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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Terror Groups Names U.S. Troops Urges Attacks; Netanyahu Apologizes For Arab Voters Comments; Police: No Evidence of Alleged Gang Rape at Frat House; Cruz is First Republican to Announce Presidential Candidacy; Orphans Sold to Terrorists as Child Soldiers, Suicide Bombers. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired March 23, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, the FBI tracking a terror group that's put out a hit list of American troops with their names and addresses online calling for attacks on them and their families right here in the United States.
Plus, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today shocked everyone, apologizing for his comments about Arab voters. Did he mean it?
And allegations of a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia sparked nationwide outrage. Today, police are saying there's no evidence it ever happened. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett OUTFRONT tonight, a brutal threat from ISIS. So, the FBI is tracking the terrorists online, searching for anyone linked to an online hit list. On this hit list is at least 100 American military service members. The terrorists are calling for lone wolf attacks on these individuals and their families right here at home. A previously unknown group called the Islamic State hacking division, which says it is affiliated with ISIS, said it was publishing the service member names. Quote, "So that our brothers residing in America can deal with you."
It's not clear if this group is sanctioned by ISIS or not but an FBI official says tonight at least some of its members are affiliated with ISIS. It's also believed that at least some of the American military members on that hit list have been targeted simply because they have been involved in the coalition bombing campaign against ISIS. Now, the information on them, on this list, it has names, it has photos, it has home addresses and it appears to have been taken, in part, from social media sites, including Facebook. Law enforcement officials says everyone on that hit list is being contacted.
Justice correspondent Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT. And Pam, you know, the threats here are specific and horrific. What are you hearing about it?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right. In fact, the big concern here, Erin, is that a lone wolf, someone who sympathizes with ISIS could then go to these addresses listed and target a service member. So, as you point out, they are all being notified of the threat. And a law enforcement official I spoke with says the FBI has been tracking the online presence of a few of these people believed to be associated with this group, the Islamic State hacking division for some time actually even prior to the publication of the hit list, of the 100 or so military members that was published over the weekend. It's not clear as you point out if ISIS leadership ordered this group to collect this information but we are learning that some of the individuals known to be part of this group are believed to be based overseas and affiliated with ISIS. It's interesting to note here, Erin, the law enforcement official noted that this concept isn't new. There have been other service members targeted online by ISIS militants. But the official said that the fact that the group compiled this list is really an elevation of the threat.
BURNETT: That's pretty scary when you think about it, too, and then the specifics, they are talking about the horrific things they've done to behead, stab them on the streets. All right. Thank you very much, Pamela. And we're going to have the ranking member of the intelligence committee on in just a moment. But this is not the first time terrorists have targeted military officials. This time, though, the threats are very, very specific. And that's an important distinction.
Shasta Darlington is OUTFRONT.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A hit list with some 100 names, addresses and pictures of U.S. troops on American soil issued by a group known as the Islamic State hacking organization posting it online and calling for beheadings and attacks. Now, we've made it easy for you by giving you addresses. All you need to do is take the final step. So, what are you waiting for? The group's credibility is unknown but law enforcement says, the FBI has been tracking a few people involved for some time and they are affiliated with ISIS. The site has been taken down and official say, everyone on the hit list is being contacted.
(on camera): Do you think that this list poses a danger?
BUCK SEXTON, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think this list is another danger among many that we've already seen. I think that we recognize that these jihadists for example have been putting together all kinds of propaganda and they've been trying to essentially force people into living in a state of fear.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): We've seen military personnel targeted on home soil before. Last year in Canada, a Muslim convert gunned down a soldier guarding a hallowed war memorial and minutes later shots erupted in the halls of the country's parliament as the terrorist was killed. In 2013, this man along with another, attacked British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street with a meat cleaver calling it an eye for an eye killing for Muslims dying. And in 2009 an army psychiatrist went on a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood, Texas, killing 14 people saying it was revenge for U.S. global aggression against Muslims. The NATO allied commander calls the hit list in attempt by ISIS to divert attention. [19:05:08] GENERAL PHILIP BREEDLOVE, NATO SUPREME ALLIED
COMMANDER: Every time they take a defeat on the battlefield or every time they are under great pressure on the battlefield, they come up with some big splash like this.
DARLINGTON: The group that posted it claims to have hacked military data bases but the danger here, most of the information appears to have come from social media sites and public records.
DARLINGTON: Troops and their families are being advised to adjust the privacy settings on their social media so as little as personal information is out there in the public arena as possible. And we've reached out to a number of servicemen and women on this list. Most of those we got through to said they didn't want to talk but one woman told me that she is concerned especially because she has children and they are taking precautions -- Erin.
BURNETT: Gosh. All right. Thank you very much, Shasta.
OUTFRONT tonight, Congressman Adam Schiff. He's the top democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. And Congressman Schiff, I appreciate you being with us tonight. You just heard our report, an ISIS affiliate with the so-called hit list targeting American troops. What do you know about the threat?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, we're trying to investigate how they got this information. A lot of it may have been publicly available. But if there has been any hacking, obviously that's something that we want to find out about. I think it's also the case, though, that this is just one of the increasingly sophisticated uses of social media by ISIS even more so than al Qaeda but that's a real challenge for us because it takes very little for them to put this stuff out and it causes an outsize reaction on our part. So, you know, just another example of the challenges we face in this internet age.
BURNETT: So the situation in Yemen where obviously ISIS has been growing, much to the surprise of the Americans in many senses right, it's ending a much stronger than they thought, it's growing so quickly and the situation in Yemen is deteriorating so quickly that the United States is evacuating the last of its troops from the country. How damaging is this to the United States and security?
SCHIFF: Well, it is very damaging and unfortunately Yemen has taken a very dramatic turn for the worse over the course of the last nine months. The country is now fairly well divided between north and south. You have this chasm opened up and increasing divide between Sunni and Shiite, two rival governments now starting look alike like Libya, and then into this ungoverned space you have AQAP looking at new opportunities to expand and ISIS establishing a real threatening presence there with our diminishing footprint, it also gives us less eyes on our adversaries and that's very much a concern.
BURNETT: And you know, what I'm curious about is that just as recently as September, President Obama talked about Yemen as a success story. Let me just play to you exactly what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: The strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us while supporting partners on the frontlines is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Congressman, Yemen of course is known as a breeding ground for terror groups, and you now see this complete deterioration in Yemen. Why would the President have called it a success just months ago?
SCHIFF: Well, unfortunately, probably at the time the President made that statement it was quite accurate but things have taken a real dramatic turn since then. And I think what the President was talking about, that in the broader context of that address, though, was comparing it with a paradigm of massive American occupation like in Afghanistan and as we've previously had in Iraq. So, as he was saying, other models worked and it's worked successfully in Yemen and Somalia and it works successfully until it doesn't and unfortunately right now we have a real problem on our hands in Yemen. I would make one final point and that is, I'm not sure the answer is to go back to a massive American occupation of every space where the governance is falling apart. We just can't use that as a sustainable model.
BURNETT: Yes. All right. Well, that's a fair point. Thank you very much, Congressman. I appreciate your time tonight.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: Well, OUTFRONT next, before the election, he told supporters that busloads of Arabs were descending on the polls. Now Benjamin Netanyahu is apologizing. But does he mean it and does it matter?
Plus, a college student's claim a brutal gang rape made headlines across the nation today. A police investigation says, there is no evidence yet that any of it is true.
And our undercover camera show terrorists buying orphans for just $250. Then they turned them into suicide bombers. It's an exclusive investigation and it's OUTFRONT tonight.
[19:13:14] BURNETT: Tonight, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologizing for controversial comment about Arabs. During last week's campaign, Netanyahu warned his supporters to go to the polls, he said leftist were bringing huge amounts of Arabs by bus to vote against him. Today, Netanyahu saying was, sorry. He said, quote, "I know that my statements last week offended some Israeli citizens and members of the Arab Israeli community. That was never my intention. I apologize for that." Elise Labott was covering the election, she is in Jerusalem for
us tonight. And now, Elise, so he came out and said that today. Needless to say there are plenty of people who do not think that apology is not sincere.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Erin. You're talking about 1.6 million Israeli citizens of Arab descent who did come out in droves to the election to elect Arab parties that are now the third largest block of the Knesset and one of those parties today, the Arab Union Party said in a statement to CNN that, you know, it's a little too late, Erin. Netanyahu and his government's racism did not begin and ended this inciting statement. Legislation and racist exclusionary and discriminatory policies are working plans of the Knesset. Erin, as you know, as they're reporting about this, Arab sector of the Israeli community that really feels that they're being treated as second class citizens and they feel that this is just indicative of how Prime Minister Netanyahu sees that community.
BURNETT: All right. And of course, it's hard, right, when he says he wants to have a Jewish State to not have those feelings exist. I mean, it's in a sense, it's definitional. But those aren't the only campaign comments that is forcing Netanyahu to backtrack. Of course Elise, as you've reported on extensively, he reversed course on those comments about a two-state solution. Right? During the campaign he said over my dead political body, basically they will never be two states after my watch, after what he said, oh, wait, I didn't mean that I want two states. Is the Obama administration buying the sudden reversal?
LABOTT: They are not really impressed, Erin. They said you can't walk back a statement like that and expect that now we're still going to be on the same page. For six years, the administration thought they were on the same page with the prime minister about working towards a two-state solution. Now he backtracked today. The White House chief-of-staff Denis McDonough was talking to the pro- Israel group J Street and he said we can't pretend that these comments don't exist. It really calls into question his commitment to a two- state solution. And I'm talking to senior administration officials tonight who say, listen, it's going to take words, not actions. It's going to -- sorry. It's going to take actions, not words, to prove that he's serious and it's going to take some time. You can't just put that genie back in the bottle -- Erin.
BURNETT: No, you can't. You can't. All right. Thank you very much, Elise. Elise live from Jerusalem tonight.
And now, the former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney Stephen Yates along with James Zogby, President at the Arab American Institute.
James, let me start with you. So, it took a few days. He's been taking a lot of heat for that comment about bussing Arabs, getting his base to go out and vote. Do you think his apology was sincere? Is it going to be accepted by the Israeli Arabs? JAMES ZOGBY, PRESIDENT, ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE: Actually, they
don't accept it. And they have ever reason not to accept it. The modus operandi of this man is when pressured, he'll say what he needs to say to get out from under the rack that he put himself under. But the fact is, that Netanyahu is Netanyahu and a known comedy and he's been pursing racist policies his entire political career, even before he became prime minister back in the '90s. They know him, they know how he operates and they saw the Jewish State bill that he was proposing in the last Knesset that actually brought his government down that was based on a bill establishing Jewish supremacy and subordination of the Arab population to codify as a second-class citizenry in housing and education, in so many social services. They received a scant amount of government funding and are deprived as a result of that. And so the issue is, they don't believe them. And as Lee said, actions speak louder than words and the actions have actually been quite deplorable.
BURNETT: Deplorable is the word you used, Stephen, you actually don't think Netanyahu's comments on bussing Arabs was racist?
STEPHEN YATES, FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER TO VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: I don't. Because he was basically stating a fact. There was an act of effort to increase Arab Israeli participation in the election and it worked. Whether it's racist to target, and ethnicity was in the country, an increased participation, is something for others to address what really matters is the vote count and Bibi's party came up on top. He has to form a coalition government. And people have to figure out where they are going to go from here. In terms of actions speaking louder than words, there are a lot of actions in the security environment that don't speak well of the intentions on the other side seeking peace. And so, there's a lot of blame to go around on this. The question is, is there really a desire, an ability to deliver on both sides of this equation.
[19:18:08] ZOGBY: Thirteen members of the Knesset are now going to be from the Arab block. I don't think you can speak about their commitment or not commitment to peace. We've polled that block and Arabs in Israel are, in fact, the most moderate of the constituency in the entire country and they are treated like second-class citizens. No, they aren't second-class citizens in that state. I've been studying them for four decades now, I've seen them go from total exclusion to fight for where they are today to where they are at least have a party that can be operated in their name but they are still treated quite poorly. They are treated like blacks under Jim Crow here in the United States.
BURNETT: So there's this issue of racism, okay? There's also the issue of two states. Right? There were two things that the prime minister said that he's now taken back. On the two-state issue, first he said, no way, that's never going to happen while he was in office. That was on his, at the final day of the campaign. And a couple of days later after the Obama administration frankly really lost it over this, he said, actually I do want two states, I've always wanted two states. Again, James, to you, do you believe him? Does he want two states or not? I mean, because actually if he has one state, he's kind of stuck with what you're talking about actually which is over time, it will have to be racist policy if you want a Jewish state.
ZOGBY: Well, it's a racist policy today. But let's talk about the two states. This guy was elected in 1996 in a platform of ending the peace process, the actual process. And then in 2001, before supporters in Israel, he said, you know, during my time, I ended the peace process and he actually did. He took steps along the way that made it increasingly possible for two states to come into existence and delegitimize the Palestinian leadership and put them in a position where they are today, a fragmented policy. The time has been in office, in the recent era, again, he rewards Hamas with 1,000 prisoners and denies Abu Masan (ph) 22 prisoners in order to keep the peace process going. This president --
BURNETT: That's the leader of the PLO.
ZOGBY: Understands that Netanyahu has never really wanted peace. He's tried to play with them, he's tried to move them, he's tried to push them forward but I think that his electioneering this time really went over the top and America has to make a choice. If we want peace, it's not going to come with Benjamin Netanyahu in office because he has no interest in it at all. He's playing for time and wants to actually further entrench Israel into the West Bank to make it possible for two states to ever come into being.
BURNETT: So, Stephen, do you believe Netanyahu -- let's just put it this way, which Netanyahu do you believe? The one-state Netanyahu or the two-state Netanyahu?
YATES: I believe Netanyahu says his first priority is the security of the Israeli State and whether it's the Iran negotiations with the Palestinian authorities, he's basically laying out a narrative that I think a lot of Americans are going to sympathize with, can you make peace with a state that includes elements that call for your elimination and when it comes to the Palestinian authority, it's ties to Hamas are pretty clear. How can you have a two-state solution in peace with the government that has with in it, credo that says that they want to have a one-state solution.
BURNETT: And James, there is a point to that, right? I mean, they do have a deal with Hamas. When I asked the ambassador from the PLO of the U.S. about that last week --
ZOGBY: Yes, right.
BURNETT: His answer to me was a little bit short, I thought. It was, well, we're not technically a part of Hamas. I mean, when you're relying on the word "technically" as your cover, that is not great.
ZOGBY: They are not. The peace negotiator is Abu Musa (ph) and is the Palestinian authority, that is the peace negotiator. And let me make a point clear, look at who is in Netanyahu's government, Naftali Bennett who said over his dead body there would be two states and said, he described Palestinians like a piece of shrapnel in your butt. And he said, you have to live with it because it's worse to operate and get it out. We're going to be one state, that's it. And then he's also got Avigdor Lieberman in his government, again somebody who has been very clear about his absolute rejection of for self- determination for Palestinians. So, you know, look, you can -- it's the pot calling the kettle black. Netanyahu has done everything he can to make it impossible for there to be a state, including massive expansion to settlements in the Palestinian areas that are actually quite -- quite a problem that everyone knows is a problem and yet he's the one saying I don't trust my opponents.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much to both of you for the conversation that will keep going on and on, I know. I appreciate both of your time tonight.
ZOGBY: Thank you.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, the story of a gang rape at the University of Virginia. You remember that was headlined across this nation. It outraged the nation. Now police are saying they've looked into it, they've done a full investigation, there's no evidence that it ever happened. Our report, next.
And he's made enemies on both sides of the aisle. Now, the controversial Texas Senator Ted Cruz is running for president. Wow. And all the ladies in his life look gorgeous there in pink. Is that going to matter? What are the chances for Ted Cruz for president?
[19:26:56] BURNETT: The gang rape that may not have happened. It's the horrific story that outraged America. "Rolling Stone" magazine's expose of a gang rape at a fraternity at the University of Virginia. The victim, you may remember, was a student identified only as Jackie in the story and she revealed she was brutally raped by at least seven mean at a frat house. It was a lot of graphic detail and it wasn't credibly brutal. And so, police did their own investigation and today for the first time they said there's no evidence that the rapes ever happened.
Rosa Flores begins our coverage OUTFRONT in Charlottesville, Virginia, tonight.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Charlottesville police announce the conclusion of their four-month investigation into the alleged gang rape of a University of Virginia student.
CHIEF TIMOTHY LONGO, CHARLOTTESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're not able to conclude to any substantive degree that an incident that is consistent with the facts contained in that article occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house or any other fraternity house, for that matter.
FLORES: The alleged rape dates to the fall of 2012. That September, a woman identified only as Jackie told three friends a horrifying story about going on a date to a frat party, only to be brutally gang raped by seven men. Her story published in "Rolling Stone" magazine last November quickly gained national attention and sparked a debate about rape on college campuses. At today's press conference, police revealed they spoke to nearly 70 people and could find little to corroborate the details of Jackie's story. They also found a number of inconsistent stories from Jackie. She told police in April of 2014 that she was hit by a bottle on campus and that her roommate helped pick broken glass from her face.
LONGO: That roommate was subsequently interviewed and she denies doing that.
FLORES: Two of Jackie's friends said her date on the night of the alleged rape was a student named Haven Monahan but they never met him and investigators found no evidence he even exists. The investigation also found that on the night of the alleged rape, the evidence shows there was no party or any kind of an event at that frat house in question. But as this complex story unfolds, one issue remains constant.
LONGO: That doesn't mean that something terrible did not happen to Jackie on the evening of September 28th, 2012. We are just not able to gather sufficient facts to conclude what that something may have been.
FLORES: Now, the Phi Psi fraternity releasing a statement saying, in part, quote, "We hope that Rolling Stone's actions do not discourage any survivors from coming forward to seek the justice they deserve." The fraternity also saying that they are exploring their legal actions. Now, this is not the only investigation going on. The Colombia journalism review sifting through the reporting, through the editorial and Rolling Stone telling CNN that they plan to report those findings in early April -- Erin.
[19:30:01] BURNETT: All right. Just weeks away. Thank you very much, Rosa. And OUTFRONT now, Captain Gary Pleasants, he's with the Charlottesville Police Department obviously. The department has just concluded this four month investigation into the alleged gang raped at the fraternity that was reported in "Rolling Stone."
Captain Pleasants joins me now live from Charlottesville. And I appreciate you taking the time, Captain.
So, I know through this investigation you found other stories told by Jackie may not be true, one of them we just heard Chief Longo talking about. She told police she was hit by a bottle on campus, alleged that her roommate helped pick the broken glass from her face. Her roommate denies any of this ever happened.
I know there are number of circumstances surrounding the night of the gang rape that cannot be corroborated. Are there other parts of her story that you can share with us that did not add up in your investigation?
CAPT. GARY PLEASANTS, CHARLOTTESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT : Well, Erin, there were a number of things that did not come together that, again -- what we're going on is an article in "Rolling Stone" magazine that then was refuted by the very people who published it. So, that's the information that we had to go on to begin with. We didn't have a statement from Jackie nor do we have one from her. So, we were looking at, you know, information that was uncorroborated to begin with and suspect to begin with. So, most of what we found -- the very most of what we found was that these events certainly did not occur, not the way that they were described in that article, certainly.
BURNETT: So, you're saying, it certainly did not occur the way they described it. Now, you know, the conclusion, I guess, the direct quote from your investigation is there's no substantive basis to support the account alleged in the "Rolling Stone" article. Now, I know you didn't have a chance to talk with Jackie and I want to talk with you about that, because I know you conducted 70 interviews. I mean, you talked to a lot of people to try to find out if this ever happened.
BURNETT: And in those 70 interviews that you conducted, or 70 people, was it pretty much uniform that no one was able to corroborate or say anything that defended what she had alleged happened?
PLEASANTS: Yes, it was. With the exception of the two gentlemen that she met -- that she said happened -- she met up with just after this incident occurred, the two of them were fairly convinced that something had happened, not the way it was described, the way it was written. But they thought, again, that something had probably occurred, and that's why we're not saying this entire thing is fabricated because it is a very good chance that something may have occurred to her that night. They thought so.
BURNETT: Something may have occurred, just not what was actually reported as to have happened. So, you're saying, 70 interviews, 68 of them said nothing, two of them, though, said something may have happened. You were not able to speak with Jackie, and this was something you just pointed out. So, let me ask you about why. Why wouldn't she talk to you as part of your investigation?
PLEASANTS: Well, I don't know. That would be something she would have to answer if she'd be willing to do so, and I don't want to speculate about what her reasons may be. I could be way off based by doing so and I don't want to do that.
BURNETT: One of your detectives I know did meet with her, at least three times over the course of -- between April of last year and December. What was his impression like of her? I mean, people want to know, they are hearing someone made these allegations that don't seem to be adding up by anyone's investigation but maybe something did happen.
I mean, what was his impression of her as a young woman?
PLEASANTS: Well, he had no reason to disbelieve anything when he first spoke to her. But then again, he was getting very little information, just from her that he did get information about the bottle attack that she was reporting and just mention of a sexual assault of some kind that had occurred a couple years before that. But that was all that was really told to him. So, he really couldn't make a determination as to truthfulness and that sort of thing because he had no facts whatsoever to go on.
As far as speaking to her, she was friendly with him, he with her, and he said it was very good conversation, but not very substantive in nature.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Captain Pleasants, thank you very much.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Ted Cruz, the first official candidate for president. Why he's a lightning rod even in his own party.
And an exclusive OUTFRONT investigation tonight: orphans for sale, who were then turned into suicide bombers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: $500 for both children?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ELBAGIR: OK. Let me decide if we want to do this and then I will call you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:38:19] BURNETT: All right. So 2016 is officially under way. Firebrand Senator Ted Cruz now the first Republican to throw his hat into the ring, officially launching his campaign on Twitter and then delivering his first campaign speech at the largest Christian university in the nation, laying out his case to voters.
But is this first-term senator way to divisive to win the White House?
Senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ted Cruz rode a conservative wave to the Senate less than three years ago.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Thank you so very, very much.
ZELENY: Now, he's hoping it will carry him to the White House in 2016.
CRUZ: It is a time for truth. It is a time for liberty. It is a time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States.
ZELENY: Cruz won his Senate seat in 2012 by taking on the GOP establishment in Texas. And since he arrived in Washington, the conservative firebrand has blazed his own trail.
CRUZ: I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.
ZELENY: He waged a 21-hour filibuster, all over funding for the Affordable Care Act, which included this reading of Dr. Seuss to his daughters.
CRUZ: Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them Sam I am, I do not like green eggs and ham.
ZELENY: That strategy endured Cruz to many Tea Party conservatives.
But some in the party blasted his tactics for causing a government shutdown with Republicans bearing the brunt of the blame.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I have seen this movie before and we will not repeal Obamacare, at least in this fashion.
[19:40:05] ZELENY: Another Republican, New York Congressman Peter King, issued a blistering statement today in response to Cruz's announcement. "Shutting down the federal government and reading Dr. Seuss on the Senate floor are the marks of a carnival barker, not the leader of the free world."
Cruz has also made waves with controversial comments about the science of climate change.
CRUZ: I just came back from New Hampshire where there's snow and ice everywhere. My view, actually, is simple. Debates on this should follow science and should follow data. And many of the alarmists on global warming, they've got a problem because the science doesn't back them up.
ZELENY: California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, said Sunday that Cruz's position on global warning should be an automatic disqualifier.
GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: It's shocking and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.
ZELENY: While Cruz sharply criticizes President Obama, he has taken aim at the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, over her handling of the 2012 terror attacks in Libya.
CRUZ: What I think is that she has deliberately stone-walled the American people. The American people deserve the truth.
BURNETT: So, Jeff, you got Ted Cruz coming out. He's the first, and obviously very controversial. Not polling very high when it comes to the Republican primaries. Who is next?
ZELENY: Erin, it's about to get very crowded. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is next, we believe. His announcement is April 7th in Kentucky. He's probably one of Senator Cruz's top rivals. But from there, it's going to get pretty crowded. Marco Rubio, of course, is expected to announce shortly after that and Jeb Bush is also getting in.
But not just Republicans. Hillary Clinton's campaign probably will launch sometime in mid-April.
BURNETT: Well, that's going to be a lot in a very little amount of time. And I guess --
ZELENY: A lot of work to do.
BURNETT: Yes. And I guess he's smart, right? If you want the attention, you better go first. There's something to that.
All right. Thanks so much to you, Jeff Zeleny, and welcome.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, an exclusive investigation OUTFRONT, orphans sold to terrorists. Our undercover camp cameras captured just how easy and cheap it is to buy a human.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELBAGIR: $500 for both children?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And on a lighter note, from jumping off couches to jumping off buildings, Tom Cruise still does all of his own stunts. The man never ages. Jeanne Moos with the story.
[19:46:03] BURNETT: In a video released today, President Obama warned of the threat posed by the terror group Boko Haram.
Just a few weeks ago, this group pledged allegiance to ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Boko Haram, a brutal terrorist group that kills innocent men, women and children must be stopped. Hundreds of kidnapped children deserve to be returned to their families. Nigerians who have been forced to flee deserve to return to their homes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: More than 1 million people, half of them children, have been displaced by Boko Haram. But here's the unbelievably horrific thing. A lot of these children are actually sold to Boko Haram and then Boko Haram terrorists actually strap them with explosives, send them into a market, detonate them from a remote.
Tonight, in an exclusive investigation, we take hidden cameras inside a camp where these very children can be bought for just a couple hundred bucks.
Nima Elbagir is OUTFRONT.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): At this camp in northern Nigeria, we've been told you can take your pick of orphan children. No paperwork, no questions asked. There is just one requirement, according to the man who claims to run the camp.
(on camera): You said on the phone that perhaps maybe there would be a suggested donation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes, yes. I told you so.
ELBAGIR: Behind us, children are playing blissfully unaware. Over the phone we said we wanted to inquire about what they are calling here fostering, how it works. He returned with his partner, Kim (ph) assured me there are children available. I could even choose girl or boy, younger or older.
I wore a hidden camera to show just how easy it would be to procure a child.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has given me assurance of a girl of three years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anytime from tomorrow.
ELBAGIR (on camera): Is there any document I need to sign or anything? No? Just the green light from you is enough?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Even verbal is OK.
ELBAGIR: Here we go.
All the talk we just had in that camp of suggested donations and fostering, none of that is legal. None of it is legal in any way, shape or form.
(voice-over): For months now, there have been reports of children are being offered for sale in Nigeria's displaced camps. The worry is that anyone can walk in and walk out with a child. Even the very terror groups they fled the camps to escape. (on camera): There are concerns that some of these children in
the northeast could end up back in the hands of Boko Haram to be used as suicide bombers or to be used in their camps.
JOSIAH EMEROLE, NATIONAL AGENCY FOR THE PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC IN PERSONS: The children are being used as soldiers. We also know that even here in recent times with some of the suicide bombers, they have been young children.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): "Respect life, say no, you were a child once." The slogans etched across the mural at the Nigerian Anti- Trafficking Agency, NATA.
As the insecurity in the north rages, it is almost impossible, they tell us, to keep track of all of the orphan displaced children scattered between official, unofficial camps and beyond. They know, though, where they can end up.
ELBAGIR (on camera): Well, you tell me.
(voice-over): Back at our hotel, we make the call. It doesn't take long.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are the one that should prepare and not us, if I give you just this amount, or what.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's too small now.
All together, how much?
(voice-over): He says the orphans extended families will need a cut and they all need to agree that the money is enough.
(on camera): $500 for both children?
UNIDENTIFEID MALE: Yes.
ELBAGIR: OK. Let me decide if we want to do this and then I will call you. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. OK. Thank you.
ELBAGIR: Thank you.
[19:50:00] $500 for two children. Two orphaned, incredibly vulnerable children, just sold like that for $500.
(voice-over): We didn't follow through with the transaction but they kept calling us. The children in Nigeria bear the brunt of Boko Haram's campaign
of terror -- mass abductions, enslavement, forced to flee their homes and even here in the displaced camps, it seems there is no real refuge, no place the children can safely call home.
BURNETT: I mean, Nima, it's horrifying. But obviously incredible reporting that you did. I mean, you're talking to the men on the phone. I mean, at this point now as a journalist, are you able to find out who they are? I mean, is there anyone you can turn people like that in to? It seems one goes away and another one pops up in his place. It seems impossible to stop this.
ELBAGIR: That is really the heart of the issue. We spoke to the Nigerian Anti-Trafficking Agency. You saw their spokesman there in our piece.
And even they acknowledge that the insecurity means that it's really, really hard to keep track of what happens to these children. And even children living inside -- the orphans who have no one to look after them, even the children that are in those camps with their families are just in an extraordinarily difficult situation. There's very little food. There are very, very few options available to the family to try and take care of these children.
And even those with families open to exploitation, let alone those who are vulnerable and alone. And the only way to fix this problem is to fix the broader problem of the havoc that Boko Haram is wreaking in the north of an Nigeria, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Nima, thank you very much.
And Phil Mudd joins me now, our counterterrorism analyst, former CIA counterterrorism official.
Phil, you know, this is pretty shocking, isn't it? I mean, $500, I know is a lot of money, to some people in Nigeria, of course. But you're talking about two human lives for 500 bucks.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Erin, it's not shocking. The reason is pretty straightforward. These groups, ISIS, Boko Haram, both of them have had child soldiers, believe that Western culture is corrupt. When they bring a child in, whether that child is bought or abducted, they can take that child out of what they view as a corrupted society, and raise them in a society that they view is pure.
Let me take this one step forward. We've seen children, and by that I mean 15-year-old girls, self-recruited out of London to the United States. They also believe that they're being recruited to go to a society that's pure. So, I'm not saying obviously I agree with it, it's disgusting. But I understand the mentality. It's pretty clear.
BURNETT: All right. So, let me play something from Nima's piece again, which is so powerful. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has given me assurance of a girl of three years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anytime from tomorrow.
ELBAGIR: Is there any document I need to sign or anything? No? Just the green light from you is enough?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Even verbal is OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: No documents, no trail, just make a verbal agreement and it's done. And the thing about that that stood out to me is we're talking about a 3-year-old little girl, that they could just strap with explosives, send her into a market and detonate her from remote, which we know they have done.
MUDD: Well, I thought I had seen everything. I've followed terrorism now for nearly 30 years. The groups that I've followed since the 1990s, especially some of the groups like the al Qaeda- related groups, would use suicide bombers who were teenagers. I've talked to some kids who recruited a suicide bomber. But never went down and did the act.
But even among the groups I've followed, the most extreme, this would be viewed as completely unacceptable. This shows you that Boko Haram, you know, ISIS is the fringe, these guys are the extreme of the fringe. This is unheard of among Islamists.
BURNETT: I mean, unheard of. A 3-year-old baby. Unbelievable.
BURNETT: All right. Phil, thank you very much.
MUDD: Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos with Tom Cruise's latest high-flying stunt.
[09:47:45] BURNETT: When Tom Cruise scaled Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building for "Mission Impossible 4", it was frankly gripping. It turns out he now has a new trick up his sleeve.
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tom Cruise is a frequent flier all right. It took eight takes, eight takeoffs to capture him clinging to a plane.
TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: Open the door!
MOOS: That's no stunt man, that's Tom Cruise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God!
MOOS: Dangling from an Airbus 8400-M. Cruise told Yahoo Movies, "It's the most dangerous thing I've ever done. My body was slamming on the side. I was like, whoa, this is intense."
The traveler from "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation" gives us Tom's point of view. "Previously, all we had were photos taken from the ground during filming late last year."
Cruise told Yahoo, "As a kid, I remember flying on an airplane and thinking, what would it be like out on the wing or on the side of the airplane?" Now, he knows. "Pretty damn exciting and exhilarating."
The director told Yahoo taxiing was worse than flying because of the exhaust fumes.
Cruise is known for doing his own stunts. From the hood of a car to behind the wheel, from a night fight to a rock climb.
But there is one Tom Cruise stunt that leaves all the rest of them looking stunted.
There he is scaling the tallest building on the planet in Dubai for "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol", kicking his way in, leaping back out.
Of course, he was wearing a safety harness. But trying to top that explains this -- Cruise had to wear a lens covering his entire eyeball so he could keep his eyes open while flying.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, TV HOST: Have you ever felt this way before?
MOOS: It's hard to make fun of him for jumping up and down on Oprah's couch once you've seen him jumping up and down on the tallest building.
At 52, Tom has reached his cruising altitude.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Got to give him credit. I don't even like to go to the top of that building on the inside.
Thanks for joining us. Be sure to record OUTFRONT so you can watch anytime on DVR.
Anderson starts now.