tv Meet the Press MSNBC June 23, 2013 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
nesses 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. assistant democratic leader in
the senate, dick durbin of illinois. top republican on the senate homeland security committee, key conservative voice on immigration, tom coburn of oklahoma. democratic congresswoman from california, loretta sanchez. the chairman of the house intelligence committee, republican congressman mike rogers of michigan. then our political roundtable on obama's rough patch. critical reviews of his trip to the g-8. and his efforts on syria. falling approval ratings. is his second term slipping away. >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the world's longest-running television program, this is "meet the press." good sunday morning. we've got breaking news we're following this morning. nsa leaker edward snowden is on the move. he has left hong kong, boarded a commercial flight to moscow a few hours ago. final destination unknown. but he is expected to land in
moscow in just a few minutes. the hong kong government issued a defiant statement claiming the u.s. extradition request did not fully comply with hong kong law. and wikileaks posted a statement, bound for a democratic nation via safe route for the purposes of asylum. is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisers from wikileaks. that organization responsible for other high-profile leaks of classified information. all of this always the u.s. has charged snowden with espionage and theft of government property and made clear they intend for him to face justice here in the united states. many questions remain. we want to talk to the chairman of the house intelligence committee, mike rogers, who is with us exclusively this morning in just a moment. but first i want to bring in the man who actually broke the nsa surveillance story for "the guardian" newspaper. he's got additional information this morning. glen is in brazil this morning. i should point out there's a very big delay between us on the
satellite, so i want to be mindful of that. glen, as i begin this morning, tell us where snowden is, where he is ultimately headed. >> well, i think the "where he is" question is one you just answered, is he's on a commercial flight to moscow. where he's ultimately headed is unknown. every conversation i've had with him over the last three weeks, he has stressed that the key contacts for any decision he's making is was reported this morning, the obama administration is in a war against whistleblowers. and he believes it's vital that he stay out of the clutches of the u.s. government because of the record of the obama administration on people who disclose wrongdoing, that political officials are doing in the dark. he's apparently headed to a democratic country who will grant him asylum from this persecuti persecution.
>> so he does not intend to return to the united states, he
intends to fight extradition. you have been in contact with him. is there additional information he is prepared to leak to bolster his and your claim that he is actually a whistleblower, and not a criminal, responsible for espionage? >> sure. i think the key definition of whistleblower is somebody who brings to light what political officials do in the dark, that is either deceitful or illegal. in this case, there's a "new york times" article just this morning that describes that one of the revelations that he enabled that we reported is that the director of national intelligence, james clapper, went before the u.s. congress and lied outright when asked if the nsa is collecting data on millions americans. director clapper's response was, no, sir. as "the new york times" said today, even clapper had to say that that statement was absolutely false. the very first conversation i had with mr. snowden, he showed
me the folder in which he had placed the documents and labeled it
nsa lying to congress, that proved as we reported that the nsa is both collecting the phone records of millions of americans indiskr krikrim krim natally. as clapper denied. and that it exceeds the patriot act and there's a fisa court opinion that says that the u.s. government, that the nsa engaged in unconstitutional and illegal spying on american citizens. that court opinion is secret. he showed me documents discussing internally in the nsa what that court ruling is. and that should absolutely be public. >> with regard to that specific fisa opinion, isn't the case based on people that i've talked to, that the fisa opinion based on the government's request, is that they said, well, you can get this, but you can't get that? that would actually go beyond the scope of what you are allowed to do. which means that the request was
changed, or denied, which is the whole point the government makes, which is that there is actual judicial review here, and not abuse. isn't this the kind of review, and opinion that you would want to keep these programs in line? >> i don't know what government officials are whispering to you, david, but i know that the documents that i have in my possession,
and that i have read from the nsa, tell a much different story. which is that there was an 80-page opinion from the fisa court, in spying on american citizens, is a violation of both the fourth amendment and bounds of the statute. it specifically said that they are collecting bulk transmissions, multiple conversations from millions of americans, not just people that are believed to be involved in terrorist organizations, or w k working for a foreign agent. they tried to plan to accommodate that ruling. i think the real issue is, why
should we have to guess? how can we have a democracy in which a secret court rules that what the government is doing in spying on us is a violation of the constitution and the law and yet we sit here and don't know what that ruling is, because it's all been concealed and secret? i think we need to have transparency and disclosure. that's why mr. snowden stepped forward so
we could have that. >> there are reports he is ultimately headed to venezuela. is that your understanding? >> i don't -- i'm not going to talk about where he's headed or what his plans are. i think it's up in the air. he's my source for these stories, so i'm not going to talk about where i think he's going. >> that would meet the criteria for what he's outling, what you've outlined this morning in where he would like to be. >> well, venezuela has a democratically elected government, but has lots of problems in its political system.
i think 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 like he has to flee the united states only because he steps forward and reports on wrongdoing on the part of government officials, why does he have to flee? the mcclatchy article this morning says the obama administration has been aggressive and vindictive in how it punishes and treetats whistleblowers. >> you are a columnist, you're also a lawyer. you do not dispute edward snowden has broken the law,
do you? >> no, i think he's very clear about the fact that he did it because his conscience compelled him to do so, just like daniel elseberg did 50 years ago, and admits that he broke the law. the question, though, is how can he be charged with espionage?
he didn't work for a foreign government. he could have sold this information for millions of dollars and enrich himself. he did not do that either. he
stepped forward and learned of wrongdoing and exposed it so we could have a democratic debate about this spying system. do we really want to put people like that in prison for life when what they're doing is what our political officials are doing in the dark. >> final question for you. but i'd like you to hang around. i want to get pete williams in here as well. to the extent that you have aided and abetted snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn't you be charged with a crime? >> i think it's pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. the assumption in your question, david, is completely without evidence. the idea that i've aided and abetted him in any way.
the scandal that arose in washington before our stories began is about the fact that the obama administration is trying to criminalize journalism by going through the phone records of a.p. reporters, and co-conspirators in felonies in working with sources, that means every journalist in the united states who works with their sources, receives classified information is a criminal. it's precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the united
states. that's why the new yorker's day mayor said investigative reporting has come to a standstill, her word, as a result of the theories you just referenced. >> the question of who is a journalist may be up to debate. anybody who's watching this understands i was asking a question, that question has been raised by lawmakers as well. i'm not embracing anything. but obviously i take your point. i want to bring in pete williams, i appreciate you dealing with the delay as well. pete, can you just bring me up
to speed on where the justice department is on this? what is it they are prepared to do now that snowden has done what he's done? >> the request for extradition will follow wherever he ends up. what i'm told is, first of all, we know the charges were filed under seal a week ago, in the eastern district of virginia, right across the river from washington. and the chinese, the hong kong government was informed of that. the u.s. sought the next step, which is an arrest warrant. after he was arrested the extradition process would start. administration officials say the hong kong officials came back to the u.s. just this past friday night with additional questions, that the u.s. was in the process of responding when the hong kong authorities notified the u.s. that they decided to let him go. now, in their statement, the hong kong government says that the charges the sufficient filed, quote, did not fully comply with the legal requirements under hong kong law. i think it's fair to say that the u.s. is upset about this, because it's the
administration's claim that the filing of the charges was a back-and-forth with the hong kong authorities, that they wanted to make sure that they would conform to the treaty, the extradition treaty the u.s. has, and that they'd received assurances that it would. this is quite a surprise, i think it's fair to say, to the administration. but david, from now on, this is a diplomatic issue, not a legal one. it's quite obvious he intends to seek asylum and that's where this process goes next. >> what are the lengths to which the administration may be prepared to go? i'm not asking you to speculate, but what are going to be some of the menu of choices they're going to have to be discussing? >> the only ones i know are the diplomatic and legal ones. whether there are more exotic ones, to sort of grab him and bring him back, i wouldn't know. and of course, they wouldn't say. that would obviously be very controversial. although i'm sure there are many members of congress who would agree and others would think it was the wrong thing to do. but as far as i know, this is strictly a legal and diplomatic
quote quote quote
one. i suppose if that was going to be the course, the u.s. had the chance to do that when he was in hong kong and chose not to. >> all right. pete, thank you so much. one last question for glen. i would like you, if you would, to respond to your critics, who as you know have made a case against you, against snowden saying, look, this
is not the case of a courageous whistleblower working through the system to report something that you may think is abuse. this is a partisan who is single-handedly deciding to expose programs that there is both support for, and in doing so, illegally. this is more of an agenda, and frankly, there's a lot of concern that one person would take it upon himself to undermine a program that a lot of people believe is actually helpful to national security. >> right. this is what u.s. government -- the claim that you just referenced has been saying for
decades. they said the same thing to daniel elseberg and whoever leaked the bush nsa eavesdropping program to "the new york times" in 2005, or told dana priest about the black sites. this is how the government always tries to protect themselves from transparency is by accusing those who bring it, of endangering national security. there's been nothing revealed that has been remotely endangering of national security. the only thing people have learned anything is the american people who have learned the spying apparatus is directed at them. but it isn't edward snowden making the decisions about what is published. he didn't upload the documents to the internet or pass them to adversary governments which is what he could have done, had his motive to harm the united states. he came to two newspapers, "the guardian" and "washington post" and said, i want you to be extremely careful about what it is that you publish and what it is that you don't publish. only publish what americans should know, but don't harm national security. we have withheld the majority of
and when you look at it, every one of those nations is hostile to the united states. i mean, if he could go to north korea and iran, he could round out his government oppression tour by snowden. so you think about what he says he wants and what his actions are, it defies logic. he has taken information that does not belong to him. it belongs to the
people of the united states. he has jeopardized our national security. i disagree with the reporter. clearly, the bad guys have already changed their way. remember, these were counterterrorism programs essentially, and we have seen that bad guys overseas, terrorists who are committing and plotting attacks on the united states and our allies have changed the way they operate. we've already seen that. to say that that is not harmful to the national security of the united states, or our safety, is just dead wrong. >> glenn greenwald mentioned he doesn't have the opinion, but got documents supporting it,
essentially saying that the government overreached, went beyond its authority, and in fact he says can establish illegality as opposed to what i suggested to him which was it was a judicial review and a change was made. what do you say? >> this is obviously why the program works. there is judicial review and judicial pushback, rightfully so. this is the problem of having a thousand-piece puzzle and deciding now you're an expert on what that picture looks like with just a few pieces. they're getting it wrong and it's dangerous. what happened was, the court looked at it and said, because of a technical difficulty, you're collecting more information than you're allowed to collect. you have to fix it. they came back, they stopped collection, they went back, reviewed it, figured out how to correct that. that's exactly the kind of thing you want to do. by the way, it was reported to congress as well. we agreed they had overcollected. and we also agreed the mitigation, the way that they use technology to make sure they
weren't collecting certain bits of information was adhered to. that's the way you want a classified system to work when you're not trying to tell the bad guys how we do things. >> before i bring everybody else in, what lengths should this administration go to track snowden down? the diplomatic route as pete williams reported on could be very difficult if he ends up in venezuela. you're chairman of the house intelligence committee. what should this administration do? >> they should
use every legal avenue we have to bring him back to the united states. and listen, if he believes that he's doing something good -- by the way, he went outside all of the whistleblower avenues available to anyone in this government, including people who have classified information. we get two or three visits from whistleblowers every single week in the committee. and we investigate every one thoroughly. he didn't choose that route. if he really believes he did something good, he should come back and face the consequences of his actions. >> do you think he's gone? not to return? >> i'm not sure i would say gone forever. i do think we'll continue with
extradition activities wherever he ends up. and we should continue to find ways to return him to the united states, and get the united states' public's information back. >> let me bring in senator durbin. this is obviously reported widely this morning. wikileaks reporting he just landed in moscow. so he's gone from hong kong. and on his way potentially to venezuela, perhaps somewhere else. specifically, glenn greenwald said this administration is criminalizing release of information that could contribute to a healthy debate about this kind of surveillance, and that snowden is not guilty of espionage. >> well, listen, every president, of both political parties, the first responsibility is to keep america safe, period. but to do it within the confines of the constitution. that's exactly the de pate we're engaged in now. i've offered amendments. in the judiciary committee and
on the floor. i believe it should be restricted. i don't think currently it is serving our nation because it goes way too far. if there's a suspect in the city of washington with some linkage to a terrorist, will we collect the phone records of everyone who makes a phone call in area code 202 for five years? if there's a reasonable and specific suspicion, we should go after those who are thought to be complicit in any act that would jeopardize america. having said that, though, this administration has an awesome responsibility to keep us safe. and when it comes to classified information, has to take care that we don't jeopardize the lives of americans, our troops, our allies and friends around the world by releasing these sorts of things in a public fashion. >> senator tom coburn, you're following events this morning. how important is it at this juncture to get edward snowden back to the united states so that he can face justice? because what's clear is that he's not only seeking to avoid
that, but that he plans to stay in hiding and continue to leak fear to bolster his own case for being a whistleblower and not a criminal, and to continue to try to press the debate here on this issue. >> well, i don't know that we're going to have a lot to influence that, david. i think the more important thing is, what is nsa, how well is it looked at, it's the most oversighted program in the federal government. i'm known as a pretty good critic of most of the programs of the federal government. i believe that this is a well-run, within the constitutional framework of its guidelines, and that we in fact, if we could talk about everything, which we can't, which is one of the problems with this, americans would be pretty well satisfied. the other thing that i think is
that if you look at the institutions that are trusted in this country, and we have a real wane of confidence in the institution of government, when you look at the scale, congress is on the bottom. and the u.s. army's on the top. and our military has done a great job running this program within the confines of the program as it was set out in congress. and also, just to counter what senator durbin said, we don't listen to anybody's phone calls. we don't go and monitor the phone calls until we have a connection with a terrorist. and that's the key point with which you can even go to access this. so it's a whole different story than what has been blown out of proportion, of what actually happens. >> congressman, you heard glenn greenwald saying this morning that's not as targeted as you may think, that the government is in event sucking up
information from e-mails and from phone calls that goes way, way beyond the patriot act. there have been republicans who have said this. that it goes beyond the patriot act. how concerned are you? >> as you know, i have not voted in favor of any patriot act or any of the fisa amendments, or anything else that goes with it. particularly because i have been concerned in this area. the supreme court has been pretty strict about the fourth amendment. they've let
it err on the sense of national security. it's the congress, actually, who can rein it in, but it's the congress that's allowed it to be much broader and allow collection to happen. my biggest point is not everybody in the congress is given access to what is really happening. and so when our american public says, hey, we don't know about this, and why are you doing this, maybe we can't tell everybody in our nation, but you would think 435 members of the
knowledge of snowden's flight, and his travel plans. what are the ramifications of that, if it's true? >> you know, it wouldn't surprise me. i don't have information to that effect, but it wouldn't surprise me. putin has been playing a thorn in the world side of syria. we think they may not be playing honest with the adherence to the nuclear treaty. they're aggressive trying to gain their influence around the world, modernized their nuclear fleelt. russia wants to get back on the world stage and i don't think they really care if they do it in the way that's in the best interests of good citizenship around the world. this shouldn't surprise us. they have a very aggressive intelligence operation in the united states. i'm sure they would love to have a little bit of coffee and a few conversations with mr. snowden. that's why this is so serious and we need to be so aggressive about making sure people understand the difference between somebody who betrays their country and gives secrets away that will protect american lives at the expense for whatever he hopes to gain, in
the company of the russians, in the company of the chinese intelligence services, in the company of what you can only imagine is cuban and venezuelan intelligence services. >> senator durbin, howard dean, a progressive, who ran for president, of course, at a time when there were progressives meeting out west this weekend, he said something on thursday that i want to show and get your reaction to. this is about what the president ought to do. he said, i think the american people ought to give us privacy -- give up privacy in exchange for safety. but i think the president essentially has to ask our permission. we are governed with the consent of the governed. i think the american people support the president but he has to go on television and tell why he thinks we need it and what it has accomplished. do you think the president needs to do more now to keep americans on board with what we're doing? >> well, the president's already started that. he had the first meeting with the civil liberties oversight board, which has that specific responsibility within the
federal government. there should be more activity. more statements by the president. and engage the public. to go back to senator coburn's point, i never said they had access to the conversations, only to the phone records. but it's still a significant piece of information about each of us. david, we live in a world where people are tweeting every random thought that comes into their head and going to facebook every night and disclosing things about their personal lives. we are sacrificing, giving up voluntarily our privacy, the public sector and private sector gathering information, which could limit our privacy. it's time for a national conversation. where should we draw these lines. >> i want to switch gears now. i've got a couple of minutes left. i appreciate you all bearing with me, the fact that this breaking news has come up. senator coburn, let me get your views on immigration as we're heading toward a vote. as the senate is moving on this, the house will take it up. what do you think in the end we're going to end up with, if anything, on immigration reform? >> well, my hope would be that
we have a cogent border security plan, that we solve the difficulty of those living in the shadows, that they can come out. and that we don't ask the american people to trust us, but we actually put out a cogent plan that actually solves the problem. border with walls, but also with doors. much like reagan had espoused. and a way to where we continue this grand experiment where we have the mix of everybody coming here to better their families, better our country, and secure and enhance both their freedom and ours. >> congresswoman, is whatever's being debated on terms of border security in the senate, is it enough to affect what's going to happen in the house? did you look at the experience of the farm bill here? are you going to be able to overcome conservative of reform and passage to citizenship? >> that's really speaker boehner's job to get his votes out of his conference.
but i believe if you're going to look at $30 billion more into border security, i mean, that's now been put aside. this whole issue of border security, because we'll have the money to do that. the whole issue that it's an economic drain, we just found out this week it's about $900 billion in the positive. so i believe from three standpoints, we need to get this done. and now is the time. we need to get it done from a homeland security perspective, we need to get it done because it's about are for our economy, and it's about traditional american family values. keeping our families together. these are families that are deacons in our church, pta moms, little league coaches. they are part of our american fabric already. >> we're going to leave it there. again, i appreciate -- other topics i wanted to cover, including the economy and immigration, but we ran out of time. especially with the snowden news. senators, thank you both. senator, and congresswoman, thank you. we're going to come back with our "political roundtable."
it's been a rough ride for the president of late. he's had these controversies surrounding the irs and obviously the nsa surveillance stories, just to name a few. we're only five months past the inauguration. is his second term starting to slip away? we'll talk about the politics with our round table. robert gibbs, republican strategist mike murphy, and kasim reed, and carly fiorina, and chuck todd here as well. ♪
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join me robert gibbs. republican strategist, mike murphy. the democratic mayor of atlanta, kasim reed. former chair and ceo of hewlett-packard, carly fiorina. and our nbc political correspondent, chuck todd. welcome to all of you. chuck, this is somewhat of an embarrassment and concern for this administration that thought it had an extradition agreement worked out. >> when you hear about pete with this back-and-forth with hong kong, it's clearly the -- the u.s. government is going to have to figure out what is the fallout over that. and let's not pretend, the minute that help's in moscow, he's not coming back anytime soon. the ability to get that done, i saw it firsthand, this relationship between the united states and russia, specifically between president obama and president putin, it's cheap to say it's cold war-like, but it
is cold. it is a relationship that's chilly. to think that moscow is going to be cooperative with the united states, it's not going to happen. putin always looks for little ways that he can stick a thumb in the u.s. government's eyes, in obama's eyes. this is a way to do it. >> robert gibbs, you've seen this when you were inside the white house. not a lot of great options. if you have an individual going to a place that will be difficult to get him from, and working with journalists like glenn greenwald and others to put out information that will continue to shed light on these programs and push the debate. >> there's no question these are a lot of bad options. as chuck said, i don't think landing in havana or caracas will increase our likelihood that mr. snowden will be flying on a government plane back to the united states anytime soon. i think to build off of what senator durbin said, i think it is incumbent upon this administration, this white house to have a more robust
conversation about these programs. i don't know that this is a huge debate taking place outside of the beltway, but it is obviously one this morning that's raging inside the beltway. a greater discussion, as much as you can about transparency, and about what these programs are, and what they aren't, i will say, you listen to a the lo of the coverage and you would think we had literally millions and millions of fbi agents listening to every single call that every single american is making, that's simply not true. i think having a discussion actively with the american people is an important thing to do. >> part of the tactics of this and part
of the debate is, frankly, around journalism. glenn greenwald referenced it about whether he should or will face charges. i want to acknowledge there is a debate on twitter that goes on online about this, even as we're speaking. here's what greenwald has treated after this morning. who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have david gregory to do it.
he claims to be a journalist, raising questions, which is not actually embracing any particular point of view. that's part of the tactics of the debate when lawmakers have questioned him, there's a question about his role in this, the guardian's role in all of this. it is actually part of the debate rather than going after the questioner. he could take on the issues and he had an opportunity to do that here
on "meet the press." what is journalism, mike murphy, and what is appropriate is actually part of this debate. >> absolutely. the great irony is the so-called whistleblower can only go to almost rogue nations to hide. because if it was a rule of law, he would get extradited. it's a bad sign for hong kong that has built an image of having its own independence. that's up in smoke today. that's going to have repercussions i think with the chinese. he may wind up on the run in caracas, but he is clearly a fugitive and he will not have a good life now.
>> kasim reed, you heard it from glenn this morning, hearing it from edward snowden. they want to keep a debate alive to get people focused on what is not just controversial, but actual abuse. >> here's where we are. what we know is we have a president that wants to have a path for law-abiding citizens to be removed from this process. and listen to all of these members of congress, put a bill on the floor. all of the chatter and debate we've been listening to can be addressed by putting a bill on the floor. the reason people won't put a bill on the floor because with that bill would come responsibility. the fact of the matter is, both presidents, bush and obama, have done a pretty significant job, strong job of keeping this country safe. if you're a house member, a senator that puts a bill on the floor to address these i, you know what? you're going to own it. and if you think of how the
country felt on the day of the boston bombings, that horrific incident, amplify that by 25 or 50, which are the number of terrorist incidents we have been able to interrupt because of these kind of programs. so they need to be reined in, but these folks that are making all these commentaries from the cheap seats should put a bill on the floor. >> carly fiorina, i think it is important, because what congress has failed to do is have the guts to have a debate. if you want to debate these things, then don't pass the patriot act in perpetuity. don't give the president the authority to wage a military campaign without coming back to say, hey, maybe we ought to do this. they made the point that these programs cannot operate in the dark. they have to be politically sustainable. here's what he said last week that i thought was interesting. we'll show it to you. >> i think it's living in this kind of a democracy, we're going to have to be a little bit less effective in order to be a little bit more transparent to
get to do anything to defend the american people. >> your thoughts? >> mike hayden was a great nsa leader and he's a great friend, and i agree with both him and the mayor. i think there is a moment of opportunity here. when we get past the specific of edward snowden, there's a moment of bipartisan opportunity to step back and say, how is it that we should be holding these vast complicated agencies accountable? i actually think the irs and the nsa scandal have something in common. whatever you think, you don't need to think the president politically motivated the irs and you don't need to be against the nsa program to raise the profound question to say, when you have these vast bureaucracies, how does congress meet its oversight responsibility, how do the american people come to trust government again, knowing that big bureaucracies actually are held in check somehow, and we have a way of determining that the people who work in them are
not abusing power, but are competent and ethical? that's an important debate to have. >> chuck todd, your comment on this. the glenn greenwald issue and the debate under way this morning. >> there is a culture of transparency. we live with it now. social media. there is this expectation, certainly with a certain generation, that we should know more. the government has been slow, government institutions have been slow to respond to that. i think this ehave to -- when the country changes culturally, government should respond to the cultural change in the country, and when it comes to transparency and when it comes to what the government's doing, how much information we as a governed people expect to have, we expect to have more information. not less. we expect this. so i think that's a case where the president in particular, but congress also, has failed to sort of respond to the country culturally. this issue of journalism and whistleblowers, i'm hesitant -- on one hand i do think that the justice department was overbearing on what they did with a number of these folks.
what they did with the associated press and snowden. and i've had people who are uncomfortable having phone conversations now. with different sources. even on the smallest of levels. in that respect, i understand the skittishness on the other hand. on the other hand, you know, glenn greenwald, you know, how much was he involved in the -- it's one thing as a source, but what was his role -- did he have a role beyond simply being a receiver of this information? and is he going to have to answer those questions? you know, there is a point of law, he's a lawyer, he attacked the premise of your question, he didn't answer it. >> two big points in this. it's never been easier in human history to be a whistleblower than now. but i think the other point people have to -- >> i disagree, the path within government stinks. >> we disagree on that one. the digital world has changed everything. the internet's an incredibly
effective tool for terrorists and outlaws. it's not surprising the security side of the state compete with that. the miracle of being able to send your cat's photo around the world in a nano second changes everything. the government's struggling with how not to let that be a free channel for bad people to use as a tool. and on the other hand, not be ubiquitous in chattering privacy. it's a con pli indicated debate. >> one of the things is the readers in washington. the leader of the government, the president, is finding his voice on this. he has spoken, but rather cryptically, about the utility of these programs, and his view about it. is that a problem? >> one, it is hard to talk about these programs without being in some ways cryptic. >> sure. >> as you heard, michael hayden talked about it, the more transparency that we give, and we do need to give a necessary amounts in order to sustain these programs, but you have to
be careful as to not just talk about what mike talked about which is give terrorists basically a playbook of how we're monitoring their communications. but i think it is important to have this debate. we do have to have something that, in the end, comes out of this, that is politically sustainable. and you saw it beginning this week with the current head of the nsa talking about the plots that have been disrupted. i do think, again, an honest conversation about what is, and what isn't being collected, so that, like i said, i don't turn on the tv and i hear people talk about hit rally, there must be millions and millions of fbi agents listening to every single phone call in this country. not only is that not true -- >> irresponsible -- >> but not only is that not happening, it's incapable of happening. >> i do think one of the reasons it's important to step back and kind of begin to talk about some of these profound questions, distrust is created when people
can't square the circle. so on the one hand, you hear people say, oh, we've disrupted 50 terrorist plots. and on the other hand, boston happens. we were warned about this person twice. and yet somehow that occurred. and we know that terrorists get on the internet all the time and get a how-to book to do all kinds of things. so i think people are having trouble reconciling what appears to be a lot of oversight with something like boston. and in the end, as we all know, it's human nature, if you don't know something, you assume the worst. the american people have woken up to the fact that they don't know a whole lot about what government is involved in. >> let me do this. >> they killed and wounded many. >> absolutely. but over a ten-year period? i would take the hand that the united states has had in the diligence that law enforcement has displayed since 9/11, and it is essential to americans that when something terrible like
that happens, those individuals be brought to justice. and all of these measures were necessary as it relates to -- >> i've got to go to break. i want to come back with our round table, talk about the immigration fight. and paula deen, her apology, what it means for her future after using racist language. we're back right oof this. for f. he received a $150 rebate from his health insurance company. and next year, she can expand her small business, thanks to tax credits that cover up to half of her workers' health insurance. better coverage and lower costs. that's what obamacare means for them. get all the facts at: barackobama.com/healthcare
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snowden is on it, being greeted for people by the flight, and journalists. this will be an evolving story about snowden's arrival in moscow. it will get a lot of attention as we move forward. the other question that's going to be getting a lot of attention is what's happening on capitol hill this week over immigration. and whether in fact reform is really at hand and what we end up in the end. >> i've been one of these people who say, don't pay attention to all the chatter, immigration could get killed in the house. once the senate gets 70-plus voets votes, it will move its way. and watching speaker boehner bring a bill to the floor that they thought they had the votes for and then couldn't do it. and it goes to this point you were bringing up with robert, i saw the president oversee, really unable to do much on syria, there isn't this sense of urgency, how do you get russia to move off of its support of assad, sort of this stalemate going there.
inability to use the platform as leader of the free world there. watching the speaker of the house totally not being able to lead. it makes you wonder, how does immigration get through. the senate's working. it's a lonely, tiny little body that seems to be working with some sort of diligence here. i still think it will get 70, 75 votes. i'm no longer a believer it will get through the house. >> lindsey graham last week said it is a death spiral for the gop if they don't get reform done. but there are a lot of people in the house willing to take him on on that. >> i've been a fanatic on this issue for a long time. i'm a huge supporter in support of immigration reform. it's an expensive political maneuver to try to get it through the conservative wing in the house. it's dicey. i'm tired of watching democratic inaugurations in washington, but it could very well fail. >> leaving aside the iron why i to get cob serve tifs to support immigration reform, we should
double the size of a government bureaucracy in the border patrol. but i do think one of the things that mike and many republicans that are supportive of this are going to have to face is the reality of, if this dies in the house, with this huge amount of border security in it, they're going to have really tough conversations with latinos and hispanics about what this party stands for, do they really want people to -- >> i just want to get mayor reed in on something with paula deen. again, an abrupt switching of gears, but a big story this week. paula deen, the food channel's been apologizing for using the "n" word in the past. really a debacle here. from your home state, what do you make of it? >> well, one, i want to remind folks if the president hadn't been reelected, we wouldn't be having a debate about immigration. so i don't think he's been neutered. but regarding paula deen, i think it's very unfortunate. she basically said she used
language from her childhood and growing up in the past. but we all have to change. i think folks are going to be hearing what she has to say over the next few weeks. i think she has apologized. she's going to continue do that. but it is totally unacceptable and unfortunate. >> we'll come back in just a moment. so now i can help make this a great block party. ♪ [ male announcer ] advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. ask your doctor
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that is all for today. i want to thank everybody very much. watch this week's press pass conversation with jeffrey sachs on his new book, to move the world, about john f. kennedy's push for peace with the soviet union during the last year of his presidency. that is on our blog, "meet the press" nbc.com. we'll be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
good sunday afternoon. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc. here's what's happening right now. i'm not going to talk about where he's headed, or what his plans are. i think it's up in the air. i'm not actually where he's headed. he's my source for these stories so i'm not going to talk about where i think he's going. >> leaker on the run. edward snowden, the man who released details about top-secret surveillance programs flees hong kong. where he is this afternoon, how he got there, and how the united states plans to get him back. also, blockbuster week. we're expecting major supreme court rulings on gay marriage, education, and voting rights. also ahead