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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  May 21, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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"the last word." thank you for being with us. what are house republicans up to on benghazi? tonight, i'll ask one. breaking news from capitol hill. >> house minority leader nancy pelosi announced. >> democrats will participate in a house select committee on benghazi. >> after more than two weeks of considering a potential boycott. >> who will the democrats be? >> heavy hitters. >> elijah cummings. >> he has a lot of experience in checking republicans. >> adam smith. >> some one knows the issue >> this is a deal for nancy pelosi.
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>> a full democratic boycott. >> you can be on the playing field or you can be on the sidelines. >> i believe we need some one in that room. good evening. i'm ari melber in for lawrence o'donnell. the big news and surprise is the membership of the select committee on benghazi will be bipartisan. the house split down party lines this month on whether to form the committee. all but seven democrats said no. but today, speaker, former speaker pelosi said if there is going to be a committee, democrats will participate. >> eight reviews have been conducted in the house and senate. 25,000 documents released. millions of taxpayer dollars spent. it was not necessary to put the families or our country through this partisan exercise once
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again. what is the purpose of this investigation? what is the timetable? what are the milestones? what are they hoping to achieve? i could have argued this either way. why give any validity to this effort? but i do think it is important for the american people to have a pursuit of these questions done in as fair and open and balanced way as possible. that simply would not be possible leaving it to the republicans. >> house democrats also continue to emphasize the select committee is not balance they'd don't have ability to subpoena or depose witnesses. these five democrats led by elijah cummings, seven republicans, chaired by congressman. joining me is john mica of florida.
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he voted to establish the select committee on benghazi and member of the house committee on oversight and reform. good evening, congressman. >> good to be with you. i am the senior member of the government reform and oversight committee. and, have followed this from the beginning. >> sure. and so, let's look at from the beginning, the house armed services committee of course issued its benghazi report as did the intelligence committee and as did the bipartisan pickering commission. looking at those reports, which findings in them specifically do you find so wrong or incomplete that a new committee and investigation is justified? >> from the very beginning the committee that was set up basically the state department to investigate the state department we found a number of witnesses, key witnesses, were not interviewed, not even -- not consulted. then we found the four committees in the house requesting information.
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stone walling, redacted information. they spent a lot of time and money giving us information and documents we didn't request or -- or missing pieces to it. then i think the straw that broke the camel's back at least for the speaker was to find judicial watch or private watch dog group had asked through a freedom of information request for documents. we got even more documents than the committees had. and actually -- the rhoads memo which incited everyone because it disclosed again a very direct link to -- again, manufacturing a story about what took place. >> you are speaking about a flow of information and whether documents came in. is there anything in the conclusions you currently think is wrong. let me give you an example from the pickering report. it concludes there was simply not enough time given the speed
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of the attacks for armed u.s. military assets to have made a difference there on the ground. do you think that's incorrect based on what you know right now? >> absolutely. absolutely. before benghazi i had the opportunity to visit two locations one in italy. one in turkey. we have resources in several locations that i saw before. and i was assured specifically that we could respond to incidents particularly saving someone like an ambassador or a dignitary in north africa. again, libya is as close as you can get to some of these locations. not only there, but also deeper into the african continent. so, then post-benghazi, mr. issa and i visited another location where we interviewed people. who were not given the order to move forward. they should have had ability to go in. possibly not being able to save
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the ambassador who we believe was, was killed or tortured or murdered at the beginning. but -- the attack started at 9:45 at night their time. by 5:00 in the morning when our seals were killed. >> the assurances you mentioned, >> the assurances you mentioned, from state or military sources. >> military sources. >> let me play for you. mention your committee. and as you know, congressman, connolly had a conversation with the brigadier general testifying before your committee who came down a different way. let's take a listen to that. >> i want to read to you the conclusion of the chairman of the committee. the republican chairman, bob mccann. quote, i am pretty well satisfied that given where the troops were, how quickly the thing all happened, and how quickly it dissipated, we probably couldn't have done much more than we did. do you take issue with the chairman of the armed services committee in that conclusion? >> his conclusion that he couldn't have done much more
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than they did with the capability and the way they executed it? >> given the time frame? >> that is a fact. >> there might be some who, for various and sundry reasons would look to distort your testimony and suggest that you're testifying that we could have, should have done a lot more than we did, because we had capabilities we didn't utilize. that is not your testimony? >> that is not my testimony. >> congressman. i want to be clear where we are in the process. that's brigadier general's testimony in, in open hearings. you mentioned in your sources something different. we are at that point. that happened. that investigation the you say you have a different view. we all know that. what specifically will be different in a new dedicated benghazi committee, conflicting reports, a lot of military sources on record saying it couldn't have been prevented? >> well, first of all -- general lovell said we should have tried.
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so that's part of his written testimony. be glad to produce that, for you. or for any of the viewers, he said, "we should have tried." we did not. i believe we had that capability. we had that capability. could have used that. no one gave the order. and no one should have died because this was one of a high risk boast. it was listed specifically as a post that we had. we had people at risk in. resources wear available. we had testimony, there were fund available. not a matter of fund or resources that were not applied to that. so in the beginning. people shouldn't have been killed in the first place. the second part. no one gave the order. it's important to know where and when the secretary of state acted. more specifically. i think it is important to know when the commander-in-chief
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acted or didn't act. and, again, how much -- they both knew and when they knew it within the time frame. this wasn't the 3:00 in the -- in the morning call. that was brought up in the campaign. no one had to miss a week of sleep. it was all over by midnight. people should have made decisions before, relating to protecting the post, so no one was killed. if there was an opportunity to save any of the individuals, we should have tried. and if we didn't have the capability. >> congressman. let me jump in there. i understand what you are saying there. you are putting forth a view how it should have been done. the question though that remains and is a serious one for the house is whether that difference of views will somehow be better advanced by the dedicated committee. while i have you, i also want to mention, you co-sponsored wolf's
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resolution for the committee. in april. he wrote a letter you. may be familiar with to the speaker. he argued the committee was necessary because "the white house lied about a matter with direct bearing on u.s. national security" in order to influence an electoral outcome. a pretty serious and to this point unproven charge against the white house. do you agree with congressman wolf on that? >> first. i asked senate my name be taken off the letter. i did not support the creation, of a select committee as he requested. >> you did vote for it? >> i thought we -- wait. first i thought we could handle it by regular order. we had four committees of jurisdictions and i thought they could do it. they were stone walled. they were -- they were -- led around a merry go round. they were not provided the
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information or the access in a timely fashion. the witnesses. now the people are complaining about the four. a panel tough 12 people. the democrats appointed them today or whenever they have done it. the seven republicans. we will get information. hopefully that they have avoided giving to the other four panels and we can settle this once and for all and find out the facts. interview the people and do it in a rational and logical fashion. and hold those accountable. four americans were killed, including an american ambassador, which rarely has happened in our history. someone needs to be held accountable. and something i would call for, a year and a half later none of the perpetrators, been on tv, seen their faces and video, none of them have been brought to justice. so, i think there is a lot more to be said and a also done and uncovered and accounted for.
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>> i understand that. appreciate you laying out your case. we are out of time. i did want to ask you something a lot of your colleagues have focused on, who did the sunday interviews. why would it matter whether the u.n. ambassador or the secretary of state did certain tv interviews? >> well, you can't say what difference did it make when you had an ambassador, four representatives of america slaughtered by terrorists. it makes a big difference. we need to find out first why they were killed, or exposed to being killed, in the first place. and secondly, who was responsible, who made decisions, and if we had the capability to save them, why didn't we act? if we didn't have the capability we sure as heck should have it and be able to save in close range of north africa those individuals who represent so well the united states. >> all right, congressman, john mica of florida, thank you for spending time with me. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> turn now to richard wolf,
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executive editor of what, if anything, do you take away from that conversation with some one who is on the committee and believes this, this dedicated investigation is still necessary? >> well, i think the congressman is confused. he doesn't seem to be clear whether this investigation is about what the secretary knew, what the military response could have been, or, in fact, what he said was the tipping point, the tipping point for the whole thing, turns out to be, the white house communications response. that's why his last response was so perplexing. you ask him why are you so interested in the sunday talk show representative for the administration? and he didn't even bother to try to address that? i do think they, we all understand what republicans are trying to do here. there may be at one level, a serious effort to look at security issues. but the debate cannot be stopped in the way they have constructed
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it, which is to say, it is about political point scoring, that involves a broad range of things that, that don't really tie up or match up. >> do you think that they can continue as we just saw from the congressman, argue they need a do-over of what they did in the house, under republican control and in senate intelligence committee and from the pickering commission? >> it is also perplexing the way the congressman, who, i am sure, is honorable in what he believes is something there to be investigated. but it is perplexing the way he described something like stone walling. there have been thousands and thousands of documents supplied. that's not most people's definition of stone walling. he said it just in response to a question, that nobody had been held to account. nobody. and in fact, four state officials lost their jobs which does mean somebody was held to account. now you can say they weren't the right people. but that's not the case that we are making. so when you have apparently
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serious members of congress, either not aware of the facts, or ignoring the facts. it doesn't bode well for this kind of investigation. >> just looking at the facts and trying to make sense of it. seeing the aggressive act in the house. covering it as news if you think it is the right or wrong thing. to focus on accountability as if the united states should bear the burden when it was foreign murderers and terrorists who killed our people is odd. if you found a conspiracy wherein the u.s. was involved or something, then you might shift some of the inquiry. but of it really puts the cart before the horse to say, "well people died in the battlefield. let's blame u.s. officials. we don't do that in a military context. >> republicans have prided themselves for years in saying that they understand understand military decision making and strategy. the best case the congressman laid out is that something should have been tried, some one should have tried. that is not a military strategy. that's why it is so important
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when you hear military officials say "what could we have deployed? what would the plan have looked like?" even if you could have mobilized assets what kind of assets would they have been, what actions would they have taken. how would you extract some one if you got some one in on the ground. there is no plan, rational plan that anyone could put forward. and again this is from a party that said we understand milt terry way better than -- military way better than democrats could. we understand, national security. >> ultimately all inquiries go back to whether the public gets a look at this and thinks it seems legitimate or seems like something else. people make up their own minds if the congressman can't answer questions directly the question of how this goes over time is an open one. richard wolf, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, ari. >> coming up. north carolina's new voting laws are considered the most restrictive in the united states. now the obama administration wants a judge to go in and block them. while the head of the fbi says he was sort of joking about
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hiring pot smoking millenials to fight cybercrime, is it worth rethinking it. >> breaking news out of california, a 15-year-old girl who disappeared 10 years ago, we are learning tonight she has been found alive. that is also coming up. predicting the future is a pretty difficult thing to do. but, manufacturing in the united states means advanced technology. we learned that technology allows us to be craft oriented. no one's losing their job. there's no beer robot that has suddenly chased them out. the technology is actually creating new jobs. siemens designed and built the right tools and resources to get the job done.
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going backwards is not an option! not now. not ever. >> it has been a big week for civil rights in north carolina. both through activism on the ground and leadership from the obama administration. on the same day that those moral monday protests resume, airing holder's justice department made another move against some of the harshest voter suppression laws in the nation. the doj along with the north carolina naacp filed a motion asking a federal court to urgently step in and block north carolina's voter information verification act. that is the law that cracks down on some of the voting methods used mostly by black voters such as early voting. same day registration and certain voting out of precinct options. the law introduces a strict voter i.d. rule that doesn't go into effect until 2016. the doj brief is assertive in confronting the north carolina law, arguing it was crafted to discriminate and that it singles out voting mechanisms like early voting in 2012.
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it says, 70% of all african-american voters used early voting compared to 52% of white voters. the brief argues north carolina has been so unfair, federal observers should be deployeden the coming months to ensure that midterm elections there are legitimate. and asked that the law be thrown out. the state attorney general admits the changes to the electoral system are not good. >> new election law changes signed by the governor and this general assembly are bad public policy for north carolina. we should be encouraging people to register and to vote. and we should make it easier for them instead of making it harder. >> joining me now two guests. welcome to you both. professor, walk us through what the justice department is frying to do here. and how they can still do it under what's left of the voting rights act?
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>> well, i think the justice department as well as the the aclu and the naacp and north carolina are justified in their concern that the democratic process is being harmed by this new law. their argument is simply this. that -- this new law, which limits early voting, which eliminates same day registration during the early period, and which also will implement a new restrictive voter i.d. law. that they would have a disproportionate impact on a number of constituencies including younger voters, the elderly, the handicapped. but on black voters. black voters participated in the last two presidential elections in 2008 and 2012. they voted 70% of black voters voted in, in the early voting process. in north carolina.
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so this law will clearly have a negative impact on them. that's the justice department's concern. >> cory, what do you make of this week's news? >> i think the justice department is being consistent. they have been tracking north carolina's efforts as they have in texas, and south carolina, and others. and so they are bringing the hammer done to the extent that they can. i think what's interesting here, this sort of, we step back and think what brought this about. african-americans outperformed whites in the last two elections, presidential elections in north carolina. in 2008, 2012. as soon as the republicans came in and took over the legislature and the governor's office. they came in. made a beeline and shut it all down. it is one thing for these voting restrictions to be enacted. without there being some evidence that a certain particular group affected. here we have overwhelming evidence that 70% of blacks would be affected by reducing early voting.
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but more than half of the electorate of the state. so there is irrefutable evidence that this is discriminatory. >> yeah. and professor, when you look at this, the motion points out that when you reduce the early voting period, of course, disproportionately, burns african-american voters and takes out one out of three voters when you look compared to 2012. the week of early voting eliminated was 900,000 ballots. 35% of all votes. if you are watching this kind of thing, whether you are a voting rights expert or not. you look at that. how can that be legal? >> this concerns me. civil rights community. justice department. what you are doing is you are going to make it less efficient. you are going to create longer lines. you are going to -- have difficulties at the polls. on election day. this is going to make our system less efficient. as was mentioned previously. we should be encouraging individuals to participate.
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we should be democraticizing our process not, discouraging them. and these laws will discourage. and let's, you know, let's be realistic about what's going on. these are states including north carolina. with republican dominated legislatures. and they're responding to the fact that african-americans and others, younger, younger members, came out in high numbers for barack obama and the democrats. they're responding with the laws to limit and discourage constituencies from participating in the process. >> cory, speak to the republican argument, one thing they say, there is nothing sacred about a certain time that people vote. army voting is relatively new in the history of the republic. as is same day registration and whether or not, we debate the impact. the doj claiming this is racist
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intent. republicans say no we are making changes. these changes are -- are basically restoring us to the way voting used to be for a long time. >> yeah, yeah, that is the argument. ari, they don't have a justification for the argument. same day, added 100,000 people to the rolls. how is it that that is a problem that need to be ledge lated to fix or against. so, there is no evidence here. that somehow there are problems. you know, the voting id issue. they have always come up with that we are trying to prevent voter fraud. we know that is a crock. but there were no maladies. so what exactly are they fixing? >> right. well i think that's the question and one now that they're facing some real federal pressure on. thank you for joining us.
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laws are passed and the
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>> you don't change america by changing washington. that president obama is on kentucky's 2014 election ballot. nothing abut this election will change who is in the white house, but we can change who is in washington, d.c. and finally, some one for the commonwealth of kentucky. >> in the spotlight tonight the hunt for the number one republican in the senate begins. just hours after republican senator mitch mcconnell wrapped up his primary victory speech, his democratic challenger, alison lundegran grimes, launched this new ad. >> this is a frustrating timen our country. the economy is still struggling. people are working harder for less. and here in kentucky, we feel it more than most. this time washington, put the good of our people ahead of the bad that comes from acting petty and small. we've had too much of that for too long. >> it's not nice to call your opponent petty. when your opponent is mitch mcconnell. it will get tougher than that. it didn't take long. mcconnell, wasted no time trying to put grimes on defense. he set up a scenario where the experienced senator may think he has an upper hand.
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i believe we should participate in traditional lincoln style debates, moderated by a single timekeeper/moderator. the letter on attend by the lexington herald leader. now grimes responded saying our team will get with his cam pan -- campaign. i look forward to holding him accountable. joining us is sam youngman and "washington post" columnist and msnbc contributor, jonathan capehart. >> ari, thank you for having me. >> you bet. let's play mcconnell against bruce lunsford in 2008 a awe we do well when we send somebody to washington who is smart enough and able enough to rise to the top. bruce is only a few years younger than i can. he couldn't possibly be there long enough to have any impact. but he is temperamentally unsuited and not young enough to
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be there long enough to have an if pact on the process. as a result of your confidence in me, i have been there long enough, i am in the front seat and the middle of the things that make a difference. >> walk us through his strategy. why he thinks debates here are page one of the playbook? >> i don't think you will hear him accuse alison lundegran grimes, the focal point of his strategy, two fold. one, kentucky, another chance against barack obama. and two, he has got the seniority, on the cusp of becoming senate majority leader. i think they believe that the best way to sort of, smoke out alison lundegran grimes for being an inexperienced candidate who may not have a firm grasp of the issues on the debate stage. i think they recognize that there is a risk in using advertising to, to try to define her harshly that there may be
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some blow back especially among women voters. i think the debate stage is a safe place to do that. they may want to ask if they -- >> exactly. >> yeah, i mean, rick lazio took in your face too seriously for people who remember that. sam, you mention women voters. she is a ware of this punch coming in. she had a counter punch ready in the speech last night about being cast cast as a woman on the back bench. take a listen. >> now, mitch mcconnell he wants to tell you who i am. he has said he claims that kentucky will be lost if we trade in his seat for a kentucky woman who he believes will sit on the back bench. i am a strong, kentucky woman, who is an independent thinker, when i am kentucky's next united states senator, the decisions i make will be what's best for the people of the commonwealth of kentucky, not partisan interests. >> sam, walk us through her politics there?
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>> you know, the message coming from her throughout the campaign, last ten months, a, i am not mitch mcconnell. b., i am a strong kentucky woman. women make up 53% of the electorate. making a concerted effort to bring them to her side. you heard mitch mcconnell's remarks. he laid out every woman he knows, beginning with the labor secretary, and his wife, elaine chow, his mother. three women having experiences with the president's health care law. both side feel like women are critical going into november. >> yeah, you mention the strategy that she is not mcconnell, and she is a strong kentucky woman. jonathan, you fit one out of the two factors. >> i'm not mcconnell. >> that's the right answer. >> so let me go to you on the question of, about, the aca, or obamacare or kentucky net. matters not what you call it. today breaking from the ap she was asked twice, alison
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lundegran grimes, asked twice whether she would have voted for the 2010 law. obviously a major issue. she wouldn't really answer. she says, look, i well, when we are in the u.s. senate, will work to fix the aca. >> look, this is in keeping with something she has been doing from the beginning. some one pointed out to me -- a reporter, if you ever noticed. she has never. can't find any tape of her, talking about how she supports barack obama. i support the democratic nominee. she is not going to -- to -- have herself be wedded to, attached to, in any way, to, to the president, to obamacare, to, any of the horrors of the affordable care act. she is going to have to, get a cleaner answer to, to the question. but it is clear, kentucky, has this weird place in that it, obama care is unpopular.
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in terms of obama care. the way it is working in kentucky is extremely successful. >> certainly, politically why can't she just say, i wouldn't have voted for it as written. why doesn't she have an answer. you look weak when you are doubling up there. >> you raise, that's a very good question. a very good point. and that's something that she is going to have to figure out before she gets into the three lincoln-douglas style debates with mcconnell. after watching the segments of her victory speech yesterday. she is not some one to mess around with. >> no. she has a strong, a strong energy. >> she means business. >> that's true. sam, briefly here. nbc news poll has mcconnell at 46%. they know him. is that a ceiling or a floor? >> well, i think they beth have ceilings and floors. i don't know if that is mcconnell's ceiling. i tend to believe that a lot of
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the disaffected republicans will come back into his camp. the choice becomes more clear moving into the fall. our poll showed 25% of reporters said they would vote for alison lundegran grimes if matt bevin didn't win. a hard time believing that will hold up through the campaign. >> we will be following it. mitch mcconnell, an interesting republican. thank you both. >> appreciate it. >> thank you, ari. >> in an era of decriminalization, should the fbi, or any government employer, rethink its policies of hiring people who may have used some pot? that's coming up. if ...hey breathing's hard... know the feeling?
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the government of iran arrested six young people in tehran for what people, police called obscene behavior. that was for doing this. ♪ because i'm happy clap along if you feel like a room without a roof ♪ ♪ because i'm happy >> six individuals who appeareden a video lip-syncing and dancing to "happy" their crime. well the women aren't wearing head scarves there, required by iran's islamic law. outrage on social media. people protesting the arrest.
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six iranians were released. the director was held in custody. the police chief defending the arrest. iran's president tweeted, happiness is our people's right. we shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy. and coming up. we turn to some breaking news about a woman who was kidnapped at age 15. tonight, reports that she has been found alive, after missing for 10 years. that's next. to ceramics house. congratulations. thank you. the success of your small business depends on results. go vests! all organic, and there's tons of info on our website. that's why you rely on the best for your business. and verizon delivers the best devices on the best network. you're all big toes to me. so go ahead, stream and download with confidence on america's largest, most reliable 4glte network. activate any 4glte smartphone and get $100 off. for best results, use verizon.
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before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. take the next step. talk to your doctor. this is humira at work. we have breaking news out of california tonight. police in santa ana announce they have found a woman missing for ten years. the unidentified victim was reported missing in august of 2004. she was 15 years old -- sunny was 15 years old at the time. her mother told police she meant
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missing with the live in boyfriend. tuesday, she has been living a life of physical, sexual and mental abuse from her alleged abductor and told authorities she was forced to marry her kidnapper in 2007, in 2012 they had a child. police arrested the suspect on many charges including kidnapping and rape. joining me on the phone for breaking news, an associated press reporter, from southern california, who has been following this story. good evening, and tell us the latest from your reporting here? >> hi, well, what we have learned is that according to the police, this victim was abducted by the ex-boyfriend. when she went to a park after a domestic violence incident at the house. and she followed her there. she complained of a headache. said she wanted to go home. he told her her mother called the police. that she was an illegal imgrant from mexico if she went home she would be deported. instead he gave her medicines, pills that would help her headache.
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the pills knocked her out. when she woke up the next day she was in a garage. locked in a garage, in compton. and, there was a car blocking the door. she couldn't get out. within 24 hours he provided fake identification, this is your name. identity. get used to it. he eventually let her out of the garage according to police. but she was the victim of sustained, physical, mental, emotional abuse. for years. police say she did try to escape twice. and he chased after her car and beat her. as a result, of the escape attempts. and that, she even now she still doesn't speak any english. and she was just really -- really, too afraid to, to, reach out even though she apparently was living in public, i mean she was able to go out and, neighbors and friend of the family, said that they are
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shocked. there was no outward signs. >> gillian, you mentioned that fact. i saw in your reporting that -- whatever terrible kind of abuse or coercion she was experiencing, this young woman, reporting, is now, been found and freed. many of the neighbors thought this was a normal consensual relationship? >> yes. we talked to neighbors who said they were a wonderful family. doting parents. loved the child. they had parties. really there is a lot of, there is a lot of question marks here about, about what, you know, what really was going on. i think a lot more is going to come out in the days to come. first court appearance tomorrow. maybe we will learn more. >> gillian, thank you for joining us. thank you for your reporting on the story. appreciate it. now coming up. we are going to talk about why the director of the fbi is thinking about hiring pot smokers and then telling
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>> if the fbi wants the best cyberdetectives it may have to lay off its zero tolerance pot policy. what the fbi director even suggested this week. and it's next. [ crickets chirping ] but did you know that the lack of saliva can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath? [ exhales deeply ] [ male announcer ] well there is biotene. specially formulated with moisturizers and lubricants, biotene can provide soothing relief and it helps keep your mouth healthy, too. [ applause ]
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avo: whatever you can imagine, all in one place expedia, find yours supply and demand always haunted the u.s. war on drugs. too much demand in our country made many crackdowns on supply futile. we are seeing that in the fbi tough stance on pot use. monday, fbi director hinted that may change. if the agency wants to keep up with sophisticated hacking done by cybercriminals it may have to be a bit more open minded. quote, a lot of the nation's top computer programmers and hacking gurus are fond of marijuana he said. i have to hire great work force to compete with cybercriminals. some of the kids want to smoke weed on the way off to the interview. that drew a lot of notice including criticism from conservatives in washington. toy, under questioning from republican senator jeff sessions, the fbi director offered this explanation.
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>> i would asked a question by a guy who said i have a great candidate for the fbi his problem is he smoked marijuana within the last five years. i said i will not discuss a particular case. and then apply. i waxed philosophic. i am dead set against using marijuana. i don't want young people to use marijuana. it is against the law we have a three year ban. i did not say i am going to change the ban. i said i have to grapple the change in my work force. >> he may be grappling with two conflicting obligations. he enforces federal law that bans pot. he also has to staff the fbi with a lot of young americans. who, guess what? often try pot and definitely support its legalization. a whopping 69% of millenials support legalizing pot. those numbers drop for older americans. joining me now, ryan grim, washington bureau chief huffington post and author "this is your country on drugs." good evening. >> good evening to you.
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>> jim come is a pretty careful lawyer, people may remember, president obama tapped him as a real clear-eyed, nonpartisan director of the fbi which has a ten-year term. he is not in any political danger here. he seemed to walk it back. hinting at the fact that it may be hard to get the best recruits if you have this zero tolerance, three year pot policy. >> right. kind of funny watching him handle himself at that hearing. being stared down by these old white guys who almost look as if they're trying to, stop time from moving forward. and it seems like he is almost humoring them. look, i don't think anybody should smoke weed ever. and just really trying to give them what he thinks, what he thinks they might need. he said i have to grapple with how i can get the work force i need. if you have marijuana legal in two states and probably legal in
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more states after, after 2014, more after 2016, you know you get to a place where, you are going to say that, that you are not going to be willing to hire people who have done nothing wrong legally. we are not talking morally, nothing wrong legally through out their lives. especially when you start talking about the culture of the hacker community. >> yeah, ryan as of february 2014, 47% of all americans say they have tried pot. as you say those numbers are going to increase in places where it is totally legal. and this may need a rethinking. not like every bad thing that you ever do would keep you out of the fbi speeding, reckless driving, or other thing that are ticketed or regulated in some way don't necessarily mean that you can't come in and serve your country. >> right. and, and this isn't necessarily even a bad thing. it might be, you know, entirely legal in your state. and also if you are going to compare the type thousands of
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crime that you want people to fight it is just so absurd and kind of, self destructive as a country. that you would refuse the help of talented people in trying to stop major crimes. you know? you know, terrorism, or, or some type of cybercrime. or some type of international hacking. because a kid has smoked weed. or is smoking weed. >> yeah, ryan, at the hearing, they didn't ask him about something we have reported often and that lawrence talks about -- which is white and black americans smoke pot at the same rate, if you are black you are fur times more likely to be arrested. that would also seem to be a demerit for fbi recruitment. >> certainly means you are going to get a particular type of person if you eliminate anybody who ever smoked weed. if the fbi wants creativity in the way it approaches problem solving that may not be the route to get there. >> absolutely. they want young people. it's a young person's game over there. ryan grim. you get tonight's "last word."
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>> thank you. >> i'm ari melber. thank you for joining us. the democrats trump it. let's play "hardball." >> good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with the sound of trumpets, the sound i heard last night from kentucky. the voice of a gutsy young woman taking on the old political establishment, the voice of alison lundergan grimes telling senate republican leader mitch mcconnell that this november battle's going to be, as she put it so boldly, between you and me. with those bold words, the 35-year-old kentuckian threw down the gauntlet, challenging mcconnell person to person, saying she'll do to him what he threatened but couldn't do to president obama, deny him another term in office.