tv Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield CNN October 17, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT
in a few moments is that all of the people seated in that room, according to the small pool of reporters in that room where the president will be, are federal workers, are white house workers who have been on the job throughout this ordeal. i think that's a signal that he will thank toes workers for their hard work during this crisis. we expect him to extend the olive branch down pennsylvania avenue, call for compromise on big budget issues that he, himself, has said he wants to get his hands dirty dealing with. he wants to deal with entitlement spending and taking a look at obama care, if there are issues with the health care law that he is agreeable to, that perhaps members of congress want to deal with. he wants to talk about that as well. i think that will be part of the larger conversation. as gloria, john and everybody else was talking about in the last half hour, the president's health care law will be a concern for this white house in the coming days. >> jim, hold on.
here is the president. last night, i signed legislation to reopen our government and pay america's bills, because democrats and responsible republicans came together. the first government shutdown in 17 years is now over. the first default in more than 200 years will not happen. these twin threats to our economy have now been lifted and i want to thank those democrats and republicans for getting together and ultimately getting this job done. now, there's been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown. let's be clear. there are no winners here. these last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy. we don't know yet the full scope of the damage, but every analyst out there believes it's slowed our growth. we know that families have gone
without paychecks or services they depend on. we know that potential home buyers have gotten fewer mortgages and small business loans have been put on hold. we know that consumers have cut back on spending and that half of all ceos say that the shutdown and the threat of shutdown set back their plans to hire over the next six months. we know that just the threat of default, of america not paying all the bills that we owe on time increased our borrowing costs, which adds to our deficit. and, of course, we know that the american people's frustration with what goes on in this town has never been higher. that's not a surprise. that the american people are completely fed up with washington. at a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more
momentum, we've got yet another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back. and for what? there was no economic rationale for all of this. over the past four years, our economy has been growing. our businesses have been creating jobs and our deficits have been cut in half. we hear some members who pushed for the shutdown say they were doing it to save the american economy. but nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises. you don't have to take my word for it. the agency that put america's credit rating on watch the other day explicitly krooitd all of
this, saying our economy remains more resilient than other advanced economies and the only thing putting us at risk is -- and i'm quoting here -- repeated brinksmanship. that's what the credit rating agency said. it wasn't a political statement. that was an analysis of what's hurting our economy by people whose jobs it is to analyze these things. that also happens to be the view of our diplomats who have been hearing from their counterparts internationally. so the same folks who pushed for the shutdown and threatened default claim their actions were needed to get america back on the right track. to make sure we're strong. probably nothing has done more damage to america's credibility in the world, our standing with our countries than the spectacle
that we've seen these past several weeks. it's encouraged our enemies. it's emboldened our competitors and depressed our friends who look to us for steady leadership. now the good news is we'll bounce back from this. we always do. america is the bedrock of the global economy for a reason. we are the indispensable nation that the rest of the world looks to as the safest and most reliable place to invest. something that's made it easier for generations of americans to invest in their own futures. we have earned that responsibility over more than two centuries because of dynamism of our economy, our entrepreneurs, the productivity of our workers, but also because we keep our work and we meet our obligations. that's what full faith and
credit means. you can count on us. the full faith and credit of the united states remains unquestioned. but all my friends in congress, understand that how business is done in this town has to change. because we've all got a lot of work to do on behalf of the american people and that includes the hard work of regaining their trust. our system of self government doesn't function without it. and now that the government is reopened and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and talking heads on radio and professional activists who profit from conflict and focus on what the majority of americans sent us here to do.
and that's grow this economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, educate our kids, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul. that's why we're here. that should be our focus. now that won't be easy. we all know that we have divided government right now. there's a lot of noise out there. and the pressure from the extre extremes affect how a lot of members of congress see the day-to-day work that's supposed to be done here. let's face it, the american people don't see every issue the same way. that doesn't mean we can't make progress. and when we disagree, we don't have to suggest that the other side doesn't love this country or believe in free enterprise or all the other rhetoric that
seems to get worse every single year. if we disagree on something, we can move on and focus on the things we agree on. and get some stuff done. be specific in about three places where i believe we can make progress right now. first in the coming days and weeks, we should sit down and pursue a balanced approach to a responsible budget, a budget that grows our economy faster and shrinks our long-term deficits further. the beginning of this year, that's what both democrats and republicans committed to doing. senate passed a budget. house passed a budget. they were supposed to come together and negotiate. and had one side decided not to
pursue a strategy of brinksmanship, each side could have gotten together and figured out how do we shape a budget that provides center to businesses and people who rely on government, certainty of investors and our economy, and we would be growing faster right now. good news is that the legislation i signed yesterday now requires congress to do exactly that, what it could have been doing all along. and we shouldn't approach this process of creating a budget as ideological exercise, just cutting for the sake of cutting. the issue is not growth versus fiscal responsibility. we need both. we need a budget that deals with the issues that most americans are focused on, creating more good jobs that pay better wages. and, remember, the deficit is getting smaller not bigger.
it's going down faster than it has in the last 50 years. the challenge we have right now are not short-term deficits, it's the long-term obligations that we had around things like medicare and social security. we want to make sure those are there for future generations. so the key now is a budget that cuts out the things that we don't need, closes corporate tax loopholes that don't help create jobs and frees up resources for the things that do help us grow, like education and infrastructure and research. and these things, historically, have not been partisan. and this shouldn't be as difficult as it's been in past years because we already spend less than we did a few years ago. our deficits are half of what
they were a few years ago. the debt problems we have now are long term. we can address them without short changing our kids or short changing our grandkids or weakening the security that current generations have earned from their hard work. that's number one. number two, we should finish fixing the job of our -- let me say that again. number two, we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system. there's a broad coalition in america behind this effort of comprehensive immigration reform from business leaders to faith leaders to law enforcement. in fact, the senate has already passed a bill with strong bip t bipartisan support that would make the biggest commitment to border security in our history,
would modernize our legal immigration system, make sure everyone plays by the same rules, make sure that folks who came here illegally have to pay a fine, pay back taxes. $1.4 trillion in new economic growth. the majority of americans think this is the right thing to do and is sit tlg, waiting for the house to pass it. if the house has ideas on how to improve the senate bill, let's hear them. let's start the negotiations. but let's not leave this problem to keep festering for another year or two years or three years. this can and should get done by the end of this year.
number three, we should pass a farm bill, one that american farmers and ranchers can depend on, one that protects vulnerable children and adults in times of need, one that gives rural communities opportunities to grow and the long-term certainty that they deserve. the senate has already passed a soldier, bipartisan bill that's got support from democrats and republicans. it's sitting in the house, wattiwat ing waiting for passage. if house republicans have ideas that they think would improve the farm bill, let's see them. let's negotiate. what are we waiting for? let's get this done. so passing a budget, immigration reform, farm bill. those are three specific things that would make a huge
difference in our economy right now. and we could get them done by the end of the year if our focus is on what's good for the american people. and that's just the big stuff. there are all kinds of other things we could be doing that don't get us as much attention. i understand, we will not suddenly agree on everything now that the cloud of crisis has passed. democrats and republicans are far apart on a lot of issues. and i recognize there are folks on the other side who think that my policies are misguided. that's putting it mildly. that's okay. that's democracy. that's how it works. we can debate those differences vigorously, passionately, in good faith through the normal
democratic process. and sometimes we'll be just too far apart to forge an agreement. but that should not hold back our efforts in areas where we do agree. we shouldn't fail to act on areas that we do agree or just because it's bad politics. just because the extremes in our party don't like the word compromise. i will look for willing partners wherever i can to get important work done. and there's no good reason why we can't govern responsibly. despite our differences, without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis. in fact, one of the things that
i hope all of us have learned these past few weeks is that it turns out smart, effective government is important. it matters. i think the american people, during the shutdown, had a chance to get some idea of all the things, large and small, that government does that make a difference in people's lives. and we hear all the time about how government is the problem. well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways. not only does it keep us strong through our military and law enforcement, it plays a vital role in caring for our seniors and veterans, educating our kids. making sure our workers are trained for the jobs that are being created. arming our business with his the best science and technology so they can compete with companies
from other countries. it plays a key role in keeping our food and our toys and our workplaces safe. it helps folks rebuild after a storm. it conserves our natural resources. it finances start-ups. it helps to sell our products overseas. it provides security to our diplomats abroad. so let's work together to make government work better. instead of treating it like an enemy or purpose hi make it work worse. that's not what the founders of this nation envisioned when they gave us the gift of self government. you don't like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position. go out there and win an election.
push to change it. but don't break it. don't break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. that's not being faithful to what this country is about. and that brings me to one last point. i've got a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who either work without pay or have been forced off the job without pay these last few weeks, including most of my own staff. thank you. thanks for your service. welcome back. what you do is important. it matters. you defend our country overseas. you delivered benefits to our troops when they earn them.
you protect our civil rights, help businesses grow, gain footholds in overseas markets. you protect the air we breathe and the water our children drink and you push the boundaries of science and space. and you guide hundreds of thousands of people each day through the glories of this country. thank you. what you do is important. don't let anybody else tell you differently. especially the young people who come to this city to serve. believe that it matters. well, you know what? you're right. it does. those of us that have the privilege to serve this country have an obligation to do our job as best we can. we come from different parties, but we are americans first. and that's why disagreement cannot mean dysfunction.
we can't degenerate into hatred. the american people's hopes and dreams are what matters, not ours. our obligations are to them. our regard for them compels us all, democrats and republicans, to cooperate and compromise and act in the best interests of our nati nation. one nation, under god, indiv indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thanks very much. >> the president, walking out of the state dining room over at the white house. employees, many of whom have been furloughed during the 16-day partial government shutdown in the audience there, hearing the president deliver a
very, very strong speech. speaking directly to those of his critics who supported this government shutdown, trying to link it to obama care and the future of obama care. the president saying this was completely unnecessary, cost the u.s. economy billions of dollars. what a waste. slowed economic growth down the road. he did say there is an opportunity now to get this country back together. began by thanking democrats and what he called responsible republicans for what they did in the senate and the house last night. we have a full team of reporters and analysts standing by to break it all down for you, our senior white house correspondent jim acosta, chief national correspondent john king, our chief political analyst gloria borger. jim acosta, you're there at the white house, the senior correspondent. tell us what you thought. i thought the president was very direct, very candid and very blunt going after his critics.
>> reporter: we were told he would be extending the olive branch down pennsylvania avenue but he did it with a lecture. he didn't name ted cruz by the way bu basically said don't break what our founding fathers and predecessors have built. that was to the tea party. he did talk about that balanced approach he wants to bring to the budget. i talked towise white house officials who say when the president uses those words, balanced approach, he's talking about budget cuts, entitlement spending reform. as democrats like to point out, they would like to see revenue enhancements. and even some republicans agree with that as well. he wants to move on to immigration reform, pass the farm bill that got out of the senate. we didn't hear a great deal about health care reform and fixing the glitches in obama care. the other thing we didn't here is the president taking any responsibility for this crisis and that is sort of, i guess, a signal that he doesn't feel much
blame for what happened here the last couple of weeks, even though a lot of republicans said, hey, wait a minute. the president never really negotiated over anything. john mccain was on cnn's "new day" earlier this morning saying that the president should have done more negotiating. there are republicans, even republicans who agree with him, who feel like he didn't do enough. the very last thing he was talking about -- i wondered if he was going to get to it, because that room was full of federal workers. he thanked the federal workers. a lot of people were out of work. yes, they'll get backpay, be compensated for the time they've been furloughed. they sometimes feel underappreciated and the president wanted to make it know known that they are appreciated. >> a lot of us who work here in washington know a lot of those employees who were furloughfurl.
80% of the staff there had been furloughed the last 16 days. the question he and others have been asking, why? what was that all about? deplo gloria, the president was pretty tough in his comments there. >> i think he was tough and he did something that was nuance to me, which is he was essentially describing the cynical political system we now live in when he said -- when he spoke about what he called professional activists who profit from conflict. what he's saying is these are people who run against washington and they -- and yet -- they create the conflict in washington which makes washington look even worse. it's a vicious cycle. i think it's on both sides of the aisle, quite frankly, these groups. he was speaking directly to them, which is you created this. you're the folks who are, in many ways, the puppet masters for a lot of those people on
capitol hill because they're afraid of you. and you created this conflict. and as a result, washington looks like a terrible spectacle was the word he used. it's got to stop. so i actually thought it was an interesting speech on kind of the way washington, unfortunately, works right now. >> whether you agree or disagree with him. whether you agree or disagree with him, very early on, washington said it has to change the way it does business. five years into his presidency, he is frustrated. i'm not assigning any blame. let's assign blame to all of them. this town does not change. this towns to not cooperate more, respect each other more, talk to each other as much. gloria talked about the nuance. he also made the case for government. this is a democratic president whose biggest divide with the ted cruzes, with the tea party of the world, is washington too big, has the federal government have too much of a role in people's lives?
you have the democratic president making the case maybe the american people will agree more with him in the last 16 days in the sense of what the president said was reckless on behalf of the republicans. he was trying to make the case that maybe it will help him and government has a good role to play. >> government has grown more popular. >> including obama care. >> since the shutdown. of course, obama care, too. but government, which is completely unpopular grew more popular. people realized what was missing from their lives when it shut down. >> see how long that lasts. >> you speak to ardent conservatives. do you like social security? 60 million americans are dependent on social security. love social -- do you like medicare? tens of millions of americans. do you like the u.s. military? all of this is part of big government. and if you just take those three categories, social security, medicare and the military, that's a huge chunk of federal expenditures every year. >> point is fix government but don't throw it away, don't break
it. >> great point. president. this is a divide between those who would obstruct or try to defund obama care. the president said if you want to do that, win electrics. beat us. >> obama care was a big issue last time around. dana bash is standing by up on capitol hill where she's getting reaction. we'll also get reaction from a conservative republican congressman who voted against the deal last night. much more of our special coverage after this. when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals:
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credit rating on watch the other day explicitly cited all of this, saying that our economy remains more dynamic and resilient than other advanced economies and that the only thing putting us at risk is -- and i'm quoting here -- repeated brinksmansh brinksmanship. >> the president speaking moments ago. very tough speech by the president, moving forward. dana bash is up on capitol hill. give us some reaction. what are you hearing from folks there? he has a lot of critics, especially those who voted against the senate passed legislation and house passed legislation. >> reporter: let me read you an e-mail i got from a senior republican source. what an opportunity the president had to unite the country following a crisis. completely willfully squandered. that gives you a sense of how this was received inside the walls of senior republican offices here on capitol hill with regard to sort of the tone of his message. but when you look at the
substance of what he asked for, namely immigration reform -- which obviously is something that many republicans want to do, particularly after the way that they got really hit hard in the last election they lost badly with hispanic voters. mitt romney did, in particular. everybody wants to do it. i think when you're talking about the leadership, but getting it done has always been very divisive, especially in the republican party. george bush, republican president, couldn't even get it done. i was asking the question, really, what toung the chances of immigration reform happening? one e-mail said ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, the other said zero and the third said not happening right now. the belief among republicans, fairly or not, enough of them -- the president what he did today was designed to help the -- not help the process, but to lay blame in advance. a lot of republicans think that the president is setting a trap
for them by talking up immigration reform and it's an issue that he knows divides republicans as a way to help get democrats elected, maybe even take over the majority, but elected in congress so that he can do his -- some of his big legacy issues with a democratic congress in the sebd term. now -- at the end of his second term. that may be conspiracy thinking and certainly very cynical. i'm giving this to you, because that is the way a lot of republicans are thinking, and especially when you look at the issue of immigration reform, which is so, so, so dicey for so many republicans. it doesn't look like that's going to happen in the near future. maybe after the 2014 mid-term elections before the 2016 presidential, when republicans are look at the growing hispanic population and saying we do need to do something. it doesn't look like it's going to happen in this year. >> the president pushing things, saying all three of those issues he put forward, get some kind of budget agreement, immigration
reform and farm bill if there's goodwill between now and the end of the year. on those three points, we shall see. michael burgess is joining us right now, republican from texas, voted against the legislation last night. thanks very much for coming in. >> sure enough, wolf. let me just say, first off, that i would like to actually join with the president in saying thank you to those federal workers that he was addressing this morning, and federal workers across the country. i would like to say a word of thanks to the long-suffering taxpayer, who allows all of us to spend the money that is spent up here and finally thank the men and women in the military and those who serve for giving us the opportunity to exercise our freedoms. all of us are deserving. >> you heard his specific appeal to you and others, democrats and republicans to support the farm bill that emerged from the senate that's now before the house. >> wolf, wolf, wolf -- >> hold on a second. let me go through these three points and you can respond.
work out a budget now that paul ryan is going to be meeting with senate colleagues, patty murray and others, to try to work out a budget over the next few weeks, and comprehensive immigration reform. are you on board? >> look, look, the budget committee, perhaps something that should have been done months ago. i don't agree with that. the reason it has not formed is the fundamental preconference disagreement over revenue. that revenue disagreement is not going to be solved through a committee. i will just predict to you that will end up at a stalemate. maybe republicans will get blamed. nevertheless, that's where -- >> immigration reform? >> the president got, what, $800 billion of revenue in the fiscal cliff vote the first of january and he also got an additional $800 billion in new taxes in the affordable care act. they've had a pretty big chunk of new revenue this year. i'm hard pressed to say that i think they need more. immigration, i would agree with the e-mail that miss bash received that it's just not
likely to happen. we have 11 million people out of work here in this country. we should focus on that part of our population first. no question that -- look, the united states is more welcoming to immigrants than any other country in the world. all the other countries in the world combined. about a million people a year come to this country, raise their right hand, take the oath of citizenship and that's a good thing. don't tell me our immigration system is broken and we need to put everything else on hold. we need to enforce the laws as they exist today and perhaps that's something that can happen going forward. the farm bill, for crying out loud, the house has passed a farm bill, prousd a bill. as far as i know it's on its way to conference committee. the president should have encouraged his democrats in the senate to work with chairman lucas and see if we can get something done that is sensible and saleable to the american people without blowing the bank on entitlements. so i think that, you know,
that's already in the works. i don't think the president needed to ask for that. again, chairman lucas has done an enormous amount of work in getting that to the point where he can go to conference and surely that is something that could have happened without -- >> you don't think there will be a budget agreement. you do think maybe there will be a farm bill. you don't think there will be immigration reform. quick question. is there any way under any circumstances you could support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants here in the united states? >> no. no, wolf. again, you have 11 million american citizens unemployed right now. that is the priority. and look what it does to the president's health care law. if you create this provisional status that the senate created in their bill that they passed, all of those people can be employed but they're not subject to the mandates under the employer mandate when it kicks in, in the affordable care act. guess what, that's a free employee for that employer and it puts more american citizens and their employment at risk because now these new workers
will fill that position. this is something that -- this is an example of how poorly thought through these programs from the administration are. i'm willing to work with them on things. i reached out to them at the beginning of the year, saying you have big problems coming in the affordable care act. this computer portal is not going to work. you put it off too long. when you come to our committees, come prepared to answer our questions. don't put us off. don't parrot back recorded sound bites or rehearsed sound bites. even just two weeks before the thing crashed and burned, that's what we got from the guy that's supposed to be implementing this entire thing. people understand that this process is not going to work. they spent $600 million and a lot of our time and energy and we're no closer to having that system work today than we were 3 1/2 years ago. >> congressman burgess, unfortunately, we have to leave it there. we were anxious to get your reaction, a different
perspective, clearly, than the president. michael burgess from texas, thank you very much. i'll be back at 1:00 pm eastern. later in the situation room at 5:00 pm eastern. our special coverage will continue after a break. ashleigh banfield and "legal view" will pick up our coverage. no matter how busy your morning you can always do something better for yourself. and better is so easy with benefiber. fiber that's taste-free, grit-free and dissolves completely. so you can feel free to add it to anything. and feel better about doing it. better it with benefiber. ido more with less with buless energy. hp is helping ups do just that.
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welcome back to our continuing coverage. the government reopened today. and now it's all about the talking, the branding and perhaps the negotiating, which could be the most important part of this equation. you just heard from the president, who at length laid out what he thinks we need to do, who we no longer should be, bickering, if anything. but you are also hearing those who still believe that may be the road for the future in terms of negotiating on a lot of different aspects as what the president you would like to see as an agenda, immigration, farm
bill, tax reform, budget dealings. make no mistake. we may be reopened but is the government fixed? you probably also heard the republican side of the argument, congressman michael burge. ss had joined us. now you'll hear from the democratic side. congressman steve israel is joining me. thank you for being with me. >> thank you. >> there's still a lot of work to do outside even the budget, which we have all been so mired in for weeks on end. how do you think the president is going to be able to get things on board for things like the farm bill, immigration, tax reform? that's going to require a lot of c conciliation, don't you think? >> i hope they use it as a teachable moment that the
american people are rejecting this intransience. let me give you a little bit of optimism, if i can, in this pessimistic environment. a few years ago, a moderate republican from illinois and i, a moderist democratic. we would have a timer, pick an issue. health care. five minutes to fight, 55 minutes to agree. here is what we learned. and i think this is the way forward. democrats and republicans are going to disagree on 75% of the issues. that's okay.
there's a reason i'm a democrat. there's a reason that republicans republicans. the problem with washington is that we agree on the 25% of the balance. if we could just pass that 25%, america is 100% better off. what the president just said is farm bill, budget agreement, immigration reform may not be 100%, but it will make us a much better country. so instead of fighting over our differences, let's just get it done. >> why your hearing that these wonderful timered lunches that you had, that was a few years ago. and what a difference a few years can make. because we've been careening from crisis to crisis for the last few years and i don't think anybody is in the mood to have that kind of lunch today. what i'm asking you is on the eve -- we're not even 12 hours since the president signed this bill. no one may be gloating over it, but this is a huge thumping for the republicans. how are you expecting to get the republicans on board? there is gop support in the center right for many of those things on the president's
agenda, but you still have that far right wing. >> correct. >> they still need to be dealt with. you still need to accommodate for them. how are you going to do that? i'm less interested in the pain to the speaker than i am the pain to the economy. what we need to do is find that middle ground. house democrats have already demonstrated that we are ready, willing and able to find that middle ground. we provided 100% of the votes last night to pass the bill. virtually every democrat voted to pass the hurricane sandy relief bill where we can only find a few dozen republicans. we passed the bill in the last fiscal crisis. we are ready, willing and able to negotiate. we passed the budget control act which reduced spending by over $1 trillion. we're open to reasonable solutions in that middle ground. we need some republicans to meet us in the middle. what happened with the center aisle caucus -- >> i hear you and it sounds
wonderful. i hate to see it become white noise, these platitudes. whether it's you or a conserve of it i interview, you all say the same thing. here is the problem. >> no, no, not on our terms. >> youesquively want peace on your terms because both sides were very intranscient over the past few weeks. >> but ashleigh -- >> we are going to get even more sticky as it gets closer to the mid terms. how can i expect come january 15th or february 7th, the debt limit deadline you're going to get any better at this when you're getting closer to election time? >> well, let me just -- i do feel compelled to say we didn't ask for peace on our terms. we were willing to give them peace on their terms, our own lower budget level, which was difficult for many democrats to accept. we accepted that we can't have it all our way. one party in congress has worked consistently to find that middle ground. you have another party in
congress that exists of two parties, those few left that are willing to find that common ground and the tea party that keeps tugging them to the right. one side or the other has to win the republican civil war so we know who to negotiate with. house democrats have to win the majority in 2014 so that we can move this country forward and not go from cliff to cliff. what happened to the house center aisle caucus in 2010? you're exactly right. why isn't it still existing? in 2010 moderate republicans lost their elections, moderate democrats got swept out by tea party fanatics. ever since then we've gone from cliff to cliff, crisis to crisis. >> you make a good point. elections and winning elections and winning seats is a really good way to get your way. holding us all -- basically holding the government hostage is not the best way as we've learned. congressman steve israel, thank you very much for being with us. appreciate it. >> thank you, ashleigh. >> now get to work. >> will do.
we've been so busy talking about the government shutdown, there's something else that's been happening that you would probably be pretty astounded by. a doctor accused of drugging and drowning his own wife, their 6-year-old daughter finding the body of her dead mother. the trial started in earnest about an hour ago, opening statements. our nancy grace has been weighing in on this. you won't believe what she has to say about this. she says the alleged killer should rot in hell. she will join me after the break to tell you why she's so certain the man on your screen did it. ] this is jim, a man who doesn't stand still. but jim has afib, atrial fibrillation -- an irregular heartbeat, not caused by a heart valve problem. that puts jim at a greater risk of stroke. for years, jim's medicine tied him to a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but now, with once-a-day xarelto®, jim's on the move. jim's doctor recommended xarelto®. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective
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geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. in crime and punishment, out to provo, utah, take a good look at this picture behind me. day one today of a murder trial six years in the making. they look like a very happy couple. but martin macneill, a wealthy, handsome doctor, he's a sunday school teacher, too also the father of eight children. and he is a defendant, accused of drugging and drowning that beautiful wife of his, a beauty queen in their bathtub in their home. the medical examiner who performed the autopsy actually concluded that she died of natural causes, all of this following face-lift surgery. but here's where it gets weird. their daughters said they knew something else was up.
>> my mother told me, i was helping her wash her hair, and she said, alexis, if anything happens to me, make sure it wasn't your father. >> michelle macneill died april 11th, back in 2007. the prosecutors say, and it took them a long time to get here, they say it was in fact murder at the hands of her husband. and the motive, a mistress by the name of gypsy. i'm not kidding. i mistress by the name of gypsy who ultimately became the brand-new nanny, as soon as the wife was out of the way. perhaps no one bettor talk about this case than hln's nancy grace. he she's in the courtroom and live in provo, utah. i have seen you making a few comments about this case in the lead up to it. it reads like a steven gresham novel, it's remarkable some of the details. but get me up to speed on why
you're so certain that this man is guilty of this crime. >> well, let me, first, address what's go on in the courtroom. i just walked out of court, opening statements are going on right behind me, and i'm hearing all sorts of facts that we were not privy to. facts such as how the doctor, the defendant, dr. macneill forced his wife into having this face-lift. i thought that he just persuaded her to. but now i learned that she was advised not to have the surgery. her attending physician told her over and over, her blood pressure was too high. following this consultation, and there were witnesses to this, the defendant turns to his wife and says, i've already paid for the surgery, we're going forward as scheduled. his wife, now dead, went on and on how she wanted to lose a few pounds to get her blood pressure under control. the doctor would not let her.
i also heard about the morning that michelle macneill died. i heard about all of the conflicts in testimony. and i heard the way that dr. macneill, according to prosecutors, carry on in front of the emts and neighbors that were there, about how he begged his wife not to have the surgery, that she clearly overdosed on medication, medication that he insisted she had. i heard about her older daughter, alexis, who is a medical student, how she left her dad alone with her mom for just a few hours, came back, and she was oversedated and unconscious for an entire day. at that point, alexis and her mother became so suspicious of dr. macneill and what medications he was giving his wife, her head was bandaged, it was a face-lift, she couldn't see the pills, she begged her doctor to let her feel the pills so she could understand what her husband was putting in her mouth
and saying swallow, swallow. i learned this, in the last hour, that at the time she died, she was only on two percoset pills a day. but when they came and pulled her body out of the tub, she had a cocktail of multiple drugs that she had ingested. i'm very surprised. i was also very surprised that the defense jumped into the opening statement and objected, and the judge asked over and over, what's your legal basis, why are you interrupting the state's opening statement? the defense could never give a legal basibasis, they were just trying to interrupt. i don't know if the jury caught that but i did. >> ten seconds left. it's critical to note that the daughters, four natural born children of this couple, there are also four adopted kids, but the daughters have actually turned against their father. they've shown up with photographs in court of their mother, and at least one or two of them is going to testify
against him, right? >> i've talked to the daughters in depth and i don't know that i would call it turning against their father, the very first day alexis came home and all of michelle's clothing, this is within a couple of hours of her being pronounced dead, all of her clothes, her shoes, her hose, perfume, body lotion, hair brushes, all were packed up and moved away. this is within hours of her being pronounced dead, only he knew that he was planning to move his mistress in within days and she needed a closet. hello! >> at the time this was not a mistress, this was the new nanny coming to look after the littler four children and turned out she was no nanny, she didn't even look after the kids? >> no, that was their testimony. another thing i also have just learned, i learned that one of the sisters, adult sisters called the other into a closet and shut the door so nobody can
hear them, and one says, i think dad killed mother, i think daddy killed mother. so this was all happening contemporaneously. they didn't just cook this up in the weeks and months following their mother's death. >> i've stolen two extra minutes because this is such a fascinating case. we saw a picture on the air of a woman in jailhouse clothing. it's gypsy willis, the mistress who became the immediate nanny, literally within days of the death of the wife. and then ultimately she and the doctor were convicted of crimes relating to trying to give her a new identity. could you explain what happened? why has this man already spent time in prison? >> you know what? you know what? you're a mom, and this is going to make your stomach clench. they had four children between and adopted four children, some from the ukraine. after michelle died, he, dr. macneill, i'm pointing behind me, in the courtroom back there,
tried to give back the four adopted children. why? because he took one of the little girls' identity and gave it to his mistress so she could get credit and falsely apply for loans under someone who didn't have a bad credit history. can you believe that? give back, give back your children? i only wish i could have four more children. give back children? i don't know if the jury's going to hear all of that. >> yes, you said, can i believe it? yes, because you and i have seen enough go through the courtrooms throughout this united states to make our skin crawl i have heard na and worse. keep us posted on the case. it's only day one. lots more to come. thank you. thank you for being on the show today. >> thank you. i'm headed back in the courtroom. >> okay. good luck to you. nancy grace, joining us from provo, utah. we'll keep up coverage of the martin macneill murder trial at 8:00 p.m. on our sister network,
hln, nancy grace will have a full accounting. i'm out of time. i've borrowed two extra minutes. thanks for watching. "around the world" starts right now. the american people are completely fed up with washington. >> president obama has a message for washington. the way business is done has got to change. >> no kidding. plus, investors around the world reacting to this deal. some mixed messages. a lot of uncertainty. watching the markets. >> also, terrifying moments when gunmen storm a mall in kenya. the surveillance tapes as shops are run for their lives. welcome to "around the world." i'm suzanne malveaux. >> i'm michael holmes. many breathing a sigh of relief as hundreds of thousands of federal employees get back to