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Top Clinton Aide Testifies Before Benghazi Committee; Clashes between Israelis, Palestinians in Bethlehem; New Details on Lamar Odom, His Troubles; New Information on ISIS' Jihadi John. Aired 11:30- 12p ET

Aired October 16, 2015 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: In fact, the Clinton campaign put out a statement, a paper statement earlier today, Manu, essentially saying, Huma Abedin, she doesn't know anything about Benghazi, why is she even talking to this committee. That statement also read from Nick Merrill, a Clinton campaign spokesperson, "The Republicans focus on Abedin of all people and their decision to leak details about her appearance is just another tactic in their partisan plan to go after Hillary Clinton."

October 22nd, Manu, is the big day for Hillary Clinton. That day different than today, in that it will be public, televised. Any details about that?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: It's going to be a long day. There are 12 members on that committee. Each member has 10 minutes to speak. There will be at least four rounds of questioning. There could be even more. We're expecting a full day just focusing on her. So, it's going to be a long day. The question is, how will Hillary deal with the scrutiny, and also a lot of tough questions that will be asked of her. Clearly, she does not want to have any moments that could change the dynamics on the campaign trail. At the same time, Republicans will have to navigate a pretty fine line. They do not want to look like they're going after her personally, but at the same time, they're going to push her pretty hard.

BERMAN: A crucial day in the investigation. A crucial day in the presidential campaign.

Manu Raju, thank you for being with us.

Hillary Clinton today is speaking to CNN. Jake Tapper interviewing her in just a short period of time. That interview will air first on "The Lead" with Jake Tapper, 4:00 p.m. eastern time. Do not miss it.

Plus, we'll go overseas right now. An incredibly tense situation on the streets of Bethlehem. This is what it looks like this morning. You can see the military vehicles there. Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians. A live report, next.


[11:36:08] BERMAN: New this morning, I want to show you the streets of Bethlehem. It looks like a war zone in some cases. Palestinian demonstrators clashes with Israeli forces. The U.N. Security Council meeting right now to discuss the deteriorating situation in Israel and the Palestinian territory. Earlier today, a Palestinian disguised as a news photographer attacked an Israeli soldier in Hebron. He was shot and killed by Israeli forces. Also in the West Bank, a compound housing Joseph's Tomb was set on fire. This is a holy site for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

CNN's Ben Wedeman is live for us in Bethlehem.

Ben, we're going to go to you on the streets where it is now dark. The sun has set in Bethlehem. What's the very latest?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The latest is that these clashes are ongoing. They're up the street from here. But we've been moved back by the Israeli border police because they are about to explode two unexploded improvised explosive devices. These are homemade hand grenades out on the street so we've been moved back. These clashes have gone on since after noon day prayers. It's now about 6:30 p.m. here. This was part of this day of rage that was declared by the Palestinian factions. It's the third day of rage, in fact, in the last eight days. What we've seen throughout the day is just this constant back and forth. The Palestinian youth are throwing rocks, homemade hand grenades and Molotov cocktails, pieces of wood. The Israelis are firing back with hundreds and hundreds of canisters of tear gas, shooting rubber bullets, and it appears some live ammunition as well. Four Palestinians were wounded by that live ammunition during the day.

John, that's not the only thing that's happening around here. Down in Gaza we understand a 20-year-old Palestinian man was killed by Israeli gunfire at a protest on the fence that divides Gaza from Israel in Hebron, in the southern West Bank, there was an incident, somewhat worrying for journalists. Apparently a Palestinian man wearing a vest approached and stabbed an Israeli soldier down there. The soldiers immediately shot him dead. So, a day of violence in Gaza and the West Bank, and no sign whatsoever that this violence is going to come to an end, despite the fact that the United Nations security council will be discussing the situation here today -- John?

BERMAN: Yeah. Talking at the United Nations is not the same thing as talking amongst the parties who can make this end inside this region.

Ben Wedeman on the ground for us.

Stay safe, Ben. Thank you so much.

We have new details this morning about former NBA star Lamar Odom as he fights for his life. We're going to hear his story, the part of the story you might not have heard. His life in basketball, his life before basketball, full of surprises.

And next, the ways of an ISIS terrorist. The man known as Jihadi John. Things we did not know. How he made prisoners dance with him just before they were killed.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [11:43:59] BERMAN: Two time NBA champion Lamar Odom is fighting for his life in a Nevada hospital this morning. Little is known about his exact condition but we are learning more about what happened in the days before he was found unconscious inside a brothel earlier this week.

Workers there say Odom was using cocaine. The owner says in the three days he was there, he spent $75,000.

There has been a huge outpouring of support from fans around the world. Friends and former teammates are hoping and praying for the best.


METTA WORLD PEACE, FORMER TEAMMATE OF LAMAR ODOM: Lamar's very outgoing, you know, very loving and caring. And he owed me a workout. I seen Lamar a couple months ago and I was supposed to start training him. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to train him. So I can't wait until he gets better because he owes me a workout.

GARY CHARLES, LAMAR ODOM'S FRIEND AND MENTOR: Lamar is probably one of the greatest and nicest young men I ever met in my life. He would give you the shirt off his back.

If he was around good people, then he would do good things. If he was around the other element, he would just go with the flow. That's just who he was.


[11:45:03] BERMAN: Joining me, Rachel Nichols, of course, our CNN sports anchor; also Steven Zeitchik, sports writer with the "L.A. Times." He penned a column title, "Lamar Odom, A Shakespearean Tale for the TMZ Era."

Rachel, it's interesting right now. There are two groups of people looking at what's happening with Lamar Odom right now. For me, you know, Lamar Odom was a two-time NBA champ who was beloved by all of his teammates. I can say honestly and thankfully I've never seen an episode of "The Kardashians" so I don't understand what the reality fixation is with this man who's fighting for his life right now. There seems to be a lack of understanding about just who he is and how he grew up.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yeah. I mean, for those of us who follow sports, and, by the way, that's not a small subset of America. Sports is the most popular pastime and watching sports on TV is the most popular thing in this country. So, there are a lot of people who know Lamar Odom from his NBA career. Two-time champion, sixth man of the year, and also known around the league as one of the warmest guys, one of the most sensitive teammates, the heart and soul of a lot of locker rooms he was in. That sensitivity, if you spent time with him -- and I did many times over the years -- you thought it came from his past. This is a guy who grew up in an incredibly rough part of New York.

All that, things that conjectures up. Unfortunately, his mother died when he was just 12 years old of cancer. He was at her death bed holding his hand. She said to him, now, Lamar, be nice to people. That carried him through his life. Unfortunately, the grandmother who then took him in afterward, she would also go on to die of cancer. His father was a heroine addict, who was very much in and out of his life. When he was younger, you know, when he was with his former girlfriend, he had a 6-month-old infant who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. He's had cousins who died, friends who died. He would write all the names of those people on his sleeves before games. It's carried with him throughout his life. This wasn't just distant memories. He's someone who took all of that pain.

He told me several times that playing basketball sort of saved him and helped him work a lot of that out. We know he hadn't been playing basketball for the past couple of years. This was the guy a sum of many parts, not just this flat image people saw on television.

BERMAN: No. He lived with that pain and dealt with that pain in a public day every way.

Steven, "A Shakespearean Tale for the TMZ Era."

STEVEN ZEITCHIK, SPORTS WRITER, L.A. TIMES: Absolutely. This is a tragic fact. He came from this humble beginning, and crossed over, too. I think that's what's notable. Not only was he a player, won sixth man of the year, two titles with the Lakers but crossed over to the entertainment side of things. Millions of Americans who never heard of a pick and roll or even a foul shot suddenly knew who he was, welcomed him in. Was dubious when he first came on the show. It's rare to have a figure who is beloved in kind of both sectors, the twin pillars of American society. The fact he did as well as he did in both of those quarters and then have this tragic demise strikes a lot of people.

BERMAN: It sounds like the last year or so, a fallen out of the spotlight, for one thing, but also, perhaps, a bit disconnected from those who were close to him?

ZEITCHIK: That seems to be the case. If you listen to what people on the Kardashian decide and Hollywood say, it seemed like he had been a little removed from the spotlight. Maybe that was a good thing, but maybe had descended into less savory activities, which was not a good thing. There was a lot of concern both in the NBA world and the entertainment world about what he was becoming. So, this is not as shocking as this event is, unfortunately, as is often the case with these things, may not be quite as abrupt.

BERMAN: Rachel, we saw that clip of Metta World Peace. Kobe Bryant has gone to visit him as well. The people who played with Lamar Odom, they really like this guy.

NICHOLS: Yeah. There's a lot of them. He played on some USA Olympic teams. There are guys all around the league, Kobe Bryant, who really felt, oh, my gosh. This was the call a lot of guys, frankly, were worried was going to come. Lamar Odom has struggled with some of these elements throughout his life. He had a drug and alcohol problem when he first came into the league. He was suspended. Recently over the past year, a lot of his friends around the NBA, players he was tight with, couldn't reach him anymore. He would change his phone number. I've had guys text me and tell me, yeah, we were supposed to meet up and he just didn't show. This is a dissent people have seen for a while and, frankly, some old demons coming back home to roost that he's dealt with throughout his life. Again, all of those things, all of that pain and struggle made him more sensitive. It really didn't turn him into a hard person. It turned him into a more sensitive and warm person. That's what I think TV viewers saw of him. That's what you see these players reacting to and so many good wishes and hopes that he can recover from this, get some help and move on.

There was a report in the "L.A. Daily News" saying he had showed some very small signs of responsiveness. We don't know what that means. We don't know what medically that will lead to, but certainly better than the alternative. We hope those reports keep coming.

[11:50:06] BERMAN: A lot of people rooting for him right now.

Rachel Nichols, Steven Zeitchik, thanks so much for being with us. I appreciate it.

We'll be right back.


DR. JIM WITHERS, CNN HERO: Street medicine is bringing medical care to the homeless where they are, under the bridges and along the river banks and abandoned buildings.

Safety net.

Anybody home?

It's going to the people.

Can you make a fist? Does that hurt?

I've been walking the streets of Pittsburgh for 23 years to treat the homeless.

When I started, I was actually really shocked how ill people were on the street. It was like going to a third-world country.

Anyone home?

There were runaway kids, 85-year-olds, pregnant women, and they all have their own story.

What hurts the most?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This knee is so swollen.

WITHERS: Once you get to know the folks out there, I knew that I had to keep going.

Are you doing OK medically?

And now we've managed to treat over 10,000 people.

Did they put staples in or stitches?

Infections, diabetes, cancers, the list goes on and on.

All right. I'm glad we saw you.

For the folks unwilling to come to us, we have a mobile medical van and then we have drop-in centers?

Just open up again.

We connect with a person.

You got friends. We'll be there for you.

Then we advocate with them to get their insurance, get housing and care.

Wherever they are, they're always within our circle of love.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You did so much for me.

WITHERS: It really is a wonderful feeling that people on the street are beginning to get a voice in health care.

Good and steady. You got a good heart.

It's something we should take pride in, when we can actually treat people the way we want to be treated.



[11:56:24] BERMAN: A new look this morning at one of the most infamous terrorists on earth, the killer nicknamed Jihadi John. It was his voice in ISIS execution videos. And now a Danish photographer who was held captive for a year says he has new information on Jihadi John. And the details are bizarre and also terrifying and astounding.

I want to bring in CNN's Brian Todd, who has taken a look at this for us.

Brian, lay it out for us.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this former hostage, Daniel Rye, a 26-year-old photographer from Denmark, was held by ISIS for a year. And this account is nothing short of bizarre. He says that while he was being held hostage, Jihadi John, who was identified by Western officials as a British national, Mohammad Emwazi (ph), once made him dance the tango with him in an ISIS cell. And he says that while it was happening, he, Daniel Rye, kept his eyes on the ground, because he said he knew that if he looked Jihadi John in the eyes, he would be beaten. But he says that after they danced the tango, he was beaten anyway and he was threatened by Jihadi John and his captors that they would cut off his nose with pliers. This is just an example of the kind of cruelty and just insanity that Jihadi John and his cohorts inflicted on their prisoners.

We've been told, John, through the years that ISIS attracts certain kinds of people, they attract committed jihadists who want to establish a caliphate, but, on the other hand, they also attract psychotics, sociopaths, criminals, and Jihadi John, given this and his other instances of appearing in these videos and possibly even cutting off the heads of hostages himself, that he certainly might fit that profile -- John?

BERMAN: And demented and evil. There's no other way to put it. This man, Daniel Rye, was released and because it is believed that ransom was paid, which is not customary here in the United States.

TODD: That's right, John. His family paid a ransom of at least $1.5 million Euros to ISIS, and he was released. He was released in June of last year. Several weeks after that, James Foley, who he was held with for eight months -- this guy, Daniel Rye, was held alongside James Foley for eight months and became a friend of his. Several weeks after Daniel Rye was released James Foley was beheaded. And as analysts have told us, there has a lot of resentment from the families of James Foley, Stephen Sotloff and other families towards the Obama administration that they did not communicate with ISIS and talk with them and maybe even do some negotiating with them, as Daniel Rye's family did

Since that time, we have to say John, the Obama administration has changed the policies, making it easier for the families to communicate with the hostage takers, but they have a policy of not paying them.

BERMAN: And Daniel Rye did carry a message to the family of James Foley, didn't he?

TODD: Yes, he committed a letter to memory on James Foley's request and he says it was a death letter and farewell letter to the family, it was really heartbreaking. And he says that if he thinks of it today, he would be an emotional wreck, but it was quite an emotional thing that he had to pass along to the family of James Foley after he was released.

BERMAN: Brian Todd, our thanks to you. Again, quite a twisted tale.

Thanks, Brian.

A programming note for you. If you missed the Democratic debate, shame on you. But you have another chance to watch the debate at 10:00 p.m. eastern time right here on CNN.

Remember, Hillary Clinton coming up on "The Lead," at 4:00 p.m. Hillary Clinton and Jake Tapper, don't miss that.

That is all for us AT THIS HOUR.

"Legal View" with Ashleigh Banfield starts right now.