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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  November 24, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PST

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>> breaking news from washington. chuck hagel, the republican senator of the obama administration fighting to get confirmed is out as head of the pentagon. the so-called resignation with the white house pressuring him out. the chief pentagon correspondent. the drama here and also msnbc analyst jack jacobs joining us. a fellow of vietnam veteran. mick, first to you. obviously difficulties with the white house and working with the nsc and a lot of conflict. the resignation. why now? >> as you suggested, some officials here at the pentagon. they had the meetings over several weeks and hagel's idea. i'm told that in fact as you mentioned that hagel was forced out of a job.
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one of the problems with being there currently is the white house is micromanaging everything that happens at the pentagon. it was difficult for them to do under robert gates. almost impossible to do as we have seen in his book with leon panetta. they saw hagel as an easy target and easily manipulated. even people here in the building thought it was an uneasy fit from the beginning. there were questions being raised here. is he set up as a sacrificial lamb for what some think is a challenged foreign policy out of the white house. >> only last week on pbs with charlie rose. >> i am immense low grateful to
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work every day for the country and the men and women who served this country. i don't get up every morning worrying about my job. it's not unusual to change teams at different times. >>a i foreshadowing. he was asked about chuck hagel, the fellow senators. former senator's resignation. he is a long time and a great friend. we traveled with now vice president biden with pakistan and various parts of the world. i don't think the pentagon could have had a public soldier.
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i know him and love him as a friend. i am totally -- i'm very, very sorry to learn that and i help his decision. they will have to confirm whoever is nominated. isis and the conflict in syria and the rising china and most of all, sequestration with aspects of the national security policy and decision making process. the predecessors spoke about the micromanage they face from the white house and now that made it more difficult to do their job. that from john mccain.
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colonel jack jacobs. i heard a lot of people talk about the fact that there is no policy guidance that we don't have any strategy and it's difficult to put together a force in order to achieve national strategic military objectives when there not any. unless you are going to jump the fence. get the guidance and so on. if you are in the pentagon, unless you are a junk yard dog and somebody who was doifl deal with and you are going to stand up and be tough, if you are a bob gates, leon panetta. you are going to be compliant. that's one of the reasons why
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they were selected in the first place. compliant and easily confirmed. it doesn't work out in this environment. >> mick, i just received an e-mail from senator udahl who is on the committee as well over the last year. we have seen the emergence and other security threats that required a response with little room for mistakes. he goes on to thank and praise chuck hagel. he was brought in to drawdown from afghanistan and iran to manage the budget. we have the confirmation that the combat mission in certain circumstances is extended in afghanistan and the so-called advisers are on the ground in iraq. this is a different scenario. >> it will be a challenging scenario and after all with the u.s. doubling the forces in iraq to take on isis as well as in
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syria. no troops there. the battle wages on with air strikes. now we are hearing that the drawdown in afghanistan, the forces will be drawn down. the mission in taking not only on al qaeda and other terrorists, but they could still fight the taliban on the ground there in afghanistan. combine that with what you were talking about, the budget sequestration and automatic across the board cuts. there people in this building who felt that sec te secretary was not up to the task. >> joining me now for more on chuck hagel's resignation. contributor and editor at large at the atlantic who knows this issue and knows hagel so well. steve, you saw what happened when he was first nominated and how he had to fight through a tough confirmation. some colleagues were surprised that he didn't handle that
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confirmation process better. >> chuck hagel will leave his job when they confirm another person. what chuck hagel stood for was to think seriously and strategically about challenges. if you were going to deal with the questions of what's going on go on in syria. you needed to weigh those in terms of the end game. he was the guy who had been in the field with people. he would not sign off on sending people into the field unless there was a clear game plan on which every other commander and tell us maker agreed. that was not characteristic of this particular national security counsel. in contrast to what obama part one was. you had people like tom and dennis strictly controlling the process. this is a process much less controlled. >> it is controlled by susan rice and dennis mcdonough who is the chief of staff and the
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complaint of micromanagement is one others have complained about. even people around hillary clinton as large of a presence they complained that the white house runs the show. what they needed from chuck hagel was more forceful and perhaps they wouldn't accept them. let me ask you about possible successors. we heard names about the highest ranking woman in the pentagon before and left when she did not get the job. carter as well, former deputy secretary of defense. jack reid's office put out a statement and he was the trio of senators who in the summer of 08 went with them candidate brack with chuck hagel. very close to the white house and on the armed services committee. he has been reelected and not going to put himself into contention. >> they are both very
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distinguished servants with great profiles. they know the terrain well. there big differences versus what chuck hagel rep is cented with the spectrum of national security. they are more hawkish and more military and battle prepared in terms of tilting in that direction. chuck was the cautious realist and not place rabbits. if our big objective is iran, figure out how everything else fits that. obama came in to say we will be a friend of the pentagon. how do you do more with your resources camp. >> chuck hagel was the vietnam veteran.
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once you have experience, you send them into battle. >> the talks and speeshs he gave with the enlisted man. they had a and they try to maintain the orientation that were the great and powerful commanders making life and death situation for people. >> the chief of staff at the pentagon and at the cia. what is the challenge for working at the white house. >> the job of secretary of defense is three things. to manage the personnel and readiness and ensure the element of the force. and oversee all the weapons acquisitions. the third is to sit and revise
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and work with the joint chiefs. hagel was a veteran and i think when he was nominated at the time, the rational was he brought this tradition of secretaries of defense, president clinton had then they kept secretary gates on. the president on this last pillar in the national security council and working on the defense policy issues and the drawdown in afghanistan and taking the fight to isis. the president is committed to getting this right. in terms of experience, they accept a job at this stage. the president just lot of -- the
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democrats just lost the senate. >> the secretary of defense comes in at a difficult time. he was following in big shoes from secretary gates. look, i think the job of the secretary is so important for the men and women in uniform and shaping and crafting a national security policy. i am confident. they will probably look for someone who has a lot of outside game experience. someone who traveled internationally. someone who has done that political military piece of the job and work with the commanders. sbh the defense minsters around the world. >> is there such a person? >> i think there many. >> more to come and thank you both so much. jeremy and steve clemens and jim
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miklaszewski and jack jacobs. my interview with ethyl kennedy. hours before she will receive the medal of freedom from president obama. the president's action on immigration. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. hey! i guess we're going to need a new santa ♪(the music builds to a climax.) more people are coming to audi than ever before. see why now is the best time. audi will cover your first month's payment on select models at the season of audi sales event. visit today. has the power to captivate. that's why shakira uses... crest 3d white with whitelock technology, removing up to ninety percent of surface stains, and locking out future stains. so your smile always steals the show. crest 3d white.
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. in cleveland this weekend, police shot and killed a 12 year old boy playing with a toy gun. they mistakenly thought it was a real weapon. someone in the community was outside waving a gun saying they believed the gun was probably fake, but a 12-year-old named tamir rice refused to put his hands up, prompting them to open fire. because of the outrage and the protests in ferguson all these months, the evidence has been
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turned over to a grand jury in cleveland. as for ferguson today, the grand jury meets to answer whether local police officer darren wilson should face criminal charges in the death of michael brown. joining me now is the director of public safety and previously served as chief of police in st. louis. thank you so much for being with us. can you take us through the steps. the grand jury is meeting and they didn't make it through the steps. would they take a series of votes and they didn't have the required 9 out of 12 to issue a report. >> i'm not privy tow what the grand jury is doing in their deliberations, but everyone in st. louis is hoping that they go through the evidence thoroughly and they take their time and make a decision that is acceptable and a good decision
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for the community. >> do you have concerns about the community? this is taking so long and the community is on hold. schools have been canceled temporarily. the national guard was called up a week ago by the governor. controversially, some say. what about the situation on the ground? the public safety situation as people wait and wait. >> we realize there is a lot of tension and anticipation and the decision. that's why law enforcement and the community have been meeting on a regular basis trying to create a dialogue and understanding. when the decision comes down, we collectively will be able to work to allow people to have their speech and constitutional rights, but protect property and the safety of individuals. >> thank you so much for joining us today. thank you. still to come, what the resignation of chuck hagel means
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for the rest of president obama's term. secretary of state kerry in vienna as they agree to extend the nuclear talks for another seven months. we will talk to ann curry live coming up next. ♪ music the volkswagen golf was just named motor trend's 2015 car of the year. so was the 100% electric e-golf, and the 45 highway mpg tdi clean diesel. and last but not least, the high performance gti. looks like we're gonna need a bigger podium. the volkswagen golf family. motor trend's 2015 "cars" of the year. [coughing] dave, i'm sorry to interrupt... i gotta take a sick day tomorrow. dads don't take sick days, dads take nyquil. the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, best sleep with a cold, medicine.
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period. >> ann curry joins me now from vienna where she has been covering the talks for days and days. this extension is not what they wanted, but what they can get. it's a seven-month extension for the political agreement that includes all the inspections by july. how will iran likely respond to this? >> the president of iran is scheduled to speak in a matter of minutes to the iranian people. there large groups of people inside of iran who will be disappointed and disappointed at the word that there is not a final agreement. what's interesting until last night, the state department had for days consistently denied that the idea of an extension was even something they were considering, saying that the focus was a final agreement. all sides agreed that there were
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significant gaps and they were saying they were making progress. the story changes and we don't know who proposed the extension and what point they agreed to it. they explained the failure to reach an agreement saying that there still significant points of disagreement. they want the right agreement. the point needs to be made that a comprehensive agreement is not going to make an extension that will make negotiations easier. >> they were waiting until the last minute because they were hoping to try to see movement on all sides and that didn't happen. thank you so much. university of virginia students and professors are protesting
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this weekend after the allegations of sexual assault at the university. all a reaction to the rolling stone investigation detailing a culture of rape at uva with disturbing details. student leaders and advocates spoke to the press. >> as students, as men, but above all as human beings, i and the rest of the fraternity council were horrified and viscerally saddened by the stories of sexual violence. >> it's not just a uva issue, but a national epidemic thatty we are hoping to continue to fight at the place we call home and spread this message nationally. >> the university president has asked charlottesville police to investigate and call the allegations appalling. >> when i read the article i was sick to my stomach. we are going to get to the bottom of whatever this is. >> peter alexander joins us from
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charlottesville. this is shocking and upsetting and turned this campus upside down. >> that's exactly right. just as the students prepare to go home, this campus has been rocked over the course of the year. hannah graham's body was found a matter of weeks ago and the allegations are occurring in this fraternity in the fall of 2012. there is graphic detail describing this rolling stone article about seven men gang raping a freshman as described on the campus while the young woman's date and another man inside this fraternity watched on. tomorrow we will anticipate a meeting by the board of visitors. the board of the university will be addressing the policies that exist at this university in terms of their dealing with sexual assault. one of the most staggering statistics in the report, a statistic that we have been trying to confirm independently and 1 that most people agree is
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fact. roughly 183 students have been expelled from the university of virginia since 1998 for cheating or lying, but zero for sexual assault. one of many are issues that many want to address. the system in place, many people believe is problematic. students specifically, a system that allows you to go to police if you like, but also have it resolved in the university system and the alleged victim said she was discouraged from going forward to police with the belief system that the university system would do more about it. >> the uva suspended fraternity activity for a year, is that correct? >> no, theyy suspended it throh january 9th. much more say it should be a more dramatic thing. you played a sound byte from the fraternity councilmember.
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they said the system is outraged by this. they want some time to breathe and come up with solutions for this, but ultimately they say the ball is in the administration's court. we wait and see what they are willing to do about it. >> thanks for that clarification. a very important one. still ahead, my interview with ethyl kennedy. marion barry died at the age of 78. she was a share cropper, a son who was a civil rights activist before entering politics coming from mississippi. in 1977 three years after being elected, he was shot in city hall in a hostage standoff. >> i heard a shot. my chest started burning and i knew i had been shot. >> he was catapulted into leadership very, very quickly. marion barry ran for mayor.
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he ran during the epidemic and sounded the alarm about crack. >> we have to tackle it at its source. the mayors are besieged by an unprecedented amount of cocaine and $150 billion business. we are crying out for help. >> famously, less than a year after that interview, barry was arrested in a d.c. hotel room caught on tape smoking crack. he spent six months behind bars. air few years later, he made one of the greatest political come backs and the nickname mayor for life. in 2004 after a brief stint in the private sector, he won a seat in the city council, serving until he died. i remember walking with him through the streets of the city. he was stopped every step of the way by people congregating around him. he spoke last year about his many combats. >> we are all going to go through something in life.
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this is the equivalent of the and this is one soda a day over an average adult lifetime. but there's a better choice. drink more brita water. clean, refreshing, brita. >> we were both on the senate relations committee. one thing i know about chuck is he does not make this or any decision lightly. >> i am joined by phone from congress congressman, buck mckeon. thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> this is not a surprise.
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a lot of friction between the nfc and chuck hagel. what are your thoughts? >> i was surprised because i mentioned before i know he is in a tough position and he never said a negative thing to me, but we heard there were problems and know what happened with the secretary and the problems they had with micromanagement out of the white house. i have to assume the same thing happened with him. >> do you think it will be hard to get a strong enough person with only two years to go and in the middle of the problems we have now with afghanistan and it will not be wound down and the isis threat with syria and iraq. >> the problem with serving on the cabinet and especially in the secretary of defense where
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you have such huge responsibility and where we are fighting wars on a couple of different fronts and very serious threats around the world, you want somebody strong, but then if you don't accept their recommendations or don't let them do the job, it puts them in a really tough position. they have to do whatever the administration asks, but it's hard to follow a bunch of different bosses when you are trying to do such an important job. i think he is a really true secretary hagel, a great patriot. he has been successful in business and in the senate. i think he has been a good secretary and they will have a hard time finding somebody that will do the job in any kind of independence. they want them to do whatever they want them to do when they
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wake up that morning. >> briefly, do you have ideas of what should be the next secretary of defense. it's a senate and not a house confirmation. you have a lot of influence. >> the white house never calls me to ask for input. or to ask for recommendations. i read that they are looking at different people. some of the same names they talked about when secretary hagel was confirmed. i think they are good people. it's a very, very tough job. >> thank you so much, congressman. i appreciate that. >> i am joined by ruth marcus. we talk about the same names, we are talking about michelle and jack reed who said he is not
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interested. that's what people might say at this stage and ashton carter. they are both having served in the pentagon. >> sure. one thing that is interested is if you wanted the definition of a thankless job, go for secretary of defense. the problems that congressman keon mentioned and dealing with the implications of sequestrations. to add wrinkle to the others, we have an important pending nomination in the form of the attorney general nominee. now you have the two big asks to the senate and two critical positions having just royally annoyed them. i will use nice language. how does that go together? it will be a mess and who will want that? >> they are not even sending the nominee. because they are concerned about doing it in the lame duck. they have to get them through as
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the secretary of state. chris a lisz a let's take a look at the history of resignations or requests that they leave or whatever you want to call it. this was george bush the day after his mid-term accepting don rumsfeld's resignation. >> after a series of thoughtful conversations, we agreed that the timing is right for new leadership at the pentagon. our military experienced an enormous amount of change and reform in the last five years. while fighting the war on terror. >> as my good friend and colleague linda ellerbe would say, and so it goes. >> we had conversations and we agreed that they are going to rid of you and the other person said okay. >> thoughtful conversations. president obama we know this is
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resistant to doing this. right after something bad happens. reactiveness. people don't follow and he doesn't like to make decisions. that said, i thought it was a little bit ought in the wake of the election that nothing changed. whether it was a big or a small rebuke, it was the rebuke of the president and his policies. this is an attempt to do that without taking someone who was in that inner circle. in the "new york times" story, they wrote about how hagel was never able to break into that inner core of obama advisers. can you say or write that about every person who has come and gone. there is a close-knit group of people and that's who obama listens to. breaking into that group is extremely difficult. >> interestingly with marcus, hagel, and obama. they were close in the senate
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and they traveled together and went overseas together. he was the wingman and protecting him with republicans and former veterans. >> it used to be a good buddy movie. you would think the democratic president nominating a republican secretary of defense would have gotten kudos and credit with republicans in the senate. it didn't turn out that way. i top the say i think this is different from both rumsfeld and kathleen sebelius. i don't think this is a response the way rumsfeld's departure after conversations was to an electoral thumping. i don't think this is a response to this sort of public problem. though the president doesn't like to do these things in realtime. he gets the back up about that. this was not a sebelius moment. this had to do with the internal politics between the security council and the defense
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department. the white house and the president's distaste and the administration's distaste for drama and conflict. >> they are getting the drama and conflict whether they like it or not. >> and good for us. >> thank you both so much. hours before she will enter the east room of the white house to receive the medal of freedom, we talked to ethyl kennedy about what that iconic room in the white house means to her. my exclusive interview coming up next. you'rbam!ean. charmin ultra strong cleans so much better it meets even the highest standards of clean.
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this afternoon, president obama will be presenting the presidential medal of freedom. the highest civilian award to 19 extraordinary americans including merrill streep, tom brocaw, john dingle and ethyl kennedy who has been honored for human rights here and around the world. the widow of robert kennedy and sister in law of jfk sat down with me yesterday to talk about the significance of what this means to her.
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>> the president is saying part of this award, the white house is saying that you have advanced the cause of social justice and environmental protections by creating countless ripples of hope to affect change around the world. how does it make you feel? >> he's a very generous guy. >> but you should be proud. >> i cannot even imagine that this is happening. >> only a year ago you were marching with the farm workers in florida. this commitment to justice for farm workers is a lifetime for you. you go back to the caesar chavez and the origins of the farm movement with bobby kennedy. >> well, he was just a magnificent human spirit. he was so great and he loved to
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laugh. and he was in prison and still that gentleness and kindness and generosity. and thoughtfulness. he was remarkable. bobby loved him and i loved him. >> all these years later, you marched in florida with the farm workers. not that long ago, you went to mexico. none had been murdered. the authorities, the police there said that she had killed herself. she was an activist. you knew her. she stayed with you. you went to mexico to get justice for the nun who had been murdered there. >> if you knew her, you would be right there. she was an indian. she was a nun. she was an activist and she was great to be with. >> full of life and spirit. they said she killed herself
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when she was really murdered by the corrupt authorities and the ca cartel s. i am truck by the energy into your 80s you have. you have 40 grandchildren and five great grandchildren and you are still flying around the world for the robert f. kennedy center for human rights and justice for the foundation. what inspires you to keep up this work? >> i think first, bobby and his life and of course jack and his. when you see somebody in trouble, your natural feeling is, is there something i can do? really everybody can do it. there is always something just around the corner. if you see something wrong, if you speak out, you can change it. >> here you are going back to
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the white house. you have seen so much triumph and tragedy. you will be in the east room where of course jack kennedy was brought on that horrible, horrible night 51 years ago. this will be a moment of great celebration. >> it is. it is such a fun idea. as you know i'm sure, jack is the one who started it. >> and this medal of freedom started by jack kennedy and never carried out. he had signed the executive order, i think and all the tragedy happened. this is incredibly significant for you and for all of the kennedy family. just to say when you see president obama, what are you going to say to him? >> well, i would like to congratulate him on his fight
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for immigration. he is really a profile of courage. he continued teddy's fight for health and for everyone. he makes me proud on many, many issues. >> there is one thing he has not done for you. you did the ice bucket challenge for als, lou gehrig's disease and challenged president obama to do it. that has been seen at least 200,000 times, that video of you with the ice bucket. you did challenge the president and to my knowledge he has not met the challenge. >> we haven't seen his check. he probably wrote a nice big one. >> and of course you can watch the presidential medal of freedom ceremony that starts around 2:15. i was so proud to be able to
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interview this great lady. ethyl kennedy. right now we are watching dangerous weather. the situation around buffalo, new york after record setting snow there, temperatures have climbed and that's melting some of the more than seven feet of snow. creeks are starting to swell. it is not clear how widespread it is going to be. another storm is set to make a mess of travel. a possible nor'easter on wednesday that forecasters say could bring a rain-snow mix hitting the i-95 corridor on the busiest travel day of the year. for the volkswagen sign-then-drive event. for practically just your signature, you could drive home for the holidays in a german-engineered volkswagen. like the sporty, advanced new jetta... and the 2015 motor trend car of the year all-new golf. if you're wishing for a new volkswagen this season... just about all you need is a finely tuned... pen. hurry in and get zero due at signing,
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now with the you can watch live tv anytime. it's never been easier with so many networks all in one place. get live tv whenever you want. the xfinity tv go app. now with live tv on the go. enjoy over wifi or on verizon wireless 4g lte. plus enjoy special savings when you purchase any new verizon wireless smartphone or tablet from comcast. visit to learn more. >> which story will make headlines? live in clayton, missouri. a lot of reports about what the grand jury is meeting may decide and whether there will be an announcement today. we don't have official word, correct? >> that's correct. they will be meeting behind me
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today, but we don't know if they are deliberating or hearing evidence. they are scheduled to meet today. now again that doesn't mean a decision will come today. that will be up to them when to decide. that is the plan at the justice center. they should be meeting now. >> for they vote, there could be a decision today. it takes nine oust 12 to agree. they clearly -- we heard they were voting last week, friday. clearly it was nothing to announce yet. this could move quickly if they had time over the weekend to think about it and preliminary votes and if it was a close call for some or another. this could move quickly. what happens? there would be an announcement with the prosecutor. would that alert the community and could be some advanced notice? >> there is so much speculation. to speculate on the actual step by step process, we don't know. the prosecutor maintained he
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would give folks between and 24 hours notice depending on it was during the week or the weekend. it's ramping up. we know and it feels imminent. it's in place for an document. that doesn't mean it will come today or tomorrow or this week. folks think it's speeding up, but we don't know. >> you will be there and there reports not confirmed yet by nbc. there report this is could happen quickly. we don't know. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow it online. >> a lot going on right now. we are also watching that fast developing situation in
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ferguson. we will have a live update from the ground from the naacp. we will hear from a dod insider as the department reals from this news of the resignation of the current secretary of defense. one name being bandied around is an insider who has a personal take on her candidacy of that role. keep it here. right now, you can get a single line with 3 gigs for $65 a month. 3 gigs ... is that a lot? that's about ... 100 app downloads, 45 hours of streaming music, and 6 hours of video playing.
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let's go to the other breaking news. chuck hagel resigning reportedly under pressure from the white house. the white house didn't think hagel was up to the job. that's language told to our reporters. we are expecting the white house briefing. it's waiting for josh earnest. president obama accepted his resignation just this morning. >> one thing i know is he does not take this or any decision lightly. i consider myself extraordinarily luck tow have had him by my side for two years and i am grateful. >> it has been the greatest privilege of my and the greatest privilege of my life to lead and most important to serve. >> hagel was the only republican on the national s