tv The Situation Room CNN July 30, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PDT
him know he received hundreds of calls, e-mails, text messages because of our interview. still more came from companies and people who wanted to help expand the program and i just want to thank this opportunity to say thank you. thank you for watching and responding to such a good cause. i'm brooke baldwin. wolf blitzer, live in jooerusal. "the situation room" begins now. >> brooke, thank you very much. happening now, mitt romney tells me of course jerusalem is israel's capitol city. but would president romney move the united states embassy to jo jerusalem? standby for his candid and eye opening answers. also, bill clinton's upcoming huge role at the democratic convention. we have details of what's sure to be a major moment. and in the blazing heat, a power blackout affecting more than 350 million people. that's bigger than the population of the united states.
could we be next? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." today we're coming to you live from cnn's jerusalem, israel. he left there live earlier today. he's now in poland with the president-elect. we're going to have a live report in the next hour from pole land. we begin this hour with my one-on-one interview with the republican presidential candidate. governor romney, thanks so much for joining us, in jerusalem. what a beautiful city. i'm sure you've been moved by what you've seen so far. >> it's a holy city, a city of a great and courageous people. my wife and i first came here in
1995 and have been here four times now. we're moved and inspired by what we see here. >> do you consider jerusalem to be the capital? >> yes, of course. jew res l >> would you move the embassy to jerusalem? >> it's long been the policy of have the nation's embassy in the capital. if i were president, i would want to take it in consultation with the leadership of the government, which exists at that time. so i would follow the same policy we have in the past. our embassy would be in the capital. but the timing of that is something i would want to work out with the government. >> with the government of israel? >> with the government of israel. >> but every government has asked them to recognize them. >> well, that would make the
decision easy, but i would still want the communication with the government leaders. >> just to be precise. if you were president you would precise with the israeli government. if they said, please move the em bas, you would do that? >> my understanding is the polltisy of our nation has been a desire to move the embassy ultimately to the capital. that's something which i would agree with. but i would only want to do so and select the timing in accordance with the government of israel. >> you know that every u.s. president since '67, since the six-day war in 1967, behind you in the old city of jerusalem, you see the beautiful walls there, and we're not far away. but the line was in front of the old walls. but since then every president from nixon to lbj, carter, ronald reagan, bushes, president clinton, now obama considers east jerusalem, including the old city behind you to be
occupied territory. not part of israel. would you change that? >> i'm not going to talk about the borders. the decision as to where the borders would be as we move to a two-state solution, which i support. that's a decision on borders that will be worked out by israelis and the palestinians. i hope it's a process which is ongoing and ultimately successful. as to the exact negotiation in borders, i'll leave that to the deciding parties themselves. >> you just visited the western wall. one of the oldest sites in jerusalem. we saw the pictures, the video. do you consider that to be part of israel? >> it is certainly part of israel. the decision as we move to a two-state solution as to what would be part of israel and what would be part of a palestinian state is something to be negotiated by the palestinians and the israelis. i believe that the key to that negotiation is the recognition that there will be a palestinian state, and there will be a jewish state.
>> and so you support a two-state solution. do you support a two-state solution as an israeli state and palestinian state, basically along the pre-67 lines with what are called mutually agreed swapped? >> i support a two-state solution as the appropriate direction for the solution of the hostility, if you will, that exists between peoples here. but i also recognize the borders will have to be negotiated by the respective parties, and the original 67 borders will, by themselves, are not defensible, indefensible, from the standpoint of israel, and therefore there will be have to be adjustments to reshape the solution that is stoatisfactoryo both parties. >> you say go in and start
negotiating? >> i'm not being that specific. i'm saying that there will be borders that have to be negotiated, and what the starting point is something which will be decided by the parties involved with the ending. >> could you see the future palestinian state -- and you support a two-state solution, palestine and israel having east jerusalem as the capital? >> i don't want to negotiate for the parties. my view is to standby the ally, israel, to support them in the negotiating posture. i recognize the postures of the respective parties will be different than the ultimate solution. but i'm not going to give up israeli bargaining positions from the beginning, nor demand the palestinians a certain outcome. my view is the united states' role is to standby the ally. to show a dime's worth of distance diplomatically between us and israel, to work to bring
the parties together and to seek progress, but not the weaken the prospects of progress and an agreement at some point, that might be different of our ally. >> would you ask israel to freeze settlement activity on the east bay? >> i believe the issue is something which should be discussed in private by the american president and our allies. again, when we show diplomatic distance tweens ourselves and our ally, i think we encourage people who oppose that relationship, to seek other means to achieve their ends. i think the best thing we can do is to communicate very clearly to the palestinians and our friends that the way to peace is for them to meet and resolve their differences, rather than to look us to to resolve the distance or to look to the united nations to do it. i done think my role,
particularly as a candidate, is to begin suggesting what the terms of an agreement might look like. >> let's talk about iran. you've been robust in saying you will not, as president, accept iran with nuclear weapons. so be specific. what would you do to make sure that would never happen? >> well, i spoke about five years ago at the conference and laid out seven steps that i thought were necessary. one of the steps, of course, was crippling substantiati crippling sanctions. it's taken a long time to put those sanctions in place, but that's a positive step. there are steps that have not yet been followed. one other step is to make sure we have credible military options that are available to us, if no other of the initiatives is successful. clearly we all hope that diplomatic and economic pressures put on iran will
dissuade them from becoming a nuclear capability nation. but if all else fails, we, of course, have to keep the military option available. >> there are plans in place at the pentagon for the military option already. i know if you've been briefed on all that kind of stuff, but they do have plans to do that if the president of the united states were to give order. >> my guess is neither you nor i have full access to all the plans that might exist for military options. either on the part of the united states or our friends in israel. but i certainly hope our military under the direction of the president has, in fact, prepared a whole series of contingency plans, not only to prevent iran from becoming nuclear, but to respond for iran to become more belligerent in its efforts. so i can't speak for the military having not -- having seen their plans at this point.
>> at some point you will be briefed by u.s. intelligence after the convention. >> after the convention i'll get a more full briefing on classified material, yes. >> i assume at that point you'll hear what i've been told -- i don't know what they are. but there are all sorts of military options. but just to be precise, if the political sanctions, the diplomatic sanctions were and iran is about to develop a military bomb, the u.s. would provide the military strength? >> i think i've said it as clearly as our president has. again, i don't want to make foreign policy on foreign soil or say something different than our nation. our president has said and i have said it's unacceptable for iran to become nuclear. that would mean if all other options were to fail, and they have not been all exercised. they've not all been executed at the most extreme level, but if all other options, diplomatic,
political, economic fail, then a military option is one which would be available to the president of the united states. >> let's talk about syria for a moment. you want bashar al-assad to go. what would you do specifically to make that happen? >> again, wolf, because i'm on foreign soil, and it's it's long been a policy to leave politics, i'm not going through specific foreign policy prescriptions for syria, other than to say that the removal of assad as the leader of syria is a high priority for the nation, as you know. both agree with that. the distribution of chemical weapons, which exist in some large measure in syria. we do not see a unified opposition having been formed yet in syria. an action being taken of a is
being led by turkey, saudi arabia and others. i'm referring to counsel and advice. but our nation is involved with other nations in helping move a process that will stop st slaughter of incident life in syria and ultimately have a more respective form of government. >> we'll have a lot more of my conversation with mitt romney at the new 6:00 p.m. eastern hour. that was part one. part two will air -- even though he held a fund-raiser here in je ruse lem earlier today, romney says the current political fund raising rules in the united states, and i'm quoting him now, don't make a lot of sense. much more on my interview with mitt romney coming up later. also another big political story that we're following today. bill clinton has a huge role at the upcoming democratic convention. standby for details that are
just coming in. and a surprise new -- new surprise about barack obama's family history. we have some fascinating information that's just been uncovered. also, as mitt romney moves onto poland. two top israeli leaders in jerusalem in interviews held separately in the day. they are both lavishly praising president obama and his support for israel. standby. all the interviews and a lot more coming up right here in "the situation room." this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination... and businesses lead the world.
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she's back in washington. gloria, i'm curious. i'm in jerusalem. you're in washington. how has mitt romney's visit in the middle east played back in the united states? >> let's say he's getting the headlines he wanted, unlike the headlines he got when he visited in london. what he managed to do was sort of distance himself from the president of the united states, presenting himself as proper, for example, when it comes to iran, a very strong ally of israel, without taking on the president directly. as you said multiple times in your interview that he won do that. but he did adopt the israeli line about preventing iran from having -- not only having nuclear weapons, but having the capability of developing nuclear weapons. so a very tough line on that. a very tough line on jerusalem. but also, wolf, he didn't endear
himself to the palestinians. he made comments in which he said the lack of progress in the lands and he pointed out the difference between israel's economic progress and those lands, and that did not endear him to those folks. but let me ask you a question, wolf because you interviewed not only mitt romney himself but the defense minister and who barack and the israeli president shamone pere i was interested in what they said to you about president obama. i'm going to play a little bit of that for you. >> but they should tell you on the tv station what president obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything anything i can confirm in the past. >> more than any other president. lbj, bill clinton, or george w. bush. >> yeah.
for our intelligence. the sharing of sorts in a very open way. president obama on the nation's security. i think it's a highly story record from his point of view. >> wolf, how do you scare this? you have netanyahu, who is o fusive about mitt romney. what do you make of that? >> well, both of them told me, the prime minister, the president of israel who worked in the defense establishment of israel for so many years, a former prime minister. as well as the current defense minister, who is a former prime minister of israel, both said the u.s./israeli military to military velgs ship right now. intelligence community to
intelligence community relationship right now is excellent. it's as good if not better than it's ever been before. and they were extremely complimentary to president obama. both of them, and even as romney was still on basically the ground in israel. he was just getting ready to leave to fly off to poland. i was surprised by the enthusiastic praise they had for president obama, given some of the problems that president obama and prime minister netanyahu had in terms of their own personal relationship. a lot of us remember the visit that netanyahu had to the oval office and the awkward moments the two of them had. as far as the two israeli leaders are concerned, and we'll have more of the interviews later, they went out of their way to praise the president of the united states as a strong, strong supporter of israel. do you think mitt romney may have gone too far to a general
audience. certainly might appeal to a republican party or evangelicals. do you think he might have put himself out there a little bit? >> you know, on iran, i listened very closely to what he said and in the speech yesterday, and what he said in the interview with me. i didn't hear a lot of difference between what he was saying, not his aides, but what romney was saying and what president obama is saying. both say th will never accept containment of a nuclear powered iran. they will do whatever it takes to make sure iran doesn't become a nuclear military power, and with that kind of capability. they hope it can be done through economic and diplomatic sanctions. they are not ruling out a military option if everything breaks down. so i didn't hear a lot of difference between what
president obama says about iran and what mitt romney says about iran, but that was just my analysis. >> thanks so much, wolf. back to you. we'll probably have to wait for the presidential debates. don't you think? >> there will be one presidential debate. that will strictly be focused, in october, on foreign policy and national security. it will be interesting to hear if there is a significant difference. zbl gloria borger, thanks very much. that's coming up in the next hour during the 5:00 eastern hour. he tells me israel, will in his words, settle the account with those who are behind the bombing of a bus carrying israeli tourists in bulgaria. also a big sur prize in president obama's family history. what the genealogy experts now say they have found. that and a lot more coming up here in "the situation room." [ ross ] we are at the bottom of the earth: patagonia, chile.
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the battle for syria's largest city intensifies. lisa sylvester is monitoring that story and also other top stories in "the situation room" right now. >> hi, wolf. united nations monitoring are showing a surge of violence. government forces continue to fire on neighborhoods as the relentless week long fighting rages on. rebels did capture a government military base on the outskirts of the key syrian city. a rebel commander says they seized four tanks and destroyed
two others. an estimated 200 people in and around have fled in the past few days to escape the shelling. and dozens of people are reported dead and tens of thousands are homeless in the wake of torrential rain and flooding across much of north korea, and the rain is still falling. the state-run news agency says more than 5,000 homes are destroyed or damaged. almost 12,000 acres of crop land have been washed away. another 63,000 acres of farmland are under water. there have been no updates since saturday. the naonal highway traffic safety administration says hyundai is recalling hundreds of thousands of vehicles. the recall 2007 to 2009 santa fe suvs. they're also calling back 2012 senadas for separate issue involving air bags.
>> lisa, thank you. the democratic party pulls out big names for the national convention in september. and former president bill clinton is signed up for a key supporting role. and later the president's roots revealed. a surprising new twist in his ancestry. diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. in here, every powerful collaboration is backed by an equally powerful and secure cloud. that cloud is in the network, so it can deliver all the power of the network itself.
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charlotte, president obama will certainly be the star of the show. but cnn has learned that bill clinton, the former president, will also have a very, very prominent role. let's go straight to white house correspondent brianna keilar. the two men, as a lot of us remember, they haven't always had the closest relationship, have they? >> no, wolf. during the height of the last go-round, the democratic primaries where you saw barack obama and hillary clinton duking it out in 2007 and 2008, sources tell cnn former president bill clinton felt very bitterly towards president obama because he felt his wife had been mistreated. now some of the wounds did heal after the election when you saw president obama -- then president-elect obama appointing secretary clinton as his secretary of state. and now you have a situation where bill clinton is one of his most visible surrogates. >> when bill clinton took the stage at the democratic convention in 2008, the crowd
went wild. ♪ at first they wouldn't even let him start talking. >> i am honored to be here tonight. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. please. >> four years ago clinton was in the audience for the speech. this year he's warming up middle-class voters for president obama as the economy continues to falter. despite 27 consecutive months of creating jobs, there are still 473,000 less jobs thean when president obama took office. at this point in president clinton's term 10 million jobs had been added. >> president clinton's participation at the convention will be a very important way to reinforce president obama's view.
>> while bill clinton is very much a strong messenger for president obama and what he's trying to tell voters is he knows what it will take to get the economy going and president obama is doing the right thing. that's the message. and also he's key when it comes to fund raising. he's helped president obama fund raise to the tune of millions of dollars. they've headlined a number of fund-raisers together. >> he's a key, key asset for the president in the re-election campaign. hillary clinton would be as well. but from the campaign's perspective as the secretary of state, she can't overtly go out and cam feign him like her husband can do. brianna, thanks very much. let's talk more about this and more in the strategy session. joining us, the democratic strategist and contributor maria cardona. do you think there's a
possibility, maria, that bill clinton would overshadow the vice president, joe biden, at the democratic convention? >> well, wolf, we've seen joe biden speak. he can be as fiery as they come. what this speech will serve to do is two things. president clinton will underscore president obama's pos on two point points. positive and politics. latinos love bill clinton. african-americans love bill clinton. young people love bill clinton. he'll help with independence and working class voters. also on policy. bill clinton was basically the architect of the biggest economic expansion in a generation, and one of the reasons he did that was by implementing the same policies that president obama wants to do. >> here is a statement that the romney campaign put out. i'll read it to you this is from
the romney campaign. after four years of trillion dollar deficits and anemic economic growth, it's clear president obama would love to run on president clinton's record in office, but no amount of showmanship can paper over the differences between these two presidents. america deserves a president willing to run on his own record, not the record he wishes he had. the question to you is what do you think about all of this? what do you think about bill clinton coming to the convention and really going to try to energize the democratic base to get president obama reelected? >> first of all, bill clinton is a very popular president. he's still very popular because he had such large economic growth. part of the reason he had large economic growth is he adopted republican policies over his objection. hoe cut spending. he cut taxes. he cut welfare reform. that's why he became a very popular president, despite that
he was impeached. i think it was a good choice to pick bill clinton. because the fact that the records were so different, there was a record of job growth with bill clinton and terrible job record with obama. and that will be heightened by the appearance by the president. >> it's true that mitt romney from time to time goes out of his way to compliment bill clinton. he says, bill clinton believes in smaller government and trying to get it have economy going. is this, you think, a smart strategy, john? and then i'll bring maria back into the conversation, for romney to be praising bill clinton like this? >> i'll jump in. i do think it's a smart strategy. i think plopz will have the same track record. he expanded trade. something that bill clinton pushed for and mitt romney is going to push for. i think it is a smart strategy.
sometimes you want to compliment bill clinton by saying, you know, this is what the problem is with president obama. if he would be more like bill clinton. and there's a lot of dcs that believe that, too. >> i love that john just a said that. >> quickly respond, maria. >> sure. essentially what president clinton is saying to the american people when he's supporting president obama is president obama's policies of wanting millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share is exactly what president clin don did, that instilled the policies to lead the great economic expansion and 20 million new jobs. hopefully when president obama continues to push this, you have romney come out and say, yes, that's the right thing to do because president clinton did that, too. >> bill clinton will have a huge role at the convention. the president of the united states, president obama will have an even bigger role, obviously at the convention. we'll see how the vice president stacks up in all of this as well. guys, thankses very much. iran's nuclear ambitions in iran's backyard. later in "the situation room."
my exclusive interview with the israeli defense minister. we'll talk about how his country is facing the potential threat. and fresh perspective on president obama's history. going back 11 generations. and there's an interesting new stunning twist in his ancestry. i'm barack obama and i approve this message.
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even lived for a brief period of his life in indonesia. now a genealogist has turned up an unexpected branch in his family tree. lisa sylvester is joining us once again from washington. what did the search uncover, lisa? >> well, wolf, this is a story that might take a few people by surprise. not because the first african-american president has an ancestor who may have been a slave, but the link has been made on his white mother's side of the family. president obama's story is well known. his father from kenya. his mother from the united states. but ancestry.com says it has mapped out the obama family tree going back 11 generations, with stunning conclusion. a anastasia is the lead historian. >> our conclusion is president obama is the 11th great grandson of the first documented enslaved african in what would become the united states. >> the linked is made fot from his father's side, but from his
mother. she was connected back to a man named john punch. records show punch, who lived in virginia, had children with a white woman. those children later became known as the bunch family. the findings of the two-year study are now posted on the company's website. so how did the research team figure this. >> we're going from his mom to his mother and great grandmother. you're looking for birth and marriage and death records. as we get further back in time, though, they weren't kept or they've been destroyed over time. in the civil war a lot of records with destroyed. fires, floods, things like that. we look at surviving records. church records, land records. when we get really fall back into here's john bunch iii, born in 1680, from here out we're looking at lands records. >> ira berlin says all of this is perfectly plausible because there was a time when white
servants and black slaves intermingled. >> they worked together. they sleep together. they play together. eventually they have children together. the status of those children follow the status of the mother. if your mother is white, then you will be free. >> lineage has become a fascinating side topic of the political season. from mitt romney's morbid roots to the president's ancestry. but what matters, says cnn contributor roland martin is not so much the past, but the future. >> this is not going to mean anything when it comes to voters. this is simply a matter of what his personal history is. you can be clarence thomas a and you can have a very clear frn american background going back generations. but do the policies reso nnate
with black voters. >> that's how they've been able to connect it all the way to president obama. ancestry.com is a publicly related company with ties to the church. do we know it's true for sure? no, it's like putting a puzzle together. there's enough there to get the overall picture. and the research was reviewed by a third party. he she took a look and gave stamp of approval saying the research met the highest standards. >> interesting. i love this kind of stuff. thanks very much. a good report. a prominent governor's spouse is heading overseas for military duties. we'll have details in a moment. and later, a sweltering summer nigh mare, causing a blackout affecting more people than live in the united states. ♪ [music plays]
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the husband of the u.s. governor getting his marching orders. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on? >> wolf, the husband of south carolina governor nikki haley is preparing to deploy to afghanistan in january. the first lieutenant is a member of the national guard and says he looks forward to serving with his south carolina unit during the yearlong tour of duty. governor haley says it's an honor to watch him serve our country. >> i tell all my military spouses when i speak to other deployments, all needs to be well on the home front, and so we will be fine here, and he just needs to take care of himself when he's there. >> she adds that like other military spouse she and the kids
worry, but they're very proud of him. and following up on a story we brought you recently. reuters reports that the mayor has agreed to pay back public workers what he owes them, plus interest. the police and fire workers tried to cut costs for the city. a legal battle was brewing. the $750,000 settlement was reached over the weekend. and when it comes to children's safety, technology takes a backseat to common sense. the national highway traffic safety administration is warning parents not to count on new alert devices intended to prevent children from suffering and dying of heatstroke in parked cars. the devices are meant to sense the presence of a child in a car after an absent mild adult left them. and if his homeland is flooded, one dautch man will be ready.
he has built a replica of noah's ark using ancient biblical measurements outlined in the book of genesis. the finished vessel is on display. he says he was inspired to build it after having a dream back in 1992 that the netherlands was flooded by the north sea. there is a replica of animals that you can see there. not the real thing. there's also a restaurant. so he's going to be going in style. >> let's see what happens with that. appreciate it very much. coming up, by the way, in our next hour here in "the situation room." the suspect in the colorado movie theater shooting is back in court today. he now faces a staggering number of charges. new details for the lead investigators about what happened to a pair of experienced climbers on a dangerous mountain in peru.
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with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. in egypt, anti-riot policemen watch over a court where protesters have gathered. in italy, a tourist uses an umbrella to shade herself from the temperatures. in germany, ominous clouds cover about the vast houses. and in france a boy flips through the air in front of his peers at a boy scout jamboree. pictures from around the world. we keep hearing warnings about america's fragile power grid, the maze of wires and switching stations carrying electricity to our heomes vp
today part of india's power grid went down, blacking out some 350 million people. more people than live in the entire united states. cnn's tom foreman is standing by to show us exactly what happened. what an amazing story. walk us through it. >> oh my gosh, well, this is awful. the low is 350 many. the high is 370 million. mostly up here in this region right up here in the north which includes a lot of big places with a lot of people. about 2:35 in the morning, that's when the power went out. what was the impact of it. even at that time it went so long that it started running into the morning commute. as the power grid failed in india, it rippled out to hundreds of millions of people. metro systems were shut down. hospitals were shut down. businesses were shut down. massive impact on the country. it took quite a while. by about nine hours later, most of the power had been restored, but it took about 15 hours to
get full power back to the people here in india, so what was this all about? what made this happen? well, basically there's several issues. one is supply and demand. it's summertime. there's an awful lot of demand out there for power. they couldn't keep up with all of it. ha puts strain on the system. they've had rolling back outs in india for quite some full-time? so that's not a surprise. corruption is part of it. people stealing things, people stealing services. and weather. they've had drought conditions there which has hurt their hydro electric power. that all ended up in this kind of collapse, which really should not be happening anywhere in the world these days. let's go over to the united states and talk about whether or not such a thing could happen over here. you're right, more people involved in india than in all of the united states and in canada. so a huge number of folks involved here.
about cost about $60 billion. and some people were without power for two days. that was basically a system failure. had toot with the amount of maintenance being done there. some wiring sagging down into trees. and this sort of effect that rippled out into the area. the same thing happening now. a problem way over here can start affecting people further in over here and on, and on, and on it goes. so one of the big problems here, and could it happen to us? well, infrastructure weakness, wolf. we've talked about it a millions times. our infrastructure needs more support. terrorism, of course, we know about that. but also supply and demand. we have a little bit of the same thing going in india in the sense all the the phones, all the ipads, all the portable stereo units.
all the tvs, everything that we're running and all the the mputers are using massive amounts of power. all of it puts pressure on the grid. and wolf, we can only hope that our improvements will put us in better step than india. >> good discussion. thanks for that explanation, tom foreman. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, my exclusive interview with the israeli defense minister. he talks very candidly about stopping an iranian nuclear weapon, israel's relationship with president obama, and avenging the deadly terror attack on israeli tourists in bulgaria. also the colorado theater massacre suspect charged, now facing more than 100 counts in the biggest mass shooting in u.s. history. plus, the heartbreaking end to the high-tech search for two american clbers missing in peru. we're learning new details of how they died. we wan to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in jerusalem.
you're in "the situation room." some major concern in the united states. but here in israel, iran's nuclear ambitions are more disturbing. this country fits within striking distance of a possible iranian nuclear weapon. one that israeli officials are determined will not be built. i talked about that and a lot more in an exclusive interview today with the israeli defense minister, the former prime minister, ahud barak. defense minister, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> there was a report this week in one of the israeli newspapers that the u.s., the obama administration presented the israeli government with a military plan to take military
action against iran's nuclear facilities. is that true? >> i don't think that that's a correct description. we're aware of the fact this administration has done more in diplomacy, more in sanctions than previous administrations. probably for good reasons. and they did a lot in terms of operation of deployment in the golf area. and in cooperation. but it's about what we know. >> are you and the u.s. only it will same page, as far as iran is concerned? >> i think that in general terms of all the intelligence we are on the same page. in the rhetoric, we both know that he did not order them to end the weapons, but that he is determined to defeat and defy
the whole world. we are convinced and say publicly that iran should not be allowed to turn nuclear and all options should remain on the table? >> what does that mean they have not given the order to build a nuclear bomb? >> it's something technical. he did not tell the people stop and visit a weapon or explodable device. and we think we understand why he does not give these orders. he believes that he's penetrating through our intelligence, and he is strongly feels that if he tries to order, we will know it. me and you and some other intelligence services. we'll know about it. and it might end up against him. so he prefers to first of all make sure of the redundancy. the accumulation of more enriched uranium and better
protection. if he can reach a point which i call the -- beyond which israel might not be technically capable of launching the operation. the united states can do more. and by then he will have to consider when and how to go into it. but that's not the issue. we feel the stopwatches are tick ing -- >> i just want to be precise. israel has a more limbed capability in dealing with iran's nuclear facilities than the united states. so the u.s. thinks there's more
time available. israel thinks there's less time available. >> yeah, yeah. but into effect that we feel responsible for the security and future state of israel. we feel to delegate with iran. we cannot afford delegating. the sovereign rights and decisions about what should be done are give on the the most trusted. >> so even when the president says the u.s. would no longer support containment of a nuclear iran, the u.s. will not accept a nuclear iran. that's not good enough for israel? >> no, we highly respect the president, especially this president, for what he has already done.
the presentation or permission to go further than anyone in the past. better than ever. having said they, he knows it says publicly what we say. but we feel when it comes to coercion, israel government in the future, we cannot afford, we have to live up to this responsibility, and i believe these will basically respect the operation. israel has seen the issue. and that we feel the ultimatum only the government of israel should make the decision. >> you've studied the u.s.-israeli relationship over many years. how would you describe the
relationship today? >> i think, from my point of view, the defense needs to -- they are extremely good, extremely deep and profound. i can see years on the administration of both sides of the political aisle. deeply supporting the state of israel. i believe that reflects a profound feeling among the american people. but they should tell you honestly that this administration, under president obama is doing in regard to our security, more than anything that i can remember in the past. >> more than any other president? lbj or bill clinton or george w. bush? >> yeah. in terms of the support for our security, the cooperation of our intelligence, the sharing of sorts in a very open way. even when there are differences. some time the support for our
defense is very the most ever in their opinion. >> from the count of two generations i can bring to from memory or recount on. i cannot say about lbj because i didn't watch it from close distance. -- it's extremely stable and good. it doesn't mean that you agree on anything. it's very well known the difference between our government and the american administration about the other issues we basically agree on the diagnosis. we don't agree on the prognosis.
>> very >> we're going to have much more of my exclusive interview with e ehud barack still ahead. he'll reveal how he once dressed for a mission avenging the murder at the 1972 mounich olympic games, telling me, we killed them in their home. more of this interview coming up. separately, an interview with defense secretary leon panetta. he says the lessons of iraq will be put to use when the syrian e regime falls. plus, a new day in court an a very different demeanor. details of charges against the colorado theater massacre suspect. d, take a right. do you have any idea where you're going ? wherever the wind takes me. this is so off course.
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presidential candidate mitt romney. we're here in jerusalem. i also interviewed presumptive republican presidential candidate mitt romney. romney has certainly angered l palestinians with two remarks. including one about the city of jerusalem. listen to what he told me in our one-on-one interview. >> do you consider jerusalem to be the capital of israel? >> yes, of course. a nation has the capacity to choose its own capital city. and jerusalem is its capital. >> if you become the president of the united states would you move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem? >> it's long been the policy of our country to have our embassy in the nation's capital, jerusalem. the decision is one, if i were president, would want to take in consultation with the leadership of the government which exists at that time. >> let's bring in cnn's sarah in
jerusalem. what are the palestinians saying about mitt romney's remarks on jerusalem? >> they are certainly not happy about it. this kmecomment about jerusalem being the capital city is very controversial. it's one they've been picking over since the 1967 war because the palestinians say that east jerusalem must be their capital in a two-state solution. and israel says all of jerusalem is its territory, and it has no plans to give that east jerusalem to the palestinians. and that's really been a point of contention. and so this comment by romney really upsetting the palestin n palestinia palestinians. not only the palestinian authority, but generally the palestinian people are not happy to hear this from the republican. >> it's upsetting a lot of the
arabs including a lot of muslims oo as well. there's another comment that he made at a political fund-raiser in jerusalem that i suspect is more upsetting, or maybe at least as upsetting. tell viewers what he said. >> i think you're right to say this is perhaps more upsetting, especially to the palestinian leadership, than the comment about jerusalem. there have been plenty of u.s. presidential candidate who is come to jerusalem and make the comment and then back away from it. let's talk about this comment that romney made. he was basically talking about the vast differences between the gdp per capita in israel, as compared to that in the palestinian territory. remarking on how much higher it was in israel. and let me read to you what he said to this group of how pooired, high money people who came to his fund-raiser. he was talking about the book he
had and said if you can learn anything from the economic history of the world it's this. culture makes all the difference. saz i come here and look over the city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, i recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things. that comment really caught the ire of the chief palestinian negotiator. he fired back a response in saying this, and here's a quote from him. he angrily talked about in comment a couple of times saying the romney statements on jerusalem and the racist statements about the israeli culture being superior to the palestinian culture reflects someone who needs to be educated. his statements are serving the extremists in the area. romney said his statements were taken out of context. but he is not buying it, saying
he really needs to get his history straight. >> the controversy will continue. sara sidner reporting from jerusalem. you can see and hear more of my one-on-one interview with mitt romney coming up on the new 6:00 p.m. eastern hour. tomorrow, by the way, my interview with the current president of israel. very candid information he's releezing in the interview. that interview with shimon peres tomorrow in "the situation room." parts of phoenix, arizona, covered in a wall of dust. a closer look at what's behind the surge in monstrous storms. male spirit present.trong it's the priceline negotiator. >>what? >>sorry. he wants you to know about priceline's new express deals.
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quite a different day in court for the man being held in the colorado theater massacre. he's now being charged. james holmes facing two dozen counts of first-degree murder. two for each victim and more than 100 counts of attempted murder. ed lavendera was inside the home today where holmes appeared. ed, tell the viewers what happened. >> well, wolf this time there were no video cameras allowed in the courtroom. but looking at someone staring down at the death penalty, you wouldn't be able to tell they be looking at james holmes today. james holmes sat calmly in the courtroom, apparently unfazed when the judge announced he was charged with 142 criminal charges, including 24 counts of first-degree murder. two for each victim. theater shooting survivor needed
to see holmes up close to send the accused mass killer a message. >> i think he's a coward. seeing him just confirmed that, 100%. he looked defeated. he knows he's not the power anymore. >> in the first court appearance he displayed a large series of strange expressions. his red hair matted down. his eyes would open wide as if trying to process the court exchanges. there were dozens of victims and family members in court to see and judge holmes' appearance himself. >> i do not believe he's insane, of course, i'm not a psychiatrist. he responded very appropriately. >> survivors and their families filled half the courtroom as
well as an overflow courtroom where they could watch the hearing. among them, rita palina, brought to the court by her family in a wheelchair. her left arm and leg still bandaged from the gunshot wounds. total strangers the night of the shooting, dawn found amber in the movie theater parking lot dazed in the cay yacht of the shooting aftermath. today they're friends bonded by a terrifying experience. bond says he's been to a movie theater and seen "the dark knight rises" twice since the shooting. >> i'm hoping people will take it as a sign to strength of the community. wii going to stand up. we're going to fight. and that's what this is a representation of. wolf, after the court hearing today, prosecutors met privately with the victims and victims families that showed up at the
court hearing today and explained their strategy. in filing 1242 criminal charges. there were questions, and many people think many more charges could have been filed. according to family members, prosecutors wanted to go after the most reasonable charges that they could get the most severe punishment for and not prolong the legal process further than it needs to be. wolf? >> interesting stuff. ed lavendera on the ground for us. other news we're following. cnn is on the ground inside syria. we're watching firsthand the fierce fighting going on. there are new developments. we'll check in with ivan watson right after this. d, verizon 4g lte phone. the global ready one ? yeah, but you won't need... ♪ hajimemashite. hajimemashite. hajimemashite. you guys like football ? thank you so much. i'm stoked. you stoked ? totally. ... and he says, "under the mattress." souse le matelas. ( laughter )
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the battle for the commercial heart of syria is expanding right now. the fighting intense as rebel forces are moving in and around aleppo. cnn's ivan watson is on the ground for us. we're going to talk to him in just a home. first, here's the report he sent to us just a few moments ago. >> the fires are still smoldering after sunday night's rebel attack on a large syrian army base next to the main highway between aleppo and the turkish border to the north. and look at t the results of this attack. an armored personnel carrier blown open, and just take a look
at how ferocious this assault was. the terrent was brown off the vehicle, something like 20 yards away. we were listening as the battle unfolded on sunday night. artillery all the way in, located miles away. and we could hear the rebels as they approached the earth works around this army base, crawling on their stomachs, carrying rocket propelled grenades, which can only fire at close range to take out heavily armored vehicles like this. the day after the battle, the rebels are celebrating. this is why the outpost was a strategic victory for the rebels. this runs for the city of aleppo all the way to the turkish
border. they have resumed control of a crucial artery between the two destinations. this was one of the key commanders of this battle, and he's now showing us the tanks and armored personnel carriers, just three they captured in sunday hell out of here. >> and ivan watson is joining us right now from on the ground,
inside syria, he's been for the last several days. ivan, can the rebels hold onto this position? what is the assessment where you are? >> well, they held all the villages around this government check point, this government base. and they've held onto these towns for mons at a time. as well as the surrounding countryside. and the fact that the syrian government couldn't bring in reinforcements suggests their own troops were cut off. so, yes, it does seem unless the syrian military can e mass a significant number of troops, it seems that they have seated yet another piece of territory to the armed opposition in northern syria. >> and morale right now among the rebels, how would you describe it? >> they were celebrating, but not wildly. i mean, people were congratulating each other. they were kissing each other on the cheeks, but they're also
hard at work pulling out all the ammunition they had capture maryland the base, carrying out enormous tank shell on their shoulders they had captured and stocking them away, as well as rolling away the tanks and the trucks they captured. they know they scored a victory. but the war is far from over. four cammorades were killed in the battle. more are likely to do in the coming days and weeks, if not months as they continue their battle against the syrian government. >> when you meet with these rebels, ivan, they know you're obviously from the united states. do they say to you, we wish you would do "x", "y" or "z" to deliver the country from bashar al-assad. >> there's deep disappoint lt, i think from the op cig here. not just the fighters, but also the families that support them.
the communities around here. many have come up with the conspiracy theory that washington is hiding behind the russian and chinese vetoes in the united nations security council, or perhaps pushing the russians and chinese to veto any measure to try to help the opposition more inside syria. that gives you a sense of how deep the disappointment is, and basically the people here say you all know what is happening here but you are not doing anything. do they've started to believe that america seems to want them to get killed by bashar al-assad. they seem to believe that the u.s. wants bashar al-assad to stay in power and to keep killing his own people. that's what i hear again and again from syrian people fighting against their government. >> ivan watson on the ground for us izsyria.
i always tell him to be careful. amazing reporting, ivan. our viewers in the united states and around the world are grateful to you for that. elsewhere in the region here in the middle east. the defense secretary is watching developments in syria unfold from tunisia. that's the first country to sweep aside its dictator in the so-called arab spring uprising. panetta spoke exclusively to pentagon correspondent barbara starr about what happens when, not if, when the syrian regime falls and how lessons from iraq will factor in. >> do you want to see the syrian military preserved, even after assad falls, if he falls? >> i think it's important when assad leaves, and he will leave, to try to preserve stability in that country. and the best way to preserve that kind of stability is to maintain as much of the military, the police as you can. along with the security forces,
and hope that they will transition to a democratic form of government. that's the key. >> what is your thinking, if assad comes down? do you want to see the syrian military preserve? do you think that's a lesson we learn from iraq? don't disband the military? >> i think it's very important that we don't make the same mistakes we made in iraq. and particularly when it comes to the chemical sites. they do a good job of securing the sites. if they suddenly walked away from that, it would be a disaster to have those chemical weapons fall into the wrong hands. and hezbollah or other extremists in the area. what else is the secretary telling you about u.s. military options? >> well, wolf, here's what he says. he says there are a full range
of military options that he has in hand. but his problem, he says, is in this part of the world, the u.s. cannot act unilaterally. especially the u.s. military. it's not looked upon very kindly, and he knows it. he's looking for support from russia and china. but in particular, of course, the russians, who are the big supporters of bashar al-assad. and he knows he's here during the political season. he's following in the footsteps of mitt romney as he makes his way across the region. and what he's trying to do is make the case for a unified position on all this and really get russia on board. he believes that's key to moving ahead. >> we'll see if he can do that. barbara starr reporting from
tunisia. the artillery includes a shop in israel, as the meeting with israeli counter parts, the defense minister ehud barak. he gave me a preview of what the agenda will be. sounds to me like you have a lot on your plate and i know you're getting ready to meet with secretary of defense leon panetta. >> i'm looking forward to it. he's a great friend and great friend of israel and great secretary of defense for america. and i highly appreciate him. i look forward to egypt, to iran. >> ehud barak. but the way, we're going to have much more of my exclusive interview with ehud barak coming up next, includinge ining his d description of the mission he was involved in avenging the
munich olympic game massacre and how israel will, quote, in his words, settle the account with the people behind the recent attacks on israeli tourists in bulgaria." also a major u.s. city choking under a huge cloud of dust for the second time in just days. male spirit present.trong it's the priceline negotiator. >>what? >>sorry. he wants you to know about priceline's new express deals. it's a faster way to get a great hotel deal without bidding. pick one with a pool, a gym, a great guest rating. >>and save big. >>thanks negotiator. wherever you are. ya, no. he's over here.
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with us that you believe iran and hezbollah were directly responsible for the murder of the israeli tourists in bulgaria? >> we are confident without any doubt about the responsibility of hezbollah to the execution of the operation, planning and execution. and we know from previous cases just with the indian press today, it became clear that behind the attack on our diplomats in new delhidelhi -- same applied in thailand and the other one in georgia. all occurred within several weeks. >> but you have direct hard evidence about bulgaria? >> no.
we have direct direct hard evidence. i'm confident that with a few others. i have no doubt and for obvious reason we cannot share. >> so what are you doing to do about it? are you going to retaliate? >> we will find a way to accept the count with those who executed. >> i speak to someone, and your history is well known, somebody who has settled accounts in the past. >> yeah. >> to you personally. we are now focusing on it. at time was the prime minister. they were ordered to find a way to settle their conflict. >> what can you tell our
viewers? because we're watching the olympic games in london right now. we're talking about 40 years ago in munich, israeli athletes were killed. you were then in the military. and what did she say to you? >> she told us, you have to sit down together with ssad and find a way here with the people and just start to plan an operation. they were waiting to be in the departments. we keep them in their homes. and it was part of a world campaign. basically we are proud of our capacity i think that the
british then and now are extr e extremely good in security. and i don't believe that anyone was there to reaffirm such an event in london. >> basically when you say settle accounts, the way israel settled accounts for the murder of the israeli athletes in munich, you could see settling accounts to the murder of the israeli tourists in bulgaria? >> unfortunately we have too many to settle. and we do it in a different way each time. but we have a long memory in order to survive and be able to settle accounts. and go through indiscriminately. >> that was comments for israeli defense minister ehud barak. that interview in jerusalem with me earlier in the day. i also sat down in jerusalem
with mitt romney. we'll have more of that in the next hour, the new 6:00 p.m. eastern hour. standby for that. you're going to want to hear what mitt romney has to say on a whole host of issues. also a string of monster dust storms slamming parts of phoenix, arizona. just ahead we're going to tell you what's causing them. plus, we're getting brand new information on what may have killed two americans on a dangerous 20,000 foot climb. brian todd speaks with a lead investigate or in this case ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] [ feedback ] attention, well, everyone. you can now try snapshot from progressive free for 30 days. just plug this into your car, and your good driving
been blanketed in a massive cloud of dust. sunday's monster storm is just the latest to barrel across the state and the region. our meteorologist and severe weather expert joining us now with more. tell our viewers what's going on here because these pictures are amazing. >> you don't expect thunderstorms to create dust. you would expect them to create mud and flash flooding. but arizona across most of the rest of the country has been in the middle of a drought. so a lot of the desert is now very dry. when you get a thunderstorm to blow wind and let's picture this in the northeast. if you get wind blowing out of a thunderstorm, you knock down trees, you knock down power lines and the power goes out everywhere, especially new york, virginia, all those areas that had outtages the past couple weeks. when a wind blows out of a thunderstorm out in the desert almost over to about -- that's apache junction and up superstition mountains these
storms blow wind out rather than knocking power lines down and rather than knocking trees down. and the cactuses are doing just fine. it picks up dust and it blows it up into the air. here are.such dramatic pictures of how when you get into this, you can't even see where you're going. the key is here to get off the road if you can't see. you don't want to stop in the middle of the road because the person behind you may not be stopping. but look how this dust storm -- you think you're in the middle of the middle east of saudi arabian desert. in can the fa, that is just phoenix, arizona. it's been that way every time a thunderstorm comes, the wind blows and the dust goes back up. >> what amazing pictures endeed. thanks very much, chad, for that. investigators think they now know what happened, what killed two americans on a dangerous 20,000-foot climb. i an mountain climb to be
precise. we'll have brand new information just ahead. also an african-american couple in the united states, yes, the united states of america right now forced to move their wedding to another church because of the color of their skin. that's coming up in our brand new 6:00 p.m. eastern hour. lexus enform app suite,able you can use opentable to make restaurant reservations. during the golden opportunity sales event, get great values on some of our newest models. this is the pursuit of perfection. get great values on some of our newest models. onis for a clean, wedomestic energy future
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just two days after the bodies of two american climbers were found in peru, we're now learning new information, new details from the lead investigator in the case about their dangerous quest and how authorities now believe they may have died. brian todd has been working the story for us. tell our viewers what you're learning. >> a short time ago, we spoke to the leader of that rescue and investigation team in peru. he does have harrowing new
details where the climbers were on that peak and however they may have fallen. >> in one of their last communiques, climbers gil weiss and ben horn gave an indication what they were up against. just before they vanished earlier this month on the 20,000 foot peruvian peak, horn wrote on his blog he had encounters hurricane force winds that knocked him off balance and very deep and loose snow. the two americans were found dead at the base of that peak over the weekend. we spoke with ted alexander who coordinated the rescue effort from nearby. he says his team believes the two men had a horrific fall. >> about how far do you believe they fell? >> the evidence being their equipment was strewn over the glacier. there was sign of great impact. would lead us to believe that they did fall, my guess looking at the photos and from talking to our guys out there that it was probably about 1,000-foot fall.
>> the rescuers who pulled the bodies from that mountain have just given alexander new details how they believe the men fell. he passed that information on to us. alexander says from what he and his team have put together, it looks like this was the route used by the two climbers to climb that mountain. alexander says they believe the men reached the summit, then descended down this way. about halfway down, roughly in this area, alexander says he believes that they reached what's called a serrac, a large hanging chunk of ice. investigators believe one of the men may have been looking over that chunk of ice trying to determine if they could descend to the next level from there. at that point, investigators believe something gave out from underneath that climber causing him to fall roughly 65 feet. but because they believe the two were tethered together, that fall pulled the other man off the edge causing both of them to be pulled off the larger cliff and down. .both of the bodies were found in this area. ted alexander who new gil weiss
says the two were experienced climbers, not reckless but says they've not taken on then dangerous peak before. a relative of ben horn's said he worked with the peace corps in kyrgyzstan. gillees had started his own production company in colorado and photographed a wedding staged on a peak there. his sister told us what she would like the world to remember about gill. >> gil had the most optimistic view on practice little everything. i think it's really important to understand that you have to make the most of what you've got and you've got to be grateful for everyone in your life. >> gali weiss says one thing the family will cherish is a hiking trip that gil took with her and their father in colorado. she says he got their father to climb the first flat iron. that's a difficult trail near boulder and that they were thrilled with that.
gil weiss was 29 years old, ben was 32. wolf? >> that mountain range, brian, has been known to be dangerous to climbers, hasn't it. >> that's right. according to one report, eight people he died on that range just this year. the head of a police high mountain rescue team says at least 40 people have been evac yeaed from there due to medical problems. it is very, very dangerousing. >> thank you. happening now, mitt romney tells when he might order an attack on iran if elected president. president obama decides he needs bill clinton despite their history of some tension. and a mississippi church refuses to let a couple get married there because they're african-american. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." right now, the republican
presidential candidate mitt romney is treeing to prove to the world that he is a commander in chief potential to be sure. the soon to be presidential phenomenon knee is visiting poland right now after some controversial remarks cast shadows over his trips earlier to london and here to jerusalem. stand by for more of my interview with mitt romney on critical foreign policy issues, presidential politics and more. first to warsaw where our correspondent jim acosta is traveling with mitt romney and covering this visit. what's the latest there, jim? >> wolf, here in poened la, mitt romney picked up what sounded like an endorsement from the anti--en communism hero lech walesa, but he arrived from his stop in israel with a fresh, diplomatic controversy on his tail. mitt romney picked poland for the last stop of his trip to highlight a economy that is roaring ahead of much of europe.
on the streets of the city of gadag gdansk, one person returned the praise. the campaign's image of the day was his meeting with the former leader of poland, lek wa len za, the icon gushed over romney and seemed to take a dig at president obama. >> translator: and hope many other countries will certainly do all the best for the united states to restore its leadership position. >> romney landed in poland after a two-day trip to israel aimed at wooing jooub american voters. his stop at the most sacred site of the jewish faith the western wall resonated with ben japp man winen raub, an american orthodox jew living in israel. >> does that help win your vote? >> that definitely helps with my vote. >> palestinian leaders are fuming over comments romney made at a fund raiser comparing the israeli and plin economies. romney told his donors and as i
come out here and look over the city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, i recognize the power of at least culturen a few other things. i an spokesman for palestinian leaders called the comments racist, adding it seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision, and understanding of this region and its people. the romney campaign complained the comments were being grossly mischaracterized but romney hits the same theme in his book "no apologies" and back in april, made a similar comparison between israelis and egyptians. >> why is israel such a powerhouse and egypt so far away? and then i read a book by a former professor. it was called "the wealth and poverty of nations." after about 500 pages of analysis, he says roughly these words. he said if you can learn anything at all from the history of the economic development of the world, it's this.
culture makes all the difference. >> it was yet another distraction for a campaign that wants americans to focus on romney as a potential leader of the free world. escaping the campaign is never easy even in poland where some fans of the current man in the white house chanted obama. >> after questioning whether the british were ready to put on the olympics this marks the second time that will romney has offended some of the people in the countries can he's visited during this overseas trip. he'll have another chance to get his campaign back on message tomorrow when he delivers a major foreign policy address here in warsaw. then it's back to the states for a nonstop campaign that won't let up all the way to november. wolf? >> certainly won't. quickly, the romney campaign is pushing back on this notion that the use of the word culture at this fund raiser here in jerusalem early this morning between palestinians and israeli represented some form of racism.
what are they saying? >> well, one of the advisers to the campaign on this trip sue stevens was talking to reporters and he said under no circumstances was mitt romney at all offending the palestinians with those comments. i says the rest of the world knows that, wolf. >> jim acosta traveling with romney in poland right now. yesterday earlier today, they were all obviously here in jerusalem. coming up at about 20 minutes, you'll see more of my
name into nomination. let's bring in our white house correspondent brianna keilar working the story for us. tell our viewers what's going on, brianna. >> well, wolf, obviously a very visible role for president clinton, but you know be things weren't always this friendly between clinton and obama. during the primary battle between hillary clinton and barack obama, sources tell us that the former president felt very bitterly and in the aftermath of that battle towards obama because he felt that his wife had been mistreated. now, once obama was elected and he appointed hillary clinton as secretary of state, the wounds started to heal and now four years later, president clinton is one of obama's most visible surrogates. when bill clinton took the stage at the democratic convention 2008, the crowd went wild. ♪ don't stop thinking about tomorrow ♪ >> reporter: at first, they
wouldn't even let him start talking. >> i am honored to be here tonight. please, stop. thank you. please stop. sit down. >> reporter: four years ago, clinton's role was to warm up the audience for joe bide.'sspeech. this year he's got a heavier lift. warming up middle class voters for president obama as the economy continues to falter. despite 27 consecutive months of creating jobs,ing there are still 473,000 less jobs right now than when president obama took office. at this point in clinton's first term, almost 10 million jobs had been added. but the white house dismisses suggestions clinton's appearance will highlight those differences in a negative way. >> president clinton's participation at the convention will be a very important way to reinforce president obama's views. >> clinton is obama's key messenger trying to persuade voters that he knows what it takes to build an economy and president obama is on the right
path. it's a relationship that has had its ups and downs. just this may, clinton undercut the obama campaign's main argument that mitt romney's business experience does not qualify him to lead the country. >> a man who's been.governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold. >> back in 2007 as then senators hillary clinton and barack obama went head to head in the democratic primaries, bill clinton took aim at obama's inexperience. >> i mean, when is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the senate before he started running? >> in early 2008, obama won iowa and entered an all-out feud with the former first couple. >> well, i'm here and he's not. >> i can't tell who i'm running against sometimes. >> but wolf, fast forward four years and what a difference that makes. bill clinton now key not only on messaging but also fund-raising.
he and president obama have headlined a number of events together this spring raising millions of dollars for the president's re-election. >> very important addition to the upcoming convention in charlotte for the democrats. thanks, brianna very much. let's check in with kate bolduan in "the situation room" back in washington. a quick look at some of the day's other top stories. >> thank you. well, the colorado theater shooting suspect now stands charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder. two for each of the people killed in the massacre. james holmes was in court today to hear the formal charges. his hair is still dyed that orange color and he was wearing shackles. holmes also faces 116 counts of attempted murder. two counts for each of the 58 people who were wounded in that shooting. the great aunt of the 6-year-old girl killed in the shooting described holmes' demeanor during the hearing. >> i got a sense that he was very aware of what was going on.
i do not believe that he's insane, but of course, i'm not a psychiatrist. he responded very appropriately. and said yes when he understood the charges. he did look around once in the courtroom. i do think he might have something wrong with his eyes because of the expression that he uses. but he seemed very coherent to me. >> prosecutors still haven't revealed whether they will seek the death penalty against holmes. and michael jackson's doctor is asking for a key piece of evidence to be tested to fight his conviction in connection with the pop star's death. conrad murray's lawyers say a tes of residue of a bottle of surgical anesthetic would prove jackson injected himself with the drug that killed him two previous requests by murray's lawyer to have the bottle evident tested were rejected. officials fear the death toll will rise in a fiery train
crash in india. .32 are dead, no definitive word on the cause. one official says a short circuit may be to be blame. the vast rail system is used by hundreds of thousands of people every day and has a history of safety problems. also, south carolina governorick kill hailey says she's proud her husband will be deployed to afghanistan in january. michael haily got the order today, he's a 1st lt. and military tecician. governor haley acknowledges she's worried about her husband's safety just as any military wife would be. they feel have two young children at home. we wish him well and her, as well. >> we certainly wish him a speedy return from afghanistan. obviously, thanks very much for that, kate. we got new details coming into the situation room on president obama's esancestry, including a
surprising twist in his family history. that's coming up right after the break. also, a police officer under arrest. wait till you hear what he's accused of doing while on the job. and at 6:30 p.m. eastern at the bottom of the hour, the israeli president shimon peres tells me what he considers to be the biggest pain in the neck to the entire world. you know what's exciting? graduation. when i look up into my students faces, i see pride. you know, i have done something worthwhile. when i earned my doctorate through university of phoenix, that pride, that was on my face. i am jocelyn taylor. i'm committed to making a difference in people's lives, and i am a phoenix. visit phoenix.edu to find the program that's right for you. enroll now. there it is ! there it is !
a new revelation today about president obama's ancestry. we're now told his rootsgo back to the early days of slavery in the united states. but that's not necessarily the surprising part. lisa sylvester is looking into the story for us. lisa, what's going on? is this. >> this is a story that might take some people by surprise not because the first african-american has and ses tore who may have been a slave but because the link has been
made on his white mother's side of the family. >> president obama's story is well-known, his father from kenya, his mother from the united states. but ancestry.com says it has mapped out the obama family tree going back 11 generations. and came to a stunning conclusion. anastasia harmon is the company's lead family historian. >> our conclusion is that president obama, the first african-american president, is the 11th great grandson of the first documented enslaved african in what would become the united states. >> the link is made not from his father's side but from his mother, ann dunham whose lineage twrased back to an african named john punch who lived in precolonial virginia and had children with a white woman. those children later became known by a slightly different name as the bunch family. the findings of the two-year study is now posted on the company's website. so how did the research team figure this out? >> as we're going from president
obama to his mom and grandmother and great grandmother, you're looking for like birth and marriage and death records, all those kind of records. as we get farther back in time, they weren't kept or they've been destroyed over time, the civil war a lot of records were destroyed, fires, floods. we start looking at fiving records, church records, land records so when we get really far back into here john bench iii born in 1680, from here on out, we're looking at land records. >> university of maryland history professor ira berlin says all of this is perfectly plausible because there was a time when white indentured servants and black slaves freely intermingled. >> they worked is, played, sleep together. eventually they have children together. the status of those children followed the status of their mother. that is if your mother is white, then you will be free. >> lineage has become a fascinating side topic of this
political season from mitt romney's more mon roots to the president's ancestry. but what matters says clinter roland martin is not so much the past, but the future. >> this is not going to mean anything when it comes to voters. this is simply a matter of what his personal history is. keep in mind, you can be clarence thomas and you can have a very clear african-american background going back generations, but do the policies that you articulate today resonate with black voters? >> now, in our 4:00 p.m. report, we said an that ancestry.com has ties to the mormon church. it actually doesn't. do we know for sure their conclusion about president obama is true. all of this like putting a puzzle together. there's enough there to get the overall picture. and the research was reviewed by a third party, a historian previous president of the board for certification of
jeanologists took a look and gave her stamp of approval saying the research met the highest standards. >> interesting stuff. thanks very much for that, lisa. let's go to kate right now. she's got some other news that we're watching. what are you finding out? >> i want to get viewers caught up on what'strenning right here in "the situation room." number on our list tonight -- dashcam video from a police officer's patrol car leads to his own arrest. he's accused of picking up prostitutes while on the job. police tell our affiliate wesh the officer has since been fired. number three, alive-sized version of noaa's ark built in holland. a wealthy dutch businessman used the outlines in the bible to build that huge wooden boat and packed it with a lot of animals all made of plastic. stay with us. the top two trending stories of the day coming up next. [ ross ] we are in the dades gorge,
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let's get back to our list of what's trending right now here in "the situation room." we told you about number four before the break. a florida police officer fired after his colleagues say he picked up at least four prostitutes while on the job. number three, trending tonight, a wealthy dutchman built a life sized replica of noah's ark and opened up as a bible mux. time for number two. at least 14 people killed this month alone in what appears to be a new ebola outbreak in
uganda. officials are working to find the source. he bow they're is highly contagious. and number one, a sad story from the nfl. o.j. murdoch apparently killed himself this morning in front of the tampa area high school where he was a football star, track and field star, as well. murdoch was just 25 years old. he had not even played a game in the nfl because due to injury and then this very, very very sad turn. >> very sad story, indeed. only 25 years old. a young guy indeed. thanks, kate. up next here in "the situation room," spending a historic amount of money to win the white house. i'll ask mitt romney about the millions and millions of dollars his support ers are spending. my interview with mitt romney coming up next. >> and why an african-american couple was denied a church wedding in the united states. this man is about to be the millionth customer.
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mitt romney says he came here to jerusalem to deliver an important message to the people of israel and to the leaders of iran. the republican presidential contender is promising to support any and all measures a direct quote, any and all measures to prevent iran from developing a nuclear bomb. i asked romney about that and much more in our one-on-one interview here in jerusalem. >> let's talk about iran because you've been very robust in saying that you will not as president accept iran with nuclear weapons. so be specific. what would you do to make sure that would never happen? >> well, i spoke about five years ago at the conference and laid out seven steps that i thought were necessary to keep iran from pursuing their nuclear folly. one of those steps, of course, was crippling sanctions. it's taken a long time for those sanctions to finally be put in place. they could be i'm sure even more
punitive relative to iran. but that's a positive step. there are other steps that have not yet been followed. one other step is to make sure we have credible military options that are available to us if no other of the initiatives is successful. clearly we all hope that diplomatic and economic pressures put on iran will dissuade them from becoming a nuclear capability nation. but if all else fails, we of course, have to keep the military option available. >> but just to be precise on iran poin, if the sanctions, the political sanctions, economic sanctions, diplomatic sanctions don't work and iran is about to develop a nuclear bomb, you as president would authorize a military strike? >> i think i've said it as clearly as our president has. i don't want to make foreign policy on foreign soil or say something different than our nation. our president has said and i have said it is unacceptable for iran to become nuclear.
that would mean if all other options were to fail and they have not all been exercised, they've not all been executed at their most extreme level, but if all other options diplomatic, political, economic fail, then a military option is one which would be available to the president of the united states. >> the last time you and i spoke in an interview, you told me that russia was america's number one geostrategic foe. do you still believe that? >> there's no question that in terms of geopolitics, i'm talking about votes at the united nations and actions of a geopolitical nature. russia is the number one adversary in that regard. that doesn't make them an enemy or combatant. they don't represent the number one national security threat. the number one national security threat, of cours o, of course, n is a nuclear iran. time continues to pass. this is more and more disconcerting and dangerous to
the world. but russia, particularly look the an a place like syria. russia has supported the assad regime even as it has been attacking its own people. russia likewise has been slow to move to the kinds of sanctions that have been called for in iran. russia is a geopolitical adversary but it's not an enemy with you know, missiles being fired at one another or things of that nature. >> i'm glad you clarified that. on a timeline for withdrawal from afghanistan, the other day you said you support bringing back all u.s. troops by the end of 2014, which is what the obama administration negotiated, as well. but earlier you seemed to say that you wanted to consult with commanders. you didn't want a hard time line or deadline for withdrawing from afghanistan to announce what was going on. do i sense there's been a change in your position? >> no,t's the same posture
i've had all along which is that i believe that the right target for us is to withdraw our troops by the end of 2014. at the same time in the speech i gave at the vfw, i said i would however also want to consult with commanders on ground to make sure that that timeline was still the appropriate time line and that is something which i will continue to point out. >> as someone who organized and ran the winter olympic games and all of us know you did an excellent job at that, should there have been a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies for these summer games in london in memory of those israeli athletes who were killed in munich in 1972? >> i expressed my belief actually before the games that there should have been a moment of silence on the 40-year anniversary of the brutal massacre of the israeli athletes in munich. i think recognizing the sacrifice and the horror of terror even at the olympics is
something which should not be lost on the people who weren't around or may not remember those terrible events. >> on a political question, getting ready to wrap it up, but all this money that's coming out being raised in super pac money, we're here in jerusalem. one of your big supporters sheldon adelson is here. he has said he's ready to commit $100 million to super pacs to help defeat the president of the united states. all this money coming in. is this appropriate? what do you think about this? >> i must admit i think i made very clear in my campaign in 2008 that i felt that the fund-raising regulations and rules that exist in our country don't make a lot of sense. in fact, as you know, a candidate is able to raise a maximum of $2,500 for his or her campaign. a federal campaign but there can be a super pac on behalf of that candidate that takes millions of dollars. this doesn't make a lot of sense to me. i think we need to revisit. i hope at some point we're able
to revisit our campaign finance laws and to have candidates responsible for the advertising of their own campaign supposed to having advertising and the message of a campaign oftentimes being spoken of more loudly by outside groups than by the candidate him or herself. but what we've done is by limiting what a candidate's campaign can receive at $2500, we've now only opened up a way for people to that want to make a difference in a campaign to give to some outside group that can't be coordinat by the candidate. so the candidate gets the benefit of the money but the disadvantage of not being able to, if you will, control the message and make sure what these outside groups say is consistent with their beliefs. i'd rather see contributions going to candidates and having candidates take responsibility for what's said. >> a lot of people are concerned if he's going to put in $100 million of his personal wealth and i think forbes says he's worth about $20 billion, a lot of those billions he earned obviously legally at casinos not
only in las vegas but in macao china. people are antsy about that if you get the drift. >> you'd have to talk to mr. adelson. as i understand it, his contributions are to a wide array of causes but generally associated with conservative principles. don't forget, there will be hundreds of millions coming in from the ceos of labor unions. not directed by their individual members, but directed entirely by ceo of a union. we have a very strange financial system for our campaigns right now where campaigns are highly limited. what they can receive. but then vast sums potentially tens of millions, hundreds of millions potentially in contributions are coming by outside groups that can't be controlled by the campaigns. that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. >> okay. we're out of time. one final thought. you're in jerusalem right now. you're a religious individual. give us a little sense of what this city means to you, the holy
land as someone who obviously believes in god and has a deep commitment to his faith. >> well, as you know, i'm running for a secular position, not a religious position but on a personal basis, being in the holy city is very moving for me. i believe very deeply in the promises that were made in this place. i believe in the mission of jesus christ. believe he walked the very streets that we're walking. and it's very moving. and emotional for anyone of deep faith to be in a place which is sacred to my faith, sacred to people of the jewish faith. sacred to muslims and it's amazing how many religions count this as a holy place. whatever your religion, i think being here draws you closer to the divine and makes you recognize we are all children of the same god. and hopefully coming here, people recognize that we should draw together and not fight like little children but instead act like adults that god created us to be.
>> well, said. i felt exactlyhe same way earlier today. i spent a few hours walking around the old city and i totally appreciate what you're saying. good luck. thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. good to be with you. take care. >> thank you. all right. so you heard mitt romney call the economic sanctions against iran a positive step. i also interviewed the israeli president shimon peres earlier today here in jerusalem. i asked him about the sanctions and whether, in fact, they are working. >> the sanctions are functioning, are beginning, but they have impacted iran. we have to wait a little bit more and see if this impact is sufficient enough to convince the iranians to stop it. this would be the best way. none of us would like to see blood shed. and iranians are not our enemies. let's not forget it. historically we they relations.
the problem is not iran, but the iranian leadership and the iranian policy which is a pain in the neck of the entire world. >> when you say months, how much time really is there given what's going on right now? >> look, if the iranians get away right away, it can be tomorrow. but it doesn't look inferior the time being they're in transcy jens. right now there is an effort one by negotiating with them that didn't bear fruits and other by increasing the sanctions. so we have to wait. i think it's a matter of months. >> a few months? six months, ten months? >> i can't tell it really. >> it's not years? >> i don't think so. >> all right. you're going to be able to see more of my interview with the
israeli president shimon peres right here in "the situation room." we'll do that tomorrow. but up next this hour, first dick cheney called sarah palin the pick four years ago. he says that was a mistake. now senator john mccain is firing back at the former vice president. and speaking of a so-called mistake, the defense secretary leon panetta opens up about what he saw in iraq that should not happen in the coming weeks and months in syria. cnn's exclusive interview with leon panetta, that's coming up right here in "the situation room." ( whirring and crackling sounds ) man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before, by building on the cisco intelligent network.
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of just into the situation room, we're getting word of a shark attack this afternoon off of cape cod, massachusetts. it's a story we've been following really for weeks. this time, a man was in the water when the shark bit him on the legs and ankles. you're seeing video of the after path there. police say the man suffered lacerations but nothing life-threatening. did he go to the hospital. some people on the beach say they saw a fin in the water before the man was bitten. other stories we're watching this hour, former vice president dick cheney is getting pushback for his assessment that it was, quote unquote, a mistake for then republican presidential candidate john mccain to name sarah palin as his vice president running mate in an interview, he said two years as alaska governor did not make her ready for the post. mccain today bristled at cheney's remark. the arizona senator fired back saying this "i am always glad to get comments four years later. i respect the vice president. he and i had strong disagreements whether we should
torture people or not. i don't believe we should have. the fact is, i'm proud of sarah palin. i'm proud of the job she did, i'm proud of the job she continues to do." and also coming from the pentagon this evening, defense secretary leon panetta is traveling in the middle east. in an exclusive interview he tells our pentagon correspondent barbara starr that even though the u.s. wants syria president bashar al assad, it doesn't want to disband syria's military and security forces. the reason has to do with iraq and chemical weapons. listen here. >> i think it's very, very important that we don't make the same mistakes we made in iraq. and that particularly when it comes to things like the chemical sites, they do a pretty good job of securing those sites. if they suddenly walked away from that, it would be a disaster to have those chemical weapons fall into the wrong hands, hands of hezbollah or other extremists in that area. >> panetta is in tunisia and
will be visiting egypt, jordan and israel. he also told barbara starr wolf that he thinks deep down assad knows it's just a matter of time before he's going to have to step down. he said if he wants to protect his family, he should go now. >> yeah. a lot of people think so. i've been hearing that for a while. but the fighting in the meantime continues. i do know panetta when he gets here to jooup, he'll be warmly received by the israeli.defense min stair ehud barak. that's what he told me, he admires leon panetta and what they're trying to dwog iran, syria. hard it believe this is true. but an african-american couple, yes, an african-american couple was denied a church wedding because of their race. you're going to hear from the pastor coming up. also, michelle obama gets touchy-feely overseas. we'll tell you what's going on. the twenty billion dollars bp committed
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let's get a quick check from erin burnett in fork it see what's coming up at the top of the hour. >> wolf, you've been talking a lot about the serious situation. i remember reading an article in vogue" about as ma al assad, the rose in the desert describing her as glamorous, young and chic. describing syria as a country without bombings, unrest or kidnappings. this article appeared just over a year ago in vogue, and i remember reading it and being shocked. the reporter says that she is frustrated with how this happened and how she was treated, that she was duped. she is our special guest tonight giving her side of the story on this very, very controversial article.
back to you. yeah, that was a glamorous photo shoot of the first lady of syria probably soon not going to be the first lady of syria, but we'll see. thanks very much. looking forward to that. now to a stunning reminder that racial prejudice still exists very much alive in the united states of america, even in 2012. even with an african-american president. this is a story of a black couple in mississippi who wanted to have a lovely church wedding until members of the church said, absolutely not, simply because of their race. mary snow is joining us with more on the story. hard to believe this can still happen in the united states. what happened? >> reporter: yeah, and this is a headline you might expect to see in 1962, not 2012. a couple changed their wedding plans at the last minute when the pastor of their church said he didn't want to have a controversy within his church. smiles on their wedding day mask the personal pain of charles and
teandrea. this was not the church where they planned to married. >> my wife was because we were black, some of the members of the congregation got upset and decided that no black couple would ever be married in their church. >> i was very devastated and in mur toil and just very hurt. >> reporter: two distance before their nuptials, the couple tells cnn they were asked to change the venue and not hold the ceremony at the first baptist church of crystal springs, mississippi. she is a member of that church and knows the church's pastor, stan weatherford. she says he requested the couple move the ceremony and ended up performing it at another location. we were unable to reach the pastor or the church. but he told cnn's affiliate, he made the request after some
congre members complained about a black couple getting married here. >> it was setting a precedence. i didn't want to have a controversy within the church and certainly didn't want a controversy to affect the wedding. >> reporter: the controversy, the pastor says he wanted to avoid has new mushroomed into a far bigger one. >> we are appalled that a religious institution would discriminate against individuals in 2012. >> reporter: we spoke to derek johnson, the president of the mississippi chapter of the naacp. he says instead of sanctuary, churches can be one of the many remnants of segregation. >> the most segregated time is sunday morning when african-americans and whites attend separate churches. and that has been done and carried out in mississippi like nowhere else. >> reporter: outside sunday services, there were members of the first baptist church who offered support to the wilsons. >> myself personally, i would like to apologize to the wilsons, to their family and friends and the entire black community.
>> we have basically been betrayed as racist church. we are not. we welcome anybody that wants to come through those doors. >> reporter: but charles wilson isn't swayed. >> why didn't those people stand up in the beginning? if it was such a minority of people, why didn't the majority stand up and say, in god's house, we don't do this? >> reporter: we have one quick update. we have sense heard back from the pastor who declined comment. baptist leaders today are denouncing any forms of discrimination. richard land of the southern baptist convention said, if this couple was rejected because of their race, that he is, quote, embarrassed, frustrated and that he apologizes to the couple on behalf of the convention for the hurt and emotional pain they experienced. wolf? >> that's a good statement from him. the pastor doesn't want to comment. thanks for that, mary. other news, something you don't usually see, the first lady in a wrestler's arms.
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the first lady of the united states, michelle obama, got up close and personal with some u.s. athletes in london. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: if there were an olympic medal for hugging, first lady michelle obama would take it. she hugged every member of the u.s. men's basketball team. they lined up. but even more impressive, the gold medal for lifting a first lady goes to this american wrestler. what's the weirdest thing you've ever listed outside of the first lady? >> hay bales. >> reporter: elena pirozhkova
lifting the first lady was a first. >> after she gave me a hug, my hand was still kind of at her waistband. and i said, can i pick you up? and she was like, okay. >> reporter: elena's teammate tweeted out the photo. the white house showcased its own version as photo of the day. >> i just think that's weird. >> reporter: what's weird? >> picking up the first lady. >> reporter: in 2010, elena came in second wrestling at the world championships. there's a name for this move -- >> just like a front body carry, that's what we call them. >> reporter: some conservative websites called it undignified. >> i think she's just having fun. it's the olympics. >> i think it's awesome that michelle obama is the weight that she can be lifted. >> reporter: at 5'9 1/2", i had trouble being lifted. >> i'm going to the chiropractor right now. >> reporter: could you? finally someone could and would.
like a feather, huh? not since nancy reagan sat on mr. "t's" lap have we seen a first lady in such a compromising position. as for those who imagine that elena would be saying "oh, my back" after lifting the first lady -- did she present any problem for you to pick up? >> no, you know. after i picked her up and i set her back down, she said, i'm a lot heavier than i seem, right? >> reporter: elena is scheduled to wrestle on august 8th. till then, she expects to be kidded. >> who are you going to pick up next, the queen of england? >> reporter: try wrestling with that image, jeanne moos, cnn, new york.