Return to Transcripts main page
THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
U.S. Intel Official: Europe Not Using Anti-Terror Tools; Families Share Horror Stories Of Losing Loved Ones; Bill Clinton Responds to Protesters; Tennessee Bill Would Allow Therapists to Deny LGBT Patients; New Video Released of Unknown Airport Attacker. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired April 7, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BASIL SMIKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE N.Y. DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Well, you know, I think Hillary's comments are on point in the sense that, you know, these are very -- this is a very tough time.
[16:30:05] And I think what we have seen so far, particularly in communities of color, we've seen sort of the aftermath of a lot of finger pointing in terms of what's -- you know, who's to blame and I think now we're looking at much larger policy issues that need to be addressed. I like the way that Hillary has addressed it and said, look, this was -- this was a time where we probably -- we were all sort of on the attack, if you will. We were all using a lot of terminology we probably should not have used.
But I think what she's done on the other hand is come through with some really great policy solutions. And if you've seen the way that she's interacted with the folks from Black Lives Matter movement, one of her first speeches when she announced in April of last year was targeting mass incarceration.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: That was her first speech.
SMIKLE: Right. And she's consistently talked about that on the campaign trail so I'm proud of that and happy she's doing it.
TAPPER: It just shows one of the things about Bill Clinton, which is he's so brilliant, but he also does go off message.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: He does. Sometimes he has Joe Biden moments where you say that probably didn't help your wife. But I do think voters are able to separate policy-wise what Bill Clinton did from what Hillary Clinton did so I don't see this affecting her.
And I think there's a reason, by the way. We saw Bill Clinton out and about very strongly among the campaign. It was like every other stop you saw him but then he went away for a little bit, so I think Hillary Clinton realizes there's times to bring him out, there are some times not to bring him out. But I think at the end of the day, it won't harm her. She does exceedingly well among African-American voters. It's going to take a lot to shake her among this constituency.
KELLYANE CONWAY, PRESIDENT, "KEEP THE PROMISE" SUPER PAC: I tend to disagree just slightly in that, it's very clear Bernie Sanders has gotten into the head of both Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton, in my view, would have done well to become more like Bill Clinton, the politician. He -- in that snippet, he looks more like Hillary Clinton. I think they're going in the wrong direction, the wrong Clinton.
And for her to have lost six of the last seven contests to someone who's a self-avowed socialist, I mean, on the Republican side, we're looking at this and saying, you think that it's a dogfight on the Republican side? The nasty rhetoric, the way they tamped (ph) out, him accusing Hillary Clinton today of not being qualified to be president of the United States --
CONWAY: -- that's pretty remarkable. I don't know that most of the Republican candidates have said that so far.
SMIKLE: Well, they have said a lot worse.
TAPPER: All right. We've got to leave it there.
SMIKLE: (INAUDIBLE) about the voters.
TAPPER: Thanks so much, guys. Appreciate you being here.
MCENANY: Thank you.
TAPPER: Coming up next, we'll turn to our national lead. Supporters call it a religious freedom bill. Critics in the LGBT community call it nothing but good old-fashioned discrimination.
Now, just two days after Mississippi passed its controversial version of the law, Tennessee could become next in line. Tennessee's bill would make it legal for therapists to turn away a patient based upon the therapist's religious beliefs.
Right now, ten other states are currently looking into enacting laws that favor religious liberty over the rights of individuals to not be discriminated. More than 21 states already have laws to allow people to invoke their religious rights, to refuse services to individuals whose behaviors do not comport with their religious views, such as gays, for example.
Let's bring in CNN correspondent Nick Valencia.
Nick, was this a problem in Tennessee, therapists being forced to take on, say, patients who are transgender?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, for at least one therapist it was. That therapist is Christian. He's a marriage and family counselor who believes that he should not have to provide therapy to same-sex couples. He took that issue to his senator, the senator agrees. That's Senator Jack Johnson who sponsored the senate bill, we spoke to him earlier and he says he knows there's only a handful of therapist in the state with deeply held religious beliefs that will benefit from this legislation. Even still, he thinks it's necessary.
JEANNIE INGRAM, TENNESSEE THERAPIST: Respecting client rights. This is not about us, this is about our clients.
VALENCIA (voice-over): For the last 20 years, Jeannie Ingram has been a therapist. She says she's never seen a more pernicious violation of counselor ethics than the so-called Therapist Rights Bill, now proposed by the Tennessee legislature.
INGRAM: It's our ethical responsibility to park our own values and let people be who they are and make your office a safe place for those people.
VALENCIA: As it stands, Tennessee Senate Bill 1556 would allow therapists and marriage counselors with sincerely held religious beliefs to turn away gay and transgender patients without being sued for discrimination.
JACK JOHNSON (R), TENNESSEE STATE SENATE, BILL SPONSOR: The ultimate goal should be to get the help for someone who needs help.
VALENCIA: State Senator Jack Johnson says the bill is totally permissive, intended to protect professionals, not hurt people. He's the bill's main sponsor and says the real problem is the standard set by the American Counseling Association.
(on camera): Does this create an atmosphere of discrimination?
JOHNSON: It's just the opposite. In fact I would say the ACA is discriminating against their own members by requiring them -- I can't think of another profession whose code of ethics would require them to treat someone.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Tennessee becomes the latest in a string of states across the Southeast to introduce bills seen as anti-LGBT. Most of the legislation has been introduced in states with the highest proportions of white evangelical protestants, from Georgia to Mississippi to South Carolina.
[16:35:04] INGRAM: I certainly think you could make the argument that it's a culture war.
VALENCIA: Tennessee therapist Jeannie Ingram, who is gay, says it's no coincidence. She thinks Republican lawmakers are legislating morality, with a focus on the LGBT community.
INGRAM: That's my fear, is that it puts us in a bind. Do we follow the law or do we follow the code of ethics? VALENCIA (on camera): What are you going to do?
INGRAM: I'm going to follow the code of ethics.
VALENCIA: The bill is expected to get to the governor's desk late next week. He'll have ten days from that point to decide whether or not he's going to sign it into law -- Jake.
TAPPER: Nick Valencia, thank you so much.
As more surveillance video of the third Brussels airport terrorist surfaces, there's terrifying new information that some European countries are not, not taking advantage of the U.S. terror watch list. We'll talk to the man in charge of that list, next.
[16:40:16] TAPPER: Yes, that's the scene from the New York primary. Senator Ted Cruz in Brooklyn at a Matzah bakery with some orthodox Jews preparing for Passover where Jews do not eat leavened bread for eight days. Senator Cruz talking with them about many issues no doubt, possibly including religious liberty. Let's see if he takes a bite. No, just joking.
Let's turn to our world lead. They still don't know where he is or even who he is but now they know how he got away. Belgian security officials are urgently seeking the public's help releasing new surveillance video of the third airport terrorist from last month's terrorist bombings at an airport and subway station that killed 32 and wounded more than 300.
Let's get right to CNN's chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, who's been combing through the footage.
Jim, what does this new video reveal?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, the video details the movements of the man to be the only surviving terrorist from the deadly Brussels attacks. A near step-by-step record of his path for two hours right after the first explosions. Lacking a name or really any identification for him, they call him simply the man in the hat.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): In the horrific aftermath of the Brussels attacks, one of the suspected terrorists calmly turned and walked away, the beginning of a long meandering two-hour escape from the carnage.
Today, Belgian police released a series of surveillance videos of the suspect, tracking his every move, and appealed to the public for help finding him before he can strike again. ERIC VAN DER SYPT, BELGIAN FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: It concerns the third
person present on the scene during the attacks in Brussels airport. The so-called man "with the hat", as well as the vest he was wearing at the time. We especially appeal to people who might have filmed or taken a photograph of the suspect or link they can provide information on this issue.
SCIUTTO: At 7:58 a.m., Belgian authorities say the suspect leaves the airport terminal, walks past a Sheraton Hotel, seen here. Then turns right, exiting through an Avis parking lot, where he briefly breaks into a jog. Always on foot, the suspect takes this long route towards the city center, where nearly an hour later at 8:50 a.m. he is seen again walking, sleeves rolled up and without his light-colored jacket, which he appears to have left along the way.
He walks along this route for another 50 minutes. And at 9:42 a.m., surveillance cameras catch him here as he walks in the area of Schaerbeek, the neighborhood where investigators believe the attackers built their bombs. He continues making his way through that neighborhood where at 9:49 a.m. he is seen on camera again, this time seemingly talking on a cell phone. An elbow patch is clearly visible on his shirt.
As the desperate search continues, startling new information that one of the suicide bombers who struck the Brussels airport previously had worked as a part-time cleaner at the European parliament in the Belgian capital, work that routinely put him within close proximity of many senior European leaders.
SCIUTTO: Now, Belgian police lost his trail after 9:50 a.m., the morning of the attacks when he disappeared into that downtown area of Brussels, home to many European government institutions. Police releasing these videos now, Jake, to the public because they want to catch him before he's able to strike again.
TAPPER: All right. Jim Sciutto, thanks so much.
Following two deadly terror attacks in Europe in recent months, many are questioning whether European nations have the right resources and enough intelligence to stay one step ahead of terrorists.
But according to a top U.S. official, they certainly do, they're just not taking advantage of these tools, the terror screening tools the U.S. has been providing, for example.
CNN justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, has more from her exclusive interview from the director of the U.S. terrorist screening center, which is a multi-agency group administered by the FBI.
Pamela, it sounds almost unimaginable, not only the valuable tools were overlooked, but some areas in New York are not even subjected to routine border checks?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPODENT: Yes, that's right, Jake. European countries don't routinely and systematically check for potential terrorists crossing borders.
One such example is when one of the Brussels suicide bombing brothers was deported from Turkey on a commercial flight and made it back into Europe to plan the attacks, even though he was on both the European and U.S. radars. The concern among U.S. counterterrorism officials is that those inconsistencies with data checking could give terrorists the advantage.
BROWN (voice-over): The director of the Terror Screening Center Christopher Piehota spends his days trying to prevent terrorist attacks such as the ones in Brussels. But Piehota says even though the U.S. offers European countries real time access to its terror watch list, most of them are not fully using those tools.
CHRISTOPHER PIEHOTA, DIRECTOR, TERRORIST SCREENING CENTER: It's concerning that our partners don't use all of our data. We provide them with tools and support. I would find it concerning that they don't use these tools to help screen for their own aviation security, maritime security, border screening, visas, things like that for travel. We find it concerning.
BROWN: Making things even more difficult, European countries maintain their own individual terrorist watch list that each have different privacy standards, which prevents them from sharing some suspects' names with the U.S.
(on camera): In Europe, there are cases where perhaps information wasn't shared with someone because of privacy laws. How does that impact the terror watch list?
PIEHOTA: It impacts the terror watch lists in a way that our sharing may not be as broad or inclusive as it could be.
BROWN (voice-over): As new surveillance video emerges of one of the suspected Brussels terrorists who was still on the run, Director Piehota says he fears ISIS terrorists like the missing Brussels suspect could slip into the U.S.
PIEHOTA: There are many that we do know about and, unfortunately, there are some that we do not know about. We make sure that we know as much as we can and we take that information and we use it the best we can to minimize threats to our communities, but we can't know everything all the time.
BROWN: Piehota says to get on the watch list, there must be reasonable suspicion someone has ties to terrorism. No one can be added simply for their religion. As Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, has proposed.
(on camera): Is that even possible? Can you do that?
PIEHOTA: That's a policy decision that I wouldn't be able to comment on.
BROWN: Could you even ban someone because of their ethnicity or religion?
PIEHOTA: No watch listing activity is conducted based upon race, religion or any other protected right. There has to be a certain level of derogatory information, particularized to that individual, that would warrant their watch listing being of a certain national origin or religious affiliation is not grounds for watch listing.
BROWN: He also says only half a percent of people on the U.S. watch list are Americans. Meantime, in the Brussels attacks, European officials acknowledge the gaps in coverage in communication, but some European officials, Jake, (inaudible) passenger checks at borders of potential terrorist on privacy grounds -- Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Pamela Brown, thank you so much.
Drowning people in cages, burning people alive, beheading hostages, just some of the atrocities committed by ISIS. CNN just got a firsthand account of what life is under terrorist rule by speaking to people at an Iraqi refugee camp. That story, next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Our World Lead now, they have beheaded hostages. They have burned innocent men alive in cages, taken women as sex slaves, forced young children to become cold- blooded killers. It seems no tactic is too barbaric for ISIS.
CNN's senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, recently traveled to an Iraqi refugee camp where she heard some of the horror stories of the terror group now using innocent civilians as human shields.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The latest arrivals at this refugee camp are not those who fled ISIS. They are those who say that ISIS used them as human shields and didn't let them leave.
They are from a handful of villages the Iraqi army recently recaptured from ISIS. The men are kept at the camp's mosque, a security precaution amid concerns ISIS fighters may be among them.
ISIS put five families into each home in the middle of the village, he recalls. Like many here, he does not want his identity revealed. He still have loved ones at the mercy of ISIS and has already witnessed and lost too much.
He and his family could hear the army's advance, hope finally that they would be saved. But in the fierce clashes, his younger brother was hit as he pulled his niece away from the window. He shouted "I am shot, get me" Abu said. The memory of that moment so painful, he can no longer control his emotions. He said, I don't want to die, but he bled out in his arms.
With us, he is able to leave the mosque grounds and we head to see the rest of his family. He says they did not flee when ISIS first arrived nearly two years ago because his elderly mother could not run away.
A mother who has buried her son. What is left, she now questions. At least God spared the rest. Their stories of life under ISIS make your skin crawl. Abu worked at a hospital in in Mosul.
I was forced to keep working, he said. If you don't, I will leave your head on the hospital gate, he tells us. Once he was stopped in the street and forced to witness a public mass execution.
In another instance on the way to the market, he says we saw people hanging from the electricity pole. We asked why. They said they were trying to leave. If you try to escape, this will be your fate.
The women also hide their faces, but little can hide the lingering fear, the overwhelming psychological trauma or the pain. This woman says the house ISIS held her family in as the Iraqi army advanced was hit by a mortar.
She was injured. Her 15-year-old son killed. Her last image of him, with blood coming out of his eyes, nose, mouth. It's all memories, she says, before it becomes too much and she walks away.
[16:55:00]DAMON: And Jake, she doesn't even know where her son has been buried. Their stories are absolutely horrific, but collectively when you ask them what they were most concerned about, they said that it was the fate of those who are still under ISIS.
They are from the handful of villages that the Iraqi army has managed to recapture. But their advance in the initial phase of the push towards Mosul has come to a pause, a halt as the Iraqi army waits for reinforcement.
Facing many more obstacles than perhaps they were predicting, but also facing a lot of challenges when it comes to actually continuing to hold the terrain that they're managing to recapture from ISIS.
And one of the biggest concerns commanders are telling us is that if and when they reach Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, there are around 1.5 million to 2 million people that ISIS can potentially end up using as human shields.
And so the top commander of the operations was saying that they have to be very surgical when it comes to that final advance towards Mosul, although it still quite some time away -- Jake.
TAPPER: Arwa Damon, tremendous reporting, thanks you so much. Please stay safe.
The Democrats going nasty as they battle for New York. More on how this side of the race got a little more vicious today, coming up next.