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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
One-on-One with Chris Christie; Chris Christie Campaigns In Iowa; Hillary Clinton Document Dump; Police Union Files Grievance For Tensing To Get Job Back; U.S. Dentist Wanted For Killing Cecil The Lion. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired July 31, 2015 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:30:02] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And the the subtitle on it, "Why people e-mail so badly and how to do it better."
JOHN BERMAN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: To read that book now in different context, Brianna, those are the e-mails as opposed to the medical records as opposed to the tax records that you're going to get in a few minutes. What revelations over this eight-year period do you think we'll see?
KEILAR: Well, what we are hoping for and I think what we should expect and I will tell you these are tax records from 2007 to 2014, keeping in mind that already public are the Clinton tax records from 1992 to 2006 so this will just further that record with several years.
I think we may be finding out the tax rate which is key and certainly we are expecting to see how much money the Clintons may have donated to charity. Keeping in mind a lot of that money may have gone to the Clinton Foundation so we are waiting to see all of that. It should be happening very soon -- John.
BERMAN: Wow, Brianna Keilar, a busy day for you. Thank you so much.
KEILAR: You bet.
BERMAN: In our Politics Lead, he is barely registering the polls right now, but Republican presidential candidate, Chris Christie says no big deal. Our Jake Tapper sits down with the New Jersey governor who gave us thoughts about Donald Trump's lead in the polls. That's next.
BERMAN: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm John Berman in for Jake Tapper today because Jake is in Iowa, where he just sat down with Republican candidate, Chris Christie. The two-term New Jersey governor has made six stops in Iowa this week, in an attempt to boost his poll numbers.
Frankly those numbers are not good. It's possible he might not qualify for the Fox debate next week. Jake is in Dubuque, Iowa right now -- Jake. JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Greetings from Dubuque, Iowa, John. We sat down with Governor Chris Christie here in beautiful downtown Dubuque. He's been dinging his Republican rivals for not offering specifics, for not saying exactly what they would do as president.
He on the other hand has been laying out detailed plans especially when it comes to entitlement or safety net programs, how to reform them.
So I asked him, if it's true that people leading in the polls like Donald Trump or Scott Walker or Jeb Bush are not offering specifics, how come what they are doing is working for them and what you're doing isn't working?
GOV CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it's early. Listen, it's seven months before anybody is going to vote here in Iowa in a caucus or in New Hampshire in a primary. Let's all take a deep breath.
You know, four years ago, Herman Cain was winning right now. Eight years ago, Rudy Giuliani was winning right now. So I think we all need to take a deep breath. Campaigns matter, Jake. They matter. What you do matter and it doesn't happen overnight.
These folks in Iowa and New Hampshire particularly are notoriously late deciders on what they are not going to do. So they want to hear everybody. They want to see everybody. They want to digest all this stuff and they'll make decisions.
I think when that time comes. The fact that we've been this specific for this long will make it a benefit for us.
TAPPER: Leading nationally, leading in New Hampshire, doing well in Iowa is businessman, your friend, Donald Trump. Rand Paul was recently asked about the fact that Trump is ahead in polls.
And Rand Paul wrote, "I think this is a temporary sort of loss of sanity, but we're going to come back to our senses and look for somebody serious to lead the country at some point." Do you think Dr. Paul is diagnosing the problem correctly?
CHRISTIE: No, I don't. I think that Donald will be a as serious a candidate as Donald wants to be. He's going to be determine through the depth of his answers and the seriousness of his answers whether he's a serious candidate or isn't.
That's what I mean by campaigns mattering. Anyone can do well for a month in this business especially if you have talent and you have personality. Donald has both of those things so let's see how it goes over the course of time. I think Dr. Paul's diagnosis is premature. We'll see what's going to happen.
(END VIDEOTAPE) TAPPER: Of course, we talked about a lot more, John. We talked about immigration reform and Planned Parenthood and ISIS, and the Iran deal, and Donald Trump, all of that and more, coming up on Sunday on "STATE OF THE UNION" -- John.
BERMAN: Fantastic. Jake Tapper in Iowa, thanks so much. You can watch the full interview on Sunday on "STATE OF THE UNION" Chris Christie joins him then.
I want to bring in our panel right now, CNN political contributor and longtime aide to President Obama, Dan Pfeiffer, and in Miami, CNN political commentator, Ana Navarro.
Guys, I'm going to get to Hillary Clinton, to Jeb Bush and of course to Donald Trump. But let's talk about Chris Christie. Ana, Jake says campaigns matter, don't pay attention to the fact that I'm losing now badly, because he says I won't be losing badly for long, but at some point don't you have to make a blip?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not sure there's anything else that Chris Christie can say at this point. He's out there, to his credit, doing townhalls all over New Hampshire and Iowa, and giving it a fighting chance.
I think at some point you have to have some measurables and say, OK, I'm picking up traction or I'm not. What I expect of the Chris Christie is the guy we all know. If he goes down, he's going to go down fighting. If he catches lightning a bottle, that's that, but it's not looking too good for him.
BERMAN: The question is will he get a chance to fight in the big boy debate next week on Fox and on CNN the month after that. He's got to be in the top ten to make that happen. Dan Pfeiffer, I want to talk about --
NAVARRO: Pretty surreal to think that Chris Christie might not be in that big boy debate.
BERMAN: I want to talk about Hillary Clinton, Dan Pfeiffer because it is a Friday, the end of July, and there's really three document dump today, not one but really three. Give me the inside look at why and how you do this. Is it because you don't think we'll pay attention? Is it because you want to sneak things under?
[16:40:07] DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Look, I think the Friday document dump is a bit of an anachronism in an internet age, but I kind of think maybe that the Clinton campaign did this for all the chaos and the tumult that came from the press reporting about the e-mail last week wrong.
So I wouldn't worry too much about their tactics here, and, you know, if it causes reports to work alternates harder on a summer Friday, there's probably no one causing sleep at campaign headquarters.
BERMAN: Ana, you know, this makes the Clinton campaign pretty transparent right now. There are releasing their tax records just as much as your friend, Jeb, has, releasing her medical records now for people to take a look at. It's got to be a good thing. Transparency is a good thing.
NAVARRO: Well, I think she's got an ongoing problem with this e-mail issue. To me it's a drip, drip, drip. Every week it seems we see a different story. This week it was about how they were five intelligence agencies that had send classified e-mails to her private server.
It was about how her closest spokesperson at the department was also using a private e-mail and had to hand over 20 boxes of e-mail under a judicial order. It was about how the federal judge looking into this has lost his patience. So it is a constant story that doesn't go away, and every -- every week the yarn unravels just a bit more.
BERMAN: Dan, Hillary Clinton did something else interesting today. She went to Florida, the home state of Jeb Bush, the home state of Marco Rubio, and she went after Jeb Bush not by name, but it was pretty thinly veiled.
They talked about education, talked about health care reform, talked about voting rights, and also talked about the Cuban trade embargo, which is sort of thumbing your nose at both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, and a big chunk of the Cuban community there. What do you think of that move?
PFEIFFER: Certainly she wasn't subtle in her attacks on Jeb Bush. I think she employed what I think is a good idea, which is the old Jordan rules for basketball, which is no lay-ups. If Jeb Bush was going to show up at the Urban League, which I think was a smart thing.
She wasn't going to make it easy. He has a record and should not be able to show up and not get scrutiny so that's good. On the Cuban move, I think it was smart and it shows that the Clinton campaign understands where politics in Florida is going.
That, you know, Obama won on many of the Cuban precincts in 2012. The younger Cuban electorate is very supportive of lifting the embargo. So this was smart. Play offense, not defense. I think it was a good day for the Clinton campaign.
BERMAN: Ana, you know, Jeb Bush didn't really play offense or defense. He didn't really respond to Hillary Clinton at all. A spokesman did, but do you think it was a mistake for Jeb Bush not to respond directly to Hillary?
NAVARRO: No, I don't. The Urban League is not a political organization, they don't endorse. I think he went there to talk about his record and to say, look, I come here with all humility. I've said that I'm going to go places where Republicans don't often go.
I'm going to go outside my comfort zone. I'm going to come here and tell you that I want to work with you. I'm going to tell you what I've done in the past. I'm going to tell you about my efforts with the Urban League, about my efforts on education, about my efforts on choice for school. And, you know, I'm going to be your friend should I become president, and even if I don't, I'm going to continue being your friend. On the Cuba issue, I think not only did Hillary Clinton draw a contrast with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. She drew a contrast with Hillary Clinton.
It's a stark change from where Hillary Clinton was in 2007. I think the big difference you see is that for her is it's yet another evolution that's poll driven, whether it be driver's licenses for the undocumented or gay marriage or the Cuba embargo.
Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are a part of this community, they know the pain, and they are not going to change because of polls. They know that Cuba is still a repressive regime.
BERMAN: Ana Navarro, Dan Pfeiffer, thanks so much for joining us. I promise a Trump update. Here's the update, he is still running.
Moving on, one group coming to the defense of a fired police officer who has now been indicted for murder, why they say he was wrongly fired. That's next.
Plus be careful what you say anonymously on Twitter, a Hollywood actor is suing the social media site for $10 million after being called a cocaine addict. That's ahead.
BERMAN: Welcome back to THE LEAD. The National Lead, we are getting a better idea of exactly who saw what during that deadly traffic stop in Cincinnati. Prosecutors now say two responding officers will not be charged.
Their body camera video captured their former colleague, Ray Tensing describe why he fired his gun during the traffic stop. He said repeatedly he was being dragged by the car and was forced to shoot, but the video seems to show a different story, which is why Tensing is now facing a murder charge.
CNN's Jean Casarez is following all, and joins me now from Cincinnati. Jean, the police union is now weighing in on how Tensing was fired.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They really are. Raymond Tensing was fired from being a police officer several days ago when he was indicted. Now the police union is saying that he should be able to have his job reinstated.
Meanwhile, so many questions have been looming about those two officers that responded to the scene, where Tensing effectuated that traffic stop, well, their fates have partially been answered today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought he was going to run me over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm good.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Word today the two University of Cincinnati police officers, who arrived on scene to assist Raymond Tensing will not be charged with any crimes in the case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What, he pulled on you?
CASAREZ: The Hamilton County prosecutor announcing that the grand jury did hear testimony from the two officers, David Lindenschmidt's and Philip Kidd, and chose not to indict.
[16:50:04] Despite some initial comments from the officers, the prosecutor says they did ultimately testify that they did not see Tensing dragged by DuBose's car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take the seat belt off for me, all right? Stop, stop!
CASAREZ: Tensing's attorney says he was being dragged by the car and feared for his life.
(on camera): What is your reaction to the video as you have watched it?
STEW MATTHEW, RAY TENSING'S ATTORNEY: I think it supports what Officer Tensing said, the video does not actually showed -- no video that we have actually shows any dragging, but Officer Lindenschmidt's video clearly shows Officer Tensing laying in the street some distance from where Mr. DuBose's car was initially stopped.
He didn't crawl up there, didn't walk up there and fall down. Somehow he got up there. He says he was dragged, and I think that's accurate, and I think the video bears that out.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Tensing who was out on bond has the police union calling for his rehiring, saying his due-process rights were violated when the department fired him this week after being charged with murdering Samuel DuBose during this traffic stop on July 19th.
The city's police chief says stopping these kinds of shootings needs to be on the top of everyone's mind.
JEFFREY BLACKWELL, CINCINNATI POLICE CHIEF: These egregious acts seem to keep going on and on and on. It happened. The important thing is how do we move forward in this community and through this nation? How do we recover? How do we mitigate what happened? How do we get better at what we do so these things cease to happen?
CASAREZ: One of those ways the university is saying -- the University of Cincinnati Police Department is going to have an independent investigation, and we now have learned that Kroll Investigations, an international investigating company focusing on fact finding and analysis based in New York City.
But truly around the world, will come into Cincinnati and conduct that independent investigation of the University of Cincinnati's Police Department -- John.
BERMAN: A lot of questions. Jean Casarez, thanks so much.
Coming up for us, pressure mounting for the White House to respond to calls for a dentist to be extradited over killing a beloved African lion, but first someone has to find him. Where is Walter Palmer? That's next.
BERMAN: We're back with the National Lead, firefighters battling an eruption of wildfires in Northern California. There are now 18 large fires, four more flared up in just the last 24 hours. Conditions in California could not be worse. Triple-digit temperatures, lightning with no rain, a bit of saving grace here, firefighters are starting to gain control of some larger fires and lifting evacuations.
The World Lead now, The American dentist who helped hunt down a celebrated African lion may not remain in hiding for long. It appears U.S. authorities tracked down Walter Palmer. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services say it has talked with a representative for the Minnesota dentist.
He is wanted in Zimbabwe. He and a team killed Cecil, the lion there, an iconic big cat in Africa. While trophy hunting is not illegal, this hunt did happen on protected land. That kill could also set up a power struggle inside that lion pride. CNN's David McKenzie now with more from South Africa.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The killing of Cecil, the lion, has sparked global outrage and put sharp focus on the issue of trophy hunting in Africa. Now the American dentist could face Zimbabwean justice.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): An iconic African lion lured out of its sanctuary and struck down with a bow in the dead of night. It's led to global outrage at this man, Dr. Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil.
Facing a social media storm on Twitter, Facebook, and even Yelp, Palmer temporarily closed his dental practice and has gone underground. Now he could face the law. Zimbabwean officials are working to extradite him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was properly orchestrated in the world financed to make sure that (inaudible).
MCKENZIE: Palmer's local guides go on trial next week. If guilty of poaching, they could spend ten years in one of Zimbabwe's most notorious prisons. His lawyers say they are innocent, and Palmer claims he is too, blaming it all the on the guides.
CNN has learned through court documents that a hunter with the same name, age and from the same town as Palmer admitted to lying to U.S. authorities in 2006, in the illegal killing of a black bear in Wisconsin.
Palmer's lawyers could not be reached, and a spokesman said he had no information on that case. Extradition proceedings can be notoriously slow, but Zimbabwe has a treaty with the United States, and public pressure is mounting.
The Obama administration to act, more than 100,000 people signed a petition calling for Palmer to be sent to Zimbabwe to face the law.
MCKENZIE: Cecil was the dominant male of a large pride. He had more than a dozen young cubs.
Now conservationists worry those cubs will be killed by a rival lion. We know at this stage that they are fine, but their future could be very bleak indeed -- John.
BERMAN: All right, right, David McKenzie, thanks so much.
The Pop Lead, a suit could make Twitter a kinder, gentler social media site. This week, actor, James Woods, filed suit against the person posting anonymously under the name (inaudible).
The suit for $10 million is accusing him of defamation over a derogatory tweet, which has since been deleted, along with the entire Twitter page calling Woods a cocaine addict.
Legal experts say the rules for suing someone on Twitter are a little complicated depending on what state you live in and the state that the hater lives in so it's unclear how this all plays out.
[17:00:12] That is all for "THE LEAD." I'm John Berman in for Jake. And I turn you over to Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.