actually wipe a server clean denotes or can denote a desire or a willingness or an intention to conceal far beyond simply just deleting something. >> what do you think happened in this case? do you have any understanding as to whether the server was wiped clean? >> well, i just know what her attorney said, which is it wouldn't matter if we had the server or not. so the bureau is really good at reconstructing things. there are folks in the past who have thought that they have deleted or wiped things clean and the forensic computer experts are able to reconstruct
it. i find it interesting, however, that it was 20 months after she separated from the state department when she decided to wipe the server clean or delete. so for 20 months those e-mails were neither too burdensome nor too cumbersome. it was only when our committee began to ask the state department for her e-mails that she said, you know what, it's been 20 months. dpau gosh, i really need to get rid of this stuff. i just don't think that passes the laugh test, but i haven't had a chance to ask her about it either. >> what do you say to those in her corner who say she's answered all these questions about benghazi and that this is a politically motivated witch hunt? >> well, i have about six pages of questions that are exclusively related to benghazi. there's not a single e-mail question on my first six pages of questions for secretary clinton, so i don't know how she or any of her acolytes could
possibly say that. she wasn't interviewed by the arb. she appeared before one house committee and one senate committee and you and i have followed congress enough tow. >> the arb being the state department review board. i'm just making that clear. >> that's right. and they didn't even bother to interview her. then you had the house and the senate where she made a single appearance. but you have five minutes and, frankly, they're not the best questioners in the world. so i don't think it's asking too much that she do what she says she's going to do, which is come before congress and answer all the questions that we have with respect to the security profile, the pendency of the attacks and the administration response in the aftermath. ultimately it will be you and our fellow citizens to judge whether our questions are fair and appropriate or whether or not they're duplicative of other questions that have been asked and answered. >> the chairman on the committee
on benghazi, trey gowdy. thank you very much for being with us today. >> yes, ma'am, thank you. and up next, the trump show. the republican front runner's first post-debate press conference in michigan had as many fireworks as the debate. >> we're going to have a little fun tonight. we're going to talk about some terrible things, but we'll have fun anyway. they said i won the debate. is that nice? is that nice? right? and boy, did i have nasty questions. i stood up there and said i don't believe this, some of those questions. actually rosie o'donnell saved me. this is one time. she saved me. melania will make a very beautiful first lady, i tell you. we are going aññ( save social security. you are going to love president trump. or becoming the next highly-unlikely dotcom superstar. and us, we'll be right there with you, helping with the questions you need answered to get your brand new business started.
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you know, when you talk in the debate, it came out of one of the networks today, so there should have been 2 million people watching, you agree? about 2 million. that's been sort of standard, 2 million people. there were 24 million people. and the 24 i think is going to go to 28 or 29 or maybe even 30 when the final numbers came in. who do you think they're watching, jeb bush? huh? i don't think so. >> donald trump taking direct aim at jeb bush tuesday night, ignoring the fact that trump himself, he has slipped in some recent polls. is the bubble bursting? joining me for our daily fix, chris cillizza, michael gerson, former speechwriter for president george w. bush, and wall street journal political editor jean cummings. thanks to all. cillizza, what do you think is happening? let's take a look at some of the most recent numbers.
you can see john kasich is coming up in new hampshire, he's up to 12, trump is at 18. in the suffolk university poll in iowa, among those who saw the debate, who actually watched the debate, 55% are less comfortable than they were before with donald trump. so that is something of an indicator. >> yeah. we don't have -- this is weird to say since i feel like there's so much polling, but we don't have a lot of good sort of polling with a long track record that gives us the national sense for trump. you know, that same suffolk poll showed him ahead. but the question here is in a 17-candidate field, 18% is enough. if donald trump does want to become the nominee or at least be a serious candidate, the field is going to slim and slim and slim. i wonder if it's sort of -- there's 18% or 16% or maybe 22% who would be with him almost no matter what he says or does. but he can't move beyond that. maybe there's a capping of his number as opposed to a diminishment of his number.
we'll see. there may be a capping and a diminishment but i think we might be seeing sort of a capping effect at the moment. >> michael gerson, in your column as to whether he will flame out, which is another way of answering my question is the bubble about to burst, your conclusion, let me just quote from your own column. trump's actual performance in the debate you wrote demonstrated the real reason he will flame out. he called the other candidates stupid while failing to show mastery of a single policy issue. if you actually listen to him and try to follow his reasoning, the result is the intellectual version of a hangover. i did watch the whole speech in michigan last night and i have to tell you i was trying to follow what he said when he said he's going to have carl icahn be put in charge of china and japan as a slam against the fact that caroline kennedy is the ambassador to japan and his rant against china with the devaluation which is obviously a big problem because it is a political hit on the administration's policy.
but it was a hangover. >> yeah. and there is a reason that he doesn't talk about policy very much, because his diagnosis is really the country is run by stupid and corrupt people. and if i'm in office, everything will be fine. that's one of the problems of his appeal. he's promising not hard answers, he's promising easy answers. he's saying that if you just change leaders, all of these problems will be solved. that's actually a very -- we have tough problems in america, not easy problems. i think that's a pretty deceptive appeal. it's also kind of a caesarism. it's like i am the guy that will solve everything, and it devalues policy. >> and i can build the wall and i'm going to build a great wall and i'm going to solve immigration by building the wall, and i'm going to deal with china by getting tough and doing a better deal with china. >> yeah, well this is the real downside of his message is that part of it is xeno phobic and problematic. it's all the fault of outsiders, it's all the fault of
immigrants, it's all the fault of the chinese and that's a pretty disturbing trend which i think republicans broadly, the conservative movement is going to have to distance themselves from. >> jeb bush came out swinging at the reagan library and went after hillary clinton and barack obama, but really hillary clinton, jean. on the subject of iraq, arguably his brother's war, here's a segment. >> who can seriously argue that america and our friends are safer today than in 2009, when the president and secretary clinton, the storied team of rivals, took office. so eager to be the history makers they failed to be the peacemakers. i would say the obama-clinton foreign policy will be remembered as a foreign policy based on grandiose talk and little action. >> jean? >> well, this is a problem he's going to continue to have with his candidacy if he doesn't at some point make very clear how he's different from his brother.
blaming hillary clinton and barack obama for the iraq war only reminds everybody about his brother and the war itself. and the fact that they didn't end it in a clean way, still they ended it. i don't know where he goes with this. >> michael, you worked for george w. bush and you could argue as jeb bush did that after the surge, everything was great. but it was george w. bush who negotiated the departure from maliki and the withdrawal date. >> he negotiated the date. the details were going to have to be, you know, negotiated by the next president. >> does it help him -- does it help jeb to focus on iraq? >> if you read the speech, i think that he made a very effective case against obama in syria. his inaction in syria produced a humanitarian and strategic nightmare, vacuum at the heart of the middle east that isis filled. the problem with that critique is that hillary clinton opposed that policy within the
administration. you look at her book, she's the one that wanted a more aggressive policy in syria. she was an ally of petreaus in the debates and it was obama that made that decision. so i think that's a better critique of obama than it is of clinton. >> and chris cillizza, quickly, john kasich, he is there tomorrow. he's got tom raft, the great republican in new hampshire who was always a bush person, jo johnsjoh john sun unu -- >> this was a two-term governor of ohio, the chairman of the house budget committee. on paper he looked good. we've been fooled by on paper they looked good many times before. he's actually starting with the debate and carrying some momentum, performing pretty well. picking up momentum here.
so i think by the next debate next month, i think we'll be talking about kasich as a second tier and maybe even a first tier candidate. >> chris cillizza, jeanne cummings and michael gerson, thank you very much. we have shocking new details about what happened in that upstate new york prison after two inmates escaped in june. and later tom brokaw returns to watts 50 years after the riots that changed america. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ (dad) we lived... thanks to our subaru. ♪
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report. >> reporter: "the new york times" calls it a campaign of retribution. following a three-week manhunt for richard matt and david sweat, the "times" reports prison guards abused dozens of inmates while looking for information about the escape. the "times" quoting two inmates who worked in the prison tailor shop. one says a guard tied a plastic bag around his neck tightening it until he passed out. the other inmate who supervised the tailor shop says corrections officials put him in solitary confinement for three weeks and threw out most of his belongings, including his family photographs and his wedding ring. following the escape, more than 60 prisoners filed complaints with the prisoners legal services, an organization that helps indigent prisoners. the prison came under fire following the escape some saying the relationship between prisoners and prison workers was too friendly. former tailor shop worker joyce mitchell pled guilty to charges of aiding the fugitives.
now the new york department of corrections says the abuse allegations have been under investigation for several weeks and have also been referred to the state inspector general, adding any findings of misconduct or abuse against inmates will be punished to the full extent of the law. but according to the "times," one inmate says after being beaten during an interrogation, he was pressured to sign a report stating, quote, i was not assaulted. left with no other choice, he wrote, i signed. >> and craig melvin joins me now from new york. craig, who's investigating now to see these allegations? >> reporter: right now the state's attorney general is looking into the investigations. excuse me, into the allegations. here's the thing, andrea, it should be noted here that so far the only folks who have been formally accused of corrections officers. no inmates have been charged or implicated in any way, shape or form with what happened there. >> it's just a fascinating and
disturbing case indeed. craig melvin, thank you so much for being there. and karen murtaw is the executive director of prisoner legal services of new york and joins me by skype from albany. karen, thank you. how concerning is what happened and how unusual is this? >> it's very concerning to us. we've really seen an uptick in the number of complaints that we're receiving at pls, and it is somewhat unusual. we receive about 10,000 letters a year that are complaints from prisoners about issues in prison, but they typically aren't complaints like these. the level of brutality that people are complaining about, being complained about being placed in solitary confinement without any disciplinary report, without any due process at all and being held there for three to four weeks, those are complaints we don't often see. >> and karen, what do you think was going on? i mean if you can extrapolate from the complaints and from
what you've investigated so far from your interviews, was there basically panic on the part of authorities as to finding these guys and figuring out how they broke out? >> well, you know, i can't really comment on their motives or why this was done. it did appear to me based upon the complaints we received that there was a real concern about how did this escape happen, where was the security breach, and there was an effort to find out the information as soon as possible and it appears as if any means at all to find out that information was being used by certain individuals. not that that was an order from the top at all. we have been working with the department, with the commissioner himself on this. he is as concerned about these allegations as we are. so i don't know where the breakdown occurred, but there
definitely was, like you say, a panic or a level of frustration and tension that i think gave rise to these incidents. >> karen murtagh, thank you so much. it's a really disturbing case and we will follow up with you. appreciate you being with us. >> thank you for having me. thank you. and damage control. the head of the epa is going to tour the toxic spill that her agency caused in colorado today. what can she say to the people who live along the rivers? we'll talk to the governor of colorado coming up next. plus tom brokaw takes us back to watts 50 years later. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. can a business have a mind? a subconscious. a knack for predicting the future. reflexes faster than the speed of thought. can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul? can a business be...alive?
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after a $1000 volkswagen bonus. no student's ever been the king of the campus on day one. but you're armed with a roomy new jansport backpack, a powerful new dell 2-in-1 laptop, and durable new stellar notebooks, so you're walking the halls with varsity level swagger. that's what we call that new gear feeling. you left this on the bus... get it at the place with the experts to get you the right gear. office depot officemax. gear up for school. gear up for great. the attorneys general from utah, colorado and new makes are going to tour the site of the mine disaster in colorado today as they consider legal action against the environmental protection agency, which has taken responsibility for the accident that occurred during a cleanup. joining me now from denver is
colorado governor john hickenlooper who is just back from touring a fishery and talking to officials in durango about this breach. governor, thank you very much. first of all, does it state plan to take legal action against the epa? >> i don't think we've decided that. you know, actually yesterday the tour that we took, we were impressed that it doesn't appear to be lasting environmental damage. obviously the imagery that was broadcast around the world this past weekend, that was bad enough, but the flush, the surge of water that came through with heavy metals, high acidity, it appears to have gone through kind of like a slug of water and kind of cleared things out with it. and we had 108 fish in little cages, we had nine cages along the animas river throughout durango. of those fish, only one died. always when you move fish around
you're going to lose one or two, but out of 108 fish, 107 are still alive and they were put in the water before the surge went through. we checked the bottom dwellers and little insects that the fish eat. they're all healthy, no die-off. doesn't seem to be large amounts of sediment that are going to contaminate anything. so i think we're optimistic that obviously rafting companies have lost days of work in the busiest season, fishing guides. we had to shut off irrigation to our agriculture. but it's rained almost every other day, so they haven't been, i think, too negatively impacted. we might come out of this pretty well. >> well, at the same time, we talked to the nrdc yesterday and the defense counsel said that the silt does not go away, that the heavy metals will stay there, and stay there arguably for decades. that's what they also told the navajo nation. so how do you square those two sets of facts? >> well, we're going to go out
there and do an inspection of the silt, but this was a high-water event. i'm not sure there was a ton of silt. we're certainly going to go out and measure the sediment along the river, look at it for heavy metals. we're going to compare it to places along the river where -- you know, up river where we didn't have this event happen and see how much it differs. you know, there are lines all throughout the west and we never -- in the west we never drink river water, just like you don't drink river water back east. you can get all kinds of intestinal troubles, but there is some level of heavy metals throughout the west. and i think that the silt -- i'm optimistic, i don't think the silt is going to be that dramatically different than the silt that's existing in places up river. we'll see. i mean it's science, right? the key we want to all get to is we're going to use the evidence and the data to make, you know, logical decisions. >> according to some estimates,
there are as many as 23,000 legacy mines in colorado alone. what the epa was doing and trying to clean up the mines and what they did is underestimated -- the contractor, at least, underestimated the amound of buildup behind and it apparently burst out. but what do you do about all of these mines as the epa's challenge and your challenge as governor is to see what pollution is behind some of these other old mines? >> well, of course, it's not 23,000, but it's certainly more than 20,000, probably more than 22,000. but 22,000, 23,000 abandoned mines. this was the legacy of the west. this is how the economy functioned a hundred years ago. and the vast majority of those old mines are just holes in the cliff wall or in the side of a hill and they're not a big problem. no more than just normal water runoff over a slope that's
naturally occurring. so we have an assessment of all those mines. we're going to go back with the epa and go through mine by mine a visual. go back over the old studies and then where we think we might have problems, such as the gold king line, we are going to go out and visit those mines. do testing and make sure that our priority list is exactly what it should be. i think the epa -- i know the administrator, gina mccarthy, i met with her this morning. she is in durango today and she's rolled up her sleeves. she is moving bureaucracy out of the way and saying, all right, we're going to get this river open as quickly as we can. we're going to address the issues for the rest of the state and the rest of the rocky mountain west. it was actually very refreshing to see a federal official that just came in and took control and said, all right, we're going to move at light speed compared to what often happens with government. >> and can the tour operators, can the rafts get back on the water?
when will things get back into what is the normal august in that beautiful part of the country? >> well, durango is open for business. we were down there yesterday. it is the most beautiful time of the year down there. my guess, and again the administrator of the epa, mccarthy, gina mccarthy, is going to make a recommendation either today or tomorrow depending on what their analysis, if they conform with our analyses, but the state has water analyses, the epa has analyses, they will make a recommendation to the sheriff. and my sense is if not today, tomorrow, that very soon they will say this river should be open for rafting and maybe we're going to wait a day or two and really do a lot of testing on fish before we let people go out and do more fishing. you know, agriculture is a big user of the river water. i think we should have that decision today. our goal -- yesterday the river looks back to normal. i mean visually it looked great.
there was no trabidity. the tests showed the water back to the pre-event concentration of all the metals we were worried about. i think we might have dodged a bullet. we might have been very lucky and had a visually appalling situation which in the end is not going to leave us with a whole lot of negative consequences. >> one hopes. >> yeah. we might just have gotten through this. again, as you point out, the key is looking forward to the other mines, how do we make sure something like this never happens again, not just in colorado but throughout the west. >> thank you so much, governor. governor hickenlooper, good to see you. >> you bet. 50 years ago today america was shocked by armed conflict in a los angeles community of watts. days of violence leaving more than 30 people dead, millions of dollars in property damage. for years watts was a word synonymous with urban detention and rural decay. tom brokaw saw the violence
firsthand. he's now returned a half a century later. >> modern america had never seen anything like it. >> we're going to fire a few warning shots in the air to keep them back. we mean business. >> racial rage on a war zone scale. when the fires went out and the smoke cleared, watts became something else, a metaphor for black rage and white guilt. this was not supposed to happen in sunny southern california. suddenly watts was ground zero for millions of dollars for local and federal aid. a mandatory stop for activist politicians. i was new to nbc in those days. and these streets quickly became my beat. there were improvements, better housing here and there. most homes are modest with security bars on windows and doors. a shopping center with nationally known stores. one shopping center. and watts now is more hispanic than african-american. shootings now are down, but not silenced. 50 years later, watts remains
separate and unequal. i went to the watts coffee house to find out why. >> nothing is ever resolved. >> reporter: bernard parks was one of the few african-american policemen at the time, later chief. then a city councilman. >> you have some progress and then you have some setbacks. there are things that happen daily that you look at the calendar and say is it really 2015? >> reporter: tim watkins took over a job center started by his dad, a legendary union man. >> what has been the most discouraging element for you from within watts. >> the trail of broken promises. if we could wave a magic wand and ask all of our friends, neighbors and partners to make the recommendations happen, we'd have a much, much different future for watts. >> reporter: now a young 90, moved here in 1943. >> we were constantly told waltz is nothing. you can't live in watts. you can't raise your children in watts. well, i raised my children in watts. and i'll put my kids up against anybody in this city.
>> reporter: if there's a listen for a half century, it is that communities walled off by race, poverty, by crime, by bad police relations, by too many broken families, it's hard for those communities to succeed, and watts knows that. but against great odds, there remain the proud and the patient who have kept the faith. for them, watts always will be home. >> tom brokaw remembering the watts riots 50 years later. up next, student debt 101. the presidential candidates are put to the test what to do about the rising costs of college. you're watching msnbc. imagine - she won't have to remember passwords. or obsess about security. she'll log in with her smile. he'll have his very own personal assistant. and this guy won't just surf the web. he'll touch it. scribble on it. and share it. because these kids will grow up with windows 10.
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going to lecture me about student loans? i owed over $100,000 four years ago. >> i bet some of you might have sat through four hours and 17 candidates of debate the other night. there was not one word from one of those candidates about making college affordable or dealing with debt. you take somebody like governor walker of wisconsin, who seems to be delighting in slashing the investment in higher education in his state. >> it's a big issue. the debate over student debt heating up as 2016 approaches. governor scott walker fired back at hillary clinton's comments with a scathing tweet, referring to her speeches on college campuses, the paid speeches that read hillary clinton, i've frozen in-state tuition rates for four years while you charge colleges $225,000 just to show up. heather mcghee is president of
demos, a public policy organization with the goal of reducing political and economic inequality through research, advocacy and litigation. heather, great to see you again. i know that you have been supportive of hillary clinton's proposals on student aid, but i wanted to get you to put this in context. walker's latest budgets in wisconsin included a $300 million cut in wisconsin university system money and the proposed budget for the next fiscal year included a 13% cut in state funds. so that's part of what she is talking about. yet she has not explained beyond changing in the tax system -- changes in the tax system for the wealthy how she would come up with the $350 billion over ten years to fund her program. >> putting this into context, you really have to realize that public higher education used to be a public good in this country. people like marco rubio, people like jeb bush and even donald
trump went to school in the '70s, '80s and 1990s really on the public dime. it was state funding that supported low tuition costs so that a student really could in previous generations work their way through college. the only thing that has really changed is that states have cut funding like what scott walker is doing and you'll start to see the effects in tuition in a few years in wisconsin. so there's been a 25 cents on the dollar per pupil cut on public funding and there's been a huge shift onto tuition. so secretary clinton's plan is really focused on restoring the public guarantee of debt-free college. really if you think about it in the long sweep of history here, it's what we owe to the next generation, previous generations have had this kind of economic freedom and this investment from their country. this generation deserves it just as much. >> and just briefly, you took a
look at what the inflation adjusted tuitions would be for some of these candidates, hillary clinton and scott walker as well as marco rubio, we can throw that up on the screen. her tuition at wellesley today would be $45,000. that's just tuition, that's not room and board. scott walker, if you look at his marquette university tuition today would be $35 -- almost $36,000. marco rubio had far less in his education at community college but he had a lot of debt from law school. so what do these candidates bring to the table in terms of competing proposals so far? >> well, it's a great thing that so many candidates on the right and the left feel that they need to respond to this issue. it really is a national crisis of opportunity. marco rubio's plan, he talks about his own law school debt quite a bit. but marco rubio's plan is a very conservative idea. it's basically find an investor on wall street to buy out a stake in your future earnings.
that's not the kind of system i think that we want. it's certainly not what enabled him to spend just about $900 a year in tuition for his undergraduate education, that was a public investment tlafz made. it's not what's going to bring this country into the future in a strong way. >> well, heather, we just touched the surface, scratched the surface. to be continued. thanks for coming up. a lot more coming up when we come back. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. isn't it time to let the real you shine through?
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and that does it for this edition. thank you for being with us. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." be sure to tune in to watch history in the making on friday, a special edition live in havana. secretary of state kerry visiting the newly opened u.s. embassy in cuba, raising the flag for the first time in nearly 55 years. remember, follow us online, on facebook and on twitter @mitchellreports.
"msnbc live with thomas roberts" up next. before earning 1% cash back everywhere, every time and 2% back at the grocery store. even before he got 3% back on gas. kenny used his bankamericard cash rewards credit card to join the wednesday night league. because he loves to play hoops. not jump through them. that's the excitement of rewarding connections. apply online or at a bank of america near you. welcome to fort green sheets. welcome to castle bravestorm.
good to be with you, i'm frances rivera in for thomas roberts. this hour on msnbc, developing news. a u.s. military blackhawk crashes off the coast of japan. seven injured. so what went wrong? plus, coming up, the epa admits fault for 3 million gallons of toxic sludge in the a animas river. could the agency soon face legal action? we start with the republican and democratic front runners for the 2016 presidential race. donald trump is back in rare form and we'll have more on that in a moment, because hillary clinton, she's got a two-front problem on her hand. a new poll shows for the first time that she may be losing in the new hampshire primary to democratic opponent bernie sanders. potentially more damaging, however, are the latest developments in her ongoing e-mail saga. after months of refusing republican requests, she has finally agreed to hand over the private e-mail