'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, June 27th, 2015
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Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI
Date: June 27, 2015
Guest: Sabrina Siddiqui, Rick Unger, Kellyanne Conway, Tammy Baldwin, Jim
Cavanaugh, Terry Anderson, Dahlia Lithwick, Charlie Dent, Joe Giacalone,
Manu Raju, Steve Hytner
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST, "UP WITH STEVE KORNACKI": Welcome to the
All right. Hello out there. And welcome to the morning after. The
morning after a day and night like we haven`t seen in a long time. Like we
may not see for a long time to come. The last 24 hours a cascade of major
news. And stunning developments. Historic news, tragic news inspiring
news. News that is still breaking as we come on the air this morning. I
want to make you a promise at the start of this show today.
We`re here for the next two hours. We`re going to do our best to get
to all of it. We are going to get to all of it. We`re going to get to the
historic Supreme Court decision to make gay marriage the law of the land
everywhere. To the chilling explosion of terror attacks overseas. Three
on Friday. And now, worries back here at home of an ISIS inspired attack
in the run up to the July 4th holiday.
We want to get to the President`s moving eulogy in Charleston. And of
course, to the news that is still playing out right now the hunt for the
escaped killer, David Sweat who remains at large in the woods of Upstate
New York after his partner in crime was shot dead late yesterday.
Take a look at this for a second. This is the front page of this
morning`s "New York Times." The paper of record. They somehow managed to
squeeze every one of those stories I just mentioned on to it. Check that
out. That front page with that much news is a collector`s item. And this
morning on this show, we`re going to do the same thing. A ton to get to
this morning. And we`re going to get to all of it. So, come on along as
we digest one of the biggest news days ever. And we`re going to kick it
off right now by bringing you the very latest on that very active and very
dangerous hunt for the convicted killer David Sweat.
One of the two escaped convicts who got out of a maximum security
facility in Upstate New York three weeks ago. His fellow escapees Richard
Matt shot and killed yesterday afternoon. Just over 30 miles from the
prison where he escaped. The manhunt at one point last week extending more
than 300 miles away from the prison. All the way to the border of
Pennsylvania. But yesterday, Richard Matt found in a neighboring county.
And MSNBC`s Chris Pollone joins us now. He is on the scene up there.
So, Chris, what is the latest this morning?
CHRIS POLLONE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Steve. Good morning. As
the last hour has passed we`ve seen more visible aspects of this manhunt
that continues day 22 now. Over the last hour or so we`ve seen large
groups of state police cars going in and coming out of the wooded area here
behind me. There`s a helicopter going by overhead as the search for David
Sweat continues. As you mentioned. His partner in crime, Richard Matt
shot and killed yesterday afternoon. How did police get to this area?
They were searching in this area near the Salmon River south of
Malone, New York yesterday. That`s when somebody who was driving a camper
called and reported that they had been shot. There was a gun shot into the
camper. Police came to this area where the man said that he thought that
the shot had happened. They found a hunting cabin that appeared to have
been broken into. They could smell fresh gun powder in the air as if a gun
had been shot in the area. They heard coughing and then that`s when they
spotted Richard Matt.
Now, the Governor said that police ordered him to put up his hands.
When he would not comply he was shot and killed. Police believe that his
fellow escapee David Sweat is in this area. They`ve got a 22 square mile
area surrounded. They believe he`s in the area. But they admit that they
have not seen Sweat. And the only sign that they have had that he`s been
in this area came last Saturday when his DNA showed up in another hunting
cabin where some items and stuff were left on the table. So, they say they
have no reason to believe that the pair have split up. But they also have
no evidence that they did not split up. With that being said though they
feel like they are closing in on Sweat at this time. And the investigation
here south of Malone, New York, continues. A perimeter set up, around 22
square miles as police believe they are closing in on Sweat.
KORNACKI: Yes. And Chris, how important is it to authorities that
they take Sweat alive? They won`t obviously be getting any information out
of Matt. It is important to get him alive to be able to find out more
about that escape?
POLLONE: The head of the state police here in New York said last
night, obviously the goal was to take these two prisoners alive. That
obviously didn`t happen. But yes, you know, they want to get Sweat alive.
Because they need to unravel exactly what happened in that prison. As you
might remember, you know, there are two people who are under arrest for
possibly aiding in this escape or at least giving contraband to the
escapees. They would like to know that how the whole plot unfolded, how
they were able to cut out of their cells. Access cat walks come out a
manhole a few hundred yards from the prison walls. That is very important
to them in this investigation. But with that being said, they don`t know
if Sweat is armed. They assume that he is because Matt was found with a
.20 gauge shot gun after they shot and killed him. If it`s between the
police officers` lives and Sweat`s, they`ll chose theirs as anytime as you
might imagine safe.
KORNACKI: All right. Chris Pollone on the scene near that very
active manhunt in Upstate New York. Thank you for joining us.
We`ll be keeping a close eye on that situation. Bringing you the very
latest throughout the show. But as I said at the top, so much happening
right now. Like the fact that gay marriage is now just marriage. A five
to four Supreme Court decision on Friday paving the way for same-sex
weddings in all 50 states. And ending a year`s long legal battle. But
there is still a political battle when it comes to this subject. On the
democratic side this is pretty much a settled issue. President Obama,
Hillary Clinton, both praising the decision yesterday. The White House
even lighting up its exterior in rainbow colors as evening fell in
But on the republican side a very different story. Every republican
running for president denouncing the court`s ruling yesterday. But the
party is torn over how to fight it going forward. How aggressively to
fight it. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker calling for the most dramatic
step. A constitutional amendment to overturn the decision. Walker saying
that would quote, "reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define
marriage." But Jeb Bush`s campaign says, he does not believe a
constitutional amendment is the way forward. Bush and other candidates
like Marco Rubio instead stressing religious freedom.
The idea of offering legal protections to people morally opposed to
gay marriage going forward. Rubio saying, quote, "Our nation was founded
on the human right of religious freedom. And our elected leaders have a
duty to protect that right by insuring that no one is compelled by law to
violate their conscience." Now, after they lost the 2012 election,
Republicans commissions what they called an autopsy report. Trying to
understand why they had lost. That autopsy said impart that, quote, "There
is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues
involving the treatment and the rights of gays. And for many younger
voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the party is a place they
want to be. If our party is not welcoming and inclusive, young people and
increasingly other voters will continue to tune us out."
The most recent survey by Pugh Research center showing a majority of
Americans, 57 percent say the gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry
legally. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus addressing
his party`s differences yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I think our
party platform is pretty clear, we believe that marriage should be between
one man and one woman. Look, we`re going to have maybe 12, 13, 14
candidates in our party. And they`re probably going to have 12, 13 or 14
different opinions either on this subject or other subject. And the beauty
about this country and our party is that we let people decide in Iowa, in
New Hampshire, in Virginia and across this country who our nominee is going
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Just a couple of minutes, we`ll going to be joined by
Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin to get her thoughts on the ruling. But
first, let`s discuss the republican reaction. The party`s dilemma, what
this all means for 2016?
With our panel today, we have Sabrina Siddiqui, a political reporter
for The Guardian. Rick Ungar, senior political contributor of Forbes. And
the co-host of Sirius XM`s "Steele and Ungar." And republican pollster
So, let`s talk about this. Legal battle seems like it`s basically
over here. But I`m hearing the same thing from the President Obama and
Hillary Clinton, I`m hearing very different things Kelly in from
Republicans. On the one hand as we say, Scott Walker says time for a
constitutional amendment. Basically the George W. Bush reaction to the
first gay marriage decision back in Massachusetts all those years ago. Jeb
Bush strikingly saying no, I don`t think that`s the way to go. This focus
more on religious freedom. Where is this going to shake out in the
Republican Party do you think?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: Probably on the debate stage.
But also, as time marches on, you`re absolutely right, there will continue
to be a differentiation among some of the candidates about the way forward.
So, the Republicans on the one hand, I believe will mostly or all of them
will say, we believe -- they believe marriage is between one man and one
woman. They believe in traditional marriage. You see a number of them
sees more recently saying, "I come from a position of faith when I state
I think Chief Justice John Roberts echoed that in his dissent yet in
yesterday`s opinion. It`s quite eye opening when he said, look, if you
wanted same-sex marriage to be the law of the land, congratulations,
celebrate your victory. But don`t think the constitution had anything to
do with it. And please don`t ridicule those who disagree with you because
of their faith. That there are millions of Americans who believe this not,
because there`s bigots based on their faith. You would have to say Hillary
Clinton was a bigot until recently. Because very recently in an interview
with Chris Matthew, she said, I don`t believe in same-sex marriage. We
don`t think she`s a reformed bigot.
We think she had a changed of heart. But there are millions of
Americans who don`t. Some of whom will vote in republican primaries and
caucuses. So, I believe that they and these candidates will speak from a
place of faith. However, the Republican Party also says it respects the
rule of law. And so, what these presidential candidates seemed to do is
say, this is currently the law. If I`m the governor of the state, I need
to apply in respect the law it stands, if I then want to run for president
and change the laws somehow, either give their rights back --
KORNACKI: Yes. And that`s the question. I think one of the
questions here politically Sabrina is, in 2004 it was so clear cut.
Massachusetts legalized gay marriage. Republicans, George W. Bush, Karl
Rove, they spotted political opportunity. We are running against this.
We`re calling for a constitutional amendment. Now, that`s the question for
Republicans going forward. One of them. Do you want to spend 2016 saying,
we`re going to try to amend the constitution to reverse this?
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, "THE GUARDIAN": No, you don`t. And I think that
the Supreme Court has in some ways done Republicans a favor by taking this
issue out of their hands. And then if you`re Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, you
can have this shift where you say that the court has ruled and we have to
respect the court`s decision. And both of them actually said that. Which
is a remarkable shift given where we were just a couple of years ago. And
it`s a testament to how the tide in public opinion has turned in favor of
same-sex marriage. I think like you said, so sure, Scott Walker saying a
constitutional amendment is something he would support.
He`s trying to win this primary and hold on to that conservative
support in favor of traditional marriage. But Rubio and Bush who are
playing a very long game here recognize that that`s not a position that`s
going to go over well with the majority of American people, especially
young voters in a general election. So, why not shift to religious freedom
and why not shift to what`s happening at the state level already. How do
we protect the religious liberty of the base that doesn`t want to,
necessarily to participate in these services? I think they feel like they
can get away with that point of primary and talk more about that concept.
And in the general election, they probably not going to want to talk about
this issue much at all.
KORNACKI: Yes, I mean, Rick, think ahead to the general election
here, does that fly? Will that fly with a country where now basically 60
percent of the country says, they`re for gay marriage. Let`s see if that
spikes in response to this. But even if it`s 60 percent, that`s a clear
majority at this point. If you`re a republican and you`re running on the
position of basically, I respect the ruling but I want to carve out space
in this country for religious people who just don`t like this. So that
they don`t have to have anything to do with it. And bake the cakes, they
don`t have to deal, be at the weddings. Can that argument fly do you think
in a general election?
RICK UNGAR, FORBES SENIOR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think you`ll
actually have an answer to your question in the next few days. We`ve seen
the fundraising that`s taking place after the ObamaCare decision. A lot of
money is rolling into republican coughers. And we`re going to see which
are these candidates wants to use yesterday`s Supreme Court`s decision to
try and raise money. I don`t think they will be as successful as they are
with the ObamaCare ruling. And that will tip you to how this is going to
go. Look, I mean, there is going to be a separation here. There`s going
to be the issue of how do you feel about same-sex marriage and that is
going to separate from how do you feel about that baker being forced to
bake a cake for a same-sex marriage.
I know people like me, I wrote an article yesterday, obviously, I`m
very pleased with the ruling. I thought they did the right thing. I was a
little surprised that they actually stated that there is a constitutional
right. I thought they would do something a little bit different with equal
protection. But I pointed out that as much as I support this, I don`t
think that you can mess with the religious rights of anybody, even if
they`re actually discriminating. Because you can`t get into their head to
know what they`re really thinking. You can`t mess with those rights.
Because the right they have on a religious basis is ever been as important
as right that the Supreme Court finally recognized for gay Americans.
KORNACKI: You mentioned sort of the idea of playing to the base and
fundraising off this. Let`s take a listen here. This is Ted Cruz reacting
to this ruling. Let`s play what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Today`s decision was a travesty. It was
not constitutional. It was five unelected lawyers imposing their own
radical views on this nation. What we saw today, was five unelected judges
setting aside the constitution. And saying the preferences of over 300
million Americans don`t matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So I notice Sabrina he said that in Iowa, Iowa the
evangelical Christians is very conservative electorate there for
Republicans. But I wonder if that`s one of the issues here, Republicans
have to grab with this. Think about that debate stage that Kelly was just
talking about. You`ll going to have Cruz up there. You`ll going to have
Huckabee up there. You may have Santorum up there if he can make the top
ten. Are they going to poll the other people in this field like a Jeb Bush
who wants to strike a more moderate tone? Are they going to force them to
that more sort of absolutist rhetoric you just heard there?
SIDDIQUI: And that sort of, if you`re Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, you
want to up avoid being pulled in that direction. And I think that the
evangelical part of the base still plays a significant role in the primary
process. At the end of the day, they`ll make up for more than half of the
primary electorate. And that is why some of the candidates are focusing
more on religious freedom. Because they will just have to say, listen, you
know, we do believe in traditional marriage. But at the end of the day,
it`s not our position to overturn the court`s ruling. And they will be
pressed on the debate stage.
Certainly this is going to come up. But I honestly don`t even think
that, you know, if you`re Ted Cruz, will necessarily be raging on a debate
stage about this that much. You know, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz took a long
time to come out with statements yesterday. I think they`re all trying to
figure out how to best navigate this issue in a way where they don`t offend
a larger group of people.
UNGAR: Ted Cruz couldn`t find it, I tell you that. He didn`t find
the best way. I`m always amazed by these guys who say, I am a strict
constitutionalist. I will fight to the death for the constitution. And
then talk to about five unelected judges. Sorry, man. The founders set it
up that way. It`s in the constitution.
KORNACKI: It`s only an activist -- that disagrees with you.
UNGAR: Yes, it`s unbelievable.
CONWAY: Ted Cruz is the only one I think that`s running that has this
kind of deep and broad experience in front of the court. No, I disagree.
He`s a federalist. So, his whole argument is it should be a states` right
issue. That`s why I --
UNGAR: But why pick on five unelected judges if he has so much
CONWAY: Why not?
UNGAR: Because the founders set it up that way.
CONWAY: I think it`s just a state`s rights federal issue. But moving
forward, I wanted to say I think the person who benefits the most in an odd
way yesterday is Bernie Sanders. He`s one of a handful of people who voted
against Bill Clinton`s donor, Defensive Marriage Act, he voted against it,
20 some years ago. And he, I think has been for same-sex marriage for at
least seven or eight years long before Hillary Clinton. He`s sneaking up
on -- these polls, particularly on the place like New Hampshire. And I
think he could actually help him to say, you know, great, it`s a wonderful
decision. But what took you so long, Hillary?
SIDDIQUI: It`s true. I mean, look, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush fairly
-- when it comes to taking the side of the state`s hand. I mean, it was
only a couple months ago where she said this is no longer a state level
issue where it was just as recently as last fall. She said, this should be
left up to the state. So, the Republicans have some leeway. This is not
Barack Obama who almost four years ago now came out and supported same-sex
marriage. They could say, well, Hillary just evolved in the fall. So, it
gives him a little bit of wiggle room.
KORNACKI: Although, it is amazing, too, when you -- Joe Biden and
Barack Obama in the summer of 2012 and within about two years basically the
entire Democratic Party was saying, we`re for this. We`re still waiting to
see if that will start to happen on the republican side. One thing I`m
looking for in the primaries going is, if there is room for one of those
28,000 candidates who`s out there running for president to simply say, you
know, what? I`m for this, I`m fine with it. And let`s move on. No
asterisk, no ands, ifs or buts. We`ll see.
Now, sure, that will happen. But we`ll take a look at that. Anyway,
we are only scratching the surface of everything that`s happening in the
world right now. Still watching that manhunt in New York. Still going to
get to the President`s moving eulogy the wave of terror attacks on three
continents and another major decision from the Supreme Court that will have
a lot to do with President Obama`s legacy.
All of that. Still to come. But first, more on the history made
yesterday. We`re going to be joined live by a United States senator with a
perspective like no one else`s in that chamber. Senator Tammy Baldwin of
Wisconsin, she is next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: My second inaugural address, I
said that if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to
one another must be equal as well. It is gratifying to see that principle
enshrined into law by this decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That`s President Obama commenting yesterday on the Supreme
Court`s historic decision to grant same-sex marriage rights across the
country. The decision striking down bans on gay marriage that still
existed as of yesterday in 14 states. All of them in the south and the
Midwest. One of them though, not the state of Wisconsin. That`s where
eight couples successfully sued last year to overturn that state`s ban on
gay marriage. We talked in the last block about the republican reaction to
the ruling. Now, the perspective of the senator who is celebrating the
decisions. Senator Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin democratic joins us from
Madison this morning. In 2012, she became the first openly gay person ever
elected to the United States Senate.
Senator Baldwin, thank you taking a few minutes this morning. I
really appreciate it. So, let me start with this --
SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN (D), WISCONSIN: Good morning. Thanks.
KORNACKI: -- trying to take a step back here. I`m thinking back to
2004. Just 11 years ago. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Supreme
Judicial Court legalizes gay marriage. The Republicans runs against this
in 2004. They have great success at the polls. Every state where this is
on a referendum, the idea of banning gay marriage is passing. Would you
have ever believe back then that 11 years later, we would reach this
BALDWIN: You know, I was always hopeful. I`ve been actually been
working on this issue for -- well, since the mid 90s. And I was hopeful
that the arc of progress would continue. And yesterday was such a
milestone. Such a huge milestone in the march towards full equality and
freedom. You know, love is love, family is family and discrimination
against anyone`s love or anyone`s family as wrong. And now, the Supreme
Court has said that it`s also unconstitutional.
KORNACKI: I want to ask you about the dissent from John Roberts, the
chief justice. Because he tried to make an argument there basically. He
was saying, gay rights supporter should not feel good about how they went
about this. How they won this right to marry. Basically suggesting that
the right way to do it would have been, he said, to try to convince their
fellow Americans whether it`s, you know, getting referendums passed in
states, getting laws passed on state legislators. Rather than appealing to
a court like this. What do you say in response to that?
BALDWIN: You know, I think that the way this played out actually is -
- has been reflected in our nation`s past history. The court cited a
number of cases, but in particular loving verses Virginia where the Supreme
Court of the land had to step in to assure that every American had the
protections of the 14th amendment. And this is a shining example of that
equal protection under the law. Recognizing marriage has a fundamental
right. And arguing strongly that every American deserves access to that
fundamental right. I think it`s a very important decision. And you know,
the states will still be at the center of lots of marital issues. They
will be implementing this decision. But this was very, very powerful. In
terms of making sure that no matter what yours of code, no matter what
state you live in that you can share in the fundamental right of marriage.
KORNACKI: You know, we were talking about this in the last block,
too. The idea that you`re saying there might be some issues going forward.
One of the issues is probably going to be, it seems like one of the places
where this debate is going to move now is this idea of religious freedom.
And we got a little taste of that earlier this year. In Indiana, in
Arkansas, where you had this religious freedom bills that were advanced.
Then were altered in the Arkansas case. It just didn`t go with it all
together. But this basic idea of carving out space in this country where
gay marriage is now legal from coast to coast, carving out space for
religious people who say, I am morally opposed to this. If it`s the law of
the land it`s the law of the land but I personally don`t want anything to
do with it. It really gets down to that basic question of, you know,
should the bakery owner have to make the cake for the gay couple getting
married. Where do you come down on that?
BALDWIN: Well, first of all, certainly the First Amendment says that
institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe
religious deeply held religious beliefs. But I don`t think it extends far
beyond that. We`ve certainly seen the same set of arguments play out in
issues such as access to contraception. Should it be the individual
pharmacist whose religious beliefs guides whether a prescription is filled.
Or in this context, they`re talking about expanding this far beyond our
churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country.
And I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and
that we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.
CONWAY: Senator Baldwin, hi, it`s Kellyanne Conway. I`m really
struck in Justice Kennedy`s opinion yesterday that he talks about the value
of marriage for children of married couples, whether they`re same sex or
opposite sex couples. And the Democrats often don`t often allow
Republicans and conservatives to talk about the value of marriage. And
particularly what it`s like to grow up in a single parent household, broken
family like I did. Well, can we agree now to talk about the value of
marriage and the dignity that befalls children as Justice Kennedy points
out if they do have two parents? And the benefits?
BALDWIN: Absolutely. You know, there were a number of things that
Justice Kennedy said that you touched on in your question. One was that
the desire to have the right to marry was out of a deep respect for the
institution of marriage. And that, you know, he hit that head on in his
opinion. But also, you know, it`s interesting, there was a lot made of his
questions during the oral arguments. Justice Kennedy asked about children
and people were trying to figure out where he was coming from. But
recognized in his question the fact that children might be discriminated
against if their parents can`t get married. And that this was really
central to their security, their protection, as they`re growing up. And
that the stigma they face if the country doesn`t respect the family from
which they come. And so, it was a very powerful opinion with regard to why
this affects children as well as the partners to the marriage.
KORNACKI: All right, Senator Tammy Baldwin. Democrat from Wisconsin.
Thank you for joining us this morning. I appreciate it.
BALDWIN: It`s a pleasure. Thank you.
KORNACKI: All right. And still ahead, the President did something
yesterday we`ve never seen him do before in a speech for the Reverend
Clementa Pinckney in Charleston. But up next, we have more on that very
tense manhunt playing out as we speak. We`re only getting started on the
show today. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: Okay. To recap the situation we`re monitoring in real time
right now. The search for two escaped convicts from a maximum security
prison near the Canadian border has now narrowed to a search for one.
Yesterday afternoon a border parole unit shot and killed Richard Matt.
He`s one of the two escaped killers who had been on the run for three
weeks. Here`s a look from bystanders reacting to the news for the first
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re going pretty fast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got one guy down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And Jim Cavanaugh is a retired ATF special agent. He`s now
an NBC News analyst and he joins us now. So, Jim, one of them is dead
right now, one of them they believe is somewhere in a pretty narrow area in
these very thick woods in Upstate New York. So, a situation like this
where the guy is basically surrounded, assuming he`s in there. They assume
he`s armed, they assumed he`s dangerous, they assume he`s desperate. What
is the advice that you`re giving right now if you`re up there to law
enforcement, how do you handle a situation like this?
JIM CAVANAUGH, RETIRED ATF SPECIAL AGENT: You know, they`ll going to
squeeze that perimeter in, Steve. If they were able to keep him in the
perimeter they`ll going to squeeze it in. The calculation here really for
Sweat, if he hasn`t a firearm, and he wants to engage tactical officers,
he`s going to probably lose that battle like Matt did. But if he does not
have a firearm, then you know, he`s likely to be captured alive. I mean,
the tactical team is not going to shoot the guy if he doesn`t have a gun,
even if he charges at them. So, he`ll live. The thing we don`t know is,
does he have a firearm? He`s manic. He`s likely been up all night, this
guy is been three weeks in the woods.
They made it, you know, different distances we hear, 35 to 50 miles in
20 days. But, you know, they`re carrying more candy than a -- troops these
guys, they packed it all in a guitar case apparently and took it with them.
Because they knew they weren`t going to be eating in restaurants even if
they were with Joyce Mitchell or secreted in some remote location. So,
they had, you know, parts of a plan, a little Shawshank redemption going on
where they were getting the one prison guard to bring them paint which they
used to cover up their holes in their cells. And, you know, so they played
one guard. They certainly tried to intimidate Mitchell. I think when they
scared Mitchell, I think they threatened her somewhat. They, you know,
certainly romanced her but they threatened her as well. And it scared her
enough. So, I think in the end their own viciousness is probably what
tripped them up.
KORNACKI: Yes. I know, if you think of it, if they had this plan to
get in that car as soon as they came up from that manhole and that plan
blew up and it looks like they had to improvise for the last few weeks.
Anyway, my thanks to Jim Cavanaugh for joining us this morning. I
appreciate that. As we say, we`ll going to keep monitoring the situation.
And still ahead, we`ll also going to be joined by a former hostage,
Terry Anderson who is going to tell us what he thinks about a major change
on hostage policy that President Obama announced this week.
But next --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: (Singing) Amazing grace, how sweet the sound --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: The President`s moving eulogy yesterday. We`ll going to go
live to Charleston, South Carolina. And we`re also going to tell you why
the confederate flag is suddenly gone from South Carolina`s state house
this morning. It`s probably not for the reason you think.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the
families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court in the
midst of unspeakable grief with words of forgiveness. He couldn`t imagine
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: President Obama delivering the eulogy at Reverend Clementa
Pinckney`s funeral yesterday in South Carolina. He was the reverend at
Emanuel AME Church. One of nine people shot and killed more than a week
ago inside that church. And today, three more victims are set to be laid
NBC`s Sarah Dallof joins us now live from Charleston. So, Sarah, this
was a speech the President wrote himself. A very moving speech, obviously.
Even breaking into song there at one point.
SARAH DALLOF, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That is correct, Steve. We
were told even when he was flying down here to Charleston on aboard Air
Force One, he was still putting the finishing touches on the speech. He
worked without a teleprompter. He wanted this to be very raw, very
genuine. And from all accounts, from all reactions we saw here in
Charleston he was very successful. In fact, that arena was so full of
people, they reached capacity. They had to send people to overflow centers
which then reached capacity. People spilled into bars and restaurants here
in Charleston to watch this service on television.
We were at one of those restaurants when the President begin singing
"Amazing Grace." The entire restaurant stopped what they were doing,
everybody singing along with the President. You could just feel the
electricity in that room. Chills running up and down people`s arms, they
told me later. Now we turn here today to another difficult day of
funerals. This is still, of course, a community united by grief. Here at
the Mother Emanuel Church, two funerals for three people will be held
today. You can see that growing memorial of flowers, American flags,
candles and cards growing for the nine people shot and killed inside this
Today`s services will honor Cynthia Hurd. She was the manager of one
of the busiest library branches here in Charleston, County. They are
actually shutting all of the branches down today so that employees may
attend her service. They`re going to rename her branch after her in her
honor. They have already started a scholarship fund. Later this
afternoon, at the same church, Mother Emanuel, the community will say good
bye to 87-year-old Suzie Jackson and her nephew. Tawanza Sanders, he was a
recent graduate of Allen College.
They will be laid to rest in a joint service. This marked funerals
for six of the nine people. One question we`ve been hearing is how is
Charleston coping, how are they dealing with all of this? And the fact is
right now the love and support that they`re receiving from around the world
is what is keeping them going. They say, once the TV cameras leave, that
will be the true test to see if they continue to receive this amount of
support, this amount of love to keep them going through the difficult weeks
and months to come -- Steve. Back to you.
KORNACKI: All right. Sarah Dallof live in Charleston. Thank you for
We also have this news to tell you about, some drama this morning at
the South Carolina state capitol in Columbia. Where a woman got past a
wrought iron fence around 6:15 this morning then she scaled the pole where
the confederate flag has been flying. She then removed the flag, climbed
down and was arrested along with another individual. Police saying this
morning, the flag has now been replaced within the hour of that incident.
A rally scheduled at the site later today by supporters of the confederate
flag in South Carolina. All of this, of course, comes as South Carolina`s
republican Governor Nikki Haley is seeking to convince state legislators to
remove the flag from state house grounds permanently.
Also, keeping an eye of course on that manhunt we`ve been telling you
all about. A very tense, very dangerous situation right now.
And up next, in the age of ISIS beheadings, President Obama makes some
big changes to how hostage situations are handled. But here`s a man who
know something all about this. He was a journalist who was held hostage in
Lebanon for six years and nine months. Terry Anderson is here live and
he`s going to talk to us, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The families of hostages have told us and they`ve told me
directly about their frequent frustrations in dealing with their own
government. It is true that there have been times where our government
regardless of good intentions, has let them down. I promise them that we
can do better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, again, before all of that big news yesterday, there was
also a lot of big news earlier this week. President Obama one of these
items, making major changes to our nation`s hostage policy. Announcing
that this week. The U.S. will no longer prosecute families who pay ransom
to terrorist groups overseas. No actual prosecutions have ever come to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I want to point out that no family of an American hostage has
ever been prosecuted for paying a ransom for the return of their loved
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: But we now know that the government strongly discouraged
the paying of ransoms. The New Yorker reporting this week that the
director of counterterrorism at the National Security Council repeatedly
warned families of American hostages that they risked prosecution if they
paid terrorists. They felt the threat of prosecution and some of them then
watched their loved ones die. James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig,
Kayla Mueller, Warren Weinstein, Luke Somers, all American hostages killed
in the past year while being held by ISIS and al-Qaeda.
At the same time, hostages from countries that pay ransoms going home.
This is a wrenching dilemma on the one hand. You never want to pay a
ransom because it only encourages terrorists to take more hostages, to fund
their activities. But if you don`t pay a ransom, we`ve seen what can
happen. And while the new policy allows families to pay for the release of
their loved ones. The government is still forbidden from doing so. Going
forward, however, the U.S. government can talk with hostage takers.
They`ll also offer increased support for families trying to bring their
relatives back. So, is this good policy? For American hostages, for their
family members, for the country as a whole?
To talk about it, we`re joined now by Terry Anderson, a journalist who
was held hostage in Lebanon for more than five years -- more than six
years. He`s now a member of the committee to protect journalist. Our
panel also back with us.
So, Terry, thank you for coming in. We really appreciate you being
here. So, let me ask you, this basic question about families, your loved
one is over there. You want to do anything you possibly can to get them
back. There`s a demand for some kind of a money. Some kind of money.
Should families be allowed to pay that, do you think?
TERRY ANDERSON, FORMER HOSTAGE: Okay, I got a real serious clash
between principle and theory and reality. And it`s a really painful one.
It`s a really difficult one. No. You shouldn`t pay ransom. We found that
out in the 80s in our case. The government agreed to trade weapons for
hostages in Lebanon. They got three hostages released. All of them came
out of my prison. By the time the third one was released the hostage
takers had gone out and got four more. They set up a market. That doesn`t
work. That`s not practical.
But in reaction to those trades becoming public, the government
overreacted. It shut down everything. It said, we will no longer talk to
hostage takers, we will no longer negotiate with them. We will not do
this. And they used that as an excuse to literally do nothing. And
including in that nothing was talking to hostage families. They wouldn`t
tell them anything about what they knew. And that was very painful. That
was I think cruel. And not good policy. So, I`m delighted to see
President Obama listening to those of us who have been saying for years,
this needs to be changed. And finally doing something about it. I agree
with him. We shouldn`t pay ransom. Hard as that decision is. And it is
very hard to look a family in the face and say, we`re not going to pay for
your loved one.
KORNACKI: Well, especially as we say, these European countries that
are out there as a matter of, I believe they don`t say it publicly but, we
know, they do it. They pay the ransoms and you have the situations where
these -- American hostages are being held side by side with Europeans and
Europeans are going home. And then we`re seeing videos of our people
losing their heads.
ANDERSON: Yes. Look, how did we get released out of Lebanon? Nobody
paid anything. Finally, somebody important, the Under-Secretary General of
the United Nations, General Pico (ph) went to Lebanon, allowed himself to
be kidnapped so he could talk to our hostage takers. And over the course
of a year persuaded them that there was nothing to be gained from this.
Okay? It took a long time. It was hard. But it happened. They agreed
and they eventually released us. Can that be done again, I don`t know.
KORNACKI: Yes, I mean, I guess --
ANDERSON: These are different players.
KORNACKI: Yes. Right. When you think about the group -- Hezbollah
kidnapped you. Right? So, when you think of your experience of Hezbollah
and you look at ISIS or al Qaeda, do you see -- can you reason with them?
Can you --
ANDERSON: I don`t know, this is a different level. These people are
vicious and cruel. And they don`t seem to be amenable to reason. However,
what do we lose by trying? We don`t know if it will work. We do know that
the policy of not talking to them doesn`t seem to have any effect.
UNGAR: Terry, I take all the points you`ve made. And you`re
certainly in a better position than anybody to have a good grip on this.
But I do want to ask you, do you agree with decriminalizing the situation?
ANDERSON: Not at all. Not at all.
UNGAR: You should keep the criminal or --
ANDERSON: Decriminalizing the hostage families?
UNGAR: Well, no. Basically, if you did negotiate with a hostage you
were subject to criminal penalty.
ANDERSON: I think that was stupid and uncalled for.
ANDERSON: That was an overreaction by a government who is trying
basically to shut everybody up. They want this thing to go away. Because
they don`t feel like they can really do anything about it. But to punish
families who are already traumatized and in pain for trying to get their
loved one back, that`s ridiculous.
SIDDIQUI: I wanted to ask there are some families who have expressed
their support for the clarification here by the President. But indicated
that there`s an extent of window dressing going on. Because technically,
U.S. policy have not prohibited, talks in negotiations. But rather, the
government for making the substantive confessions whether that`s ransom or
whether that`s policy change or the release of prisoners. So, what`s
really new here in terms of what the President announced? Or is he
actually just trying to get past the political talking point that we don`t
negotiate with terrorists when that`s not technically what the official
statement of policy has been?
ANDERSON: You know, that`s what I was afraid of when they announced
the review, that it would be window dressing, that they had some -- State
Department come up with something that looked good. But I think there`s
substantive change here. Whatever the actual rules were, the fact was the
government discouraged families from making any publicity, from talking to
anybody, from negotiating with anybody. They tried to shut them up and
keep them from doing anything. That apparently is going to change. They
have also deliberately said, that they`re going to try to help families.
Families who have a hostage taken have a great deal of practical
problems and difficulties that they don`t know how to handle. They feel
helpless, they don`t know what they`re supposed to do. There is no rule
book about this. So now they`re going to have at least some core of people
in the government, in the State Department who are going to be able to help
the families. When I was taken, in fact, the Reagan and Bush
administration were very helpful to my family. They talked to my sister
all the time. They gave her information. Until they were caught doing a
deal. And then that all shut down.
KORNACKI: And it went the other way. I wish we had more time in
this. But Terry, I really appreciate you coming in.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
KORNACKI: You have a better perspective on this than just about
anybody out there. I really appreciate the time this morning.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
KORNACKI: All right. Still ahead on the show, the other very big
decision handed down this week from the Supreme Court, that is still to
And next, one of the escaped prisoners in Upstate New York killed last
night. Police say, they think they`re closing in on the other. New
details on that next. Stay with us.
KORNACKI: All right. One hour down, one hour to go. We told you at
the top of the show a news day like we`ve rarely seen before. Yesterday
we`re still digesting it. We still have to talk about the other big
Supreme Court ruling this week, the one on the Affordable Care Act. That
is still to come. We have to talk about those three attacks on three
separate continents yesterday. Three terror attacks. New concerns about
an ISIS inspired attack in the United States in the run up to July 4th.
That is still to come.
And of course, all of the latest on that ongoing manhunt. A very
active, very dangerous situation in Upstate New York. We are monitoring
that. Bringing you all the latest. A lot to get to, stay with us, coming
right back after this.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: The morning after continues.
KORNACKI: All right. Thanks for staying with us this Saturday
As we`ve been telling you, juggling a remarkable series of
developments in the world here, going to try to cover all the bases this
In Upstate New York right now, police are looking for the second
convicted killer who escaped from prison three weeks ago. His fellow
partner in crime was shot and killed by authorities yesterday. More on
that and where it stands at this minute just ahead.
Meanwhile, we also want to get into the other major decision from the
Supreme Court this week, the one that cements a key part of President
Obama`s legacy. That is coming up as well.
Plus, three attacks on three different continents. All carried out
yesterday with growing concerns now of another terror threat here at home.
More on that ahead as well.
A lot as we said to get to this hour. First, though, we are going to
travel up to Malone, New York, that is where New York state police are
currently on the hunt for David Sweat. After his accomplice Richard Matt
was killed yesterday afternoon.
MSNBC`s Chris Pollone is live on the scene. He joins us now.
Chris, where do we stand at this hour?
CHRIS POLLONE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Steve, you can see the
state police checkpoint behind me along the banks of the Salmon River.
This is part of a 22 square mile perimeter police have set up in the past
24 hours. And just the last few minutes, we`ve seen huge groups of state
police cars rushing in and out of that protected perimeter. Also, members
of the border patrol and other federal and state agencies, as they swarm
this area where Richard Matt was shot and killed yesterday.
This started coming to a head a little after 1:00 yesterday afternoon
when a driver who was in this area heard a noise. He thought maybe he got
a flat tire. He was driving a camper. He stopped about eight miles down
the road to check things out and he found a bullet hole in his camper. He
called authorities. That led authorities to this area, along the Salmon
River, south of Malone, New York, and they found a hunting cabin.
And inside that cabin, they could smell the smell of gun powder as if
a gun had recently gone off. When they went to search the woods, and
conduct their grid search, they heard coughing and noise. That`s when they
saw Richard Matt. He was ordered to put his hands up, he didn`t comply,
and police say he was shot and killed.
He was found to have a .20 gauge shot gun with him. Police say that
they have not spotted David Sweat at all, the other escapee in this. It`s
the 22nd day of the search. They say that they have no evidence that the
pair split up in the past week, but they -- so they believe they were
traveling together. They can`t confirm that information.
The last sign we`ve really seen of Sweat came a week ago last
Saturday when police found a cabin the pair had broken into and they found
DNA from both of the escapees in that cabin. So, they knew at that point
they were traveling together. More than a thousand officers in this area
south of Malone, New York. Combing these woods, hoping that David Sweat is
indeed in there and they can track him down quickly.
KORNACKI: All right. Chris Pollone, on the scene in Malone, New
York, thanks for that.
And, of course, bringing you the latest on the manhunt throughout our
show this hour.
But next, we want to turn to the other big decision out of the
Supreme Court this week. More huge news to digest here, which is one day
before yesterday`s same-sex marriage decision. It was a decision yesterday
to pave the way for same sex unions in all 50 states.
But before that, the justices handed down a ruling in a different
case, King versus Burwell. And the court for the second time saved a key
part of President Obama`s legacy, the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare as
it`s more commonly known.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, after more than
50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law, after a presidential
election based in part on preserving or repealing this law, after multiple
challenges to this law before the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act is
here to stay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: In the 6-3 decision the court held the healthcare law
allows the federal government to provide subsidies to Americans who
purchase health insurance, regardless of whether a person purchased that
plan through a state exchange or one set up by the federal government. The
decision allows more than 6 million people who qualified for tax credits to
keep their health insurance. Chief Justice John Roberts writing in the
majority opinion, quote, "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to
improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them."
Roberts, an appointee of George W. Bush, authored both Thursday`s
majority opinion and the 2012 opinion that upheld the constitutionality of
the individual mandate that`s at the heart of the law. He`s been the swing
vote saving the Affordable Care Act against constitutional challenges now
twice in the last three years.
Roberts was also the author of the majority opinion striking down
section four of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. He joined Justice Kennedy`s
majority opinion in the Citizens United decision in 2010, and he was among
those dissenting in yesterday`s same sex marriage decision. He`s not easy
to pigeon hole in other words, and he has emerged as one of the most
important figures in the Obama presidency, not to mention, in some cases, a
prime target for conservative backlash.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: These justices are not behaving as umpires
calling balls and strikes. They have joined a team. It`s a team that is
hurting Americans across the country.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I disagree with their decision. I
believe Obamacare is bad for Americans, bad for the country.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Unfortunately, Chief Justice
Roberts bailed him out the first time. Unfortunately, his court has bailed
him out again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Joining me now to discuss Justice Roberts, the politics of
the court, this major ruling cementing a big part of Obama`s legacy is
Dahlia Lithwick, legal correspondent and senior editor for "Slate".
Our panel is back with us as well.
So, Dahlia, it -- the Roberts` role in this. I want to start with
you on this, because it`s -- this was an issue in so many ways that broke
down on very predictable and very familiar party lines. You look at the
obvious sort of liberals on the court. You knew where they were in this.
You look at sort of the obvious conservatives on the court, you know where
they were. They were sort of mirroring where the Democrats and Republicans
And yet, here is John Roberts, George W. Bush`s appointee who`s going
to move the court so far to the right, the promise of his tenure on the
court, and yet he sides with the liberals on this. How do you interpret
what John Roberts did this week?
DAHLIA LITHWICK, SLATE: I think from the beginning, Steve, John
Roberts may not have thought this was a serious case. I mean, don`t forget
-- this was a piece of litigation that arose from the theory that you could
read four words in the ACA in isolation. And if you had this rigid cramped
dictionary definition of what established by the states mean you could gut
the whole statute.
It was kind of a Hail Mary piece of litigation, clever, but I think
that the chief justice from the get-go was like this isn`t the same as
Sebelius in 2012. This is kind of nutty. And I choose to treat it as kind
And don`t forget, the other thing that`s worth saying is he brought
Kennedy along. This was a 6-3. We know from Kennedy`s writing in 2012 on
the last Obamacare case, Kennedy doesn`t love this statute. But I think
when you get six people to completely renounce the theory that what a judge
does when he interprets a statute is read forewords in isolation and try to
make them gut the statute, I think this is just the chief justice being
KORNACKI: Do you think there`s a tension -- I`m curious about the
dynamics within the court. It`s a mysterious place. Obviously, there`s no
cameras in the courtroom. You had this theatrical descent from Antonia
And, of course, Scalia always used to be the conservative stalwart of
the Supreme Court. He wanted to be chief justice in 2005 when George W.
Bush nominated Roberts. He didn`t get his sort of career long dream there.
And there is Scalia with Roberts sitting right there with him basically
saying this decision by the Supreme Court with this decision you should now
rename Obamacare SCOTUScare.
It seems like a lot of sort of backstage drama playing out there.
LITHWICK: Yes, Scalia has had quite a week. He also managed to turn
the word "applesauce" into an insult and through jiggery-pokery in too.
So, he was mad in the dissent.
And I think, again, you have to understand, his life long project was
to lead the court, the entire court, he thought, to this vision of
textualism. That we don`t care what the writers who drafted this
legislation intended we read the text.
And I think when he had only garner two other votes on the court for
what is really his poll star of what he thinks about judicial
interpretation, I think it`s a crushing moment for him. So, I think what
you see in that dissent is him saying not just -- look at the words, words
mean what they say. But also what are you doing to my entire life`s work?
It must have been just devastating. I`m not surprised he was upset as he
KORNACKI: All right. Dahlia Lithwick from "Slate" -- thank you for
joining us this morning. I really appreciate that.
Now, we`re going to turn just steps away from the Supreme Court to
the U.S. Capitol. That`s where some congressional Republicans let out a
sigh of relief on Thursday, even if they don`t necessarily want to admit
that in public. After the ACA decision came down, one prominent GOP House
member telling NBC`s Luke Russert, quote, "phew, that fight could have
Had the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, Congress would have
been forced to do what they`ve been pledging to do for years -- come up
with a viable alternative to Obamacare, the replace aspect of repeal and
Even now a group of conservative members still focused on devising
legislative strategies to gut or repeal the law. House Speaker John
Boehner saying there are no plans to continue the anti-Obamacare battle in
the House, telling "The National Journal", quote, "most of the discussion
so far is if the court ruled against the administration in King v Burwell
what the response would be."
But many Republicans on the 2016 trail facing GOP electorate largely
opposed to the Affordable Care Act vowing to dismantle the legislation. On
Thursday, Marco Rubio tweeting, quote, "I remain committed to repealing
this bad law and replacing it." Jeb Bush tweeting, quote, "I am
disappointed in the Burwell decision, but this is not the end of the fight
Scott Walker adopted Justice Scalia`s language, tweeting, quote,
"Today`s #SCOTUScare ruling means Republicans must redouble their efforts
to repeal and replace this destructive and costly law."
So, how will Republicans move forward legislatively and rhetorically
in the face of Thursday`s decision?
Joining us now is a friend of the show, Congressman Charlie Dent,
Republican of Pennsylvania.
Congressman, thanks for taking a few minutes. So, is the fight
against Obamacare from Republicans over now?
REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: My short answer would be no,
it`s not over. But I believe what you will see is that the Republicans in
the House and the Senate will find specific aspects of the healthcare law
that are problematic. For example, the medical device tax repeal, the
IPAB, independent payment advisory board.
You`ll see other issues reinstatement of the 40-hour workweek. I
think you`ll see incremental reforms that will be proffered by the House
and the Senate. I think that`s where we`re going to go.
KORNACKI: Do you think anymore votes on repeal? We`ve had four or
five dozen of them. Do you think there will be any more votes on repeal of
this thing? And also, just a situation, if Republicans were to win the
White House in 2016 and to have control of the House and Senate,
theoretically then the idea of replacing Obamacare with something entirely
different would be possible.
Do you see that on the horizon at all?
DENT: Well, as long as you have president named Obama, Obamacare
will not be repealed. I think we all understand that. So, between now and
the end of his administration, you`ll see incremental changes.
If the White House were to go to the Republicans, to Republican
nominee, well then what would happen is that we would likely have a debate,
but unless there are 60 votes in the Senate, I still think it would be very
difficult to repeal the healthcare law. Even with a Republican president
and Republican House, Republican Senate. Unless you had over 60 votes in
the Senate. And I don`t see that happening at this moment.
But this is going to continue to be an enormous debate. Now, I know
the president and others have said we voted to repeal Obamacare over 50
times. But many of these votes were on things like the 1099 issue which
That was something we did early on. It had to do with businesses
that did more than $600 in business. They would have to do a 1099. That
The Class Act was another thing that was repealed, medical device
tax, 40-hour workweek. These are changes that are being lumped as part of
a repeal move. But these are actually constructive changes to the law.
RICK UNGAR, FORBES: Congressman, Rick, you know, I notice some of
the things you said we could look forward to being changed in repeal. But
what I really notice you don`t include the one thing at the heart of the
law that most upset people, which is the individual mandate. Are the House
Republicans ready to acknowledge that it is impossible to have preexisting
conditions covered in an insurance policy if you don`t have an individual
DENT: Well, I think there`s still going to be a contentious debate
about both the individual and employer mandate. As you know, if the
Supreme Court had ruled a little differently, on the healthcare law, the
other day, what they would have done -- what part of the replacement plan
on our side was going to be to continue the subsidies to a certain period
of time and then we were going to suggest repealing the individual and
employer mandates and then provide some block grants to the states, you
know, in order to help continue providing subsidy.
UNGAR: How --
DENT: That`s off the table right now.
But the individual mandate, again, many of us had strong opinions
about that mandate that we were compelling people to purchase a product.
Now, clearly, the Supreme Court ruled it was constitutional. And so, we`re
going to be living with the individual mandate.
Frankly, I`m just as concerned about the employer mandate because
it`s clear to me that many employers will be dumping their employees into
the exchanges. Why provide health insurance if you can pay a $2,000
penalty that will cost you far less? I mean, that`s I think the larger
concern right now for many of the Republican members, the employer mandate.
UNGAR: Just as a quick follow up, Congressman, I hear what you`re
saying. The question is, throughout time, since mankind began, nobody has
found a way to cover preexisting conditions in a working insurance pool
without mandating coverage for healthy people.
So, I hear you say you want to repeal it and repeal the employer
mandate, can you tell us how exactly you`re going to make it work to cover
people with preexisting conditions.
DENT: Yes, the idea was to, candidly, to set up high risk pools.
UNGAR: They fail every time, sir.
DENT: What`s that?
UNGAR: Every time it`s been tried in every state in America, it has
dramatically failed. Because they`re operating a state based insurance
pool with virtually 100 percent sick people. It has never ever worked.
The prices go way too high and nobody can get coverage.
KORNACKI: Go ahead, Congressman.
UNGAR: It would also require, of course, subsidies to individuals in
that pool. I mean, I never expected anybody to be able to afford or
everybody in that pool to be able to afford those insurances. I always
kind of looked at it like the assigned risked pool for drivers.
I know it`s different from the auto market, but just the analogy,
just indulge for a moment. You know, we put drivers into the high risk
pools and people have to go there to buy insurance. Now, with auto
insurance, now with health care, of course, subsidies would be required.
In fact, before the guarantee issue kicked in, that was part of Obamacare,
to create a high risk pool, subsidize people in those pools, and that was
part of the Obamacare remedy, at least in the short term.
We also talk about using reinsurance models to help those who have no
insurance have access. I agree every American should have access to
affordable health insurance. The question is how do we get there? I know
there is philosophical difference between many of the Republicans and
Democrats on the individual mandate. Democrats are very much for it, and
Republicans obviously against it.
KORNACKI: All right. Congressman Charlie Dent from Pennsylvania,
really appreciate you taking a few minutes this morning. Thank you.
DENT: Hey, thank you.
KORNACKI: All right. Still ahead, a huge turn around for President
Obama and his pursuit of a trade agreement. The behind the scene moves
that led to this week`s big surprising victory.
Next, three separate terror attacks yesterday around the globe --
three different continents, officials here at home with a growing concern
about a potential attack on our shores. Details are next.
KORNACKI: It was a big day yesterday when it came to domestic news,
but also a disturbing day of terror overseas. Three attacks coming back to
back to back yesterday. Amid warnings from ISIS that there will be
increased attacks during Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Also, NBC News has
learned that U.S. intelligence authorities are growing increasingly
concerned of a potential ISIS attack here in the United States as the
Fourth of July holiday approaches.
NBC News` Ayman Mohyeldin is here at the big board with me to take us
through -- Ayman, exactly what happened yesterday and what we know about
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS: Yes, those three attacks that you`re
talking about, happened on three different continents. Obviously, with
Kuwait being in Asia, North Africa, Tunisia and the attack in France, three
different attacks within hours of each other.
We`ll start with the French one because that`s the one that began
early in the day, about 10:00 a.m. An individual approach a gate of an
American-owned chemical plant. There was a decapitated body that was
found. The suspect was under the watch, if you will, of French
intelligence for some time but had fallen off their radar and had known
ties to radical Islam. He also hung a flag actually with some Islamic
writings on the wall.
More importantly, the attack that happened in Kuwait City two hours
after the initial attack, a suicide bomber entered a Shia mosque, blew
himself up, killing scores of people. Now, this was a very significant
attack. We`ll get into that in just a minute. But ISIS claimed
responsibility for that attack.
And the most spectacular attack that happened yesterday happened in
the resort town in Sousse in Tunisia, a big tourist -- popular tourist
destination spot. Three hours after the first attack. A gunman disguised
as a tourist seemed to have appeared from the beach with a machine gun. He
began spraying a lot of tourists. That was a scene of a complete and utter
mayhem, 37 people killed. ISIS is now also claiming responsibility for
that attack. They have released what is believed to be a picture of the
So, when you look at the scope of these three attacks happening on
the same day, not necessarily operationally linked, but there is a common
theme, as you mentioned in the beginning. ISIS on Tuesday, a spokesperson
came out and said he wants to see supporters carry out attacks during the
holy month of Ramadan. This was the first full week of the month, and
we`re seeing that manifest itself.
So, it is a significant day. It gives you a sense of how big the
scope of the global terror threat it has become.
KORNACKI: And it sounds like, if we`re talking about ISIS claiming
responsibility for at least two of these right now. Take that for what
it`s worth. If that`s what they`re saying, are we looking at a situation
potentially where it`s not a centralized coordinated effort where from some
central place they`re saying you attack here, you attack there, you attack
there. These are people who are more inspired by is, sort of coming up
with these things on their own?
MOHYELDIN: Absolutely. I mean, what we know that ISIS now operates
-- we`ll go back to the original map to get a sense of the region, is that
ISIS definitely has franchises. There`s ISIS in Libya, we know that.
There`s ISIS in Saudi Arabia. They`ve declared themselves there recently.
And certainly, ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
So, the group itself now what we don`t understand very clearly about
is whether it has global operational capabilities. They`re not like al
Qaeda where we know al Qaeda in the past has sent people from Yemen, is
trying to carry out and execute attacks from certain pockets in the world,
in other remote areas of the world. ISIS is operating more through its
social media, through its propaganda, trying to inspire individuals to
carry out these types of attacks.
This is -- you know, in the eyes of U.S. intelligence officials this
would be the worst case scenario. Lone wolves inspired radicalized perhaps
on online, some kind of organizational affiliation and then capable of
carrying out deadly attacks.
KORNACKI: It seems much tougher to keep a lid on that, than sort of
a centralized organization.
MOHYELDIN: Absolutely. Even in the case of France where we still
don`t have any claim of responsibility and perhaps the individual in France
is not going to be linked to the group officially in any capacity. But he
was still an individual who was under the watch of French intelligence
So, even in the case where they have somebody who could potentially
be a suspect, somebody who could be harmful. There are opportunities for
them to slip away from them and still create the kind of havoc that we saw
happen in France.
KORNACKI: OK. And again, we have that NBC News report of U.S.
officials being on a heightened state of alert here in advance of the July
NBC`s Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you for joining us this morning. Really
Still ahead on the show, we`re going to get back to President Obama`s
But next, the very latest on that search, very active at this hour
for the one prison convict still on the loose in Upstate New York.
Stay with us.
KORNACKI: As we`ve been telling, big news yesterday in the three
week manhunt for two escaped prison convicts in Upstate New York. Border
Patrol agent fatally shooting escapee Richard Matt in the woods after he
failed to comply with their orders.
But the search continues at this hour for his accomplice David Sweat.
NBC`s Stephanie Gosk got an exclusive look at the cabin for traces of DNA
for both inmates were found last weekend, narrowing the search.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE GOSK, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It`s part of a hunting camp
called Twisted Horn, which is owned by corrections officers. Three of them
work at Clinton correctional. But the person who discovered the convicts
works at another prison.
The story is that the cabin owner came up here on his ATV and he just
had his dog and a gun and he was coming to check the cabin. He looked
through the door and he saw someone move.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right. We`re joined now by Joe Giacalone, a retired
NYPD sergeant, now a professor at John Jay College here in New York.
Joe, thanks for taking a few minutes.
JOE GIACALONE, RETIRED NYPD SERGEANT: Thanks for having me.
KORNACKI: The reporting we have is they are confident, the
authorities are confident they`ve got the second guy basically cornered in
the woods. They`re also saying -- the reporting is, they`ve not actually
seen him yet. They don`t know for sure he`s there. In fact, they haven`t
had any confirmed presence of him in those woods for a week now. I`m just
looking at this from afar.
Is there a scenario where maybe he`s not there?
GIACALONE: Absolutely. Because the last break in that they had they
didn`t find his DNA, they only found Matt`s DNA. The incident with Matt
yesterday, it sounds like he made this dependent act to do something and
Sweat might not anywhere near him.
So, I mean, we have two alpha males here. They might have gotten
into a fight along the way, how to go about doing things from now and they
might have had a split. You know, it`s beneficial for them if they did
split up. One guy gets caught, they don`t know where the other guy is.
KORNACKI: They probably didn`t trust each other that much either.
If he`s in the woods and you have a situation where -- there`s apparently
value in taking him alive. You could find out more about the escape, what
was going on in that prison.
So, if he is cornered there in the woods, he`s got a weapon, he`s
desperate right now. He knows he`s cornered. How do you get a guy like
that out alive?
GIACALONE: Well, they`re going to employ like the hostage
negotiation methods once they make contact. You know, listen, as a former
investigator, I`d want him alive because he`s a treasure-trove in that
prison, what`s going on, who`s involved, and, you know, in the extent of
what Mitchell had done and all these other stuff, I mean, that`s why we
want him alive. I mean, you got to.
KORNACKI: Yes. And could you see a scenario again, assuming he is
there, they`ve got him cornered, it is a matter of time, have you seen a
situation like this where somebody still managed somehow to get out?
GIACALONE: Hope is never a plan in law enforcement. They`re going
to tighten the net this morning. They`re going to flush him out if he is
there, or they`ll know by early afternoon if he`s gone or wasn`t there to
So, I think in the next couple hours we`ll know. One thing, too,
about law enforcement, they never tell anything until it`s basically over.
So, things have happened before and oh, by the way three hours ago we got
So, yes, it`s going to be something that everybody is going to be on
top of. And as soon as that a little bit leaks on social media or the
radio or whatever, everyone`s going to know.
KORNACKI: And we`ll have it here, of course, on MSNBC, following
this closely all morning still. A very live and active situation there.
Joe Giacalone, thank you for taking a few minutes. We will keep you
updated in the latest for the hunt of David Sweat throughout the hour.
But, first, yet another major victory this week for President Obama.
This has been one week for the record books.
Stay with us.
KORNACKI: All right. As we`ve been telling you keeping an eye on
the continuing manhunt in New York this morning, but in the midst of such
an incredibly busy couple of days in the world of politics. It seems
appropriate to turn into meantime to President Obama`s land mark week.
As we`ve been discussing, the Supreme Court making gay marriage the
law of the land across the country. The high court also leaving the
Affordable Care Act intact, still the law of the land, and arguably the
signature piece of legislation from this administration.
Even Congress delivering a major victory for the president this week
by advancing legislation that gives Obama fast track authority to negotiate
a massive 12-nation trade deal, so far the centerpiece of Obama`s second
term. The president now has the power to finalize the Trans Pacific
Partnership and send it to Congress for an up or down vote.
This is a remarkable turn around from two weeks ago. Just two weeks
ago when liberal Democrats blocked Obama`s trade legislation in a stunning
vote in the House.
But this week, the Elizabeth Warren wing of the party was left
lamenting their defeat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: I strongly disagree with the
majority leader who called this a great day for America. It is not a great
day. It`s a great day for the big money interests, not a great day for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Obama this week joining forces with Republicans and some
Democrats to beat back the progressives in his party. "Politico`s" Manu
Raju reporting that Obama and his cabinet focused on a small group of
persuadable Democrats, while Paul Ryan wrangled Republicans through every
means possible, even text messages.
Joining me now to discuss the unusual alliances behind this big win
for President Obama, what it means for his presidencies, "Politico`s" Manu
Raju. And still with us at the table, our panel, Sabrina Siddiqui of "The
Guardian", "Forbes`" Rick Ungar, and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway.
So, Manu, let me start with you. Two weeks ago, we were saying,
revolt in President Obama`s own party, the demise of his signature second
term goal and maybe even the end of his relevancy as president. What
happened in the last two weeks to get him to this moment on TPP?
MANU RAJU, POLITICO: What a difference two weeks makes, Steve. I
mean, it was really remarkable the extent to which the president schemed
with Republican leaders to devise a legislative strategy that could
overcome this House Democratic opposition.
The problem for House Democrats all along is that they lacked the
votes to kill the bill. The way they could scuttle it was through
procedural means, by actually withholding the support for pieces of
legislation that they actually support, such as the workers aid program
that was central to the trade agenda. They initially tried to do that.
So, what did the Republican leaders and the president do? They came
up with a legislative strategy to split up the bills in different pieces of
legislation, move those through the House separately, move those in the
Senate separately, and then in the end jam Nancy Pelosi. And when we found
was that Pelosi was just furious with the president, along with her top
lieutenants. And they were griping behind the scenes.
Pelosi even said, look, George Bush would not have done this with his
Republican leaders. He would have negotiated with Democrats, with John
Boehner, in the room. And that is not what is happening with Obama.
It really left the two sides, Democrats on the Hill and the White
House at loggerheads.
KORNACKI: So, Manu, does this say anything? What does it tell us
about the power? We talked so much about the rise of the Elizabeth Warren
wing of the Democratic Party, maybe the resurgence for that matter of
organized labor, at least as a power within the party. The fact that they
ended up losing this battle, what does that tell us?
RAJU: I think a couple things here, Steve. I mean, the most --
there`s still a very powerful presence within the Democratic Party, because
if you look at the numbers, just 28 House Democrats voted for this fast
track authority. And in the Senate, just 13 Democrats voted for this fast
track authority, out of a caucus of 46 members.
So, you see a vast majority of the party feels this way. So, they
are very influential voice. They may not have had the votes to stop this
because, of course, Republicans are in the majority in Congress. But they
have an impact on the campaign trail. That`s why you`re seeing Hillary
Clinton take a very quiet role, very low profile role, reserved approach,
even back tracking from our support for the Trans Pacific Partnership
because of the influence within the party. So, they may not have the
numbers in Congress. They have the influence within the Democratic Party`s
debate over its future.
KORNACKI: You know, we have the panel here.
I mean, that is within the Democratic Party -- that`s the question
going forward here. Hillary Clinton`s managed so far to avoid taking a
position on this. Is it going to change anytime soon?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: No, it hurts her every time
she keeps silent or something particularly you`re calling the Elizabeth
Warren wing of the party, fair, but the video clip was of Bernie Sanders.
It`s becoming the Bernie Sanders wing of the party because he`s actually
got the guts to go up against her in the Democratic primary --
KORNACKI: You are enjoying this Bernie Sanders --
CONWAY: I love it. Bernie Sanders is enjoying it. I enjoy it
because it`s smoking out Hillary Clinton, who thinks by not saying
anything, she is somehow is making a statement.
That`s not true when you`re running for president, particularly when
you`re being squeezed from the left, not just by Bernie Sanders, but as
Manu points out, by members of your own party. She`s going to need
endorsements from these House members. She doesn`t have it. She`s going
to need their rolodex. She`s going to need their voters in their states.
I think because this is another area where she`s had two different
positions, the maximum number of positions you can have on this issue,
Hillary Clinton has had and most recently no position. It`s tough for her.
KORNACKI: Sabrina, can she -- how long can she string it out without
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: I think that she`s reaching the
point soon now that we`ve resolved this for now in Congress. Before she
was waiting to see how it played out when Democrats blocked the trade
agenda from moving forward a couple of weeks ago. It gave her more wriggle
room to say they haven`t resolved it yet. There`s only so long that she
can continue to skirt this.
She`s still trying though. I mean, we asked her at a press
conference in New Hampshire, I was at about a week ago where do you stand
on fast track? Should the president be given this authority. She kept
going back to the TPP and saying, well, those negotiations are still
ongoing. I want to see what the trade deal looks like.
I don`t think she can do that much longer, but I think her team is
waiting until she`s on a debate stage with Bernie Sanders and is really
being forced to answer this, or where she grants an interview where, you
know, she`s going to continue to press. But she`s running out of time.
UNGAR: First, I have to say, I`m enjoying Bernie Sanders too, but
only because it takes me back to my younger guys when I was out there for
Eugene McCarthy. But just like Eugene McCarthy, Bernie Sanders cannot win
That said, here`s the real problem of all of this, the reason fast
track was not a good idea is for almost purely selfish reasons. People
like us, Kellyanne, we all work, we write. I can`t read the TPP. I don`t
know what`s in it. I am not going to have an opinion until I get to read
And with fast track, I`m probably never going to get that chance to
really digest and report on 4,000 pages.
KORNACKI: Did you clean for Gene?
UNGAR: Yes. I did, that`s right.
KORNACKI: Rick Ungar, Eugene McCarthy campaigner, I did not know
Anyway, my thanks to "Politico`s" Manu Raju for joining us this
morning. I appreciate the time. Thank you very much.
RAJU: Thanks, Steve.
KORNACKI: And still ahead, the latest in the search for the
convicted killers still on the run in upstate New York.
Up next, we`ll shift gears to lighter fair on this big news day. The
equivalent of fantasy camp for Seinfeld fans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t believe you`re giving them this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t want anything for it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s very generous, isn`t he?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes, he is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I tell you what, you can take me out to dinner
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dinner?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you buy me a meal can`t get a better deal
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: An iconic scene from one of the most iconic TV shows of
our time, "Seinfeld".
As we continue to navigate a busy day in news, we didn`t want to
leave "Seinfeld" behind. Consider it a reprieve from all the other heavy
stuff we`ve been talking about today. Hulu Plus is beginning to stream
every single "Seinfeld" episode, and the company which is partly owned by
Comcast, which is the parent company of NBC Universal, which owns MSNBC,
which I`m on right now -- celebrated a launch to give people a chance to
step inside Jerry`s apartment, literally, by building a replica here in New
Fans waiting in line for more than an hour, so they could burst in
the front door like Cramer used to do. One fan might have made the
entrance a bit too Cramer-like by breaking the door as you`re seeing there.
We`re joined by the man you just saw in that "Seinfeld" clip we
played, Steve Hytner. He played rival comic Kenny Bania on the show. He
joins us from the West Coast, where it`s very, very early. Thank you for
getting up, Steve. So, I love your character, I loved how the complete
lack of regard Jerry had for him.
You sort of play like a hack comic on that show. But just -- it`s so
amazing to me, there are iconic shows but there are so few that are as
enduring as Seinfeld. You can watch a 20-year-old Seinfeld episode and it
doesn`t feel 20 years old.
STEVE HYTNER, ACTOR: No, it just seems to be -- I guess the term
would be evergreen. It doesn`t seem to end. And thank goodness,
"Seinfeld" is getting another platform, finally "Seinfeld" will be
KORNACKI: What do you think the key to that is? You think of the
great sitcoms of the past. "Cheers", people don`t -- I don`t hear people
who watch "Cheers" or "Family Ties". What is it about "Seinfeld" that
HYTNER: I have no idea. But thank goodness it does. I`m just glad
we`re talking about "Seinfeld" right now. After -- I`ve been hanging on
watching the show. It`s been Supreme Court, it`s been manhunts. I know
this is UP WITH STEVE KORNACKI, but can we take it down a notch.
KORNACKI: Well, we decide, we`ll do a segment about nothing.
HYTNER: That`s what we`re doing nothing. Nothing says nothing like
KORNACKI: Well, so tell me -- take me back to when you were doing
the show. What was the experience look working with Jerry Seinfeld,
working with Jason Alexander, being part of the cast?
HYTNER: Well, I`ll tell you, in all honesty, the character of Bania
is a pretty large character. He`s pretty out there. When I was doing the
show, the show was already number one by the time I got there. And they
loved my audition and the character so much, and they`re cracking up in
But when it was tape day, I was kind of nervous. What if I do a
character this big and bomb on the number one show in the world? I was a
little show in the world? Jerry was adamant, no, no, no, trust it, trust
it. It`s hilarious.
KORNACKI: I got the sense your character, so much of the show was
Jerry Seinfeld comes up as a stand-up comic and most of the show, it would
begin with him giving a bit of his comedy routine and start of every show.
It seemed like your character was, was it based on a particular comic he
had met in his contrary before? It seemed you were playing a type or a
character who really bothered him from his past?
HYTNER: Yes, it was kind of a hack comic. But I do know that Larry
David, he was very adamant, because when we were first doing the
rehearsals, the name Bania was kind of hard to pronounce. So they would
often Jerry would say or Elaine would say Bania and we`d hear Larry in the
back go Bania.
Clearly, he had somebody or something in mind. There was no way it
was going to be Bania. I think it`s just an amalgam of, you know, that
hack comic who is doing great and just moving on. I think if "Seinfeld"
continued or as Jerry told me obviously I think Jerry would have started
working for Bania.
KORNACKI: It`s gold, Jerry. It`s gold.
SIDDIQUI: Steve, Sabrina Siddiqui with "The Guardian" here. You
know, one of things you mentioned is the integration of stand-up comedy.
It began and ended with Jerry giving his some of his routine. You, of
course, played a rival comic there. How do you think that Jerry Seinfeld
changed the way it`s viewed through this program?
HYTNER: You know, I don`t know if he transformed the way it`s
viewed. It`s different styles of comedy, right? I just appreciated his
style of comedy. He works completely clean. He can go into any room.
I have no problem with comedians who don`t work clean. But it`s just
for me it`s enjoyable for the art form to be able to do that. I think he
wrought that style to the forefront. And let us appreciate that, while
every other comedian is also appreciative. You know, Eddie Murphy, all the
comedians at work.
But I think he pushed through a certain style of comedy that I
UNGAR: Steve, Rick Ungar. So, is Bosco (ph) still a funny bit, and
do you have Uma Thurman`s phone number?
HYTNER: Apparently, anything that dissolves in milk is funny.
HYTNER: And, no, I didn`t get the perk of Uma`s number. No, that
KORNACKI: Do you have a favorite episode, by the way?
HYTNER: People ask me that, and I think, for me, it was -- because I
touched on it before, I think it was the very first episode. When I was
nervous about doing Bania and doing a character that large, for some
reason, and Jerry was completely right.
As soon, they didn`t know the character yet. As soon as I walked out
and said, hey, Jerry, I`m huge, the audience just exploded. And the four
of them were sitting in the booth, and Jerry just looked up at me like, I
told you. And then the character just took off from there.
KORNACKI: All right. Well, Steve Hytner, your appearance today was
gold. It was gold.
HYTNER: Thank you. And, please, now back to the manhunt.
KORNACKI: Yes. We do have serious stuff to get back to. We will
end our reprieve here.
But Steve Hytner, thank you for joining us.
HYTNER: Thank you guys.
KORNACKI: I appreciate it.
I also want to thank our panel, Sabrina Siddiqui, Rick Ungar,
Kellyanne Conway, appreciate you all being here today.
And still ahead, as he just said, the very latest on the search under
way for one remaining New York prisoner still at-large.
KORNACKI: Helicopters, search dogs, and hundreds of law enforcement
official s scouring the woods in Upstate New York in their search for the
one remaining prisoner at-large David Sweat. His partner in crime, Richard
Matt fatally shot by a Border Patrol officer yesterday after failing to
comply with orders to surrender. We`re going to keep you updated here on
MSNBC as that story unfolds.
Until then, thank you now for getting UP with us this morning. Join
us tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. But before that, you`re going to want to
watch "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY". She is coming up next.
Have a great Saturday.
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