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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Assessing The Speech; DOJ Blast Ferguson Police For Racial Bias; Gen. Petraeus Plea Deal; Will We Know Who Killed Boris Nemtsov And Why?; Homeless Man Killed In Skid Row Scuffle; Weasel-Riding Woodpecker; It's A Bird! It's A Weasel!
Aired March 3, 2015 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening from Washington D.C. and welcome to the special edition of 360. Anderson is off tonight. I am Jake Tapper.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And I am Wolf Blitzer. We have a full hour ahead including some truly eye-opening details about the highly class by secret information that retired General David Petraeus gave his mistress.
TAPPER: Also tonight, the Row Facts from tomorrow's Justice Department report in policing in Ferguson, Missouri.
BLITZER: Bottom line, protesters claiming a pattern of racial bias in the nearly all white police force were in fact, justified. The report laying that evidence that police disproportionately targeted African- Americans with traffic stops, use of force and jail sentences.
The investigation also revealed the number of outright racist e-mails that circulated within the department. And we will have much more on this coming up later this hour.
TAPPER: But first though, the speech, the most highly anticipated, loudly praised, sharply criticized oration by a visiting foreign leader in recent memory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of course, on the cast of an election on the outs (ph) with President Obama and with his country, he believes on the brink of an existential nuclear threat from Iran.
He went before a joint meeting of Congress today here in Washington. People have been talking about it ever since Michelle Kosinski begins our coverage. Michelle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Before this very eager U.S. Congress, is where the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proceeded to absolutely blast the prospect of a nuclear deal with Iran, that he called the enemy.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRINE MINISTER: That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them. That's why this deal is so bad. It doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb. It paves Iran's path to the bomb.
KOSINSKI: While he got a huge reception here, the White House not impressed. President Obama didn't even watch the speech but he did use nearly 15 minutes responding to it.
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH AND CURRENT PRESIDENT OF AMERICA: The Prime Minister didn't offer any viable alternatives. The alternative that the Prime Minister offer is no deal in which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program, accelerate its nuclear program, without us having any insight into what they're doing and without constraint.
KOSINSKI: Netanyahu's objections to the deal within end of this month deadline, it would not require Iran to demolish any nuclear facility. Thousand of centrifuges would allow about a year of what's called breakout time, how long it would take Iran to make a nuclear bomb if it decided too, but possibly only have a 10-year timeframe. And Netanyahu says, more inspections of facilities would only be able to document Iran's potential progress towards a weapon but wouldn't be able to stop it.
NETANYAHU: The world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world. And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.
KOSINSKI: A speech watched by the world but boycotted by some 50 democrats. The White House trying to stay above all the emotion.
OBAMA: What I'm focused on right now is solving this problem. I'm not focused on the politics of it. I'm not focused on the theater of it. And my strong suggestion would be that members of Congress as they evaluate it stay similarly focused.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Michelle Kosinski joins us now live from the White House. Michelle, obviously, all of this is smooth if there isn't going to be any deal. Does the administration think a deal with Iran can actually be reached?
KOSINSKI: Right. And at times it's been kind of hard to read the (inaudible). The administration has been trying to take a somewhat optimistic tone saying that, you know, this is the first time in a long time Iran has come to the table and seriously negotiated that they are talking and they're listening. We're hearing some optimism coming directly out of the talks.
So it was surprising to many to hear the President stay flat out yesterday, that it is more likely than not, even at this point that Iran rejects this deal, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Michelle Kosinski at the white House, thank you.
BLITZER: Let's get to the object of all these contention, the speech making in the political hard bombing. Mainly the nuclear talks underway right now in Switzerland. Our Chief National Security Correspondent, Jim Sciutto has been monitoring what's going on. He's joining us from Switzerland, Montreux right near Geneva.
So what exactly is going on and what's been the impact do you believe based on everything you're hearing, Jim, of Netanyahu's speech on these negotiations?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDEN: Well the impact today, zero really. And you can see that in the pace of talks today. Three -- more than two-hour long meetings face-to-face between Secretary of State, John Kerry, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif.
In fact, that third meeting begin just before Netanyahu's speech and ended long after, so that when State Department officials told us today that Secretary Kerry and others in the team didn't watch the talks. They were right. They said that they were too busy negotiating here, continuing on the negotiations but the Israeli Prime Minister was protesting.
The biggest fear had been that the Prime Minister would reveal some of the details of these talks that hadn't been out in public before, that didn't happen. I did ask the Iranian Foreign Minister if the talks were having any effects, he said, the Israeli Foreign -- the Israeli Prime Minister rather was trying to inject conflict and tension in the talk but he as well didn't watch the speech because he was sitting across the table from Secretary of State John Kerry.
BLITZER: So where does the deals now stand, the potential deal, whether they have three weeks or so before the deadline for reaching what's called this framework?
SCIUTTO: That's right. Three weeks to get to a big picture agreement, but boy do they have a lot of work in those three weeks. And I think -- as Michelle was saying, you hear that in the President's comments and that's just based on what we know to be the issues that are still -- with a great distance between the side, sanctions.
How quickly will they be lifted? The Iranians want them lifted right away, that's a non-starter for the West. They want them listed piece by piece to make sure the Iranians abide by the deal. The Iranians a year and a half into an interagreements still have not fessed up to their past attempts to weaponize, that's a major issue.
IAEA complaining about it yesterday, but then you have the multiple levels of restrictions to be replaced -- to be placed on Iran's nuclear program, Rubik's of restrictions as its been described to me. And so many those of those issues still aren't settled. The exact number of centrifuges are indeed (ph) that the Iranians will be allowed to pursue on more advanced centrifuges.
How much of the Iranian? They've already reached, they shipped out in the country to where -- how it's brought back to the country. That's what's on the table. That's what has been six hours today. Many more hours over the last 24 hours these talks continuing in tomorrow, Wolf?
BLITZER: Yup. The clock is clearly ticking. Jim Sciutto, in Switzerland for us. Thank you very much.
TAPPER: And Wolf, because nuclear controversy has tend to create political fall out, we are now joined here by Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders, thanks for being here.
You did not attend the speech. You watched it from your office but you did not attend, why not?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, VERMONT: Because I think Speaker Boehner created a political issue where there should not have been one.
As you know under our constitution, it is the President of the United States who leads us in foreign policy. And the idea that Speaker Boehner would invite Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress without consulting the President of the United States is completely unacceptable.
And second of all as you also know, Netanyahu was now involved in a very difficult campaign in Israel whether his party wins or not, we don't know. But I find that insulting that the Congress of the United States is used as a prop for Netanyahu's reelection efforts. That's wrong.
BLITZER: The elections are in two weeks, exactly two weeks from today, Senator. But what did you think of the substance of what he said, the concerns, not only for Israel's safety and security but for its very existence if Iran would get a nuclear bomb?
SANDERS: Wolf, here is the point. I think A, the President has made it clear. I believe -- I think virtually, all members of Congress believe that Iran cannot get a nuclear weapon, period.
The question and the debate is about, is how do you prevent that from happening? My fear is that if these negotiations do no succeed, if the five nations that are currently ...
SANDERS: ... what does Netanyahu have to say about plan B? It is easy to give a tough speech about how terrible, awful, demonic Iran is. But if you break off negotiations and they fail, then Iran is on its way to build a nuclear weapon and that is something we don't want. And then what do you do? What do you do? Well, you know what you do? You go to war.
And I will tell you, as somebody who strongly opposed going to war in Iraq, and I think history will record my position as being the right position. We see all of the fall out that has taken place in the war in Iraq. What do you think will happen, if god forbid, we are in a war with Iran? What will that mean?
I suspect it will mean perpetual warfare for the United States in the Mideast. And that is a nightmarish situation. TAPPER: Let's pause it, that what you just said is correct. What does the Middle East look like if Iran gets a nuclear weapon? (inaudible), is there not an A, an existential threat to Israel and other rival countries of Iran, B, suddenly a nuclear arms race with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, trying to catch up with Iran.
SANDERS: I think that's a valid point. So the goal is, as the President has indicated, that we will not allow that to happen. But I think it makes a lot more sense, you know, sometimes negotiations with, in this case, a country which has some really terrible hotlines, people will hate the U.S, people will hate Israel.
That's not easy stuff. And if you want sanctions to succeed or to be maintained you got to deal with Russia, and China, and the U.K., and France, and Germany. That's hot it stop. It is a lot easier to say, "They are terrible, awful and we are going to get our way." But what is the quiet point that Netanyahu did not talk about? What happens with negotiations fail? And what happens if the United States and Israel say, "You're not going to have a nuclear weapon in Iran." What happens? You have a war..
BLITZER: But what he basically said was that there is a step in between a failure of these negotiations and a war. In other words in the Israeli or U.S. were joint military strength, there is increase pressure if we have more sanctions, more economic trade embargoes that the Iranians would -- especially given the lower price of oil right now, they feel greater pressure. They would rush back to the negotiating table. That was the point he was trying to make.
SANDERS: That was his point maybe, I would say that most people think that's not accurate.
SANDERS: Because this is a strong country that doesn't want to be humiliated in front of the entire world. It does not simply want to be pushed around and they may reach a point where they say, "No, thank you. Forget it. We're going to our way."
TAPPER: Netanyahu once referred to the Iranian regime as an apocalyptic death cult. Do you think the people ruling Iran are rational actors?
SANDERS: Let's not go there. You know, I think if once we sought -- let me back up and just tell you this. Netanyahu testified, I believe six months before he went to war in Iraq and after demonizing the Iraqi government he made it very clear, he strongly supported the United States going to war in Iraq.
Once we get, Jake, in to business of telling people around the world are not rational, what is the lead you to? Again, it's that moving it toward war that we saw going into Iraq which has left the region much more unstable that cost about 6,700 lives, trillions of dollars.
Our job is to make sure Iran does not have a nuclear weapon but if that all possible let's do it without going to war. Well let's not say these people are not rational. Are we the rational people in the world? You know, so I, you know, I went to that war experience, I'm the former chairman of the veterans committee. I have seen the cost of war. And I will tell you something else that if god forbid we get into war and we spend more and more in the military.
You know what else is going to happen? Some of my friends in the Congress they want to cut society security, Medicare and Medicaid because we're spending so much money on war. That's an America, I feel, uncomfortable looking about it.
TAPPER: Vermont Independent, Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you so much. As always we appreciate you're coming and sharing your views.
SANDERS: Thank you very much.
BLITZER: Thank you so much Senator for joining us. A quick reminder, make sure to set your DVR so you can watch 360 whenever you'd like. Up next, our panel of experts weigh-in on the speech, the controversy surrounding it. And later, reaction to the U.S. justice department report on racial bias in the Ferguson Missouri Police Department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: If anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we'll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laying out his case against the deal and now being negotiated in Switzerland. I'm Wolf Blitzer along with Jake Tapper.
TAPPER: Joining us right now is Mike Doran, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, CNN National Security Analyst and Former George W. Bush, Home Security Advisor, Fran Townsend, she is currently serves on the CIA and DHS external advisory board. Also Danny Ayalon, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States.
Fran, I can start with you. What did you make of the Prime Minister speech? Because I pick up on what seemed like something of veiled threat at the end of Prime Minister saying even if Israeli has to standalone, it will defend itself, do you think the prime Minister if he wins reelection is prepared to preemptively strike Iranian nuclear targets?
FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Look, I don't think it was very veiled. I think we must expect Israel will act in its own national interest, in much of the way we would if we evaluated something that we were facing as existential threat.
And so the question is, how effective would that be? We can talk about that. Look, is Israel capable of launching strike that will delay the Iranian program? They are. And Israel is not going to be held hostage if you will, either to Iran's program or to U.S. support for their ability to act. They're going to make that their own decision.
I thought the Prime Minister made a pretty compiling case today, you know, there's been much sniping back and forth about who issued the invitation and what coordination there was. But the real point here is you sort of got a divorce what is this kind snide back biting about, who knew and when did they issue the invitation and why from the substance in this. And, you know, the president once said we've got to be true to our values. When you talk about the program you didn't like and that's the integration, the prior integration program.
Well, look, Benjamin Netanyahu was invited. He had a right to come here and to make his case against the ongoing negotiations, and I think he did a good job with that.
BLITZER: Mike, I heard the same sort of little veiled threat on the Prime Minister at the end of his remarks that if there is a deal and Israel feels its existence is in stake, unitarily Israeli preemptive strike against Iran is something he would not necessarily roll out. The President himself, by the way, says, "All options would be on the table in order to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb."
How realistic would an Israeli military strike PIS (ph)? The question as we do know the Israelis destroy an Iraqi nuclear reactor back in 1981 and the Syrian nuclear reactor in more recent years.
MIKE DORAN, FORMER DEPUTY AGENT, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Personally I think that the chance of an Israeli unilateral attack is not great. There are many people who know Israel as well or better than I do who don't agree with that but I just -- I was in the White House in 2006 during the Lebanon war. And I saw, it's very easy for an Israeli Prime Minister into a war without the U.S. but they can get out of it with American.
They need United States to translate their military victory into last think political benefits for them. And I think he'd be very hesitant to do that. However, I think it's going to be a very, very dangerous world if this deal is signed. I totally agree with him.
I think what he's trying to signal is that there are that there are numerous bad things that will happen as a result of this deal. And it won't just be from Israel, I mean he was -- one of the amazing things here is that he was speaking for our Arab allies as well. There's an incredible congruence of interest between Israel and the Gulf States now.
TAPPER: Ambassador Ayalon, I'm going to bring you in the kind of deal that Prime Minister Netanyahu seems to want. One in which the west makes virtually no concessions to Iran. The Iranian nuclear program is completely shutdown basically forever.
The Obama administration argues, that deals probably in the sky. It's impossible to get, they can't even get France, Germany to sign off on -- the U.K to sign of in it, much less Iran. DANNY AYALON, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Well, Jake, if this is the case, this is very grim situation, because if we tell to ourselves and to Iran that we cannot really prevent them. But it's a preordain that they become nuclear, then they will become nuclear. And Iran is no match, Jake, to international communities serving not the P5+1 in terms of technology economy might and military power.
The only times we know that the Iranians voluntarily stop and reaching and stop the illegal nuclear activity was when they really asses that they face a credible threat. It was one time in 2003 and the second time was in 2013, when the sanctions were really in effect. So right now, I think to let the Iranians believe that only negotiation is the way, then we walk the same line as we have in the 90s with North Korea.
And I think this is what the Prime Minster, and I believe not just him, not just Israel, we're here together on the right side of history, if I may call the President together with all the major allies of the United States in the region whether its Egypt, or Jordan, or Bahrain, or Saudi Arabia.
So I think there should be some reckoning here in Washington and work together with their allies and not against them.
BLITZER: Fran, if there's a deal with Iran, let say there's a deal with Iran on its nuclear program. Do you believe there's any reason to believe that the Iranians will curve their support Hezbollah or other groups the United States calls terrorist organizations?
TOWNSEND: Absolutely not. Why, Wolf? Because it has in part of the framework of a negotiation. Look, the administration in order to get to the negotiating table conceded a whole lot, right. This is a very circumscribe negotiation. They're only talking about the nuclear program. And so, we haven't even begun to (inaudible) with the Iranians. The fact that they're the largest single financial states sponsor of terror in the world.
And so no, I do not expect. And quite frankly, Wolf, I think we've got to anticipate if negotiations fall apart. And the Iranians don't get what they want. They may use that terror capability as they have in the past, you know, asymmetrically around the world in retaliation.
BLITZER: Fran Townsend, thanks very much. Danny Ayalon, Mike Doran, thanks to you as well.
TAPPER: Just ahead more Breaking News. The U.S. Justice Department investigation lunched after Michael Brown killing confirms what many in Ferguson have long been maintaining, but the city's police department has engage in a widespread pattern of racial bias. The report is rather skidding (ph). We'll have detail and reaction ahead.
TAPPER: Welcome back. More Breaking News this evening, a justice department investigation has found a sweeping pattern of racial bias within the Ferguson Missouri police department. The Civil Rights Probe, you may recall was ordered by Attorney General Eric Holder after that fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson last summer. Officer Wilson was ultimately not found guilty by a grand jury. The full report is expected to be made public tomorrow.
The first look is rather sobering, it sheds light on attentions that are erupted after Brown's death. Investigators found that Ferguson police routinely violated the civil rights of African-American by using excessive force and making unjustified traffic stops. Officers also where found who have made racist joke on their city e-mail accounts. The report also found racial bias in the cities municipal courts.
CNN's Ed Lavandera joins me now live from Ferguson. Ed, thanks for joining us. The finding of this report it's going to be release publicly tomorrow. What can you tell us?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well these findings -- the reaction has been -- this is the kind of thing that many Ferguson residences have been talking about and saying, you know, we told you so. This is what the disruption here was all about over the course of the last few months. Let's point out some of the detail that was released in that. This was taken from documents over a two year period and it show that 93 percent of all arrest by the Ferguson police department involve African-American.
90 percent of police citations were issued to African-Americans, 85 percent of all vehicle stops involve African-Americans and any time of Ferguson police officer use force 88 percent of those times it involve African-Americans. And these are exactly the kind of things that we heard over and over by residence here in Ferguson. That they say they were fed up with, that had just taken the toll after years in years, Jake.
TAPPER: And we should point out of course the population of Ferguson Missouri is about 67 percent African-American, those numbers much higher than that. Ed, legally what's next with the Ferguson police department?
LAVANDERA: Well, right now that, you know, they're still cooperating we're told with the justice department and it looks like that right now their going to down a path were essentially there will be court supervision over the city of Ferguson, in the police department, in the court system to ensure that they change their practices and comply with better standard. And that's the process that is ongoing. And also would take some times to unravel. But were told by justice depart officials at the city of Ferguson is cooperating.
TAPPER: Ed Lavandera in Ferguson Missouri. Thank you so much.
BLITZER: All right, let's get to work prospective. I want to bring in our Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin. And also our CNN Political Commentator Van Jones. Van, this report you say the only thing shocking about it is how not shocking it is. Explained.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yeah, I mean, for those of us who were there on the ground in Ferguson before, during, and after, the only thing shocking about this is, it's just not shocking at all. This is exactly what people who live in Ferguson were saying. And I don't just mean young people and protesters. I mean, church- going elderly people, they have felt that there was a campaign to fill the whole in the city's budget by stocking up tickets and citations.
I've talked to a business owner who said he literally moved out of Ferguson because he was having to leave his home early to allow for the fact that he was going to be pulled over all throughout it (ph). This was going on.
Also let's not forget, at the state level the Attorney General had already put forward statistics that were showing a big disparity here. So unfortunately, what -- and people say, you know, "I told this", so that kind of stuff. There was pain underneath those protests. When you had working folks marching day after day, that it wasn't just about Mike Brown. It was about a police department that have gone off the rails.
I personally have never seen a police department that showed more of an us against them attitude, against the taxpayers who we're paying their bill that I saw in Ferguson. And I grew up in the South.
TAPPER: Jeffrey Toobin, and let me ask you. What's the next step? The justice department issues this report tomorrow. And...
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: And then there's a period of negotiation with the Ferguson authorities. The usual resolution in a circumstance like this is what's known as a consent decree, an agreement between the police department and the justice department to change their practices, to change their training, to change how they interact with the citizenry.
Perhaps, some sort of moved towards community policing because, I mean, obviously, one of the key problems here is you have an overwhelming white police force in a 67 percent African-American city. All of those things presumably based on what Ferguson has said they will agree too. If they don't, the justice department can go to court and get a judge to force changes on the police department.
BLITZER: Jeffrey, quickly, how do they know the race of all -- these are relatively minor infractions. They keep a record, if you're African-American, you're Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, do they do that for traffic violations, you're speeding or something?
TOOBIN: That is somewhat surprising to me about traffic violations. I mean, the -- certainly for arrests, there are booking forms.
BLITZER: (inaudible) I understand if you caught speeding, they keep a record on that?
TOOBIN: It's so what appears, because they have talked about -- they have the statistics there. And the statistics are indicative of a police force that is tougher on blacks and whites.
TAPPER: And let me just as you, Jeffrey. The consent decree, whatever resolution they arrive at, it could be theoretically disbanding the Ferguson police department and having St. Louis County takeover, because that did happen in a neighboring town where I think Darren Wilson actually used to be a police officer.
TOOBIN: It certainly could. And in fact, one of the many complaints about police in this area is that there are too many police forces and they are all using something Van mentioned, which I think is extremely important, this notion of using the criminal justice system to raise money and locking people up if they don't have the $100, the $200 to pay off their tickets.
This is going to be an issue not just in Ferguson, not just in Missouri but around the whole country. This use of the criminal justice system to make money and panelized mostly, it turns at African-American.
BLITZER: Van, a former mayor of Ferguson spoke to the St. Louis Post- Dispatch, basically argue that the statistics are out of line with the demographics. They don't show bias there because there actually are more African-American going in and out of Ferguson on a daily basis than the numbers of the population of Ferguson, 67 percent would suggest. Will you buy that?
JONES: You know, I doubt at all. It's actually ludicrous because it isn't that true that a lot of people are shop in Ferguson, but there is no reason to believe that African-Americans are shopping there more than anyone else. There's only a very small part of Ferguson, on West Florissant where you have a concentration of black but is very small.
The rest of the town is just like every other place. And frankly, a lot of shopping is happening not by racial basis. This is a big problem when you have a city father who just won't look at the data. If my kids came home and they got a bad report card from the state, which they already got from the Attorney General, they then get a bad report card from fed, they said, "Well something's wrong with the teachers." My kid would be in timeout, OK?
The city's fathers do not want to deal with the fact that there is something definitely wrong. And also that there's no response yet for this racist e-mails.
You can pretend that for some reason, every shopper who comes to Ferguson is black which is bizarre, but what about the racist e-mails. That could have been -- if I were a leader in that city, I would have focus on that and not trying to make up excuses for stuff that it doesn't makes any sense.
BLITZER: Van Jones, thanks very much. Jeffrey Toobin, thanks to you as well.
TAPPER: Still ahead on the Special Edition of 360, a four-star fall from grace. Details of the plea deal that David Petraeus made to stay out of prison.
TAPPER: Welcome back. Once upon a time, people spoke the name David Petraeus and the same breath as Dwight Eisenhower. That's how it highly regarded as a soldier and statesmen and public servant, the retired four-star general was.
Tonight, David Petraeus is being mentioned in the same breathe as a phrase, not a name, and the phrase is plea deal. Mr. Petraeus has agreed to (inaudible) of plea admitting that while a director if Central Intelligence, he provided classified information to his biographer/mistress, all (inaudible).
The fall from grace was striking, even more striking just what he let her see. Joining us now with all the details, Joe Johns. Joe, what exactly did Petraeus plead guilty to doing?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake Petraeus is pleading guilty to one of count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, which is a pretty dry description of what happened here. The court records lay out a trail of stuff Petraeus did going about years that led to this.
Prosecutor say Petraeus that eight black books, in those books he kept highly sensitive classified information, identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities even discussions with the President of the United States. That books also contained top secret code word information. So this is very sensitive stuff. And when he left the CIA, Petraeus was supposed to turn over all that classified information but he didn't. Prosecutor says he kept the books.
And in August of 2011, he dropped these books off at a private residence in Washington D.C. where his biographer Paula Broadwell was staying. So it could be use as source of material for his biography that was published in 2012.
Broadwell, yes, was also his girlfriend. And when Petraeus was later interviewed by the FBI about disclosing classified information, the document say, he made a false statement. So in April 2013, the FBI does a search of Petraeus' residence, finds the books. He could have gotten hit with a lot more illegal exposure than he did according to the justice department, Jake.
TAPPER: Joe, I'm just trying to imagine what would happened to David Smith, not David Petraeus if he both brought out all that confidential classified information and then lied about it to the FBI, what kind of punishment is General Petraeus is facing?
JOHNS Well, look the maximum sentence for this, for this charge is year in jail, $100,000 fine, five years of probation. But if the court agrees he will avoid jail entirely and he'll get a two year probation term $40,000 fine. What is working in his favor, he accepted responsibility. Also, the court paper say, "None of the classified information actually got published in the book."
TAPPEP: Joe Johns, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
BLITZER: Now, to Moscow where Russian Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov was laid to rest just days after he was assassinated near the Kremlin. Matthew Chance is joining us now us from Moscow with more. What's the latest Mathew?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well it is very impressive turn out for this funeral. Thousands came to pay their respect to Boris Nemtsov, one of Russian's most prominent opposition leaders. The message though was very chilling and it wasn't lost on anybody in that crowd and it was this, "If you oppose to Kremlin in Northern Russia, this is what could happen to you."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: As his grieving family looked mourners patiently filed test, the open test. The brutal killing of Boris Nemtsov has unsettled Russia. But for the first time a high profile critic of the Kremlin has been ruthlessly cut down.
GRIGORY YAVLINSKY, OPPOSITION ACTIVIST: This is a terrible crime. This is the political terrorist attacks which have no explanations and have no excuse. This is the attempt to destroy all the people thinks differently from Kremlin.
CHANCE: Do you believe the killers will be brought to justice?
YAVLINSKY: No. I don't.
CHANCE: Boris Nemtsov has become just the latest victim of the political killings that have (inaudible) Russia. At this time, the Kremlin has vowed it will get to the bottom of this and bring those responsible to justice. But this funeral does a great deal of skepticism that this will happen.
And there's good reason, back in 2006, Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist and fierce (inaudible) critic was gun outside Moscow apartments in an alleged contract killing. There have been convictions but critics say the evidence is dubious clearing the Kremlin and leaving whoever ordered the hit to walk free.
Then seemingly straight out of the (inaudible) of Alexander Litvinenko, the Former Russian Again turned Kremlin critic was poisoned in London. The radioactive isotope, polonium 210 was put in his tea to leave him dying a horrifying (inaudible) death. The Russian government still refuses to extradite the prime suspects themselves both Former Russian Agents.
EDWARD LUCAS, CENTER OF EUROPEAN POLICY ANALYSIS: Ever sense Mr. Putin came to power (inaudible) physical killings of politicians, of human rights activists, journalists and now Boris Nemtsov. And the key thing that all of these have common is that killings are not cleared off, there's blustered condolences in the Kremlin but the killers and the people ordered the killing did not got found out.
CHANCE: And as Russia beats farewell to Boris Nemtsov, the overwhelming suspension is at the same thing may happen again this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And Matthew what's the latest with the investigation?
CHANCE: Well Wolf, the investigation hasn't made much progress as far as we're aware of public at least, no arrests have been made. The investigators are pursuing various different strands of motivation. One of them being got Boris Nemtsov Jewish heritage, his personal relationship, his business relationships. But it's interesting because in the authorities no one is talking about the possibility of Boris Nemtsov having been killed because of his opposition to the Kremlin.
Back to you.
BLITZER: All right, Matthew Chance, thanks very much.
TAPPER: Just ahead the outrage continuous tonight over that fatal police shoot a homeless man in Los Angeles. The latest on the killing plus a closer look at L.A. Skid Row where this incident happened.
BLITZER: In Los Angeles today, demonstrators march from Skid Row to police headquarters to protest the fatal shooting of a homeless man on Sunday. The killing which happened on Skid Row is not under investigation. The incident was caught on video. You can see police scuffling with the man, who was known as African. He was on the ground when he was shot. Police say he tried to reach for an officer's gun.
TAPPER: Less than an hour before he was killed the security cameras showed Africa apparently dealing drugs. The incident has renewed accusations of police brutally in the city. It's also focused attention on this (inaudible) of Central Los Angeles that's a refuge of last resort. Kyung Lah joins us.
Now, Kyung, do we know anything more about this man who was shot?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have learned from corners office that they have positively identified but they still trying to reach relatives, Jake. So that's why they're withholding his identify for now. In the streets of Los Angeles he was simply known by one name, Africa. And now he's now known for how he died, another casualty and what is known as L.A.'s brutal dumping ground.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, hear this is where everyone comes, disappears.
LAH: Into the despair known as Skid Row, 49 square block of downtown Los Angeles, an American encampment of 2,000 homeless like no other. Drug dealers working in the open, the effect on user's stark, mental illness as rampant as the trash on the street. In the city of Angels few care to retrieve the discarded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your doing all right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As well as can.
LAH: Reverend Andy Bales is one of them, he runs Union Rescue Mission in the heart of Skid Row.
REV. ANDY, UNION RESCUE MISSION: Watch you're step. Much as how I got, what I got.
LAH: What he got was flesh eating bacteria in his foot, contracted while walking to the streets, one personal sign of rampant disease here. Unchecked says Bales since the 1970 when city leaders envision to centralized hub for the needy. Time devolve that idea into something else.
ANDY: The police are tying to maintain peace in an impossible environment. I mean can you imagine? We need holy embarrassment that will cause us to take action.
LAH: Do you think that holy embarrassment is coming?
ANDY: If it hasn't come this week. I believe its coming soon.
LAH: This week when LAPD officer shot and killed an unarmed homeless man in violent encounter caught on tape, a rare Skid Row death notice. It happens across the street from this man who goes by Big Rob former crack addict, former convict. He won't waste time thinking about it. He worries about making a buck being a street barber.
BIG ROB, FORMER DRUG ADDICT: I don't care because why they don't bring food there. Ain't nobody else had really care. So I mean I can't care.
LAH: Is survival the most important thing out here?
ROB: Survival is the only thing out here.
LAH: Out here but also inside the shelter.
Is this all your stuff here?
KIMBERLY WATSON, MOTHER: This is all my stuff.
LAH: Homeless from months Kimberly Watson and her twin 12 year old boys survive domestic violence. Just as this neighborhood was first envisioned, the only shelter in L.A. county that would take them was the one in Skid Row.
Is it terrifying looking at what is out there on the door step?
WATSON: Not so terrifying, more sad, more sad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Kyung Lah, what is the latest with the investigation? Police very strongly making the argument that Africa was reaching for their gun. LAH: Yeah. And they actually had a news conference, Jake, where they were showing pictures of the gun showing that it was slightly discombobulated, that's proof they say evidence of a struggle over this gun. Right now the LAPD appears to be standing behind their officers. The chief saying there will be a full investigation. And part of this investigation, critical to it, Jake, will be two body cameras worn by the officers, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Kyung Lah of Los Angeles. Thank you so much.
BLITZER: Up next, there are series of change of pace. You've heard the praise when pigs fly. Well that beat that. It's a bird, it's a weasel. It's coming right up, right after this.
BLITZER: You've likely heard the term fight or flight devil (ph). Tonight we have a rare case a fight and flight all caught on camera.
TAPPER: It is for some people, the photo of the day, perhaps even the year. It's a weasel riding a woodpecker in flight. The image has the internet in overdrive. And of course here's Jeanne Moos.
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JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A weasel riding a woodpecker as if it a flying steed. It's the photo that had the whole world laughing. Bird expert were blown away.
JAMIE WYVER, ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIRDS: I was actually stunned. I couldn't believe it was real.
MOOS: But Jamie Wyver became a believe when he saw the blurry photos that the company (inaudible) famous one. Martin LeMay a photographer by hobby was with his wife in a London park when they heard a woodpecker squawking. And saw a weasel attacking the bird as it took off. This was no fantasy kiddie movie like Epic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This whole bird riding thing new to me.
MOOS: This was life and death struggle. The photographer told various media that the woodpecker landed are presence momentarily distracted the weasel. The woodpecker sees the opportunity and flew up and away, both survived.
WYVER: It's a photographers dream isn't, to capture behavior than no one's ever seen before.
MOOS: Soon everyone was seeing it photoshopped with the weasel wearing a cape with Madonna in her cape and shirtless Vladimir Putin, was later combine with Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, left sharp climb the aboard. The weasel was deck out in the blue or is it gold dress. Miley Cyrus was half dressed.
Even the two runaway (inaudible) showed up.
Is it really feasible for a bird to fly with a weasel on top of it?
WYVER: It's a tricky one isn't. But actually weasels are very, very light. It said that the head of a weasel could actually fit to a wedding ring.
MOOS: Wildlife experts tell us that a small weasel might weigh about as much a candy bar. So imagine a woodpecker flying around with this on its back. Soon the photo landed at the top of Reddit animal riding animals along with butterflies and on alligator, dog on a donkey, and dog rides dog. The image now known as hashtag weaselpecker took off like the space shuttle. Jeanne Moos, CNN New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I went to camp with guy name Weaselpecker.
BLITZER: I love Jeanne, she's amazing, isn't she?
TAPPER: Just so everybody understands, the weasel was trying to kill the woodpecker. It's not cute is quite tedious.
BLITZER: That's it for us tonight. Thanks very much for watching.
TAPPER: CNN Tonight start...