tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 28, 2013 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
after reports she was too big brothered by uncle sam. >> clearly damage has been done. i think we have to evaluate whether the costs of the method of gathering some intelligence greatly exceeds the benefit of that intelligence. >> joining me right now is north carolina republican congresswoman renee ellmers, a member of the house and energy commerce committee which is overseeing hearings on capitol hill into the federal health care website. congresswoman, it's great to have you with me. you had your chance to speak to the contractors last week and we have kathleen sebelius in the hot seat this week. what are the first questions that you want to ask of the secretary? >> well, what i'd like to know from the secretary is, number one, why did she repeatedly over time tell us that by october 1st, that website was going to be ready to go, that every american would be able to come on. i also want to understand who did what when.
who was calling the shots? why was this process interrupted? you know, things like the shop and browse portion were turned off. there are so many questions. but now i'd also like to know from kathleen sebelius how am i going to respond. i am getting thousands of requests from -- reaching out to my office telling me that their health care premiums are going up and that their health care plan that they have is being cancelled. how do i respond to that. those are the questions i'd like to know. >> have you asked anyone in north carolina why the state didn't start its own exchange, knowing that there was going to be a 3.5% increase on all those people in your home state of north carolina that would seek insurance that that bill would be larger than other states? >> the reason that the exchange was not set up in north carolina is because of the vast failure that we've seen. we've seen -- >> but you wouldn't have known about any glitches or gaffes. you won't have known about any
glitches or gaffes going into it. we have kennect in kentucky doing great, maryland is doing very well. those are examples that we have seen where a success rate is building. why wouldn't north carolina preemptively try to build its own exchange for as we know over the one million people who are uninsured in your state? >> let's go back to months ago what max baucus said. he said this is a train wreck. i took that to heart. from what i've seen this was going to be a failure all along and that's why we repeatedly brought many of the agency heads to the energy and commerce committee to ask the very vital questions. now we have results and the results are failure. how long are we going to continue in this effort? >> but it's a website issue, it's not about a health care issue. it's about a website issue. a glitch can be fixed and americans overwhelmingly are interested in affordable and accessible health care. being someone with a medical background who's married to a surgeon, you would know most likely what it is like for
people that don't have access to affordable health care, especially coming from north carolina which would be considered one of the poorer states. >> absolutely. that's exactly why i came to washington. >> so what is your plan to row place or enhance obama care? >> my plan -- my plan is let's get rid of this failure and let's start over with something that will work. let's delay this. why should the american people be penalized for a website that's failed where they're told that they should go there and buy something they can't afford and into the new year, into 2014 millions, it's projected now that 16 million will have their health care premiums and their health care coverage cancelled. so now we've just increased the number of americans without health care coverage. that's what i want to see. i want to see us delay that penalty and i want to see us put forth something that will work like the american health care reform act that i support from the rnc. >> do you think that massachusetts and we should be
utilizing the example of what's taken place in massachusetts that was instituted under then governor mitt romney as a better example for how we can do this on a national level? because nearly 100% of adults and children in massachusetts have health care coverage. >> well, you can't take massachusetts and compare it to the entire country. you know, tennessee had a plan as well and it was a complete and total failure. so i think you have to take all of these things into context. this is what you get when you have the federal government take over something as important as health care coverage for every american. >> all right. so over the weekend, though, we heard president bill clinton talking about this, congresswoman. i want to play a small portion of what the former president had to say. >> look at america today. we've got to implement this health care law. the computer deal will get fixed up, don't worry about that. everybody has forgotten, by the way, that when president george w. bush, a republican, put that medicare part d drug program in,
it was more unpopular than the health care law and they had terrible problems with the computers. >> congresswoman, it was eight years ago that the federal government rolled out medicare part d, a prescription drug benefit, and it was the first time that medicare was launching into this exclusive private health insurance plan. only 21% of americans at that time had a favorable understanding of what medicare part d was and now people would think they couldn't live without it. without proper enhancements as we live and learn. so do you think as we stand right now with the fact that the president was re-elected on obama care and it passed both houses and also vetted through the supreme court, do you believe that all americans deserve access to affordable health care? >> absolutely every american should have access to affordable health care. every american should be able to provide that for their families. but you know when we're comparing medicare part d to this massive takeover of government health care, i'm sorry, it just doesn't work.
medicare part d is just one tiny part of medicare. now, they're calling out bill clinton. when they call out bill clinton, you know there's a problem. so you see how they're trying to do damage control. and i understand that. if i were president obama and i was faced with this huge failure, i would be doing the same thing. >> real quickly, this understand i understand the north carolina chapter of the naacp is going to be holding a rally because of the new voter i.d. laws in your state. we saw last week that a north carolina republican official was fired after boasting about how the law was intended to restrict, quote, lazy blacks and college students. do you agree that that person should have been fired and despite the way he said it, was he really expressing a true objective of this law? >> well, first of all, i'd like to say that the naacp in north carolina is very strong and if a comment like that was made, then i think that the appropriate action was taken. that's simply not what that voter i.d. law is all about. >> all right, congresswoman renee ellmers of north carolina, thanks for making time for me. i really do appreciate it.
>> thank you. >> absolutely. joining me here on set, msnbc political analyst jonathan alter. jonathan, good to have you here. i'm not sure if you got to stay up late on "saturday night live" to watch the spoofs about the website. take a quick peek. >> we know everything about you. we've got your cell phone and your e-mail so we can do this the easy way or the hard way. >> all right, so that was one of the actual ads that is playing right now to convince people what it means to have uncle sam, it's not from "saturday night live" although it kind of looks like it. >> one of those right wing ads. >> let's show it now. we've got it queued up. >> millions of americans are visiting healthcare.gov, which is great news.
unfortunately, the site was only to handle six users at a time. have you tried restarting your computer? sometimes it helps to turn the computer off and then turn it back on. we don't know why, it just does. >> you know, if it were just that easy, jonathan, but kathleen sebelius is going to be in the hot seat later this week. how does she get in front of this to try to defend the disastrous rollout, i think is fair to say, the fact that they knew that october 1st was coming. it's almost as if they didn't know that date was a realistic one. >> it is a disaster. all she needs to do is just get out of there alive, basically. it's not going to go well no matter what happens. but i think while congresswoman ellmers raises some good questions that will be posed to secretary sebelius that she needs to answer because this is a fiasco right now, we need to distinguish between those who want to fix obama care and those who want to destroy obama care. and congresswoman ellmers and
her colleagues in the republican party are not asking questions with the intent of making the program work better, making it easier to get on obama care, get through on the computer. if that were to happen, popularity would increase, which is the last thing they want. so this goes to motive. their motive is to undermine and kill this program. the problem we have is that they don't have the votes to do that. that won't happen until 2017 at the very earliest and very likely not then because by then the program will be entrenched and popular. so they have lost the war and they're trying to win a couple of battles in the meantime. i feel badly for her constituents. i thought you asked her a very good question which is the reason that they're going to see premium increases is because north carolina and some other states controlled by extremist republicans have refused free federal money to help with the citizens of their state.
this is just -- it's really almost a tragedy for some families. >> because just to use north carolina as a example, they deferred to the federal government to set up this website which triggered a 3.5% service charge on those insurance rates. now, additionally, north carolina officials opted not to expand medicaid, which is the federal insurance program for the poor and disabled. 200,000 people who qualified for medicaid will now qualify for insurance through the aca. so it adjusts and changes the fluctuation of all those rates. now, it's different from state to state, but as you see in these examples where we have maryland or kentucky, states that are actually doing a great job because they set up their own exchanges, their own state exchanges as opposed to states that haven't, you can see where the access fluidity is that much greater. >> you can also look at states that are run by republican governors, conservative republican governors like jan brewer in arizona, rick scott in florida, they recognize they have got to get moving. they have decided to get moving
with implementing this with getting their exchanges going in the interest of their open people. so sometimes you hear critics say, what does the government matter, what does that have to do with me? if you live in north carolina, it has everything to do with you because the refusal of the north carolina republican establishment to move forward on this and the refusal of similar governors in other republican states will mean people paying higher insurance premiums, people not getting covered if they need coverage and a lot of other things that she says she's not for. but she's so blinded and her colleagues are so blinded by their hatred of the president and by extension of obama care that they will even hurt their own people in order to score political points. and that's unfortunate because there are a lot of fixes that need to be made in obama care and they should move forward with making them. >> jonathan alter, great to have you here. i appreciate it. here's today's big question for you. the obama care rollout, the hearings, grandstanding or problem solving?
just as jonathan was pointing out there, are we just going to focus on the problems or actually pay attention to what the fixes are to make this work so that the uninsured in this country can have access to affordable health care. weigh in on twitter or facebook. we'll get your thoughts on the show later. much more ahead on the u.s. allies being upset over our spy games. angela merkel and others expressing outrage over new reports of big brothering by uncle sam. what did president obama know and when did he know it? also ahead, prison break, inmates bust out of prison through a shower. now the nationwide manhunt is under way to find them. we'll show you the behind-the-scenes way they were able to get out. plan e thing you gave my husband? well, yeah, yes. the "name your price" tool. you tell us the price you want to pay, and we give you a range of options to choose from. careful, though -- that kind of power can go to your head. that explains a lot. yo, buddy! i got this. gimme one, gimme one, gimme one!
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program. "the wall street journal" reporting president obama was not aware the u.s. as spying on german leaders and that the white house ordered the nsa to stop some of the monitoring after it was discovered this summer. a german tabloid claims the president knew back in 2010 that the nsa was tapping merkel's phone and allowed it to continue. it came out after edward snowden said the u.s. has spied on world leaders. what president obama spoke to chancellor merkel when the two spoke about the spying. >> the president said we're not going to do this going forward. >> but it may have been done in the past. >> we don't want to get into the business of inventorying everything we've done in the past but what we're looking at is how can we both make necessary reforms in how we gather intelligence and how can we be more transparent about what we're doing with our allies and the public. >> joining me now ambassador mark ginsburg.
it's great to have you here. the white house finds itself caught between a rock and a hard place. now they have to come out and ask for forgiveness as opposed to permission, because they never would have gotten permission to do this. but this is not unheard of. this is what we do as a country. >> spies r us. >> we've been doing it for a long time. is it just the fact that we are surprised that it would get to this level and now expect to believe that the white house and those in it would be unaware? >> as a u.s. ambassador i had intimate knowledge of some of the things that the national security agency was doing, so let's at least understand several things. the nsa will vacuum up anything and everything they can get their hands on because no one, no one other than the president and his top national security adviser, can tell them not to do something, so that's point one. point two, the damage that has been done to american economic interests as a result of this revelation is as important as the foreign policy consequences,
because what european company will want to use american networking capacity and other types of computer technologies as a result of this. finally, one other thing. i'm really embarrassed for this white house. i feel awfully sorry for the president because this is basically going to undermine the -- our transatlantic alliance for many years to come, just at a time when we're negotiating an iran agreement. where our european allies are so important to us. >> meanwhile there are some republican leaders coming out, republican congressman peter king defending the u.s. spying on world leaders. take a listen to this. >> i think the president should stop apologizing, stop being defensive. the reality is the nsa has saved thousands of lives, not just in the united states but also in france and germany and throughout europe. and we're not doing this for the fun of it. this is to gather valuable intelligence which helps not just us but also helps the europeans. >> so, mark, we have allies that are upset with us, germany, france, mexico, brazil and
spain. but the reality is that we're all doing this. >> i'd like putin to be angry with us, okay. i'd like to know that the north koreans are angry with us more than our allies but let's say what peter king just said. peter king is mixing apples and oranges. i agree with him, nsa spying that protects our national security is critical. but he is lumping in this what i would call gratuitous spying on our leaders that could have enormous consequences for our national security. >> what if this is just trust but verify? >> listen, in the end trust but verify comes down to a very simple proposition. they all knew that we're spying. they do it, everybody does it. but the fact of the matter is, is that there's gambling going on upstairs. all of a sudden there's a revelation. it's the damage that was done now, thomas, and the biggest concern that i have is that we really didn't have to be snooping on chancellor merkel's
phone conversations to know what's going on in germany. we didn't have to be doing this. this is an nsa that has run out of control at this point. so reform on the rocks. even senator marco rubio admits that efforts to change immigration reform and the law not going so good. the agenda panel will weigh in on that coming up. jay z breaking his silence about his big deal with the department store barney's and allegations of racial profiling by the store. why he says he isn't backing out. okay ladies, whenever you're ready. thank you. thank you. i got this. no, i'll get it! no, let me get this. seriously. hey, let me get it. ah, uh. i don't want you to pay for this. it's not happening, honey. let her get it. she got her safe driving bonus check from allstate last week. and it's her treat. what about a tip? oh, here's one... get an allstate agent. nice! [ female announcer ] switch today and get two safe driving bonus checks a year for driving safely. only from allstate. call an allstate agent and get a quote now.
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[ announcer ] always rich, never bitter. gevalia. a manhunt is under way for four escaped inmates that police are calling pretty crafty. the four made a daring escape from a local jail in caddo county early sunday morning. kerry sanders is standing by with the very latest on this. explain the crafty way these four escaped.
>> reporter: well, very crafty because they found a hole in a system. but they found a way in a new system because the jail here is only really about a year old. $11 million spent for the new jail and the court complex here. the sheriff is here right now. sheriff gene cain, i'm sort of curious, first of all, not to be too rude but are you embarrassed by this? >> well, i'm not embarrassed, you know, it just happened. it happens in all jails. >> reporter: and they found a way out how? they crawled through a grate? >> it's an access panel that's in the pods and they figured out a way to take the screws out that isn't supposed to be able to be taken out. and they just found a way to get up there and they just started trying to crawl around, didn't know where they was going and when they come to a secure wall, they just started trying to break it down. >> and they did? >> broke enough for them to crawl through.
>> reporter: so how thin of these? >> it's like concrete block and rebarred in. >> reporter: but the area it is crawling through. >> it is small. >> reporter: so they're small people? or determined? >> they're determined. >> reporter: i'm curious now, i understand you have the contractor back there, the architecture company back there looking at it. are you able to say to the community here that this won't happen again? >> no, i can't say that it won't happen again. there's lots of ways, you know, that people escape jails. i can't say it won't happen again. we hope it don't happen again. >> reporter: but you're welding shut areas that they were able to get out or just putting the screws back in. >> they're just putting it back like it was and some of the damage they did up in the crawl hole with the air conditioners and some of the copper water pumps. >> reporter: last question, sheriff. the four inmates that have escaped, any sightings at all? >> not since that night, no. >> reporter: thank you very much. we know you've got a lot of work on your hands so appreciate you joining us here.
here in the county, they're doing their best, they're out searching for some sort of evidence of where these four inmates have gone. to recapture them and bring them back here. thomas. >> nbc's kerry sanders reporting for us there in oklahoma. thanks so much. here's a look at some of the other stories topping the news right now. in china's tianemen square a car drive in and caught fire. it's not clear if it was an accident or done on purpose. michael jackson's doctor has been released from jail. dr. conrad murray served two years behind bars for administering a fatal dose of the drug propofol to michael jackson. murray reportedly wants to get his medical license reinstated so he can go back to practice. an amusement ride operator goes to court today. police say that timothy tutterow tampered with the safely controls on a ride after it was inspected. five people were hurt last week when the ride unexpectedly started. more arrests are expected.
also in court today, singer chris brown. police arresting him in washington, d.c., over the weekend. he's accused of punching a man who tried to take a picture with him. and jay z says for now that he's keeping his business relationship with the department store barneys after accusation that store racially profiled two customers. he said he wants to get all the facts before making any decisions. he is designing an exclusive holiday line with proceeds going to charity. and the music industry paying tribute to rock legend lou reed, the leader and singer of the velvet underground dying after recent complications from a liver transplant. he was 71 years old. ready to run your lines?
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there? those are today's topics for our agenda panel. we have victoria de francesco soto, keli goff and sahil kapur. happy monday, gang. sahil, i want to start with you. you have an article about senator rubio backing off. is the senator throwing in the towel at this point? >> what senor rubio is saying is that he doesn't see significant support to pass the immigration reform bill that passed in the senate, he doesn't see the support in the house. what he's saying is that the house should not pass that bill and it should instead take up piecemeal, incremental bills. there's no bipartisan support for immigration reform without a path to citizenship for the 11 million people here illegally. so what senator rubio said is
he's abandoning sweeping immigration reform. it sounds like he made a bad bet in terms of the political calculus. this isn't going to pass in the house. republicans have pretty emphatically rejected it. so it sounds like he's trying to salvage his standing with conservatives. >> victoria, the president keeps trumpeting about the bipartisan work done on the senate side but the political will in the house wasn't there to see this through. do you think that's also why senator rubio was very scarce, completely scarce during the shutdown and the role thereof? >> he has, but thomas, he has been hedging on comprehensive immigration reform since the beginning. back in april before the gang of eight voted on its bill, he said we're moving too fast on this, we need to take it slow. so marco rubio has always hedged. but regardless of what rubio says or doesn't say, if he supports it or not, immigration reform is dead. an it's dead because of the death of a thousand cuts.
and wanting to pass immigration reform by a piecemeal approach, you're not going to get anything done because immigration is such a complex issue, it depends a comprehensive solution. so by saying you're going a piecemeal approach, it's a euphemism. finally, let's look at the calendar. low gistically speaking there is no time. we have the budget and fiscal issues and then electoral season for 2014. no one will want to touch it. >> so marco rubio faces the prospect of two different races. re-election to his florida senate seat and the presidential bid. the distance he has kept from his immigration bill suggests he's paying more attention to that second race. keli, do you think he should not abandon his role on immigration so he could attract hispanic voters? wasn't that the main attraction to building his political attraction to turn a run for president at 2016? give him the credibility to do so? >> well, look, thomas, rubio and
the gop as a whole are caught not between a hard place and a rock but a hard place and even harder place. george w. bush won about 44% of the latino vote. mitt romney lost over 40% of the latino vote. right after president bush left offense, half of hispanic americans had a positive view of the gop. look at the numbers now, 65% have an unfavorable view. those are not numbers that can get a republican candidate to the white house. that's just the reality. so i think like i said, i don't know what the correct answer is here, but i think we can alltel rubio is looking at the same numbers we are and figuring out what the heck do i know. >> let's turn to hillary clinton to see if we can read the tea leaves on what we've been witnessing over her schedule. she gave three speeches in three days last week. keli, politico suggesting one tactic for hillary is to go back to her 2000 campaign for senator. and then also, can you talk about that and how shaquille o'neal's endorsement of chris christie could affect the
hillary clinton campaign? >> the 2000 campaign was a very effective one. i was an intern on that campaign and did a heck of a job fetching coffee and answering phones. but in all seriousness, it's a great comparison from that race to this one. she didn't go in there thinking she was a given to win the senate seat. she went in as a total novice, introduced herself to voters, got her hands dirty. something that she was accused of not doing in 2008. the reason it's really important for the clinton campaign to take that approach this time around is because you look at shaquille o'neal who hardly ever weighs into politics but he did endorsing chris christie, a republican. an overwhelming majority of black voters supported barack obama. but in my 2008 "party crashing," plugging that, 35% of black voters ages 18 to 24 actually identify as independent, thomas. so while they are obama loyalists, many of them, they're not necessarily kem contract party loyalists and president obama slipped in the double digits between 2008 and 2012 among black men in part because
of the economy. and that's what shaquille o'neal touted in his endorsement of christie. i think this is something the democrats have to worry about, whether clinton is on the ballot or not. >> if we do look at clinton being on the ballot or not, there is an achilles heel when it comes to benghazi. senator lindsey graham said republicans were going to double down on their efforts to get to the bottom of what happened there, thinking that they haven't asked enough questions and they don't have enough answers publicly. he specifically mentioned secretary clinton. take a listen. >> and where was hillary clinton during all these multiple requests for security? you could see this attack a long time in the making, according to the people on the ground in libya. why couldn't you see it in washington? and who the hell told susan rice this story about a protest gone bad? >> so it seems that benghazi and that being a strength for republicans going after hillary clinton will remain a strength all the way through 2016. >> it's a powerful driving force for conservatives and something they have been rallying around
and are very animated by this. establishment republicans are more than happy to jump on this and seize the moment on this for as long as it lasts because this is the biggest thing to have on hillary clinton. her star power is very, very strong. she has all the gravitas and by far if there was one -- if there was one contender for the 2016 presidency that appears strongest right now, it's her. republicans recognize this. and for that reason benghazi is a strong issue. i don't want to minimize the concerns people have about this, but it is an issue that has been litigated over and over and over again and it's not clear what more there is to be said. >> it seems that just bringing up the word that it denotes some type of blame over it and it reminds people of that exit for the secretary, who had a great run as secretary of state, except for that instance which happened toward the very end. victoryia, if hillary clinton would not run, the other name out there is elizabeth warren. do you think that that is a viable candidate? >> you know, i think she is a viable candidate within the democratic primary, but in terms
of looking toward the general election, i think we have a lot of problems there because the appeal of hillary clinton is she can get those independents, she can even get those moderate republicans who are sick of the republican party. but with elizabeth warren, can the ds keep the white house? i don't know. >> thomas, really christ christe is polling over 30% with black voters. if he's the nominee i think we could see a replay of 2004. that's what helped bush get re-elected. >> thomas, i don't think -- to victoria's point, i don't think elizabeth warren would mounting the same challenge as hillary clinton. the dna of the progressive base is not the same as the liberal base. you can ask folks like howard dean and dennis kucinich, real progressives have to fight to be taken seriously. >> where does president obama's support go. can you imagine if president bill clinton becomes the first
man? >> we are all waiting with bated breath, are you kidding me? >> for a guy to have that job the first time out, if it's an old president, i think that ego would be okay. >> it would be christmas for journalists. >> okay, guys, thanks so much. great to have you all on. you can find out more from our panel. join our agenda on our website, msnbc.com/thomas-roberts. that's a mouthful. all right, so the old dominion -- it really is, especially on a monday. the warning that president bill clinton had for voters with just days left in virginia's race for governor. and you could call it the shaq pack. the basketball great makes that political endorsement of chris christie. we talk more about that right after this. this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one.
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and i know something about being a governor. and i know something about the relationship between the states and the national government. and because i know terry mcauliffe and his family very well. i plead guilty. i love him. >> all right, so that was former president bill clinton speaking in virginia, stumping for his friend and hopeful virginia governor, terry mcauliffe. clinton kicked off this four-day, nine-city tour around the state on sunday. and with just eight days before election day, the latest polls show mcauliffe several points ahead of the republican attorney general ken cuccinelli. so why bring the big guns in at this point? well, to rally the base and make sure democratic precincts show up on election day. joining me now is politico's alex isenstadt. an article in politico today really dives deep into this talking about the turnout of black voters. he doesn't need to match obama's performance but the dropoff
cannot be too steep. we saw the president there hammering that point home repeatedly today. i want to play another portion of what the president had to say. take a look. >> the real reason you're here is that the single redeeming virtue of political extremism is people show up on the other side. so are you going to show up? this whole election is about which virginia shows up. >> about which virginia shows up. alex, explain when we talk about the youth vote, and as we dissect that apart, how important it is for young african-americans and college students to turn out on november 5th. >> right. well, it's a week away from the election. and for terry mcauliffe particularly, it's all about playing to the base. what you see in virginia is really changing in the last few years. it's becoming a more blue state, changing from a purely red state. the reason is, is because you have this explosion in minority voters. but mcauliffe needs these
minority voters to turn out. the problem for democrats is that minority voters tend to not vote in as great proportion in off-year presidential cycles than in presidential years. so that's why you're having terry mcauliffe bring in bill clinton because he is beloved among black voters and minority voters. so that's really terry mcauliffe's goal here. >> meanwhile "the washington post" has pointed out governor mcdonnell has been absent. also isn't his nickname governor vaginal probe? the nickname because of the law he wanted to pass forward in virginia? so that has to rile up young women who are concerned about what his endorsement would mean of cuccinelli. so does that play a role in how cuccinelli is being stumped for? >> well, look, it plays a big role. terry mcauliffe, he's been sidelined in this election. he's under enormous ethical
scrutiny. so what you have is a situation where terry mcauliffe is relying on outside political stars. people like marco rubio, people like rand paul. these are the political figures that ken cuccinelli is relying on to come in from out of the state to campaign for him. like terry mcauliffe is trying to rally his base in the closing doors, ken cuccinelli who is behind in this race, he's trying to rally his conservative base but he's not going to be able to do it with virginia's incumbent governor so it's a big loss for the campaign. >> alex, great to see you. i appreciate it. so a slam dunk endorsement. it's time now for the poli side bar. as we mentioned, nine days until new jersey voters go to the polls and basketball great shaquille o'neal is throwing a pass to a candidate in that state, republican governor chris christie. take a look at his new ad endorsing christie for his re-election. >> i don't endorse many politicians, but chris christie is different. he's working with me to bring jobs back to our cities and on a
new program to help kids in tough neighborhoods get ahead. >> from new jersey to new york where democrat bill de blasio seems poised for a historic victory over joe lohta. he has a 45% chance to be new york's next mayor. and hawaii will take up equality. if approved the marriage equality act would take effect in mid-november making it the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage. a case in hawaii is credited with pioneering the marriage equality amendment. senator ted cruz has hurt the republican party in his efforts to defund obama care. >> in the end he did more harm. i think it was not his objective. i think his objective was a laudable one. i think he didn't do a very good job in pointing it out. it's one thing to have a goal and another to have a plan to get you to that goal. we've all become familiar with this smiling woman who has
we asked, you answered, the question about obama care and rollout hearings. grandstanding or problem solving. janet tweeted, it's grandstanding. gop doesn't want to fix aca. it wants to destroy it and take away health care from americans. andrew says no grandstanding going on at least in the congress. what about scare mongering? keep the conversations coming in on twitter and facebook. we have learned authorities arrested a spectaculared hacker in england. a man they say tapped into u.s. agencies. they say his goal is to take what they are calling confidential data. joining me nbc justice correspondent pete williams. what agencies are we talking
about? >> first of all, he's a 28-year-old man. the southeastern coast. they accuse him of illegally gaining access to computer systems used by the department of human services. this is before the obama care website. the department of energy, the army u.s. missile defense agency, environmental protection agency and nasa, national aeronautics and space administration. he was arrested today, at his home friday. he was part of a group of hackers who stole military data and personal identifying information belonging to u.s. military personnel. they describe him as a sophisticated and prolific hacker. court documents say there were other hackers in australia and sweden that he was e-mailing with. in one of them the prosecutors say this stuff is really sensitive. it's basically every piece of information you'd need to do a full identity theft on any employee or contractor for the government. he's been arrested.
there are charges against him filed both in brooklyn and here in eastern district of virginia, just across the river from washington. >> certainly pete there's great sensitivity given the snowden situation and what we're talking about this week but also with healthcare.gov, federal exchange rollout. do we have a time line, dates of when he's accused of trying to hack into the website? >> yes. starting last october, they say, is when he started to do this. what he would basically do is install back doors. put little software into these computer systems that would then allow him to go back later and get in without using passwords. >> all right. nbc's pete williams following that story. pete, great to see you. thank you, sir. >> you bet. >> that's going to wrap things up for me. see you tomorrow at 11:00 eastern. joining me then this morning congressman peter king. don't go anywhere. "now" with alex wagner coming up next, a special monday edition. >> special monday insofar as it's monday. >> it's monday. have a great show. >> thanks, thomas. president obama gets set to
speak at the welcoming ceremony for one of the newest members of his national security team nbc director. the white house faces more fallout from the snowden files. we'll discuss the latest nsa spying revelations with "new york times" peter baker ezra klein, and others. a riveting look at the white house, dick cheney's outsized but not supersized role in the administration. that's with peter baker. will healthcare.gov glitches sicken national health care? all that when "now" starts in a mere 180 seconds. but chantix helped me do it. i told my doctor i think i'm... i'm ready. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. i knew that i could smoke for the first 7 days. i knew that i wasn't putting nicotine back into my body to try to quit. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these,
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>> as president obama gets ready to speak at the welcoming ceremony for fbi director in washington, the president is facing heat overseas for new revelations about american spying on foreign leaders. the latest diplomatic fallout from documents provided by edward snowden began last week when "the guardian" reported nsa monitored personal communications of 35 world leaders. among them german chancellor angela merkel who fond president obama to complain. >> the president spoke with angela merkel assured her the united states was not and will not monitor her. >> is not and will not but what about has been. recent reports in the german press indicate u.s. had been monitoring merkel's cell phone since 2002, a full three years before she became germany's leader, but did president obama know. not according to white house officials who told "the wall
street journal" the president was unaware of targeting of foreign leaders until this summer's leaks by edward snowden. the white house response followed a report in germany's newspaper asserting president obama was personally briefed on the merkel situation three years ago by snow director keith alexander and signed off on it. so did the president know or did he, like most everyone else, learn about the allegations by picking up a paper? during last month's g-20 in st. petersburg, the president brushed aside nsa allegations laid out in, quote, newspapers. >> part of the problem here is we get these through the press and then i've got to go back and find out what's going on with respect to these particular allegations. i don't subscribe to all these newspapers. although i think the nsa does, now at least. >> this morning the president and several newspapers readers woke up to the news that the u.s. has been spying on another ally,