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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

Date: May 23, 2015
Guest: Kim Ghattas, Ana Marie Cox, Katherine Mangu Ward, Sabrina Siddiqui,
Robert Costa, George Mitchell, James Pethokoukis, Teresa Ghilarducci


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Hillary Clinton`s private messages made

All right. Good morning. Thanks for getting UP with us this Memorial Day
weekend, 2015. Lots going on at the start of this holiday weekend.
Hundreds of Hillary Clinton`s e-mails from when she was Secretary of State
have now been released. Everyone here has been combing through them.
We`ll talk about what we have learned so far in just a minute.

Also this morning, a tense and dramatic night of voting in the Senate with
senators skipping town but a holiday without really finding a way forward.
The White House says, it has no plan B if senators can`t resolve the
dispute over the Patriot Act. All the details on what that`s all about
coming up.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, this morning, they are counting the ballots. That
country a heavily Catholic country, the first in the world to put
legalization of same sex marriage to a popular vote. I`ll report on where
that referendum stands as those votes come in. That is straight ahead.

Also on the show, Senator George Mitchell the former majority leader, the
man who helped negotiate peace in Ireland will be here to talk about the
negotiations to prevent a nuclear Iran.

Plus, republican presidential contenders are starting their holiday
weekends in Oklahoma City. So, we`re going to head at the sooner state to
find out what is going on there. And there was a big and surprising vote
in Kentucky this week which lead us to wonder if Hillary Clinton could
possibly win that state back in other states in Appalachia in 2016. It`s
not as crazy a notion as you think. The reasons why and a whole lot more
are on top for us this Saturday morning.

But we begin this morning with something that`s going to keep happening a


starting to come out. This is something that I`ve asked to be done, as you
know for a long time. And those releases are beginning. I want people to
be able to see all of them.


KORNACKI: Two hundred and ninety six e-mails that Hillary Clinton sent or
received as secretary of state released yesterday. More than 800 pages in
total. The release coinciding with her trip to a brewery on the campaign
trail in New Hampshire yesterday. And the e-mails were the first of many
batches that are going to be made public on a revolving basis by the State
Department over the coming year. "New York Times" printing its own batch
of e-mails online on Thursday. The State Department saying that the e-
mails it released yesterday have already been sent to the Special House
Committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi,

And it promises to make more e-mails available on a rolling basis. Clinton
has come under fire for using a private e-mail server and personal account
to conduct official government business. Friday afternoon`s release
including what may have been the final e-mail Clinton saw from Ambassador
Chris Stevens. He`s one of the four Americans who was killed in that
Benghazi attack. That e-mail about a July 2012 visit from Senator John
McCain to Libya. Later, Stevens also warning the State Department of
increased violence. There are also more than 25 back channel memos passed
along from Clinton`s close friend Sidney Blumenthal.

He is someone the Obama White House had blocked her from hiring at the
State Department. Karen Tumulty in "The Washington Post" writing that
quote, "the President`s team considered Blumenthal untrustworthy and prone
to starting wild rumors," Tumulty adding that, quote, "the trove of newly
released e-mails suggest that one tendency of Clinton from her failed 2008
campaign persisted at the State Department, an inability to separate her
long time loyalties from the business at hand." Some of the e-mails
redacted. One about the suspects in the Benghazi attacks was classified by
the FBI only yesterday. Many lines of black adding fuel to suspicion that
Clinton has not been entirely forthcoming.


CLINTON: I`m aware that the FBI has asked that a portion of one e-mail be
held back, that happens in the process of Freedom of Information Act
responses. But that doesn`t change the fact that all of the information in
the e-mails was handled appropriately.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It was a private server though, do you have some
concern it was on a private server?



KORNACKI: All right. And here now to discuss we have Kim Ghattas, a
correspondent with the BBC who was traveling yesterday in New Hampshire
with Hillary Clinton. And who covered her while she was secretary of
state. So, Kim, let me just ask you if you could put a headline on what`s
been released, what came out just yesterday. And keeping in mind that this
whole controversy over the e-mails. You know, Hillary Clinton turned over
a certain number of e-mails to the State Department, the rest she said have
been destroyed. So, presumably she doesn`t expect to be surprised by
anything that comes out but are there surprises that you noticed yesterday.

KIM GHATTAS, BBC CORRESPONDENT: I think that the one surprise or it wasn`t
quite a surprise, but the one new thing was that e-mail that we saw
forwarded to Hillary Clinton, an e-mail written by Chris Stevens on July
17th of 2012. So just a couple of months before the attack that killed
him. Which struck a very positive note. Now, I`m not sure we can
ascertain that this was indeed the last e-mail she saw of him. Because I`m
not quite sure how these e-mails are being released and whether it`s being
done chronologically. We may have more e-mails from that same period of
time. But I thought that was interesting. Nothing that I`ve seen so far
changes much to the story of what happened or what we know happened in

I wrote about it extensively as well in my own book. I spoke to a lot of
people. It adds texture, it adds nuance, it adds more contours. But it
doesn`t change much to what we know has happened. On the issue of the e-
mails from Sidney Blumenthal. I think it shows that Hillary Clinton, as
was pointed out in that Karen Tumulty`s article, values loyalty sometimes
above everything else. She also values getting information from a wide
array of sources. And she at the end, you know, does the checks and
balances on this. And we see in the e-mails that she does actually forward
everything that Mr. Blumenthal sent to her to all wise hands at the State
Department to get their input on the information she got from Mr.

KORNACKI: Yes. And I`m curious how you interpret that. Because the
Sidney Blumenthal case is interesting to me for a couple of reasons. I
mean, first of all, there`s the simple fact the Obama administration didn`t
want this guy working at the State Department. Now we find out, he
basically -- it appears from these chain of e-mails he was able to pass
information to Hillary Clinton and then she circulates it throughout the
top officials on her teammate, the State Department. But also Sidney
Blumenthal at the time he`s doing all this, he is working for the Clinton
family foundation, he is also in business with entrepreneurs who wanted to
do, who wanted to have business in Libya. Does this race some questions to

GHATTAS: Certainly it does raise questions. I think the business
connections with Libyan officials is the more worrisome part of the
exchanges or rather the unwritten parts of those exchanges. I think that
when it comes to information that he passes on to Mrs. Clinton as secretary
of state, the fact that she then goes to check this information with -- as
I said, you know, very seasoned diplomats at the State Department like Jen
Crets (ph), the former ambassador to Libya or Jeffrey Feltman, the
assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs. It shows that she
does do a checks and balance on the information she gets from him.

But I think that what we`re unable to tell at this point is to what extent
does it eventually influence her judgment of the situation? And to what
extent does Mr. Blumenthal`s business connections with these people
eventually filters into some of the decision making at the State
Department. You would have to think that when you have a big building like
the State Department, the White House and the NEC it evens out that all of
this evens out. But it certainly does shows that she values loyalty that
people don`t get cast aside from Clinton world that easily. And certainly
at this point in time when the expectation that Mr. Blumenthal will appear
in-front of Congress to testify, she`s certainly not going to cut him loose

KORNACKI: Yes. And quickly, what is the path forward here? So, Sidney
Blumenthal, he said he`ll cooperate if he`s called before the Benghazi
committee. Sounds like they do want to call him. So, that`s going to
happen. There is a dispute here between the committee saying they want to
hear from Hillary Clinton but they wanted to be in close session. She
wanted to be in public session, what`s going to happen there?

GHATTAS: Well, your guess is as good as mine. I think this is still
unfolding. But what I can tell you is that people at the State Department
are quite unhappy with how this has added a lot of work to what is already
a big burden for them trying to in essence, you know, run foreign policy.
Manage, you know, breaking conflicts around the world. Basically, this has
left quite a mess in the hands -- Mrs. Clinton left quite a mess behind at
the State Department by her decision to use a private server and a private
e-mail. Now, from my conversations with people in the building, they don`t
seem to think that there was anything nefarious going on but it does mean
that they have to sift through all these e-mails before they are released
because it is about policy, it is sensitive. It is also political. This
is a democratic administration, she`s a potential democratic nominee for
the presidency. So it adds a lot of burden to them. And 296 e-mails, 800
pages, out of 55,000. You can only imagine the burden on the bureaucrats
on the State Department.

KORNACKI: All right. Kim Ghattas with the BBC, thank you for your time
this morning. Appreciate that.

Now, let`s bring in this morning`s panel. And for that we have Ana Marie
Cox, contributor to The Daily Beast. Katherine Mangu Ward, managing editor
with Reason Magazine. And Sabrina Siddiqui, political reporter for The

So let me pick up this conversation, I think about Sidney Blumenthal.
Because this is interesting to me. It`s like, we always talk about these
blasts from the past with the Clintons. And here is somebody who you talk
about the Clintons, you go back 20 years, you`re talking about Sidney
Blumenthal. But it is I think a little bit -- and Karen Tumulty wrote this
in "The Washington Post," she said that what Blumenthal represents is
basically a certain type, a certain type who you will find the Clintons or
Hillary in particular surrounds herself. It`s the type who shares her view
that she is surrounded by enemies and dark conspiracies. And you see that
a little bit and, you know, the Obama administration doesn`t want this guy
around. They think he starts these rumors, he started about Barack Obama
in 2008. That`s what they believe certainly. And then look at this, it
turns out wow, he`s got this regular pipeline to her.

ANA MARIE COX, THE DAILY BEAST: You know, what`s amazing about this whole
scandal is that it shows kind of a short sightedness in the Clinton camp
that you keep thinking, she`s too smart to do this stuff and yet she keeps
doing it. I`m going to borrow a phrase from Zach Carter "Huffington Post."
It`s like watching a three-year-old play chess, like they think they`ve
won, they think they have check mated and then someone else moves, oh,
shoot. You know, I had to do it again. So, like, this private e-mail
server like she thinks she`s a move ahead but no, she`s two moves behind.
Because what does she think what happen when they discover this private e-
mail server. And also, this whole release of documents, it seems sort of
insane. Like, is there a scenario at which point Trey Gowdy will be like,
well, looks good to me, you`re right. You`ve released everything that`s
important. And now I`m done.

KORNACKI: And she can never reach that moment, right, because the whole
issue here is there are deleted e-mails.

COX: Yes.

KORNACKI: So, she`s only turned over -- ultimately she`s on the honor
system here. Ultimately she`s going to say all those deleted e-mails, they
weren`t relevant. But if you don`t want to believe that, you`re going to
be able to say, hey, there is thousands we never saw.

KATHERINE MANGU WARD, REASON MAGAZINE: The background of every single like
drip drip drip of relations or something that`s a little dodgy. The
background of all of that, is this is the best stuff, this is the clean
stuff. Right? So, if we`ve got, you know, our first batch --

KORNACKI: I mean, I say, that`s one view, that her view of that would be,
well, the other stuff would have been about yoga classes.

WARD: Yes.

KORNACKI: They`re taking that, whatever --

WARD: And there`s, you know, I think maybe two people in the entire planet
who believe that. This is -- I`d like to think that Hillary is spending a
lot of time doing yoga and being really centered and ready for her
campaign. But, you know, I think --

COX: You know, she sleeps until 10:45 in the morning.

KORNACKI: That`s something we learned.

COX: Another great president who did a lot of sleeping, Calvin Coolidge.

WARD: That`s right.

know, one of the issues that republicans aren`t going to let this go. This
is only just the beginning. We know that this is one of the main lines of
attack that they have against the Clinton presidency, a Clinton campaign.
And Trey Gowdy has already come out swinging saying there are so many
missing e-mails. And they happen to be concentrated in the months leading
up to the attack in Benghazi. So, they`re trying to already frame this
narrative that they have deliberately, the Clinton campaign and her aides
deleted the e-mails that are relevant.

KORNACKI: Are they having success? I mean, there is two ways of looking
at this, I guess there`s like raising questions about Hillary Clinton`s
honesty and trust. I think we have actually, if we can put this polling
up, this is from Quinnipiac last month, is Hillary Clinton honest and
trustworthy, 38 percent said yes. Fifty four percent said no. But on this
whole Benghazi issue of like the idea that there`s a cover-up here there`s
another story, are they getting any traction there? Is there anything --

SIDDIQUI: Well, we`ve been watching this issue for a long time.
Especially because republicans in Congress have continued to investigate
and raise this issue in whole hearings, but this is really a rallying cry
for the base, for the republican base. Insights people in the primary
process, it`s a stump line kind of incident where you only have the hard
right that thinks there`s a real conspiracy here. I don`t think that`s why
this is going to be translating to the broader electorate. And I think
that`s part of why this e-mail controversy I`m not sure has the legs to
really follow Hillary Clinton to the actual general election. Because
people at home, she`s losing points for honesty and trustworthiness but
clearly her standing in the polls has largely been un-phased in a larger
sense when it comes to this.

KORNACKI: Yes. I mean, is that going to hurt her, the majority of the
country says, not honest and trustworthy?

COX: I mean, it would be interesting to see polls on politicians in
general. Like if you said do you think politicians are generally honest
and trustworthy, American people are probably going to say, no. You have
to vote for someone.

WARD: That`s where we are now.

COX: No, I`m actually kind of --

KORNACKI: Bill Clinton got re-elected, I think it was 57 percent said he
wasn`t honest and say trustworthy when he beat Bob Dole.

COX: Right. That`s exactly the point I was going to go. And also, I do
want to say, this is something of a Beltway scandal. I disagree with
Katherine that there`s only two or three people that don`t believe that
there`s nothing to hide there. I think there`s a lot of people who believe
that she`s probably basically turned over what she needs to turn over. She
has enormous amount of support in one pocket of the country. And then the
other thing about Hillary is that everyone has already made up their mind
about her. There are very few people on the fence. So, there is no one
that is going to look at the scandal and think, you know, what? I used to
think she was and trustworthy and now I don`t.

WARD: But I do think like sort of Clinton fatigue phenomenon and should
be. And I know everyone has made a big deal out of that. And, you know,
there is this kind of lead up hearing where it`s like, okay, you know,
there are people who think she would be the best choice but they don`t love
her. And the kind of drip, drip of this and whatever else is coming and
there will be more is I think it will be easy underestimate this stand
which it`s just kind at some point people go from like, okay to ugh.

KORNACKI: I think that`s what tripped her up in 2008 a little bit against
Barack Obama. Ultimately people started thinking back to the 1990`s. And
it wasn`t that they didn`t, she said what did they not like? The piece for
the prosperity. Like they had good memories of the policy outcomes, at the
same time they remembered the drama, sort of the drama around the Clintons.
And I don`t necessarily want to go back to that.

COX: I think that`s actually that strong a point. I don`t think that the
normal -- I think again that`s a beltway thing that we talk about Clinton

KORNACKI: But there is something here --


COX: Hold on -- but you`re retelling 2008 a little bit not giving Obama
not enough credit for being so new and exciting. It was the contrast, but

KORNACKI: That`s a stark contrast between different kinds of politics.

COX: Hillary Clinton verses the fresh excitingness of Bernie Sanders.

WARD: Or, well, anything.

COX: Jeb Bush.

KORNACKI: Marco Rubio is one that I`m thinking of because he`s the one
pressing the generational button.

COX: Well, exactly. But what I want to say is right now like she`s in
this position where she doesn`t have to be that fresh new and exciting
unless Marco Rubio winds up getting traction. Like everyone else she`s
running against, I mean, or Jeb Bush, to the obvious point, she doesn`t
have to be fresh and exciting. I mean, she can just Bush versus Clinton.
But I do think that there is something -- I actually want to get back to
the point you started, Sidney Blumenthal which I do find to be the most
disturbing thing in all of these e-mails. Is that he is just kind of a
scumbag and she cannot let go.


KORNACKI: I mean, that`s your characterization but --

SIDDIQUI: I find that to be the most disturbing part of the e-mails. But
that goes to the Beltway scandal. Part of this is, how you translate the
Sidney Blumenthal issue to the American public. I don`t know how
republicans are going to really turn that into a major issue for the
Clinton campaign. It is something that we talk about here, his influence
on her, how does that affect her campaign. You know, is she -- the fact
she listens to this person who is passing on faulty intelligence to the
State Department. But I don`t think that the average people sitting at
home are really tuned into that.

KORNACKI: Well, and again, this is something we will be hearing. I mean,
this is the first batch. There is going to be a lot more. So, like it or
not we`ll going to have more e-mail stories throughout this campaign.

Anyway, coming up next, as we continue on this Saturday morning, the
results of that historic election on same sex marriage in Ireland. Also,
former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell the man who helped negotiate
peace in Ireland will be here to discuss the delicate talks to keep Iran
nuclear free. Plus, a whole lot more. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: It looks like history was made overnight. Indications that a
referendum to legalize same sex marriage in Ireland will pass. Ballots are
still being counted as we speak. But leaders from both sides of the issue
say that the measure is going to pass. And this would make Ireland which
is of course a predominately Catholic country the first country to legalize
such unions nationwide by popular vote.

NBC News chief global correspondent Bill Neely is in Dublin.

From Dublin castle where the counting is almost over and a vote that is set
to make history. In the U.S. of course the issue of same sex marriage is
down to individual states and to this Supreme Court. Here in Ireland, they
do things differently. Everyone decides.


NEELY (voice-over): It`s a big day in Ireland. One couple voting yes on
their wedding day to same sex marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If you want to, you should be able to get married to
the person you love, just like we have today.

NEELY: Ireland is asking all its people yes or no to gay marriage. The
vote counting suggests yes will be the answer. For many it will be a
personal victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m asking that the person I love and me be treated the
same way any other couple is treated.

NEELY: Ireland was one of Europe`s most traditional conservative and
Catholic countries. But the church`s power faded, homosexuality and
divorce finally becoming legal two decades ago. But in many rural areas
and for many older men, legalizing gay marriage is a step too far. But one
they may now have to accept. It`s a change Ireland`s prime minister has

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It is a vote removing discrimination. It`s a vote
removing inequality. It`s historic. And that`s why I would be voting,

NEELY: For critics of what may become the new law this is a bad day.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Every child has a right to a mother and father. And
deserves that choice where possible.

NEELY: Put all the signs suggests, campaigners for same sex marriage can
celebrate a historic change as Ireland becomes the first country in the
world to legalize it in a national vote.


NEELY: And leaders from both sides are now accepting that the yes campaign
has won. Their supporters are gathered here in the sunshine to celebrate.
The only question is how big will their margin of victory be? You know,
many people in Ireland are still rubbing their eyes in disbelief at how
far, how fast Ireland has changed socially from deeply conservative to a
liberal country. Back to you, Steve.

KORNACKI: All right. Bill Neely reporting from Dublin, Ireland this
morning. I appreciate that. Still ahead in the show, a brand-new perk for
the occupant of the oval office.

Plus next, it`s really good news for America`s liberals including why there
are more of them all the time, stay with us.


KORNACKI: All right. There`s a lot going on this morning. Gets get
caught up with some of the headlines making news with today`s panel. Let`s
take a look at what is in Politico today. The headline social liberals
equal conservatives for first time in Gallup polls. With 31 percent of
Americans now call themselves socially liberal. That is the same
percentage who identify as socially conservative, this is the highest
percent of self-identified social liberals. The lowest percent of self-
identified social conservatives since this question was first asked in
1999. I guess on the one end, there is a distinction there between
economic and social and the social one you think of how fast opinion on gay
marriage is changed. And that seems to be tracking with that.

SIDDIQUI: Yes. I suspect a lot of it has to do with same sex marriage and
what issues are viewed to social issues now a day. People also refer to
immigration reform as a social issue. Obviously, woman put up the rights
although the public is still fairly -- spent on abortion. But the more
republicans stepped up some of the rhetoric on the reproductive issue and
birth control, I think that`s also probably affected the shift somewhat
especially among younger voters.

COX: Yes. I agree. I think it`s younger voters. I think in some ways
remember how liberal was a bad word for a long time. Like that is
something you would call a political opponent was liberal. I think that
sort of change, I think that conservatives are obviously proud to call
themselves conservatives. But in popular culture, in the way we talk about
issues, including all these social issues that for millennials are just
kind of taken as a given. Like I think like same sex marriage for
millennials, they don`t even think of it as like a controversy almost. I
think it`s become -- it`s hard to identify as a conservative. They`re not
a lot of like -- there are a lot of issues out there that someone would
look at and be like, you know, what? That`s what I`m a conservative on.

KORNACKI: Well, we just had that piece from Ireland, you know, it`s the
change there in 20 years, the change here in ten years. Ten years ago the
winning position on gay marriage in the presidential election was the
conservative position to be against it.

WARD: The democratic early debates, every democrat on the stage saying --

KORNACKI: Nobody was for it. Yes.

WARD: I think this is also -- it shows people are getting sort of
increasingly able to decouple social and economic liberalism which is for
me as a libertarian encouraging trend. I`d like to, you know, welcome
those social liberals over to sort of more economically conservative
platform. And we see that all over the place. People, you know, sort of
putting together their own political philosophy. A little bit more mix and
match. So, I think people who kind of want to let go of that pairing are
willing to use the phrase social liberal.

KORNACKI: All right. Let`s see what --

COX: Civil liberties as something that people identify as being social
liberally on. I think also that`s another factor I missed.

KORNACKI: Well, then we will have more news on that in a little bit.
Let`s see here from NPR go forth and oh, boy PWN -- this is a word list for
the scrabble players. These are new words that scrabble is allowing. So,
these are Bezzy, anybody know what that Bezzy means? This is now an
official word according to scrabble.

I`m pro-Scrabble dictionary -- I have no idea what that is.

KORNACKI: Do you know what`s Bezzy?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I have no idea what that is.

KORNACKI: Best friend.


KORNACKI: Yes, Bezzy B-e-z-z-y. I thought it was a new name or something.
Cakehole. I mean what that is, right?

WARD: Other languages like you`ve got to like academy French, like there`s
a strict dictionary, in America, we`re like scrabble dictionary, throw it
wide open. I think it`s a proud moment.

KORNACKI: Some of these though, lolz, l-o-l-z.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Grr should not be a word.

KORNACKI: Have you typed that?

KORNACKI: The official definition of grr is expressing anger.

SIDDIQUI: Allowing 13-year-olds to set the dictionary, the English --


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The youth in their social liberalism like give them a

COX: I spent so much time in my life memorizing all the legal two letter
words. The idea that I can play a 15-year-old and they can just play, grr.

SIDDIQUI: They can make things up. I am on --



KORNACKI: I agree. I play words are friends which is the scrabble thing,
you know, on the iPhone. And there is some words that I think are real
words, it rejects all the time. But then it turns out you can see
twerking, the answer with wrap and heat movement, so that was legal. Let`s
see what else here.

This is from "The New York Times" headline drop that nozzle. New Jersey
resists push for self-service. So, there`s two states. New Jersey and
Oregon where it`s illegal to pump your own gas. You got to have attendant
come and do it. In Oregon they`re trying to change it right now. They`re
on the way to doing it. I think in New Jersey, Christie won`t talk about
it. The leaders in the legislature won`t do it. And this is the thing, I
lived in New Jersey for a while and it drive me nuts. Because there`s
people who say, this is the great of perk of living in New Jersey, you
don`t have to pump your own gas. I say, there`s stations with 20 pumps and
one attendant and you`re in a hurry in New Jersey drives you crazy. You
sit there and wait 20 minutes for somebody to come and pump your gas.

WARD: Yes. I think, this is the kind of thing where, you know, it sounds
like a good idea in principal. Like it will create jobs and it`s safer and
like it`s nice for everyone, it`s a little perk. And then when you get
actually get down to it, like you know, this is an incredibly annoying
mandate. This is when it affects you directly all these regulations seem
like oh, no, actually that`s a terrible idea.

COX: Katherine, it`s like the ideologically consistent when of course,
like libertarians are. Because I`m going to jump back to being like a
civil libertarian here I guess. I do agree this is dumb. But what is the
thinking about it? Is it that this is --

KORNACKI: I`ve heard the argument of jobs. I agree the argument of jobs.
I`ve also heard -- I remember doing this story when I was in New Jersey and
having one of the legislatures who supports the law, trying to convince me

COX: Safety.

KORNACKI: Safety. Somebody is going to catch, light themselves on fire.

SIDDIQUI: It`s an epidemic of that happening.

KORNACKI: I haven`t seen it anywhere. So, all right. I remember, there
was one like pop star 25 years ago but there were probably extenuating


Yes. If it happens in movies, we should band it. I guess that`s the

Still ahead, the killer wasn`t alone. The latest details on that shocking
mansion murder case in Washington, D.C.

And next, a short term future of the Patriot Act, suddenly it is in serious
doubt. We are going to found out why right on the other side of this
break. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: The immediate future of the Patriot Act is suddenly in serious
doubt. And according to one report, an expiration of the Patriot Act,
quote, "now looks unavoidable." This after a long night of debate in
voting in the Senate. First, the senators rejecting legislation that would
end the government`s bulk collection of phone records. But also rejecting
other votes to keep the entire Patriot Act as a whole alive. Yesterday
afternoon, the white house trying to stress the urgency of the situation by
saying that it does not have a plan B if the Patriot Act isn`t extended.
2016 presidential contender Rand Paul objecting to Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell`s attempts to move the short term extension forward not once, not
twice, but three times overnight.


now proceed to a bill to extend the expiring provisions until June the 8th.
That the bill be read a third time and passed with no intervening action or

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. President --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Is there an objection?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. President? Mr. President.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Senator from Kentucky.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: This is a debate about whether or not a
warrant with a single name of a single company can be used to collect all
the records. I will object and I do. I object.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Objection is heard.

MCCONNELL: Mr. President, I renew my request with an amendment to extend
expiring authorities until June the 5th.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Is there an objection?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. President --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Without objection.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Objection is heard. Mr. President?

MCCONNELL: I renew my request with an amendment to extend expiring
authorities until June the 3rd.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Is there objection? Without objection --


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Is there an objection?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Senator from Kentucky.


KORNACKI: The senator skipping town for the holiday after the votes.
Planning to reconvene next weekend on May 31st, the day before the Patriot
Act is scheduled to expire to try again. And they are, as we say not
leaving themselves much time. That would give them about 24 hours to get
it reauthorized.

Joining the panel now is Frank Thorp, NBC News Capitol Hill producer. So,
Frank, that`s kind of an extraordinary scene I guess when you consider the
political history between Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. And Rand Paul
sort of coming to the Senate as McConnell`s adversary. Then they become
friends, and then they become big allies last year in McConnell`s re-
election campaign. And there is Rand Paul in the floor last night making
Mitch McConnell`s life as majority leader miserable. Bottom-line question
here, in terms of the future, there`s two pieces I guess, the bulk
collection of data and then also the Patriot Act as a whole. Did Rand Paul
just kill one or two of those things?

FRANK THORP, NBC NEWS CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: Well, that`s a good question.
And you`re right. It is an extraordinary scene but it wasn`t all together
unexpected. Republican leadership had been saying that they were going to
try to defeat this House passed bill. This bill that`s passed the House
with 338 votes. That would have moved the collection of bulk data from the
government and put it into the hands of the telecom companies. And that
they thought that once they had defeated that bill it would kind of
pressure the senators who had opposed any kind of short term extension to
go ahead and go with it because the Memorial Day weekend was coming. But
Senator Rand Paul and Senator Ron Widen, a democrat from Oregon had warned
that they were going to try to object to any kind of short term extension.
And so, as a result, we`re in the situation that we`re in now. They have
objected to any kind of short term extension. And now then coming back
next Sunday means that it is highly likely that this program that this --
the NSA`s program where they collect the bulk telephone data is going to
sunset at least for a brief period of time.

KORNACKI: Is it just the bulk collection program or the Patriot Act as a
whole now that is in danger of not being authorized?

THORP: No. So, there`s three different provisions, there`s like a lone
wolf provision, there is one other additional provision that will expire or
that will sunset. But the larger one, the one that`s been debated now the
one that Senator Rand Paul opposes predominately is the one that justifies
the NSA`s bulk collection of data. So, that program actually the NSA
warned Congress that if they didn`t get anything done by the end of the day
on Friday that they were going to start to wind down that program. And the
reality is that the Senate is going to come in on May 31st in the
afternoon, they`re going to come in at around 4:00. So, they`re going to
have around eight hours to deal with this. Because that program has to
sunset. It has to stop operating at 12:00 midnight on that night. So, if
they don`t get anything done, this program is on its way to sun setting.

KORNACKI: Forgive me, but this part confuses me a little bit, too. The
House wouldn`t -- the House then have to act as well if the Senate is doing
some kind of short term extension or something? Wouldn`t the House have to
be in session to to pass that or it still sunsets?

THORP: Right. And that`s kind of, that`s been the argument the whole
time, actually. Is that the reality is, even if the Senate were to have
been able to pass the short term extension last night or yesterday, the
House still wouldn`t have had to act on it. And leadership aides has said
there was no plans for them to come back and deal with this. They are gone
for the Memorial Day weekend. They`re not planning on coming back. They
were going to come back on June 1st which meant that this program was
likely going to sunset no matter what. But the writing has been on the
wall for this. This was a -- the strategy employed here by Senate
republican leadership was a bit misguided.

Because they saw the writing on the wall, they saw that these objections
were going to come on the short term extension. And they ignored it. They
thought that, you know, the longtime tested strategy of relying on jet
fumes, relying on the idea that senators wanted to get home for the
Memorial Day recess were going to trump the objections by senators on any
kind of short term extension. But it didn`t work here. Senator Rand Paul
objected as he said he would. Senator Ron Widen objected as he said he
would. And now we`re in the situation we are in now. Where they`re going
to come back with eight hours to go before the deadline happens and likely
sunset of this program.

KORNACKI: And Sabrina, here in the panel, I`m trying to play out the next
week or so in my head. Now, I`m imagining there is going to be a full
court press I would think publicly about the dangers from the White House
saying this, the NSA saying this, like Lindsey Graham saying, you know, if
you let this thing expire you are exposing this country to a grave
terrorist threat.

SIDDIQUI: Absolutely. And White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
certainly escalated that pressure in recent days. He was warning of the
implications of any sort of lapse in National Security. Obviously, you
have to take that with a little bit of a grain of salt because that`s part
of the game here to insure that something is passed. Is to say the moment
this sun sets we`re exposing ourselves to a terrorist attack. And that
simply is hard to believe. But I do want to just agree with Frank, because
this strategy was always destined to fail. The moment the house over all
when we passed the USA Freedom Acts, 338 votes in favor. It`s so rare to
have that kind of bipartisan support for any piece of legislation. We`ve
seen it time and again how hard it is for both sides to come together. It
was almost impossible that Mitch McConnell would be able to argue that he
could simply ignore that. Especially when John Boehner had very clearly
said, I`m not going to take up a short term extension. We`ve already done
our jobs.

COX: And I just want to point out, not only is it part of the game to say
that we will have a terrorist attack if this sunsets. But the FBI in a
recent report found that, could provide no evidence that this bulk
collection of data has done anything for national security, has prevented
anything from happening. So, like, I mean, talk about like arguing about
jet fumes. And I also want to say that this is also, it`s kind of insane
to think that Mitch McConnell thought he could use the threat of not being
able to go on vacation as a way to argue against something that some people
believe is unconstitutional.

KORNACKI: And yet, it`s worked before, though. It`s a time honored tool.

WARD: It`s the strategy for getting things done on the --

KORNACKI: Yes. That`s the strategy for both sides. Anyway, we`re out of
time for this segment. Anyway, my thanks to NBC`s Frank Thorp for staying
up late last night, getting up early this morning. I don`t know if you
slept in between. I hope you did. But I appreciate the time on this
holiday weekend.

Still ahead, the race to win votes for the White House, and Twitter

And next, a suspect is in custody. But the investigation into that
quadruple murder in Washington is far from over. Those details are next.
Stay with us.


KORNACKI: One suspect in the quadruple murder inside a D.C. mansion is now
in custody. But authorities don`t believe the case is yet closed. Daron
Dylon Wint is in jail this morning. He`s charged with killing a business
executive, his wife, son and a housekeeper as well. Police now say that
someone else was probably there when the murders took place ten days ago.
They also say that other suspects haven`t been ruled out.

MSNBC`s Adam Reece is live in Washington this morning. So, Adam, a lot of
mystery here. What`s the latest you`re hearing?

ADAM REECE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Steve, good morning to you. That manhunt
is on for those accomplices. This investigation is far from over. And
we`re learning more about the night of the murders the fact that Wint did
not act alone. And a key witness has changed their story numerous times.
Now, the family was kept here for 19 hours until that $40,000 was
delivered. They were then brutally murdered. The house was set on fire
with an accelerant. We`re also learning a key witness, an assistant to Mr.
Savopoulos who delivered that money has changed their story, whether or not
the certain money was in the pouch, what color the pouch was. And where
that pouch was left.

We also saw Mr. Wint for the first time in court yesterday in superior
court. A 13 minute hearing appeared in a jumpsuit, shackles, faces first
degree murder charges. What the motive was other than money, we don`t
know. Who the accomplices are we hope to learn in the coming days --

KORNACKI: All right. MSNBC`s Adam Reece live in Washington, DC, thank
you, appreciate that.

And still ahead, one of the most important weeks yet in deciding who will
win the White House is ahead.

And next, is President Obama the next Katy Perry? We`ll try to explain
after this.


KORNACKI: All right. President Obama is now sharing his thoughts in 140
characters or less. As you may have heard this week, the President joined
Twitter. He sent his first tweet from the handle Potus earlier this week.
That is not to be confused with the @WhiteHouse account in which the
President would sign his own tweet before. All this with his initials, BO.
Also not to be confused with the handle Barack Obama, which is actually run
by organizing for action, that is the group borne out of Obama`s final
presidential campaign. Now, on Monday on his new account, the President
welcoming himself to Twitter by saying "Hello, Twitter, it`s Barrack.
Really! Six years in they`re finally giving me my own account."

Former President Clinton then welcoming him to the social network with,
"Welcome to Twitter, Potus. Does that user name stay with the office.
#asking for a friend." And yes, it turns out the user name will stay with
the office, something the next occupant will be interested to know. Now,
Obama already has amassed more than 2.3 million followers, this in less
than a week of being on Twitter. But what does that number really mean?
Let`s take a look at the big board and try to put that 2.3 million follower
number and it`s growing probably by the minute. But let`s try to put it in
some perspective. So, we said first of all, who has the biggest audience
in all of Twitter? Of all the people in Twitter, who has the most
followers? Let`s take a look, number one on that list is Katy Perry. Pop
star 70, million followers. Long way for Obama to go to catch her. Right
behind her, Justin Bieber, he`s got 64 million followers.

Who else do we have hear? Taylor Swift, she`s number three, almost 58
million followers. Some other sort of cultural figures you might know to
put this in some perspective. Oprah Winfrey, she has got 27.6 million.
Again, Obama had 2.3 million. So, still about a tenth of where Oprah is.
Jimmy Fallon, 25 million. How about this one? LeBron James, King James,
21.3 million. So, these are pop stars, athletes, cultural icons. What
about political figures? How does Obama compare there? Well, Hillary
Clinton, she`s got three and a half million followers running for
president. She`s got a little bit more than the President right now.
We`ll see if she holds on. That leads Jeb Bush a surprisingly small
number, only 189,000 followers. He`s been on there for more than five
years right now.

We`ve got Rand Paul, he`s got 618,000. You`ve got Chris Christie over half
a million. Five hundred twenty seven thousand. How about Bernie Sanders,
he`s going to be running against Hillary Clinton. Announcing his candidacy
this coming week, 328,000 followers on Twitter. And also you go back to
Barack Obama. So, sitting at 2.33 million, stacks up pretty well against
the politicians, not so well against the cultural figures. But I will tell
you one more who he does stack up well against. That 2.33 million is a
little bit more than the 71,300 who apparently follow me. Tell your
friends, follow me. Let`s get that number up there. Let`s hit 72,000
before the end of the day. Anyway, another full hour of news and politics
straight ahead. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: Who is running for president and who isn`t?


KORNACKI: Thanks for staying with us this Saturday, the start of the
Memorial Day weekend, the start of summer -- and the start of what appears
to be the first real competition for Hillary Clinton in the race for the
Democratic presidential nomination. Lots more ahead on that.

It`s also a busy morning of national political importance in the city -- in
Oklahoma City. We`re going to be going out there to find out why in just a

The man who helped negotiate peace in Ireland for President Clinton as well
as wading into the Middle East peace process is here to talk about
President Obama`s attempts to prevent a nuclear Iran. Former Senator
George Mitchell is coming up on the show.

Also, potential record flooding in the forecast for parts of Texas. NBC`s
Mark Potter is going to join us for our live report from down there.

Plus, is minimum wage gaining traction with candidates of both parties in
the 2016 race? More on that.

And can Hillary Clinton win back Kentucky and other Appalachian states for
the Democrats? It`s not as much as a pipe dream as you might think. We`ll
explain why.

But we begin this hour with the 2016 presidential hopefuls battling it out
at the latest cattle call, the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in
Oklahoma City. One of the few big everybody speaks events to be held
outside of the early primary and caucus states. Now, this meeting is
important because it attracts key voting bloc leaders and activists who are
crucial to securing early victories.

In an increasingly crowded Republican field, the contenders itchy to
distinguish themselves from one another. The current front runner in the
field, at least according to the national polls, Wisconsin Governor Scott
Walker trying to create some distance between himself and everybody else in
one of the first speeches given at the event in Oklahoma City.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I think going forward, we need someone
who can fight and win -- not just at the ballot box -- but can fight and
win the battles we need to move this country forward with common sense
conservative reforms.


KORNACKI: Former Governor Jeb Bush and Governors Chris Christie and Bobby
Jindal also appearing before the group in Oklahoma City yesterday.
Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham actually having to make
their appearances by video yesterday because they had to be present in the
Senate for the NSA surveillance and trade votes.

Carly Fiorina also going to be addressing the conference today.

MSNBC`s Jane Timm joins us now live from Oklahoma City.

So, Jane, a lot of competition for the loyalties of the crowd down there.
Who is getting the best response from the speakers so far?

JANE TIMM, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: You know, Scott Walker did very well. He
had sort of -- overall, I think he was probably the winner. He was the
first speech of the weekend and did very well, lots of people on their feet
cheering him on. And throughout the weekend when I asked people, you know,
who are you rooting for, who is your favorite, I keep hearing Scott Walker.

The big surprise for us was really seeing Governor Chris Christie. He
definitely impressed. He usually stays away from these sort of cattle
calls and tends to do his own event. But he came and he said, you know,
this is who I want. I really want to introduce myself to you and maybe
you`re going to give me a chance.

He did very well. He had swooping oratory, definitely hit the mark with
this crowd. It`s very budget heavy and national security heavy battle.

He took advantage of this Patriot Act battle in the Senate and said, I`m
the only one in this conversation who has actually used the Patriot Act.
And these kids in Senate who are fighting it out and talking about things
that constitutionality that we aren`t proving, he said, I have worked, I`ve
used this, we need this. You guys are going to look silly if there`s ever
another attack.

KORNACKI: All right. Jane Timm in Oklahoma City. And, again, more
speeches there today as the cattle call continues. We`ll keep an eye on
it. Thank you for now, though, to Jane Timm for that report.

And the busy weekend in Oklahoma City previewing a busy week ahead in the
race for the White House. The field about to get a lot more crowded with
would be contenders from both parties expected to launch their campaigns
this week.

On Tuesday, independent Senator Bernie Sanders kicking off his already
announced candidacy o the Democratic side, with first big campaign launch
event in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont.

And on Wednesday, the next day, outside of Pittsburgh, former Pennsylvania
Senator Rick Santorum is going to be making an announcement about his
future as a possible candidate at a factory near his boyhood home.

Then on Thursday, former New York Governor George Pataki expected to say
whether he will run. He will be making that announcement in Exeter, New
Hampshire, birthplace of the Republican Party, also in the state the first
primary will be held next year.

And then next Saturday, a week from today, former Maryland governor, as
well as former Baltimore Mayor Martin O`Malley is going to return to that
city to make his announcement that he is running as a Democrat for

All of these considered underdogs to say the least at this point. Pataki
and Santorum polling at only 1 percent or 2 percent in the crowded
Republican field. Sanders beating O`Malley so far, but only polling a
meager 6 percent against the formidable front runner Hillary Clinton.

Rick Santorum for one saying that he likes his underdog status.


we won the Iowa caucuses back in January of 2012, I was at 4 percent
nationally. I think I was last. So, we won the Iowa caucus and I think I
was last in the national polls. So, the idea that national polls mean
anything, I just think -- I mean, you want to talk about a case in point
where they don`t, I became that night pretty much the alternative to Mitt
Romney when -- if you were looking at the -- who in the national polls
should be recognized as such, no one would have put me on the list.


KORNACKI: So, will any of these candidates play the spoiler this year?
Can they do better than that? How could they get there?

Well, to help us answer that question, our panel is back with us. Ana
Marie Cox with "The Daily Beast", "Reason Magazine`s" Katherine Mangu Ward,
Sabrina Siddiqui from "The Guardian", and joining us from D.C. this
morning, Robert Costa, national political reporter for "The Washington

Robert, you were up late with me on the Maddow show. I was sitting in.
Now, you`re with us this morning. Thank you for doing double duty here.
Well, let me ask you the bottom line on the Republican side.

I mean, we have the new phenomenon in American politics where instead of
just saying you`re running for president, you now announce a date when
you`re going to say what you might do. So, we have this new layer added.

But, so, D-Day is this week for Rick Santorum and George Pataki. Are you
expecting they are both going to say they`re running in this race?

ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think they`re both going to jump into
the 2016 contest. And their philosophy is, why not? Because there are two
ways to really get ahead right now if you`re a lower tier contender, and
that`s media momentum and finding some kind of super PAC angel who can fund
you through. Look at Newt Gingrich and, of course, in 2012, or Rick
Santorum, whose own motto was to win Iowa and surge ahead.

KORNACKI: So, I get it from the Santorum standpoint. I mean, a lot of
people laughed at him for all of 2011 and he ends up in 2012 winning 11
states before the thing is over. Nothing to sniff at certainly.

But I got to ask you, what is -- besides -- why not me, what is the case
for George Pataki? Where could he possibly put anything together in this

COSTA: I was just in New Hampshire with Governor Pataki, and I`m not so
sure what his path is if anything. I was in a diner with him.

He went up to some voters. It wasn`t clear they knew who he was, he said,
I`m George Pataki, I`m running for president. They looked at him and
said, good luck. That`s about all the exchange was.

So, it`s going to be a tough road for a lot of guys. And what we`re going
to see, though, is them hopefully trying to get on this debate stage and
try to get number ten if you`re at the FOX News debate or any other
network. But still, the field is so big, even doing that`s going to be

KORNACKI: Yes. You mentioned the debates, that`s the other big piece of
news this week. FOX News, which will have the first Republican debate,
announcing its criteria, saying you got to be in a top ten in an average of
all the national polls.

Rick Santorum actually took exception to that rule. Let`s listen to what
he had to say about that this week.


SANTORUM: The idea that a national poll has any relationship as to the
viability of a candidate -- ask Rudy Giuliani about it, you know? Ask Phil
Graham that. You go down the list. You have to go to the place where the
temperature matters. And it matters in the early primary states.


KORNACKI: Let me ask you this, though, Robert. I mean, when the
announcement gets made here of the 10 candidates who will be in this
debate. CNN is going to be doing pretty much the same thing when they have
the second debate.

Is that going to thin the field, do you think? By the end of the summer,
these candidates, if Pataki is not getting in these debates, if Santorum or
Fiorina are not getting in these debates, do you think they revisit their

COSTA: I called up a top Republican last night after our conversations,
Steve, and I said, what`s your take? And he said, if anything can go wrong
it will go wrong.

And that`s my expectation as a reporter for how this whole conservative
movement works. If Pataki, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, John Kasich, if
they`re not on stage, Donald Trump, they`re going to find a ay to make
their own stage. They will go to a conservative group and say have a forum
for us in Iowa. Let`s compete with the official debate. This could become
a mess.

KORNACKI: Here`s the other thing, we say, what is the Pataki path here?

I`ll bring the panel in. I`ll play this for them first.

So, George Pataki trying to distinguish himself I guess in this field. He
chose foreign policy, ISIS, the idea of calling boots on the ground. Let`s
play what he had to say about ISIS this week.


GEORGE PATAKI (R), FORMER NY GOVERNOR: What I would do is deny ISIS the
ability to have training camps, planning centers, recruitment centers,
social media hubs --


PATAKI: -- organizing to attack us here.

Well, I would not be adverse to putting American boots on the ground to
destroy their training centers and planning centers.


KORNACKI: That`s something I`m wondering about.

Catherine, I start with you. The top ten rule for these debates, it puts a
premium on these candidates who are at zero or 1 percent right now. You
just have to say something provocative. If you get your name in the news,
you`re almost going to -- gravity is going to force you to 2 percent I
think. If you get to 2 percent, you`re in the debate.

WARD: I think that`s certainly true. It`s true even if you`re, you know,
in slot number. It`s true if you`re in slot number three.

I mean, maybe the incentive isn`t to say quite as outside the mainstream,
as like, yes, let`s just send the entire U.S. military and to kill
everybody. But there is still at this point in the campaign, you know,
you`re looking any way to get a headline and make news. I think the
pressure is more intense on the bottom tier, but it`s there for everyone.

SIDDIQUI: It absolutely is. Coincidentally I was at a GOP cattle call in
Greenville, South Carolina, two weeks ago. It was a remarkable sight where
George Pataki came out for a media availability, and there was not a single
reporter there. He had to come and say, OK, well, no question and then he
walked out.

But it`s still imperative for them to get their name out, especially if
you`re not well-recognized by the public. And, you know, I think the point
about polling that Rick Santorum raise is actually part of that issue.
When you`re polling in the single digits, if you can get your name out
there, if you can get some coverage and stake out a position that attracts
attention, you can put yourself in the running. I mean, even Marco Rubio
was polling in single digits until a few weeks ago. And now, he`s
considered the top --


WARD: There is a big difference between saying like maybe there`s a gap in
the field. Maybe there is some position that`s not being advocated that
should be out there.

I think sometimes fringe candidates do serve that role. And there is the
pure attention seeking.

SIDDIQUI: The Donald Trump.

COX: Like someone who is not generally inclined to vote in that party, I`m
all in favor of them saying crazy stuff to get attention. That sounds
awesome to me. I mean, also, like say put it on all the stage, a grand
melee of candidates. Let them fight it out.

I think there is one proposal that really gets traction, I`m being
completely serious, which is the idea of randomly selecting more manageable
number of candidates and having nights of successive debates.

WARD: How about tournament style?

COX: Well, I mean, I said grand melee would also be -- March Madness also,
why not? One on one.

KORNACKI: It`s just -- you start doing the numbers in your head, if there
is 16 candidates and you`re trying to do an hour of television, there is no
other breaks or anything, you may get two, three minutes for a candidate.

WARD: It may also mean the debates don`t become as important. I mean,
when you have a stage full of ten people, you know, you could really mess
up. But, you know, the people who are already ahead --

SIDDIQUI: I think the Republicans are operating from a stronger position
certainly than they were in 2012. They do have a good three or four top
tier candidates. They have Jeb Bush, they have Marco Rubio, they have
Scott Walker. You know, obviously, Rand Paul is probably not going to be
the nominee but he has a big following. Chris Christie, we still don`t
know what his intentions are.

And they feel like, unlike last time it was Mitt Romney and a bunch of
other people distracting from him being the eventual nominee. This time,
there could be a real debate on very important issues. And that`s why as
Robert was saying in the segment, it`s very important that the RNC manages
this appropriately where they don`t screw up this entire process and turn
it into a mess.


KORNACKI: Let me shift here. I want to get to the Democratic side,
because there is news this week happening on the Democratic side. You will
have two candidates that get in the race that want to run against Hillary

Bernie Sanders is going to do this in Vermont on Tuesday. Martin O`Malley
in Baltimore on Saturday.

It`s interesting. I`m looking at these two. Let`s stipulate Hillary
Clinton is the most formidable front runner we`ve seen in a primary
probably ever. Very tough to see anybody beating her coming close. But
that said, when you look at the non-Hillary competition, I think there is
energy behind Sanders right now that I`m not seeing behind O`Malley.

WARD: There`s a weird respect phenomenon happening now. I think it`s the
same people who said, like, you know, that Dennis Kucinich guy is
interesting, you remember know that round.

There are people who kind of like Sanders for his consistency. I think
those people by and large have no idea what that consistency actually
entails and getting to know Bernie Sanders better is not going to win the
hearts of the American problem. But there`s a chance he`s a next Ron Paul.
There`s the chance the outsider that energizes young people.

KORNACKI: There`s an authenticity with him, a frustration with the system.
I think there`s something there that connects with -- again, do I think
it`s enough to beat her? Very unlikely.

COX: The next Ron Paul is probably a really great way to frame it. I
mean, I think that he definitely can capture energy from people who are
equally frustrated. He has sort of -- he has a character, much like Ron
Paul, that you can find endearing on some level, even if you don`t agree
with him.

A lot of people I think don`t know his exact positions. Just sort of think
of him he`s over to the left. I think I like that.

KORNACKI: What they know is he`s upset with the system. He wants to
basically blow up the system.

Robert Costa, what do you think of that comparison, though, of Bernie
Sanders and Ron Paul?

COSTA: I think Sanders could be a more potent political figure than Ron
Paul. When I was in Iowa this week following Secretary Clinton, there was
a group of about dozen college students outside supporting sanders. There
was a group of labor organizers holding signs pressuring Clinton on the
trade deal and very disappointed with here lack of a stand.

There`s a movement, especially in a place like Iowa, that even Clinton
allies acknowledge, Bernie Sanders could get, 35, 40, maybe even 45
percent, if it becomes a grassroots movement. He doesn`t need to win Iowa.
But if he can show in Iowa and then he goes into his neighboring state of
New Hampshire, and he could become a problem.

KORNACKI: There it is. I mean, that`s the thing. It does set up. It`s
interesting those first two states, at least Iowa with a populist
grassroots and New Hampshire, right next door to Vermont, northern New
Hampshire, sharing the Burlington media market, starts to make you say what
if a little bit. We got months for that, though.

Anyway, "The Washington Post`s" Robert Costa, thank you for getting up
early this morning. Appreciate that.

And still ahead, while the Democratic field sorts itself out, will Hillary
Clinton be able to tern conservative southern states blue if she gets the
nomination? Some maybe encouraging signs for her, still ahead.

But, first, a storied career in public service, he is the former Senate
majority leader, former chairman of peace negotiations in Northern Ireland
former special envoy for peace in the Middle East, former Senator George
Mitchell of Maine is here. He joins us live, next.


KORNACKI: President Obama calls it one of the biggest question marks
hanging over his legacy as president, his desire to prevent a nuclear Iran.
In an interview with "The Atlantic" published on Thursday, the president
saying, quote, "Look, 20 years from now, I`m still going to be around, God
willing. If Iran has a nuclear weapon it`s my name on this. I think it`s
fair to say that in addition to our profound national security interest, I
have a personal interest in locking this down.

Negotiators from United States, China, Russia, Britain and France and
Germany hoping to reach a pact with Iran by the end of June. It would
limit Iran`s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Skepticism
about Iran being able to enrich uranium at any level has drawn critics
around the globe.

But our next guest, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell believes President
Obama and negotiators are striking the right balance. George Mitchell,
you`ll recall, served as majority leader of the Senate from 1989 to 1995.
He was also U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland during the Clinton
years, active in the Irish peace process, as well as the special envoy to
the Middle East for President Obama.

His new book is "The Negotiator", it`s about his experiences as a diplomat.
There is a lot I want to talk to him about this morning.

So, Senator Mitchell, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.


KORNACKI: So, let`s start on the question of Iran, though, because that`s
coming up a few weeks from now. We have a basic framework that was agreed
to. Now, there is a question of the details. And I guess one of the
objections -- I can put this up actually.

Henry Kissinger, in an op-ed in "The Wall Street Journal", raising some
concerns about this. And he`s saying that his words here, "Iran will be in
a position to bolster its advanced nuclear technology during the period of
the agreement and rapidly deploy more advanced centrifuges of at least five
times the capacity of the current model after the agreement expires or is

So, he`s basically saying, that Iran gets license to proceed on two tracks
here under this agreement. I mean, they can be cooperative on the surface,
but if anything breaks down in the course of that process, they`re going to
be a year away from doing something dramatic.

MITCHELL: Iran must not get a nuclear weapon. It would not only represent
a direct threat to Israel, but it would be undermining of the entire non-
proliferation efforts that the United States has done over the past half
century or more with considerable success. There are dozens of countries
that could produce a nuclear weapon, only nine have done so. The rest
voluntarily refrain, in reliance on the U.S. and the non-proliferation

There are two ways to achieve that objective, through negotiation or
through war. It seems to make just plain common sense to negotiate a
agreement that will prevent that outcome rather than going directly to

KORNACKI: Do you think that is -- if there is no agreement, if this
agreement breaks down somehow before or after June 24th. Do you see war as
a likely next scenario?

MITCHELL: Oh, certainly. There are two choices if this process breaks
down, either a nuclear armed Iran or a war to prevent nuclear armed Iran.
The president`s critics argue that we should simply walk away and increase
the sanctions and Iran will come crawling back.

There is no evidence to support that conclusion. This is not just the U.S.
as you pointed out in the opening. It`s the U.S., China, Russia, Britain,
France and Germany on one side of the table, Iran on the other. If this
process either collapses because we walk away as the critics suggest, or if
an agreement is reached and rejected by the U.S. Congress, there is no
evidence that the other countries, especially China and Russia, will
continue with or increase the sanctions.

So, the sanctions, which have been effective precisely because they are
universal, not unilateral, will go from universal to unilateral, and
therefore, from effective to ineffective. And there will be no

KORNACKI: As we say you were the special envoy to the Middle East until
2011 under President Obama, extensive experience in the region.

I want to get your take on what we saw this week in Iraq, what we saw with
ISIS with the taking of Ramadi by ISIS, with gains on the ground in Iraq by
ISIS. The Iraqi army unable to prevent that from happening.

Now, there`s a call -- I think we can put this up on the screen. This is
John McCain. John McCain obviously is very hawkish when it comes to this
stuff. But this is John McCain who basically said we are not doing enough
of anything. We need to train and equip more troops over there.

In raising it seemed the possibility of sending American troops on the
ground to combat ISIS in the wake of this -- what`s your attitude towards

MITCHELL: Before I do that, I want to complete my statement on the Iran
situation. I do think the issue of verification remains to be resolved.
That`s the central issue. How can we be assured that Iran will do what it
says it will do in any agreement?

And I think the verification provisions that are ultimately negotiated
will, to me, be the critical point in determining whether to support the
agreement going forward.

Now, with respect to ISIS, there is no evidence that U.S. -- increased U.S.
military force will end this conflict. The fact is that the internal
divisions within Islam have been going on for 1,400 years, in Iraq
specifically, over the past 95 years. This notion if we just have more and
more American military involvement, that we can somehow resolve these
conflicts, really is contradicted by history. There`s no evidence to
support it.

KORNACKI: Are we achieving -- are we achieving anything meaningful right
now that providing air support for an army -- again as we saw this week
with Ramadi, incapable of keeping ISIS from taking that city, where it
seems that perhaps the air support is not sufficient to help the Iraqi army
get the job done, the Iraqi army on its own not good enough to get the job

Are we accomplishing anything meaningful right now with this strategy?

MITCHELL: Well, one battle set back does not institute a decisive end to a
conflict. I think, yes, the air power is helping, although obviously not
enough in the case of Ramadi. But there have been successes with respect
to ISIS as well.

And ISIS has generally being successful territorially in only two areas,
and that`s because those areas have a Sunni dominated population, which is
isolated from their national government because the national government is
Shia-dominated and according to the Sunnis, sectarian and oppressing them
in their rights. This has been going on for a very long time.

We can do more but I am absolutely opposed to increasing or introducing
American ground troops in combat, perhaps more special forces, perhaps more
spotters to more effectively direct the aircraft, better and more effective
training of the Iraqis.

But in the end, we have to rid ourselves of the notion that every problem
in the world is an American problem requiring an American military
solution. In the end, the future of Iraq will be decided by Iraqis. And
we have to help support and encourage where we can. But we can`t get drawn
in to every conflict in every part of the world.

Let me conclude this with one statistic. Of the seven and a half billion
in the world, one in five is Muslim, about 1.5 billion. By midcentury,
when the population edges past 9.5 billion, one in three will be Muslim,
3.5 billion.

The internal conflicts now roiling the world of Islam will continue over
the next several decades. We must help, encourage, support those who share
our values, but we cannot militarily involve ourselves every time a local
conflict occurs in some part of the world. We have to understand, we are
the dominant power. We can influence events, but we cannot try to control
events everywhere in the world.

KORNACKI: We just have a minute left here, but I do want to transition to
one question about national politics here, domestic politics here.
Obviously, you were a Senate majority leader from `89 to `95, a major
figure in the Democratic Party.

Are you supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016?

MITCHELL: Yes, I am. I think Hillary is going to be nominated. It will
be a close race in the general election. I think that`s up for grabs,
depends on what happens --

KORNACKI: That`s what I`m curious, too. When you look at the Republican
field, we talk about how we`ve never seen a Republican race this wide open.
I think the front runner is running at like 13 percent or 14 percent in the

Is there -- there was a story in the "New York Times" saying that Marco
Rubio maybe makes Democrats most nervous because he can stress sort of
generational issues with Hillary Clinton. Do you look at that Republican
field and say there is one I want to face and one I particularly don`t want
to face?

MITCHELL: I think it will all work out. I don`t know who the Republican
nominee. I think several of them will be strong candidates. It depends
upon the economy, President Obama`s standing, the quality of the campaign
run by Secretary Clinton -- a whole lot of factors.

No offense to the media, they want to gin up news now. They want to gin up
controversy. That`s how you sell papers every day.

But it`s a long way to go. It will be a vigorous Republican contest.
They`ve got several candidates that I think will be strong candidates. And
Hillary is going to have to be at the top of her game to win in a general

KORNACKI: All right. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell,
really appreciate the time today. Thank you very much.

MITCHELL: Thanks for having me.

KORNACKI: All right. And still ahead, the Southern states the Democrats
hope could be back in play in next year`s election.

And next, we are going to go live to Texas where record rainfall is leading
to devastating flooding.


KORNACKI: Right now. Thousands of people in northeast Texas have been
forced from their homes by flood waters. Authorities have evacuated parts
of Wichita Falls, Texas, which has seen record rainfall this month. And
more rain is in the forecast for the next three days.

NBC`s Mark Potter is live in Wichita Falls, Texas, standing in that

Mark, please take us -- take us through what`s going on down there.

MARK POTTER, NBC NEWS: I`m standing on the edge of the flooding. We are
seeing flood waters coming up in this area.

You can see the waters here. This is about a half mile from the downtown
area. Normally this is a bike path you would bike through. But now, the
waters are here.

The river itself, the river bank is on the other side of the trees. The
water is ever slowly coming up. We`ve been watching it today. It`s just

This isn`t a raging flood, it`s coming up. The fear is it will be coming
up into people`s houses.

Even though hundreds of people have been evacuated and preps were made, the
officials here were hoping and actually beginning to believe that this was
going to be a moderate flood that would end soon. But then, yesterday
afternoon, Friday afternoon, they had a meeting with the National Weather
Service that changed everything. They got shocking news that this actually
could become a record flood because of some expected rain that could come
through this weekend and into early next week.

The record flood could continue until last next week into a wide area. So,
now, they`re revising their evacuation plans and are expecting extra help
from the state.

KORNACKI: All right. Mark Potter, live in Wichita Falls, Texas -- thank
you for that update. Appreciate it.

And still ahead, is L.A.`s $15 minimum wage too high, too low or just
right? My guests are going to square off over that.

And next, what a crazy election night cliffhanger in Kentucky means for the
rest of America?

Stay with us.


KORNACKI: A cliff hanger out of Kentucky this week, with the results of
the Republican primary for governor still up in the air this morning. Tea
party favorite Matt Bevin currently holds an 83-vote lead over James Comer.
Now, each of the candidates has baggage, no matter who wins the primary
Democrats will have a chance in the election, making this race for governor
of Kentucky the most competitive major election of 2015.

This is also a story about 2016, because it`s a reminder that Kentucky
isn`t necessarily as red state as you might think. Yes, it did vote
overwhelming for Mitt Romney in 2012, for McCain in 2008. But there are
also more registered Democrats than Republicans in Kentucky. And the
state`s current governor is also a Democrat. In fact, Kentucky has only
elected one Republican governor in the last 40 years.

So, what Kentucky really is, is part of a group of very unique states.
These are states that have deep Democratic traditions but that have swung
hard to the GOP in the Obama years. There are states that Democrats
believe that they maybe, maybe could put back into play in 2016. If they
do succeed in doing that, it will change the electoral map big time.

So, let`s take a look to show you what I`m talking about here on the big
board. So, what you have here -- this is between 2004 and 2008. 2004,
John Kerry was the Democratic candidate. Remember, he lost to George W.
Bush. 2008, Barack Obama beats McCain.

So, did the country -- did each county in the country get more Democratic
or more Republican. If it was more favorable to Obama than Kerry, it`s
blue. If it`s more favorable to McCain than it was to Bush, it`s red.

And you can see what`s interesting is, you would expect it to all be blue
because Obama did better than John Kerry. He won, Kerry lost.

But look at this section of the country. This is basically Appalachia.
This swath from Eastern Oklahoma up through the Appalachians, into West
Virginia, a little part of Ohio and Pennsylvania, that became more
Republican even as the rest of the country was becoming more Democratic.
That is the biggest problem area that Barack Obama has had politically as

Let`s take a closer look at that -- at some of these states. We mentioned
Kentucky. Well, start, take a look at West Virginia. Look at this -- in
the 2012 presidential primary, Barack Obama was opposed in West Virginia by
a convicted felon who got his name on the ballot, Democratic primary in
West Virginia. Look at that, Barack Obama only got 59 percent of the vote.

Look at this in Arkansas, same year, 2012, another random candidate gets on
the ballot and the Democratic primary for president against the incumbent
president gets 42 percent of the vote. Wins these counties you see here,
too. It`s amazing.

Same thing in Kentucky, uncommitted against Barack Obama, Democratic

So, that is the problem Barack Obama has had throughout his presidency in
this region of the country. You can see this is rural white voters,
overall white voters in 2012 voting for Mitt Romney by a 20-point margin.

But if you look at white voters who do not have college degrees, these are
voters who are going to be more common in areas like we`re talking about.
Look at the margin. Romney winning by 26 points over Barack Obama.

So, that`s why Barack Obama has struggled so much. But the interesting
thing here for Democrats, that they remember is they take a look at this
map. This is 1996. This is when Bill Clinton won his second term over

And look where Bill Clinton won, he won Kentucky, he won West Virginia,
he`s from Arkansas, it`s his home state, he won it. He won Missouri, he
won Tennessee. Al Gore, his vice president, was from Tennessee. He was
able to win these states with lower income non-college educated whites,
that have turned the strongest against Barack Obama.

So, it raises the question: if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee in
2016, can she put these back into play? And if she does, that would change
the map dramatically for Democrats.

Anyway, up next from city streets to the presidential campaign trail, the
minimum wage takes center stage in the 2016 debate. That`s straight ahead.


KORNACKI: On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to raise the
minimum wage from $9 to $15 by the year 2020. That is a huge wage hike.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said he will sign it and it will have impact on nearly
half of all the workers in what is the nation`s second largest city.

The three other West Coast cities have already approved a $15 minimum wage.
Similar proposals are moving in New York City, in Washington, D.C., and in
Kansas City, Missouri. But efforts to increase the minimum wage nationally
have met a wall of Republican resistance. Last year, all but one
Republican senator voted against a Democratic proposal that would have
raised the wage floor from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.

A host of Republican presidential hopefuls are also voicing their


JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I`m against raising the minimum
wage because it will create a reduction in jobs.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: The concern I have about the minimum wage
increase is that we have been told by both the Congressional Budget Office
and independent analysts that it would cost certain jobs.

WALKER: I`m not going to repeal it, but I don`t think it serves a purpose
because we`re debating what the lowest levels are at.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I got to tell you the truth -- I`m
tired about hearing about the minimum wage. I really am.


KORNACKI: But there are two Republican presidential contenders who are
taking the opposite approach.


SANTORUM: We need to have an increase in the minimum wage. We need to say
that we`re on the side of the American worker. We need to go out and prove
it with policies.

BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In several states, you can get as
much or more on government assistance as you can by working a minimum wage.

INTERVIEWER: And what about the minimum wage?

CARSON: I think it probably should be higher.


KORNACKI: Hillary Clinton for her part supports raising the minimum wage,
but hasn`t yet said by how much.

Here to debate the merits of raising the minimum wage and how it will
continue to play out in the presidential race, we have CNBC contributor,
James Pethokoukis, a columnist with the American Enterprise institute, and,
Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist at The New School.

So, Teresa, let me start with you on that question. We played the clips of
those candidates who are opposing the minimum wage hike. And they`re
saying it`s going to cost jobs. So, let`s take a look at Los Angeles as an
example. If you`re a business owner and you are being told the going rate
right now is $15, or it`s going to be $15 and not $9. That`s a pretty
significant jump.

Why don`t you think the business owner is going to employ fewer people?

TERESA GHILARDUCCI, THE NEW SCHOOL: Because of economic research over 45
years. First of all, the minimum wage will be that high in 2020. By that
time, inflation will have gone up. Workers` rages would have gone up.
Businesses might have learned if they don`t pay more, that they have just
higher turnover.

So, as businesses experiment with a higher wage, economic research shows
that they`re going to get more loyal workers. They`re probably tighten up
the productivity of all their operations. And right now, a lot of those
businesses aren`t small, they`re profitable national chains. So, that
culmination of economic research about the modern employer and the modern
economy convinces me that we won`t see the hours lost or the job

And in fact, with more money in workers` wages pockets in workers` pockets,
we may see an expansion of demand because low income workers spend all the
money they have, and we actually may see an increase in jobs. That`s also
borne out in the data. That when wages go up, the number of jobs go up.

KORNACKI: So, James, what do you say to that then? She is saying the
argument about lost jobs here about companies not being to employ people,
because she says research shows that doesn`t happen. What`s your response
to that?

phrase to use. Research shows.

I have looked at the same research. And research doesn`t show that.
Research suggests that we have no idea what will happen if we raise the
minimum wage by 70 percent. We don`t know.

Now, as I read the research, I`m very worried about the anti-employment
effects. She`s not. We don`t know. It`s a massive leap.

And rather than take this huge gamble with the lives and careers of
millions of low wage workers in these cities for a second best policy, what
we should be doing is, sure, you want to raise the minimum wage, raise it
by inflation, raise it $8 an hour which is where it would be adjusted for
inflation, you know, over the past 30, 40 years to keep steady.

Have a wage subsidy. Expand the earned income tax credit, a policy, it`s a
wage subsidy, it`s a policy which all the research is pretty universal. It
increases employment. It increases wages -- increases wages especially for
people who are working full time, adults not teenager -- let me finish my


KORNACKI: I just want to clarify your point. What I want to ask here is -

PETHOKOUKIS: I think I clarified it just fine actually. But go ahead.

KORNACKI: Well, I still have a question, actually. So, and the question
is this -- do you oppose the increase of the minimum to $15, or do you
oppose any increase in the minimum wage?

PETHOKOUKIS: Listen, what I would do is I would take the minimum wage --
it`s a good compromise policy, take the minimum wage to about 8 bucks.
After that, increase it by inflation and then supplement it with a wage
subsidy. As a society, if we think full time workers should be making
more, than we as a society, not just McDonald`s, not just Walmart, all of
us, should be willing to supplement those wages.


KORNACKI: Thank you for clarifying that.

Teresa, let me get you to respond to that.

GHILARDUCCI: Hey, wage subsidies means that taxpayer subsidize low wage

PETHOKOUKIS: That`s a ridiculous argument. That`s a ridiculous -- that is
like you saying --


KORNACKI: Hold on, hold on. Hold on. James, James, you got to let her
talk. We let you talk. Let her talk.

GHILARDUCCI: I`ll give you a chance. Let`s just take turns. A wage
subsidy means that taxpayers are -- take revenue that would have been spent
someplace else someplace else and move it to low-wage workers. That means
that low-wage employers don`t have to pay a higher wage.

Low-wage employees also rely on food stamps and other kinds of taxpayer
subsidies, meaning that if we raise the incomes of low-wage workers through
taxpayers, low-wage employers have higher profits.

We don`t, of course, know what will happen. When I look at all the
economic dynamics of the labor markets, I find that high wages are
pleasantly a surprise to many employers. They find that they get more
productive workers. They lower their costs with training new workers as
the workers stay longer.

There`s lots of benefits to increasing wages. If we index the wage from
1968 when it was at its peak to now, it would be $11.

PETHOKOUKIS: That`s not true.

GHILARDUCCI: We`re on target to what L.A. is doing. Just an inflation
calculator, Jim.

PETHOKOUKIS: That`s not true.


KORNACKI: All right. We are actually up against the time on this one, but
I appreciate both of you joining us. Thanks to James Pethokoukis with the
American Enterprise Institute, Teresa Ghilarducci with The New School,
appreciate both of you joining us.

Up next, the reason golfers in Branson, Missouri, are yelling fore. Look
at that hole there.


KORNACKI: All right. The panel is back with me this morning. There`s a
lot going on. Let`s get caught up on some of the other headlines making

You are looking live -- well, it`s not live. But you are looking at one of
them right now. I just like saying you`re looking live.

That`s a massive sinkhole opening up at a Jack Nicklaus designed golf
course in Branson, Missouri, yesterday. That thing is 80 feet wide, 35
feet deep. I don`t know what that hole was before, but that`s a par 5 hole
right now, if I`ve ever seen one with that sinkhole, in the middle of it.
So, that`s interesting.

Let`s see what else is making headlines here. Let`s go to "Politico",
headline: what Hillary left off her LinkedIn profile. So, Hillary
Clinton`s campaign put up a LinkedIn profile, because, you know, she`s
looking for a job. They did not include her failed 2008 presidential
candidacy or her work on the House Judicial Committee investigating
President Nixon.

Massive conspiracy. Hopefully, the next batch of emails will answer this
one, huh?


SIDDIQUI: That they did, right? I mean, that`s kind a cute, hey, let`s be
on LinkedIn. We`re using social media, let`s engaged. I don`t think we
have to take it so seriously.

WARD: If you see a resume that has someone`s summer internships and like
jobs they applied for, and didn`t get, that should make you worry.
Actually, she`s done a nice job self-editing.

KORNACKI: I got to say, though, the whole LinkedIn thing, I signed up for
it a few years ago. It was the biggest mistake I`ve ever made in life. I
kept getting this -- every day, I`m getting this LinkedIn.

SIDDIQUI: You haven`t responded to your invitation. I kept getting one
from my mom actually --

KORNACKI: I can`t find the unsubscribe button either.

COX: I`m less likely to vote for Hillary Clinton now that she`s on
LinkedIn, personally, if I keep getting invitations from her. I will --

SIDDIQUI: I`m most likely to vote for her because they left critical
information off.


KORNACKI: That `72 McGovern campaign still sticks with America.


KORNACKI: We`re down to our final seconds. In the "USA Today," look at
this one, the world`s oldest person to turn 116 years old. Jeralean Talley
was born in Georgia in the year 1899, has lived in Michigan since 1935.
She bowled until she was 104. She mowed her lawn until a few years ago.
Experts say only one in 5 million people in the U.S. will live to be 110 or
older. That`s amazing.

These people born before 1900, not many left. This is one of the final

Happy birthday to you, Jeralean Talley. I hope I`m saying your name right,
Jeralean Talley. Happy 100 116.

Thanks to our panel this morning, Ana Marie Cox, Katherine Mangu Ward,
Sabrina Siddiqui. Appreciate you all joining us.

Thank you for getting UP with us. Join us tomorrow Sunday morning, 8:00

Before you do that, you`re going to watch -- you`ll want to watch Melissa
Harris-Perry. She`s coming up next.

Have a great Saturday.


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