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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Group Wants Money Back from Gliniewicz Family; Interview with Lindsey Graham; Investigating Ben Carson's Violent Past; Book Gives George H.W. Bush's Criticism of Son's Administration. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired November 5, 2015 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:30:04] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, a group that gave $15,000 to the family of Lieutenant Joe Gliniewicz, they want it back. Gliniewicz is, of course, the Illinois police officer who investigators now say carefully staged his own suicide. He was found dead in September, shot twice with his own gun. It appeared he had been killed in the line of duty. This sparked a huge manhunt. But just yesterday, in a stunning announcement, his own police force spoke out and said it was a setup and huge betrayal.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: They say he had been stealing for a police program mentoring young kids and had been doing it for seven years.
CNN's Deb Feyerick joins us now with the latest.
Deb, it's strange to talk about a suicide being a scam, but that's what's alleged here.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It wasn't good enough he was stealing from the Explorer's program, but staging the suicide he was trying to have the government make sure his wife received his pension and whatever death Benefits he was eligible to receive. Now, we -- a civilian organization, Kate, the one you mentioned, they now also want money back they gave to the family, $15,000. They gave that money thinking Joe Gliniewicz was killed in the line of duty. Because it was a suicide, they say that money belongs to them and they want it returned.
Now, you think about the Explorer's program and we went on the website. There's a woman on the advisory board. She is Mrs. Gliniewicz. Her name falls right under that of Lieutenant Joe Gliniewicz. So, whether she was part of the Explorer program, we got a lot of calls out there and we're trying to get that officially confirmed. What we do know is the e-mails really show that Joe Gliniewicz's plan began to unravel even as early as march of this year. And there's a village administrator doing internal audits and he is trying to get his program protected under a 53c, which is sort of a tax-exempt program, so he doesn't have access to the checkbooks.
In one of the texts he says, "The chief won't sign off to move it to the American Legion. And if she gets hold of that checking account, I'm pretty well finished." We'll use that word.
So, he really, it seems now as investigators continue to delve into who else was involved, he does make reference to this [Lot, this plan, essentially, to make this organization tax-exempt. He says, I want to keep it between -- to a small group. It's only you, my wife and the chief who knows about it. And one interesting note. The chief was put on paid administrative leave and took retirement shortly thereafter. This all happened leading up to the suicide of Joe Gliniewicz.
BOLDUAN: As the investigator says, there are two other people they're looking into.
FEYERICK: Exactly right.
BERMAN: Deb Feyerick, thanks so much.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Deb.
Coming up for us, presidential candidate and Senator, Lindsey Graham, joining us live. Who does he believe brought down that Russian jet?
BERMAN: Then, stories of a violent past. There was a stab, a fight, a baseball bat beating. Just some of the stories told by presidential candidate, Ben Carson. Things he says he did when he was a kid. What are people who grew up with him, what do they remember about all these incidents? People who talked to us? Not really anything.
[11:37:43] BOLDUAN: New revelations into the mystery of what brought down that Russian passenger jet in Egypt. 224 people were on board. All of them died. U.S. and British officials now say intelligence suggests ISIS or an affiliate planted a bomb on that plane.
BERMAN: But Russian and Egyptians officials are pushing back. They say there's no evidence to support this speculation right now. What is the truth?
Joining us now, Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Armed Services Committee, a presidential candidate, joins us live from Manchester, New Hampshire.
Good morning, Senator.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you for having me. Good morning.
BERMAN: So, you are on the Senate armed services committee. You're connected. You know that region very well. Based on what you've heard and based on what you're seeing right now, what do you think happened? GRAHAM: Well, I really -- I don't want to speculate. I do know this,
if it wasn't ISIL, it doesn't mean they don't want to do this. They would do this and more. First thing we have to realize, if they had nothing to do with this bombing, they still want to kill us all. I mean, they want to kill every Christian, they want to purify their faith by killing every Muslim that disagrees with them, destroy Israel, and attack us here at home. So, I don't know if they have the capability to get a bomb on board an airplane in Egypt. If they do, that's a great move forward for ISIL. All I need to say is they need to be de graded and destroyed and our plan to do so is not working.
BOLDUAN: Senator, I know you have concerns about the region, the fight against ISIS in the region. How concerned are you about the situation in Sinai specifically and Egypt's ability to clamp down on this or control this?
GRAHAM: Well, radical Islam is just running wild throughout the region. Sinai is another hot spot. The terrorist organizations in Sinai, aligned with al Qaeda, now pledged loyalty to ISIL. You see that going on in Afghanistan and Africa. So, yes, a big -- it's a big concern. What would really be a big concern if they have the ability to communicate, share intelligence, and plan operations outside of Syria and Iraq. That would be a giant move forward for ISIL. Yeah, Egypt's got its hands full in the Sinai. But the whole region is on fire right now. The source of this problem is Syria, ISIL's headquarters in Syria. Until you deal with ISIL in Syria, you're never going to stop this.
[11:40:03] BERMAN: You have had some kind words for the Egyptian leader, El Sisi, over time. You say he is calling the battle the right way, that Islam needs to be reformed. In this case, in this instance, he has been slow to come to any conclusions about what happened in Sinai and very critical of the British move to suspend flights to Sharm el Sheikh. Do you think he is being -- this is the right path for him? Do you think he's being honest and forth right in this case?
GRAHAM: I just don't want to jump ahead of my government. I want to see what my government says. The Egyptian president is moving down one path that's helpful, another path that's not. He's putting people in jail who disagrees with him. He's really inhibited freedom of the press. It's a mixed bag in Egypt. He's been a tough ruler but at the same time, he's kind of undercutting instruments of democracy but we need to help el Sisi because he does have an attitude about radical Islam that I think is overall helpful. But I don't want to say what happened here until I know. And I don't want to speak ahead of my government. I don't think the British would say this unless they really believed it.
BOLDUAN: So, the British -- Britain, they are halting flights to and from Sharm el Sheikh right now. Is that a good idea, do you think?
GRAHAM: Yeah. Out of an abundance of cautious I wouldn't send anybody in there if I had any doubts. They fired the security chief at the airport. Maybe that's because of something unrelated to this instance. All I can tell you and your viewers, it's a matter of time before ISIL does this or worse. If it's not them now, it will be them later. The idea of destroying them is the right idea. The strategy President Obama has is not working. I've got a plan to destroy these guys. It would be a regional approach with a big Army to go in there on the ground and pull the caliphate up by its roots. It's just a matter of time they hit us here at home.
BERMAN: And this is something you have discussed in the presidential debates. There is another debate next Tuesday night. There is some news out, this new FOX News poll that came out shows Donald Trump on top. But there's an interesting development here up. May get a new member in the first debate club, in the first debate of the night.
It looks like Chris Christie may not qualify for the later debate, so, you know, what do you make of the new addition to the Lindsey Graham debate?
GRAHAM: He's a great guy. They're probably getting tired of seeing me and I'm getting tired of seeing the other three.
The bottom line, I think national polling is being abused here. The difference between fourth place and last is within the margin of error. It's not a good indication of how strong a candidate you are. I don't trust pollsters. I trust the people. Let people start voting. Then we'll weed out the field. But if Chris comes down, we'll have a good, healthy discussion. He's a great guy. We got good candidates.
And I think I'm the guy with the plan that will destroy ISIL. I've been talking about this for two years. You're going to need boots on the ground, more in Iraq. You need a regional force in Syria. We'll have to be part of that force if we're serious about stopping ISIL. They are coming here if we don't hit them there.
BOLDUAN: So, Senator, real quick, any advice to Chris Christie if he moves into your debate?
GRAHAM: Yeah, have a sense of humor. Take it all in stride. But one last thing about our national security. The TSA has had some -- Congress has some responsibility here. These budget cuts are hurting the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to defend America. We've got a perfect storm of reduced capability, reduced spending at a time of great threat. Hope America understands these budget cuts need to be replaced.
BERMAN: Senator Lindsey Graham, up in New Hampshire, thank you so much for being with us.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Senator.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
BERMAN: We'll talk more about politics coming up. Ben Carson in discussing his past, he says there was a violent past. He said he was involved in knife fights, even an attack on his own mother. CNN has gone and investigated these claims, trying to find people to talk about these stories, his background. Hear what they said coming up.
[11:49:05] BERMAN: This morning, who is or who was the real Ben Carson? It's a key piece of Ben Carson's story that he has discussed many, many times over the years. The calm quiet we see today only came after a tumultuous and troubled past. His books and speeches are filled with references of having a pathological temper. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BEN CARSON, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & RETIRED NEUROSURGEON: And I picked up a large rock, hurled it at his face, broke his glasses. I would go after people with rocks and bricks and baseball bat and hammers.
I had a large camping knife and I tried to stab him in the abdomen. Fortunately, under his clothing, he had on a large metal belt buckle. The knife blade struck with such force that it broke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Now, this is important, because Ben Carson is running, in part, on this biography, his story, and his spiritual redemption from a violent past.
[11:50:02] BERMAN: CNN national political reporter, Maeve Reston, went to his hometown of Detroit to look into this narrative.
Maeve, what did you find?
MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: My colleague, Scott Glover, and I actually set out to find the victims of these attacks that Dr. Carson has described, just as sort of part of the normal vetting process that you would do for any presidential candidate. We wanted to know if those temper issues did actually end at that moment. What we found, going through year books, talking to neighborhood friends, talking to people, was we couldn't find anybody who recalled these incidents ever happening. Now, remember, we're talking about Carson beating people with bricks and bats. So you would assume that these kinds of incidents would have gotten around.
But we are still looking for the people that he's identified as having attacked. He only uses first names. Jerry, a kid he hit over the head with a lock. And Bob, who was in the stabbing incident.
But the neighbors we talked to said that person who would do those things was unrecognizable to them. I think we have some sound from them to listen to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was shocked. I was surprised. Because he was, you know, quiet and kind. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was really surprised when I read he tried to
stab someone. Like, what?
UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: Does it fit with a guy you knew, that kind of activity?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said, you hid it from us all those years. And he said he was just too embarrassed to even talk about it. I was surprised at some of the things he said. But, you know, he said that honestly, and I believed everything he told me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RESTON: So it's really important to remember here that, you know, the 10 people we talked to on the record, a lot of them were skeptical. They couldn't recall any of these incidents. But nobody challenged his stories directly or said they thought he was a liar. They just found it very curious that they had never heard about these incidents at the time that they happened. So, really, it just raises a lot questions about that piece of his life, and the way he's telling the stories on the campaign trail as he connects with evangelical voters.
BERMAN: It'll be interesting to see. Maybe someone will come forward who does have some memory of --
RESTON: Right, we're looking for them.
BERMAN: Again, it's ironic in a way that there's a story involved with people not remembering what a bad guy or violent guy a presidential candidate was. Usually, you would think you want to cover up the opposite here. But it matters because it's part of his narrative, right?
RESTON: Absolutely. The evangelical voters have powered his surge to the top of the field. What's so important is God intervened, he says, at age 14, right after the stabbing incident. He prayed in the bathroom for three hours. He says that after that moment, he never had a violent outburst again. So that's what we're trying to confirm and figure out as we think about someone who wants to be president in the Oval Office, you know, at the nuclear controls.
BOLDUAN: Maeve Reston, thank you.
RESTON: Thank you.
BERMAN: Coming up, a new biography out where former President George H.W. Bush has remarkable criticism for the administration of his son. Stay with us.
[11:56:30] BOLDUAN: It's not often you have a 90-year-old man throw around words like "iron-ass," and it's almost unthinkable that it's coming from a former president talking about his son's administration.
BERMAN: That's exactly what happened in a new biography out about George H.W. Bush. In this biography, the former president calls Dick Cheney an iron-ass, and says of Rumsfeld, "There's a lack of humility, a lack of seeing what the other guy thinks. He's more kick ass and takes names, takes numbers."
Pretty scathing criticism from one president to another, from a father to a son.
Let's bring in Peter Baker, "The New York Times" chief White House correspondent and also the author of a wonderful book "Days of Fire, Bush and Cheney in the White House."
Peter, much of the subject matter in this book, you actually write about in your book. What's different here is you have direct quotes from a former president, just lashing out at members of his son's administration. Naming names here. Why now do you think? Why this significance?
PETER BAKER, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES & AUTHOR: Well, it's very interesting, right? Of course George H.W. Bush is 91. He's sort of decided that this is, you know, the record for history. He was going to talk to his biography, Jon Meacham, former editor of "Newsweek" and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, in a very candid way, and he decided he wasn't going to hold back anymore.
He says it in a way that's meant to be supportive of his son. He says it in a sense that he thinks his son was ill served by Vice President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld. He also allows, of course, no one is more responsible than the president of the United States, in that case, George Bush.
BOLDUAN: He talks about George W. Bush, Peter, but also in the book talks about his other son, Jeb Bush. Why would they come out with this now? Jeb Bush is in the middle of running. What does he say about Jeb in the book?
BAKER: It's an interesting question. There's not a lot of Jeb in the book. A little bit here. For instance, he, in 1992, urged his father to replace Dan Quayle on the ticket for his re-election. But he also supported Dan Quayle on some of the things that the vice president had said. Most notably, his comments about Murphy Brown, you remember, that sitcom, in which Candice Bergen played a television anchor who has a child out of wedlock. Dan Quayle criticized that. Bush said he agreed with that criticism. He also said Quayle was a drag on the ticket in '92 and his father should consider replacing him. It's an awkward time for Jeb Bush to be answering questions because it's going to force him once again to confront what does he want to say about his brother's presidency as well as his father's and we saw how much trouble he had back in the spring, figuring out his position on the Iraq war.
BERMAN: There's a lot gossipy in the book. He calls Mary Lynn Quayle a horse's ass and a pill. He talks about Barbara Bush's opinion toward Nancy Reagan here. It's going to be a little buzzy and gossipy, Peter.
BAKER: Partly because what Jon Meacham has done with his book is go through the diaries that both George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush kept for many, many years. We're really getting an inside look into what they thought not today but at the time. That's pretty rare for a president and that's pretty good for history. It helps us put aside some of the hindsight, wisdom, which is obviously so easy.
BERMAN: Unvarnished views are rare to get in Washington, this country.
BOLDUAN: Going to be a lot to work through.
BERMAN: Peter Baker, thanks so much.
BAKER: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Peter.
Thank you all for joining us AT THIS HOUR.
BERMAN: "Legal View" with Ashleigh Banfield starts right now.