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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  May 4, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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starting right now on "abc's this week" -- firing back. >> is donald sterling a racist? >> the mystery woman behind the nba race scandal breaking her silence. will donald sterling be forced to sell? nba hall of famer kareem abdul-jabbar joins us live. smoking gun. the white house releases a secret benghazi e-mail. republicans call it proof of a coverup. then, al franken in his first sunday interview. and we're behind the scenes at the white house correspondents' dinner. >> the house republicans give john boehner a harder time than they give me. which means orange really is the new black.
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good morning, everyone. it's a happy one in los angeles. where after a week of chaos and controversy, the clippers came from behind late last night to beat the golden state warriors, keep their playoff hopes alive. big question now, who will run the team? will donald sterling be forced to sell? we're learning this morning that the nba is poised to name a new clippers ceo. abc's ryan smith is tracking it all from l.a. good morning, ryan. >> reporter: good morning, george. clippers fans out in force. celebrating the team's big win. the team's fortunes are on the rise. the fate of the owner hangs in the balance. [ crowd cheering ] after a week of scandal, a moment of celebration for clippers nation. but now, v. stiviano, the woman at the center of the controversy surrounding clippers owner donald sterling is speaking out in an exclusive interview with barbara walters. >> is donald sterling a racist? >> no.
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i don't believe it in my heart. >> will he apologize? >> only god knows. >> reporter: sterling had been silent since he was banned from the nba for life this week over his racist remarks caught on tape by stiviano. he broke his silence on friday. telling du jour magazine, quote, i wish i had just paid her off. while sterling's offensive remarks may now cost him his team, his history of alleged racial discrimination is in the spotlight. he was sued in 2006 by the justice department for discrimination in minorities in his rental properties. settling in 2009. darryl williams was a former tenant who sued sterling. for forcing him out of his apartment. >> you will be tricked into being evicted. they all happened to be people of color. >> reporter: while sterling's remarks have sparked outrage, recent surveys show discriminatory views are still widespread.
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some 28% of white americans say it's okay to discriminate when selling a home. 40% say whites are more hard-working than blacks. some see hypocrisy in the backlash over sterling's comments now. >> his reprehensible comments documented in court about housing discrimination caused zero outrage. but let the man get caught in a private conversation, now we want to get outraged and run him out of basketball. it's a joke. >> reporter: on thursday, an advisory committee of nba owners met to agree on the process for removing him from ownership. they agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible. they'll convene again this week to try the move the process forward. george? >> okay, ryan, thanks. let's bring in one of the greatest nba players ever, kareem abdul-jabbar, thank you for coming in. i was struck by this essay you wrote in "time" magazine.
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scathing essay. "welcome to the finger-wagging olympics." you said everyone acted as if it was a surprise. >> it should not have been a surprise to anybody who was paying attention to mr. sterling over any period of time. >> you worked with him back in 2000. you coached the clippers. for a bit. >> yes. >> what did you see then? did you see a racist? >> no. for the most part, he was gracious. he invited me to his daughter's wedding. i didn't feel that there was any racial animus in the man. just when i saw what was just portrayed there, how he discriminated against blacks and other minorities, it started to bother me. >> what do you think the league can do now? we saw adam silver. you supported the ban. his lifetime ban. but you know sterling a little bit. it appears he's likely to fight this. >> if past performance is any indication, he'll fight it. and do what -- take whatever
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legal recourses he has to avoid the sanctions. >> and, do you think the league can force him out? >> i think they have the legal leverage to do that. have to see. you don't know for sure. but, the way things are going now, i think that they have a good chance of keeping him away from the game. >> what about the underlying issues that ryan brought up in the piece, that you bring up in your piece? the idea that the -- we have for a long time turned a blind eye to his actions. and that the country has still, is still struggling with lingering racism? >> this is a problem. i did research. more whites believe in ghosts than believe in racism. that's why we have shows like "ghostbusters" and not shows like "racist busters." it's a -- it's something that is still part of our culture. and people hold on to some of
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these ideas and practices just out of habit and saying that, well that's the way it always was. things have to change. >> i was struck by a piece in the new york times. by tim egan. he called sports the most progressive force in america. if you want to find racial progress, look to the games we play. sports has been a vanguard. certainly in the past of promotes racial reconciliation. what more can the nba do right now? >> i think all the nba has to do right now is keep the issue in people's minds when it's appropriate. it's not something you can constantly be harping on. when it's appropriate, they see people doing things that don't line up with how we're supposed to be feeling about things, then people have to speak up. you have to keep your ear. it's like watching the temperature. somebody gets a temperature, something might be wrong. you have to deal with it quickly. >> and you spoke up this week. thank you very much. >> pleasure to talk to you. now to the ukraine.
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another dramatic escalation overnight. some of the worst violence since the conflict began. new fears that putin will invade. muhammad lila is on the scene. in eastern yukraine with the latest. >> reporter: it's the most dramatic escalation of violence since the crisis began. overnight, tanks and troops moving in to a town held by pro-russian separatists. just hours earlier, this woman saying, i feel terrible. i'm in my own country. my own army is taking action against me. in the areas to the east, they have lost control. this after demonstrators set fire to a pro-russian separatist head quarters. at least 31 people dead. most of them burned alive. the fighting now so serious, overnight, america's former ambassador to moscow admitting, this is real, this is war. the 600 american troops being sent to neighboring countries in case of a wider conflict.
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meanwhile, as we have seen firsthand, pro-russian checkpoints are popping up everywhere. the commander here making the threat obvious. he's said he can't guarantee our safety if we cross this check point. so we're taking a risk if we go through. the question now, what will it take for all of this violence to come to an end. the acting prime minister says we're in the most dangerous days of the conflict. putin is demanding that ukrainian troops retreat. separatists say they'll go ahead with the referendum in one week. if they vote for independence, no telling what happens next. >> thank you, muhammad lila for that. let's bring in martha raddatz. and jon karl at the white house. martha, let me begin with you. the comment by michael mcfall, the former ambassador this is real. really striking. u.s. officials don't know how far putin wants to go. does putin want to stir up trouble or invade? >> we don't know. with such a dramatic escalation over the weekend, with all of
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the fighting, so much concern about whether this turns into an all-out war. i was in eastern europe last week. i was with the u.s. forces training latvian and lithuanian troops. the general in charge says he's very concerned that russia will go into eastern ukraine. if that happens, you'll see a lot more troops in our nato allies in the countries like lithuania and latvia. >> and jon, one of the things we have seen with this struggle over saxs, are the united states has limited means to deter putin. >> no question. but the white house is prepared to lower the boom of much broader economic sanctions than we have seen so far. targeting entire sectors of the russian economy. they believe russia will go along if russia invades, that europe will go along if russia invades. here's the thing. white house officials say these sanctions could be triggered without a russian invasion.
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if the russian separatists group do anything to disrupt the presidential elections scheduled for later on this month in ukraine. the president has acknowledged there is no guarantee sanctions will work. >> i want to turn to benghazi. back in the headlines this week. debated in the white house briefing room after the release of a new e-mail about the infamous talking points. the e-mail was from deputy national security adviser ben rhodes. we see it rig there. you really got into it in the briefing room. >> there's no question. here's the thing. the white house, what this seems to suggest is that the white house wanted susan rice to talk so much about the protests triggering the attack in benghazi to deflect criticism from white house policies. but now what has happened is, the bigger issue, why was that e-mail not turned over to congress earlier? that failure to turn over has republicans on capitol hill crying coverup and john boehner, speaker of the house, doing what he has long resisted doing,
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creating a special committee to have yet another investigation into benghazi. >> eyebrows also raised after the interview of the required general. >> there are questions of time, space, credibility. could we have gotten there in time the make a difference? the point is, we should have tried. >> brigadier general lovell said despite his wish to get there, they would not have been able to get there in time. that's what official reports have determine as well. >> this raises again, the critical issue of security. you went behind the scenes so see what more is being done to protect our diplomats. >> i did. diplomatic security never wants another benghazi. they gave us special access to see what they're doing in hopes such a tragedy never happens again. >> hallway down here. >> reporter: in the fictional country of erehwon, that's nowhere spelled backwards. >> all vehicles down, all vehicles down. >> reporter: these diplomatic
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security agents are h their tenth and final week of hostile environment training. even though this is an exercise, the memory of benghazi hangs over it all. the training is challenging. physically and mentally. agents must prove themselves in 160 essential tasks. from the hard skills like shooting. and driving. to the soft skills, communication. >> go for concert. >> reporter: planning and preparing for every possible threat. >> guys, we gotta move. >> hesitation kills in an attack. and so, their actions need to be crisp. this training brings it all together. >> move it! >> reporter: agents must work through stress and fatigue. solving complex problems with limited resources. there are no shortage of outposts that can turn dangerous, even deadly. without warning. >> cover. >> reporter: last year, a suicide attack at a u.s. embassy
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in turkey. in 2012, a car bomb attack on a convoy in pakistan. and of course, benghazi. but the mission for u.s. diplomats must move forward. >> secretary kerry has said repeatedly, america demands that we cannot retreat behind bricks and barbed wire. we have to be out there. >> reporter: back at the consulate, a car bomb. the fake country of erehwon suddenly feels very real. attackers reached the gates and storm the compound. the marines claim the enemy outside continues to attack. the people inside have no idea what is happening next. wounded agents in need of medical care. >> we're taking increased idf fire. they're zeroing us in. copy. >> reporter: enemy mortar fire is getting closer. >> stay down. >> reporter: deteriorating security conditions reach a tipping point. >> permission to evac? >> reporter: the decision is
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made to abandon the compound. they whisk the consul general, the staff, and injured agents to the landing zone. >> ladies and gentlemen, you have just completed a capstone. >> reporter: ten weeks of training come to an end. >> this may be a training environment. it may be pretend, per se. this is what we prepare for. we have to prepare for the worst. >> reporter: when you were in the consulate, you grabbed those flags. >> absolutely. this is a symbol of our country. when it flies over the consulate, it says we're there, we're open for business. if we leave, we take it with us. it's very important to us. >> they have very important to us. thank you, martha raddatz for that. coming up, from "saturday night live" to the senate, al franken's first sunday show interview is next. and the heat from the situation in benghazi. and hbo's john oliver in our "sunday spotlight."
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at panel on health care reform, the first lady announced her comprehensive package would cover people with the willies, but not those suffering from the heebie-jeebies. >> al franken at the white house correspondents' dinner from 20 years ago. he's traded in comedy for politics. he won a senate seat in minnesota by just 312 votes. he's trying to hold his seat. in a tough year for democrats. abc's jeff zeleny joins him on the trail for a "this week" exclusive. >> reporter: he may have the most famous laugh in politics. but these days, al franken is delivering a different kind of punchline. >> this may be overrepresentative of people who think about propane. >> reporter: we caught up with
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franken in rural minnesota. he's starting to run for re-election, after spending his first term honing his serious side. you're not afraid to use humor. it seems like you've been selective in using it. >> when i go to the floor and with a colleague, will i crack wise, as they say? sure. you know, and in a hearing, sure. it's who i am. >> reporter: a top republican in minnesota told me that you have done a remarkable job making yourself into a serious person. >> i was always a serious person. people who are funny are very often very serious people and vice versa. >> reporter: he became famous bringing stewart smalley and other "saturday night live" characters into america's living rooms. >> i'm good enough. i'm smart enough. and dog gone it, people like me. >> reporter: he's traded a television audience of millions to sit through meetings and tour factories. in hopes of sealing a bond with voters. >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. >> reporter: the far less
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glamorous life of a first term senator. six years ago, you won election to the united states senate by 312 votes. the smallest margin of any senator. how did that affect your first term? >> i think it did affect it. i think i felt that i wanted to prove to all minnesotans that i was going to work for them. is it still the al franken decade? yes, it is. >> reporter: what would comedian al franken say about senator al franken's first term? >> he would say i did well. because i'm the same person. there aren't two different people. >> reporter: would he have fun with you at some point? >> when i made fun of politicians, it was because they were screwing up in some way. i don't think i could find anything, frankly. >> reporter: nothing? >> whoo. that would be a really hard subject to satirize. i've just been impeccable. >> reporter: impeccable? >> yeah. i've made some small mistakes, i
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suppose. >> reporter: but as republican senators tell me, not a many as they hoped. several gop candidates are running. even in off the democratic year, for now, franken holds a double-digit lead. how difficult is it right now to run as a democrat in president's second term? >> i'm very comfortable. >> reporter: president obama is saying democrats should not apologize for the health care law. >> i think the rollout was pretty disastrous. i don't think there is any question about that. i think there are parts of the law that need to be fixed. >> reporter: don't be afraid of it. >> there's a catch 22 there. if you think it's bad issue in your state, you're not going to defend it because you would rather talk about something else. >> reporter: he's become a fierce critic of big corporate mergers and the loudest opponent to comcast's bid to take over time warner cable. arguing it's a no-win for consumers. >> you could charge more.
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>> reporter: but he also brings a flavor of fun to the capitol. why the hot dish competition? >> hot dish is a big thing in minnesota. i thought it was a good way to get the delegation together in a fun, friendly way. >> reporter: it's another chance to remind people of his roots. kevin papp, president of the minnesota farm bureau, says voters have noticed. six years ago, members of his group endorsed franken's opponent. >> senator franken was on my farm two years ago and combined five acres for me. >> reporter: how was he? >> he was great. >> i did corn harvesting. you go in a straight line. it's pretty easy. >> reporter: it's all part of franken's life on this side of politics. >> i enjoyed my other career. this is a great job. it's a great job. it's also great to make people laugh. >> reporter: if he wins in november, he'll get the last laugh. his transition from comedian to senator fully complete. for "this week." jeff zeleny, abc news, good thunder, minnesota.
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and coming up, has the tide turned in the death penalty debate? what happens if donald sterling fights to keep the clippers? and the all-access to the correspondent's dinners. we're back in a few minutes. first the powerhouse roundtable's winners of the week. around here you don't make excuses. you make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up, and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it when you know where to look.
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man: we know when parents and teachers work together... woman: our schools get stronger. man: as superintendent and teachers work together... of public education, that's been tom torlakson's approach. woman: torlakson has supported legislation to guarantee spending decisions about our education tax dollars are made by parents, teachers and the local community... and not by sacramento politicians. and we need to keep that legislation on track. man: so tell tom torlakson to keep fighting for local control
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of school funding decisions. and now, george's pick. nba commissioner adam silver is george's big winner of the week. i usually start these dinners with a few self-deprecating jokes. after my stellar 2013, what could i possibly talk about? we rolled out that could have gone better. in 2008, my slogan was, yes, we can. in 2013, my slogan was control alt delete. things got so bad the 47% called mitt romney to apologize. >> some good timing there from the president last night. more on the dinner later.
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to the "round table" right now. here with david plouffe, rick santorum, the runner up in the gop nomination for president last time around. served in the senate from pennsylvania. author of the new book, "blue collar conservatives." laura ingraham and dan jones, from cnn's crossfire. and cokie roberts. david plouffe, you're on the e-mail that caused so much trouble this week. en e-mail to you and several others from ben rhodes. everybody keying in on the e-mail to underscore the goals of the sunday morning appearance, to underscore that these protests are rooted in internet video, not a broader failure of policy. a lot of republicans saying this is a smoking gun. was it a mistake not to release this earlier? >> no. i think, lawyers have spoken to this. and it's out there. benghazi was a tragedy. we have to figure out how to prevent what happened from happening again. and to try those accountable as
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we did bin laden. it took 11 years, but we did. on the "uss cole" 17 sailors died. president bush said it's time for the nation to speak as one voice. you couldn't handle that today. this has been politicized as never before. richard nixon talked about a silent majority. there's a loud delusional minority driving our politics, in control of the republican party. there is no conspiracy here at all. >> a loud delusional minority, laura? >> this is why obama won in 2008. this guy is really good. what we know now from the e-mail, from the beginning the administration saw benghazi as a political problem. you're on the e-mail. you were the senior adviser. this was a political problem. you had a tough campaign. you had mitt romney, didn't thint it was going to be a big blow out at that point. you said, i want to go back. this is important. you said on september 30th, you said in the days afterward, it wasn't clear it was a terror attack.
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in november, you said, it's unprecedented politicization. that politicizing was going on at the white house. and that e-mail was clear evidence of it. and the state department admitted. in the new e-mail just released. cheryl atkisson had the report. the assistant secretary of state, beth jones, said ansar al saria was responsible. you knew it was a terror attack. >> i don't think we have a prosecution here. >> i think people want a prosecution. >> you do. >> look at the reporting on benghazi, it's like alternate universes. a group of people saying we were not doing anything. another group saying it was all evil. truth is, the white house should have released this e-mail. that was a big either mistake or a denality. it is true that everybody does talking points before sunday programs. the talk points are about politics and limiting political damage.
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>> first of all, i worked in the white house. you get these requests. let's talk about reality. you get these foyer requests. it's a judgment call. you have a lot of stuff to get out there. they got out there what they thought was appropriate, looked at it again. there was two bullet points out of 20 that were on benghazi. they went, let's get more out. no good deed goes unpunished. they did another review. put more out there. now that's a -- >> this was an atrocity. >> but, i want to bring this over to rick santorum. you're not serving right now. we did see at the end of the week that the speaker appointed a new special commit tooe. there have been countless reviews, hearings. do you think it's wise politics for the develop to be pushing this again? >> there's a fire storm across america about what a lot of republicans believe we have not been diligent in taking this issue on. and this e-mail, is going to confirm all of that and so, i
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think the speaker has no choice but to move forward and, he needs to put on someone who has credibility among the republican base. i think trey goudy is that person. i'm hopeful that the speaker will put him in that position. >> i think it speaks to the forces in the republican party. john boehner didn't want to do this. he was forced to do it. and i think, let's look at what should be done here. there have been 33 investigations. over 25,000 documents. what ought to be done is not another bogus committee. the real work to protect the embassies. the committee appointed to look at this, chaired by admiral mullen, the former joint chiefs of staff. there were a lot of points suggested. they've been implemented. start there. >> i think one of the things that actually is troubling here, we actually are in a situation with republicans that are yelling about this now did not do the appropriate funding early on. >> how do you respond to that? >> first of all, we have to not forget. we have four dead americans.
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u.s. ambassador's body was dragged through the streets. okay? it was beyond heart-breaking and infuriating. no one in custody. an arrest warrant out. no one in custody. in the immediate aftermath, the response was to go political. i would say david or van, if this were george bush, would have done anything like this, you would be going nuts on it. okay? >> that's not fair. >> you would be going ballistic. >> no. fall, there were 13 embassy attacks under george w. bush. 88 people died. 11 -- you had your turn. 11 americans died under george w. bush in embassy attacks. we did not politicize it. we did not politicize it. i knew ambassador stevens. this is a disservice to him. >> you're saying this is handled well? >> this is a disservice to him for you to take national tragedy and use it as a political
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opportunity. >> we're always doing this business of trying to prosecute and criminalize horrible disasters. >> we didn't do that with george bush. >> it's been going on for years now in washington. >> i understand that. >> and the fact is that the -- that just is not -- it doesn't get you anywhere. the only place it gets you -- the only place it gets you is to some political points with the base of your party. i think, you know, i think the white house has handled this horribly. i think the fact is that, you know, you start dribbling it out in e-mails. people then start to be very, very suspicious. >> the only difference here is that the bush administration did not put out a false narrative as to what happened in those situations. they put out a narrative that was not supported by the evidence. >> that is not true. >> they knew it was false.
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from the very beginning, they knew it was a terrorist incident. they put out something they knew or at least a lot of people knew was wrong. that's what makes this -- >> when you have a transcript -- >> don't try to equate the two. george bush did not try to move the ball to something else. >> the sunday shows. actually, miss rice did say terrorist attack. it's there in the transcripts. it's not that she put the whole thing on the video. it's just that there were people trying to -- clearly trying to -- >> are you still trying to sell it as a protest? >> no. >> i can't even believe you're saying that. >> this was happening in real-time. as soon as information was identified, it was released. there was no politicalization. the rose garden talked about it as a terrorist attack. >> why did he go to a fund-raiser the day after the ambassador was murdered? >> what is happening here, it's
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stoked by the talk radio personalities and fox news, it's an amazing thing. >> you're masters of this. >> is this going to be an issue in the 2014 midterms? will it help republicans or democrats? >> i don't think it will. to the extent the republicans stay mired in this instead of a positive agenda, i think it hurts them. >> i think this will be an issue in 2014 and a bigger issue in 2016. >> hillary clinton? >> 2:00, who is answering the phone in the white house? yes, it is going to matter. it won't be the only issue. jobs and the economy. they're number one. >> for a very narrow section of the republicans, this is their whitewater. their trumped up thing they want to go for. most american feel heart-broken about the four americans who died. they want to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> this election is about the economy. it's not about this. but it could have an effect in 2016. i agree. >> i agree with that. coming up, sara haines on the red carpet. at last night's white house
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correspondents' dinner. tony goldwyn with this puz ler. >> who was the first president to attend the white house correspondents' dinner? >> we'll be back in two minutes to see who got it right.
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so who was the first president to attend the white house correspondents' dinner. let's look at the guesses right here. woodrow wilson. another one from laura. teddy roosevelt. grover cleveland. i'm afraid you're all wrong. tony has the answer. >> the group was founded in 1914. the first dinner, 1921. the first president to attend was calvin coolidge in 1924. every president since then has attended at least once during their term. >> we're back in two minutes with more "roundtable."
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what happened in oklahoma is deeply troubling. i think we do have to, as a society, ask ourselves some difficult and profound questions. around these issues. >> president obama on friday ordering a federal review of the death penalty after an execution in oklahoma this week that went horribly wrong. the lethal injection was botched before the convict suffered a heart attack. that is spurring a debate. here's pierre thomas. >> reporter: torture. that's how clayton lockett's attorneys class fie the attempts to execute him tuesday night. witnesses of the execution which involved a use of a new three-drug combination said it was gruesome. >> he was on the gurney still writhing, grimacing,
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making noises. >> clayton lockett was tortured to death. >> reporter: critics believe the execution will erode the country's support for capital punishment. the country is skittish because over 140 death row inmates have been exonerated since 1973. 18 states abolished the practice. six since 2007. while support for the death penalty has fallen from 82% in 2003 to 60%, a significant majority of american believe in it. >> how else do we deal with the cop killers, baby killers, mass murders and serial killers. >> reporter: mark klaas's daughter was raped and murdered years ago. he has little sympathy. >> this is not about clayton lockett. this is not about his victimization.
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this is about a heinous and unforgiving criminal act that he committed against an innocent young woman. >> reporter: oklahoma turned to a new lethal cocktail after european pharmaceutical companies refused to provide previously used drugs. >> we received neither any testing data nor any assurances that the drugs to be used had been tested. >> reporter: matters of life and death. crime and punishment. never easy. for "this week." pierre thomas, abc news, washington. >> let's bring this back to the "roundtable" now. let me begin with you. still 60% support. we have seen a series of botched executions. some moratoriums in some states. >> and many doctors who won't do them. >> who will not do them. that's the problem with the injections. are the days numbered? >> i don't think so. i'm sorry about that.
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i'm one of the catholics. i think the death penalty implicates us all in the state sponsorship of death. but i think that, the american people still clearly we see 60% still supporting it, despite the fact that innocent people are on death row and innocent people who are not on death row, but who have life sentences are not paid any attention to. it's only the people on death row who get some lawyers who try to pay attention and get them off. >> it can be quite expensive as well. >> i think in 2013, about 3,000 people on death row. only, i think, 2% of those are -- were executed. a small number. 39 people. i'm troubled by the fact that people have been exonerated through dna. that's horrific. we have to do something about that. the idea that it's cruel and unusual, the court handled it in 1977. that won't change. i think these images will have some perhaps political impact in
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the anti-death penaltily crowd. of which, the president is not, by the way. my heart is with the victims of abortion and of the death penalty. cokie is right. a culture of life must be respected, across the board. >> do you also think this turns into something that is cruel and unusual? >> perhaps. >> i want to bring this to david plouffe. you saw the are the announce this revie this week. as laura pointed out, he's been a supporter of the death penalty. some wondering now, given all the questions, will we see an evolution? >> i would be surprised. he's focused on issues of terrorism and crimes against children, he believes it is appropriate. i think it will change a bit. i think you see younger people opposing this more strongly than people that are older. the countries part of death penalty club, iran, north korea, china. so i do think attitudes are going the change. it's remarkable. in 1993, 80% support.
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bill clinton went back to arkansas, ricky ray rector. the politics are changing. not as quickly as gay marriage. but that's a pretty big swing in a generation. i think you'll see it swing further. >> how do you address the problems for supporters? >> first off, i'm someone who has struggled with that issue for a long time. and believe that we have to have very narrow application for the death penalty. we need to maybe focus more. as halfway point between eliminating it. i do believe for extreme cases, david mentioned a couple of them, that we have to have that ability to take someone who is a danger to society out of society. and, i think that's -- if -- i think if we could have a debate of maybe narrowing down the cases. some of the reasons for the death penalties, i remember passing them in the early '90s, for drug kingpins. those are things i think we should probably back away. >> stop adding on. >> i think we have stopped adding on. the question is maybe we should
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back -- >> that was of course because the federal government has very little to do with this. the president said have a review. that is saying something. and the congress was doing that about the country was worried about drugs. congress was saying, we're going to do something about drugs. they did the drug kingpins. but, the truth is the other aspect of this, and i know you want to get in. on this subject. is that it's racist. i mean, we really do see a real racial division among those who get capital punishment. >> i was going to mention that in some states, people for the same crime, three times more likely to sentence an african-american to death. i think that is very, very troubling. the other thing is as other countries back way from this. as the medical profession backs away, you're seeing, this guy was basically a lab experiment. there was no -- nobody had a clear idea what the cocktail was. now you have a situation where you have innocence, is a big issue. that people are concerned about. race.
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now you're just rolling the dice and making up the cocktail to kill people. that, i think, gives the department of jus sis a reason to take a big step back. >> i think we do have a problem in our culture, our broader culture, of being a culture of death to some extent. we saw that with a case. late-term abortions. the heinous things happening in the womb to children. you don't want to think it but innocence. there could be innocent people on death row. a lot of innocent life. forget the early term abortion, late-term abortion. young people are changing their mind. about the issue of abortion. >> they are. it's true. >> one other issue. race front and center this week with the donald sterling controversy. the clippers. i talked to kareem abdul-jabbar at the start. let me bring you this, van jones. we saw the action by adam silver. at the beginning of the week. now they might be hamstrung if sterling is going to fight. what does the nba do? >> you have to give him a lot of credit for stepping forward. players said they would go on strike if something weren't done. you have to give silver real
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credit for stepping forward. there's a deeper issue here nobody is talking about. there are about 100 teams, basketball, baseball, football, only -- as best as i can tell, only two nonwhite principal owners in the entirety of american spots. so, look at this one guy. look at this one guy. hold on a second. you have a whole bunch of people out color there sweating on the field and a whole bunch of white folks who own it. that looks more like 1814, not 2014. and that's the real -- >> and his remarks, in some ways the most offensive was not even the horrible stuff he was saying about, you know, i don't want blacks coming to the game. it was i feed them, i -- >> very -- 1814 stuff. and so, yeah, i will say one thing about this. i was very, very proud to see how big the response was throughout american society. newt gingrich came out, my co-host on "crossfire" and said let's stop this billionaire's
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club on ownership. let the community buy in, like the green bay packers. maybe folks in los angeles should buy in. >> it was remarkable in the way the country seemed to rise up like that. >> i think it was great. i think the reaction was uniform. where was the reaction from the nba years ago when they knew this man has these points of view and did nothing? only when it became an issue of money and branding that they responded. i think the nba has to do some soul searching about how they handled that and other issues. >> i think -- adam silver, you pointed out, he handled it perfectly. kind of an a-plus in terms of crisis management. it does raise a lot of issues that have been talked about today. it was interesting. the reaction was uniform. it was across ideological lines. it was great. there is a lesson here. not so much about basketball. but, again, john kerry had a moment. nothing's off the record anymore. >> no sense of privacy anymore. >> the lesson has to be
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relearned. >> the one thing is the girlfriend/personal assistant with barbara. she revealed, at some point, i began to be paid off the books. meaning he now has tax fraud issues. >> thank you all very much. coming up, john oliver on his stake on sundays and all the highlights from the correspondents' dinner. >> who am i most excited to see tonight? >> oprah winfrey. >> he's not here. >> okay, um, honey boo boo. >> not here either. >> oh, gosh. i don't know. george stephanopoulos.
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more now on the fun from last night.
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the hollywood-washington mashup that brings out the chief comedian. with all kinds of stars along for the ride. sara haines was there on the red carpet for her first nerd prom. >> reporter: it's washington's party of the year. when hollywood comes calling. >> i feel very honored to be in the presence of the president of the united states, you know. >> reporter: and nothing's offlimits. >> we rolled out that could have gone better. [ laughter ] >> reporter: especially for president obama. >> on the plus side, they did turn the launch of into one of the year's biggest movies. >> reporter: ripping on the house speaker. >> these days, the house republicans give john boehner a harder time than they give me. which means orange really is the new black. [ laughter ] >> reporter: even hillary clinton. >> you may have heard she had to dodge a flying shoe at a press conference.
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[ laughter ] >> reporter: but joel mchale delivered the most cutting jokes of the night. >> it's a thrill to be here in washington, d.c., the city that started the whole crack-smoking mayor craze. >> reporter: new jersey governor chris christie seemed to be the favorite target. >> buckle up, governor chris christie. excuse me, extender buckle up. all right. >> reporter: the governor was also the night's best sport. mugging with mchale after the show. the audience saturday night, a mix of reporters, washington a-listers and hollywood stars. they call it the nerd prom. we were all-access on the red carpet. can we do an awkward prom pose? >> of course. got it. >>. >> reporter: we totally got it. the star of "orange is the new black" summing up washington's biggest night of glitz and glamour. are you nervous? >> i am not nervous as much as i am like giddy. i feel truly giddy about it. it feels like christmas.
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>> sara probably stayed up most of the night. she's here with mark leibovich. did you have fun? >> i had so much fun. it's a crazy dream, politicians crossed with celebrities and journalists. like everyone in your world coming together. >> and mark, you have parodied it. >> i don't know. we have certainly criticized it. i think it's an abomination. i don't go. i just think it's -- >> your paper doesn't go. but peter baker got an award. >> peter did. we love peter. we congratulate him. we don't go. beyond that, i think it's morphed into this extravaganza of two dozen preparties and afterparties. what we celebrating? >> kathleen parker wrote it's the cocktail of self-love and self-loathing. >> exactly. >> i have been going now for 30 years. and, i sense another turn in the dinner.
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it kind of had this, a big rise where all of washington and hollywood are coming together. the last couple of years, it does seem there's a little more pushback to going to -- to recalibrate toward the old days. >> i would hope so. my book is about disconnect. disconnect between how the country views washington and how washington views itself. and this is a classic case of the bubble world and the unself-awareness of spending millions of dollars over a number of days to celebrate ourselves. and again, you ask, why? >> sara, you brought up the roast humor sometimes gets -- >> i'm not a big roast person. i'm a good natured sense of humor. i found myself squirming most of the time. i did get a few laughs. i love joel mchale. >> thank you both very much. john oliver, became a breakout star on the daily show. he now headlines his own sunday night gig. i caught up with him there. after last week's launch. >> we've done one show. the whole aim was to make it not awful. so to a certain extent, we have achieved that.
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>> you were happy with that. it was not awful? >> i'm happy with -- i set the awful bar. and i think, and it's subjective. i think we got over the bar. we might have clipped the bar. but it didn't fall down. i think now, it's going to be a question of working out what is show is. you know who i feel bad for there? pope benedict. it cannot be easy to be the fourth most popular pope in a room. especially when two of the other popes are dead. >> so far, last week tonight looks like a weekly version of the daily show. where oliver filled in for jon stewart last summer. >> jon stewart, i'm afraid, is still not here. he's upstate in the catskills, teaching sexy dancing. to a community not yet ready to handle it. he's having -- ♪ the time of his life >> oliver grew up in great britain. he's planting roots in the states. he met his wife at a republican convention.
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>> she's an iraq war a veteran. i met her in st. paul. >> will you be a citizen? >> i can't yet. i'm on a green card now. you're coming off a little like immigration. i would like to -- i would like to get into the situation where i'm not suffering taxation without representation. which is what i'm suffering right now. >> he did not attend last night's dinner. he loves the way stephen colbert skewered the room in 2006. >> i believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in iraq. >> that's about as good as it gets. in terms of degree of difficulty. >> and nerve. >> and nerve. that's right. that's about as good as it gets. >> is that an invitation you would want one day? >> i would love to do it. as a comedian, there's part of me that hates myself. >> what politicians are you rooting for as a comedian? >> they're all arguably too good at producing material for comedy. as a human, i'm rooting for all
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of them to do their jobs let's say 300% better than they currently are. how about rebranding yourself as a great listener. >> the only agency in goverment that really listens. >> that's what i'm saying. that's what i'm saying. because in many ways, the nsa is the perfect partner. so, let me introduce you to the new nsa, trevor. >> i think this is good. >> tell us about your day. everything about it. >> when people walk away from your show, turn off the television after half hour on sunday night. what do you want them to think? >> tough to say when, let's be honest, they wake up when the music and the credits start to roll and say, i really need to go to bed. i just want it to be funny. that is the key responsibility that you have to hold yourself to as a comedian. if you're not making people laugh, what are you doing? >> thanks to john oliver. now we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. this week, the pentagon released the names of two soldiers killed
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in afghanistan. and that is all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news" with david muir tonight. see you tomorrow on "gma."
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>> in the news this sunday the latest on a late nice police standoff in san francisco after officers saw a man running with a gun. and why investigators are calling an early morning fire in an east bay garage suspicious. >> good morning from our exploratorium camera starting out with more cloud cover today and ending the weekend with a cooler finish. i'll fill in the details next on abc7 morning news at 9:00.
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