tv Meet the Press MSNBC August 4, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
. our key issues and people this sunday -- high alert, an al qaeda terror threat. who is behind the administration's high anxiety? we'll hear from two leading u.s. senators including the top republican on the senate intelligence committee. the snowden affair. russia gives him temporary asylum. how the obama administration is trying to win the debate over privacy versus security. craving the spot light. politicians and personal scandals. what makes them think they should stay in public life? inside on the pursuit of redemmings from our political roundtable including the host of msnbc's "morning joe," joe
scarborough. and judgment day. the fate of some of baseball's biggest stars hangs in the balance as they face the prospect of severe penalties over steroid use. is it enough to restore trust in america's favorite pastime? perspective this morning as i talk with bob costas of nbc sportses. i'm david gregory. all that ahead on "meet the press" this sunday morning, august 4th. >> and good sunday morning. the u.s. is on high alert at this hour. 22 u.s. embassies from north africa to bangladesh are closed now, and a worldwide travel alert is in effect for americans. andrea mitchell is nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent. andrea, good to have you here. what is it about where this is coming from and the significance of it that has engendered such a big reaction? >> well, they have intercepted chatter and it's coming from and targeting yemen. they believe it's either emanating from yemen where
al qaeda and the arabian peninsula is the strongest unit or fractional unit of al qaeda that still remains. it's also the most operational unit. they're concerned about this area, but now they're looking at other areas as well. if there is no attack today, because this is the holiest day of the month of ramadan, the holy period in the muslim calendar, if there's no attack today, they have to decide today whether to expand this to some places in europe i'm told. they're looking at all of the most vulnerable posts. and they have to decide whether or not this is so actionable that they have to keep these embassies closed. >> you've also gotten news on the obama administration and russia, the snowden affair, which we'll be talking about throughout the hour. there's a big trip planned for the president. >> a big trip. he will go to st. petersburg for the g-20, but i'm told they will announce this week if there's no change in edward snowden's asyl asylum, they will announce the president is not going to have that meeting with vladimir putin in moscow. they see no reason to have him invest himself in a
presidential-level trip with vladimir putin right now despite all the other interests they have with russia. they can handle that at a lower level. >> a new low in our relationship with russia. >> exactly. >> andrea will be with us. we'll talk about this and other matters. thank you very much. let me tourn to the vice chair of if senate intelligence committee, saxby chambliss, and the democratic senator from illinois, dick durbin. senators, welcome. senator chambliss, your republican colleague in the house, peter king, said this threat, this al qaeda threat, is the most significant that we have seen in many years. what have you been told about it? >> well, the one thing that we can talk about, david, is the fact that there's an an awful lot of chatter out there. chatter means conversation among terrorists about the planning that's going on, very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11. we didn't take heed on 9/11 in a way that we should, but here i think it's very important that we do take the right kind of planning as we come to the close
of ramadan. we know that's always an interesting time for terrorists. we're also, what, 38 days, 37 days away from the september 11th anniversary. so we're paying very, very close attention to the chatter that's going on, and i can tell you, david, this is the most serious threat they've seen in the last several years. >> can i just press a little bit? what makes it so serious in is it the nature of what the attack could be? is it that it could be in different places? because we have such a wide area here that's being covered. >> well, obviously, we don't know where the location is. that's part of the problem. but what we have heard is some specifics on what's intended to be done and some individuals who are making plans such as we saw before 9/11, whether they're going to be suicide deaths that are used or whether they're
planning on vehicle-born bombs being carried into an area, we don't know. but we're hearing some kind of that same chatter, david, we heard pre-9/11 leading up to anecdotes like that taking place by the terrorists. >> senator durbin, the benghazi attack became not only a tragedy but also a politicized event in our national security debate. here you've got embassies that are being protected, they're being closed down. is this a big deal or a big reaction? >> no, it's a big deal. vice president biden gave us a classified briefing this last week. they identified more than 25 of our embassies around the world that are particularly vulnerable. more than 25. and the defense appropriations bill, which we wrote and sent to committee this week, i included $48 million specifically to upgrade in 35 embassies around the world the security that we need. we need to protect the people who are out there representing
us. we need to know and realize we're living in an increasingly dangerous world. and this specific threat that we've been briefed on over and over again has reached a new level. >> senator chambliss, look, we're also in the middle of a big debate over surveillance programs. i got to put the question to you directly. are our surveillance programs what are giving us this stream of specific information, specific intelligence, on this potential plot? >> well, that's kind of interesting, david, because in fact they are. these programs are controversial. we understand that. they're very sensitive. but they're also very important because they are what lead us or allow us to have the ability to gather this chatter that i refer to. if we did not have these programs, we simply wouldn't be able to listen in on the bad guys. and i will say that it's the 702 program that has allowed us to pick up on this chatter. that's the program that allows us to listen overseas, not on domestic soil but overseas. and that's where all the
planning is taking place. we think that's where the activity is planned for. so, yes, these programs, even though they're controversial, this is a good indication of why they're so important. >> and this is the key part of the debate, senator durbin. it was the chairman of the judiciary committee, your colleague, senator leahy, who said wait a minute, i know the nsa tells us 54 plots in one way or another have been this wartded because of the program senator chambliss is referring to, he says that's a bit of an joef statement, and he said it in open testimony this week. listen. >> open testimony is section 215 to thwart or prevent 54 terrorist plots. not by any stretch can you get 54 terrorist plots. this program is not effective. it has to end. so far i'm not convinced by what i've seen. >> do you agree with that? >> we had a meeting in the white house, saxby and i attended it with the president.
there were about ten of us, democrats and republicans, from the house and the senate, and we spent an hour and a half in the president in the oval office, an hour and a half going over this nsa, debating it back and forth. the nsa 215 program that we're talking about here is a program on domestic surveillance. in other words, do we need to collect all of the phone records of all of the people living in america for five years so that if we're going to target one particular person we're ready to jump on it? that is being discussed and debated. the president is open to suggestions to make this stronger and more responsive and transparent. >> what's your suggestion? because the nsa argues you can't have half a haystack opinion you have to have basically all the numbers in the united states if you're going to be able to match it against what senator chambliss talked about, a bad guy overseas talking to somebody in the united states. >> that's one of two questions. first is how much do you need to collect? who should hold this? does the government need all this information on everybody in this country? that's the first preliminary question that we're going the
address. the ekd second is the fisa court, this court we know very little about and isn't public, how much authority should it have? what checks should be in place to make sure that there is at least an adversary yal proceeding there when it comes to the issue of privacy and security? so i think that we're open to changes in both. the president is committed to the safety of this country. but let's do everything we can to protect the privacy of innocent americans. >> you know, the secrecy, senator chambliss, surrounding these programs, is of course the intelligence community tells us, is necessary. the executive branch, all branches of government are involved in checks an balances. yet you have frustrated members of congress like your cheegs who put some of these questions, try to force this into the open a little bit, and you have to director of national intelligence, mr. clapper, who appeared on capitol hill, james clapper, and had this exchange that was not leveling with the american people. watch. >> does the nsa collect any type of data at all on millions or
hundreds of millions of americans? >> no, sir. >> it does not. >> not wittingly. there are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect but not wittingly. >> skrams james clapper told our andrea mitchell after that testimony that is the least untruthful answer he could give. now this morning "the guardian" newspaper is reporting members of congress who want more information now that it's been leaked and made public, is still not learning about the truex tent and depth and breadth of these surveillance programs. >> well, if they aren't, it's their own fault because all they have to do is ask, and we make available within the confines of the intelligence community where it's what we call a skiff, where classified information can be reviewed. all members of congress have the ability to come in and review most of the documents that are involved in these programs, not
all of them, but most of them. and i'm not going to defend general clapper there. he can defend himself. but the fact is senator wyden knew the answer to that question when he asked him. he knew he was asking about a classified program, yet he still asked the question. it put the general in a very difficult position. but, again, we go back to the fact that, as dick said, we do gather an awful lot of information, and if you can tell us who the bad guys are, i assure you we'd limit it to gathering just on the bad guys. but we don't know. but this information is not shared. there's an article out today talking about the complaints from other federal agency who is don't have the benefit of this information. so the nsa does do a pretty good job of keeping the information within the law enforcement community only and not sharing it around all federal agencies. >> i've got less than a minute left, and i want to ask about what a columnist called gridlock
among republicans this morning. and it's about the domestic debate over funding the government, defunding obama care in some circumstances. republican senators, as you know, are divided about this. senator ted cruise appearing with glenn beck on monday, said it's about one thing, and that's fear. this is what he said. >> what i can tell you is there are a lot of republicans in washington who are scared. they're scared of being beaten up politically. >> are you scared about taking on the president over the budget? >> i think dick knows that i haven't been afraid to step out and take on my own party and take on others within the administration to make sure that we do the right thing. i've never been scared since i've been in d.c. other than when i get classified briefings. so, you know, i appreciate senator cruz's passion, his intent to want to defund obama care. i'd love to do it too. but shutting down the government and playing into the hands of
the president politically is not the right thing to do. plus it's going to do great harm to the american people if we pursued that course. >> senator durbin, final point here with a few seconds left. >> i can just tell you senator cruz is part of a few extreme people in the senate when it comes to this subject, calling for shutting down the government of the united states, even shutting down the american economy to make his political point. that's not the right way to go. senator chambliss and i have work on a bipartisan basis. we are producing bipartisan appropriations bills, which have been held up on the floor of the senate. it is time for us to work together. the american people are sick and tired of this political gamesmanship. >> we'll leave it there. thank you both very much. i appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up here, the politics of national security. is the administration winning the debate over the nsa surveillance programs? and the big divide over america's role in the world that may, in fact, be a preview of fight ahead in 2016 among
republicans. our political roundtable is here, including "morning joe," joe scarborough himself. and former presidential candidate, rick santorum. [ female announcer ] when you're ready to take skincare to the next level you're ready for roc® new roc® multi correxion has an exclusive 5 in 1 formula it's clinically proven to hydrate dryness, illuminate dullness lift sagging diminish the look of dark spots and smooth the appearance of wrinkles together these 5 elements create ageless looking skin roc® multi correxion 5 in 1 it's high performance skincare™ only from roc®
and we're back with the news that we just heard about these terror threats, specific information. former presidential candidate senator rick santorum. i'd come back to you to ask the same question i asked the senators. how significant is this? we know it's a big reaction. is it a big deal? >> i think it's a huge deal and i think it's a consequence of the policies of this administration. you look at benghazi and what happened there. we had an attack on our embassy. we've seen really nothing other than cover-ups. we haven't seen anything from this administration really go after the people who were responsible or the network behind it. and there -- i'm sure if you're looking at it from a terrorist perspective, you say, well, here's an administration that's pulling back, that's tim duncan, and the opportunity to go after additional embassies. so this is to me a direct consequence from what we saw in benghazi and the general program that this administration has,
which is not being aggressive in confronting -- >> the critics of the administration's drone program would say tim duncan in the face of terror. >> i was going to say even the president's critics inside the cia have been surprised at his drone policy, bp surprised that he's adopted a lot of dick cheney and george w. bush's approach in the war on terror. i will agree with rick on one point, and that is we do live in a post-benghazi world, especially when it comes to embassy protection. and there are a lot of families of people who were killed at benghazi that wish they'd gone on this sort of alert. so this is, this is, benghazi is the 800-pound elephant that nobody's speaking about on this matter. that's why so many embassies have been shut down. but i don't know that there would be a lot of people saying it's because of the tim duncan ti of barack obama but rather the mistakes made in benghazi. >> look, drone policy is one policy. what we've seen is an administration that has refused to confront radical islam, that embraced the muslim brotherhood in egypt and now you see the
consequences of that and what's happened there. they have not been -- they won't even use the word "terror." they have withdrawn politically from the engagement and fight. yeah, sure, they're going after bad guys with drone programs, but that is not a comprehensive policy -- >> but, rick, i have not, if you've watched my show, in the business of defending barack obama. but if you talk to people in the intelligence community, they will tell you that al qaeda is busted, it's broken, it's splintered. there is a reason right now that they're in yemen, because they've been chased out of afghanistan, they've been chased out of a lot of other countries. add kid is not any stronger today than it was when barack obama came into office and most people, conservatives in the intel community, will tell you that, in fact, it is weaker today than it was because the president surprised a lot of people. >> i've seen -- >> the president surprised -- i've got to finish this. the president surprised a lot of people. he's adopted the policies of dick cheney and george w. bush in many, many instances.
>> right, but not the policies which i think really did risk america's image around the world and in a sense a lot of people would argue foment more terrorism and policies. the president has rolled back the rhetorical bluster we got used to during the previous administration but has actually amped up in terms of going after al qaeda directly. i don't think the administration that got osama bin laden, rhetorical bluster didn't bring oun osama bin laden, actual intelligence and aggressive maneuvers ron insana side of pakistan did. i don't think the former dictators in libya or in egypt would think that this president has been weak. i think what we've seen is a president who has tried to get the united states to conform and comport with the sort of moral standing that -- >> i don't think -- now i feel i need to counter on the other side, because the fact of the matter is barack obama has adopted policies that i think have actually been less targeted. he will fire drones into countries where we aren't even at war. when we had a plan, a policy, a
program that would allow us to go and snatch terrorists out like khalid sheikh mohammed. bring them out without killing their 4-year-old daughters, without killing their grandmothers, without killing everybody in the general vicinity. and i've got to say, nothing that he has done has made us comport to international standards more than under george w. bush or dick cheney. in fact, you look at a lot of these countries, and america's approval ratings lower than they were when george w. bush left office. >> i want to get to andrea. the level of specificity we heard from senator chambliss -- >> that was really something. >> the level of alarm is what struck me. >> he said this is the kind of chatter we heard before 9/11, which, be i the way, was a republican administration. so he's talking about a very serious intelligence threat, not specific in terms of whether this is going to be a car bomb or a suicide vest, but specific enough to warrant the closure of these embassies. the other thing that they're doing today, i'm told, is homeland security has ordered much tighter airport screenings on flights coming from overseas into the united states. and they do not think that this
is related to the prison breaks. but you have to be concerned about the prison breaks in libya, iraq, and pakistan where all of these arrested terrorists are now on the loose. >> so under diminished capacity. >> let's put this in a broader context. one of the debates we're having about these surveillance programs is we are far enough away from 9/11 that we ought to look at the means we are using to try to track these threats, and our programs may have helped in the intelligence stream here. part of this debate goes back to something that we found in our "meet the press" archives. back in 1975, senator frank church warning about the potential of enhanced government capability to monitor communications. this is what he said then. >> in the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the united states government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air.
now, that is necessary and important to the united states as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. we must know. at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the american people. and no american would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything -- telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. there would be no place to hide. >> rick santorum, is this the debate we should be having? >> well, here's the debate we should be having. we have an enormous capability with technology and improving and analyzing of big data. everyone talks about big data. well, guess what haul of these meta data -- information about who's calling who? it's big data. it's terabytes, a huge amount of data. the question is we can't use human intelligence to review that. but what's happening and what's going on in nsa and other places is the developing algorithms and
other things to be able to analyze it, not looking at a particular thing but looking for patterns, looking for things that would be helpful, which is not an invasion of privacy, it's an analyzing of something that is, again, enormous amount of data trying to find patterns to see if we can draw conclusions from it. i don't see that as interfering with anybody's privacy. i see that as using the technology that everyone else is going to be using. >> is it a concern, joy ann, that we entrust the government to, you know, stay away, not bother us with stuff when they're look for terrorists, but fear is until such a time that they might have a different point of view, a different imperative and they've got all this data? and that makes a lot of americans uncomfortable at a time when the administration is trying to defend these programs. >> well, i think one of the things that's the most alarming about what we learned from edward snowden is the extent to which we have contractors, people who are not even work directly with the nsa but a company, a private for-profit entity that also has access.
let's say a contractor like edward snowden, the potential to get at this data and access it is alarming. i think a lot of americans would want to rein that in. we have to understand we are the source of the thing that people most fear. we are sharing so much data with private companies from google to facebook, et cetera, sometimes more data than we give out in our irs returns. the government can either blind itself to it, pretend it isn't there, or subpoena and try to access it, but we also need to deal with privacy with these corporations, the amount of data they are backing up and holding on to really indefinitely. >> andrea, this is harder to fight. it's going to be an even bigger political fight. we saw that play out with rand paul and chris christie this week, which is within the republican party saying, hey, we need to take a look at the extent to which we want to be a security state in the face of this threat. >> and the white house is certainly, as senator durbin was indicating, that 90 minutes meeting, ten senators and congress leaders in there for 90 minutes with the president of the united states, that was a crisis meeting to say, we have to narrow this.
five years, is that too long? should we hold these data for two years? should we force the telephone companies to do it rather than the government? they see the political blowback in the white house as well as now, as you point out, the fight that's emerging within the republican party. >> joe scarborough, dan balz, who wrote "collision 2012," a terrific book about the 2012 campaign, said this about the feud we've seen this weekend, where it's goinging and looking ahead when i spoke to him for our "press pass" conversation. >> rand paul's views particularly on foreign policy are alarming to a lot of people in the republican party who are internationalists, who tend to be interventionists, believe a muscular foreign policy. what you've seen is the first of what is going to be to clearly be a long series about the party. >> joe scarborough. >> not just the republican party. hillary clinton has a much different world view. she's almost a neocon there. she has a much different world view than say pat leahy. there are going to be those battles going on in the democratic party. i think rick and i agree on a
lot of economic issues. i think on foreign policy i'm a little closer to the rand paul camp. i would guess you're a little closer to the chris christie camp. >> christie's closer to you. >> crihristie's closer to me. >> exactly. prepping for 2016. i love t it! but a strong party has two wings. the republican parte can't doesn't win 49 states anymore like we did under reagan and nixon because we have one wing right now. we need neocons, realists, people that balance each other out. and we have it, but don't forget again, the democrats have it, too, because they're going to be electing somebody who -- if they elect hillary, who's closer to the view of a neocon -- >> how does this get the gop, rick, even in a different place than the party was "in depth" 2012? >> i want to reiterate what joe said, which is the media has a fascination with how divided the republican party is and tends to ignore the divisions within the democratic party. i think they're very much as real on this issue, certainly on
the nsa security issue, big division. big divisions here on -- look, these are very complex issues, and as joe said, it's -- it's a healthy debate because we're in a very transitional time in our nation's history. so i don't think it gets resolved. i think on the issue of national security we're going to be it rating ourselves forward on this. >> talking about media fascination, i spent time with you in iowa. you had a successful run in the caucuses. you're heading back there this week to a summit. are you laying the groundwork for 2016? >> i'm open to looking at the presidential race in 2016, but got a little ways. we've got elections in 2014 first. >> we've got more coming up here. we're going to take a break. the other big story we're following, of course, craving the spotlight. what makes politicians with personal scandals think they should actually stay in the public eye to work through this? more with our roundtable on that question right after this break. [ male announcer ] these days, a small business can save by sharing.
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comments that raised eyebrows. this is what he told a reporter. >> i think citizens have had plenty of chances. i think now they understand i've got something personally embarrassing in my background. and you can try to come up with the next, you know, combination, permutation of it, but at what point do i get to say let me talk about the issues important to the city of new york? when do i get to say that? >> we've had a little distance from the start of the scandals, spitzer, weiner, filner in san diego. the question that really drives me this week is what makes these politicians feel like it's okay for them to stay in public life in light of all this? >> i think it's history. i think there are very few political disincentives to stay in. you can go back to larry craig being able to just retire from the senate, david bitter getting re-elected over and over again after people understood about the madam business. you can go back to bill clinton being impeached over a sex scandal and being more popular than ever afterwards. in anthony weiner's case, the problem is he doesn't have a
record, a congressional record to weigh against what people are talking about now, so it is all about the scandal. i think that if you're a politician like bill clinton, who has accomplishments in office that people want to retain, you're excused, or if you're somebody who is for whatever reason personally popular like the former governor of south carolina, who had a very public sex scandal and divorce but was still able to get elected to congress because people liked his body of work, you can survive so, what is the incentive to get out? >> i've talked to people about this, andrea. it's not eve an question of why do men behave badly or why -- but why do politicians -- what is it about politicians that think that they should remain in public life despite this? >> well, in most cases i think it's ego, enormous ego. and the thought that you have something to share in public service but also needing the spotlight. but i do think this is remarkable that we have not seen women politicians -- there are fewer women politicians, but we don't see women with these kinds of personal scandals.
everyone can be criticized for policies and judgment and character but not this kind of behavior, the kind of behavior where you hide in a closet somewhere and put your head down and, you know, never -- never, never come out into the spotlight again. >> for rick and joe -- >> i mean in the electoral spotlight is just extraordinary. >> the question is why isn't just going away a reasonable option? nancy pelosi spoke out about this recently. she said the following. >> let me be be very clear. the conduct of some of these people that we're talking about here is reprehensible. it's so disrespectful of women. and what's really stunning about it is they don't even realize it. you know, they don't have a clue. and it is really -- if they're clueless, get a clue. if they need therapy, do it in private. >> do it in sprooift what strikes me about that comment. >> i agree with nancy pelosi. >> oh my god.
stop it. >> we're done here. >> peggy noonan wrote a column a couple weeks ago about a british politician who went through an even more elaborate sex scandal in britain. this was "the" story in london. >> brought down the government. >> brought down the government. what did he do? he went to the soup kitchens of london. he had shame. he knew the consequences of his actions. and if he really did care about the people that these politicians say they care about, they'd go and serve them directly, humbly, out of the limelight. when he died a few weeks ago he was give an hero's funeral. he never appeared in public again except to do what he said he really cared about, which is serving those who were in need. >> and, you know, weiner is saying, wait a minute, i know i've had two rounds of this and i've, you know, not levelled with the public, but when do i get to talk about the issues? ? and we don't know if there's going to be a round three, four, five, and six, but when can we
talk about prices of water in new york city? i don't think people are ready for that yet. you look at each case differently. mark sanford believed he needed to get back into the race because he had fought over debt issues and deficit issues and he thought it was his time to get back. anthony weiner, there's a question of what else can anthony weiner do but be a politician. then you look at spitzer, eliot spitzer. everybody says, you know, he was making great money as an attorney, but what eliot spitzer does is run for office, try to get votes, win elections, and serve in the public. it's different for different people. >> weiner had, like, three days or two days of, quote, therapy. filner in san diego says he's going off for two weeks of therapy. if he -- >> but in filner's defense, though, the city of san diego did not offer him -- give him the manual on sexual harassment. can you believe that? he's suing the city? >> and this is the san diego mayor, mayor bob filner, actually starting his therapy
tomorrow, joy ann. >> right. i think at the same time, though, there is a certain level i think of puritanical sort of vibe that we have in the united states that maybe in europe we don't see. we had jacques chiraq have tremendous sort of marital issues publicly and it didn't really matter. we have politicians who are able to compartmentalize and have great achievement bespite being lousy husbands. you can go back to fdr, look at jfk, people considered great. ronald reagan was the first divorced president and people didn't hold it against him. the idea you cannot perform well as a politician because you are not a stellar husband has been disproved by history. the problem for weiner and others, when the scandal becomes all you're about, anthony weiner is having trouble getting out what are his programs would be as mayor. >> it's an ongoing crisis as nancy pelosi said. just like rick santorum, who agrees with nancy so often, and i do, too, just in this one moment, as she said, if you've got to get therapy, that's cool, everybody needs therapy, but get
it in private. don't do it on the campaign trail. and that's the problem here. these are evolving crises. we're watching the wheels come off the cart in the middle of these campaigns and perhaps should wait a couple years. >> join meganow is the former new york city mayor rudy giuliani. he's got a unique perspective on some of the big issues we've been talking about, not only the scandal surrounding anthony weiner but the split on foreign policy in the gop, of course the new york yankees and a-rod, which we'll get to in just a moment. mr. mayor, welcome. >> glad to talk to you as always. >> let me start on what's -- this discussion, what makes politicians think they can keep working through this in public life. you've had to face personal questions about your own life when you were mayor of new york city. how do you think this is reflecting on the city, if at all? >> oh, i guess it creates a lot of interest in the race. hopefully at some point that's going to focus on real issues. i think maybe some of this, when i'm listening to it, we have too
little confidence in the e electorate. they get all these issues. they get to evaluate it. in the sanford race in south carolina, everybody knew what happened with sanford. they knew all the details about it. turned out to be a much closer race than anyone thought. maybe if the democrats went with a different candidate they might have won. who knows. but the electorate made a decision with all the facts. same with spitzer and weiner. it's in front of the e electric rat. the electorate is adult, mature. i'm confident they'll figure it out. >> the only question i have as a parent, is this life in session that voters can judge, or is there something disqualifying at a point when i can't even turn on the news because that's going to create a bigger conversation than i want to have with my 8-year-old? >> only way we can solve that, david, is if we had a disqualification process, if people put themselves up for public office and somebody investigated them and said your personal life is not so good,
we're going to throw you out. then we have as i think a number of your panel ilss made the point, these situations, we actually lump them all together. they're all very, very different. people with great accomplishment made a big mistake. people with no accomplishment made a big mistake. these are very hard to evaluate and say this person should be out, that person shouldn't be out. this is why we have elections. the e electorate can evaluate this, and usually they get it right. when they don't, remember in boston they elected a mayor who was in jail? they got a mayor in jill. >> let me ask you about national security and the fight within your own party. you went round and round with rand paul when you ran for president. it's happening again with his son and chris christie, and you're hearing rick santorum, who looks like he's running perhaps in 2016 as well. where do you see the resolution? where does this fight within the party over america's role in the world and how to best protect the country go in 2016? >> so, this is a good fight. now we're xwerting on a vubt
whe subject where we're having a good fight, the role of america in protecting itself. i would agree with rick and with governor christie. i'm on that side of it. i think we need a strong, robust national security. i think that rand paul makes some good points in alerting us to how sensitive we have to be about privacy. but we can't stop all the things we're doing that protect us because we want to overprotect privacy. and i think to some extent, you know, this debate maybe can reduce some of the places in which we've gone to excess. so what i wouldn't want to see is, hey, we do away with all these programs. that would be a terrible mistake. >> i saved probably the most sensitive for last for you as a die hard yankees fan, and that's judgment day coming up for baseball, particularly for star third baseman of the yankees, alex rodriguez. here you are last year, september of 2012, with some young people getting an autograph from alex rodriguez. and now our reporting indicating today that he is on the verge of
a major suspension. as you look at that, what do you think this morning? >> i don't know. you showed me that picture, and it's very, very sad. he, alex rodriguez, went out of his way to not only autograph that for the boy, wonderful young boy, but he also gave him his glove, his batting glove. and the young boy still has that batting glove and he says, i have a batting glove that a-rod sweated into. his sweat was in here. he shows me the batting glove. i've seen the other side of a-rod. extremely kind to kids, very good teammate. i can't evaluate this. here's the part i'm a little confused about, david. i don't exactly understand completely this biogenesis situation. i don't understand exactly what it is they did wrong. did they just do biogenesis, which is basically blood enhancement, with which a number of other athletes did, or, here's what i suspect, under the guise of that they were getting human growth hormone, which is what would make it as serious as it is.
so i don't know all the facts so it's very hard pressed for me to make a definitive conclusion about it. >> all right. nay yor giuliani, thank you as always. >> thank you. coming up here, more on this topic. judgment day, as i say for baseball. the future of america's pastime. bob costas of nbc spo progressive insurance. you know, from our 4,000 television commercials. yep, there i am with flo. hoo-hoo! watch it! [chuckles] anyhoo, 3 million people switched to me last year, saving an average of $475.
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we e ear back with a bit of sunday inspiration to share with you this morning. this is washington congresswoman jaime herrera beutler and her husband, daniel, celebrating the birth of their 3-week-old daughter abigail, born on july 15th. young abigail beat the odds to become the first baby to survive being born with potter's syndrome, a rare condition affecting the development of the lungs and other vital organs, but thanks to some cutting-edge medical treatment she is now breathing on her own. while she no doubt has a tough road ahead of her, she continues to fight. her parents say
sources this sunday morning are telling nbc sports that yankees star alex rodriguez will be suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season and likely the entire 2014 season. major league baseball commissioner bud selig expected to make that announcement tomorrow. i want to bring in bob costas of nbc sporpts. always good to have you, bob, especially with a developing story like this. this is about biogenesis, as mayor giuliani referred to, and a second round of steroid use for alex rodriguez. >> yeah. and they feel, "they" being baseball, feel that they have such abundant evidence against him that they can make the case stand up. ryan braun was already suspended for 65 games. there were few players more defiant than ryan braun who got off the first time on a technicality. but when presented with the evidence that baseball had, he settled. for whatever reason, and there may be financial reasons protecting the remainder of his contract, other issues involved, also just personal pride because a-rod is a different sort of individual in terms of how he views himself and his possible
legacy in the game, for whatever reason they have, "they" being a-rod's camp, and baseball, have not been able to reach any kind of settlement. so selig is going to go ahead tomorrow and suspend him. the key is he's going to suspend him on two count, under the joint drug agreement but also under the overall collective bargaining agreement and the so-called integrity of the game clause. and the reason why that's significant is that on the first, if he or any other player, like let's say nelson cruz of the texas rangers, who leads them in rbis and is expected to be suspended tomorrow, as well, any player could appeal and remain on the field pending the outcome of the appeal if they're just suspended under the drug agreement. but if you're suspended under the best interests of baseball clause, you can still appeal but you're off the field and cannot play while that appeal is being adjudicated. and baseball apparently wants to make sure that a-rod doesn't play until this thing is completely settled.
>> the cover of "sports illustrated" this week, as people have read it, the last days of a-rod. i wanted to talk about this not just as a lifelong baseball fan, but this is an american institution dealing with cynicism, dealing with a sense of loss in terms of trust of heroes for young people, and yet as i've talked to you about it this week, you've been struck by the culture among the players and how that has changed that has led to discussion of a lifetime ban by baseball, which is so significant. >> yeah. this is a positive -- in my view, this is a positive turning point. i mean, ooits not good that many players including star players are involved in ongoing performance-enhancing drugs use, but it's very clear that baseball is serious about this. they may have gotten religion on it late, but once they did, they got serious about it, show nothing favoritetism on it. ryan braun was a very popular player in the home city of the commissioner of baseball, a-rod one of the biggest stars.
they'll go after anybody who fails a drug test or indicates they may be guilty. and not only is baseball itself putting pressure on these players, but now the pressure comes from within. even the players who didn't use a decade ago, there was kind of this code of silence. no one said anything. and the leaders of the players association were complicit in taking the game down the drain, corrupting both contemporary competition and the record books in the sport where records and comparisons across the generations matter most. now you have players saying, outspoken about it, we want ryan braun to receive a more significant penalty. we're behind these punishments. and, in fact, if anything, we'd like to see the punishments strength. ed. >> and that's the question of how do you disincentivize this behavior? the blight on baseball in the '90s with steroids, and here you have a more sophisticated turn these players were making in order to still juice. >> yeah. there are ever more
sophisticated means of doing it. i don't think they can get the full-blown effect that mcgwire, sosa, bonds got where they could probably turn themselveses into psi borgs, but with the use of hgh and testosterone and masking agents they can get some edge, otherwise they wouldn't do it, so it's ongoing. but within the game, the disapproval mounts and the vast majority of players stand firmly against it, and you find some of them, like matt scherzer, a player from the detroit tigers, and others saying here's what we should add to baseball's arsenal -- the right at the team's discretion to void a long-term contract if a player is found, and after he gets due process and goes through appeals, so it's a fair process, if the player is found to have used peds, the team has the right to void the long-term contract. in the case of ryan braun, for example, he loses $3 million. that's a lot of money. but there's still about $100 million left on the contract. if you put in that clause, that you could void a deal, that's a
tremendous disincentive. >> bob costas of nbc sports, thank you so much. what an important time with the suspension of alex rodriguez coming down to tomorrow according to your reporting from nbc sports. bob, thank you as always. andrea mitchell, you're such a big sports fan. my own son said to me if one of his players he really likes a lot is caught up in this, he's going to throw away his jersey. this really matters in terms of the future of the game. >> baseball is america. baseball to me is essential sport. and the fact that it has been so disgraced in the past and now ongoing, it's got to be cleaned up. and the yankees of course are motivated by the $100 million left on the contract with the salary cap, but they also have to be concerned about the pinstripes. >> do you agree with bob, though, rick, that this is a good day for baseball in terms of how strongly they're acting? >> i'm very encouraged to hear about the players because i think that's been one of the big problems, the complicit ti of the players unions and other players sort of letting this pass and sort of rallying around the guy, whether they deserved it or not.
i think that's a great turning point. and the point is -- and bob mentioned this -- baseball is a game about records. i mean, you always talk about your team and you go, well, what era, and that's -- you know, baseball is not the glitzy, glamorous sport that football can be and the nba. it's got more tradition and records. and you're throwing all that out when you throw this in here. >> joy ann? >> i was reading "42," the story of jackie robinson. so baseball has this tremendous capacity to bring out the best in individual athletes and really to showcase a potential for growth in the country. i mean, as a kid, i used to collect baseball cards. i was a huge baseball fan. afsz yankee fan. it's just disappointing that you can't count on the individual heroism of athletes. you can't believe it. the fact the awe ten then tis ti of those records is in question back to the '90s, it's difficult to find heros in our society. when people are motivated by lifestyle and money and trying to be bigger and stronger but not better, that's a problem, i
think, that's fundamental to the chul you are, not just of baseball. >> i think it's also a problem that you're a yankees fan. seriously. >> another reason to love you. >> when we were growing up, we're roughly from the same area, i followed hank aaron, roberto clemente. >> steve garvey. >> we could go on and on and on. and what was so great is my dad and i would debate, you know, mickey mantle versus hank aaron. of course i was hank aaron. i can't do that with my son because my son lives with an asterisk over his entire era. and i never let him forget it. >> we're going to be right back. and we're g and we are back here. yesterday we got word that we lost a dear colleague and friend here at nbc news. john palmer was with nbc news for the better part of 40 years from the white house to war zone, anchor desk on "today" of course. andrea, he was a mentor to you. >> he was a mentor.
he taught generations of colleagues generously. and he had it all. there was an aura about john. he was a prince of a man. and he brightened any room he walked into. but here at nbc, he was a war correspondent, a diplomatic correspondent, white house correspondent, five presidents, and a great writer. i think probably all told as an anchor and writer and correspondent, the greatest correspondent we've ever had. >> a great dad, a great husband, and someone who in the later stages of his career when i would travel with him covering the white house beat or at the white house, was so wise, would always will be so quick to teach you, but was also a lot of fun. he had a lot of experience in having a good time on this job. >> judgment, character, and great amount of fun. and john palmer was one of a kind. >> yeah. he was a real friend to so many of us. we're going to miss him. thanks for your reflections. we're going to leetch it there this morning. that is all for today. we'll be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
they patrol our streets, our highways, our borders, where anything can happen. >> we're having a baby. >> from birth to death. >> it was, like, a tremendous explosion. >> and everything in between. >> stop the car! >> i'm, like, i've got to do something. i've got to do something quick. >> officers of the law see it all. >> a very young male driver. and i'm talking young. >> and so do their cameras. >> there's gonna be a killing tonight. >> the eyewitnesses that never lie. >> i got the police report and i was, like, lie.