tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 14, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
debt to gdp ratio from rising over the next decade and then after that, we have entitlement issues as well. so we need to do something big. plus, decline of an empire? murdoch makes the cover of "time." the uk makes another arrest. and u.s. lawmakers demand investigations into news corp's actions here at home. strikeout. why did the judge just declare a mistrial in the roger clemens' perjury case? good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. it's round five of the debt talks today. coming off the most heated exchange yet in the debt negotiations between president obama and republican leaders. eric cantor says the president all but stormed out of the last meeting. democrats have a different story. their version is that in fact, it was the republicans' fault. major garrett is congressional
correspondent. here we are unveiling the cover as we do every week of the "national journal." let's talk about these negotiations. we've got he said/he said, basically. you have two sides accusing each other of storming out. it clearly got a little bit testy. >> it got testy -- >> we're told cantor interrupted the president several times. >> eric cantor was persistent, i'm sure. eric cantor believes earlier this week when the president invited him to bring to the group what he interpreted the biden talks produced as far as medicare cuts and he did so, the next morning he was attacked by senator charles schumer of new york, who is not a participant in these talks, as being amoral. eric cantor's staff and the majority leader interpreted that as being set up, invited him to talk about the cuts. next day's attack by a prominent democrat on the senate floor. that did not create a good atmosphere as far as eric cantor was concerned. he was persistent yesterday with the president on spending cuts. the president said don't call my bluff. i'm not a big poker player but i
don't think you're supposed to signal that you're bluffing. don't call -- you're supposed to say i'm not bluffing. don't call my bluff. but putting that aside for a moment, the most important take-away is these negotiations are producing nothing except hostility and those who are watching it on the outside, bond rating agencies, people who trade in bonds as collateral instruments, after weeks and weeks of saying everything's going to be fine, are now beginning to get to the edge of tense. >> getting nervous. >> very serious scenario for this economy. >> is it possible that this is all a lot of, you know, drama before they actually come together? >> it's pure drama. there's no question about it. >> the storm before the calm. >> no. i have talked and reported with as many different people as i can who are in the room and trying to figure out what the end game can be and will look like. they can't see it yet, because they don't know what can get 218 in the house, combination of republican and democratic votes, and get the 60 vote threshold that you have to have in the
senate. because there's no protection of reconciliation, that's a big terminology in the senate. it's very important, i know you understand it. bottom line, if you have reconciliation protection, which you don't, you can pass it with 51. in this case you need 60. what can get those two magic numbers? nobody knows what that is and right now, nobody knows how to find a way to get to what that is. that's why outside groups, big business folks, national association manufacturers, even the chamber of commerce, big bankers, are looking at this and saying wait a minute, the political system is not responsive, politicians are creating a potential economic problem. usually of course it's the other way around. an economy creates a problem for a politician. now we have that reversed. >> there's really no end in sight as they go back into talks, and i can tell you that the anger within the white house at cantor for their view, putting a knife in the heart of what they had hoped would be the obama/boehner accord on a larger
deal, that is also driving this equation as they go back -- >> the white house and democrats very strategically want to continue to play up the divisions between cantor and boehner. they are not as large as the white house and democrats would allow people to believe or want them to believe. boehner never really got as far with the white house, according to my reporting, on this huge deal as was suggested. he looked at it, saw its implementation schedule wasn't workable, probably couldn't pass it in his conference, backed off on saturday. the reality is the president hasn't explained to the country what he would do on social security or medicare, either, and as he intimated but has never said plainly, what he was going to do and how much grief that would cause among democrats. my reporting is boehner couldn't have gotten the tax equation done and the president couldn't have gotten the social security and medicare thing done, either. so that was a big concept that i think fell apart of its own policy weight because the politics simply in this town can't get to the point of tax increases on the right, deep medicare and social security changes on the left. >> stalemate.
major garrett, thank you so much. >> always a pleasure. congressman chris van hollen is the ranking member of the house budget committee and joins me now. well, congressman, we are hearing from both sides blaming the other, lot of finger pointing, talk of a possible camp david summit, but no confirmation of that at all coming from either the white house or the hill. your take on what happened as far as you know, not being at the table last night. >> well, i don't know all the blow by blow, andrea. i do know that the republicans walked away from the biden talks so it was interesting when they said they want to go back to the biden talks, really after the rug was pulled out from under speaker boehner when he was trying to work a larger deal with the white house. i heard senator mcconnell's statements at the beginning of the program about how, you know, we can't let president obama undermine the full faith and credit of the united states. he should be listening. it's the house republicans that rejected his proposal. look, the only good news here,
the only good news is now you have these independent leaders, business leaders, economists on all sides of the political spectrum, saying that if we default on our debt, if we pass that date, it would be a disaster for jobs and the economy. so republicans can no longer say look, this is just secretary geithner bluffing or playing with the numbers. you now have independent analysts, you have people on all sides of the political spectrum saying stop holding the economy hostage. hopefully that will begin to get a degree of seriousness focused on this problem with some of our republican colleagues on the house. >> at this stage, though, aren't you running out of time? do you have to do something like a camp david summit, where everybody gets locked in a space and has nothing to do other than have smores around the campfire? >> i certainly think you need to keep everybody in the room as long as possible. whether you do it as camp david or somewhere else, that's up to
the parties to decide. remember, as you just recounted, andrea, they have now had five sessions at the white house. we had more than ten sessions as part of the biden groups. after ten sessions, it was the republicans who walked out of the room and again, let's remember why. despite the fact that the democrats were prepared to make some cuts with the understanding that the republicans would compromise on things like closing tax loopholes for corporate special interests, at the end of the day, this is the message that's been loud and clear, the priority of our republican colleagues is not to come up with a balanced plan to reduce the deficit. the priority has been to protect the special interest tax breaks, corporate jets, oil and gas companies. that's just a sad statement on where we are today. yes, i think the president's going to -- he said he's going to keep at it until we get it done, because default is just, it's an unacceptable solution. not a solution. it's an unacceptable result. >> clearly.
ben bernanke's warning today is only the latest example of that. thank you very much. good to see you. for the other side of the aisle, congressman dave camp is chairman of the ways and means committee and joins us now. first of all, congressman, what about the possibility of a camp david summit? i wanted to play a little bit of democratic leader nancy pelosi, when asked whether she would go to camp david for the weekend. let's watch. >> the only thing i hope he doesn't ask us to do is go to camp david. that goes beyond the pale. driving down the street for these meetings is one thing. i want that to be a place where a president can go to renew, to study, to prepare for the next week. >> sounds like she's not much of a campfire girl. the former speaker isn't eager and i don't know whether you all would be as well. should the republicans join the president in retreat for the weekend? >> well, i don't think it's
getting a real warm reception from anybody, but they do need to keep talking. this is serious. we do need to address the debt crisis and we need to do it with spending cuts. i hope a balanced budget amendment. and i think that's a formula for moving forward. >> but a balanced budget amendment, a lot of people talk about it in theory but that's not going to deal with the immediate situation. if it's a balanced budget amendment, we're talking about a long ratification process. we've got 19 days to solve this problem. >> well, unfortunately, the spending cuts take a long time to take effect. so all of this is going to take some time. it took us about 50 years to get into this mess. it will take us awhile to get out of it. we need structural reforms as well so that going forward, we don't in a few short years end up with another debt crisis and another situation. so we really want the structural reforms. i think you have seen republicans unite behind a balanced budget amendment. i think that's a critical piece we need to vote on. i realize it has to go to the states and takes some time but at least we need to get it through the congress.
>> what about what ben bernanke said, we need something big and that failure to raise the debt ceiling, he testified today on the hill, he said i think it would be a calamitous outcome. >> well, i think it is serious. i think we all understand it's serious. we need to come to a solution. i will say i at least give credit to the speaker, john boehner, for trying to propose a big solution to this. senator mcconnell has also put a proposal out there. we have yet to see a proposal from the president. the president really ignored the advice of the debt commission he created, has not really addressed the debt in any substantial way with a concrete proposal on how we get out of it. what we're missing is a piece from the administration on how we do this. we have had a lot of ideas on the table. they obviously aren't getting consensus. we need to hear from the president on what he would like to do and what is his plan for moving forward on this debt issue. >> of course, congressman, republicans as well as the white house gave the back of the hand to that debt commission and he only created that commission
after republican defections meant that the legislatively mandated commission could not, you know, could not do what simpson bowles attempted to do. i don't want to relitigate that. but in fairness, neither side embraced those results, although individual members and senators did. >> there is bipartisan support for the debt commission. i didn't vote for it because i thought he had way too much revenue as part of our economy going to the federal government and so that was a concern. but there were certainly items in the simpson bowles plan that i'm certainly using in terms of fundamental tax reform, the approach to tax reform i thought was a strong, positive one. i'm trying to use that in terms of hearings we're having on the ways and means committee. we need to get the economy growing again. we need to get job creation occurring again. simply spending cuts won't do that. we need to move forward on fundamental tax reform, not just the one off and score easy political points on this provision or that provision. we need a comprehensive approach to that. we also need to implement the free trade agreements. the three pending agreements with colombia, korea -- >> i wanted to ask about that.
have you reached an agreement with the white house yet? i know you were trying to negotiate over those programs of assistance to laid-off workers. >> we have reached agreement on trade adjustment assistance. what we haven't received is how that will be implemented, particularly in the senate, how will those votes occur. i know those discussions are ongoing and we hope to be able to have a path ahead on that. >> okay. chairman of the ways and means committee, dave camp, great to see you. thanks so much. developing news here in washington. a federal court judge has declared a mistrial today in the perjury case of baseball all-star roger clemens on the very first day of testimony. nbc's justice correspondent pete williams has more from the newsroom. pete, this is pretty extraordinary. it's early on but they're not going to get back to business on this until september. >> they may not at all, andrea. that is the question here. this trial is off. now the question is will there be another one at all. roger clemens left the courthouse today and as he did so, people who wanted to come see him crowded around him. he got requests for autographs,
people came up and hugged him. so obviously, they are quite pleased by this development. here's what happened. the judge had early on said it was all right for the prosecution to call a teammate named andy pettitte, who would testify that clemens told him he used human growth hormone. but the judge said you couldn't call andy pettitte's wife, who would say that andy pettitte told her about this conversation, too. nonetheless, this morning on only the second day of testimony, the government played an excerpt from the house hearing at which clemens was accused of lying, and one of the members of congress read into the record at that hearing in 2008 what laura pettitte, his wife, said. the judge immediately stopped everything, asked the jury to leave. the government said well, let's just tell the jury to disregard that. the government obviously thought this was a serious error on the part of the government and so he declared a mistrial. now, there will be a hearing september 2nd, andrea, to decide whether the government can try again or whether because of double jeopardy rules, that's it.
>> wow. here everyone had been looking forward to this trial and the case against him and all of the evidence and all the testimony of dna and now it looks as though the case is seriously weakened and the prosecutors could be in trouble. pete williams, thank you very much. still ahead, a dramatic turn in the hacking scandal in london. fallout here at home. next, debt ceiling debates spill over. how is it playing in the 2012 campaign? a big concession from minnesota governor mark dayton. the democratic governor says he will now accept a republican proposal that could possibly end minnesota's two week government shutdown. no response yet from state republicans. don't worry, lucky,
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the fight over the debt ceiling is of course spilling over into presidential politics. how could it not. at least one leading republican, though, conspicuously silent about the debate that is consuming washington and the nation. nicole wallace was communications director in the george w. bush white house and senior advisor on the mccain campaign and a novelist. "18 acres" is now out in paperback. i want to know about the sequel. i know you have one coming. we want to talk about that. let's talk about presidential politics. you know it so well from the white house perspective, from the campaign trail. what do you make of the dysfunction now in both parties? >> you know, this is why i write fiction. i still have that fantasy that everyone can put aside their political concerns and do these big grand things and what's so interesting about this debate is that seven days ago, it looked like our leaders in washington thought so, too. i don't know that i have ever seen a negotiation, plenty of things deteriorate into chaos
and a lack of civility but never from on so high. this was a debate that seven days ago, they were talking about doing things that i think made everyone feel good. a generational fix that wouldn't require us to go back days or weeks later and fix it again. so i have never seen a negotiation fall from so high to so low in such a short amount of time. >> part of it is the dynamic clearly between cantor and boehner. they've got issues on the house side. part of it is the problem that the president has with his own caucus, nancy pelosi and the democrats who argue that he was going too far, was offering too much, even though they say that they were willing to go along with some measures on entitlements but they wanted to see something from the other side. everybody's got their problems. but then you have the republican contest. let me play a little bit of what some of the candidates are saying about what had already been offered. rick santorum, notably, in myrtle beach. >> any cut that barack obama
agrees to is not a serious cut, in my opinion. if i were the republican leader of the house and senate, i would draw the line in the sand and say the negotiations are over. >> president obama is holding the full faith and credit of the united states hostage so that he can continue his spending spree. >> then you had mitch mcconnell offer possibly a way out, this last ditch effort, and immediately get shot down so he went all-out on the floor to try to repair any damage he had done within his own party, his own leadership. the person we haven't heard from is mitt romney. why isn't the presumed front-runner not speaking out on this? >> i don't know. i don't think it's going to serve him well. i think that voters, especially republican primary voters, like someone who has a position and stands on it and can defend it, more than they like someone who panders to their own position. look, i think that what's happening on the republican side, and it's not everywhere. the republican leaders in congress certainly seem to be
taking very seriously the warnings about how dire it would be to default on our debt. you've got conservative voices like sean hannity and other radio and tv hosts who also seem to understand that we are playing with fire if we talk about defaulting on america's debt. so there's not an outcry on the right to default. but i think there are some voices who are, you know, probably politically motivated and they're speaking to a real sense among some republicans who feel like they got duped with those bailout votes in 2008. there are people who have real buyer's remorse about the steps we took as a country to bail out wall street in 2008. i think it's the hangover from that that you're seeing reflected in the few voices that are calling on us to call the president's bluff, as the president said in that meeting last night. but i am heartened by the fact that all the leaders in congress, responsible voices like tom coburn, who i know spends a lot of time on this network defending the republican views, are also still talking about doing something more meaningful after we get away
from this crisis, and that's some tax reform that would include closing the loopholes but also lowering rates. i think there are enough voices in washington on the republican side who are still interested in getting something done and avoiding that terrible circumstance of defaulting on the country's debt. >> now, "18 acres" is out in paperback and you have the fictional woman president, charlotte kraemer, and a woman chief of staff. what next for you? are you going to get involved in this campaign, this coming campaign? i know you have another book coming out. what's the working title? >> the new book comes out in september called "it's classified" and it follows the trevails of a unity ticket. i'm obsessed with this idea of partisanship in washington. i may have become enamored of the idea to ever work in a political world again. >> i want to live in your fictional world. >> there's plenty of room in my
head. >> come on down. let's talk about it as soon as the book comes out. thank you so much. great to see you. up next here, eric cantor, is he the republican deal breaker? politico next on "andrea mitchell reports." [ male announcer ] this...is the network -- a network of possibilities. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... for greater access to all the things you want, whenever you want them. it's the at&t network... and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say. whose non-stop day starts with back pain... and a choice. take advil now and maybe up to four in a day. or choose aleve and two pills for a day free of pain. way to go, coach. ♪
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to help you choose the plan that's right for you. as with all medicare supplement plans, you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare, get help paying for what medicare doesn't... and save up to thousands of dollars. call this toll-free number now. house majority leader eric cantor is the republican that democrats most likto blame for the debt ceiling stalemate, fair or not. are they just trying to further drive a wedge between cantor and house speaker john boehner? and what really happened when the talks blew up last night? we have politico's executive editor. they are talking about the fact that when cantor quit the talks, they say that he lost a lot of credibility, when he walked away from the table in the biden talks, it was childish, said one house republican, as you all reported. why all the focus on cantor? is that misplaced or is that
properly placed? >> well, you were just talking about a unity ticket. i don't think eric cantor will ever be on a unity ticket. his posture in this is he's the bad cop, the one who will fight for the conservative position, which is essentially there's no deal that can be had because they either want a balanced budget amendment, huge cuts, no tax increases, and those are nonstarters with the white house. eric cantor is there to represent that faction of house republicans. it's a big chunk of the republican conference. how big? we don't know yet. but he is the pit bull on those issues and is not going to back down. that puts boehner in here as sort of the good cop. it's clear that john boehner, speaker boehner, thinks you have to do something to increase the debt limit or it could be politically and economically catastrophic for the party. i don't think eric cantor necessarily shares that world view. >> we will be hearing from tim geithner, who is meeting with the democratic senate side today, the caucus lunch. he's going to come out and give the latest on the dire predictions of what is going to happen if they don't get something done in the next 19
days. >> right. he's going to talk about the effect it would have on the economy, on debt, on social security checks and whether they could go out to recipients. i have talked to enough house republicans about it. they don't buy it. they don't believe in these warnings about catastrophic consequences. they think that you can find the money to be able to fund things while a deal is worked out and even if things do go bad, they think it's worth it. they feel they have to have this fight. they talked about it in the campaign, many of them won elections because they promised not to increase taxes and to dramatically reduce the size of government. they think this is a crisis and they will use this opportunity to fight for that smaller government, even if there is a risk which at least privately, many of them will say yes, there probably is a big risk, we just don't think it's as bad as the white house and tim geithner will portray. >> except that you don't want to find out because of the possible ramifications. >> that would be the john boehner/mitch mcconnell view. have a good day. up next, a chilling
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we are getting new horrible details today from the new york city police commissioner ray kelly about the murder of an 8-year-old boy within a tight-knit jewish community in brooklyn. police say the suspect, levi aron, has confessed to abducting and suffocating the child before dismembering him and hiding his body in a freezer. nbc's jeff rossen is live in brooklyn. this is a heartbreaking story. >> reporter: it doesn't get any worse than this, especially for
parents. we all face this sort of question from our kids at one point or another, mommy, daddy, i want to walk by myself home from day camp, and when do you let your child do that. in this case, this 8-year-old boy had begged his parents over and over again, they finally relented and said yes, and they practiced the route. it was about a seven-block walk. they made a rendezvous point, went through it and rehearsed it. he got lost on his way home when he did it by himself, asked a stranger for directions and police say he chose the wrong man. that man took him into his car, brought him to his house and then police say he has confessed to killing him and dismembering him. absolutely awful, gruesome details. they say levi aron, on your screen right now, has actually confessed to the crime. 35 years old, lives with his parents, lives with his father and uncle, i should say, works in a hardware store. no criminal history. police say this defies logic. they can't figure out why this man, who has no history of this, there's no evidence that he has trawled the area for other children, would snap and do
this. here's part of his confession about how he panicked and snapped when he saw the missing person flyers go up looking for this little boy. quote, when i saw the flyers, i panicked and was afraid. i went for a towel to smother him in the side room. he fought back a little bit. afterwards i panicked because i didn't know what to do with the body. i understand this may be wrong and i'm sorry for the hurt that i have caused. police say he has been talking to them. the suspect, they say, confessed to taking the boy to a wedding. the boy slept in his house for a night or two. so it is just a gruesome detailed kind of story, as you know, and a parent's worst nightmare. he is charged with second degree murder, in court shortly. >> it is heartbreaking indeed. this tight-knit religious jewish community, he was a local man, not an outsider. thanks so much. >> reporter: orthodox jew, yeah. senate majority leader mitch
mcconnell is taking heat from his own party for his proposed last chance option in the debt negotiations. that plan would essentially allow the president to raise the debt ceiling without republican support. a move that many conservatives say is simply bowing to the will of the democrats. wyoming republican senator john barrasso was alongside senator mcconnell when he presented that proposal. senator, thank you so much for joining us today. is this dead now? is this proposal dead or is it possibly still the exit strategy out of this stalemate for both sides? >> well, as you say, this is the last chance proposal. it is not my first choice, second choice or third choice. the goal is to actually get significant savings out of this budget. we can't keep spending money that we don't have. no one's talking on my side about raising taxes and no one's talking about defaulting. what we are talking about, cutting the spending. americans know the problem is that we spend too much. we need to also make sure we do
not default as a nation. that's why senator mcconnell brought this forth as a last option. >> well, what do you say to republican critics who say that this is conceding too much and taking the president off the hook? >> well, i'm not in any way ready to take the president off the hook. the president has been irresponsible. we have not seen a budget from this president that can get introduced in the senate in 800 days. where is the budget in the senate? the only thing the president put off actually lost 97-0. even the democrats voted against it. where are the proposals? where is the president's proposal? i want to see what specific cuts the president is now recommending and then i think we need to get to a level of cuts equal to the amount that the president wants to raise in the debt ceiling. >> newt gingrich tweeted yesterday mcconnell's plan is an irresponsible surrender to big government, big deficits and
continued overspending. i oppose it. he didn't even use 140 characters. palin on hannity called it a white flag and said we cannot default but we cannot afford to retreat right now either. now is not the time to retreat. it's the time to reload, getting back to her reload analogy. so what do you do when you've got that kind of opposition to this last ditch proposal? >> well, i wouldn't say this is the last ditch proposal. this is the last choice proposal. they are going to be at the white house meeting again today. i want to see significant cuts in spending. that's our problem. it's not that we're taxed too little. it's that we spend too much. we have 9.2% unemployment in this country. i think a lot of that has to do with the president's proposals. he got a bad economy and has made it worse. energy prices are up, more regulations, expensive health care mandates. if we can get people back to work, tax revenue will come in. we will as a country collect more in taxes because more people are working. that's what we need to focus on,
getting jobs stimulated, getting people back to work and to me, the president has done none of those things. >> senator, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you, andrea. where the rubber meets the road of course is at the state level. governors are gathering in salt lake city for the annual meeting of the national governors association, sure to be on the agenda of course, how the deficit debate will hit their budgets. washington state's governor joins us now. thanks so much for joining us. what about the nga's approach and your letter to president obama about the need to cut and how you deal with it at the state level, all of these cuts which will impact particularly medicaid and medicare reimbursement? >> you're right, andrea. bottom line is every state but two has been in the process of cutting now for a couple of years, and so as we have done so, we have really stretched
ourselves about as thinly as we can. now we're hearing ideas coming out of congress that are suggesting quote, a blended rate for medicaid. what we think that's code for is nothing more than more cuts to us. meanwhile, we've got people coming on our caseload in numbers that have never been before because obviously, people are losing their jobs and are without any revenue. so what we did is we wrote to the president, to the members of congress, and said engage, involve the governors. we will help you meet the task at hand but don't just cut us because we're in a fragile state of recovery. we can't just turn away indigent people and not provide them health care, and we cannot trip ourselves back into another recession. if these debt discussions do not result shortly in success, i fear that's going to be the result to our respective states. >> we're hearing there's a possibility that governor dayton is now making some concessions
to the republicans, but this stalemate for two weeks, people are not being able to renew licenses, people are losing their work as a result of the fact that there is no state government. >> this is the toughest time that anybody can ever remember to be governor in a state, to be honest with you. but i look at my legislative session and what i said to my fellow legislators and mine is a house of democrats, a senate dominated by democrats and i'm a democrat, but what i said is let's forget partisan politics, forget the bickering, take off our coats, roll up our sleeves, get the job done. it was an historic legislative session. we met our responsibility. we did do all the cuts. we did not raise taxes. we reformed state government. we had our state employees share in the sacrifice. we reformed unemployment. we reformed pensions and workers' compensation. we have set our state on a trajectory now that is going to be stable not just for the short run, but for the long run. that's the kind of thing that
needs to be done and a number of my colleagues have been able to step up and make that happen. we just cannot have partisan bickering, partisan shots. we've got to work together and solve the problems and put america back to work. >> governor, thank you so much. good luck with your talks with the national governors association this weekend. appreciate it. >> you bet. thank you. up next, msnbc's martin bashir. how the uk hacking scandal hit a little too close to home. and "madmen" will try to make it four years in a row as tv's best drama. the amc hit picked up 19 emmy nominations. 19 this morning. the most of any regular series. "modern family" grabbed 17 bids. other leading contenders include "saturday night live." personal favorite for us. they had 16 nominations. "30 rock" had 13. the ceremony airs september 19th. [ cat meows ] ♪
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coming up on "news nation," identity exposed. the cia analyst who played one of the most important roles in the hunt for osama bin laden has been outed by a blogger after the white house tried to keep his identity a secret. now his life is said to be in danger. former cia officer jack rice will join me to talk about this. plus, our gut check. fighting crime is usually obviously left to the police but in one city, firefighters are being called on to help police the streets because of a budget shortfall. the plan obviously angering both firefighters and police officers. "news nation" is up in 15 minutes. i do believe, mr. speaker, we must stick to the principle that you are innocent until proven guilty. he just doesn't get it. >> order! order! order! >> my favorite time. question time. question time in parliament,
debating of course the ongoing hacking scandal as rupert murdoch and his son james are now yielding to pressure. they have said today they will agree and testify to a parliamentary commission next week. meanwhile, members of congress here are calling for an investigation into possible wrongdoing by murdoch holdings in the u.s. this as police in england made another arrest, 60-year-old neil wallace, a former deputy editor of "news of the world" arrested today. martin bashir is host of the "martin bashir show" here on msnbc and knows the world of rupert murdoch and british politics very well indeed. first of all, explain to us the unique role that murdoch and his holdings and his executives, his editors, had and their relationship with leaders of both parties. >> great to be with you, andrea. when murdoch bought "news of the world" 42 years ago he was an ordinary proprietor but overall, he acquired more and more.
finally, 30% of british sky broadcasting. it was so influential and his position in british politics was so influential he was almost like a combination of someone like jack abramoff and a mobster. he had the power to reward people and to punish people. so for example, in 2004, when a cabinet minister called clare short said wasn't it time that "the sun" newspaper stopped featuring semi-naked women on page three of the newspaper, what did they do? edited, by the way, at that time by rebecca brooks. they sent 20 scantily clad women to her office and had loads of photographs everywhere. they described the minister at the time as frumpy, dumpy, fat and ugly. there was humiliation as a form of coercion and then we heard yesterday, gordon brown, the former prime minister, talking about the fact that his disabled son, his son has cystic
fibrosis, medical records for his son alleged by gordon brown in the house of commons yesterday, was stolen from a hospital by a criminal that he believes was working for "the sunday times" newspaper. so you have that kind of power. you have the ability to humiliate an mp and the ability to intervene in their personal life and that's why he was so forceful and powerful. i can tell you, andrea, until about three weeks ago, you couldn't count on five fingers the number of politicians who would stand up to rupert murdoch in britain because every single one of them was frightened of his influence. >> of course, gordon brown's little boy frazier is doing very well but it was at birth that that information came out. i want to ask you about your own child. you had an experience that was rather startling and in retrospect it does appear to have a sinister possibility. >> in 1995, i guess, i rose to a certain level of prominence because i interviewed the late
princess diana. >> a lot of prominence, let me tell you. internationally. globally. >> in '96, march 16th, our third child elijah was born and she was -- in the process of being born, she swallowed some fluid and she had problems with her breathing. so she was put in a special baby care unit. two days after she was born, a nurse told us, my wife i should say is both a nurse and was a midwife at the very hospital where our daughter was born, so one of the nurses told us that two journalists from "the sun" tried to get access to the special care baby unit. now, nobody beyond my immediate family knew anything about the fact that our little baby was ill. how did they know? how did they know that this child two days old was unwell and of course, was the child of someone who works in the business of the media? it's something struggled over for many, many years and what has been exposed
over the recent past, i began to wonder, were our cell phones hacked. this is in 1996, and a long time ago and were things being done that we had no idea about in relation to medical records at the hospital? we don't know. >> it is really astounding. i wanted to ask you briefly about rebecca brook, because we saw pictures of her a moment ago and what is her unique position? because she was a powerful figure and still is. >> hugely powerful and very, very loyal. loyal to rupert murdoch, sr., and james murdoch, jr., and for that reason, they are fighting to keep her within the chief executive structure of "news international" within the uk, and the difficulty is that so many people have asked the simple question, if you were editor of a newspaper, when these kinds of things were going on, why did you not know? if you with chief executive of a company, where the editor of a national newspaper was running these kinds of things, why
didn't you know? andrea, you and i know that we work for nbc news and msnbc, and when we try to do a story, it is vetted by several layers of management and lawyers and we don't come on a broadcast like this and talk about it unless it is sufficient consideration. how it is possible that this individual knew absolutely nothing? and remember in 2007, when the police first investigated, they said that there was one person, one rogue reporter and about eight people had been hacked. i spoke to someone in the met metropolitan police yesterday who said that more than 4,000 people's phones were hacked since 2005. >> martin bashir with a unique perspective on all of this. thank you so much for joining us today on that. thank you, martin. >> great to be here. >> and don't miss the martin bashir show everyday at 3:00 p.m. on msnbc. what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours right here on "andrea mitchell reports." ild up
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in grand rapids, michigan, today, former first lady betty ford will be laid to rest next to her husband at the gerald r. ford presidential library and it is president ford's birthday today. and which political headlines will make news in the next 24 hours. jonathan capehart joins us from the "washington post" and i guess it is debt negotiations and we will hear from tim geithner coming out on the senate side and then together at the white house. >> yes, they will get together at the white house, and we will be talking about whether anyone walked away, stormed away or belted from the scene, and it is going to be interesting to see what kind of impact the statements from moody's and what was reported that s&p told senatorial democrats what impact that will have on the meetings. >> and they have had the warnings and sit down to the wire, 19 days to go. thank you so much, jonathan. great to see you and that does it for us for this edition of
"andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow on the show, republican senator john cornyn, a key player will join us, and plus new york times business columnist david leonard. and tamron hall has "newsnation" coming up. >> yes, we are following many stories. in two hours president obama holds another round table talk with the congressional leaders after yesterday's meeting reached areach reached a boiling point, and house majority leader harry reid said that cantor acted immature and should not be involved in the talks. and it is the second day of testimony in roger clemens' perjury trial, but the judge has declared a mistrial. what is happening with the rocket? [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
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