Face in the News: Mayor of Los Angeles says Sterling likely to fight for team; Lindsey Graham, R-SC., cites new Benghazi emails as cover-up evidence

(CBS News) -- This Sunday on Face the Nation, we turned to the ongoing turmoil over racist comments made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, speaking with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who had a private conversation with Sterling last week.

When Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer asked if Garcetti's conversation with Sterling indicated that a sale was likely, Garcetti cautioned that this move would be far from easy. "My sense is that he will [fight]," Garcetti said. "I don't believe that he thinks they will impose the sort of penalties that they've said that they will." Garcetti added, "I think that he thinks that he's going to be the owner for a long time, that he wants to stay the owner. And I said, 'This will be a long, protracted fight and a painful thing for our city that is a great city, great American city.'"

Sterling's comments have spurred reaction from across the sports world. The city of Los Angeles must now decide how to engage with the crisis and isolate Sterling in a way that will satisfy players and fans. "I'll continue the pressure, to look at the fans, the sponsors, the players to try to help Don Sterling move forward," Garcetti said. " I think he needs to recognize what he said, what's in his heart. But Los Angeles is not represented by those statements. I mean, we're at a place that has Jackie Robinson, that had Magic Johnson, Jason Collins comes from Los Angeles. We've always pushed forward to the life of tolerance and Don Sterling certainly doesn't represent my city."

Garcetti's comments were picked up by The Washington Post, Fox News, Reuters, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Daily News, and The Hill

Richard Williams, coach and father of Venus and Serena Williams and author of "Black and White: The Way I See It," also spoke to Schieffer about the latest developments surrounding the Clippers.

"Sports is going to always be prejudiced. It's a subject that we don't talk about up front, to linger on," Williams said. "But I think the world that can talk about it and have open discussion... can solve that problem."

The most important question for someone like Sterling, Williams said, is: "How did he get that way? That's what we have to find out. If we can learn how he became that way, then we can solve the problem. Usually, it starts in the home."

William's comments were picked up by Sports Illustrated.

Senator Lindsay Graham, R-SC., also joined the broadcast to discuss the week's other big story: newly released White House emails that revealed talking point message preparations for former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in the days after the Benghazi terrorist attacks, as Rice appeared on a number of shows, including Face the Nation to discuss the attack on the US consulate. In the most controversial email, White House adviser Ben Rhodes (full disclosure: He is also the brother of CBS News President David Rhodes), tells rice "to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy."

On the broadcast, Graham seized upon this email as evidence of a cover-up by the Obama administration. "This email was on Friday, the 14th of September, three days after the attack. She was going on all five shows on Sunday," Graham said. "And what was the purpose of this email? To protect the White House politically from the damage that could've been done from the truth coming out about Benghazi, six, seven weeks before the election. To underscore it wasn't a foreign policy failure, that a protest caused by a video, and the consulate itself was strongly, substantially and significantly secured."

Graham also pushed back against criticism who have said he is using the issue to score political points over an attack that left four Americans dead: "I would say to anybody who believes that this is just about politics, "Go tell that to the family members. Go explain to the family members how it's okay for the White House to withhold information from the congress and the American people. And thank God for an independent judiciary."

Graham's comments were picked up by Politico, The Washington Post, Reuters, The New York Daily News, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Examiner, The Week,Newsmax, The Guardian, BloombergBusinessweek, and The Washington Times.

  • Peter Fulham

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