tv Politics Nation MSNBC June 17, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
good to have you with us. >> thanks, ed. >> "politicsnation" with reverend al sharp ton starts now. good evening. >> good evening, ed. thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead -- to catch a terrorist. today, president obama announced that special forces captured the suspected ring leader of the terror attacks in benghazi. he allegedly played a pivotal role in the attacks that left four americans dead. his capture fulfills the promise that president obama made to the american people the day after the attack. >> it's important for us to send a message to the world that when americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes we will find those responsible and bring them to justice.
that's a message i said the day after it happened. regardless of how long it takes, we will find you. i want to make sure everybody around the world hears the message clearly. >> katala is now on his way back to the united states to face justice in american court of law. this is a big victory for president obama. and for the american people. but the reaction from some on the right has been -- curious. check out the anchor's reaction on fox news after a correspondent's report on the president. >> i remember him telling me at that news conference, look, it took us a long time to get bin laden. we got him. we'll get these suspects as well. they have gotten one there. >> good news there, i guess. >> good news, i guess? is he serious? today's news brought out all the conspiracy theorists.
rush limbaugh thought the arrest was a distraction from iraq. >> isn't it an amazing timely coincidence they have found a militia leader of the benghazi attack and arrested him? isn't it amazing timing? it's obvious this is a very timely headline. given how things are are falling apart in iraq. >> it's quite obvious that rush doesn't know what he's talking about. one gop senator had another distraction theory. senator james inhoff said, quote, the administration would like to say, all right, we have apprehended someone. isn't that great, to deflect the attention away from the real benghazi problem. so now benghazi is a distraction from benghazi? these right wingers stopped making sense a long time ago.
bu the president is still focused on what's important as commander in chief. >> ke continue to think about and pray for the families of those who were killed during that terrible attack. there are a loet of dangers out there, a lot of challenges and our diplomats serve with incredible courage and valor in difficult situations. they need to know this country has their back and will always go after anybody who goes after us. >> joining me now are nbc terrorism analyst evan coleman, msnbc's kristol ball and patrick murphy, the first iraq war vet to serve in congress. thank you all for being here tonight. this is a big development. patrick, what's your take on how the right wing is responding to this capture?
>> well, rev, it's the same old thing. whatever president does, good or bad, they are attacking it like it's not a good thing. the fact that rush limbaugh calls it a distraction, let's be clear. this is a great day for our country. we do not forget those who do harm to americans. we bring bad guys to justice. it may have taken ten years but barack obama through the navy seals brought bin laden to justice in ten years. it took two years to bring one of the masterminds behind benghazi and four americans killed especially our ambassador. le today is a great day. the fact that rush limbaugh calls this a distraction, you know, here is a guy -- want to talk about a distraction? here is a guy who got four defer mea defermentes from vietnam for pimples on his butt. i'm serious. that's why he got his deferments
from serving. he can't even for one day say it's a good thing for america. unbelievable >> it's almost an immediate reaction. we are talking about four americans were killed. we are talking about their families. we finally see someone being brought to justice and. crystal. it even suggested the capture was designed to help hillary clinton during a book tour. i mean, watch this. >> you have the former secretary of state who was in the middle of a really high profile book tour. i think convenient for her to shift the talking points. >> it's too neat, too cute. i want to be grateful and give the benefit of the doubt to authorities. in this case it feels too neat on the timeline.
>> talking about going from the absurd to the bizarre. i mean, is there no limit? >> they have lost their minds. whether it's the president orchestrating this or hillary clinton somehow orchestrating this. it's bizarre. >> how about a book tour? >> it doesn't make sense. there have been all kinds of conspiracy theories. it speaks to the sad fact that, a, the republican party could not even admit when something clearly good happens for the country under president obama's watch. they can't go there at all. b, they have really lost touch with substance and facts. in order to critique him, in order to be the opponents they want to be, they have to range into this realm of conspiracy theory. that's the only way to get there when something so clearly good has happened for the country.
>> let's get a sense of how serious this is. khatallah is a senior member of the terrorist group, thought to be a ringleader this the benghazi attack. what else do we know? >> this is a guy who spent most of his life in a libyan prison. he was released shortly before gadhafi lost power. since then he's been a major leader in an sar al-sharia which is sending al qaeda fighter to algeria, syria, afghanistan. all over the place. he's a serious player and there is evidence that he was on scene during the attack on benghazi. he was coordinating, allegedly, the attack. when fighters turned to him and said what should we do now, he turned to the embassy, allegedly, and said "flatten it." >> so let me get this right. here is a guy it was alleged was
on the scene giving directives that day of the attack that led to four americans being killed. and the people that want to investigate benghazi have every kind of thee ary of distraction rather than deal with the possible ringleader of what caused this horrific act. >> it goes beyond that. at one point he left the consulate. it is believed he went back to headquarters to begin planning the shelling of the cia annex. this is a guy who it is believed played a significant role in this. this is not a new chase. they have been looking for him for a year and a half. the opportunity came up and they took it. this person hates the united states. hates the u.s. government. >> they went and got him. two months ago congressman mike rogers criticized president obamaen on this. he said, "we have numerous
people that we know participated in the benghazi attacks affiliated with al qaeda that are still on the battlefield. we have the capacity to get them, but there is no planning to get them." he blamed it on, "this administration's more kinderer, gentler approach to terrorism." but today the same congressman turned around and said this about the capture. >> it's an important thing to send that message to terrorists wherever you are that the united states will not tolerate the deaths of americans, attacking americans wherever you are. we'll get you. we'll bring you to justice. those are important messages. long overdue. i'm happy for folks who put the operation together. well done. >> he was happy for the folks that put it together. they were putting it together when he was talking about the
kinder, gentler obama administration. this was being planned then, congressman. >> reverend, i serve with congressman roj arers. he's a former fbi agent and army officer. he obviously didn't get the memo that bin laden was killed and brought to justice. there was nothing kind or gentle when you send in the nieavy s.e.a.l.s. that's what happened. in this case, some of the arguments from the right, what you see, what you played earlier, it's almost un-american why you can't cheer for one of the biggest terrorists that killed four americans is beyond me and why most americans are dumbfounded by the response. >> i have to ask this, krystal. that's what this is about. senator lindsey graham doesn't
want this tuned over to the courts yet. he says, "don't torture him, but have some quality time with him." help me out here. is quality time the new version of enhanced interrogation? >> i noticed the same thing. senator ayotte had similar language about making sure we get all the information from him possible. i'm having flashbacks to debates i thought we put behind us. john mccain and others calling for him to go to guantanamo bay instead of having faith in the american criminal justice system where we have successfully tried and convicted, i think, 500 terrorists since 9/11. it is a flashback. they are bringing things up to incite the base, to ignite debates that put president obama on his heels rather than celebrating the victory that they themselves have been calling for. >> it's very interesting.
at one level they say it's a distraction. another level they want to guide how they spend quality time. what kind of interrogation. what will happen? >> the first thing that most likely happened to this individual was he was taken to libya and put on a u.s. military vessel. likely somewhere in the mediterranean. it's not hard to figure out what happened next. likely the first person to talk to him aside from maybe a doctor were military interrogators who don't have to worry about miranda rights. they are not prosecuting him. when the fbi agents take him, we have reached a phase where no more actionable intelligence has been taken. it is time to put him through the judicial process. any information they disclose, we want to enter it as evidence in court. that's after military interrogators already should have spoken to him. after we should have gotten intelligence to save american lives in the near future.
it's a red herring. it's not how it works. >> i have to leave tlit. big, big development. thank you for joining me tonight. >> thanks for joining us. >> be sure to watch krystal on "the cycle" weekdays at 3:00 p.m. easternen on msnbc. coming up, the benghazi obsession. we'll show you why a right wing panel wasn't really serious in looking for answers. plus, president obama's election -- and what's been done since that night. you will want to see a new report on voter suppression. and the mississippi senate race takes another troubling turn. we'll tell you about the kkk ties to chris mcdaniel. stay with us.
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victoria wilcher is the mississippi 3-year-old whose face was disfigured by a dog attack. during a recent visit to a kfc. an employer allegedly told her on that visit and her grandmother to leave because she was upsetting customers. her family was outraged asking on facebook, "does this face look scary to you"? almost says, no, she is a cutie. joyce says, just shows the heartless attitudes out there. praying for this baby's healing. to add your comment head to our facebook page now. tell us what you think about
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remission is possible. want an idea of how far the republican party has moved? just look at the heritage foundation. once a respected conservative think tank it's developed into a home for conspiracy theories. personal attacks on the president. that couldn't have been made clearer than at a panel held yesterday on benghazi. >> why did our leadership, our
government, president obama, our secretary of state hillary clinton at the time, sit back the night of the attack? >> if the president of the united states ordered the military to do everything in their power to respond why wasn't one rifle lifted? >> the policy of engaging, legit mating, funding, and in some cases arming jihadists under this administration. we have had people with identifiable associations, some of them quite extensive to the muslim brotherhood. >> it's like the greatest hits of a far right website. things tooken on ugly turn after a muslim american woman asked a question. >> my name is saba ahmed. i'm a law student at american university. i'm here to ask you a simple question. i know that we portray islam and
all muslims as bad. but there is 1.8 billion muslim followers of islam. we have 8 million plus muslim-americans in this country. i don't see them represented here. my question is how can we fight an ideological war with weapons? >> seems like a reasonable question. just listen to part of one panelist's response. >> when you look throughout history, when you look at all the lessons of history, most germans were peaceful. yet the nazis drove the agenda. as a result are, 60 million people died. almost 14 million in concentration camps. 6 million were jews. the peaceful majority were irrelevant. on september 11 in the united states, we had 2.3 million arab-muslims living in the united states. it took 19 hijackers, 19 radicals to bring america to its knees, destroy the world trade
center, attack the pentagon and kill almost 3,000 americans that day. the peaceful majority were irrelevant. so for all our powers of reasons and us talking about moderate and peaceful muslims, i'm glad you're here. but where are the others speaking out? since you are the only muslim representative -- [ cheers and applause ] -- and since you are the only muslim representative here, you took the limelight instead of speaking about why our government and i assume -- are you an american? you are an american citizen. so as an american citizen you sat in this room and instead of standing up and saying a question or asking something about our four americans that died and what our government is doing to correct the problem, you stood there to make a point about peaceful moderate muslims. i wish you brought ten with you to question how we can hold our government responsible. it is time we take political correctness and throw it in the garbage where it belongs and start calling a spade a spade. [ cheers and applause ]
>> bringing in nazi germany? going after a woman who asked a question because she didn't bring more muslims to the event? here is how the questioner responded. >> as a peaceful american-muslim, i would like to think i'm not that irrelevant. >> you tell me who the head of the muslim peace movement is? >> i guess that's me right now, sir. thank you. >> this panel was built as a serious event. but that's only because all these right wing panelists seemed to be interested in were cheap attacks and punch lines. joining me now is the washington post dana millbank who attended that event and wrote a column about it. heritage ugly benghazi panel. that was the name of the column. first, dana, some have said you overstated the ugly tone in the room toward the muslim
questioner. what's your response to that? >> well, certainly a lot of the folks on the far right take issue with the column, whether they were there or not. one fellow at politico said he had a different view, although he didn't attend the event. he based it on a nine-minute video clip out of the 65 minutes that were there. i think to be in the room, there is no doubt that it began as a benghazi event and devolved into this sort of muslim baiting. gradually over the entire thing. i think you had to see the shouts and taunts in the crowd to appreciate what they had done to this woman there. it's a lessen son on needing to in the room to experience that. >> one of the panelists said they weren't pursuing those responsible for the benghazi attack.
i want to play that sound. >> when we absolutely know with certainty who killed our people and who was responsible for directing attacks on the sovereign territory of our mission abroad in benghazi we bring them to justice. we don't let them go free sipping frappes with journalists in juice bars 18 and 20 plus months after the attack. >> what's your reaction to that, dana? >> in fact, he had already been captured by then as we have now learned. i guarantee you wherever he's being takenen tonight and whatever he's doing he's not sippi sipping frappes in a juice bar. >> they are referring to a "new york times" story. i believe they were sipping frappes when they were interviewing. ironically the guy that was captured -- the interview happened some time ago.
ironically it was the same guy that's now been captured. >> exactly. he's no longer on a frappe doie. it was one of the few legitimate things you could say about benghaziment why didn't we get the guy? well, now they got the guy, at least a significant part of that. urn fortunately i saw they moved beyond the facts of benghazi and what happened in 2012. it became more about the danger posed by muslims. >> some on the right have said this wasn't a heritage event. it was just in their space. on their website, they said they were cosponsoring the panel. what do you make of that? >> heritage foundation said it wasn't the sponsor. this shows why it is important to show up. i did. the program they handed out said benghazi accountability coalition and the heritage foundation invite you to a
symposium. there it is. >> that's the program handed out at the event. >> with the actual heritage logo on it. the forum i wrote about was introduced by the head of lectures for the heritage foundation. it was a heritage event. >> let's look at who these benghazi panelists were. one panelist was frank gaffney. in the past he questioned president obama's citizenship, claimed the president is a muslim. and he suggested a top aide to hillary clinton is connected to the muslim brotherhood. another panelist was bridget gabriel, the southern poverty law center has labeled gabriel part of an anti-muslim inner circle. she also claims radicals have infiltrated the cia, fbi, pentagon, and state department. these were among the panelists. >> right. if you had these people by themselves individually, they would be dismissed. people wouldn't pay attention.
but they are being assembled by the heritage foundation which was taken seriously in washington until eventually as a powerful conservative think tank. under jim demint, the former senator, it is more of an activist organization without a lot of thinking going on. >> dana mill bank, thanks for your time. >> thanks, reverend. >> coming up, we have seen the long lines and talked about voting rights under attack. today a new report shows what happened after president obama won in 2008. from homeless shelter to georgetown university. the valedictorian who beat the odds is ahead. please stay with us. so i can reach ally bank 24/7 but there are no branches?
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african-american president swept into office by the most racially diverse electorate in american history. african-americans and hispanics went to the polls in record numbers. sometimes waiting hours to exercise their right to vote. today that right is under attack. a new report on voting drives, the point home including disturbing details about what happened to voting rights since that 2008 election. here are the 11 states where african-american turnout was highest in the will lex. since then, 7 have put new voting restrictions in place. it's part of an onslaught that brought new restrictions to 22 states since 2010, nearly half the country. republican legislatures control 18 of these states. they say it's all about
preventing voter fraud. >> we have loopholes in the voting law which is frankly allow people to vote once, twice or even more. we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to make sure there isn't voter fraud. >> americans have a sacred right to vote. it's not right that it would be dilute bid a noncitizen. >> voter impersonation and inaccurate inflated voter rolls obviously is a concern. >> three governors all pushing the same myth. in north carolina in 2012, voter fraud was alleged .00174% of the time. in florida between 2000 and 2012, the rate of alleged fraud was .0005%. and out of all the votes cost in mississippi since 2000, .00006%
have led to fraud convictions. voter fraud is a flat out myth. the laws are a solution to a problem that simply does not exist. and we can't and won't let them roll back our rights. joining me now is wendy wiser of the brennan center, the lead author of that new report the state of voting in 2014. and democratic strategist jamal simmons. thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> wendy, your report found seven states where african-american turnout was highest in 2008 are rolling back voting rights. what was your analysis of why this is happening? >> we have seen start thing in 2010 a real significant move in states across the country to cut back and race is a significant factor explaining where and why it happens.
our report documented that the. there have been other studies that have shown the greater increase in u-turnout in african-americans voting the more likely a state is to pass or introduce laws cutting back on voting. our report found this as well. the higher the increase in hispanic population growth, the more likely the state is to cut back on voting. >> none of the states have a high percentage. not even 1% of societier fraud. >> nobody is for voter fraud. we have good systems in place to prevent against voter fraud. the courts are finding the laws just cut back on voting. hundreds of thousands. >> this is rough stuff. 50 states were partially or wholly covered by section 5 of the voting rights act. since the supreme court gutted the act, nine of the states have imposed new voting restrictions.
this is just one year. what's going to happen in the next year and beyond? is this fight only going to get more intense? >> well, it is going to get intense. let's be real. this is really being led by republicans and conservatives in these states trying to hold back the rising population of african-americans and latinos who are coming into the voting booth and picking people who represent their interests. instead of trying to compete for votes they decided to the try to short-term strategy of shutting votes down to keep people from being able to exercise their will in an effective way. here is the problem. 43% of people under the age of 30 aren't rigwhite. a lot of people actually believe with the same values of the larger 43%. that's a short-term strategy to lead to a long-term destruction for conservatives if they don't figure out how to compete for votes. >> interesting, wendy.
the report looked at 12 states with the highest population hispanic growth between 2000 and 2010. you alluded to that. nine of them have imposed new voting restrictions. is this a political strategy to dis enfranchise a key voting demographic? >> you know, we are less concerned about why this is happening than how it is happening and whos this is impacting. it's very clear that this is motivated by discriminatory purposes and whos it is impacting is african-americans, latinoss, young voters, older voters and veterans. they are disproportionately affected by the laws. we are seeing it in the courts as a significant factor in the push-back against these laws. >> what really bothers me, jamal, is in 2012 when they started in a lot of states, as
you know i toured the states. i watched people standing in line for hours. as i was in florida with bishop curry, in ohio and other places, watching the lines. at the same time we are preaching democracy around the world while we are standing up with bogus state laws, making people suffer to exercise their right to vote. this is outrageous to me. >> absolutely. in fact, if they want to go affair voting it would be getting a proper number of voting machine s in districts where you know there will be a large turnout on election day. instead you have very few voting machines and long license and poll workers who aren't the best trained and can't help people get through it. i remember being in states when there were stories of sheriffs sitting outside a polling place holding shotguns as african-americans were on their way in to vote, trying to scare people from going in.
there's always been an undercurrent of intimidation and restriction that kept people from exercising the franchise. >> 93-year-old rosa nel eaton faced a literacy test when she voted over half a century ago. i talked with her about her fight against north carolina's new voting laws. listen to this. >> i can't imagine that i've got to go through the same thing that i went through 80 years ago. at least 75 as a child. i started with my intention to carry through. that's why i'm out here today fighting for our rights. because it's not right the way they are treating us. and trying to just make an issue out of us. >> these stories become public
and immobilizing vote arers. >> absolutely. people are bushing back. there is a lot of anger at the new voting restrictions being put in place. we are seeing voters show up at the ballot box. not just waiting in line for five, seven hourses to vote. but voting against new voting restrictions when they are put forward at the ballot box. this is something we think will have a significant backfiring effect. courts are also pushing back. that's a silver lining here. the courts are rule aring in favor of voters here. we hope there will be more improvement before the 2014 election. >> we'll be on this. i'm going on tour around the country, particularly these state this is summer to really show this all ovr the country as we tour with civil rights groups around this country. freedom summer 2014. jamal simmons and wendy wiser, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> coming up -- mississippi
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high school is a trying time for almost any teenager. but for teens who don't have a home tole call their own, it's even more difficult. that's what makes rashi m ma mel son's story interesting. her father was killed when she was 7 months old. for years she and her family bounced apartment to apartment, state to state. for the last two years she's lived at the washington, d.c. general homeless shelter. in a single room with her mother and two brothers. it's a hard life to imagine for any child. but arashima beat the odds. she graduated first in her class from d.c.'s anacostia high school and delivered her class valedictorian's speech. >> throughout my journey here i have learned that time doesn't
wait, pity or adjust to or for anyone and life is not fair. life is not fair. despite the har sh reality you must keep striving for success through the pain, tears, and feelings of lost hope. >> that's what she did to get through four years of high school. this fall, she will finally have a place to call home when she attends georgetown university on a full scholarship. joining me now is rashim rashima melson. thank you for being here. congratulations on your graduation. >> no problem. thank you so much. >> how does it feel to have graduated first in your class? >> i feel that i set an example for everyone else. i just always know that i want to do good. regardless of where that puts me at, number one, number five, i'm just happy i did it and
graduated. >> give me a sense of what it's like living in a shelter for the past two years. it's four of you in one room. >> sometimes it's irritating. frustrating. you know. we don't have privacy so sometimes we take out anger on each other. but at the end of the day you have to put the situation together with your family and you can come together stronger than before. yeah, it's hard. but if you have faith and you knows this is not where you will be for the rest are of your life. you can do it and you can get out of it. >> wow. some of us -- i and others wonder how you managed your studying and getting your homework done living in a shelter? >> i was very dedicated. i knew it was the only way out. if i didn't do it, it wouldn't get done. i buckled down and did what i had to do. >> i know you strived to make all a's in high school. what's driving you to work so
hard? what is it that's driving you? >> number one, my family. i want to do better for them and myself. you're nothing without education or a background. you have to build a foundation to better yourself. education are is my foundation and base. >> you gave your classmates advice in your speech last week. i want to play a clip. watch this. >> i started to give up. but god gave me a sign that he wasn't putting me through it to punish me but show others how to be persistent with the goals of life. if we don't let anyone knock us off our path or deter us from our goals we can do anything we put our mind to, no matter what. resilience, perseverance, discipline, determination and dedication is the key to your success. each step we take is paved with possibilities. no go unlock the door to your future. [ cheers ] >> how have you managed to keep so positive despite the
hardships you have had to endure? >> i have learned that misery loves company. you have a conscience. when you're feeling down it's so easy to be bloomy, feel like, oh, i can't do this. it's ease stairway fall in the dark. you need to work hard, get up, stay positive. that's how i did it. i was always optimistic. i never let anything bring me down. i will fall but i will always get up and persevere. >> you're going to have to leave where you are. you will have a new home at georgetown. how hard will it be to leave your mother and your are brothers at the shelter? >> that's the thing i have been thinking about. sometimes i beat myself up over it saying, you know, i can't do nothing personally about the fact that they will be there and i'm leaving. sometimes i look at it as being selfish. if i better myself and do good i can come back and pull them up with me and other people as well. i'm bothered by it but not
worried because i know by me being great it will help them be great and set a good example for my little brother. >> tell us about your aspirations. what do you plan to study? what careers are you interested in? >> i plan to study biology. i want to go premed and become a forensic pathologist. what advice do you have for other kids and older people watching tonight that have faced a rough ride in life? >> i just say there is nothing you can't do in life. there is always a way, no matter how hard it is. the harder you work, the better the outcome would be, the better the reward would be. work for it and do your best. >> rashema, i really thank you for your time tonight. congratulations on your hard work >> thank you. coming up, the mississippi senate showdown. why is a former klan member donating hundreds to chris
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hillary's book signings. he has his own twitter account. he's even the star of a brand new ad. this squirrel sure is a tough nut the to crack. i feel like i have seen him before. i seem to remember the orange costume. oh, yes, we have. it's the acorn squirrel. he's back. the rnc used the exact same costume in 2008 to attack barack obama for a bogus acorn scandal. here's the crack-up. this is the gop in a nutshell. they are recycling costumes like they are re cycling talking points. do the republicans think we won't notice they are being nutty obsess sors? nice try. here is a new costume for you. we've gotcha.
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mississippi showdown between republican senator thad cochrane and tea party challenger chris mcdaniel just got a little weirder. first, there was the blogger arrested for sneaking into a nursing home. then a campaign staffer for mcdaniel was found locked in a courthouse. now a mississippi attorney and former ku klux klan member said he donated $800 to mcdaniel. the daily beast broke the story today reveal iing his klan past and how he represented an imperial whiz zard of the white knights of the ku klux klan who died in prison after being convicted of the murder of civil rights activist vernon dahmer. this isn't mcdaniel's only brush with neo confederates. he spoke tot a gathering of the sons of the confederate veterans.
this is why we must watch this one closely. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. home run for hillary. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in boston. let me start with hillary clinton's strong performance this evening. her big town hall interview with cnn came on the day the united states captured what president obama described as the master mind or one of the master minds of the attack on the u.s. facility in benghazi in 2012. it is clear to me, however, that secretary clinton, after a week of facing the lions of the press is impiv