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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  June 23, 2013 9:00am-11:01am PDT

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ink from chase. so you can. on the move. nsa leaker edward snowden leaves hong kong. final destination unknown. is it cuba. there are new intriguing twists in the case. the president makes a climate pitch. we are hours from a death defying act. one man on a high wire versus the grand canyon.
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we'll go live to arizona to see what he is facing. a former heavy weight champ and the former head of the rnc and what about the muppet. hello, everyone. it's high noon in the east, 9:00 in the west, it's weekend with alex bit, i'm marra schiavocampo. . the big question at this hour, where is he? snowden flew out of hong kong early this morning and landed in moscow just a few hours ago. hong kong officials allowed him to leave despite the u.s. issuing an extradition request. joining me is pete williams. pete, good afternoon. what can you tell us. >> reporter: mara, there's considerable consternation in washington here over what has happened. here's the sequence of events. the u.s. actually filed the criminal charges against edward snowden a little over a week ago on june 14th, but they say the charges were not simply dropped out of the blue on hong kong,
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that, in fact, before they were filed federal prosecutors and u.s. state department lawyers worked with prosecutors in hong kong to make certain that -- >> all right. we seem to have lost pete williams in d.c. we'll try to get you the latest on his information coming up a little bit later. the director of the nsa general keith alexander is reacting to all of this today. here he is just a short time ago. >> it's clearly an individual who's betrayed the trust and confidence we had in him. he's not acting, in my opinion, with noble intent. >> let's go now live to the white house and nbc's kristin welker. are you hearing any reaction from the white house to these latest developments? >> reporter: good afternoon, mara. i can tell you that president obama has been briefed on the situation by his national security team. according to one official, the
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obama administration is quite concerned about the fact that hong kong did allow edward snowden to leave after the u.s. had urged the region to extra diet him once he was arrested. so we can say that. just to put that into a little bit more context, yesterday the administration released a statement urging hong kong to agree with the extradition request, urged hong kong to act quickly saying that if it didn't, it could complicate relations between the u.s. and that region so it appears now that that has happened. i think pete said it best when he said there is a considerable amount of consternation right now here in washington. what is interesting is that you have lawmakers on both sides of the aisle calling for edward snowden to come back, face the music. right now, of course, he is in moscow. the united states has a strained relationship with russia, of course. we saw that play out this past week during the g-8 summit, particularly strained because they disagree about what to do over syria. so here is what mike rogers had to say earlier today on "meet
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the press." take a listen. >> they should use every legal avenue we have to bring him back to the united states and, listen, if he believes that he is doing something good -- by the way, he went outside all of the whistle-blower avenues that were available to anyone in this government, including people who have classified information. we get two or three visits from whistle blowers every single week in the committee and we vegtd every one thoroughly. he didn't chose that route. if he really believes he did something good, he should get on a plane, come back and face the consequences of his actions. >> reporter: now there are reports that snowden could be headed to venezuela. david gregory asked greg greenwall about that earlier today on "meet the press." greenwald ducked the question, wouldn't reveal any information about snowden. he defended snowden. he said that the government has
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really overreached in terms of charging him with espionage. if snowden does go to venezuela, he would seek asylum there. if he does that it would be very difficult for him to bring him back. this is certainly a very complicated situation and one i'm told the president will continue to be briefed on. >> kristin welker live at the white house. thanks. for more now, i'm joined by elijah cummings, ranking member of the oversight and government reform committee and the economic committee. thank you for being here. >> good to be here. >> i want to talk about this snowden case quickly. this is getting more nuanced and intriguing by the minute. what do you make of this? >> first of all, i do believe that mr. snowden should return to the united states to face justice. the fact is, he's been legally charged and in our country, we are a country of laws. he should come back. i don't care who you are,
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whether you're somebody in the inner city of baltimore in my block where i live or whether you are mr. snowden, you need to face the charges. and let the justice system work its way. >> now of those surveillance programs you've previously said that you thought the nsa went too far. now that we're learning more about them, you've attended classified briefings, they've thwarted 50 terror attacks. has that changed your opinion? >> i'm still very concerned. i'm concerned whether the 3r578s are actually -- the extent to which they are being effective and whether there are other ways that we can do this and whether we have gone a bit too far. i think this is a -- this whole episode has caused folks in congress to now begin a serious debate. it's one that i think the american people want us to be engaged in. i understand that the polling shows that people are willing to give up some of their privacy for protection, but at the same time i think we've got to make sure we guard our democracy.
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we are -- i often say this is our watch so we want to make sure that while we protect our people, that we also don't violate their privacy rights. >> turning now to legislation in the house. the farm bill failed to pass this week and that actually surprised a lot of people. aside from the packs of that particular bill, in terms of the workings of the house right now, are there any lessons that we can learn from the farm bill that may be applicable to the immigration bill? >> sadly, there are some lessons that we should learn and i hope we do. basically what you have with the farm bill is you had the tea party group and very, very conservative members of the congress who decided, as they have in the past legislation, my way or the highway. and they made a decision that slashing $20.5 billion from the s.n.a.p. program, food stamp program, was not enough. and they base -- and they were
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also against farm subsidies. let me tell you, in the past the farm bill has not been controversial, it's been something that we have been able to get done. and we ought to be able to get it done now, but when you have a group of people who come in and say, my way or the highway, it's kind of hard to get anything done. i have said it many times. i believe that boehner is a decent man, our speaker, but i think it would be very difficult for anybody to control this group. >> but a lot of people are citing this as an example of his failure of leadership. >> well, i think that he's trying very hard. but you have to wonder about it when he's got a 62 of his members voting against a bill and the thing that i think was very telling was that five members of his leadership team, that is chair men, folks that are usually in line with the speaker, they voted against it, too. so i think we've got to do better. you asked about immigration. i think it makes immigration
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very difficult to resolve with that kind of situation. and -- but hopefully we'll learn some less songs. the word is that they want to go back and possibly make the bill even more conservative. >> you're talking about immigration -- >> i'm talking about the farm bill. >> let's talk about immigration. that's coming down the piebke. the senate made a deal. it's coming to your colleagues. >> with this latest deal, $30 billion going for border protection, i think that will be the sweetener to get it through the senate. i think it's going to hit a tough time when it hits -- comes to the house. it's a whole different kind of setting there. i think in the senate they're more concerned about the national picture, national elections and what have you. in the house we've got these individual districts that are either mostly republican or -- in constituency or mostly democrat so it becomes a much more difficult sell. >> let's switch to the irs and
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that investigation there. you've recently released transcripts of a manager in cincinnati who said all of this started with him. does that settle it for you or are there still questions you would like answered? >> what it says is that the president and the white house was not involved in how this happened. in other words, chairman issa has spent quite a bit of time, and others on the republican side, saying that there was some target list of the president's enemies and we now see that a conservative republican manager in cincinnati self-proclaimed conservative republican, said that he started this and he felt like he was acting within the law and he wasn't -- he said there was no politics involved. got no direction from anybody out of the white house. and he felt that it was absolutely not political. so we now know how it began but we've still got a lot of work to do with regard to the -- >> who do you think should be
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held accountable legally? >> i think we have to finish our investigation and we will and then i think we have to make those decisions. the president has made an excellent choice in danny war fall to be the acting commissioner. there's a lot still to be done with regard to the irs but, again, i think once that's all done -- by the way, a number of people have already been removed. we will finally be able to get it settled. one of the things we have got to get done, we have got to get this right. the irs affects every single person in our country. >> of course. >> we have to restore the confidence of our people nkts we have to leave it there. congressman, thank you for your time. in other news, in dayton, ohio, the national transportation safety board is investigating a crash at an air
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show yesterday. the plane had turned upside down when the performer was sitting on its wing and it turned upside down and crashed to the ground and burst into flames. the ruling this weekend in the george zimmerman case that could change what we hear in opening statements. that's after the break. ull sizet of the leading ordinary brand. use less with bounty select-a-size. [ gasps ] [ laughter and chuckles ] ♪ [ female announcer ] spills. splatters. summer. bring it. bounty. available at walmart.
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well, lawmakers are gearing up for a pivotal day in the senate tomorrow and they're expected to vote on a border security deal. that amendment is expected to push a comprehensive immigration reform bill to passage by the end of the week. >> this is going to be an historic week for the senate as we pass comprehensive immigration reform. we're at about 2/3 of the senate right now. our momentum is growing. i believe we'll be in the neighborhood of 70 votes by the
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time the vote occurs at the end of the week. >> it'll pass the senate but it's dead on arrival in the house. the house is much closer to me. i think they think border security has to come first before you get immigration reform. >> joining me now is contributing editor for newsweek and "the daily beast," eleanor cliff and aaron blake. thank you for being here this afternoon. >> thank you. >> good to be with you. >> eleanor, i want to start with you. we heard senator rand paul saying immigration reform will be dead on arrival in the house. how do you think this will play out? >> i don't think it's dead on arrival but it faces significant challenges because the republican party is at war with itself. the more moderate establishment wing will recognize they need reform and then you have a segment of the party that really regards immigration reform as essentially changing the character of the country and no matter how tough those border patrols are, are probably not
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going to vote for it. it comes down then i think to speaker boehner and whether he would be willing to put a measure on the floor that would get more democratic votes than republican votes that would cost him his speakership. in the end we're looking at kind of the job security or insecuritiy of one man, the speaker of the house. >> in the house are politicians more concerned about getting re-elected in their own districts than any national electoral strategy? >> the short answer to your question is, yes. the house is a very different animal than the senate. especially in reercent years you've got a lot of people elected with the tea party banner and elected without a lot of national help and they don't follow in lock step with what the leadership is trying to do. house speaker john boehner doesn't have a lot of control over them. i think with immigration you have to look at really not just
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the national polls of how people feel about this bill, you have to look at how republicans in particular feel. if you look at the intensity scores among these republicans, the people who are most intense about this are against this. now these republican members, a lot of them only have to wory about their primaries so they're only concerned about what republicans think about this legislation and a lot of them are going to make the calculation that this will hurt them in their primaries. i think it's got a very difficult path. >> eleanor, if this immigration reform passes, what effect will that have on president obama's long-term legacy? >> oh, i think it will be considered one of the most significant pieces of legislation to emerge thefrom capitol hill in recent years. it would be ranked up there. if you go back to the clinton and george bush era, the memorable pieces of legislation they passed as well, so it would be a significant accomplishment, but it's also needed for the country and for the republican
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party if they want to continue to be a majority party. so i think you don't really want to view it through the lens of only this president's legacy. >> now switching gears to climate change. aaron, president obama will be outlining a plan on tuesday that centers on reducing pollution from carbon emissions. the white house just released a preview. take a quick look. >> we'll need all of our citizens to do our part to preserve god's creation for future generations. our forests and waterways, crops and snow capped peaks. there's no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change, but when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can. >> now there are a lot of folks who say that passing climate change legislation is essentially a nonstarter. aaron, how do you think this is going to play out? >> well, it's difficult. so basically what the president is doing on this speech on tuesday at georgetown univers y university, he's going to outline what he can do by
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executive order. he can have the e.p.a. institute some new standards. there's a 2007 supreme court case that allows him to do that to some extent. the question is to what extent? how much of an impact can he make by having e.p.a. set a new standard? basically what's going on here, there had been some progress on cutting c o2 emissions in recent years owing in part to the recession. early this year that really reversed and we're fwno longer pace to cut c o2 emissions by 2020. he's going to make the argument given that we're no longer on this path, we need to take action. congress has failed to do so so i'm doing these things. from there it will be up to the courts and the american people to decide whether they like those changes and whether or not they're appropriate ones. >> aaron, do you think this is going to improve the president's standing with progressives? >> yeah, this is an important thing for him. last week he was in germany
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giving his speech. he's still very popular there, but among europeans and a lot of progressives in the united states, obama's inability to get things done on climate change is still a major sticking point with them. i think he's said a lot about it in his second inaugural address. this is a very important issue that they feel like he needs to get to. it's very 2ki69 with what he's trying to do on immigration. >> eleanor, your latest article is entitled "the gop's cam my kaz zis are back." recent events suggest that the gop's outreach strategy has been shelved overtaken by a wave of recent polling combined with historical trends that has republicans convinced that the path to victory lies in, drum r08 roll, doing exactly what they were doing, only more so. do you think that's a doubling down? >> it's vetoing, urging the
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deportation of dreamers, young people brought here by their parents and then the farm bill which went after food stamps, you can see this sort of turn to the right. and so you wonder what happened to all of those declarations that they were going to reach out more to women and to hispanics. and then you look at the polling and you see that obama care is more unpopular than it's ever been and you look at historical trends that the president is coming up against the six year itch election. the incumbent president generally loses seats. republicans are being told by pollsters that they have a really good opportunity to increase tharp margins, particularly in the house, maybe take the senate, if they drive home the sharp divide between republicans and democrats. i think that's what we're seeing play out on capitol hill. >> thank you, eleanor clift and
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aaron blake, thank you for your time. >> thank you, mara. high wire act. the preparations are underway for a daredevil stunt at the grand canyon and the history that's driving him. this is a live picture. [ shapiro ] at legalzoom, you can take care of virtually all your important legal matters in just minutes. protect your family... and launch your dreams. at we put the law on your side.
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and launch your dreams. did you i did. email? so what did you think of the house? well it's got a great kitchen, but did you see the school rating? oh, you're right. oh hey babe, i got to go. ok. come here sweetie, say bye to daddy. bye daddy! have a good day at school ok? ok. ...but what about when my parents visit? i just don't think there's enough room. lets keep looking. ok. i just love this one, i mean look at it... and it's next to a park i love it i love it too. what do you think of our new house? i'm most excited about the pool. me too sweetie. here's our new house... daddy!
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residents of south dakota are facing the wreckage of a severe storm. dylan dreyer is here with the forecast. good morning. >> good morning, mara. this whole storm system is hovering in the same area today in areas like the dakotas into minnesota and into parts of iowa and stretching back down to the plains states. you can see where the heavier rain is now mainly moving through eastern iowa. a closer look shows you the reds, oranges, just west of cedar rapids. that's where we're seeing our heaviest rain and flooding has been an issue.
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we have flood warnings into wisconsin and much of iowa as well. you see that area in yellow from minnesota right back into parts of colorado and into nebraska and kansas. that's when we'll be focusing our eyes on today for a chance of stronger storms that could create wind damage. hail is a possibility as well. the west coast is seeing a wetter than average stretch weather. it's normally a pretty dry time of year. from seattle down into california, that's where we're seeing heavier rain. temperatures though, it's hot. 89 degrees in chicago. 91 today in kansas city. we'll be well above 100 degrees again out in the desert southwest. mara. thanks so much, dylan. now to today's list of number ones and another top ranking for austin, texas. the capital of the lone star state is the most business friendly regions in the nation. low taxes. the survey of 8,000 small
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businesses. virginia beach, virginia, is runner up with houston ranking third. home foreclosure is still a big problem in the housing industry. foreclosed homes can be even more troubling. indianapolis is the most city with the most vacated foreclosed homes followed by jack sonville and st. louis. >> are you soft in the edge? >> hbo's "game of thrones" is so popular that it has the dubious honor of being pirated on television. each episode of "thrones" this spring was downloaded 5.2 million times. the "big bang theory" was also up there. >> i'm going to go circles around you. >> and monster university is
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welcome back to weekend with alex bit. i'm marra schiavocampo. john kerry is in india right now. he's expected to focus on climate change. he's on a trip to seven countries to asia and the middle east. crews are making progress as they fight several wildfires in colorado. a fire near east south fork is 10% contained. the fire was started by a lightening strike. the biggest and brightest moon of the year was high in the sky last night. this is what it looked like over the aid dri attic sea. it appeared 14% larger than norm normal. now to the nsa leaker story, edward snowden is on the run
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after flying from hong kong to moscow. general keith alexander spoke about snowden in a new interview this morning. >> these are two of the most important things from my perspective that helps us understand what terrorists are trying to do. and if you think about that, what snowden has revealed has caused irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our allies. >> joining me now is lawyer david lofman who served as an attorney and was previously a military analyst for the cia. thank you for being here. >> good morning. >> where do you put the chances of the u.s. actually getting snowden back on american soil? >> well, they were probably a lot worse than they were before he left hong kong. now it's unclear where mr. snowden is going. it's unclear whether he goes to a country where the u.s. has an
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extradition treaty. >> we don't know where he's going, but if you're him, which countries are the most appealing and why? >> it depends what his goal is. if his goal is to avoid extradition to the united states then going to cuba or ven fell in venezuela may be his best bet. he could go to sweden which is recently a couple of months ago denied a u.s. extradition request on the grounds that espionage was an issue and that was a political offense for which it would not extra diet the individual. >> hong kong let snowden go while they were requesting more information on the u.s. warrant. how will this affect our relationship with them going forward? >> it will complicate things in the short term. they have a robust extradition relationship where hong kong routinely extra diets defendants and money laundering, narcotics,
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other financial crimes cases. this was an extraordinary case and probably what happened is the hong kong government really decided not decide and as a political matter allowed him to leave the country without taking action on the u.s. extradition request. >> let's take a look at the charges against snowden. one count of theft of government property, two counts of espionage, one for giving national defense information to someone without clearance and one for revealing classification of security intelligence. any additional charges moving forward? >> it's quite possible he could be charged in an indictment at some point which would include additional counts, other incidents of disclosure. as recent bely as this morning it's been reported prior to leaving hong kong mr. snowden made additional disclosures so each time he does that it could result in an additional charge by the department of justice. >> if the u.s. does manage to get him back on u.s. soil, what's the game plan? >> then the department of
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justice will indict him. that will be superseded. he'll have counsel. he appears to contest any legal charges against him in the united states and go downswing. he is not the sort of quintessential defendant elite case who ultimately comes to a decision to enter a plea agreement. the challenge will be to figure out how to present be a case for trial against somebody where sensitive classified information is front and center in the case. the department of justice is going to have to get agreement and buy in the from the you intelligence community it can present and what type of information it can disclose. there will be prolonged litigation. it will be a big mess. >> it's interesting that you bring that up because i would imagine that would be applicable to other cases as well. as far as information gathered from the surveillance program is concerned, say the government stops an attack using these classified programs and then
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when the suspect is put on trial what can prosecutors say about how that evidence was gathered secretly? how do they explain that? >> well, it's a challenge. lots of times we're not building a case against the defendant but trying to develop a strategy for what we can present. there's the classified procedures information act which constitutes a playbook for how classified information is handled at trial but it's hand-to-hand combat between the defense and the prosecutors. district court judges hold hearings to get down to the minutia of what a particular document says. sometimes the government cuts its losses by foregoing prosecution altogether. >> there are many people who think what snowden did is wrong but there's another camp who thinks what he did is right. it appears given his actions
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today that he is going to try to avoid extradition, he's going to try to avoid coming back. how far is the government willing to go to get him back given the public relations crisis for the people who think he's a hero? >> i think from the obama administration's standpoint, it has no choice but to exhaust all options. it's mist at this fieg to me why they didn't ask the state department to revoke mr. snowden's passport. they could have done that unilaterally. it would have precluded him or complicated his abilities to travel and they have taken that in other cases. >> that's a very good point. we'll have to ask an official next time they're on here. thank you for your time. in about 20 minutes a report from hong kong on edward snowden's last hours there
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before he escaped to moscow. that's coming up at the top of the hour. in today's office politics, alex talks with former rnc chair michael steel who shares what it's like to have world heavy weight champ mike tyson as a brother-in-law, plus some of the legacies of president george w. bush, but first alex asks michael to explain the idea that the gop pushes tax breaks only for the rich. we're not about just giving tax breaks to the rich, we want tax breaks for everybody. i mean, that's the bottom line and certainly when your party nominee refers to 47% of the american tax paying population as, you know, tax cheats, that becomes a problem. it reinforces a negative narrative. you're concerned about the wealthy. the republican party has always believed very firmly in the idea that you should be able to keep as much of what you earn as
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possible because you know better how to save, invest, spend your money. and so the strength of any economy, whether it is in a community of 200 or a state of 2 million is all about the ability for that community of people to maximize its economic potential. >> i love that picture of you and the ven governor, the two of you working -- >> that picture for me, it's emblematic of steel. we were helping each other out. it was a tone we set in our administration of a partnership and that's always tough between a governor and lieutenant governor, particularly when you're kind of forged together, but it worked for us. >> talk about your relationship with president george w. bush and are you surprised by the fact that his popularity is
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coming back up? >> no. no, i'm not. i say that with a smile because i have deep admiration for the man and when i was running for the u.s. senate i was advised by consultants in town and others to distance yourself from the president. no. i want to bring him to maryland. come on in. i had my disagreements with the president on certain aspects of policy and certainly even the one where i had the biggest disagreement, the handling of katrina, i have always admired president bush for what he did for africa, what he did for the people of africa recognizing, yes, the aids epidemic is a crisis that we can help address, but africa's so much more than aids. it's about an economic engine that is untapped globally. and to help through u.s.a. i.d.
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and various other programs that the president's administration put in place to help generate that kind of energy. >> something i think many people would be surprised to know. mike tyson, your brother-in-law. >> yeah. >> what is that like? >> it's cool. mike tyson is -- he's a gem, i tell ya. he's one of these guys that, again, the public image of mike tyson is very different than the image i have at the thanksgiving dinner table. my conversations with mike have run from politics to economics it, you know, boxing of which he is a student, obviously. and he just -- he and my sister have known each other and had known each other a long time before they married and they were married for about five years and from that union two beautiful kids were produced and
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they're now in high school and doing very well and he's very much a part of their lives and we stay in touch whenever he's in town. >> i got a chance to interview him when he was promoting his hbo special and that series with the pigeons, right? >> yes. yes. >> i will never forget being at the "30 rock" msnbc studio and we were talking and i look to the side. it is full of people who have come. the curiosity factor about him is the greatest of anybody i've ever interviewed in that studio. what is that? >> it is the magic of mike. it is -- there's no one in boxing today who galvanizes the sport the way he still does. >> what i wouldn't give to be at the kitchen table with mike tyson and michael steel. in case you were wondering about the puppet in michael's office, it's a gift from jon stewart at the daily show, a remnant of how they did interviews and he accepted the puppet as a peace offering. a death-defying walk across
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anything wall len da nick ws no stranger to death-defying tricks. nbc's ben foghle is on the ground at the grand canyon. ben, just thinking about this, seeing that video of the grand canyon is making my stomach drop. no net? what more can you tell me about this stunt? >> hi, mara. as you say, nik wallenda is very much a walking daredevil. a seventh generation wallenda wire walker, he's constantly striving for new heights. if he completes this and survives, this could well be the zenith of his career.
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>> reporter: 34-year-old n nik wallenda isn't your average everyday sort of guy. he lives his life on a wire, a very, very high wire. >> my great-grandfather carl wallenda said life is on the wire and everything else is waiting. >> reporter: he's on a quest. >> nik's constantly thinking, bigger, greater, higher, faster. >> reporter: to accomplish a fete even beyond what his historically acrobatic family has accomplished. his latest life-letenithreateni stunt, walking across the grand cany canyon. >> it's breathtaking. it's highly dangerous. >> reporter: walk 1,400 feet, nearly the length of five
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football fields, on a two-inch wire 1500 feet up, without a safety harness, without a net. >> there's a lot of anxiety, tension. >> reporter: all while fighting against mother nature. triple digit heat, potential updrops from the wind. >> that's where the danger sets in. the winds. you can't see it. >> reporter: but that danger is all a part of the wallenda way and it can be deadly. nik's great-grandfather carl fell to his death in puerto rico at the age of 73. >> the truth is it's life or death. >> reporter: nik is okay with that. >> it's calm and relaxed for the most part. i get into a zone where i forget about everything around me. i'm in my own world. it's me and that wire and there's a goal and that goal is to make it to the other side. >> and in doing so nik will only add to his and the wallenda
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legacy. >> well, you can probably just see the finish line over the canyon there. that's about half a mile away. it's a hive of artivity. you can see the enormous drop, 1500 feet. i want to reiterate now, no safety harness, no net. until you're here and you take in the magnitude of this area, you can't really believe what nik wallenda is going to be attempting in a few hours' time. this is not a place for those who suffer verditigo. the george zimmerman case and the judge's ruling, who really benefits from it? out! energy drinks. no. hey mom! dare me to do a back-flip? no. 1, 2, 3, 4! no! it's rated for class five white water. no! whooooooo! no, no!
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we're glad that the jury will listen to the screams themselves and decide because we think common sense will rule the day and they will know just from
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the screams and the fact that they stop after the gun shot that this is trayvon screaming. >> she did a great job of analyzing the case law and more importantly applying it to the facts of this case. it was good science and it can be a very good benefit to a jury but when it becomes junk science as it would have been in this case, i'm very glad it was kept away from the jury. >> that was marc o'mara, attorney for zimmerman and natalie. they're not allowing voice expert testimony on the 911 call on the night trayvon martin was killed. witnesses are allowed to testify as to whose voice they believe was screaming in the background. joining me now for more on all of this are criminal defense attorneys. thank you both for being here. >> sure. >> before we start, let's take a listen to the 911 tape that's in question. we'll talk on the other side. >> i think they're yelling help but i don't know.
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just send someone quick please. >> okay. does he look hurt to you? >> i can't see him. i don't want to go out there. i don't know what's going on now. >> you think he's yelling help? >> yes. >> all right. what is your -- >> gunshots. >> and now, johnna, we just heard at the beginning of the segment, both attorney o'mara and natalie jackson saying they're both pleased with the judge's decision not to allow the voice expert, who does it benefit more, the defense or the prosecution? >> i think miss jackson had her game face on because this is definitely a win for the defense. the whole purpose that the state wanted to bring this into evidence was trayvon martin or couldn't have been zimmerman. if the jurors can't decide, that benefits the defense, too, because that creates reasonable doubt.
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>> and, john, zimmerman allegedly said to police he didn't think it was him screaming in the background of the 911 tape. does the defense have a harder time convincing the jury otherwise? >> i think so. i think that that comment in and of itself will hurt the defense a great deal. i'm not convinced, though, that it was a complete win for the defense. i think that the tape coming in with the possibility of cross examination by experts by the defense would have hurt the prosecution more than just having it in. so seems to me it's better for the jury to see that. i think coupled with the fact that mr. zimmerman said i don't think it's my voice, i think that is a very hurtful statement to the defense. >> johnna, i want to ask you about this jury. it's all women that are key sdeg this case. you would think stereotypically women might be more sympathetic to the victim, especially if they're mothers on the jury. how do you think this is going to play out? >> it's mazing to me that, a,
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florida allows only six people on a jury for a murder case, number one. and number two that both attorneys would allow this to be all female jury. five of those six women are mothers and they are naturally going to filter this evidence through their mom brain. you can't help it. you don't leave that at the hotel that you're sequestered in. in this case trayvon martin is going to be portrayed as he was. he was somebody's son. and if i'm the prosecution, i am hammering that home because you want five of those six women to say, wow, that could have been my kid. and i think that's going to be bad for the defense. >> john, did you want to step in on that? >> more importantly, i think they have a real problem. not only is it someone's son, the fact is, the son was not doing anything wrong. he was minding his own business. he was then profiled in a way that i think a jury would say, why do you make that kind of assumption on him when he wasn't doing anything. that goes to that particular person's mindset. if other evidence comes in that
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states that he had racial or derogatory statements, that means he stereo typed this young african-american male. you are 're speaking to the narrative brought forward by the prosecution. we don't know if george zimm zimmerman is going to go on the stand? >> that's a very, very difficult question to answer and i probably would not answer that. i think at this moment i think what's important here is once that statement comes in about him not recognizing his voice, however that comes in and the impression that that leaves might dictate that he has to testify. you have to see what kind of evidence comes in and if it looks like that he was a stalker, have you to dispel that notion. if he got out of that car and followed that kid, why did he get out of the car? even if trayvon had come to the car, why did he get out of the car? >> right. >> maybe he's got to explain
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those at somebody, the point, depending how the evidence comes in. i think if i had to say at the end of the day knowing what i know how, he probably is going to have to testify. >> all very important questions that will certainly be answered over the course of this trial. thank you for being here this afternoon. >> thank you. >> thank you. well, he had war snowden is on the move. where is he now? this is kevin. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles on every purchase every day. produce delivery. [ bjorn ] just put it on my spark card.
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over fifty-five billion dollars here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger. edward snowden on the run from hong kong to moscow around still on the move. where is he headed next? what's the reaction from the u.s. and why couldn't washington get hong kong to hand him over. plus, are more secrets still to come? word that snowden has shared more nsa material is yet to go public. hello, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." i'm mara schiavocampo. it's 1:00 in the east. 10:00 in the west. as of this hour we don't know where edward snowden is.
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we do know he handed in moscow after fleeing hong kong. that's where ian williams is with the very latest. >> reporter: hello, mara. edward snowden wanted to stay in hong kong. he flew out this morning. late morning, bound be for moscow. seemingly with the blessing of the hong kong authorities. the government in a statement said it was powerless legally to stop him. the requests from washington for a provisional arrest warrant didn't fully comply with hong kong law and had to be sent back for more information. now that has surprised many legal experts because normally these warrants are more of a
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formality. there have already been questions raised by whether the hong kong authorities have been acting in good faith or maybe they just wanted to get rid of what's potentially a very difficult and very embarrassing problem for them and for beijing if this had turned into a long and complicated extradition fight, mara. >> ian williams live in hong kong. thank you, ian. wikileaks said it's helping edward snowden. the legal director of the organization tweeted a statement earlier today saying, the wikileaks legal team and i are interested in preserving mr. snowden's rights and protecting him as a person. what's being done to mr. snowden and to mr. julian assange for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest is an assault against the people. and we have new reaction today from the director of the nsa. here's general keith alexander. >> what snowden has revealed has caused irreversible and significant damage to our
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country and to our allies. nbc's kristin welker is live at the white house. kristin, what's the reaction from what you're hearing there? >> reporter: mara, i can tell you president obama has been briefed on the situation by his national security team but there is a fair amount of consternation here at the white house. this say blow to the obama administration. yesterday the administration put out a pretty strongly worded statement urging hong kong to act quickly to extra diet snowden. that, of course, did not happen. he is now in moscow. today one senior administration official tells me that there are concerns about this from the administration, the fact that hong kong would allow this to happen. so that is how the administration is handling this. of course, behind the scenes it really only creates more tensions between the u.s. and beijing. there have been a lot of tensions due to accusations on
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diver attac cyber a being at thats on both sides. what's been interesting, mara, they're really bipartisan calls for edward snowden to come back and face justice. mike rogers earlier today on "meet the press" made that point, called on snowden to come back to the united states and face his charges as well as loretta sanchez. take a listen to what she has to say. >> clearly under the laws that the congress has city set and the supreme court under its prior ruling, he has broken the law. that's where we are. >> you would like him to be brought to justice. >> i am very worried about what else he has and what else he may put out there. i am very worried about our national security. >> reporter: david gregory asked glen greenwald where snowden is
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heading. greenwald said he was not going to divulge that information and defended the fact that snowden released this information in the first place. there have been reports that he is potentially heading to venezuela or to ecuador where he could seek asylum. legal experts say if that happens it will be very difficult for the united states to get him to come back here to face those charges. so the twists and turns continue and legally this just continues to get more complicated. mara. >> kristin welker, live from the white house. i'm joined by charlie savage who's been on the front edge of reporting on this story. charlie, we have new information that we've just received in. wikileaks is reporting that snowden is heading to ecuador. why would he want to go to ecuador? what's your reaction to this information? >> ecuador is a democracy but it's also somewhat distant from the united states government and it's shown an interest to grant
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asylum to julian assange and hold him up in their embassy in great britain. it makes sense that ecuador would be a place where he might try to head. especially since wikileaks is helping him now. we know also that the ambassador to russia from weak door was seen in the whose could you airport so these early reports that he was going to venezuela seem to be wrong and ecuador seems pretty clearly his destination at this point. >> snowden has been absorbed by this. how does that change how he's been perceived by the public? >> there are enough people around the world who are interested in bringing the information to light. a team of sophisticated people. he's not alone now in that sense. that will help him a great deal as far as whether that changes public opinion of him, i don't
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see why it would or not. he's already been in that mold of the sort of radical transparency not unlike private manning before him. >> in terms of hong kong's decision to let snowden leave the country freely despite the u.s. request not to, his latest leak claims that the nsa hacked into chinese phone records and text messages, particularly at several universities. do you think that that factored in at all in hong kong's decision not to extra diet him? >> it certainly is the case that his -- he's not -- not just this latest one but he was telling the south china morning post about nsa hacking activities in hong kong and mainly in china and that sort of made him somewhat of a celebrity in china. my colleague in hong kong is reporting that this created a situation where it was difficult for the chinese government, both hong kong and main land, to send him back to the united states because of public opinion there and that they didn't want, however, to have this diplomatic
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problem either of a protracted extradition 2350fight. they were probably quite glad to help him get out. his passport was canceled on friday. >> that is an issue that one of our guests brought up a few moments ago. you're suggesting that it was done. something we should look into. we heard from general alexander a short time ago who said this morning that the leaks have caused irreversible damage to the u.s. but glen greenwald scoffs at this. is there any real evidence of damage to our ability to gather counter terrorism intelligence? >> you have to disaggregate what he has leaked. we think all of his records are out now. some of what he has disclosed is new information, new details,
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the overseas surveillance and everyone knows that they engage in it. the prism program, for example. that's embarrassing when spying comes to light but it's not surprising. i don't think china, for example, wasn't be aware that u.s. government was trying to spy over there just as it's trying to spy over here. nevertheless, it creates a diplomatic incident when it's brought to public light. one of the revelations showed that the u.s. government was collecting logs of every american's phone calls and storing them, billions of communicatio communicatio communications, and we didn't know that. we had some hints that maybe the bush administration was playing around with meta data some years ago but it wasn't clear what had happened to that program. that revelation has come out now so the question of whether the american people will continue to support that program knowing that every time they dial the phone the government's keeping a record of that, whether their
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adversaries will no longer feel safe and will take steps to hide their communications, that's the more interesting revelation. it's still playing out. >> now you've written books about executive power, which you've called return to the imperial presidency. a lot of his critics are saying he looks a lot more like his predecessor, george bush, than he would like to believe. what's your perspective on that. so he a lot more like george w bush than he set out to be? >> i think that is one of the most interesting questions of our times as obama becomes bush, and i think the way to answer it, what does it mean to act like bush? does it mean to violate civil liberties from the perspective of a group like the ac thlu or s it mean to act unilaterally without court oversight in de defiance of the second term? by the second administration a
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lot of his counter terrorism had been normalized. congress had passed law bringing statutes into alignment with what the government was doing and so the rule of law complaints about bush's programs had drained away. the civil liberties complaints remained in place. that was the architecture that president obama inherited and we now know has continued quite robustly, even expanded in some ways. so he would argue, look, acting like bush means violating the law. i am not doing that. critics of the aclu means having an expansive security state, you are doing that. >> charlie savage, thank you so much for your perspective. >> thank you. the only known american prisoner of war in afghanistan, his parents speak at a rally. will he be part of a deal with the taliban? every parent wants the safest and healthiest products
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friends and family are holding out hope for the only known prisoner of war in afghanistan. 27-year-old birgdal was taken prisoner in 2009. his mother spoke at a rally. >> from the first moment i heard of you with a never ending, sorry, unconditional love a mother has for her child. >> bergdahl's mother says she's optimistic about her son's return after his taliban cap tore said he's doing well and offered to exchange him for prisoners at guantanamo bay. most americans feel the country's on the wrong track right now. the latest reuters ipsos poll
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says 59% say it's on the wrong path. a new op ed is making the case that there's a huge disconnect between washington, d.c., and the rest of the country. d.c. gridlock has given the political class the ability to ignore the most pressing problem, a lack of decent jobs and wages. we'll bring in emily hooil and david weigle. thank you both for being here. david, i'd like to start with you. if we can touch upon that quote from "the new york times." a lot of people are citing things like the abortion bill that the house voted on that essentially has no chance of becoming law between the senate and president obama in the white house but yet it's something that the house spent time on. do you think that the house and the senate are reflecting the country's priorities now? >> if people want to cheer up and remember that the congress does create jobs occasionally, the amendment that's supposed to
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save the immigration bill that's getting voted often in the senate in week is going to add 20,000 border agents. i think that's the first economic stimulus congress has considered passing in quite some time. that's 20,000 new jobs that are around $50,000. i'm being very cynical. that's about all congress is doing to approach anything in the ongoing economic crisis. the sequestration went into effect two months ago. we all covered it. it was supposed to be apocalyptic. it has been for certain industries. you have to dig to find stories about people being affected by it. you get a quizical look from members of congress on how they're dealing with it. with unemployment as high as it is, there's a greater emphasis on winning than there is on dealing with anything. >> emily, as we noted in that poll, a majority of the country feels we're headed in the wrong direction, but at the same time a new pew poll shows that
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president obama is holding steady at 49%. it's remained at the same level for most of the year. what do you make of that? >> the president's approval rating has had an interesting balancing effect on either side. i think that in general with the economy improving, housing prices are up, the stock market's doing well, you know, things seem to be rolling along a little bit so one would expect his approval ratings to go up, but i think that there have been factors that have had a dampening effect. the nsa scandals, the irs scandals. all of those have had a counter acting effect. you've seen the evening off and staying there. i think when it comes to the poll about, you know, the direction the country's heading in, actually, that number, i've seen that in previous polls even a little bit higher. i think it tends to go a little higher and spike up a little bit during election seasons. that's because you can't turn on your tv without someone telling you that the country's going in
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the wrong direction and very moody music and black and white footage. that's just the nature of political ads. so i think that number spikes up in political seasons. that's not quite as high as it's been in the past. >> david, you mentioned the farm bill. that was widely expected to pass. it was defeated. i want to receipeateceipt -- reu what one person said. they can't control their party. is there something going on with the house gop? >> it's not new. it's been the case that a large part of the republican congress is not controllable by the leadership. they have several times underestimated how many votes they have in opposition or had to go to the democrats to build a majority. occasionally from the fiscal cliff bill, it was like this. democrats saved that bill, a majority of republicans voted against it. i think one of the republicans
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in california is behind this effort. some of the republicans in the house are demanding that they don't have anymore votes on bills that aren't supported by a majority of republicans. it wouldn't pass and the republicans alone voted for them. that's kind of ringing around the immigration discussion right now. after this week there's much less confidence. in california this weekend nancy pelosi at a conference of liberal activists was outright mocking the republican leadership of the house for not being able to even consider passing things with the -- a bipartisan coalition of democrats, which other congresss have done or at the last minute when we have to pass a funding bill has happened before. they've created a permanent crisis mode but not the political conditions to get out of it. >> emily, we hear david mention the issue of leadership in the house. it looks like the immigration bill is going to pass the senate but then you have representative -- you have people like rand paul saying it's dead on arrival in the
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house. is there an issue with house leadership? is that at the core of the problem? >> absolutely. i think for a long time people have sort of had their eye on the senate and watched the plan develop there. i think the real choke point that folks should be worried about who want to see something pass is the house. i think that this week the demise of the farm bill in sort of a very messy way really does portend more problems on immigration, even more than we originally thought there would be. we certainly thought the house would be a problematic spot for that. i also think you saw speaker boehner this week lump immigration in with obama care and that was another moment this week i think that people realized that the house would be even a tougher climb than they had originally thought. you know, obama care obviously not a real popular law with republicans and to hear him kind of in the same breath talk about immigration reform and obama care, i think that kind of worries activists who want to
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see this passed. this will be a huge test of boehner's leadership and i think all eyes are on him right now even though the senate hasn't actually passed anything yet. >> emily, david, we'll have to leave it right there. thank you both for your time this afternoon. >> thanks so much. there's a bold prediction of boom economic times ahead for the u.s., but can we believe it? that's coming up. wait a sec! i found our colors. we've made a decision. great, let's go get you set up... you need brushes... you should check out our workshops... push your color boundaries while staying well within your budget walls. i want to paint something else. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. glidden premium interior paint starts at a new lower price at $18.94 a gallon. ♪ i'm a hard, hard worker and i'm working every day. ♪
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case yesterday when aaron hernandez's house was searched for the second time in a week. 15 to 20 investigators and police pulled up here at around 1:45 in the afternoon. they were here for three hours. there were dogs involved. they searched the back of the house, inside, and think left with a bunch of unmarked paper bags. there hasn't been an official suspect named in this case. there hasn't been a warrant issued but there has been a lot of police activity. odon lloyd's body was found on monday by a teenager who was out jogging that night. police are looking very closely at his relationship with aaron hernandez and how much time they may or may not have spent together in the days leading up to his death. mara? >> stephanie gosk, thanks, stephanie. well, edward snowden is on the run, but is he forever out of the reach of the u.s. nbc's pete williams is coming up next. more... step! [ mom ] my little girl...she loves to help out on big jobs.
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alex witt. i'm mara schiavocampo in for alex. developing now, where is edward snowden. he landed in moscow several hours ago. the ecuadorian government says they have received a request for asylum. glenn greenwald weighed in this morning on "meet the press." >> the real question is why should an american citizen who joined the u.s. military, worked for the cia, worked for the nsa, why does he feel he have to flee the united states, he stepped forward, goes to newspapers, reveals wrongdoing and lying on the part of u.s. government officials, why does he feel he has to flee? >> how did snowden get out of hopping congress and what does it mean for u.s. officials on his tail? joining me is pete williams. good afternoon. >> reporter: mara, there's considerable consternation here in washington over what's happened. here's the sequence of events as
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senior administration officials described it. they filed the charges a little over a week ago on june 14th but they say the charges were not simply dropped out of the blue on hong kong, that, in fact, before they were filed federal prosecutors and u.s. state department lawyers worked with prosecutors in hong kong to make certain that the charges conformed to the extradition treaty that the u.s. has with hong kong. once the charges were filed the u.s. asked for what's called a provisional arrest warrant which would give the police and hong kong the authority to arrest him but before they would issue the warrant, the hong kong authorities had some questions and u.s. officials say it was late this past friday, just this last friday night that the hong kong authorities came back and had additional questions. a justice department official says the u.s. was in the process of responding when hong kong notified the u.s. that it was allowing edward snowden to
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leave. so there is quite a bit of concern about this, about the fact that these charges were being, in essence, negotiated and then hong kong at the last minute decided to let him go. officials say that it seems pretty clear that politics played a role in here. they note that the official statement from the hong kong government saying that snowden had been allowed to leave and that described the charges as not fully complying with the legal requirements under hong kong law, that same statement also includes a paragraph criticizing the u.s. government for apparent hacking on hong kong computer systems, at least that's the latest information that snowden had leaked. so based on all of that it's now really no longer a legal matter, it's a diplomatic matter, between the u.s. and whatever country he ends up in and where he will ultimately seek asylum. mara? >> pete williams, live in washington.
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thanks, pete. opening statements in the second degree murder trial of george zimmerman begin at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. this after a crucial decision by the judge about screams heard on a 911 call the night trayvon martin was killed. joining me now, nbc's ron mott who has been following the case. what's the latest? >> reporter: this ruling was crucial. the judge clearly took the time in making this order. she is not going to allow them to bring audio experts into this case. now the 911 call itself can be played and ultimately the jury will decide for itself who it thinks is screaming for help. >> reporter: today as lawyers wrap up preparations for mon's opening statements in a second degree murder trial that could send george zimmerman to prison for the rest of his life. >> he's exhausted. he's stressed. >> zimmerman's lead attorney says his client is tired but more than ready to clear his name. >> even when he gets vindicated he's not going to have the life he wants back.
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he's been put upon a lot of pressures about this case, there are other things outside the facts of the case. he's never going to be able to put that behind himself. >> saturday the court ruled prosecution voice experts failed to use the right procedures and they won't be allowed to testify before the jury. >> so you think he's yelling help? >> yes. >> the state's experts don't even agree among themselves. >> reporter: off and on for more than two weeks. >> same objection, your honor. >> reporter: the two sides sparred over the science applied to the 911 recording. >> while seemingly a serious blow to prosecutors, it's possible that by avoiding days of dualing experts, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. >> reporter: the judge wrote, quote, this order does not prevent the parties from playing the tapes at trial or from calling witnesses familiar with the voice of the defendant or martin to testify regarding the identity of the person or
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persons making the scream. zimmerman has pleaded not guilty contending he shot and killed 17-year-old trayvon martin in self-defense. >> reporter: now the prosecution will be able to use the word profiled or profiling in this case. they cannot say that george zimmerman racially profiled trayvon martin though. mara. >> ron mott live in sanford, florida. thanks so much. be sure to stay with msnbc for continuing coverage of the trial with tomorrow's opening statements. when the opening bell rings tomorrow morning, wall street traders will be hoping for a much better performance than last week. when comments from the federal reserve sent stocks tumbling, but could boom time be on the horizon thanks to good old-fashioned industry? joining me is jared bernstein, former chief economist to vice president biden and a senior fellow on the center for budget and policy. thank you for being here. >> my pleasure, mara.
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>> jared morris has a column for pbs in which he argues that the u.s. is on the brink of an economic boom thanks to fuel production and heavy manufacturing. are you seeing any signs of that? >> certainly in terms of energy production, and that's a good thing. for example, for decades we've been a net importer of petroleum products, things like jet fuel and other types of petroleum. well, lately over the past couple of years we've actually become a net exporter and that, of course, helps our economy. i think the question is, and to some extent the article may be slightly overoptimistic in the following sense, this is just one sector. energy is one sector. it also mentions manufacturing. and it's not as large a sector as some other important aspects of the economy. it's good. it will help. i don't know if it's a game changer as much as he thinks it is.
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>> you could categorize the last few booms we've had as soft or speculative. there was the dotcom boom and housing speculations. >> that's a correct point that mr. morris emphasizes. if you have a boom based on, say, a housing bubble, artfully inflated asset prices, home in the -- homes in the case of 2000, stocks in the case of the dotcom bubble, that's a very different and i agree with your adjective of softer kind of underlying recovery than something based on energy and manufacturing where we're building things. in the manufacturing story, however, there's an interesting dynamic there. it's a very highly productive sector and it's getting more productive in part due to robot particulars. there might not be as many jobs as there were in past manufacturing boom times. >> so that was the good news. so now let's talk a little bit about the bad news. the economic policy institute
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just released a study that found some shocking figures about the extent of income inequality in the u.s. top 1% of earners saw their income grow by over 240% between 1979 and 2007. during the same period the middle fifth saw their income grow by just 19% and the bottom fifth had only 10.8% gain. how does something like that happen? >> well, look, i'm really glad you're bringing that into the discussion because the first part of our discussion, while i think there is some optimism there, is about what we think of aggregate growth, the growth of things in the economy, gdp growth or the economy. what this is reminding us, you can have all the growth you want but if it's not equitably distributed, then a lot of families end up falling behind even as the economy improves. it's sort of like the economy is doing well except for the people in it. how does that happen? it has a lot to do with who has bargaining power, low levels of
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unionization, it has to do with the fact that some of the jobs out there are return high levels of wages and incomes to people with the highest levels of skills. so some folks are getting less behind. it has to do with the trade deficit. so really many different kind of perpetrators on the inequality story. >> what do you do about that? how do you make sure that people who are on the lower end of the economic spectrum get some prosperity as well? >> the solution is a lot simpler than i think a lot of people think. if the unemployment rate is very, very low, something we haven't seen for a while, what you find is that employers have to bid up the wages and the compensation, kind of the benefit packages that they pay to even the lowest wage workers. we actually saw this in the second half of the 1990s. the economy wasn't all that different in terms of, say, employers' skill demands. but because the unemployment rate was so low employers were forced to in a sense share the benefits of growth with their
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work forces in ways they don't where. our key goal in terms of offsetting inequality should be to bring down that unemployment rate. >> all right. jared, thank you so much for your time this afternoon. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure, mara. hero or villain? the big three is coming up next. in parks across the country, families are coming together to play, stay active, and enjoy the outdoors. and for the last four summers, coca-cola has asked america to choose its favorite park through our coca-cola parks contest. winning parks can receive a grant of up to $100,000. part of our goal to inspire more than three million people to rediscover the joy of being active this summer. see the difference all of us can make... together.
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here's a live look at times square. in a new harris poll, about 2/3 of americans said they plan to take a trip between now and october. most of the rest of knows surveyed said that because of the economy, they're less likely to go on vacation. it's time now for the big three. today's topics are gut reaction, make or break, and this week's must reads. so without further adieu let's bring in my big three panel. deputy managing editor for politico, rachel smolken, robert
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tranum and former pennsylvania congressman democrat patrick murphy. thank you all for being here. >> happy sunday. >> yes, happy sunday to you all. robert, i want to start with you. some people are calling edward snowden a hero because they consider him a whistle-blower on information the public is entitled to. on the other hand, some say he's a leaker. some say he committed treason. what does your gut tell you? >> i think my gut tells me history will tell us what he is 5, 10, 15 years from now. let's peel this back. we are a country that's very complex. we have people out there that do not like us. we also clearly do things that may not be in the best interests of the public good in the context of are telling the american people what we do. we, in fact, have a national security agency that looks upon information that -- basically what i'm triegs to say there are a lot of people out there that want to kill us. the national security agency is out there to protect us. it seems like what this person
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did was treason, no question about it. >> former congressman murphy, we know that snowden is on the run right now. he left hong kong. hong kong let him leave freely. he is in transit through russia. supposedly he's headed to ecuador. how do you think what's happened here in the last two weeks is going to impact our relationship with them moving forward? >> well, mara, this is where you see who your real friends are. clearly this guy, snowden, is not a political prisoner. he is not a hero. this guy is a traitor. he is more benedict arnold than daniel alsburg. >> we know what camp you're in? >> absolutely. i agree. democrat/republican agreeing on msnbc. the point is this. this is who you see who your friends are. this guy is a criminal. he stole documents. he took an oath, mara, that he will protect sensitive documents. instead of protecting them, he gave them to our enemies. it looks like it may be in the
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hands of russia. i'm a guy who served in not just iraq but in congress on the intelligence committee. i've kept dry on this but this guy is a traitor. enough is enough. he is no hero. >> rachel, i want to ask you about everything that's happened with hong kong. what do you make of their behavior here with this? they seem to have punted on procedural grounds saying they didn't have enough information. they let him leave the country freely even though they knew that was the exact opposite of what the u.s. wanted them to do. what's going on here? >> it does feel like a stick in the eye of the united states here. the united states counting on hong kong to work with them. in fact, that process was underway. there were negotiations underway trying to get the language right to get him back here and then this happens. it's sunday morning surprise. really not what president obama was looking for in this situation. not just on hong kong's part, but on russia's part as well. look at the way putin is handling this and senator schumer was very angry about
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that on the sunday shows today. >> all right. so let's move on now to big developments with immigration reform. the senate is set to vote tomorrow on a border security amendment. supporters are hopeful that the whole bill could pass in the senate later on in the week but then it would go to the house where there's a gop faction that opposes it. let's take a listen to democratic senator chuck schumer today. >> i do believe that having a significant number of republicans will change the dynamic in the house. individual congress members from red districts, if they see their senator has voted for it, may decide to do the right thing. there will be huge pressure on speaker boehner not to block immigration reform because that would consign the republican party to minority status. >> robert, do you buy into that, that if they get enough republican support in the senate that the house will then follow suit? >> sort of. here's why. look, lindsey graham, republican senator from south carolina, said he's hopeful he can get 70 votes.
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i think psychologically that sends a message to the house that says, look, this is really, really relevant. it's needed. this is in our best interests politically for both parties. speaker boehner is in a little bit of a i hot see the from stil have enough muscle to at least whip at least a small minority -- or majority of republicans, at least enough democrats to get this over the top. this is not going to be an overwhelmingly on the house side. >> now, rachel, a new "usa today" poll just released said among latinos, 55% said it would help the gop in the national election if they supported for immigrants to gain legal citizenship. if it fails in the house, what does it mean for generations to come? >> it's going to be very difficult for the party nationally. that's why there's so much emphasis from the national leaders for this to pass. but it's a very different
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scenario, very different situation in the house, where many members come from districts that don't have a lot of hispanics in them. many republican members, that's what we have to show for redistricting. so they're focused on their local constituencies. there's a real tension here between the national needs of the parties and the local needs of the republican party. >> congressman murphy, we saw the farm bill defeated in the house this week. a lot of people are citing that as evidence of dysfunction in the house and it could suggest things with the immigration bill. do you think it stems from a leadership problem? >> absolutely. mara, this is an example of congress cannot get out of its own way. there is a reason why there's a 10% approval rating of congress. look at the big picture here. the chamber of commerce, the largest democratic organization, afl-cio and labor for this bill. they still are arguing and still
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can't come together. this should be a no-brainer. besides that, it doesn't cost the taxpayers a dime. in fact, it will save $1 trillion from our deficits over the first 20 years of this bill if we pass it. if they do the right thing. unless they kowtow to the far right wing of their own party and house republicans. if they do that, shame on all of them who voted against that bill. >> i would like for all of you to stay put. we have more coming up. the must-reads including a major decision by the supreme court coming up. you hurt my feelings, todd.
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we're back now with the big three for this week's must read. rachel, i start with you. what's your must read this week? >> i really enjoyed adam's spart piece in "the new york times" this morning, previewing the big week ahead in the supreme court. and looking how the court may shape the definition of equality, at least the legal definition in three areas. affirmative action, gay marriage
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and voting rights. so lots to watch this week from the court. very interesting decisions coming down. >> should be a big week indeed. robert, how about you? >> i enjoyed the story on hillary clinton, and whether or not she'll run for president in 2016. she very much is the front-runner, but she should not take anything for granted. if anyone out there thinks hillary clinton has this in the bag, i think they should look at this, because a lot of progressives are saying, look, she's got to work for it. >> congressman murphy? >> i want to give rachel a shout-out, the politico had a great piece today. it was a come to jesus moment. it was all about self-preservation. joe biden, the story is joe biden basically said, of the 45 senators that voted against criminal background checks, five had a come to jesus moment with joe biden and said, hey, we've got to figure out a way how to vote on this again. because we want to be on the
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right side of history here. it's the right thing to do. >> we will have to check all of that out. thank you all for your time. that wraps up this sunday edition of "weekends with alex witt." thanks for being here. have a great day. ave germy surf. but after one day's use, dishcloths can redeposit millions of germs. so ditch your dishcloth and switch to a fresh sheet of new bounty duratowel. look! a fresh sheet of bounty duratowel leaves this surface cleaner than a germy dishcloth, as this black light reveals. it's durable, cloth-like and it's 3 times cleaner. so ditch your dishcloth and switch to new bounty duratowel. the durable, cloth-like picker-upper.
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great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. read back the chicken's testimony, please. "buk, buk, bukka!" [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase every day. told you i'd get half. what's in your wallet? this sunday we're covering the breaking news this morning. nsa leaker edward snowden on the run now. has the government files formal charges against him. plus, our our congressional summit on the hottest issues of the president's second term. the immigration fight is coming to a head with high stakes and big leadership tests for both the president and gop. the stock market stumbles. how much volatility is ahead on the economy and what should washington do. and the debate over spying. is the country still behind the nsa's programs? or does the president need to make a public case to keep it going? with us, 14 capitol hill voices. as


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