Skip to main content

tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  August 5, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT

10:00 am
>> there's been an awful lot of chatter out there. chatter means conversation among terrorists about the planning that's going on. very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11. >> we are told that al qaeda militants in yemen have been experimenting with surgically implanting explosives inside a bomber's body to try and avoid airport security. >> senior intelligence officials say the plot originates in yemen where new terror tactics have the u.s. on high alert. we'll have a live report from richard engel. power brokers. senators john mccain and lindsey graham are in cairo today. can they brokary solution to the stalemate? going, going, gone. a-rod, the highest player in major league baseball history is about to face suspension but he plans to appeal the punishment as the yankees welcome him back in the lineup tonight.
10:01 am
>> he's in there, i'm going to play him. >> he's our teammate. we look forward to seeing him. >> but will baseball fans be as welcoming? >> so baseball he knows that especially on the road a-rod is going to be booed, that ss going to to be booed. it is going to be a circus tonight in chicago. good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. state department is keeping 15 diplomatic posts closed for the rest of the week and closing four more today. joining me now from washington, nbc justice correspondent pete williams and from cairo, nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel. first to you, richard, in the field. we know we're talking about
10:02 am
unspecified threats emanating from yemen and possibly targeting something in yemen but they don't know what the specific targets are. they don't know specifically the timing. what are you hearing in cairo and throughout the region? >> well, we're hearing confusing picture. we think we know a good amount about this threat. we know it is coming from yemen. we know it is coming from al qaeda and the iranian peninsula. we know that welcome and the iranian peninsula has some very dangerous, very important leaders who are tied directly to the top leadership of al qaeda central, including a man who was formerly osama bin laden's secretary. we know that there was chatter. but we don't know the most important things. exactly where, exactly when. so we've seen a blanket response in much of the muslim world and the question is how long can you keep this up. these kind of attacks, these militants, aren't going to be
10:03 am
deterred for very long. this might throw off their game. it might, according to analysts we've been speaking to, cause them to change their timing but al qaeda in the iranian peninsula has been there for several years and has been very aggressive for the last several years. >> pete williams, we know that they were increasing security on flights coming from overseas to the united states. they don't see a domestic component to this. but a lot of people are wondering, we know that osama bin laden stopped his people from using cell phones. so what kind of communications -- what kifbd ch kind of chatt eter is intercept presumably from the nsa? >> we don't know if this is on the phone, is it e-mails or some other kind of communication we aren't thinking about. i'm told part of the seriousness of this is who is saying it. partly it is what they're saying but of course the government sees this sort of chest beating, bragging every day about
10:04 am
imminent attacks. so the reason this is getting more attention is who's saying it. senior people in al qaeda in yemen. if you look at the map of the embassies that the u.s. is going to close for the rest of the week, that the state department put out yesterday, it's basically yemen and all around yemen. it's north africa, it's the middle east. so as you noted, they think the attack is either going to be in yemen or in those surrounding countries. why just those surrounding countries and not, say, somewhere in europe or somewhere else? one official i talked to today said it is an assessment of capabilities but i think a lot of this is sort of just playing the odds, if you will, about what they think the attacks are most likely. so you see this concentration of embassies closed. the state department, as you know so well, andrea, has said that some of these embassies and these countries would be closed this week for a couple of days anyway because of observations marking the end of ramadan so it
10:05 am
is not still a notal disruption but it is a very big deal. though they removed some embassies from the list that they'd initially closed on sunday, including, for example, in afghanistan, in kabul, in iraq, in baghdad. so they have -- they've sort of modified this list, removing some and adding others. >> richard, as you know from kabul and from baghdad, the reason they removed those was not that the threat is any less in those places, but that they are so well defended. almost impregnable. so those were the ones that they felt it was fairly safe to reopen. but in so many consulates and embassies, some posts throughout that world, they don't have marines, they don't have high walls. they really are relying on local nationals. we saw what the result of that was in benghazi. >> reporter: especially the consulates and some of the smaller offices. i just came back from the american embassy here in cairo and although it is right in the center of cairo, it is very
10:06 am
close to tahrir square, it has now been surrounded by very tall concrete walls, tons of concrete. they've been like that for the last year or so. so what you're seeing is these embassies and consulates where they can in the big cities at least becoming fortresses. you've been to the embassy in baghdad. it feels like a large prison complex and a lot of people i've spoken to in the state department, not just now but over the last several years, don't like that the trends that are emerging. they join the foreign selves. they want to be diplomats so that they can interact with the people and learn what's going on, not just have to invite guests through layer after layer of security so they can interview them inside the embassy walls. this is a disturbing trend, people say, in the state department where they are forced in to what feel like barracks. >> richard engel, that is
10:07 am
spot-on. pete williams, for your late information. we have i think the best person to talk to about exactly that, because joining me now is former u.s. ambassador to iraq and the current dean of the joseph korbel school of international studies and the university of denver, chris hill. you've been through it all through the sarajevo terrorism and all over the world. you know better than anyone, diplomats don't like to work behind what feels like prison guard fence. >> that's absolutely correct. obviously these are very frustrating times because clearly there is some very real threat information but they don't know when, they don't know where and they don't even know how. so they're obviously erring on the side of caution, closing down a lot of these missions which is very disruptive, of course, to any embassy's ability to sort of get out and see what's going on in the country. and i think a lot of people are concerned, too, that it shows that the u.s. is in a
10:08 am
hunkered-down position which is also not good for our sort of overall position. so these are very tough times but i can assure you, the state department didn't do this lightly. they did this on the basis of information and this was their best recourse. >> do you think that this would have been done so aggressively had had benghazi not happened almost a year ago? >> i think that's a fair question but i will say that there have been region wide embassy closures in the past. maybe not as expensive as this one. so perhaps it's influenced the situation but i will say that this kind of thing has happened before. i do think it is important for your viewers to understand, too, we live in almost unprecedented times in the arab world where there are many divisions within the arab world that are really very serious today. the arab world is very much divided over the situation in syria where you have a kind of
10:09 am
shia group against the sunni arabs. within egypt as well, it is divided the sunnis against each other. so these are very difficult times. it is not necessarily about the united states, but sometimes one group will attack the united states or attack u.s. interests as a way to show strength against other arabs within that kind of intramural struggle. so we may be seeing something along those lines. >> now we've also seen prison breaks in iraq and pakistan and libya in the last month. 2,000 prisoners. i'm told that they do not believe at the white house that this is related to the threat that -- through terror alert and threat levels that precipitated thediplomatic posts but this is concerning. >> it is concerning, certainly for the weeks and months ahead. i would agree with the mainstream view, however, that al qaeda planning tends to be
10:10 am
outside the kind of two weeks or so that these prison breaks have taken place. al qaeda planning with photo surveillance an other things tend to take very many months. so probably these prison breaks are not related to the specific threat issue. but i think as we go through the weeks and months ahead, there's much to be worried about and i'm sure the leadership in iraq in particular is very concerned where they already have very much of a tough sectarian conflict getting under way. >> how much should we be worried about this next generation of al qaeda especially the al qaeda in the iranian peninsula, leaders in yemen, where you have a country, one of those countries, that -- where the government does not really control the whole country and welcome, aqap, as it is referred to, this branch seems to be able to work unfettered. we've killed so many of their leaders with drone strikes and now, still, they manage to have these -- this brilliant bomb ma
10:11 am
maker that everyone fears and whole new generation. >> yeah. i think obviously this is going to be a long-term proposition. as we have attacked al qaeda and really set it back, there's no question that enormous gains have been made against al qaeda. but now we have to deal with al qaeda in somewhat different forms, including this kind of franchised loosely organized entity that can still do us great harm. so i think you will see the administration remain very much laser focused on this, especially with these drone strikes and i think this kind of activity is going to continue, notwithstanding secretary kerry's statement the other day that he'd like to see these things wind down. >> christopher hill, thank you very much, ambassador hill. thanks for being with us today. >> thank you. a personal note -- all of us here at nbc news lost a very special member of our extended family this weekend. john palmer. network correspondent for most of 40 years, and "today" show
10:12 am
news anchor who died saturday after a brief illness. from beirut to washington, he was a dashing and brave war correspondent covering the wars in the middle east for more than a decade until 1979 when he came here to washington to cover the white house. it was here that he met and fell in love with his future wife, nancy. then working for "nightly news" here in the d.c. bureau. over the years john covered five presidents from jimmy carter to george w. bush. he mentored me, countless others. he was always smart and funny and courtly and wise. along the way he spent seven years at the "today" show news anchor desk. this morning bryant gumbel and jane pauley returned to talk about their dear friend. >> john was a gentleman was a capital "g." he was just gracious in every respect. just a professional warm man. >> he took me aside one day after the show and he said, he he says, jane, don't take this the wrong way, but does it ever
10:13 am
amaze you that kirk douglas knows who you are? and i think a guy from kingsport, tennessee, he always pinched himself, what am i doing here? but, thank god he was. >> john was completely devoted to his wonderful family. his wife nancy, his three daughters, and his son-in-law, molly. carter also in the entertainment business and hope is a young aspiring journalist right here in our nbc news washington bureau. he was widely loved. he was aide mired by all who knew him. john palmer died at the age of 77. my insurance rates are probably gonna double. but, dad, you've got... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. with accident forgiveness, they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. [ voice of dennis ] indeed. are you in good hands? from capital one... boris earns unlimited rewards for his small business. can i get the smith contract, please?
10:14 am
thank you. that's three new paper shredders. [ boris ] put 'em on my spark card. [ garth ] boris' small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase every day. 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?
10:15 am
told you i'd get half. iand we're talkingl time with maria about the walmart low price guarantee. you got your list? let's go. if you find a lower advertised price they'll match it at the register. really... yeah, in a "jif". you ready? what?! that's the walmart low price guarantee backed by ad match. bring in receipts from your local stores and see for yourself.
10:16 am
i want to say how nice it is -- how nice it is to see
10:17 am
jerry lundegren. he's taking orders from the obama campaign on how to run his daughter's campaign. they told him to make a pitch on the internet for the women's vote and he sent a check to anthony weiner. >> let's just tell it like it is. if a doctors told senator mccobble that he had a kidney stone, he'd refuse to pass it! >> minority leader mitch mcconnell taking the stage at the traditional country fancy farm event. half debate, half fryar's host. chuck todd, chris cillizza and casey hunt, just back from covering that fancy farm
10:18 am
weekend. chuck, explain fancy farm to anyone who isn't familiar with kentucky politics. >> well, there's -- every state has their big political event. it is usually in the summer. it is usually some sort of picnic. sometimes it is a steak pry. we had a big picnic where i grew up that was done in labor day. in kentucky, fancy farm is this big political gathering where just everybody -- it is sort of a test of organization a little bit but anybody running for office either this year or even next will gather, maybe they'll do some stump speeches as you saw there. sometimes it is connected. in some states it is connected to county fairs. some it is not. in this case it's really become an event unto itself and it is one of the better known of the great sort of old-fashioned political events literal already which you'd see people standing on haystacks or actual soap boxes getting on their soap box and yammering away.
10:19 am
>> and chris sl >> and chris, how much political jeopardy is mitch mcconnell in? >> i think a significant amount. i think much of it has come in the last month. mitch mcconnell did a lot. he brought on rand paul's campaign manager. he has work very hard on the right to avoid a kfb primary challenge. and yet matt bevin -- his family makes these salvation army bells that you always hear ringing around the holidays. he's in the race. he has some amount of money. that's a problem for mcconnell. i think mitch mcconnell's going to win that primary but it forces him to spend money that he's going to need if polling is any indication.
10:20 am
lundergren, friend of the clinton family. the last name is a no-name. she's a bit of a blank slate but these are two credible people. matt bevin has money, and it is a relatively tight race with mitchcconnell. his political outlook has got an lot less sunny in the last month and a half. >> casey, you were there, you interviewed grimes. what's your impression? this would be her first foray in a nationally recognized race. >> it is pretty clear. she really held her own. this is an event as chuck was saying. there were a lot of unknowns here. there's a lot of screaming, yelling, unpredictable things can happen on the stage at fancy farm so the edibt is really -- they'll say, you might not be able to win your race at fancy
10:21 am
farm but you sure as heck can lose it. grimes didn't lose it. she acquitted herself well, held her own. the people that i spoke to afterwards were impressed generally with her. it is clear she gating guidance from the national party, giving lines about how mcconnell's chief of staff josh holmes has recently left his office to go help out the nrsc in their senate races. that's not a kentucky line. that's coming from democrats in washington. so at the very least, it shows that those democrats are really going to be -- they already are incredibly focused on this race. that really does in a lot of ways -- it is a warning flag for mitch mcconnell. >> chuck, what about the filler in situation out in san diego? another woman alleged incidents and came forth. today is supposed to be the first day of his "intensive two weeks of therapy." and just because the pictures are so wonderful. we should show that anthony weiner was out on the ecuadorian
10:22 am
day parade running down the street with an ecuadorian flag. but we can talk about filler in, if you prefer. while showing images of wiener. we can show the wiener video while you talk about filler in. what the heck? >> i'm happy that we have san diego-like weather here in washington, d.c. today with no humidity and beautiful sunny day. no, this filler in thing, the democratic party, do you sense that they thought that they could use rhetoric to pressure him to get out. he's not listening. i think you're going to have a fascinating situation here with a democratic party that's to save face has to lead the recall charge, fund it, campaign it, make it happen because it sounds like this guy isn't going to go away quietly. with anthony weiner, the democrats can at least potentially count on primary voters to prevent this from happening. with the situation with filler in, they're going to have to take action themselves. and we've heard the san diego
10:23 am
democratic chair said that they would be in favor of themselves of a recall. the party is probably going to have to spend some money and be serious about this to sort of make sure this stench doesn't make its way farther up the ladder of the party. >> in the category of politicians who won't go away, thank you very much. chuck todd, casey hunt, and chris cillizza. next we'll be talking about a-rod and the suspensions and what you've heard now from major league baseball coming up next. . you'll find reviews on home repair to healthcare, written by people just like you. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust.
10:24 am
10:25 am
humans. we are beautifully imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world. that's why liberty mutual insurance has your back, offering exclusive products like optional better car replacement, where if your car is totaled, we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. call... and ask an insurance expert about all our benefits today, like our 24/7 support and service, because at liberty mutual insurance, we believe our customers do their best out there in the world, so we do
10:26 am
everything we can to be there for them when they need us. plus, you could save hundreds when you switch, up to $423. call... today. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? ♪ now you can give yourself a kick in the rear! v8 v-fusion plus energy. natural energy from green tea plus fruits and veggies. need a little kick? ooh! could've had a v8. in the juice aisle. the associated press is now reporting that alex rodriguez is the lone holdout as 12 players accept major league baseball suspensions. the announcement is expected to come shortly. league's highest paid player is expected to make his season debut nonetheless tonight in chicago against the white sox. a-rod has vowed to appeal any suspension. mad dog radio's evan cohen joins
10:27 am
me now from new york. he have been, please explain. there's some new names added to the list. >> minor names, not names that the masses would know about. the biggest name of course is alex rodriguez. he's the only one that's going to appeal this. under the collective bargaining agreement in major league baseball, as set forth by the league and the players association, he's actually going to be allowed to play through this which is really amazing and the scene we'll have tonight in chicago where this guy facing a year-and-a-half suspension is actually going to play baseball for the new york yankees this evening. >> what about the scenario bob costas our friend was hypothesizing on earlier which is that if he does well, he's had a rough time, as you know better than anyone. but let's say he plays well and helps get the yankees to success this season. then what are they going to do with him? >> that's the ultimate question. for every yankee fan and for major league baseball fans in general. do you take a guy who you know cheated who has the right to
10:28 am
appeal the suspension, if it means you're going to win games? i think most baseball fans would take him. it is not their money that's paying alex rodriguez. if you're a yankee fan out there and he can help you win games, it is an interesting dichotomy. but i think most yankee fans, come october, if they are to win would sign up for this any day of the week. think this is a huge win for major league baseball and here's why. they suspend all of these names today, including alex rodriguez. sure, he appeals but think about the intrigue the rest of the baseball season. everyone wants to watch this guy play whereas before there were some names in major league baseball that may have appealed to some but none like alex rodriguez under these circumstances. >> evan, what do you think of the column in the "wall street journal," fay vincent, of course. what do you think of mr. vincent's comment that it should be one strike and you're out, like gambling. if you dope, you're out. >> well, it is a fas naturing one. fay vincent is a wonderful man who obviously wants to clean up
10:29 am
the game of baseball. the problem with that is that's not in the collective bargaining agreement. what all of us are so quick to blame the league -- bud selig now the commissioner -- we don't always blame the players association. the players association would nef agree to that because that means they would have to sign off on their players getting banned for life potentially an they knowingly are aware that there are many players who are probably still using p.e.d.s. not the majority but some using p.e.d.s for baseball and just figuring out the masking art ii and the drugs staying ahead of the testing. it would be a great thought, i just don't see it will ever happen. >> evan cohen from mad dog radio, a big day in baseball, and a sad one indeed. over the weekend, oprah winfrey opened up about trayvon martin giving her first comments on the case. while promoting her new movie, "the butler," she sat down with the grio's chris witherspoon
10:30 am
comparing trayvon martin to emmett till, the 14-year-old after can american young man's murder in 1955 helped fuel the civil rights movement. >> it is so easy during this time, trayvon martin, trayvon martin parallel to emmett till. let me just tell you. in my mind, same thing. but you can get stuck in that and not allow yourself to move forward and to see how far we've come. look at how far we have come. [ female announcer ] made just a little sweeter...
10:31 am
because all these whole grains aren't healthy unless you actually eat them ♪ multigrain cheerios. also available in delicious peanut butter. healthy never tasted so sweet.
10:32 am
10:33 am
a quarter million tweeters iis beare tweeting. butter. and 900 million dollars are changing hands online. that's why hp built a new kind of server. one that's 80% smaller. uses 89% less energy. and costs 77% less. it's called hp moonshot. and it's giving the internet the room it needs to grow. this&is gonna be big. hp moonshot. it's time to build a better enterprise. together. iran now officially has a new president, hassan rowhani has sghorn yesterday as the country's new president. good-bye, mahmoud ahmadinejad, known of course for his controversial comments denying the holocaust and his absolutist approach to nuclear talks. pretty much determined by the ayatollah for him. while rowhani gave the u.s. new hope for a chance for a better relationship, he was widely
10:34 am
condemned this weekend for referring to israel as a "wound" in the muslim world. the "wall street journal" is reporting today that iran could be pursuing a second path to a nuclear program via plutonium rather than uranium. ann curry is in tehran covering the important transition to a new regime. ann? >> reporter: andrea, good afternoon. the man inaugurated as iran's new president on sunday is as different from president ahmadinejad as president obama is from george w. bush. is he a moderate, promising better relations with the world and an end to social restriction especially for women. now all he's got to do is prove it. those men smiled for the cameras but president rowhani vows to change virtually everything mahmoud ahmadinejad has done. in the market it is clear much is expected of him. prices even for food are out of
10:35 am
control. that and deep up employment is devon stating for the young in a country where nearly 70% are under 30. many like miriam are disillusioned. how much do you hope for change in iran with the new president? >> nothing. >> reporter: you have no hope? >> no. >> reporter: still, they voted. and because of them, today iran has a moderate president. promising sweeping change. >> right now my people, i can see happiness. >> reporter: azita is a pharmacist. >> it is better we compromise between iran and the u.s. it is better where we compromise to have better life than having nuclear power. >> reporter: this student supports rowhani's call to end censorship of the internet saying we built the islamic republic to get out of a dictatorship. this country should be different from north korea. we are meant to have freedom. >> would you like to see
10:36 am
president rowhani and president obama meet? >> it is really good idea. yeah. connection between u.s. and iran is so natural. >> reporter: but as high as hopes are at this moment in this conservative country, the odds against real change are even higher. unlike president ahmadinejad, president rowhani did not take two weeks to nominate his cabinet. he did it immediately at his inauguration and most of his nominees are moderates. he clearly has an agenda and he's wasting no time, andrea. >> thanks to ann curry in tehran. republican senators john mccain and lindsey graham are expected to eyearrive in egypt, part of the peace brokering effort. washington post diplomatic correspondent ann geren joins me. you just got after the plane saturday midday with secretary
10:37 am
kerry who had been talking about egypt in pakistan and london and a lot of confusion about u.s. policy. bill burns, the deputy u.s. secretary of state is in cairo, extending his trip. you have fresh reporting on that. >> yes. bill burns who is john kerry's number two and a representative from the european union and envoys from the two arab states that have been most involved in this kind of intensive diplomacy over the last two days, the uae in qatar, went in to see the jailed leader who was widely considered to be a leading hand behind the president. to get in to see him they had to have the cooperation of the muslim -- excuse me, of military backed interim government which basically had to get them there and although the state
10:38 am
department hasn't been very detailed about what the message was, we know that there are a couple of messages going from this whole group to both the muslim brotherhood and to the interim government which sort of amount to everybody stand down. they don't -- no violence, please. if you're going to clear tahrir square and the rye valve demonstration, do so without bloodshed. and the subtext to that is a message to morsi that it is unlikely that he will be able to return. >> the washingt"washington post extra two interviews but one with al see sissi, you turned y back on the egyptians and now you want to turn your backs on the egyptians and we always ask the u.s. to provide advice to the former president morsi to
10:39 am
overcome his problems. this is real lay very in-your-face interview at the very time secretary kerry was being criticized by the opposition groups for being too pro military. seems as though the u.s. is either muddling the message or maybe burns is trying to straighten this all out right now. >> i think the problem is you have two sides and a pretty intractable situation right now, two sides who believe they are absolutely right. you have morsi supporters who say, this was egypt's first freely elected president and those who support the interim government, that's run now by the military, who say millions of people went to the streets to morsi. the u.s. trying to come in and mediate this process is actually a very difficult mediation process. when i was out in the streets of cairo just a couple weeks ago, you could just see no middle ground. right? morsi supporters, they want morsi back. that's a red line. the military backed interim government says no way is morsi going to get back.
10:40 am
so where do you go from there? i just think it is probably not the easiest negotiation for the u.s. at this time. >> anne, on top of this, we see pictures coming from cairo, the embassy closed and behind barricades. clearly the state department do the not like to close embassies but they really have no choice given the threat level. >> the embassy in cairo has been a target in the past. not so much of a specific terrorist attack but anti-american street protest. so there was every good reason to shutter that one. but it sends a really bad message. it is something that the state department has always resisted doing and here because of these non-specific but credible threats according to members of congress, you have 19 embassies and consulates that will remain closed for the next week. >> kelly, you know the region so well. when we talk about yemen and
10:41 am
egypt and what's happening in syria, this is a boiling pot that the administration is really afraid it is going to boil over at any moment. >> i think you have a lot of allies in the region who wish that the u.s. had a more clear policy, who wish that the u.s. was a stronger leader on this, whether or not the you u.s. intervenes, has boots on the ground in syria. that's not really the issue. i think what they feel like that's lacking especially in egypt but also in syria and other places is just a clear message, a clear policy. another thing on these embassy closings, there's been a very worrying trend in the region in the last couple weeks and that's been these prison breaks. you've seen massive prison breaks in iraq especially, also in pakistan and other places where al qaeda linked militants in what seems to be a coordinated attacks, were -- launched some very sophisticated breaks where militants were released from prison and i think this is just another worrying sign as you see iraq become much more violent, as you see syria deteriorate, that these
10:42 am
militants are gaining ground yet again. >> kelly and anne, thank you very much. welcome home, road warrior. intrepid traveler. call this a whale of a story -- 15 million years in the making. researchers have found -- believe this -- a prehistoric whale skull on the barks of the potomac river. the six-foot long skull weighs more than 1,000 pounds. it is believed to be approximately 15 million years old. bones were found when crews from the calvert marine museum excavated an area of virginia land on the grounds of the stratford hall, the birthplace of robert e. lee. the eroding riverbank has proven to be a treasure trove for fossil hunters.
10:43 am
10:44 am
to help you better understand what medicare is all about. and which aarp medicare supplement plan works best for you. with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients... plus, there are no networks, and you'll never need a referral to see a specialist. there's a range of plans to choose from, too. and they all travel with you. anywhere in the country. join the millions who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp, an organization serving the needs of people 50 and over for generations... and provided by unitedhealthcare insurance company, which has over 30 years of experience behind it. call today. remember, medicare supplement insurance helps cover some of what medicare doesn't pay -- expenses that could really add up.
10:45 am
these kinds of plans could save you up to thousands in out-of-pocket costs... you'll be able choose any doctor who accepts medicare patients. and you never need referrals. so don't wait. with all the good years ahead, look for the experience and commitment to go the distance with you. call now to request your free decision guide. this easy-to-understand guide will answer some of your questions, and help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that's right for you. the beach on your tv is much closer than it appears. seize the summer with up to 50% off hotels at travelocity. friends, i mainly want to
10:46 am
talk to you about the opening food at woodmar high school. we are indeed grateful to you for your thoughtfulness and your interest and we will never forget you. >> that moment in 1964, a student here in washington, talking to attorney general robert kennedy at the dunbar high school. it is only a hint of the role that this extraordinary school has played in african-american history for more than a century. the nation's first black public high school started in a church basement in 1870. only a few years after the end of the civil war. dunbar has played a role in educating the best and brightest of african-americans ever since. and the school's rise, its fall and its resurrection is chronicled in an extraordinary new book, "first class." allison stewart is the daughter of two dunbar high school graduates and joins me now from new york. allison, great to see you.
10:47 am
congratulations. it is an amazing book, a beautiful story and beautifully told. tell me why -- i think i know -- but why you wanted to write this history which is really the history of african-american education, at large, across the country in this first public black high school. >> yeah. i was very concerned that the history of dunbar high school was going to be lost because so many of the graduates who could tell about the old dunbar, this elite public high school where the teachers were some of the first to get ph.ds and masters's degrees and thereby taught the next two generations who became the greatest generation of african-americans. i was worried these people would get lost because they're in their 80s and 90s. i with went around the country looking for them, having them tell me their stories to bear witness to this school. i knew i was on to something when i was working leer as an anchor i wrote a letter to senator edward brook within wondered would he ever write me back. i got off the air one day, a voicemail at msnbc said i would
10:48 am
love to talk to you about dunbar. he was the first black state attorney general as well as the first popularly elected black senator. >> in addition to ed brook, hom i knew back in the day. some of the other graduates. robert weaver, the first hud secretary, first black cabinet secretary, the first balm wok with a doctoral degree was eva dikes. >> and she went to dunbar. wesley brown when he went to the naval academy he didn't have a roommate. he was hazed mercilessly. he got all kinds of demerits. he told me that there was one upper classman who kind of looked out for him, a guy from georgia by the name of jimmy carter. >> that does not surprise me at all. >> president carter said he remembered how brave wesley brown was. he was a brave man, a smart man and he really admired what he did when he was at the naval academy and he graduated with
10:49 am
honors. >> your parents both went to dunbar. your mother was from washington but your father was from new york and his parents as i read in the book, his parents moved from harlem to washington because there was a public black high school. it was, in essence, a magnet school. >> it really was. my dad grew up up in harlem. he and my grandmother moved down. my grandfather worked in the post office which was a good job for a negro at that time so he stayed in new york. so they'd come down on the weekends. the strange thing for my father, he'd gone to integrated schools up to this point. when he got to washington, he asked why am i going past that high school? they said because there he's only one academic high school for blacks in washington, d.c. so it was a magnet school. while he understood that was important and how teachers really cared about their futures and really pushed them to go to college, leer's an interesting statist statistic. in the '50s, 80% of dunbar graduates went to college. he always bristled at the idea
10:50 am
that in the capital of the united states there were segregated schools and segregated restaurants and he couldn't even go into a certain store and try on a coat. >> a very important part of the story -- and i hope i'll explore this more with ed nation and all that we do following the track of this with ed nation following the track of this book is the fall of dunbar after the riots and, you know, when it should have been at its height, it became a neighborhood school and really fell victim to all of the pathologies of the neighborhood. >> yeah, it was a very sad time. >> and now we're trying to, you and others, are trying to really lead to the rebirth. we've shown some pictures as well of the new dunbar. >> yeah, this is the one from 1977. this is the one that will be torn down. this brand new $122 million gorgeous high school is going to go up. there you see it right there. there's always been this seed of what old dunbar was, even in the hardest times. everybody realizes that is a seed that needs to be watered and encouraged to grow again.
10:51 am
i think with this new high school and with this sort of holistic approach that there's new promise for what the new dunbar can hold. >> allison stewart, what a pleasure. dpla congratulations on this achievement. "first class: the legacy of dunbar, america's first black public high school." thank you, allison. see you soon, i hope. >> thank you for your interest. i really appreciate it. >> you bet. and which political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours? i think it's all about a-rod. that's next on andrea mitchell reports. streets. [ whispering ] shhh. it's only a dream. and we have home insurance. but if we made a claim, our rate would go up... [ whispering ] shhh. you did it right. you have allstate claim rate guard so your rates won't go up just because of a claim. [ whispering ] are we still in a dream? no, you're in an allstate commercial. so get allstate home insurance with claim rate guard... [ whispering ] goodnight. there are so many people in our bedroom. [ dennis ] talk to an allstate agent... [ doorbell rings ] ...and let the good life in.
10:52 am
[ dennis ] talk to an allstate agent... [announcer] there's no hiding the beneful baked delights.from new heartfuls are made with real bacon... ...and oven-baked to crisp perfection. new heartfuls from beneful baked delights. 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. [ garth ] why settle for less? ahh, oh! [ garth ] great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. here's your wake up call. [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? [ crows ] now where's the snooze button?
10:53 am
10:54 am
and which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours? i think we're going to be talking about baseball, a-rod is apparently the only one of 12 who have been suspended for 50 game, which is the rest of the season. a-rod is going to try to take the field in chicago at 8:05 tonight. >> andrea, i predict booze in the next 24 hours. i feel strongly about this
10:55 am
prediction. i would say it's sad on a day that a number of negro league greats are going to be at the white house later today to be honored by president obama for their contributions to the civil rights era and movement. you know, we have this story, which is just sort of so unfortunate. the late, great richard ben cramer who wrote "what it takes," a wonderful book about the 1980 presidential election, was thinking about writing a book about alex rodriguez and always said there just wasn't -- he was like a lost kid. so great column in "the new york times" about that today. i recommend people read it about a-r a-rod, sort of his motivations. it's just a sad end to what we thought was going to be maybe one of the greatest baseball careers in history. >> well, i recommend that people go back and read the stuff, go see the movie "42," think about what jackie robinson went through to play baseball and then this comparison. thank you very much, chris. that does it for us on a monday
10:56 am
on this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow on the show, former ambassador thomas pickering to talk about embassy security. remember, follow the show online and on twitter. my colleague tamron hall has a look at what's next. >> hope you had a great weekend. as we continue to following the developing news, the white house is expected to give an update on the global terror threat, which has shut down u.s. embassies in the middle east and africa through the end of this week. we'll bring you live reports. also, we'll speak with nbc's richard engel live on the ground in cairo. plus, investigators now working to figure out why this driver would plow into a crowded california boardwalk as we learn more about the young woman he killed while she was on her honeymoon. and the world's first burger created entirely in a lab is revealed. well, it cost thousands of dollars, but even if you could afford it, would you try the frankenmeat?
10:57 am
it's our "news nation" gut check. constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yes! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues... with three strains of good bacteria. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. [ sneezing ] she may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec®. powerful allergy relief for adults and kids six years and older. zyrtec®. love the air.
10:58 am
(announcer) bring the adventure to their bowl with a whole world of exciting flavors. friskies. feed the senses.
10:59 am
"stubborn love" by the lumineers did you i did. email? so what did you think of the house? did you see the school ratings? oh, you're right. hey babe, i got to go. bye daddy! have a good day at school, ok? ...but what about when my parents visit? ok. i just love this one... and it's next to a park. i love it. i love it too. here's our new house... daddy! you're not just looking for a house. you're looking for a place for your life to happen. some brokerage firms are. but way too many aren't. why? because selling their funds makes them more money. which makes you wonder -- isn't that a conflict? search "proprietary mutual funds." yikes! then go to e-trade. we've got over 8,000 mutual funds, and not one of them has our name on it. we're in the business of finding the right investments for you. e-trade. less for us. more for you. the fund's prospectus contains its investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information and should be read and considered carefully before investing. for a current prospectus, visit
11:00 am
developing now on "news nation," a-rod reportedly the only one planning to appeal as he and dozens of other major league baseball stars are set to be suspended for doping. and searching for a motive. investigators try to figure out the motive behind a driver's alleged rampage on the venice beach boardwalk. plus, we're learning more about the young woman who was killed while on her honeymoon. plus, one of the most vicious, violent criminals ever to walk the streets just one of the ways prosecutors are describing mobster whitey bulger right now during closing arguments. but first, the "news nation" is following the new information on the global terror threat that is keeping more than a dozen u.s. embassies and consulates closed throughout the week. moments