TODAY | April 27, 2014
>>> even president obama is weighing in this morning on sterling's alleged comments. at a news conference in malaysia moments ago, the president was asked for comment.
>> when ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything. you just let them talk, and that's what happened here.
>> david gregory is moderator of "meet the press." david, good morning.
>> good morning, erica.
>> the president went on to say that this just shows, again, how the u.s. continues to struggle with this legacy of race and slavery and segregation, and it is something, as we know, that continues to come up, and the president is asked about it, especially because of all this talk about after his election that we would be moving into a post-racial america. how did these comments affect the president when he is asked to weigh in on them, and in your experience in washington?
>> well, there's a certain leadership that comes with being the first african- american president and to talk about issues of race that still persist in this country. racism persists. when you have these flash points, the president initially rehas become far less reluctant to talk. if you think about trayvon martin. in response to chuck totted's question, here he is really putting his print on this as a kind of moral leader to say, look, these -- this viewpoint is still there, and we must deny dee announce it, we must call it out and let this ignorance play out. i now think this is a very important moment for the nba, for society, because the investigation isn't that difficult. all you have to ask is is it your voice? if it's your voice, the nba has broad authority to take some action. especially a league that is predominantly african-american. i expect things to move pretty quickly here.
>> we've seen a lot of that starting first thing tomorrow morning . want to turn now to the president's trip in asia . he is on this four-nation tour there, and yet, we have been talking much more about, of course, what's happening in ukraine , what is not happening, in fact, in the middle east . how much of those other issues and distractions are affecting potential accomplishments for the president on this trip?
>> look, we always talk about distractions and the president's time and his agenda, and that's the case here, but he is being listened to closely in asia , primarily by china, and china has a real interest in watching how the situation in ukraine plays out because historically the chinese have sought to exploit difficulties between the united states and then the soviet union and now russia. all of this is interrelated. nevertheless, the united states is a big player in asia . the ukraine situation demands attention. vladimir putin is plotting his next moves. the united states has taken a tough stand, but putin isn't listening. we may have an economic war that gets deeper now, which will have pretty wide affects, and the president is trying to manage that very carefully.
>> we'll talk to you in a bit to see what you have coming up on "meet the press" this morning.
>> thanks, erica.