tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN December 19, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
a big ratings winner and i want to you watch the entire interview with glenn beck tomorrow at 9:00 eastern on piers morgan live. from the left, i'm van jones. >> from the right, i'm newt gingrich. join us tomorrow for another edition of "crossfire." erin burnett "outfront" starts erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com next, news. a ceiling collapses at a packed london theater injuring dozens. we'll go live to the scene. plus, hackers hit target. retailers say as many as 40 million customers may have been accessed. and a "duck dynasty" star suspended over his comments about gays. did a & e make the right call. good evening. i'm jake tapper in for erin
burnett. news out of london. a ceiling collapses outside the apollo theater. more than 700 people were inside watching a play when parts of the ceiling came crashing down. dozens are injured. seven seriously. the scene there, fear and panic. >> one of them said watch out. we thought it was part of the play. you couldn't see anything. you didn't know what was going on. it was very dusty. some people were bleeding coming out. >> a loud bang. i don't think it was an explosion. and the ceiling came down. a lot of dust, chandelier, wood, all that sort of stuff. >> we thought it was sound effects of the theater. and then we looked up and the whole ceiling was like in slow motion. >> senior international correspondent nic robertson is outside the apollo theater. what's the latest? >> reporter: we've seen the fire service put a cherry picker up outside the apollo theater.
we talk to one of the officials earlier. he told us they were checking the structure of the building to final out what had happened. he describe an area of plaster that had come down. he describe it as ten meters squared. about 30 foot by 30 foot squared. part of the ceiling inside that old auditorium. an ornate ceiling collapsed on the audience. seven people seriously injured. about 76, we're told, the walking wounded. people with cuts and scratches. people treated in the theater next door to the theater. some of the most badly injured treated for several hours before they were taken away in ambulances as the paramedics sought to stabilize their conditions. the fire service says everyone is out of the building. everyone is accounted for. no fatalities and now they are checking the structural soundness of the whole building. >> nic robson.
can you tell us how serious are the seven individuals who are said to be seriously injured? are these potentially life threatening? >> reporter: as far as we know, none of them are life threatening. throws details we've had. we standing here have been able to see at least three people seriously injured, taken away on stretchers. one had bandages around the head. another lying completely flat with a neck brace on. not moving at all. four paramedics around that person. so very difficult to judge from where we were standing a few feet away, how serious they are. but what we understand so far, none of them are in life threatening conditions. of course, this is still relatively early hours. so perhaps too soon to give everyone the all clear. the spying controversy.
the former general james clapper for, in their view, lying to congress. in this exchange. >> does nsa collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of americans? >> no, sir. >> now, clapper of course later issued a clarifying statement saying that it was the least dishonest statement he could have given at the time. now i would like to turn to a man who fought to defend nsa surveillance tactics during the bush administration. the former u.s. attorney general alberto gonzalez. he is now with waller. a nashville based law firm mr. attorney general, thank you so much for being here. you were attorney general when these program were being implemented. can you tell me one instance when any of this bulk collection
of data helped stop a terrorist act or catch a terrorist? >> i'm going on leave that to the intelligence professionals, quite frankly. i know there's been sworn testimony these authorities, these activities were very helpful in defending america. and let me say that i believe that this debate we're having today, the appropriate way to defend our country, to protect american lives. to do so in a way that is consistent with our values is a very important debate. we talk about it and argued about it in the bush administration. i think this is a report from this board put together by president obama, i think, has initiated good dialogue about what is appropriate and necessary in our country today. why do you think we're having this debate? it seems to me we're having this debate because edward snowden leaked all these documents
outlining all the documents in detail. i know there was some discussion burg the bush years of some of this. but not to the extent we're having this debate today. what do you think of edward snowden? >> well, i think that the way edward snowden revealed this information is a violation of the law. and i believe that anyone who violates the law should be subject to prosecution. but as to whether or not, what is the right thing to do going forward, i'm more concerned about that. in terms of how do we continue to protect our country in how do we do so in a way that is effective and constitutional and a way that respects the privacy of individuals. >> an individual review board gave recommendations for the national security agency. one of the recommendations has been apparently rejected. the idea of appointing the director. do you think the president is right to reject that?
>> i don't know that the president has rejected that. i don't feel strongly about it one way or the other as to whether or not the head of the nsa should be in the military chain of command. i look at the other -- there are other recommendations that i have more of a problem. with that's not something that i think is going to make much of a difference, quite frankly work respect to the protection of privacy rights. i think there are other measures. other recommendations that would be much more effective in ensuring we can continue to protect our country but to do so in a way that does respect the privacy rights of all americans. >> mr. attorney general, which privacy recommendations you heard from the panel do you have more objection to? >> i'm a little bit worried about the notion of the privacy advocate. particularly in dealings before the fisa court. speed is very important in terms of the collection of information to stop potential threats against the united states. i believe that having a privacy
advocate may make sense with respect to the formulation of the fisa application. there is a lot of give and take that occurs with respect to the, putting together the fisa application. perhaps even having the advocate be able to go talk to the attorney general who must approve every fisa application. that makes sense to me to ensure the protection of the privacy rights of individuals. i'm a little bit worried about how introducing this privacy advocate might affect the ability of the united states to move forward and gather intelligence in the speed that is necessary to protect our interests. >> you supported warrantless wiretaps when you were a white house counsel under bush and there is a confrontation when john ashcroft was in the hospital and it was decide that had he had an objection and was prepared to resign over it.
looking back. do you regret the steps we took when it came to acts in the name of providing national security to the united states but ones thatle, including some judges later said were not right or constitutional? >> the disagreement you're referring to did not involve warrantless wiretaps. it involved something else. some other classified activity that did not involve content collection. the dispute was not over that. it was about something else. and obviously what i can say in terms of our overall record. all the lawyers that work together during the bush administration, we did the very best we could under very trying circumstances and i'm proud of our service. did we always get everything right? perhaps not. we did what we thought was the right thing to do in order to protect our country. >> all right. thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it.
>> thanks for having me. still to come, a contentious decision by president obama will he commutes the sentences by eight federal inmates. plus, dennis rodman in north korea. and kate middleton's cell phone was haktd. a personal message from prince william was exposed. who was behind the hacking? my customers can shop around-- see who does good work and compare costs. it doesn't usually work that way with health care. but with unitedhealthcare, i get information on quality rated doctors, treatment options and estimates for how much i'll pay. that helps me, and my guys, make better decisions. i don't like guesses with my business, and definitely not with our health. innovations that work for you. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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rarely done during his presidency. he commuted the sentences of eight federal inmates. all convicted of crack cocaine offenses. six of the eight were set to spend life in prison and now they'll walk out in just months. in a statement the president said, quote, commuting the sentences of these eight americans is an important step toward restoring fundamental ideas of justice and fairness. but it must not be the last. joining me to discuss this issue, cnn legal analyst and form he prosecutor, and former officer private investigator. thank you both for being here. what's the significance of this announcement? >> it is another step to correct the wrong which we all know exists. this terrible sentencing disparity between those that were convicted of crack cocaine offenses as opposed to those convicted of powder cocaine offenses. we're talkinging about a 100-1 disparity. if you sold five grams of crack you got the same sentence as someone who sold 500 grams of
powder cocaine. and it disproportionately affected the african-american communal. so this is certainly yet another step. there's still a lot of work to be done. i remember when i was a federal prosecutor, these mandatory sentencing guidelines were in fact mandatory in 2005. they were changed to not be mandatory. we were also frustrated as prosecutors because it took our discretion away from us. it took discretion away from federal judges. what you saw were cases like stephanie george. at 27 she is sentenced to life in prison for stashing her boyfriend's crack cocaine in her house. so that kind of sentence really just, i think, flies in the face of what our justice system about. it is supposed to be punishment but a just punishment and there was nothing just that the punishments handed down. >> what's your reaction? >> i find it interesting how many a president decides to selectively pick and choose the laws on the books that he will
choose to enforce and not enforce. how it has a very political 10or and tone to it. and i personally disagree. as we see with drugs. you warm to talk crack versus powdered cocaine. crack cocaine is far more damaging and murderous to individuals. so when you have a judge pass down a sentence, it should be enforced. if you want to change imaginer to sentencing, then attack the law. don't attack the ideology of it. >> well, certainly the law has been attacked and we know that there are bills that are hopefully going to pass in 2014 that are going to address this. we know that the attorney general has said the prosecutors will charge it a different way so as not to trigger the advisory manner to minimums. so there is, there have been steps taken. but we all know, and i think you should agree that really, it was just so disparity in terms of sentencing. it was unjust. you can't have someone who is a nonviolent offender put in
federal prison for the rest of her life when you have other people that aren't in prison for much higher level crimes. we're talking about a huge, huge cost to taxpayers. $7.9 billion this year. i think this administration has again the opportunity to right a wrong. every case needs to be treated differently. and in these cases, they were not treated appropriately. they were all mashed up together. and again, it disproportion at affected african-americans. and we have 5% of the population and 25% of the people in prison. and it is just absolutely ridiculous. and i think our administration at this point is on the right track. >> bill, let me ask you. i want to have you respond. the president did not say these people should not have been punished for their crimes. his take was that they were
unfairly sentenced under old sentencing guidelines. no longer the case no, longer the law. possession of one gram of crack cocaine could get a sentence to 100 gram of powder cocaine. i understand your position. but given that the law is different now in many places, do you think it is okay to go back. the harsher sentences for crack cocaine were not fair. therefore we should try to right these wrongs. or do you think they were convicted with what the law was at the time. let them stay in prison. they were committing crimes. >> this goes to a much larger issue and we would have to have a lot more time. the president is of course, the president of the united states and he can do as he chooses. as he obviously does. but to the council's point, how there is a disproportionate number of african-american males to the population being arrested. i would say if we're going to talk politics, let the president employ more african-american youthful under this administration there are far more african-american men and in
general, unemployed. for african-americans vastly more unemployed in ratio which pushes them to crime which pushes them to get arrested more. it is a domino effect. and i would much rather see having people employed where they don't to have face crime them don't have to justify breaking the law, selling cocaine, crack, et cetera. that's the true heart of the issue. >> all right. thank you so much. we should note that one of the men whose sentence was commuted today is the first cousin of massachusetts governor deval patrick, a close friend of president obama. both the president and the governor's offices say that had nothing to do with it and governor patrick had nothing to do with requesting that the sentencing commuted. still to come, dennis rodman in north korea. is his basketball diplomacy a distraction from real problems? and the star of duck dynasty
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dennis rodman is back in north korea. he arrived in pyongyang this morning for a third round of so-called basketball diplomacy. you may be the first westerner to meet with kim jong-un since the dictator had his uncle executed for treason last week but that's not on rodman's mind. >> it has nothing too with i had. whatever is done is done.
i have nothing, no control over that. these have been going on for years and years and years. >> he says he'll spend four days training the north korean basketball team and will return in two week with 12 former nba players for an exhibition game. rodman said he is not interested. and despite a plea, he said he has no plans to discuss the detained american with kim jong-un. now more on the controversial company paying for the trip. with his rocky image and bizarre behavior, dennis rodman might be the last person most advertisers want representing their brands. >> this is ground breaking things and petty power is the main source of doing this. >> reporter: but the former nba player has a big backer in a company called patty power. an irish online betting company dos some betting of its own by sponsoring his trips to north korea and an exhibition basketball game there next month.
>> for paddy power, this is hugely exciting. it is going to be a great event. it is potentially an historic occasion. >> also, for the company to face sharp criticism from human rights activists. they and others question why any company would want to be associate with north korea's leader, kim jong-un who just had his uncle executed and has refused to release american kenneth bay. we're talking about a gambling site. not a company like coca-cola or ibm. so in this case there may be little pr risk. >> i think it makes a lot of sense. it is good publicity. it is a controversial trip, a headache for the united states government. but they want to get some attention to their gambling site. and every time he goes to north korea, it gets a lot of publicity. so in many ways it is a good fit for the company to do it. >> the company refused to say how much it is spending on rodman but paddy power seem to bring controversy. >> in 2008 it offered odds on
whether president obama would finish his first term which many interpreted the odds of an assassination. the bet got pulled from the site. paddy powers was the first to report on the extinction. and it is taking boats who will be the next pope after francis. by its own admission, paddy power has had a difficult year financially. whether dennis rodman can help its bottom line isn't known. >> i'm just going over to do a basketball game. but gings a, combining a controversial athlete with a controversial trip. dan simon, cnn, san francisco. >> our thanks to dan simon. still to come, target hit by hackers. the retailer confirms the credit card information of up to 40 million customers might have been accessed and even the royal family isn't immune from
if you did your black friday shopping at target, you'd better keep an eye on your credit card statements. hackers may have gotten into 40 million customers' records. the so-called white hat hacker who looks for security flaws. thanks for being here. could customers have done anything in this case to avoid being victims of this breach? >> unfortunately not if you go to a store and you use your credit card. this is a much larger issue with retail in how we use our date. a but there is nothing you could have done aside from shopping at the stores which isn't feasible. >> and what is your message? i'm sure a lot of our viewers who did some black friday holiday shopping at target or
any shopping. what should they could if they think their credit or deb cards might be at risk? >> my wife is one of those. >> what you can do, there are a few step you can take. the first is probably the most painful but it is the best course of action you can do. call your bank. could not tack your bank and have them kags he will your credit card. i know ever i know that sounds drastic but you will have your credit card in a day or two and you won't have to worry about the other step out there. >> is this the new norm? if a nage ever major retailer like target can be hacked, how can we trust our data to be safe anywhere we use our credit cards? >> i think this is a new trend. i think if you look at history, tj max was a historical breach. target has a pretty well known program that they try to protect their information. so it shows no one is impervious to these attacks.
we need to step up our game to try to protect the sensitive data. can you tell us in a way that we would understand how this hack occurred? >> well, what the reports are saying, if you look at how these systems are set up. they're called point of sales systems. you scan your debit card in. it encrypts that data and it puts it into the processor. for what it looks like, hackers broke in and they targeted the point of sale systems and they loaded it in. up to 40 million credit cards were potentially compromised. that's a big payday. targeting all those sterls all at once to feed it back during the busiest times was really sophisticated and definitely plan and orchestrated and something we need to be concerned with later on. >> forgive me for my stupid question, is this something they did remotely or is this something they did on location in some way?
>> well, i mean, there are two ways they could have done it. one was through targeting the corporate environment. through fishing and social engineering. if i was doing this and i was a hacker, i would develop a box that i would plug into an exposed plug you plug into the network. from there i would monitor and look at the communications and sit there and plan for a number week or months and plan my attack. and then i wonderful have to touch anything. it could be done remotely. i wonderful have to interact with the stores. a low probable of being caught. their tracks are pretty much covered and you don't have to worry about being busted. >> i'm glad you're a white hat hacker. now to a different kind of hacking. prosecutors said from the defunct british tabloid news of the world hacked middleton's phone while she was dating prince william. according to the british press association, prosecutors read a transcript of voicemails he had left for her. he call her baby kins and talk
about how he was almost shot with blank rounds. details from the calls were published as exclusive stories in the news of the world. the rape and beating of a 15-year-old girl on the way to school has chicago officials reexamining the safe passage system. started in 2009. the program is men to protect students on the way to school and back. tuesday's incident which occurred 30 minutes before the start of safe passage, that's raised serious doubts. george howell has more on the story. >> reporter: a 15-year-old girl was just on her way to school when someone attacked her. police believe a man hit her on the head and dragged her between these two homes where she was sexually assaulted and left lying in the snow for hours. until the man who lives here found her. >> just opening up the door to take maybe a morning sweep of the sidewalks and find something like that is shocking.
>> reporter: he found the young victim bloodied and half naked on the sidewalk. the snow here still stain by what that tuesday. a chilly reminder of how dangerous these streets can be to parents like ada. >> everybody is worried. because, no. in the morning you never see police walking around and stuff like that. >> reporter: today you see them all over. >> because something happened. but it should be that way. >> reporter: the attack happened not even half a block away from a so-called safe passage route. a program established with much publicity by the chicago public school to put men and women on patrol. helping children get to and from school safely. the number of safe passage routes double this year to accommodate more children. is it working? >> i think it works. it just needs a little more security on it. >> reporter: what do you mean? >> like okay. you can patrol it right now. but later on, like in a few weeks, they'll forget about it.
and they won't be around anymore. >> reporter: police say the attack happened around 6:00 a.m. when it is still dark this time of year in chicago and was 30 minutes before the safe passage route was patrolled. still, alderman says it has raised questions about safety. >> we can't say it was a result of a problem with safe passage. but we know that it is not supposed to happen. >> reporter: police are still searching for the suspect. the teenage girl he attacked is still in the hospital in critical condition. but the whole thing has parents thinking twice about whether these signs are enough or if more needs to be done. cnn, chicago. >> our thanks to george howell. still to come, one of the stars of duck dynasty. us is penaltied indefinitely from the show. did a & e make the right call? '. a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
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that you can't reach with a regular toothbrush. [ male announcer ] guaranteed "wow" with deep sweep from oral-b. #1 dentist-recommended toothbrush brand worldwide. a national debate is raging after the popular star of "duck dynasty" was suspended for controversial comments about homosexuality of supporters have
come out swinging. they claim he is being unfairly targeted for his religious beliefs after calling homosexuality a sin. tom foreman has more on the story. >> kids in america today are fat, lazy. >> reporter: fans of the outspoken "duck dynasty" star are sending a clear message of their own to a & e. bring him back and fast. the channel is being savaged online where more than 100,000 peel have signed petitions supporting him. sarah palin posted, free speech is an endangered species. louisiana governor bobby jindal. the politically correct crowd is tolerant of all vups except those they disagree with. on tv, debate rages. consider "duck dynasty" draws 14 million weekly viewers, he said by taking quick action, removing robertson from future filming, a & e sent a strong message that
discrimination is neither a christian nor an american value. robertson is just the latest high profile person to run afoul of gay rights activists. actor alec baldwin lost his msnbc show last month after allegedly using a home phobic slur. indiana pacers basketball star roy hibbert was signed $75,000 for an anti-gay comment. yunel escobar was suspended for a similar infraction. it all has some media commentators saying witch hunt. >> i find it patently hilarious that a & e is shock that its hand picked bible thumping star whom they've encouraged to be candid and controversial actually sounds like, get this, a bible thumper. particularly when nearly half the country still doesn't support issues like gay marriage. >> so what happens now? a & e and the robertson cosmetic lose a lot of money if "duck dynasty" falls entirely apart. and yet gay rights activists
could be up in arm if it ends too soon or maybe if it ends at all. the first prerequisite for a man and a woman, can she cook? >> in tv materials, it is a cliffhanger. for now the man in the middle is uncharacteristically not saying much. tom foreman, thank you so much. let's bring in russell moore. west the southern baptist convention. dean, a columnist for the daily beast. of course, our senior media correspondent, and our own don lemon. quite a pack we've got here. do you think that criticizing gays, criticizing homosexuality is one of the last untouchable topics in america today? russell? do you hear me? >> yes, i hear you now. i think that this is something that has become untouchable. and frankly, i don't agree with the way that mr. robson said many of the things that he said.
but i think that the basic thrust of what he was saying is that in order to go to heaven, people have to repenalty of sin and believe in christ and there is a whole range of sins out there. i think that's something we ought to be free to talk about and to disagree about. there are all sorts of people on television i disagree with that i don't want to silence. i think we should have more conversation. not less conversation. >> do you agree with the suspension, i believe? i think we're having problems with russell's feed. we'll try to fix that as soon as possible. i want to get your reaction to something bobby jindal said. he said it is a messed up situation when miley cyrus gets a laugh and phil robson gets suspended. what is your take? >> a more messed up situation when you're comparing someone twerking to someone making hateful comments about gays. how can a government say that? this is not about gay marriage. if he would have said from "duck dynasty," i'm opposed to gay marriage, the republican party is too.
they're not demonized as a hate group. he went further. he called gay actions as if it is bestiality. that's raping an animal. how deprived of a person you have to to be? plus he went on to liken gays and terrorists. that makes it okay the discriminate against gay people. so suspending for a period of time. he is not fired. he will get his job back. he will be fine. it sends a clear message. >> don lemon, phil robson said he thinks african-americans were happy in louisiana prior to the civil rights movement. he said were they happy? they were godly. they were happy. no one was singing the blues. those comments haven't gotten as much attention. >> he's absolutely right about that. okayly i'm joking. i hear those comments and i read those comments and i couldn't help but laugh. i think it is very interesting that that, the comment about african-americans got far less
play than the comments about gay people. being both, i read his comments about gay people as a bible quote. which was not right. i don't agree with it. but his comments about african-americans, it is even more far afeel than his comments about gay people. he has a lack of awareness about the way the world works and the way society is right now. and maybe it is because he lives in the swamp. i don't know. he is a very wealthy man. but i think it is interesting that those comments really did get short shrift. >> as a media analyst, report he, when you look at the headlines. they're all about the comments he made about homosexuality. why do you think it is the one about african-americans are not in the headlines? does civil rights story not generate as many clicks or viewers as a story about gays? >> it may be because those battles seem more over. gay rights battles seem to be
continuing. there areal civil rights grooms doing great work. continuing their efforts. if you look at the lines the, gay rights issues seem to be more top of mine. i think it was gay rights groups that started to bring these quotes up first. they started to bring the magazine up and bring to it a & e's attention and say what are you going to do? a & e was in an almost impossible situation. to ignore what he said was going to cause an outrage. rightfully so. to suspend him as they did is also causing an outcry. i don't know if there is any right choice for them. >> i think what people are dancing around is how the gay lobby, the power. gay lobby. it is a real powerful force. a real loud force. and it is a real concerted effort to make sure that the rights of gay people are not overlooked. the gay lobby now, if i can say that term. i sound like a conservative,
right? the gay lobby now is a very powerful force in america. and it is interesting considering we have an african-american in office that the comments about black people didn't really raise as many eyebrows as the comments about gay people says a lot about what is new, what's about the gay lobby. and about what people find important these days. >> let me ask you the question. we lost russell's satellite. >> i'll pretend to be the right wing christian. no? >> until we get him back. let me play devil's advocate and say, russell would say, that look. let me not speak for russell. i don't know what he would say. here is an argument i want to you respond to. there should be tolerance of gay people. there should also be tolerant of religious people. what phil robertson was talking about how many millions of
evangelicals say the bible, let's remove the african-american comments from this conversation. why should there be an intolerance? he was be decrying gays. he was decrying homosexuality. the behavior. love the sinner, hate the sin. >> i hear this all the time. we don't hate muslims, we hate islam. they're in this case the same voice we heard from the american family association, it's a campaign to demonize gay people to december criminate against them -- >> dean, i completely disagree with you. i understand what you're saying, yes, we do have -- >> this is beyond -- >> this man is not doing -- he's not part of the organizations. dean, let me finish. i don't agree with anything he said. he was asked a question. he quoted a bible verse. that's his belief -- >> he -- >> [ overlapping speakers ] >> he is not doing what certain hosts on other shows calling
people, you know, blank sucking fags. he is not doing that. he's stating his believes no matter how wrong they are. >> he's got every right to say -- >> i will defend his right to say -- >> you're wrong -- >> the most ridiculous thing but there are consequences. it's called personal responsibility. >> absolutely there are consequences. >> for some -- >> [ overlapping speakers ] >> let me -- >> they -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> gentlemen, let me run in here for one second because i believe we got russell back, and i would like to let him get one question, hopefully, his satellite won't go down again. russell, robertson and we talked about this on my show, the lead at 4:00 he lumped homosexuality in with infidelity and beast alty. should he be able to say that? >> i don't think he equated homosexuality with beastiality. he said there will be a number of things that will be taking
place -- >> he insinuated -- >> well, i think he -- his words probably weren't very well-chosen. he is standing there talking to a "gq" reporter out on a field somewhere. the point is there is an entire range of sins and redemption for any number of sins, anything from sexual i'm mnmorality to a terrorist. i believe no one is so far gone that someone is so far gone from the -- >> he has to realize -- >> they have to realize that judging people, that's also a sin, as well. so i mean, he is not without sin, and people who judge christians, so-called christians who judge gay people or black people, even sinners, they are not without sin, as well. because the bible tells you and jesus says you're not supposed to judge anybody. >> we're the very ones saying we're not without somebody. the strip tour says we're all
sinners. i think that was part of robertson's point. all of us are sinners. we all fall short of god's mark and our only hope is through redemption through jesus chris -- >> unfortunately, i have to end it there. brian, i wanted to get you in but your new colleague don lemon wouldn't let me do that, so you'll have to blame him in the cafeteria. great conversation, thanks all of you. russell, glad we were able to get you back. major changes coming to the capital. we'll tell you about them coming up next. thanks for inspiring me. thanks for showing me my potential. for teaching me not to take life so seriously. thanks for loving me and being my best friend. don't forget to thank those who helped you take charge of your future and got you where you are today. the boss of your life. the chief life officer. ♪
the chief life officer. so you can see like right here i can just... you know, check my policy here, add a car, ah speak to customer service, check on a claim...you know, all with the ah, tap of my geico app. oh, that's so cool. well, i would disagree with you but, ah, that would make me a liar. no dude, you're on the jumbotron! whoa. ah...yeah, pretty much walked into that one. geico anywhere anytime.
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more than 1,000 cracks and rust spots cover the 150-year-old cast iron dome of the capitol building in washington, d.c. now a restoration project is being planed to keep the site for again ragenerations to come. dana bash has the story. >> reporter: the capitol dome, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. we got a rare tour in the dome, more than 200 feet up in the air where you can really see damage. a long crack in a window, rust eroding the ornaments and underlying structure.
architects count more than 1300 cracks caused by wind, rain and sun threatening the historic pr frescos inside. >> it binds the place from moving, ask that creates enormous pressures. >> reporter: this spring, a massive two-year renovation will start. it's no easy task. the dome is made of 9 million pounds of iron with an incredibly thin exteri terrie - exterior shell. this dome didn't exist when built, added 150 years ago taking us through narrow steep staircas staircases, the architect was eager to show off the beauty, why it is so important to restore. to get up here we had to walk hundreds of stairs, narrow, treacherous but boy, was it worth it? look at the view, up and all the way down. from famous frescos including
washington ascending to heaven to dramatic sound. >> you have to be careful when what you're saying when you're up here because anyone on the opposite side can hear you. be careful and duck as you go through. >> reporter: to the breathe-taking view outside. all the way up here, 260 feet in the air, this is what you see. it's clear the capitol is the focal point of the city's decision. >> the access of the mall, maryland avenue, pennsylvania avenue, radiating from this central point. >> reporter: starting this spring, the dome will be wrapped scaffolding. these costs tend to explode. so can you guarantee you are not going to go over budget? >> guarantee? we're pretty confident, i'll give you that. >> reporter: it's been meticulously planned in the works for years. >> it's something that has to
happen. there is no more recognizable symbol of the country than the capitol dome or our national flag. >> reporter: dana bash, cnn capitol hill. thanks for joining us. join me tomorrow on "the lead." join me tomorrow on "the lead." "ac 360" starts right now -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com :. tonight behind the duck dis northeasty and what happens when reality stars get real and why people are shocked when it happens. a 360 exclusive, dr. sanjay gupta, an expert in treating pain. why did his patients in his clinic o.d. and die? hackers take target. what you need to know if you hold one of the 40 million credit and debit carts compromise in one of the biggest data rip off in