UP, Transcript 1/16/2016

Guests:
Shira Center, Suhail Khan, Karthick Ramakrishnan, Monica Alba, Luis Gutierrez, Jose Antonio Vargas
Transcript:

Show: UP 
Date: January 16, 2016
Guest: Shira Center, Suhail Khan, Karthick Ramakrishnan, Monica Alba, Luis
Gutierrez, Jose Antonio Vargas

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RICHARD LUI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Is it too late for Republicans to stop Donald
Trump?

And good morning, I`m Richard Lui, thanks for getting UP with us on this
Saturday morning. As conservative candidates prepare a routine party
voters today in South Carolina, here`s a new report warning that time may
be running out for the Republican Party to find a candidate able to beat
Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Bill Clinton hits the campaign trail as Hillary
Clinton and Bernie Sanders trade blows over health reform and guns, among
other things.

Is this race now closer than Hillary ever thought it would be? And Wall
Street, wild ride last week, the Dow plunging another 400 points. What`s
driving that and how worried might we be?

Plus, the breaking news overnight of a terror attack in West Africa,
militants with ties to al Qaeda storm a hotel popular with westerners.

And a new lawsuit that`s gaining attention blaming twitter for an attack by
ISIS militants. All that and much, much more ahead is straight ahead.

But we begin in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where conservatives are
gathering for the state`s third angle, Tea Party convention Donald Trump,
Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee will address the crowd there today as Trump`s
continues almost as we speak to Cruz over questions about his citizenship
and loans from Goldman Sachs and Citibank.

Joining us now from Myrtle Beach is MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt and a busy day ahead
there, hey, Casey?

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Richard, good morning. That`s right,
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are still at each other`s throat this is morning.
Ted Cruz has been going after Trump for what he calls New York values that
Cruz says won`t line up with Iowa conservatives. Trump`s hitting back, but
you know, he`s changing up his style a little bit, trading in some of those
trademarks big rallies for traditional retail politicking.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HUNT (voice-over): Donald Trump is still topping the polls. But now he`s
bending to Iowa tradition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to get out. We got to win.

HUNT: Making his first ever stop at a classic Iowa pizza chain, and
showing his human side, comforting a family who lost a child to a heroin
overdose.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That`s a tough thing, and I know
what you`re going through, and he`s a great father, I can see it. And your
son is proud of you.

HUNT: But the national frontrunner showing no sympathy for his chief rival
Ted Cruz.

TRUMP: How is he going to be president if you don`t know about million
dollar loan from Goldman Sachs? And you said, something you don`t know
about, now he doesn`t know that he was a Canadian citizen.

HUNT: Cruz didn`t tell federal election officials about the loans from
Goldman Sachs and Citibank that helps fund his Senate campaign. And on
Friday, he refused to answer questions about it. Polls show Cruz and Trump
far ahead of the establishment candidate battling for third. In New
Hampshire, Marco Rubio appealing to gun owners.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I scored a rifle, so
that`s awesome. Thank you, guys.

HUNT: Hitting Chris Christie as a Liberal.

RUBIO: And there are people running, Republicans running that are not
supporters of the Second Amendment.

HUNT: And South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham taking sides, endorsing
Jeb Bush and calling Rubio inexperienced.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can`t just say at 44
hours, I`m ready to be president.

HUNT: These a candidates are trying to keep hope alive even as many in the
GOP establishment are finally beginning to accept that Trump could win the
nomination. The next question, whether Trump could forgive an
establishment that`s trying to the find someone, anyone who could beat him.

TRUMP: I love people to treat me fairly.

HUNT (voice-over): And so far so good?

TRUMP: So far so good. I think –

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HUNT: Some Republicans are starting to wonder if Trump could basically
waltz to the nomination if he wins in Iowa. And Trump himself seems to be
trying harder than ever, he flew overnight after that debate to Iowa held a
rally, then he`s in New Hampshire this morning and back to South Carolina
on this Saturday afternoon for that Tea Party convention – Richard.

LUI: MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt. Thank you so much Kasie for that. Thursday`s
Republican debate demonstrated if nothing else how Donald Trump and Ted
Cruz are now gunning for each other. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Back in September, my friend
Donald said that he had had his lawyers look at this from every which way
and there was no issue there, there was nothing to this birther issue. Now
– since September, the constitution hasn`t changed.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

But the poll numbers have.

TRUMP: This isn`t me saying it, I don`t care. I think I`m going to win
fair and square and I have to win this way. Thank you. Lawrence tried and
numerous from Harvard said that there is a serious question as to whether
or not Ted can do this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why now? Why are you raising this issue now?

TRUMP: Because now he`s doing a little bit better. No, I didn`t care
before. It`s true. No, it`s true. Hey, look, he never had a chance, now
he`s doing better, he`s got probably a four or five percent chance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: And there are new concerns this morning that the time for an
establishment candidate to emerge and challenge Trump or Cruz, well, that`s
just running out. Phillip Rucker and Robert Costa of “The Washington Post”
reporting that among party leaders, there is a growing acceptance that
Trump and Cruz are the two candidates most likely to become the party`s
nominee. Meanwhile, on the more conservative right wing of the party,
there is anger with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for calling out the
divisive frontrunners during Tuesday`s State of the Union response. While
at the RNC winner meetings, there are amounting fears of a contested
convention. At some – as some members rather are calling for the party to
rally against Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You always hear the argument, well this is what people
are thinking, so if this is what people are thinking in this party, as far
as I`m concerned, we`re going in the wrong direction. As a party, we owe
it to ourselves to speak out and not have the tail wag the dog and not have
somebody say, if you don`t play my game, then I`m running as an
independent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: Let`s bring in our panel this morning, Boston Globe political editor
Shira Center, former George W. Bush administration official, and now a
senior fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement Suhail Khan. And
MSNBC political analyst and Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones David
Corn. I got a great panel this morning. Thanks for being in here this
morning.

SUHAIL KHAN, FORMER BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Thanks for having us.

DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to be with you.

LUI: I appreciate it. Shira, so where do you want to start with this? We
were just finishing with, they had a meeting on Thursday, together the
rules and they`re looking at the convention going – we`re worried and some
of the rules they put in for the last cycle, they were worried about Ron
Paul at the time –

SHIRA CENTER, BOSTON GLOBE POLITICAL EDITOR: Right.

LUI: – are now going to be applicable perhaps for Donald Trump with what
they`re debating.

CENTER: You know, I said for months this is going to come down to a
delegate fight for not just the reason of Donald Trump but also just
because of the large Republican field in general. This is going to drag on
much like it did in 2012, you`re going to have a lot more characters on the
stage. I think the key point in time for to the Republican Party, if they
do want to defeat Donald Trump or if they don`t want Ted Cruz as their
nominee it`s the last two weeks in February. Donald Trump could win Iowa,
he could win New Hampshire, is this two weeks before you go into Super
Tuesday and that other big set of primaries on March 8 before they can
accumulate large delegate totals. That is the type for Republicans, if
they want to turn this around, that is when they need to do it.

LUI: So, you heard David about the report of they`re saying, oh, no
establishment candidate is really going to bubble up, we`re really going to
look at Trump and Cruz right now.

CORN: Yes. Well, there`s been some great reporting too in the last couple
of days that some of the donors, that means the billionaires –

LUI: Yes. Yes.

CORN: – that want to have influence are saying, well, how do we get to
Trump now? Maybe there are people who have been supporting Jeb Bush or
others are now looking for some place to use their dark money or open money

LUI: Right.

CORN: – to buy influence in the next – they hope from to the Republican
administration. So there is some sort of desperation there, showing that
ultimately for these guys, it`s not about ideology, it`s about having
someone that they can, you know, talk to or work with in the White House.
But, you know, the interesting thing about waiting for the last two weeks,
you know, elections move very quickly now, and you know, we have these, you
know, what, eight, nine, ten, elections on March 1st and then a bunch in
middle of March. A lot of these campaigns are nowhere near ready to deal
with that on the ground.

CENTER: Right.

CORN: And so the guys who lead, if Cruz gets a bump, if Trump wins, you
know, people are going to follow them. And so any Republican alternative
to that, if they`re not already set up, I mean, even if Rubio comes in
third, look how great Rubio is, does he have a gain in any of those states?

CENTER: Florida.

CORN: Yes.

LUI: And do the governors, who are they syncing up with when we`re talking
about the non-establishment candidates because that`s going to be key to
what you`re talking about there, David. What are you saying?

KHAN: You know, having worked on these campaigns, I can tell you that it`s
up in the air right now, there hasn`t been a single vote cast. And as been
said, look, the money interests, the party elders, they can wring their
hands, they can try to affect the outcome, but in the end, the voters as
Shira pointed out, first in Iowa, then in New Hampshire then in South
Carolina are going to make these determinations state by state. And that
it`s going to be a dogfight, there are going to be several candidates that
are going to come and go. And we`re going to see what happens, but in the
end, the beautiful thing about it is that the voters decide and it`s not
anybody in Washington, DC, at the RNC or any big donors. They might be
able to try and push things here a little bit on the edges.

CENTER: Or caucus goers.

KHAN: Or caucus goers. That`s right. That`s right.

LUI: And the voters are really enjoying this snow down on the outside
looking in at what`s happening, if you`re going to see Ted Cruz and Donald
Trump really at each other and that question is still permeating, how long
can they stay a single party?

CORN: I mean, if you look at this, and if you would help talk about the
divide between the outside candidates or the establishment candidates, you
know, you see this liberal, I mean, democratic side will – talk about
liberal.

LUI: Yes.

CORN: Politics, particularly presidential politics is about how people
feel and the bond they feel particularly in the early states with the
candidates and none of the establishment candidates have tapped into the
emotional experiences of the voters, and on the Republican side, that
experience primarily is one of anger and resentment. I mean, Donald Trump
said, I wear the mantle of anger proudly in response to what Nikki Haley
said about him and the Republican Party which I think has exploited and
encouraged a lot of anger and resentment aimed at Obama and Democrats in
Washington to get where they are in Washington, has now, you know,
institutionally lost control of The forces it helped create.

LUI: And establishment Republicans will say, no, that`s just one part of
our party that is lost.

CORN: But well, it`s a big part –

LUI: And Peggy Noonan saying, no, I don`t like that.

(CROSSTALK)

Yes. That`s what she is saying.

KHAN: Look, I mean, it`s very tumultuous right now. There are folks that
are cranky about what`s happening in Washington, D.C. But running against
Washington, D.C. to get to Washington, DC is one of the oldest plays in the
book. That`s how Ronald Reagan got there, and so, yes, it might be little
bit hyped at right now but on steroids. But in the end you`ll see the
party will come together around a nominee.

CORN: They`re now running against Muslims. I mean, it`s not just
Washington. The hatred that Trump is –

LUI: The tactics, is what you`re saying?

CORN: It`s not just the tactics, calling for a ban on all Muslims into
this country is a historic event and I think it`s totally, put the
Republican Party in this dilemma. Because even Bush`s best moment in the
debate was addressing that when he said it was bad. But by and large, a
lot of people in the Republican Party say, we can`t hear this thing, they
are not paying attention to what this really means.

KHAN: But it has to be said, people like Speaker Ryan came out right away
to condemn that.

CORN: But he still said he would support Trump if he gets the nomination.
So, that`s not really –

CENTER: I think the Republican Party is going to have to make a decision
if Donald Trump is the nominee, sometime in early December about how much
they`re going to stand behind this guy, he`s not going to stop, he`s going
to continue to say things like this. I think that was a historic moment, I
think if Donald Trump is the nominee, we`re going to have two more –

LUI: It was another historic moment though, Nikki Haley in her response to
State of the Union –

CORN: Sure. Exactly.

LUI: She came out and she said, you know, no, this is not what we want for
the party, but that just re-enforces the line that we`re talking about
here, doesn`t it?

KHAN: It`s going to be fractious, it`s going to be messy. But yes, again
both candidates being cast, we don`t have a nominee yet. And so, I think
again, we should be a little bit careful to preclude who`s going to be our
nominee ultimately come convention time.

LUI: What did you take away from the week, Shira?

CENTER: Oh, from the entire week –

LUI: Well, when we talk about the Republican Party, so much has happened.
As we were just describing as we land to this segment.

CENTER: So, I actually think this Thursday night`s debate was one of the
more interesting debates, I think we saw some substance that we haven`t
seen in a while on the debate stage, I thought it was really interesting to
see Donald Trump talk about economic issues, talk about things like the
corporate tax, we haven`t seen him do that in a while. I think that was a
good takeaway. He wasn`t sort of the character that is Donald Trump
playing Donald Trump on stage as much as he was in the other debate. So,
it was interesting to see that side of him. And also as Kasie pointed out
in her segment, her starts to politic more like a politician in this early
states. So, I think we`re seeing a transitional moment for Trump.

LUI: For Trump and for Cruz, the rumble in the jungle certainly has
started and it`s only the beginning, is it not?

CORN: Well, Cruz is trying to drop Trump, you know, hoping that Trump will
collapse or fade and that the voters that got angry, angry would turn to
Cruz. You know, what we see in all politics, we see this again in the
democrat side too, as you get closer to Election Day or caucus day and if
things are tight, people get desperate, they get freaked out and they start
attacking –

LUI: That`s right.

CORN: – they become like crabs in a big crab pot, clawing over each other
to try to get to the top and it was –

KHAN: Bromance is over.

LUI: All right. That`s right.

CORN: – particularly pathetic when it came to the establishment.

LUI: All right. David Corn with the twitter moment right there for us.
All right. Thank you, panel, we`ll again be talking later on other issues
in the next hour or two until then.

Up next, we`ll turn to the race for the democratic nomination as Hillary
Clinton goes from almost ignoring Bernie Sanders to attacking his position,
that`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: As Hillary Clinton heads to South Carolina to prepare for tomorrow
night`s debate, her husband former President Bill Clinton will be on the
stump in Iowa.

NBC`s John Yang is live in Council Bluffs, Iowa where the former president
will campaign later today. Hey, John.

JOHN YANG, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Richard, how are you
this morning? This is actually the second day in Iowa for former President
Clinton, he had three events yesterday, today three more events. He`s
starting here in Council Bluffs on the west side of the state. Moving his
way east. But its family day for the Clinton campaign in Iowa, Chelsea
Clinton has three events of her own starting on the east side of the state,
moving toward Des Moines and then tonight, they meet in Des Moines and
they`ll have a joint appearance this evening. Now the campaign is facing a
surging Bernie Sanders here in Iowa, a lot of Democrats I spoke to, have
been speaking to across the state did not expect this race to be as tight
as it`s turned out.

They tell me that his strengths, Sanders` strength appears to be in the
urban areas and in college towns, he`s gaining traction, they say, because
of his talk about income inequality, and also about the idea of moving
toward a universal health care system, a single payer system, the campaign,
the Clinton campaign is complaining that Sanders would do away with
ObamaCare, in order to do that. And they also say that, he hasn`t provided
any details of that plan or talked about where he would find the money or
even how much it would cost. But that seems to be, I think what I hear
from Democrats in the state is that that is gaining traction, even without
those details. As one official told me, he said in Iowa, it always pays to
be the most liberal candidate in the race and right now that`s Bernie
Sanders – Richard.

LUI: John, the crowds, what they expect to be for the former president,
how have they been? What`s the reaction? That`s always a question when
you get the former president out there along with Hillary Clinton, at least
for her campaign.

YANG: The crowds have been pretty good, Richard. He had – we were in
Sioux City yesterday, the room had about 200 seats, I would say there were
about 300 in all, a lot of standees and people sort of flowing out into the
lobby, and people although eager to see, to rally for Hillary Clinton, also
eager to see the former president. There were a lot of t-shirts I got to
tell you from people wearing t-shirts that said, I miss Bill – Richard.

LUI: I miss Bill, that`s not what Hillary Clinton wants to hear about.
Thank you so much, John Yang there in Council Bluffs, Iowa. I appreciate
it.

As the polls continue to tighten, Hillary Clinton`s attacks on Bernie
Sanders as was intimated by John Yang there and his health plan have
intensified, take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For months his campaign has
been saying before the Iowa caucus, we will tell you what we are proposing
in taxes and the bulk of what he is advocating for is a single payer health
care system, which would probably cost about $15 trillion. But he`s not
telling us what it will look like and what it will cost.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: Friday, Sanders` spokesperson vowed that the campaign would release
details of the healthcare plan by the Iowa caucuses. He also fired back at
Clinton accusing her of abandoning support for universal health care.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF WEAVER, SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: The question is, are we as a
country going to guarantee health care to all people. This has been a goal
of Democrats and the Democratic Party since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Harry Truman, Lyndon Baines Johnson, this has been a traditional democratic
issue and it`s just unfortunate that the secretary now apparently has
abandoned her support for universal health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: Healthcare reform has been a key issue for Hillary Clinton since she
tried and failed the past reform. As First Lady, more than 20 years ago.

All right. Let`s bring in our panel right now, so this issue that Bernie
Sanders is pushing, is this a winning issue? I think David wants to jump
in on this one.

CORN: Hillary is on the wrong side of this issue, at least for a
democratic primary contest. Universal health care, you mentioned that Ted
Kennedy and others have long fought for this. And to sort of try to use
that sort of goal of progressives against Bernie Sanders, when you`re
running for the democratic primary is wrong. And I think Chelsea earlier
in this week said things that demonstrably untrue, if not untrue demagogue,
saying that Bernie Sanders wants to throw millions of people off health
care. No, it`s about transitioning to a new system. You can argue about
this policy wise, but when they`re attacking Bernie for his motives and
saying that he doesn`t know what he`s talking about on health care in front
of this audience, it shows I think unfortunately a certain level of
desperation on the Clintonian side. And I just don`t see how this is a
winning play for them, it`s only going to fire up the Bernie people.

LUI: It`s been said it`s not a winning issue for either side that you`re
talking about the primary side.

CORN: Both –

(CROSSTALK)

CENTER: Yes, so I think in Hillary`s case, she`s a realist, I mean, she`s
tried to do this many times, and I think this is really where Hillary is as
a candidate, she is not this super Liberal candidate in the race, news
flash since where she is, and I think she veered to far to the left, every
time she has already, she`s been declared inauthentic and those, she came
out against TPP (ph), against the Keystone Pipeline, all of those things.
And she is worried to come out supporting single payer health care, it
would look like a total play to the party`s – she is not where she is.

CORN: But she doesn`t have to support it. But attacking Bernie for
saying, he wants to throw millions of people of people off health care
because he`s in favor of single payer, that`s what disingenuous, and that`s
wrong.

LUI: And he attacking her for questioning how to pay for it at least at
this moment, I mean, from the Republican perspective, you must be licking
your chops, Khan. This is just –

CORN: Well, it`s no secret that the affordable, you know, health care act
has had its challenges, and there`s no doubt of course Republicans want to
repeal it and replace it with more free market base system. But for
liberal voters, in the Iowa caucus, there`s no doubt that single payer has
been the dream. And for Bernie to embrace that, that`s no doubt a winning
strategy. And as been said, in Iowa, the democratic voters are much more
liberal, much more populist in nature and that`s why Bernie is catching up
to Hillary about –

LUI: Just details about the Bernie Sanders plan, just for our viewers
here. A hundred and seventeen billion dollars contributed by the top five
percent of earners, $126 billion contributed by the rest of taxpayers, $599
billion there, almost $600 billion short of what the U.S. spent on health
care in 2013. All sorts of ideas about how to pay for this. But –

CORN: I mean, the basic idea is that you pay more in taxes but you don`t
pay or your employer doesn`t pay insurance premiums, so, and you cut out
the insurance companies. And it took a Medicare system for all. And you
can debate whether this is right or wrong or whether it`s politically
realistic or not. But for Hillary to use it as, you know, as a baseball
bat against Bernie and say that he wants to throw millions of people off
health care because of this, that`s what`s wrong, and I`m not – I don`t
want to take sides in this campaign –

LUI: Yes, don`t do that.

CORN: – but when Chelsea was doing that, I just said, this is the old
Clinton strategy. You know, being thuggish and it just doesn`t work in
these small primaries.

LUI: Shira, does this work in the primary, last word? This very issue, is
this going to resonate?

CENTER: I think it will work better in Iowa than it will in New Hampshire.
Iowa does have more urban, well, Des Moines, OK, is an urban center, that`s
where the party`s base is in the Hawkeye State. I think New Hampshire, the
voters, the smaller state, I think the party tends to be just a little bit
more to the center, I don`t think it plays as well there.

LUI: Well, so be it those numbers right before the Iowa caucuses – what
our producer was saying.

All right. Our panel is going to stay with us of course, a program
reminder, the democratic candidates will be debating tomorrow night, 9:00
Eastern on NBC.

Turning next to last night`s big breaking story of another terror attack,
this time in the West African nation of Burkina Faso where militants with
ties to Al Qaeda have attacked the hotel popular with westerners there.
We`ll have the latest on the other side of this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: We`re following the breaking news overnight out of the West African
nation of Burkina Faso which is just south of Mali and North of Ghana. Al
Qaeda linked militants stormed a hotel and cafe popular with westerners
overnight killing 23 people according to the nation`s president. That
attack lasting for hours with 150 people rescued just a short time ago.

NBC`s Kelly Cobiella has found the very latest for us from London. Kelly,
what is the latest on the standoff?

KELLY COBIELLA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Richard, the standoff is
over but there are reports this morning that government forces with the
help of the French are still looking for attackers, at least they were well
after the siege ended. With a hundred people from 18 different countries
were rescued this morning after a terrifying night.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COBIELLA (voice-over): Outside the splendid hotel in Ouagadougou, cars in
flames. And the sound of gun fire. For hours overnight, militants held
hostages while government forces tried to break the siege. The assault
began Friday evening with at least four attackers opening fire at a cafe,
then storming the four-star hotel. This woman was in the cafe meeting
friends from the U.S. We dropped to the ground she says, and as soon as
anyone raised their head, the gunmen fired at them. We had to play dead,
they shook people by the foot to see if they were alive or not and if they
were alive, they shot them.

This man says, the first police and government forces on the scene turned
around and laughed. Overnight French Special Forces were sent in to help
from neighboring Mali and by morning, the siege at the splendid hotel was
over. A hundred twenty six hostages freed, dozens injured. And at least
four militants dead. This morning government forces are still searching
for attackers in the area and the death toll is rising.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COBIELLA: And the government says that fourth militant was actually killed
at a nearby hotel this morning. According to Burkina Faso`s president, two
of the attackers were women. Al Qaeda in the Maghreb had claimed
responsibility, that`s the same terror group that attacks the Radisson Blu
in Mali a week after the Paris attacks in November, 20 killed in that
attack. And Richard, we spoke with the State Department this morning, we
were told the embassy in Ouagadougou is making every effort to account for
U.S. citizens in this city, but Richard, it`s still unclear if any
Americans were injured or killed.

LUI: Thank you, Kelly. NBC`s Kelly Cobiella live in London with the
latest on that story for us. I appreciate it.

Now to what`s been another tumultuous week on Wall Street. You probably
saw the breaking news banners. The Dow closing down early, 400 points,
nearly 400 points yesterday, the Dow and S&P, down about eight percentage
points for the year, the NASDAQ down more than 10 percentage points which
striving the plunge, and is there concern for panic here?

Here to answer those questions, hopefully, CNBC contributor Ron Insana. I
say that Ron because you know, you and I have talked about just throughout
the years, and the point that you made and I must remind folks here, on
what you were saying, very early in 2015, watch China. Is this what this
is all about this past week again?

RON INSANA, CNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It`s largely about China. China had a very
rough end to the week, Richard, the stock market there fell almost three
percent, it`s back into a so-called bear market, it`s declined 20 percent
from its most recent peak. China`s economy is slowing and that`s putting a
lot of pressure on emerging market countries that depend on China for
growth, it`s putting a lot of pressure on commodity prices like oil where
we have a supplied –

LUI: Right.

INSANA: – already and we have China weakening so that drove oil below $30
a barrel which in turn weaken the stock market there.

LUI: And Iran coming online as well. Maybe that in terms to the market
right now, as we look forward to the next week or so. OK. Are you
worried?

INSANA: Well, you know, it`s our business, you know, not to worry. It
really, you know –

LUI: Go ahead, Ron, I`ll allow you to. Go ahead.

INSANA: Well, I think this is going to be a tough year, I think the stock
market, you know, does have further vulnerability here at home and around
the world. I think the global economy is weaker than people realize. And
I think the Federal Reserve which already started raising rates may
ultimately have to unlined this process because not only –

LUI: Right.

INSANA: – can the global economy suffer if the fed raises rates further,
but I think it would slow the U.S. economy too.

LUI: OK. I want to talk to you more, and I have to go. Just yes or no
and I hate to do this to you but, the worst recession, the 2008 or not?

INSANA: No, no.

LUI: OK.

INSANA: Not here, maybe in China.

LUI: All right. CNBC contributor Ron Insana, always a pleasure, I think
we`re talking to you next hour, so thank you again for stopping by.

Up next, how will the country`s fastest growing demographic vote in this
year`s election and will it be the swing vote candidates are looking for?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I`m the proud daughter of Indian
immigrants who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every day how blessed
we were to live in this country. Growing up in the rural south, my family
didn`t look like our neighbors and we didn`t have much. There were times
that were tough. But we had each other. And we had the opportunity to do
anything, to be anything, as long as we were willing to work for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley there speaking of her South Asian
heritage while delivering the Republican response to the President`s State
of the Union Address. That happened on Tuesday as you remember. Asian-
Americans, the fast growing electorate in the nation as has been said, with
the number of registered voters expected to be more than double by the year
2040. But candidates are not waiting until then to tap into this voting
bloc. Wednesday, Hillary Clinton unveiled an Asian American Pacific
Islander Leadership Council. More than 150 elected officials and community
leaders supporting her campaign. Part of the efforts she wants last week
to court the AAPI voting group.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I want to thank all of the Asian American and Pacific Islander
leaders, activists, volunteers and organizers who are here today supporting
my campaign who will be by my side as we go through the primary process,
and then we bring home a big win in November of 2016.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Reversing trends, Asian Americans as you look at this line chart
here have been voting increasingly democratic in presidential elections
recently. Only 31 percent of Asian American Pacific Islanders voted for
Bill Clinton in `92. And figure as you see more than double to 73 percent
for Obama in 2012. But in last year`s midterms, the Asian American Pacific
Islander vote was split between evenly just about between Democrats and
Republicans. So what can we expect this year from the nation`s fastest
growing demographic?

Joining us right now, Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor of Public Policy
and Political Science at the University of California Riverside. So
Karthick, you`ve just put out a new report and you`re looking into 2012 and
the data specific to candidates swaying certain swing states.

KARTHICK RAMAKRISHNAN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE: Actually thank
you for having me, Richard. So, looking ahead at 2016, we probably can
expect like in 2012, states like Nevada and Virginia, now there are states
that people might not typically think of states where there are a lot of
Asian-Americans, but in fact, there`s a significant group of Asian-
Americans there and they are growing pretty fast and we know in the last
couple of election cycles, that elections tend to be very close in these
states, so these tends to be very hard fought. And there`s a lot of –
that we saw in 2012, in these two states. At Florida, North Carolina,
Colorado –

LUI: Right.

RAMAKRISHNAN: I think Asian Americans will have potentially more impact
now than we did in 2012.

LUI: All right. So, I was looking at the numbers you have there. The
question might be then, OK, where are they trending? 2014, recent midterms
are showing they went more to the right during the 2012 and 2008 elections,
they went more to the left. What do we seeing for 2016? Are they
following Latino-American and African-American trends?

RAMAKRISHNAN: It`s probably one of the biggest questions heading in the
cycle. So, if you look at the trend over the last 20 years, it seems
pretty clear that they`re shifting and shifting pretty solidly toward the
Democratic Party. 2014 is a bit of a – it`s a bit of a tossup because
midterm elections tend to be low turnout affairs, and certainly was true
last time, so less than a third of Asian-Americans voted in the 2014
elections. And we knew going into it that Republicans were much more
enthusiastic than Democrats on it. So, what will it be this time around?

I think the key what you saw with Hillary Clinton is to try to drive up
enthusiasm among Asian-American voters to try to get out the democratic or
democratic leaning voters.

LUI: Yes, so –

RAMAKRISHNAN: At the same time –

LUI: Yes, go ahead.

RAMAKRISHNAN: Yes. But you have people like Jason Chong and others at the
Republican National Committee who have been doing outreach efforts after
2012. You have the growth and opportunity report –

LUI: Right.

RAMAKRISHNAN: – and after that, you have had a lot of efforts to try to
run local candidates and to grow the party in places like Southern
California, in places like Northern Virginia.

LUI: Right. You`ve got Jason Chong from RNC – from the DNC as well and
our panel is here as well. Jeb Bush, you know, made this comment after
2012, look at this group, because it was one of the first to say it, the
canary in the coal mine.

CORN: The panel is here –

LUI: The panel is here.

CORN: My question would be, are there any sort of sets of issues that
appeal more to this group or somewhat more to this group than others? So,
if you`re trying, if you`re in the RNC or the DNC or Hillary Clinton to
attract them, is there a way to do that?

RAMAKRISHNAN: Well – (audio gap)

LUI: It looks like we lost the – OK, there we go. Go ahead. Go ahead
Karthick, we lost your audio for a second.

RAMAKRISHNAN: OK, no problem. So one of the issues that we know typically
is consistent among Asian-American voters and it is just things like the
economy and the jobs is education. So that is an issue that both parties
could try to drum up support among Asian-Americans in terms of their
outreach. But the key is to try to figure out what is it about education.
We know that Asian-American voters, they saw it on the surveys that we have
done and others have done care about things like colleges debt, affordable
higher education and good quality public education when it comes to K-12.
So what can both sides offer in terms of improving educational
opportunities will be important to see. Another issue is health care, and
this is where it might be a bit of a challenge for Republicans in 2016.

LUI: Right.

RAMAKRISHNAN: Asian-Americans supported the Affordable Care Act. When we
asked about it back in 2008, they supported universal health care across
the board among Asian-American groups, so if someone is going to run on a
platform of repealing ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act, I`m not sure
how well that`s going to play with the Asian-American population.

LUI: And so, on the other side of the ledger, there is also – the
Republican stance is that it related to the economy and smaller government
which also this group cares about. Yet they don`t come out to vote, and
there`s a new fund that came out, the AQI (ph) victory fund, that`s hoping
to get them to come out to vote. They hope to invest millions of dollars
to try to get this to happen.

To our panel here, is it just about money along with these issues?

KHAN: It`s a combination of the two. Just as been said by the Professor,
you have, they may not be large nationally, but Asian-Americans make up key
demographic and key states like Virginia, like California. And what I
would love to know more if the Professor can comment, was there also any
study on the donor habits of the Asian-American community. Because there`s
no secret that Asian-Americans are very successful, have very high per
capita income in United States and so, has there been a reflection in the
giving of Asian-American donors to both parties.

LUI: Karthick, go quickly because I want to get to Shira.

RAMAKRISHNAN: Sure. So, what we have seen from our survey datas, giving
rates are about the same as they are for non-Hispanic whites. But the key
questions is where they giving the money to. And there`s ongoing research
including research that my team is doing at, you see Riverside, to see
where those giving patterns are headed. But there`s going to be a lot of
interests as we saw with the creation of this victory fund.

LUI: I got it. Shira?

CENTER: So my question would be, what is the socioeconomic bracket for
this population? And is there a different in between Virginia, Nevada and
Arizona, are they well off or not? Yes.

RAMAKRISHNAN: Well, the thing is, what we have seen is that even among the
well-off Asian-American groups, they tend to support bigger government,
more taxes, more spending. And so in many ways, if you look at that slice
of the population, people might be surprise to think why would a high
income group support higher taxes. Well, there are other groups like this.
So if you look at Jewish-American voters, among higher income Jewish
American voters, they support higher taxes, more government spending to
social safety net. So even though class matters when it comes to voting
patterns, there`s actually a pretty good consistency in terms of even among
higher income brackets people supporting the Democratic Party.

LUI: We`ll have to live it there. Karthick Ramakrishnan from UC
Riverside. Thank you for joining us this morning on MSNBC. And you can
find out more on this story at NBCNews.com and NBC Asian America.

Thank you so much, sir. And our panel as always. Reminder, the democratic
candidates debate tomorrow night on some of the issues. That was brought
up in this last segment, 9:00 Eastern on NBC.

This is a potentially historic day around the world with an Iran nuclear
deal set to take effect sometime this weekend. What will happen after this
takes effect? We`ll take a look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: Developing this morning, with the official countdown with the Iran
nuclear deal now underway set to be implemented today, once the United
Nations certifies Iran`s compliance in scaling back its nuclear program.

Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Vienna last hour and he`s getting
ready to make the official announcement that the deal has indeed began.
Now Iran`s foreign minister is ready for it, tweeting this morning, quote,
“#implementationday. It`s now time for all especially Muslim nations to
join hands and rid the world of violent extremism. Iran is ready.” End
quote.

Joining us now from Vienna is NBC`s chief foreign correspondent Richard
Engel. Richard, Secretary Kerry is just arrived. You`re there. What do
we expect to happen today? We have already laid out some of what we think.

RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Secretary Kerry
is here, he has met his Iranian counterpart, the State Department tweeted a
photograph of their meeting. What we`re expecting next is the
International Atomic Energy Association Agency is going to come out and we
think quite soon, make an announcement saying that Iran has in fact met its
obligations, scaled back its nuclear program in line with the agreement
that was signed this summer. Paving the way for sanctions immediately to
be lifted. So the choreography is, the podiums by the way here are already
set up. We`re supposed to hear from the IAEA first, then Kerry, an EU
representative and the Iranian official will come out, make statements
unclear, probably not take questions, although they might.

And then at that stage, they will sign a series of documents and the money
should begin to flow. This will allow Iran access to tens of billions of
dollars that have been frozen internationally because of sanctions that
have been put in place. It will allow Iran to engage in international
commerce, to get back on the swift code system, which allows banks to move
money in and out of Iran, it allows Iran to trade on the international
commodities exchange, particularly the oil and gas exchange. So for Iran,
this is a significant moment, a changing of its economy potentially. And
for the U.S. State Department, this is an incredibly significant, perhaps
even the most important day diplomatically of the Obama administration.
It`s key diplomatic achievement so far has been this Iran deal and today
could be we expect implementation day.

LUI: After many months of work on it. Thank you so much to NBC`s Richard
Engel in Vienna, I appreciate that.

Up next for you, the lawsuit in which a widow is blaming twitter for her
husband`s death in a terrorist attack.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: Now to a new front in the fight against ISIS. A Florida woman is
suing twitter after her husband was killed in a terrorist attack claiming
the company knowingly allowed the extremist group to use its social network
to spread their terrorist message.

Our NBC affiliate in the San Francisco Bay area KNTV has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (voice-over): In November of last year, Lloyd Carl
Fields of Florida was killed while training police officers in Amman,
Jordan. Shot by one of the officers he was training. ISIS has claimed
credit for the killing. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Fields` widow in
federal court in San Francisco alleges, “For years, twitter has knowingly
permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use its social network as a tool for
spreading extremist propaganda raising funds and attracting new recruits.”
The lawsuit alleges ISIS operates 70,000 twitter accounts.

TERRY CONNELLY, GOLDEN GATE UNIVERSITY: Can this case go to the jury on
the issue of culpability?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Terry Connelly, attorney and dean emeritus at the
school of business at Golden Gate University points to the anti-terrorism
act of 1992 and says, proving twitter was merely negligent will not be
enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some form of recklessness akin to giving a loaded gun
to a child which is the exact framing that one federal judge did here. In
a similar case is going to have to be shown.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A twitter spokesperson says the lawsuit is without
merit and we have teams around to the world actively investigating reports
of rule violations, identifying violating conduct, partnering with
organizations countering extremist content online and working with law
enforcement entities when appropriate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You haven`t got a preexisting legal finding that
twitter was complicit. And so I think it`s going to be a tough case.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LUI: Again our NBC affiliate KNTV with that report. Let`s bring in Cal
Perry, MSNBC senior editor of video and digital content. I was talking
with the former CEO Dick Costolo about this very issues. These formations
of campaigns, but they didn`t know necessarily what the exact answer is, is
this going to take – does this have some legs, this case?

CAL PERRY, MSNBC SENIOR EDITOR OF VIDEO AND DIGITAL CONTENT: Probably not,
the Communications Decency Act passed 1996 will probably cover twitter and
the thing that people sort of have talked about the act when it came into
fruition in `96 wasn`t like holding the post office akin for what`s in the
mail.

LUI: Right.

PERRY: It`s covered because it`s an open platform. Because it`s put out
there, twitter is covered by what`s in there as far as the lawsuit is
concerned. But there`s a bigger question here, right? Which is how is the
U.S. government going to counter ISIS and what they`re able to do online,
their ability to recruit and their ability to put this stuff out there.

LUI: Yes. In that light, there is what the government might do, should
underneath the Patriot Act or other laws. And then there is what should
businesses be doing, you brought up the example of a quasi-governmental
group, the U.S. postal service, but we have all sorts of distribution
channels or these potential messages are going out.

PERRY: Right. And keep in mind, we`re living in the post Snowden hangover
era still. Right? So, these companies don`t really want to come across
like they`re being too active with the U.S. government. But we have to
remember they`re meeting with the U.S. government on a regular basis, they
met last week with the group of individual assent from the President to
talk to Silicon Valley and they`re talking about two things, how do they
monitor this online, do it better and how do they help the U.S. government
with the tech part of it.

LUI: This is the White House task force we`re talking about?

PERRY: Yes. And it needs to cross on any levels, there needs to be a
concerted effort and there is within the U.S. international broadcasting
system for example, to counter this stuff over the airwaves, that the U.S.
government is putting out, and there needs to be a tech push as well. And
we`re seeing to the tech push now big-time.

LUI: Yes. And a lot of reaction to this one case that we`re reporting on.

OK. Thank you so much. MSNBC`s Cal Perry, we appreciate this always. Cal
Perry will again will be back next hour.

PERRY: If you need me, I`m here. As always, sir.

LUI: All right. Coming up, we`ll take you live to South Carolina where
the democratic candidates are getting ready for tomorrow`s debate on NBC.
Stick with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: Bernie Sanders is gaining ground.

(MUSIC)

LUI: And thanks for staying with us this Saturday morning. I`m Richard
Lui.

With all eyes focused on Iowa and New Hampshire, what happens after the
first two contests? We`ll take a look at how Bernie Sanders and Hillary
Clinton are preparing for a very long fight.

Plus, what impact might the new movie about Benghazi have on the Democratic
race.

Also this hour, Ted Cruz in the spotlight. But with the added attention,
comes a new scrutiny of the Texas Republican.

There are new details on the breaking news overnight, as al Qaeda gunmen
storm a West African hotel popular with westerners.

And the growing outrage in the Latino community about the Obama
administration`s raids targeting undocumented immigrants. Those details
coming up.

But we begin this second hour in Charleston, South Carolina, where the
three Democratic candidates for president will face off in tomorrow`s NBC
News debate, the final debate before voting begins in just two weeks.

Bernie Sanders has managed to climb within digits of Clinton in Iowa. The
latest poll showing Sanders and Clinton in a statistical dead heat. And in
New Hampshire, our most recent NBC News/”Wall Street Journal”/Marist poll
shows Sanders with a 4-point lead, also a statistical dead heat.

On Thursday, NBC`s Rachel Maddow asked Clinton about the tightening race in
Iowa. This is what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a much better
organization than I did back in `08. We have a very significant core of
committed supporters. And that`s the caucus really officially ends up
counting. Who will come out on February 1st? I feel very good. Now, that
doesn`t mean I`m not going to work like crazy to reach as many people as I
possibly can, because that`s what I`m doing, that`s what I will be doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: This week, Clinton and her campaign have attacked Sanders` record on
gun control, and his single payer health care proposal. They`ve also
questioned whether the senator broke his pledge never to run a negative ad.

Meanwhile, the Sanders campaign has reportedly received donations at four
times the normal daily rate since the end of 2015 after months of strong
fundraising.

Joining me now for more on the Democratic race, from the site of tomorrow`s
debate, is NBC campaign embed Monica Alba.

Monica, you`ve been following the Clinton campaign now for a better part of
six, seven months. What`s the mood going into the debate this weekend that
you`ve seen there being with the campaign?

MONICA ALBA, NBC NEWS: Well, Richard, these latest polls as you mentioned
certainly give them reason to be anxious and nervous. The candidate
herself has said all week long that she`s actually not nervous at all and
feels good. She also said even on Jimmy Fallon this week that the once
formidable lead she had over Senator Sanders was really artificial.

But you can definitely tell from a shift in strategy, something has changed
and they are appearing to grow more nervous. There`s a couple of things
you have to look at here.

First, Clinton as you showed, she was on Rachel Maddow, she was on “MORNING
JOE”, she was on Fallon this week. She`s ramped up her media appearances,
which is something she wasn`t doing as much at the beginning of her
campaign.

And they`ve also really ramped the surrogate game. Bill and Chelsea
Clinton both hitting the trail in Iowa and in New Hampshire for her. And
as you mentioned they have dialed up the attacks against Bernie Sanders,
which campaign officials tell me is the way they can most make a contrast
between the two, but which is also the clear about the anxiety about the
state of the race.

LUI: I want to get to the panel in just a second here, Monica. But one of
the things that were brought up by David Corn is that they`re putting
former President Bill Clinton perhaps a little bit earlier than they had
plan to.

What`s your sense of the timing of things and how they may be accelerating
what they originally had planned? And just because I can, another part of
the question is, the youth vote, and in our NBC News/”Wall Street
Journal”/Marist poll, it showed that she`s struggling with that, even she`s
saying she`s got a strong core.

ALBA: Absolutely. She is struggling with that younger vote, the
millennial vote. They`re trying to do things like bring Lena Dunham out on
the campaign trail. And just next week, Demi Lovato, the pop singer, is
going to be joining her in Iowa as well. So, this is something that they
are truly working on.

It is true that they brought out Bill and Chelsea a little bit earlier than
anticipated. And as we saw this week, Chelsea got into it criticizing
senator Sanders. So, we have seen this ramped up, we have seen this going
in with a little over two weeks to Iowa, they are fully game on and they
know they kind of have to give it their all with so little time until the
first votes are cast.

LUI: Monica, thank you so much for your reporting there, an embed with the
Clinton campaign, really appreciate your perspective. It gives us a lot to
talk about with our panel.

“Boston Globe” political editor, Shira Center, former George W. Bush
administration official and now a senior fellow at the Institute for Global
Engagement, Suhail Khan, and MSNBC political analyst and Washington bureau
chief for “Mother Jones”, David Corn. I`d tried to get that (INAUDIBLE)

CORN: You did a good job.

LUI: Yes, running through it, guys.

So, David, since, you know, I was quoting you there, she`s saying, yes,
they are moving faster than they wanted to.

CORN: I have to believe that they would have loved to sail through the
primaries without calling on Bill Clinton. I think he – he`s certainly an
asset to Democratic voters, I think he`s an asset to most voters but
there`s certainly controversy about his past and if you don`t have to deal
without, you know, why.

So, doing that, bringing Chelsea out as sort of an attack agent against
Bernie also was kind of surprising, because she – that wasn`t her image
before hand. I got a lot of Twitter hate for saying that they were
thuggish.

I do think her attacks on Bernie Sanders saying that he wants to throw
millions of people off health care are disingenuous, you can have a real
serious argument about whether you can implement single-payer, whether it`s
the best way to go or not. But they`ve really been attacking Bernie
Sanders motives and make it sound like he wants to break the health care
system rather than move to a Democratic ideal, and that I think is a sign
of desperation.

LUI: All right. So, I want to pull up one chart for “The Washington
Post”. Clinton losing her national lead faster than she did in 2008. You
look at these two line charts together.

CENTER: Wow.

CORN: Wow.

LUI: The question is it too early to be looking at these sorts of these
numbers, right? We have two candidates. One is Barack Obama, he`s
different than Bernie Sanders. This is a different year, too, certainly as
many have said.

CENTER: Yes, I think we are getting to the stage of the campaign where
expectations are going to matter more than those poll numbers. So, there`s
a situation I can envision here where she goes in as the underdog in both
Iowa and New Hampshire and if she gets within a point or two of Bernie
Sanders, she floats on to South Carolina.

CORN: The comeback kid.

CENTER: She`s the comeback kid. It`s ridiculous for someone who a year
ago was the presumptive frontrunner, was going to win the White House. But
this could very well happen.

LUI: Suhail, that`s good for her being the underdog, right?

KHAN: She would never be the underdog. She`s got the machine behind her.
She`s feeling the Bern –

LUI: What about the scenario that Shira is laying out for us?

KHAN: If anybody, it`s the Larry David of politics and that`s Bernie.
He`s bringing on the heat there. He`s kind of the anti-politician, even
though he`s been in Washington, D.C. for so long, he`s been an outsider.
And let`s face it, on both sides of the aisle, voters want an outside
candidate who`s raging against the machine, and that`s Bernie.

CORN: The interesting question, though, is the Democratic electorate
changes a lot after Iowa and New Hampshire. The other states of large
African-American, you know, in bigger states where you do the retail
politics, and so if she should happen to lose Iowa and New Hampshire by
whatever amounts, you know, does the sort of the game – the game on the
ground change to her advantage?

CENTER: But that`s her to win South Carolina?

LUI: But bringing in the Bill Clinton machine earlier, what does it say
about her ability and the criticism has been her ability to identify, and
we mentioned the youth vote. But the voters outside of that base she was -
-

CORN: It`s not just millennials as Monica mentioned. It`s under 45, one
poll showed under 45, she was down two to one votes. But above, she`s
ahead two to one votes. So, she`s going to have to find a way eventually.

LUI: Is Bill Clinton the answer?

CORN: I don`t know –

KHAN: I don`t think, you know, Bill Clinton, again, would be somebody that
might help in a general election, but right now, folks are looking for a
little more authentic voice, and Bernie is addressing that issue, and that
really is going to hurt Hillary with the debate being tomorrow, up against
two NFL playoff games and “Downton Abbey” –

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

CORN: DVR.

LUI: DVR is what I would say.

CENTER: I would say Bill Clinton does help, certainly more than he hurts,
but he does help in states like New Hampshire, but he has this history of
being the come back kid, especially in South Carolina. Bill Clinton has
made two trips to New Hampshire this month. We sent reporters to both
events, the last one was on Wednesday night, it was in Hanover, New
Hampshire, where Dartmouth College is.

And the reporter was asking many young people in the crowd what they
thought of Bill Clinton. They`re like, well, I think he`s intriguing
because he`s a former president. None of that thinking nostalgic, they
totally are oblivious to all of that.

LUI: So, one of the things we should look back to is 2008, though, it may
not be too late in terms of that dynamic that you all three were talking
about, and her ability to connect with voters.

CORN: I had an interesting conversation with a Bernie Sanders strategist
and I said, you know, basically what`s going on? Because in November and
December the conventional wisdom was that she was ahead and she was there
to say. He said, what I think is that there is an exponential emotional
bond between Bernie and his voters, and they may say that about Trump and
his voters, that Hillary has not been able to capture.

She does it with some groups, obviously older women over 45. She has that
bond. They have that experience together, a generational experience.

But she hasn`t been able to do that with anybody else. But Bernie people,
whether they`re young or old, they feel a connection.

LUI: And you gasped when I brought up the fundraising with Bernie Sanders
and he`s quadrupled those numbers, because that`s certainly an indication
of that energy.

KHAN: Popular support, absolutely.

And the other thing to realize that since 2008, Hillary has a new record
that Americans are remembering, first you have Benghazi, which is now a
movie in major theaters, which is going to detail what happened there. And
whether you follow all the detail of what happened there and what decisions
are made, in the end, you know, she was in charge and four Americans were
dead.

And then, of course, you have the e-mail challenge, and the details keep
trickling out day after day and week after week.

CENTER: But Democratic voters don`t care about the e-mail.

KHAN: It still goes to her credibility.

CORN: Benghazi, too. She`s not mentioned in the film, it`s a bum rap that
she`s responsible for that. The movie says there`s nothing she could have
done different, you know, that would have –

KHAN: If you`re explaining, you`re losing.

LUI: That segment is coming up, David.

CORN: OK.

LUI: Hang tight, my friends.

CORN: I put –

LUI: Don`t do that fully though.

Program reminder, Democratic candidates will debate tomorrow night 9:00
Eastern, right here on NBC. We`ll be watching along with you.

Up next, is Ted Cruz about to find himself under even more intense scrutiny
and how he will handle the new onslaught of attacks.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: As we have been talking about this morning, “The Washington Post”
reporting this morning, Republican Party leaders beginning to believe and
accept the race for the party`s presidential nomination down to just Donald
Trump and Ted Cruz, time running out for an establishment candidate to
emerge. That`s what the reporting.

Ted Cruz has been rising in the polls in order to challenge Donald Trump.
But with the added visibility has come some new scrutiny, beginning with
questions about natural born citizenship and whether Cruz who was born in
Canada is eligible to run.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Democrats are going to be
bringing a suit, you have a big lawsuit over your head while you`re running
and if you become the nominee, who the hell knows if you can even serve in
office.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Back in September, my friend
Donald said he had had his lawyers look at this from every which way, and
there was no issue there, there was nothing to this birther issue. Now,
since September, the Constitution hasn`t changed. But the poll numbers
have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: That was definitely a laugh line. Thursday`s debate also reflecting
questions about Ted Cruz and his ties to Wall Street. He was grilled over
not disclosing a loan from Goldman Sachs where his wife worked during his
2012 Senate bid.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: The entire “New York Times” attack is that I disclosed that loan on
one filing with the United States Senate, that was a public filing, but it
was not on a second filing with the FEC. Both of those filings were
public, and yes, I made a paper work error disclosing it on one piece of
paper instead of the other. But if that`s the best hit that “The New York
Times” has got, they better go back to the well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: Let`s talk about Marco Rubio, also hitting Cruz over his record on
immigrant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ted Cruz, you used to
sigh you supported doubling the number of green cards, now you say you`re
against its. You used to support legalizing people that were here
illegally, now you say you`re against it. You used to say you were in
favor of birth right citizenship, now you say you are against it. By the
way, it`s not just on immigration.

CRUZ: I appreciate you dumping your oppo research told folder on the
debate stage.

RUBIO: No, it`s your record.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: Joining us now to discuss the added scrutiny of Ted Cruz, “Washington
Post” political reporter, MSNBC political analyst, Robert Costa, who wrote
this morning`s article about Republican Party leaders.

What you mentioned at the top here, Robert, fearing that the time is
running out. Now, you were earlier reporting, a couple of weeks back, that
they were certainly looking at a contested convention, and now you`re
saying, OK, let`s look past the establishment and they`re focusing nearly
on Cruz and Trump at the moment.

ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: It`s a phase of acceptance, my
colleague Phillip Rucker and I, reported on the GOP donors, the major
players in the financial community starting to think that this is becoming
perhaps a two-person race between Senator Cruz and Donald Trump. And as
that becomes a reality in American politics, they`re trying to see how they
can fit in.

LUI: Why are they saying that?

COSTA: They look at the polls. They look at the past debate. The past
debates especially in South Carolina. They`re watching to see, could a
mainstream establishment favorite, a Chris Christie or Marco Rubio, have a
breakout moment. And the consensus among many donors is that none of those
candidates had one of those breakout moments and they`re still packed
together and trying to get political oxygen.

LUI: You`ve first asked Trump about Cruz`s birthplace and it`s taken a
life of its own, certainly. Is Cruz in trouble on this issue with the
base?

COSTA: So far, Cruz has endured Donald Trump`s attacks, and we see Trump
as being relentless as far as going after Cruz. He woke earlier this
morning if you go on Trump`s Twitter, and he`s going after Senator Cruz on
the Goldman-Sachs loans, on the Canadian birth.

And so, Trump is non-stop with these. In the past, this has hurt
candidates, like Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator or Ben Carson,
when they have these kind of nonstop attacks. But Cruz has a lot of
political capital with conservatives, he`s popular and they trust him. So,
he may be able to endure this.

LUI: I want to get to the panel on this question, but first play Trump on
Cruz`s attack on New York values and then we`ll get the response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: I think most people know exactly what New York values are.

MODERATOR: I am from New York.

CRUZ: You`re from New York, so you might not. But I promise you in the
state of the South Carolina they do.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When the World Trade Center came
down, I saw something that no place on earth could have handled more
beautifully, more humanely than New York. And the people in New York
fought and fought and fought.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: “The New York Daily News” got in on this debate with the headline.
The next day, Cruz responded last night to New Yorkers demanding an
apology. Take a listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio
have all demanded an apology. And I`m happy to apologize.

I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by
liberal politicians in that state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: All right. Joining Robert Costa is our panel here.

So, he kind of step in it there when he went there during the debate.
Donald Trump just walked in and walked through the door.

CORN: The question is, he`s playing to a particular slice of the
Republican electorate. Evangelical voters, people who feel they have been
culturally ostracized, they don`t like gay marriage, they hate abortion,
and they look at New York as part of the cultural elite that looks down
upon these people.

LUI: Yes.

CORN: So, I`m not sure it hurts him with his people. I think it makes him
look like a horrendous human being, but that`s just my view. It might help
him in Iowa and certainly South Carolina.

But that was one of the few times in the campaign when Trump seemed to be
genuine, showed some emotion, talked about something bigger than himself.
Granted there isn`t much that`s bigger than Donald Trump, I know that. So
it gave Trump a way to almost look human, so I think they both kind of won
in terms of their own audiences on that.

LUI: Yes.

KHAN: There`s no doubt that Cruz is getting under Trump`s skin, he`s
catching up to him and that, you know, Trump may have responded genuinely
as a New Yorker. But just as David said, this is going to help Cruz in
Iowa, it`s going to help Cruz in New Hampshire, it`s going to help in South
Carolina.

He`s not running an election right now. He`s running state by state and
this is going to help him among voters who are not particularly fond of
Trump of what they see as elites on either coast of our country.

LUI: A long term hurt, Shira, or do you agree with the other two?

CENTER: I think that phrase right there might be why Ted Cruz could not
win the White House. That kind of phrase plays very well on a Republican
base. People in Iowa nodding along when they say him say New York values
like that.

But in the general election, I`m not saying a Republican doesn`t stand a
chance in the Electoral College in New York, OK, that`s not what I`m
saying. But those kinds of phrases, that`s why he`s such a partisan and
divisive figure, because he says things like that that really divide the
party.

CORN: And the way he apologized makes him looking really mean. The smug,
again, to his people, yes, you stuck it to them again. They`re going to
like that.

But he has very little appeal, I think personally or politically,
ideologically beyond that base. They will take him in the Republican
primary, but I`m not sure America wants that.

LUI: If we look at Trump and Cruz – back to you, Robert – the final word
is, you know, the rules meeting or the meeting about rules I should say in
the Republican Party, looking forward towards the convention and it`s
consistent with your reporting about it boiling down to these two non-
establishment if you will, candidates, and that`s the debate right now,
isn`t it? What came from that meeting that might show that the party, the
Republican Party is concerned?

COSTA: There is a lot of concern among Republican National Committee
members, because the idea that this convention if it`s contested would be
brokered in some kind of back room is just not how it will probably unfold,
because these delegates on a second ballot, should they become unbound, if
no gets the majority in the first ballot, there`s really no direction from
the party at this point. They would be just unbound delegates on the
convention floor and it could be chaos in Cleveland.

LUI: All right. So, the panel saying earlier, Paul Ryan. So, we`ll see
what happens.

Robert Costa, thank you so much, from “The Washington Post”. Appreciate it.

COSTA: Thank you.

LUI: Up next, Wall Street`s brutal start to 2016. Is it a sign that we
might be on the brink of another recession?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: We`re following breaking news this morning out of the West African
nation of Burkina Faso, where 150 hostages have been freed after al Qaeda
militants attacked a hotel popular with westerners. At least 23 people
were killed in the deadly siege, dozens more injured.

The country`s president also saying four extremists were also killed
including two women. The victims were reportedly from 18 different
nationalities, though it is still unclear if any Americans are among the
dead or injured.

We now turn to what has been a very volatile start of the year for Wall
Street and your 401(k). CNBC.com warning a recession worse than 2008 is
possibly coming. The Dow and S&P are down 8 percentage points for the
year. The NASDAQ is even worse.

We`re joined by CNBC contributor Ron Insana.

But one reason to look up right here, Ron, is that the debt to income, the
household debt to income ratio is not nearly as bad as it was in 2008.
Meaning, the average household doesn`t have as much debt as it did before.

INSANA: Yes, nor does the U.S. government and in some instances, Richard,
neither do U.S. corporations, although they have borrowed heavily to buy
back stocks and increase their dividends over the last several years.

The balance sheet generally of the United States is considerably better
than it was. The economy is less levered. The banks have more capital,
less leverage.

And so, we`re not quite as vulnerable to a 2008 style experience as maybe
some other parts of the world where the credit cycle has decidedly turned
downward particularly in places like China and emerging markets. So, if
there`s going to be a 2008 style event, it`s more likely to emanate from
outside our shores than within. But that doesn`t mean we won`t be
affected.

LUI: Oil down below $30 a barrel. That was the big headline on CNBC,
wasn`t it? Breaking news, breaking news, all morning and all afternoon on
Friday. When do you think the window opens up where every day American
families say, oh, we have made it through the woods on this latest
downturn?

INSANA: Well, you know, it`s hard to say. I mean, I anticipate that the
markets may have more downside to go, I think oil means that more people
will have more disposable income with gasoline prices now falling towards
$1.50 a gallon. At least for unleaded regular. And we`ve seen restaurant
sales respond accordingly, but not so the rest of the economy.

So I think it`s going to be a little bit more volatility for a while and
then we`re going to have to settle in and see what the real economy looks
like before we can make a judgment about to the stock market.

LUI: OK, thank you so much, Ron Insana. Appreciate that.

All right. The letter more than 100 Democrats sent to President Obama just
hours before his State of the Union Address. We`ll talk about that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: Protesters outside the White House yesterday called for an end to the
recent wave of deportation rates targeting undocumented women and children
from Central America. So far, 121 people have been taken into custody
recently. These protests reflect similar outrage seen this week from House
Democrats.

Now, just hours before the State of the Union, 148 lawmakers sent this
letter to President Obama calling for an end to those raids.

Joining me to discuss is one of the lawmakers who signed that letter, Luis
Gutierrez, Democratic congressman from Illinois.

Representative, thank you as always for being here.

This continues, this continues with criticism, this comes are the letter
that was signed by 148 as I`d just mentioned. Many of you who sign this,
not all are saying why is this continuing?

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: Well, look, the rates, the separation
of families, as a tool for immigration control is discredited policy. On
Christmas Eve, they decided that they would come into people`s homes. It
caused widespread panic and fear throughout immigrant communities of the
United States of America.

And it doesn`t – it doesn`t revolve the problem, because, look, if you
live in Guatemala or El Salvador or Honduras, and there is no safety for
you, if you are threatened with death, if you are threatened with
decapitation, if you are threatened with murder and rape and putting your
children into slavery, through human smugglers, you`re going to escape.
You need to deal with the issues.

So, they looked at it as a traditional immigration problem. These are
undocumented workers who are coming.

No. As a woman said to me in one of the detention centers outside of San
Antonio just before Father`s Day of this year, she said, “Luis, I can live
in poverty. I can survive poverty, what I cannot do is live in peace.”

This is really an issue of human rights for these people to come here. I
know the American public looks at them, remember, they didn`t come here
illegally. We have laws on our books to allow people to come and seek
refuge and asylum in the United States of America and so, they are using
the laws of the United States of America.

LUI: Congressman, thank you so much for joining us. Luis Gutierrez on
this very topic.

I want to now turn the issue of immigration playing in the early contest
states. Numbers from our most recent NBC poll of Iowa voters showing just
7 percent of Republican caucus-goers and 5 percent of likely Democratic
caucus-goers, say immigration is the most important issue in this election.

I would like to bring in someone who would like to look at that very topic,
journalist, filmmaker, immigration activist, Jose Antonio Vargas.

This is the interesting part about the topic as you know so well here,
Jose, is that it`s not resonating at least in these early states and
despite what Representative Luis Gutierrez is saying that this is not about
the prevention of future issues related to those who immigrate to the
United States illegally. This is families and faces.

JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS, IMMIGRATION ACTIVIST: It`s about stories. I mean,
this is precisely why Define American which is in this nonprofit media and
culture campaign that I founded in 2011, we`re hosting our first ever film
festival, the Define American film festival in Des Moines, Iowa, starting
Thursday, for three days for free. It`s open to residents of Des Moines
and Iowans, caucus-goers who actually want to watch stories and listen to
stories of immigrants, Nigerian immigrants, Mexican immigrants, Chinese
immigrants.

We`re also showing a film, by the way, a documentary called “The Muslims
Are Coming”. And for all the Republican presidential candidates who have
called for the ban of Muslims in this country, I welcome them to check out.
We`re actually even having a closing night reception on Saturday night,
next Saturday for all the candidates, Democratic and Republican to really
get to know what this issue is and to celebrate, by the way, all the
immigrants in Iowa, documented and undocumented.

LUI: Jose, I apologize, we have to cut our discussion a little bit short,
we have some breaking news this hour. But I appreciate your time for being
here today.

Immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas, as always, thank you for joining
us.

I want to get this breaking news just coming in to us here at MSNBC. “The
Washington Post” reporting, as well as “The Associated Press,” Iran has
released a reporter Jason Rezaian, as part of the prisoner swap deal.
Rezaian`s release comes along with the release of three other prisoners.
The Iran nuclear deal set to go into effect later today.

Now, Rezaian has been held since July of 2014, convicted in November on
charges that included espionage.

With this breaking news and more, MSNBC`s Cal Perry.

So, we`re just getting this in right now.

PERRY: Yes, and this could be potentially huge news, coming in just a few
minutes ago. The Fars News Agency, that`s the official agency in Iran
flashing that Jason Rezaian, as you said, along with three other
individuals, four dual nationals is how they stated it has been released in
Iran. All of this happening as the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits
down in Vienna with the Iranian foreign minister to start this nuclear
deal. It probably would have been a quieter day, except this is now
potentially a pivotal and seminal moment between the U.S. and Iran and
future relations.

The sanctions are due to be lifted today. We`re talking about hundreds of
millions of dollars. This was always a top, top thing for the State
Department to get Jason Rezaian out. He had helped CNN`s Anthony Bourdain.
I`m sure people are familiar with that show on CNN, and he was detained
shortly after that in the summer of 2014.

We don`t know who the other individuals are that have been released. Amir
Hekmati is a possibility. He`s a former U.S. marine. He`s been in the
same jail that Jason Rezaian was in.

There`s also a pastor, Saeed Abedin, which our viewers may be familiar with
his history. He`s been serving in the same prison, this is Evin Prison.

And the other person that will be interesting to find out about is
Levinson, who the FBI has never said whether or not he is alive or dead, he
was taken off of an Iranian island in 2007, we`ll have to wait and see.

But, again, we do understand from the Iranian news agency, Fars, that Jason
Rezaian has walked out of prison today, which is – especially for the
journalistic community also great, great news.

LUI: And the breaking news, just this hour that we`re learning here at
MSNBC, four released from the Iranian government. This just on – today as
you just mentioned, the Iran deal coming into effect. A lot of moving
parts. Folks are going to be asking is this directly related to the
negotiations, and there`s also those ten American sailors detained and then
quickly released, all of this happening around this Saturday.

PERRY: Yes, this is potentially shaping up to be a historic week between
the U.S. and Iran. The sailors is the perfect example. If that had
happened a year ago, it would have been a completely different situation.
They undoubtedly still would have been in Iranian detention. And instead,
we see videos of them eating food and hanging out sort of with the
Revolutionary Guard. The way that was handled was incredible. It was
almost like a ballet dance between the U.S. Fifth Fleet and the Iranian
National Guard. We`ve never seen coordination like that until now.

And this is a huge, huge deal, especially from the Iranian perspective,
they have held on to Jason Rezaian because it has caused so much public
attention through the negotiations. This was a major bargaining chip that
they are now releasing from the jail.

It will be interesting to see what the U.S. has given up if anything. It`s
being framed on the official Iranian news agency as a swap.

LUI: Right.

PERRY: We don`t know what the other side of the swap was yet.

LUI: So, that is what we`ll be watching, this on to the breaking news that
you`re reporting on here, Cal Perry, MSNBC. Thank you so much.

Again, that breaking news, four released by the Iranian government. Of
course, we`re going to stay on top of that, but we`re first going to take a
break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: And back to breaking news here on MSNBC. Just learning here,
according to the Fars News Agency, the official Iranian news agency, that
they have freed four prisoners from the United States. The Iran semi-
official Fars News Agency saying that just within the last couple of hours
quoting Tehran`s prosecutor, one of those individuals, Jason Rezaian, “The
Washington Post” reporter, freed in this one. Four individuals, according
to what we`re hearing.

I want to go to straight to our panel on this breaking news.

And as we look at what – because there he`s a lot of moving parts here as
all three of you know so well. We have what`s happening there in Vienna.

CORN: Yes.

LUI: We`ve got the secretary of state. We`ve got the leader of Iran,
excuse me, one of the leaders in Iran, coming out in front of the cameras
very shortly. This is how the deals are done.

CORN: This is great news, my heart goes out to the family to Jason and his
colleagues at “The Post”, I know how it`s been for them and the other
hostages and their families. So, it`s great news to begin with.

But we can be sort of politically and policy-minded with this. The theory
of the case for the proponents of the Iran deal was, you know, the Iran was
good on its own merits – as most arms control experts would say, but also
it would ease up some of the acrimony between the United States and Iran,
and maybe lead to other advances.

And so, just as the deal is coming into fruition, as sanctions are being
lifted, this too being releases. And, you know, as Donald Trump and other
said, they should have been out sooner, this is a lousy, lousy deal – this
is how diplomacy works, this must have been under way, we saw it happen
with the navy sailors, there is a difference in how we`re dealing with
Iran, how they`re dealing with us and the West and before this deal.

So, I think it`s a big day for John Kerry, and a big day for people, as
Barack Obama who said diplomacy is our way out, rather than bellicosity.

LUI: Soft power.

CORN: Soft power.

LUI: – as we look at what`s happening here.

Sheri Center, Suhail Khan, as well, I mean, the topic here is what will
America get out of this? We don`t know what that swap ask, as Cal Perry
was saying?

CENTER: Absolutely. Well, first of all, I have to agree with David that
this is a huge win for John Kerry. I think it`s going to be very
interesting, looking at his tenure as secretary of state and comparing it
to Hillary Clinton`s tenure as a secretary of state because he has had some
major successes, including if these reports are true, this one.

This really I think speaks to a job that he`s probably meant to do and he`s
been wanting to do for decades and decades.

KHAN: This is a great day for America, a great day for the families, of
course, those that were released.

I have to say, we need to continue to monitor Iran. Let`s not become too
sanguine on what goes forward in Iran. Iran is still a major sponsor of
terrorism, still a very major player against U.S. interests in the region,
around the globe. But this is a positive move and it says a lot about
diplomacy and American engagement around the world.

CORN: It`s interesting that it`s coming at a time when tensions are
increased, we had the Saudi Arabia action a week or so ago when they killed
the Shiite imam, which really set things aflame, and it got Iran very
upset. And, you know, Saudi Arabia is our ally and this certainly doesn`t
help U.S. interest on the effort to make the area more stable there.

And now, Iran is playing, you know, marginally more responsibly that it has
in the past. They`re still –

(CROSSTALK)

CORN: The issues that you raised are there. But I mean this is a good
sign.

KHAN: A good first step, but there`s a long road to go.

LUI: So what I`m also hearing from the Fars News Agency, they also freed
six Iranian Americans who were held for sanctions related charges.

So, we`re getting more information. Again, NBC has not confirmed this.
We`re getting more from Fars itself.

But does this – is this a major step, though, and you brought up Saudi
Arabia because there was also a major headline for us in recent weeks?

CORN: Well, you know, we don`t know if this is the extent of it, or if
this will lead the way to more responsible action and better, you know,
relations between the United States and Iran just in the rest of the world.
I mean, how they handled the incident with the Navy boats, Ted Cruz tried
to make a campaign issue out of that. But the way these things have gone
in the past, not just with Iran but with other nations, it`s usually it
creates more conflict and more of a kerfuffle, that took, what, a day or
less and it turned out, we probably made the mistake.

We still don`t know to the details, it`s somewhat mysterious. So, listen,
we see what`s happening in the Middle East these days. I take any sliver
of hope, any sign that Iran, that Tehran wants to play more responsibly
with the rest of the others. I mean, that – you know, we need to move in
a positive direction.

LUI: On a political note, does this balance out that as you were calling
it, a kerfuffle when we were looking at the 10 U.S. sailors?

CENTER: I mean, certainly a more positive sign, we assume that the United
States was probably the one that made the mistake there.

KHAN: Yes, I think what illustrate is going we can go back to the Cold
War, and that was, you need to even at the host heightened times of
tension, you need to have channels of communications, that was very key.
And that through these nuclear negotiations, Senator Kerry was able to have
an interlocutor in Iran to negotiate, not only the Iranian nuclear
situation, but also when these issues arise, to be able to pick up the
phone, have a relationship and say, our sailors have drifted off into your
waters, this was an inadvertent mistake, we need them back.

LUI: OK.

KHAN: That communication is key.

LUI: Again, the breaking news, according to the Fars News Agency, a
semiofficial news agency, according to Tehran`s prosecutor, they were
quoting the prosecutor saying that Iran has freed four prisoners from the
United States, including “Washington Post” journalist Jason Rezaian,
according to the swap deal as they are calling it in the Fars News Agency.
The U.S. has also freed six Iranian prisoners who were held for sanctions-
related charges.

So, this is just coming this to us. We will look to confirm all of this
reporting coming out of the Fars News Agency, right here on MSNBC.

For now, I want to take a break. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: Still following the breaking news here at MSNBC. Iranian state TV
reporting that Iran has released reporter Jason Rezaian, as part of a
prisoner swap deal. No confirmation from the United States as of yet.
Iranian television saying Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini and a fourth
American, an Iranian national, were also released. They say the U.S. has
freed six Iranian Americans who were held for sanctions related charges.

The Iran nuclear deal set to go into effect later today. That`s also
happening as we get breaking news this past hour. Secretary of State Kerry
meeting with Iranian foreign minister in Vienna today as well.

Rezaian, as you might remember, has been held since July 2014, convicted in
November on charges that include espionage.

Back now with more details in MSNBC`s Cal Perry.

Cal, the news coming in about this news being released. America, United
States, releasing six. We don`t have all the details. Have some
understanding of some of the names here. Fars, and also the “A.P.” for us.

PERRY: Yes, we think the four are now. We think the fourth is Siamak
Namazi. He`s a businessman, he was based in Dubai, was taking into custody
in October of 2015.

We also don`t know how this is going to play out logistically. I know that
may be a bit silly at this point. But we don`t know if they`re going to be
getting on a plane, when we`re going to see them. That of is key
importance.

As this goes on in Vienna, too, these nuclear negotiations, that`s going to
get a lot more attention today, right? This is now a historic day.

When you sign these big diplomatic agreements, there`s hundreds of millions
of dollars at stake, but it`s boring. It doesn`t make for good news
coverage. It makes for great print pieces. Piece doesn`t play well on TV.

Four Americans walking out of an Iranian prison, Evin prison, one of the
most notoriously brutal places on earth.

LUI: It`s the headline they want. Secretary of State Kerry gets out
there, as well as the foreign minister from Iran, Zarif gets out there.
This is the sort of thing they want.

OK. Stand by. I want to go to Ron Allen at the White House with more on
this developing news.

Ron, we`re just getting word on this in the last hour. These four being
released, as well as six from the United States in the swap according to
the Fars News Agency – Ron.

RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS: Exactly, Richard, we`ve not been able to confirm that
here at the White House, but we`re trying to do that.

Obviously, that is something that has been a high priority for the
administration for a very long time. And it will be very welcome news once
we get confirmation. And we would expect that to happen perhaps once the
prisoners are cleared of Iranian airspace and well on their way out of the
country – if, in fact, that is certainly the case. But, again, not
confirmation coming from here as of yet.

The administration, I should also say, is not including the American
prisoners in the Iranian nuclear deal. And all along, they`ve been working
on a separate track and didn`t want to complicate those two issues, those
many issues. But clearly, something seems to be happening and clearly, a
lot of past moving developments here. And as others have said, a crucial,
historic, perhaps seminal day in Iranian-American relations and perhaps
implementation day for the nuclear deal happening.

And you remember, of course, a couple of days ago, the situation involving
those ten sailors who were held by the Iranians was quickly resolved in
matter of 14 hours, which is quick in that context, and peacefully
resolved.

So, clearly, things are happening and happening positively between these
two longtime adversaries.

The Iranians have claimed, for their part, that the Americans are holding
as many as 19 prisoners here. Most of them, officials caught up and
accused of being involved in issues that have to do with the sanctions that
were imposed on Iran. The reporting suggests that as many as six Iranians
may have been released from custody or from some sort of confinement here
in the United States in exchange for the four Americans.

But, again, just trying to confirm that here, 100 percent, waiting for
details from the White House – Richard.

LUI: NBC`s Ron Allen at the White House, Ron, thank you for jumping in
front of the camera.

As we get to this breaking news to our panel very quickly, we`ve got about
a minute here. This, of course, the hopes for a future, a better, and
Zarif tweeted this earlier, that they will be working together with the
West to end extremism.

CORN: This deal obviously was in the works for weeks, if not months. John
Kerry, Barack Obama, they kept quiet about this when they were attacked for
not including this in the Iran deal. They knew they were working on it.

So, it`s a big success and shows sometimes you got to wait and see.

LUI: New era?

KHAN: New era. We have to continue with eyes wide open, to be very
careful with Iran, but it`s good that we`re engaging, continue to negotiate
and continue to address challenges together with other partners in the
region.

LUI: The question you have?

CENTER: Yes, I`ll be waiting to see how a lot the Republican candidates
for president are going to respond in the next couple of days to this kind
of news, especially Donald Trump who`s definitely – who`s had a very –
let`s say heavy-handed approach to diplomacy.

LUI: And, Cal, as you`ve been reporting for us, thank you, on this
breaking news. The question is, yes, what is this swap going to look like?
What will be happening when the U.N. comes down and if Kerry and Zarif come
to the microphone and say, hey, look at this.

PERRY: And I think it`s a great moment for the Obama legacy. Certainly,
that`s how he`s going to present it, Cuba and now Iran.

LUI: Cal, Shira, Suhail, David, thank you so much on have a very busy
Saturday morning right here on MSNBC. Thank you, all, for helping us with
this story.

Join us tomorrow, by the way, just Sunday morning, at 9:00 a.m., when we`ll
have a preview of tomorrow night`s Democratic debate moderated by NBC`s
Lester Holt and Andrea Mitchell.

Melissa Harris-Perry is up next with more of our breaking coverage on the
release of “Washington Post” reporter Jason Rezaian and three others.

You have a great Saturday. We`ll see you tomorrow.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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