Martin Bashir   View more episodes

Aired at 07:00 PM on Monday, Apr 29, 2013 (4/29/2013)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:00Has a former governor sunk his latest campaign?
00:00:04S sarah palin finally jumped the shark?
00:00:08There's hope out there on a monday afternoon.
00:00:14>> Knowing that potentially chemical weapons have been used, it doesn't tell us when they were used, how they were used.
00:00:21>> The president has laid down the line.
00:00:22Can't be a dotted line.
00:00:23>> The world is watching.
00:00:24>> Iran is paying attention to this.
00:00:26North korea is paying attention to this.
00:00:27>> One way you can stop the syrian air force from flying is bomb the syrian air bases.
00:00:33>> We don't want to do that unless it's absolutely necessary.
00:00:35>> The red line's been there.
00:00:36They've been crossed.
00:00:37>> No one wants to start wars.
00:00:40You have to do what you have to do.
00:00:46>> Other groups are calling for their own sequester fix.
00:00:47>> We call on congress to show as much concern for others being reaching out to minorities.
00:01:07I can think with one minority they can start with.
00:01:21>>> We begin with the administration facing a complex and bloody crisis in syria with some lawmakers demanding action but with little agreement about what that would mean in practice.
00:01:32In the latest violence, syria's prime minister survived what appeared to be an assassination attempt today when a car bomb exploded near his convoy in damascus.
00:01:41This, the latest in a series of attacks on high-ranking officials comes after intelligence reports that the syrian government has used chemical weapons and as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demand a response, however limited in scope.
00:01:58>> I believe the united states could play a greater role in dealing with the humanitarian crisis.
00:02:03The suffering is intense, and i don't think the world's greatest superpower, the united states, can stand by and not do anything.
00:02:10>> We have said that they need a no-fly zone which could be obtained without using u.s.
00:02:16Manned aircraft.
00:02:16We could use patriot missiles, patriot batteries and cruise missiles to take out their air and to supply the resistance with weapons.
00:02:26>> BUT IF senator McCain outlined a robust intervention there, he joined a parade of lawmakers strongly against sending in united states troops.
00:02:37>> The worst thing the united states could do right now is put boots on the ground in syria.
00:02:43That would turn the people against us.
00:02:45>> Obviously, we don't want to do that unless it's absolutely necessary.
00:02:49>> We don't need to put boots on the ground, but we need to enable their neighbors, the neighbors of syria, to bring some sort of peaceful resolution to this.
00:02:59>> Some, however, urged less caution.
00:03:02With senator lindsey graham arguing that failure to intervene in syria would embolden other rogue nations like north korea and iran.
00:03:13>> If we keep this hands-off approach to syria, this indecisive action toward syria kind of not knowing what we're going to do next, we're going to have a war with iran because iran is going to take our inaction in syria as meaning we're not serious about their nuclear weapons program.
00:03:29>> Graham raised further alarms about inaction for security here at home.
00:03:35Citing syria's store of chemical weapons.
00:03:38>> The chemical weapons, enough to kill millions of people, are going to be compromised and fall in the wrong hands, and the next bomb that goes off in america may not have nails and glass in it.
00:03:50>> But even senator graham agrees the situation in syria is difficult to say the least.
00:03:58Creasing islamist dominance of the opposition.
00:04:01"Nowhere in rebel-controlled syria is there a secular " as such, the question of further military aid to the resistance is fraught with potentially disastrous consequences.
00:04:15As congressman peter king said " >> the situation in syria is complex.
00:04:20My concern is al qaeda has more influences than it should among the rebels and if we assist the rebels, al qaeda could take advantage of that.
00:04:27>> With all that at play, the white house is facing no end of questions about just where their red line lies and what it means to cross it.
00:04:36>> There is much more to be done to verify conclusively that the red line the president has talked about has been crossed.
00:04:45An assessment of varying degrees of confidence is not sufficient to -- upon which to base a policy reaction.
00:04:53>> The white house says an investigative team is ready to deploy to syria within 24, 48 hours if assad will let them in.
00:05:00That's a big if and a big question.
00:05:03One among many.
00:05:03Joining us now is nbc's peter alexander live at the white house.
00:05:07Pete, we're just learning that thent has had a phone conversation with russian president vladimir putin talking in part about syria.
00:05:15What can you tell us about that conversation?
00:05:18>> Reporter: Yeah, martin.
00:05:18We're learning that from white house officials that that conversation between president obama and president vladimir putin of russia did take place at some point today.
00:05:26The topic of conversations including syria, where the president expressed concerns over syrian chemical weapons.
00:05:33Obviously russia would be a is to pursue some further intervention in terms of the crisis taking place, the civil war in that country.
00:05:42White house officials telling us the president urged there to be close consultations continuing minister on this very topic.
00:05:53One of many topics the two men spoke about this afternoon.
00:05:56>> Pete, given quite understandable reluctance to engage in yet another military conflict, there now some regret that while the administration obviously had a red line in their minds about syria, that they may now regret having said so publicly?
00:06:12>> Reporter: I think there may be privately some regret that this is playing out the way that it is.
00:06:18Obviously, the fact that that line was drawn so clearly, so firmly in the sand obviously adds a layer of complexity to this.
00:06:28I posed the question to jay carney in the briefing hours ago and he said the president made it clear the red line exists long before we had the evidence, we had the information, the intelligence suggesting there is a high likelihood or likelihood chemical weapons were used in the situation.
00:06:43They insist the president's policy hasn't changed.
00:06:46Foreign policy experts say in some sense the white house's words were a little ahead of their policy actions right now.
00:06:52The white house, as you played some of the sound bites, has made it clear the president said we will pursue this effort prudently and deliberately, focusing on among other things what happened in iraq where faulty intelligence led in many ways contributing to that invasion.
00:07:06They don't want that to repeat itself here.
00:07:09>> Peter alexander at thite house.
00:07:13Let's bring in our panel.
00:07:14In washington, nia malika henderson for the "washington " " good afternoon to both of you.
00:07:24Steve, given the terrible toll of the last ten years and still uncertain outcomes in places like iraq and afghanistan, is it really time to engage in yet another military conflict with an arab nation or does the humanitarian situation in syria simply demand an intervention?
00:07:39>> Well, there's no simple answer to that good question in the sense that, you know, whether it's your framing or lindsey graham saying other nations are watching this and he wants a cookie cutter approach to intervention.
00:07:53The fact is that syria is not libya, and syria has its own somewhat compounding circumstances and the largest of which are that despite humanitarian trauma which is clear and evident, despite now with the potential use of chemical weapons in syria that i think would bring a lot of realists into the camp and say, this is a different kind of conflict, basically, you know, military intervention, whether it's a no-fly zone strategy or something more robust really raises the prospects that you create a situation in which the state, which assad now has.
00:08:31All of that bureaucracy and infrastructure completely collapses.
00:08:35And the heroes of the revolution who will succeed are not the ones that we're talking to diplomatically.
00:08:41They are a much more ferocious and a much more extreme islamist faction and you end up with a much worse situation.
00:08:50I think the administration is trying to be surgical to some degree and cautious.
00:08:57I talked to nior state department officials saying it's hard to get to the best outcome in a horrible situation.
00:09:02Somewhat the best outcome is to get rid of assad but largely keep the infrastructure of the state in place.
00:09:06>> Right.
00:09:08>> And that's what they're trying to do and why they're not moving as rapidly as some others are demanding.
00:09:12>> Nia malika, the president has been attacked, as, quote, being toeak on syria.
00:09:20Even a superficial glance at the rebels is enough to cause us to think very, very carefully before taking action.
00:09:26You've got an opposition made up mostly of sunni arabs but also the country has christians, kurds, palestinians, armenians.
00:09:37One group of rebels known as the jabat al nustra declared allegiance to al qaeda.
00:09:44Are people like lindsey graham suggesting we dive headlong into that?
00:09:48>> You heard lindsey graham say THAT AS WELL AS john McCain, saying we should arm the rebels.
00:09:54The problem as you laid out there and as "the new york times" laid out over the weekend is rebels aren't natural allies of the united states.
00:10:02They have al qaeda links.
00:10:04So to arm the opposition is in many ways to arm the opposition against the u.s.
00:10:09So it doesn't look like that would happen.
00:10:11I think one of the things that is interesting about this is that we are seeing the sort of post-iraq reaction to the middle east.
00:10:19Even someone who is as hawkish AS A john McCain or lindsey graham, they are certainly not advocating any boots on the ground.
00:10:27What it looks like that we're in for is this long sort of evaluation of whether or not there actually were chemical weapons used then the white house will have to decide what they want to do.
00:10:38They want to figure out what russia, what china, would do.
00:10:42So far russia and china have been pretty much road blocks of getting anything done there.
00:10:46>> Sure.
00:10:47>> What does turkey want to do?
00:10:48What does jordan want to do?
00:10:50Their neighbors in that region.
00:10:52Syrian neighbors.
00:10:53So, you know, this is a complicated, a hornet's nest of a situation you certainly don't have a situation, at least yet, where americans are overwhelmingly backing any sort of intervention that would cost the lives of american soldiers.
00:11:07>> Certainly not.
00:11:08Steve, despite all the risks of involvement in syria's civil war, noted war hawk, bill kristol, thinks it's totally irresponsible for the president not to jump in.
00:11:17Take a listen to this, steve.
00:11:19>> This is not a president who wants to start another war.
00:11:23That's the way he sees it.
00:11:25I think it's totally irresponsible for an american president to have that -- no one wants to start wars -- but you have to do what you have to do.
00:11:34>> Have to do what you have to do, consequences be damned?
00:11:40>> Bill kristol is irresponsible, he once worked in the white house.
00:11:46It's irresponsible to basically critique the commander in chief for taking a pause to ask the key questions about -- >> especially after, especially, steve, after the irresponsible response to the belief that there was wmd in iraq where 5,000 troops gave their lives.
00:12:04Is that not irresponsible?
00:12:05Isn't it right for this president to pause and say, hang on a second?
00:12:08>> No, that's absolutely right.
00:12:09It's absolutely right to check out the scenarios of what happened.
00:12:12To look at what the motives were.
00:12:14I raised on msnbc the other day that there were, you know, a lot of scenarios.
00:12:19You need to think through the unthinkable issues and not just let the bandwagoning emotion of military commitments.
00:12:28And I think the biggest issue is we're all assuming is the assad regime commanded the use of those weapons.
00:12:33I talked to a senior administration official over the weekend who said that if chemical weapons were used, it is most likely the case but not only the case that those were under assad's command if they were used, and that the question they don't understand is if assad did give the command to use those weapons, why were they used to such a minimal degree?
00:12:54These are questions that anyone in the position of deploying potentially men and women to the military force, need to think through and work through.
00:13:03We have a lot of intelligence we're not sharing publicly that is signals intelligence, chatter among the syrian command staff on what happened.
00:13:12We don't know what any of that is, but it's vital to do that and bill kristol knows this.
00:13:16And we see a lot of people that for months have been discussing chemical weapons and red lines and it's almost as if those wanting to advocate a more robust response are gleeful that, in fact, chemical weapons have somehow been used.
00:13:30We need to stop and pause.
00:13:32>> Absolutely.
00:13:33Nia malika henderson, steve clemons, thank you for joining us.
00:13:38>>> Next, former governor mark sanford may be running the worst campaign in history.
00:13:46Stay with us.
00:13:47>>> Why is redemption so much easier for republicans than democrats?
00:13:49Well, simply put, it's because republicans are the christian party, and there's nothing evangelicals eat up like a redemption story.
00:13:57Sanford said he asked jesus to forgive him, and jesus said, okay.
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00:17:23>>> If you want to see a perfect encapsulation of all the ails of the republican party, may i suggest you watch tonight's debate between the candidates vying to represent south carolina's first congressional district.
00:17:35The debate airing on c-span bits democrat elizabeth colbbusch against the man who turned the phrase "hiking the appalachian trail" into a sexual euphemism.
00:17:46Republican mark sanford.
00:17:48Sanford has managed to do the impossible.
00:17:51Become the underdog versus a democrat in a district that mitt romney won by 18 points.
00:17:55He's done this via an impressive awarscalculations, reportedly asking his ex-wife to run his campaign and later allegedly trespassing at her house.
00:18:09Then admitting to the trespassing in a full page display ad, but justifying his actions because it was the super bowler all.
00:18:17Let's also not forget he awkwardly introduced the world and reportedly his son to his mistress turned fiancee the night he won the nomination.
00:18:25Oh, and there was the time he got into a debate with a poster board cutout of nancy pelosi.
00:18:33Yes, you heard me.
00:18:34>> Let's have that conversation that I think is so vital to, again, not only the discussion of ideas, but ultimately finding conclusions.
00:18:41I mean, if at the end of the day you have an idea and I have an idea, but at the end of the day we can't -- how you doing?
00:18:48Appreciate it.
00:18:49Thank you.
00:19:05he may be losing more than just this election?
00:19:11>> One word, gravitas.
00:19:15Look, everyone here is talking about this.
00:19:17Jumping the shark, doesn't look good.
00:19:19Mark sanford is in serious trouble down there in a district that should be his and should be his handily.
00:19:25The missteps you mentioned, including some you didn't mention, that have come out recly after he won the nomination have worked to torpedo the campaign and any momentum he had and any chance of a comeback.
00:19:37I still think it's going to be close, and quitenkly, we'll probably disagree, he could actually end up winning this thing but right now he's got serious problems to address and he's embarrassed the state on many, many occasions.
00:19:48This is just another one of those embarrassments.
00:19:50>> Jimmy, when sanford first came out, he had an ad campaign called the god of second chances.
00:19:55But given his natural disposition, shouldn't this be retitled the god of 50 second chances?
00:20:06>> Listen, the people in south carolina like redemption.
00:20:10If you admit your sins and ask for forgiveness, you are given that.
00:20:14The problem is when you are the billy carter of the state and you have made a fool of your state and of your family and of your children and of your sons and your ex-wife, and everybody else and the republican party, and the entire state.
00:20:27Women -- I can tell you why i disagree with my gd friend, hogan gidley.
00:20:31I think she's going to win, colbert-busch is going to win because of the female vote.
00:20:35This is going to be the year of the woman down in south carolina where women, steel magnolias, are going to war and they're pissed off, martin.
00:20:44They are angry.
00:20:45They're angry he did this to his ex-wife.
00:20:48They're angry that he did this to his children.
00:20:50Republican women in charleston especially are coming out in droves.
00:20:53They're giving money to colbert-busch.
00:20:55They voted against sanford in the primary.
00:20:58They're going to vote for colbert-busch in the general election next tuesday.
00:21:04Every single republican woman except for my mother, she doesn't live in the district so he can't vote, thank god.
00:21:09>> Right.
00:21:09>> Every republican woman i speak to in south carolina in the first district is voting for colbert-busch.
00:21:14>> Hogan, I'd like you to hear how one conservative megachurch minister invoked sanford in a recent sermon which less colorful language than jimmy.
00:21:24Nevertheless, here he is.
00:21:27>> If he dealt treacherously with his wife before and the state and the people who worked for him, do you think character has changed that much?
00:21:38That he's not going to deal treacherously at some point in the future?
00:21:42>> Hogan, does that man have a point?
00:21:44That if a man cannot be trusted to keep his pants on, he might have problems controlling the public purse?
00:21:49>> Yeah, I don't know that he necessarily put it that way with the pants on, but yes, we'll just say dealing treacherously is the euphemism he used.
00:21:57That's fine.
00:21:58Look -- don't take it overboard.
00:21:59Look, he's right.
00:22:00This is something we've talked about before, martin.
00:22:02On air.
00:22:03I mean, he's got a personal problem.
00:22:06He's got a professional problem as well.
00:22:08Colbert-busch did a wonderful job exposing, you knows, the unethical use of taxpayer dollars.
00:22:14Leaving the state in a constitutional crisis for four days.
00:22:17She didn't hit on the personal problems.
00:22:19Now what we've seen, having to relive this whole situation all over again because he is running for congress, now we're learning new things like the trespassing, like not paying for the tuition, the $5,000 he owed to his own child.
00:22:30Those types of things are really big problems.
00:22:32And, of course, the one-page ad you mentioned where he said he did go to see his child because he was home alone.
00:22:38Then we found out the child wasn't home alone.
00:22:40All of his -- some of his brothers were there, too.
00:22:43So this whole thing continues to unravel and it's not really good for mark sanford.
00:22:47And, look, that preacher is absolutely right.
00:22:48He has a very good point to make.
00:22:51>> Jimmy, final point to you.
00:22:52You suggest he's not going to go down very well with women.
00:22:55I have to question you on that because this is a man who really does know how to speak to women, whether it's a cardboard cutout, and I might quote to you from one of his letters, and if you will, "i could digress and say you have the ability to give magnificently gentle kisses or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curves of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself, or two magnificent parts of yourself.
00:23:23In the faded glow of night's light.
00:23:25But, hey, that would be going into the sexual details we spoke of at the steakhouse at dinner and unlike you, I would never do " the man, gentlemen, is a poet.
00:23:36>> He's a deadbeat dad and he's a pervert in my opinion.
00:23:41He should not be re-elected.
00:23:42>> Jimmy, and hogan, thank you, gentlemen.
00:23:45Stay with us.
00:23:46We have much more ahead.
00:23:47>>> First, the white house weighs in on news today, nba player jason collins decided to tell the world who he really is.
00:23:55>> Here at the white house we view that as another example of the progress that has been made and the evolution that has been taking place in this country.
00:24:06And commend him for his courage and support him in his, you know, in this effort.
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00:27:25>>> Stay with us.
00:27:26The day's top lines are coming up.
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00:30:38>>> From a distinct lack of principle, to a set of skewed priorities, here are today's top lines.
00:30:45Let them eat cake.
00:30:50>> Rush limbaugh warned you about this.
00:30:52Second term, baby.
00:30:53>> After the election, ryan said president obama was re-elected because of the high turnout of urban voters.
00:30:57Then when he was asked just how he liked his coffee, ryan said no milk, no sugar, just urban.
00:31:03>> If I can think of one minority they could start with.
00:31:07>> I look forward to hosting this event 18 years from now.
00:31:12Then my opening line will be -- [ speaking foreign language ] >> sheldon adelson spent his own money on negative ads.
00:31:27>> I was worried because of sequester we would be forced to hold this even at a less prestigious hotel not possible.
00:31:36>> You remember the sequester?
00:31:37>> Republicans fell in love with this thing.
00:31:39>> It's just a meat cleaver.
00:31:41We cut everything.
00:31:42Long-term unemployment.
00:31:43>> Cut 11% for 2 million out of work americans.
00:31:47>> Head start.
00:31:48>> 70,000 Children.
00:31:50>> Meals on wheels.
00:31:50>> 4 Million fewer meals on wheels for seniors.
00:31:53>> Now they carved out this exception because they wanted to get home on time.
00:31:57>> And the only way they're bipartisan is to do something for themselves.
00:32:02>> Impractical to expect all of the negative consequences of sequester can be solved this way.
00:32:07>> We can't pass gun control legislation, but oh by the way, you're about to get delayed at the airport.
00:32:12>> I think we have our priorities a little bit skewed here.
00:32:16>> You're not kidding.
00:32:17We're joined now by karen finney, former dnc communications director, soon to be an anchor on this network.
00:32:25 bob " we saw plenty of republicans enjoying president's speech saturday night.
00:32:32What's happening right now to people because of sequestration, the loss of millions on meals on wheels which we talked about on this broadcast.
00:32:39The slashing of head start programs.
00:32:41Republicans have absolutely nothing to say about that, do they?
00:32:44>> No.
00:32:45Look, the republicans care more about tax breaks for hedge fund billionaires than they do about food for hungry seniors.
00:32:54This is the new republican party.
00:32:55This is the remade republican party.
00:32:58They won't sit down with the president.
00:33:00They won't come up with a bargain that can get rid of this sequester.
00:33:04They like the sequester.
00:33:05And they like the sequester because it slows the economy.
00:33:10They think it's their route to power in 2014.
00:33:13And the president, democrats, organizing for america, with all of the energy of that turnout on ration, is going to have to go into 2014, try to defy history and change the balance of power in this congress.
00:33:26>> Wow.
00:33:28Karen, here's white house press secretary jay carney.
00:33:30This is what he had to say earlier.
00:33:33Take a listen.
00:33:34>> We hoped congress would show the same kind of unified passion it comes to helping families whose kids are getting kicked off of head start or seniors who are losing access to the meals on wheels program, or families whose breadwinners have lost their jobs.
00:33:53>> Karen, why is it that republicans can step up when it comes to fixing flight delays so they can go on recess, but have no interest in addressing the issue as bob shrum just said, of people, elderly seniors who rely on meals on wheels?
00:34:09>> It's about politics.
00:34:11Who they perceive votes and who they perceive gives money and who they perceive has the political power.
00:34:18You cannot worry about let start if you're not worried those children or parents are going to vote for you or donate to your campaign.
00:34:24You worry about your campaign contributors who are sitting on a tarmac calling you from their cell phone.
00:34:29So a lot of this has to do with political dynamics.
00:34:37Democrats need to get on offense on this.
00:34:38There's no research actually now showing austerity may be the reason for the slowdown in economy.
00:34:44Not the reverse which was the line the republicans had been pushing for so long.
00:34:48And we're seeing, you know, we're already seeing reductions in the deficit.
00:34:51We're on a good path.
00:34:52We need to make more investments and not buy into the republican line about sequestration and austerity.
00:35:00>> Absolutely.
00:35:01Bob, last week we talked about a 98-year-old woman in tennessee, frances haskell who may lose her meals on wheels.
00:35:16Now meet another woman who's facing the same situation.
00:35:18Take a listen.
00:35:19>> I really rely on meals on wheels and I cannot get out to get meals.
00:35:24I can't afford what meals cost in restaurants or elsewhere.
00:35:29>> Your reaction to people like that, bob?
00:35:32>> Well, I have enormous sympathy for her and sense of moral outrage at the house republicans who blocked any action to try to deal with this problem.
00:35:43Look, we have people all over this country who worked hard all their lives, who saved to live on social security, trying to stay at home.
00:35:52And they're going to now be put in trouble.
00:35:55Kids in head start, as you said, are going to be put in trouble.
00:35:59The republican party, and karen's right about this, just doesn't hear the voice of these people.
00:36:05But the president and the democrats in congress have to make sure that those voices are heard.
00:36:10>> We're doing our very best.
00:36:12Bob shrum and karen finney, thank you both.
00:36:14>> Thank you.
00:36:15>>> Next, republicans like louie gohmert see the boston bombings as the latest, greatest excuse to spew their bile.
00:36:23Stay with us.
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00:39:35>>> The mother involved in shaping the militant mindset of her sons.
00:39:39That's what people are asking after it emerged this weekend russian intelligence secretly recorded a conversation between one of the boston bombers and his mother.
00:39:48A conversation that reportedly involved jihad.
00:39:50We're joined now by michael isikoff who's in boston and by nbc news terrorism analyst roger cressey.
00:39:57Good afternoon to both of you.
00:39:57Mike, we've been hearing a lot about the mother, but now i understand you have some information about tamerlan's wife.
00:40:04What can you tell us?
00:40:07>> Reporter: Exactly, martin.
00:40:09Earlier today, fbi agents went to the home of the parents of catherine russell, wife of tamerlan tsarnaev, questioned her for about an hour and left with bags of evidence.
00:40:22Now, her lawyer says she's cooperating with the fbi but she's clearly a crucial witness, as agents try to piece together at background of tamerlan tsarnaev and his activities in the month leading up to the bombing.
00:40:37She has, was working during that time.
00:40:40They had a 3-year-old daughter.
00:40:42The parents were taking care of the daughter.
00:40:45But where was tamerlan during period?
00:40:52What was he doing?
00:40:52How much time did he spend at home with his daughter?
00:40:55How much time did he spend away?
00:40:56What did he tell his wife about where he was, who was he meeting with?
00:41:01These are crucial questions as fbi agents try to piece together the whole story here.
00:41:05Clearly where we are right now is with a lot of unanswered questions about this case.
00:41:09A lot of people who still need to be talked to.
00:41:13A top law enforcement official told me earlier today this investigation is far from being wrapped up.
00:41:18>> Roger, there are also now reports which say that authorities are investigating up to six associates of the tsarnaev brothers for possible involvement in the bombings.
00:41:28With that in mind, take a listen to this.
00:41:33>> The way they handled these devices and the trade craft leads me to believe there was a trainer, and the question is where is that trainer or trainers?
00:41:43Are they overseas in the chechen region or are they in the united states?
00:41:46>> Roger, is it your assessment, and I accept this is conjecture, that there are other people out there who had a hand in these bombings?
00:41:53People we don't know anything about yet?
00:41:55>> Well, martin, I think representative McCaul raises a central question.
00:42:00If they did have help, is that group or individual either here in the united states or was it overseas in chechnya and dagestan?
00:42:09It's still quite possible they've done this on their own, from our perspective is the most frightening assessment and frightening conclusion.
00:42:17There was a level of complexity to this.
00:42:19I hate the word sophistication.
00:42:22There was complexity to these devices in how they were triggered that have the hallmarks of people who had some sort of external training.
00:42:29Again, until we get the answer to questions from that group of individuals, the fbi is now interviewing, we're not going to be able to draw a final conclusion here.
00:42:38So it really could go either way right now, but most people assume that they did not do this on their own, but we have to see where the investigation leads.
00:42:45>> Mike, we've been hearing a lot about the mother.
00:42:48She turns up on this phone call recorded by russian intelligence.
00:42:53Tell us about that and what are the fbi thinking about what she may have encouraged her sons to be or do?
00:43:01>> Reporter: Well first of all, martin, the fbi I'm told is quite annoyed that the russians haveot provided this information earlier back in 2011 when they firstsked the bureau to investigate tamerlan tsarnaev because they had very little to go on, the bureau did.
00:43:18They just had this russian report that he was a follower of radical islam, that he changed radically, changed drastically, and that he had unspecified associations with unspecified underground groups.
00:43:31The bureau went, they did an investigation, they questioned tamerlan, they questioned members of his family.
00:43:36They did not know about the contents of the wiretaps.
00:43:41And whether or not it would have changed anything at the end, we don't know, but certainly the fact that there were transcripts of phone calls suggesting the radicalization of tamerlan tsarnaev and with his mother would have certainly given the bureau more leads to go on to do that initial investigation.
00:44:02Because remember, everything turns on the conclusions of that investigation in 2011 in which the bureau found that there was no evidence of violent activity.
00:44:12No evidence to support the russian suspicions.
00:44:15Because at that point, they closed the case, although tsarnaev gets put on various watch lists.
00:44:23There's no information that could have prevented him from leaving the country, that would have dictated further follow-up and monitoring of his activities.
00:44:32And had those activities been monitored, had, for instance, the bureau continued to keep an eye on him, they would have certainly picked up, say, the youtube account in which he's posting these radical videos starting in the summer of 2012 that might have given them more clues, that might have given then cause for more investigation and certainly once the bombing took place would have put him at the top of a list of suspects to start looking at.
00:44:56>> Roger, they also would have been conscious of his trip overseas last year for that six-month period, wouldn't they?
00:45:02>> Yeah, martin.
00:45:04Mike makes a key point here.
00:45:05That would have been one of the key triggers on intent.
00:45:08If the federal security service in russia had given the united states real specificity about what the conversations were, about what was triggering his march toward radical islam, then the bureau would have been in a better position to do something.
00:45:21When you open up a preliminary inquiry, it has to be derogatory information.
00:45:27It has to be specific and verifiable in order to take it to a full investigation.
00:45:31Because of what the fbi was able to found based on the limited information, it could not be verified and they had to close it and give the bureau -- give the fsb what they had which was not much.
00:45:41This becomes a key trigger where this plot could have been stopped much sooner and certainly before the attack took place had the russians shared more.
00:45:51>> Roger cressey and michael isikoff.
00:45:54Gentlemen, thank you so much.
00:45:55>> Thanks, martin.
00:45:57>>> Next, perhaps wayne lapierre won't get the last laugh after all.
00:46:00Stay with us.
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00:49:13>>> I want to make it clear, you were going to bring this bill back -- >> absolutely.
00:49:17>> -- To the senate floor, and you think it's going to be different?
00:49:20>> I truly believe that if we have time to sell the bill and people will read the bill, and I'm willing to go anywhere in this country, debate anybody on this issue, read the bill and you tell me what you don't like.
00:49:31>> That was senator joe manchin, co-author of the recently defeated background checks bill but now sounding awfully optimistic.
00:49:39For his prediction to come true, five no votes would have to become yes votes.
00:49:44That only gets the bill through the senate.
00:49:46Yet senator manchin does indeed have reason to be optimistic.
00:49:49Joining us, julian epstein, a democratic strategist.
00:49:54Julian, I'm reminded of the brady bill which took seven year, three presidents before it was passed.
00:49:59It was introduced on february THE 4th 1987, WHERE IT FAILED Numerous times in the house and faced filibuster in the senate.
00:50:07It was finally signed by president clinton, as you know, ON NOVEMBER THE 30th, 1993.
00:50:14The lesson is, if you're invested in the long game, and senator manchin may be, he could be proved right, couldn't he?
00:50:20>> That is the lesson.
00:50:22That's exactly the lesson.
00:50:24Remember, that law was charged in the supreme court in the prince case and the law was upheld.
00:50:29Look, there's lots of reason for optimism.
00:50:30Sometimes you win by losing, martin.
00:50:33The most important thing for the advocates of these measures is to realize they have won the heartsminds of the american people.
00:50:39That's the most important thing.
00:50:42Secondly, look at the poll members of the senators, senators like senator ayotte, jeff flake and others, their numbers -- >> julian, I can help you with that.
00:50:55One of the things that may help manchin is the polling.
00:51:002/3 Of voters tell gallup the senate should have passed the bill.
00:51:04Whereas pat toomey is seeing sky-high poll numbers after his effort to pass background checks.
00:51:12Kelly ayotte, as you said, jeff flake, seeing their numbers hammered after voting no.
00:51:19Does this issue feed into the gop branding problem, generally, doesn't it?
00:51:22>> Very, very much so.
00:51:25Not only are they getting hammered, they're getting hammered in pro-gun states.
00:51:29Look at the numbers in arizona, ohio, new hampshire, other places that have traditionally been very, very pro-gun states.
00:51:36Those numbers are getting hammered.
00:51:38I think your point -- those senators are getting hammered.
00:51:40Your point is the key point, martin.
00:51:42These ings take many, many years to pass.
00:51:43The brady bill as you mentioned passed seven years.
00:51:46I think if the politics keep going the way day are going right now, the nra sand castles will quickly blow out to sea and we'll think of nra in a couple years as standing for not relevant anymore.
00:51:59>> Okay.
00:51:59This is a very good issue if you are ted cruz.
00:52:02Take a listen to how he describes bravely standing up against his own party on gun control.
00:52:07>> Right.
00:52:08>> We've had probably five or six lunches with a bunch of republican senators standing up and looking at rand and mike and me and yelling at us at the top of their lungs.
00:52:18I mean, really upset.
00:52:19They said, look, why did you do this?
00:52:23But as a result of what you did, when I go home, my constituents are yelling at me I have to stand on principle.
00:52:33I'm really not making that up.
00:52:35>> Julian, what's good for ted cruz may not be good for the republican party.
00:52:40>> That's exactly right, martin.
00:52:41That's the lesson that I think republicans should have learned during the last election cycle when they actually tried to tee up many of these social conservative issues on women, on minorities, on immigration and lost every single one of those at the national level.
00:52:55I think this is very, very similar.
00:52:56I think by the same token, the democrats are going to have to start playing very hardball politics on this.
00:53:02I think that the president and the majority leader are going to need to start twisting arms.
00:53:07I think we're going to have to revisit even though I haven't thought this was a good idea in the past, revisit the fil rules.
00:53:14I think there will be a big movement in the country to revisit the filibuster rules.
00:53:18I think the president, as I said before, needs to start saying that the republican party has now become the party that is soft on crime and soft on terrorism because they are keeping in place laws that criminals and terrorists seek to exploit in order to kill innocent americans.
00:53:33And it's that simple.
00:53:34They should simply say this is a party that is soft on crime, this is a party that is soft on terrorism.
00:53:39>> Julian epstein, as ever, thanks so much, julian.
00:53:42>> Thank you so much, martin.
00:53:45>> And we'll be right back yeah, let's do it! let's do it.
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00:56:52>>> this weekend marked the annual white house correspondents' dinner where the president of the united states gets to let his hair down.
00:57:01>> I understand second term, need a burst of new energy.
00:57:04Try some new things and my team and I talked about it.
00:57:06We were willing to try anything, so we borrowed one of michelle's tricks.
00:57:16[ Laughter ] >> but within minutes of the president delivering a mix of self-deprecating humor and a stream of zingers aimed at the media, one individual just didn't get the joke.
00:57:34 saturday night sarah palin took to facebook.
00:57:44"Yuk it up media and pols.
00:57:46While america is buried in taxes and a fight for our rights the permanent political class in dresses up and has a prom " palin followed up her comments on facebook with the ing tweet.
00:58:05"That white house correspondents' dinner is pathetic.
00:58:07The rest of america is out there working our -- off while the clowns throw themselves a " in her reference to comedians are her husband and her daughter, both of whom ed dressing up and attending the event in the past.
00:58:23Addressing facts with her would be a pointless exercise.
00:58:25The truth is that these comments mark her erable decline from hopelessly mindless vice presidential candidate to now a near nonentity.
00:58:36What's left is a smoldering bitterness that america once again proved too smart and too discerning to tolerate her meretricious bile.
00:58:46You see, unlike snooki and the situation who are her peers in the world of reality television, they successfully extended their brands into perfume and power palin is now found slumped alone among the discarded rubbish of the cpac conference.
00:59:07Her only accompaniment, deep well of bitterness and jealousy that now mark her character.
00:59:13While she rails against that dinner on saturday night, one of the speakers may well have stumbled upon something she is perfectly qualified to do.
00:59:22>> Incidentally you may not know this but wayne lapierre is merely the executive vice president of the nra.
00:59:28Which begs the question, how freaking crazy do you have to be to be the actual president of the nra?