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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  December 23, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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the groups. we are doing better but we have a way to go. >> here we go. look at this. >> look at that. this is a record day. at 18,000. the highest ever. >> "the lead" with suzanne malveaux starts now. well, it might be the only time going to see a comedy is considered fulfilling your patriotic duty. i'm suzanne malveaux and this is "the lead." sony caves on caving by announcing it will release the movie that set north korea off. but "the interview" may not exactly be playing in a theater near you. >> the national lead. it's getting ugly between new york mayor bill de blasio and his police force. some members of the nypd say they don't want the mayor there if they die in the line of duty as he visits a growing memorial
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for two of his officers. also, rudolph with his nose so bright, won't you guide my minivan tonight? hundreds of thousands of travelers in store for a gloomy and soggy ride. welcome to "the lead." i'm suzanne malveaux in for jake tapper. we begin with the national lead. sony announces that it is excited to release the comedy about taking out the north korean dictator kim jong-un. of course, this comes after sony pictures became the victim of an embarrassing hack attack that unleashed a trail of embarrassing hollywood gossip. the u.s. ultimately blamed that cyberattack on north korea itself and it's still unclear whether a north korea internet outage was the u.s. firing back. the president applauded sony's decision to authorize screening of the film as the president
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made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech and the right of artistic expression. you may still be waiting for "the interview" to come out on demand. a few independent theaters are planning on showing the movie. the company is trying to prevent more of that private information from going public. it's pushing twitter to suspend the accounts of people who post more hash material. and all of this while the big question remains, what knocked out north korea's internet offline for more than nine hours? it remains spotty today. was this u.s. retaliation for the sony hack? and if not, will north korea blame the united states anyway? pam brown is joining us. first of all, is sony giving in
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to this mounting pressure to release the film? what is the backstory of this? >> it depends on who you ask. sony has been working on ways to distribute this movie all along from the very beginning others would say that sony caved to the pressure. in the last several days there's been a ground swell of support from release of the movie and as we heard strong words from president obama last friday. now sony is poised to release the movie one week after pulling out of the christmas day release. a shocking turn of events in the growing sony saga. tonight, sony announcing it will roll out a limited theatric cal release of "the interview," a controversial movie about the assassination of the north korean leader kim jong-un. sony's about-face coming after a backlash of many, including president obama who criticized the decision to delay the
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release. >> i wish they had spoken to me first. >> reporter: tonight, a growing number of independent theaters announcing that they will be showing the movie and it could just be the tip of the iceberg. sony's lawyer said that the company is not being bag down. >> sony only delayed this. sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. it will be distributed. >> reporter: now the stars of "the interview" speaking out on social media. james franco posting "victory, the people and the president have spoken." in a statement, sony's ceo michael lynton said, "we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on christmas day." as tensions are heightened between the united states and north korea, which the u.s. blames for the hack, reports
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that the reclusive country's internet went down at least twice in the past 24 hours and remain spotty. >> in the general scheme of things, whoever shut it down -- and we don't know yet -- it doesn't really matter that much because there's only several thousand users in north korea. and i've been in north korea. i mean, the reality is that three-quarters of the country isn't even supplied with electricity. >> so it is still a mystery. a u.s. official denies that the u.s. had any involvement with north korea's internet outage. in the meantime, the fbi saying that it was fully engaged with sony on the decision to release the film on christmas day. there's still no actionable intelligence related to moviegoers on christmas day. >> joining me now is the owner of one of the theaters that will
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be showing this film. how did you find that sony wanted to release this on christmas and why were you willing to do so? >> well, we were part of the original plan with sony to release on christmas eve. of course, it was canceled. and last night we got the e-mail and the telephone call around 11:00 p.m. stating that they were ready to go on christmas day if we were ready and that's where we are today. we said yes and here we are. >> michael, what was the explanation that they gave you? >> well, they didn't. they just let me know that it was available. i had texted them that if they had changed their mind, we were ready to go at a moment's notice. that was at 9:00 in the morning and at 11:00 that same day, we got the phone call, which is very odd from a studio at 11:00 at night. >> who did you hear from?
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the ceo himself? >> we heard from jeff wayne, the executive that handles the southern region for sony distribution. he called myself last night and knew that we were behind the film and on the last go around we were the only ones still going to play it in atlanta. >> wow. >> so we got first dibs on it and we're ready to go. the day is coming. >> it's a very big day. obviously there were threats about moviegoers, that there would be some sort of 9/11 attack on that kind of scale. are you concerned? are you worried for your patrons, employees, there, any efforts to beef up security while this movie is playing? >> sure. there absolutely is. first of all, we always take concerns like this seriously. i don't expect to have a problem but we would be foolish if we didn't take different precautions, perhaps what somebody could carry into a theater or along those types of
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lines. but we're a large theater. we only have two screens but we have large auditoriums. it's easier for us to manage loud crowds like this. we're used to doing it. we do a lot of premiers and such. so we're used to dealing with the crowds and the few security things we are going to put in that are different, i don't think anybody will be offended by and we're ready and we're going to be smart about it. >> and michael, i know there are ton of people now, you may not have gotten the kind of crowd that you're going to get on christmas without all of the publicity here. are people skittish about going? >> i would say half are skittish and the other are enthusiastic. it's almost as if they want to do their civic duty to come see this picture because it's about never having censorship when it comes to films, books. it should be up to the
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individual, if they want to see the film, not someone else in another country. >> michael, are you going to be watching? >> oh, yes. i will. >> get your popcorn ready. >> thank you so much. merry christmas. >> merry christmas. i'll check back in with you and let me know how it goes. >> will do. now for what the nearest movie release could mean for the relationship between the u.s. and north korea. joining me is the author of "genesis code" and brian stelter, host of "reliable sources." jamie, it's hard to believe it was just a week ago when we got that obscure message from hackers that was going to threaten anybody that went and saw that movie on christmas day, was going to be in big trouble, making references to 9/11.
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and now we see theaters are going to go ahead with this. do we think that north korea will react in any way? what do we suspect? >> well, certainly i don't think there's a high likelihood that there will be 9/11 attacks on theaters coming from north korea. it's going to anger them in some way but, frankly, north korea is behaving so terribly, even worse than usual, i really can't imagine how we could have any worse relations with north korea. but at the same time, now that the movie is being released and hats off to wonderful people like michael in atlanta and others around the country, we have a real opportunity in this country not just to talk about freedom of expression here but also to talk about the terrible human rights conditions in north korea. the u.n. issued a report earlier in the year accusing the north korean regime of being guilty of crimes against humanity. they have upwards of 120,000
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people being raped and murdered and starved. this is a great opportunity for us to express our faith in freedom of expression but also our concern for the long suffering people of north korea. >> brian, give us the backstory of sony making this big-time reversal here. what happened? >> i think it's an important point. there's a reason why this movie was made about kim jong-un. there's a reason why he was named specifically. it's because of north korea and the unique place that it has on the world stage. that it is so often a punchline, that people are aware of the human rights abuses. that's why seth rogen wanted to make a movie that directly poked fun and went after kim jong-un. but the backstory of this is pretty wild. here's a new detail i just confirmed. the theaters across the country, independently owned theaters,
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have until 6:00 p.m. to decide where they are going to show this movie. it's an odd christmas gift that the theaters will receive tomorrow in order to show it on christmas day. some theaters are still deciding what to do and they'll decide in the next two hours. >> seems like the old school way, get it in the mail overnight and get it quickly. >> yes. >> jamie, we look at north korea. this is the second day now that they have this black outage on the internet. it goes back and forth, in and out. do you think this is the work of the united states? we have not heard anyone, including anyone from the state department, acknowledge it but there's a suspicion that it is. >> i think it's extremely, extremely unlikely that this is the united states. the united states would not do a denial of service. we are stakeholders in an open communication system with the people of north korea connecting
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with the rest of the world. i think it would be very, very unlikely that the united states did it. could it just be problems within the north korean system? could they be shutting it down themselves in some kind of a defensive maneuver? could china be shutting them off occasionally as a way of sending a message to pyongyang and relations between north korea and china have deteriorated? i don't think many people know what is happening but for a country already isolated and cut off, cutting these connections make them more isolated and cut off. >> jamie, what do you think a proportional response will be for the united states? >> certainly i believe we should put north korea back on the terrorism watch list. we should certainly go back to sanctionsing the bank in macow. more importantly, in the united nations, a resolution on human
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rights in north korea was introduced really for the first time ever. and the report, the u.n. commission special inquiry commission report on north korea is unbelievable. everybody should read this. as i mentioned before, it's rape, execution, forced starvation. it's a terrible, terrible place. the u.s. needs to focus on hacking but the two biggest issues with north korea are the human rights conditions within north korea and nuclear weapons. we need to stay focused on those as well. >> brian, very, very quickly here, this was a $44 million production here. do we anticipate we'll see this in more theaters or perhaps on demand? >> on demand is the key. by the end of the day i think we'll hear about some sort of online distribution, either video on demand. the hackers have said if this comes out, they are going to leak even more of sony's confidential sensitive data. will there be a further dump of sony's most private and
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embarrassing information? >> guys, thanks. good to see you. thank you for joining us. appreciate it. in our national lead, just minutes from now, protesters plan to take the streets in new york city in defiance of mayor bill de blasio's request to hold off until the two slain police officers are laid to rest. well, how are police preparing for tonight? that's next. the holiday season is here,
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we're back with breaking news. a report of a possible tornado that hit columbia and mississippi that is just west of hattiesburg. i want to get to our meteorologist in the severe weather center. what can you tell us now? >> we have a confirmed tornado that touched down. you wouldn't think of december as a month which you would see severe weather. actually, this is a secondary peak. the first is during the spring months. we have very warm, moist unstable air that is going to unload. quite a bit of heavy rainfall all across the southeast. this is going to be very problematic for not just travelers but now that the weather has turned very violent, we're looking at what had been a series of tornadoes that have been reported from louisiana now pushing into mississippi and the
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latest one that we have lies just to the west of hattiesburg, mississippi. it touched down within the past half hour to 45 minutes. there are two unconfirmed reports of some injuries. we know that there are downed trees, downed power lines, suzanne. they will send out investigators to look at this. a very violent night ahead in the deep south. >> karen maginnis, thank you. they are men and women who put their lives in danger every day. they are now taking extra security measures today and protesters are promising to march again. they are ignoring bill de blasio's call to wait until after the funerals of two nypd officers gunned down on saturday in an ambush. today, we're learning another detail about one of those men in blue and how his willingness to go above and beyond put him in that cruiser. according to "the new york daily
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news." wenjian liu took that fatal shift because another police officer was late. earlier today, the mayor visited the memorial for the two murder d ed officers and he is pleading for calm. there are even calls for retired offices from them to block him from the funerals. but even at a time when it seems like people could not be more divided, there are signs that some people are coming together. our cnn's martin savidge has been live in brooklyn for us. tell us more about how this is happening. >> reporter: well, suzanne, it's interesting that most of those calls are for unity, calm or for peace or coming together and have actually come from this site, where i am standing. in the past it might have been called the scene of the crime but now it's something far more. it's been called a gathering place for many new yorkers, a
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place to reflect, a place to mourn. we've also just heard that the mayor's office is asking that tonight buildings and landmarks dim their lights at 9:00 out of respect to the fallen officers. it is just one of the number of ways today that they are honoring those men. at new york city hall, everything stopped at 2:47 p.m. >> now bow our heads in memory of officer ramos and liu. >> reporter: on saturday, two new york police officers were shot to death as they sat in their patrol cars in brooklyn. after days of angry words and political finger pointing of who is to blame, today, silence said the most. earlier, mayor bill de blasio paid an unannounced visit to the street where they were shot. like so many new yorkers, de blasio was drawn to an ordinary corner, now turned almost
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sacred. last night, with tears streaming down their faces, the family of officer liu spoke. the most powerful words coming from his wife of just two months. >> this is a difficult time for both of our families. but we will stand together and get through this together. >> among those officers condolences, the family of the gunman, ismaaiyl brinsley, who later took his own life, ismaaiyl brinsley says it was a result of untreated mental illnesses. >> we give our condolences to the families. this has nothing to do with police retaliation. this was a troubled -- emotionally troubled kid. he needed help. he didn't get it. >> reporter: also drawn to the street memorial, the daughter of eric garner. the death of her father in the hands of new york police helped
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spark public protests against the nypd which some say triggered brinsley's attack. garner's daughter says she knows what the officers' families are going through. >> we're not anti-police. we just want everybody to know that we support them and we're out here to lay a wreath and light a candle. >> reporter: and once again, silence became the loudest tribute. and even now, suzanne, we're well past three days since this tragedy and people are bringing notes and tributes and candle, d adding to what is already a memory of those fallen officers. >> martin, thank you so much. it really seems like both of those families are coming together to try to help the community heal. we have democratic congressman who represents the fifth district of new york and he's talking about the way forward and this divide that exists
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between the mayor and nypd. congressman, thank you for joining us. i want to ask about this because the mayor asked protesters to postpone these demonstrations until after both of these officers are laid to rest. we know there are some groups that have promised to come out into the streets and protest today as early as this evening. what do we know about those planned protests and do you think that is the right decision? >> well, you know, i understand people's right to demonstrate but if, in fact, you are part of the voices for justice that we're talking about for mr. brown and mr. garner, then i think that you should respect the call of the mayor, of the borough president of brooklyn and let's hold off. there needs to be that discipline because gus cities for mr. garner and mr. brown is not what took place. we are all very saddened and very, very heartbroken and very
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concerned about the death, the assassination, if you will, of the two police officers. >> it's an interesting position. some people feel like -- they don't feel like protesting, necessarily, is a way of disrespecting those families but we know the head of the naacp, that this is a way to exercise judgment and discretion and compassion and that means perhaps putting those protest signs down for a bit. but there are peaceful protests and they say this does not have to be something that is mutually exclusive. >> i agree. i just think that the symbolism of not protesting now and then resuming after the police officers have been laid to rest and that sense of respect for those individuals who protect our communities is extremely important. here are two individuals who just went to work and will never go home and families that are urt hadding. out of respect for those
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families, i would think that it would be a good thing for them to postpone their democratic right to protest peacefully until after the individuals are laid to rest and then we should have the peaceful protests in asking for justice for mr. brown and mr. garner. the two are separate. the incidents are separate. i think clearly indicated by the individual who committed the horrible act, this was not revenge. this was a sick individual who did not get the kind of treatment that he needed. >> congressman, let's move on here and talk about the relationship here now that you have between the mayor of new york, de blasio, and the police department. because i spoke with police chief charles ramsey just yesterday. he said it goes without saying, you've got to have a good relationship between the police and the mayor. what needs to happen now? how do they mend that rift?
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>> well, i think that one of the things that need to take place is if mr. lynch, who is the president of the police union and the mayor and mr. limpynch willing, they should try to come out collectively on one page. i know i've been talking with the borough of queens which i represent and we're going to try to make a collective statement saying we've got to listen to one another and not just shout at one another. i think that's tremendously important and that's tremendously important and i think it's unfortunate when mr. lynch came out with the language about blood at the foot of the mayor, that's the wrong language. you talk about inciting. that incites. we have to put behind the officers, turning their back on the mayor, you know, that is part of what i think that
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african-americans talk about the arrogance of some police that deal with them. they turn their backs and we've got to figure this out. the only way to figure this out is having a conversation. i look forward to talking to the commanders in the borough of queens. they are having that ikind of conversation. >> thank you so much, congressman gregory meeks. we appreciate your time. happy holidays. >> we are getting more information about the tornado that hit mississippi. more details, up next. plus, a passenger able to board a plane with 18 guns and ammunition in his carry-on bag. and it happened several times. how did he get by airport security?
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we're back with breaking news. on a day when so many are trying to get to their loved ones, a tornado has touched down in columbia, mississippi. that's about 30 miles from
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hattiesburg. joining me is greg on the phone. there is potentially one that has already hit and another on the way? >> yes, suzanne. right now we have a storm system moving through the state and probably 45 minutes to an hour ago we believe a tornado -- the weather service believes a tornado touched down in marion county near the city of columbia. responders are trying to get an assessment of what is going on. we have a report of injuries and damage. we don't have a good handle on exactly how much or exactly what we're dealing with in that area. >> who and where is in the path of danger right now? >> right now the system is pretty much forming a diagonal line across the southeast corner of the state. as you can see on your radar, there is a report that we have another one -- a tornado in jones county near the city of laurel. it was a dangerous system coming
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through but i do want to applaud, hopefully it did some good, the national weather service started talking about this over the weekend. we spent all day yesterday preparing the people of our state to prepare for the bad weather forecasted today and unfortunately it came through and hopefully we don't have too bad of injuries. >> greg, this obviously is a very busy day for people who are buying gifts for the holiday and we've gotten reports that possibly a walmart was hit. what do you know about that? >> i don't have any details on specific businesses or how much damage we're talking about. but that's -- it could not have come at a worst time of year. people out scrambling to get their last-minute christmas shopping done. we have a lot of people moving around and traveling for the holidays. a lot of visitors that may not know where to go and what to do when the bad weather came through. hopefully we're talking about this and it's just some pieces of buildings that we have to pick up. i'm talking about any serious
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injuries. >> greg, we're going to keep in contact with you throughout the day. greg flynn, spokesman for the emergency management agency. we hope people are safe. in other national news, an alarming discovery at a u.s. airport as millions of us are packing our bags and traveling for the holidays. a baggage handler in atlanta is accused of smuggling guns and ammunition on carry-on luggage. he used his credentials to go through a secured area, avoid security and deliver the guns to his alleged accomplice in an operation that went on for months. i want to bring in rene marsh to talk about this. i have traveled through that airport many, many times. security is very tight. how on earth did something like this happen? >> well, i can tell you that we are just learning now from a press conference that just wrapped up, this operations a lot bigger than originally thought. this now involves five men.
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it's a five-man operation here. allegedly an airline worker abusing his special airport access, loading up bags and bags of high-powered guns, some of them loaded and smuggling them onto an airplane. several airplanes. it's an alarming breach. >> reporter: if they can put gun on planes this time, they could have easily put bombs on those planes. here's how authority says it happened. eugene harvey, with a backpack full of guns, uses his badge to enter the secure area of the atlanta air pofrt port bypassing security checkpoints. most airline employees undergo
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security vetting and they do not go through daily tsa screening to gain access to secure and restricted airport areas. the accomplice is mark henry. the two men communicate by text message and meet in an airport bathroom. once inside, out of the cameras view, the guns are handed off. >> tsa, the airports and airlines after 9/11 are there to prevent this type of incident from occurring. >> reporter: according to prosecutors, henry boarded flights from atlanta to new york with handguns, ar-15s and ak-47s. some of the weapons loaded. >> this gun can shoot through a car door, can shoot through an apartment door, can shoot through a bulletproof vest. in november, mr. henry bougroug this gun on a delta airliner
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bound for new york. >> reporter: this happened before. a baggage handler helped smuggle 12,000 pounds of marijuana on board a flight to new york. in 2013, an airline employee sentenced after agreeing to smuggle guns and cocaine on to a commercial plane. in an audit, workers with access to secured airport areas is one of the greatest potential threats to aviation. >> everyone who is involved in aviation and aviation security know that this is a gap, a vulnerability. >> well, i spoke with atlanta hartsfield jackson airport and asked them the very question that probably everyone is wondering, has anything changed in their security procedures? and at the time that i spoke with them, nothing had changed. they say that they are in discussions to talk about possible steps but there is no guarantee any changes have been made. you just heard in the piece there, it is no secret this is a
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vulnerability. the question is, why hasn't anything been done after so many years. we've seen this sort of thing happen before and it really comes down to resources and money in many cases. you're talking about scanning and screening lots and lots of employees. >> and you said -- like you said, this is busiest airport in the world. >> absolutely. it's an international hub there. and so the question now is, you know, does this bring light to the fact that someone else with very bad intentions could take advantage of this vulnerability and many are hoping not but some are saying we need to close this loophole. >> absolutely. excellent reporting, rene. appreciate that. in our money lead today, record highs on wall street. gas prices are below $2 a gallon and the u.s. pulling in the strongest quarter in more than a decade. is there anything that you can do to capitalize on this big boom? that's next.
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welcome back. i'm suzanne malveaux. in our money lead, the u.s. economy is running in overdrive.
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today the dow closed above 18,000 for the first time ever. up 1,000 points in just the last week. the u.s. economy grew 5% in the third quarter. and gas prices, they are dipping below $2 a gallon in some places. now, according to a new cnn poll released this morning, a majority of americans believe the economy is in good shape, compared with just 38% who thought that in october. joining me is jim, economic policy correspondent for the washington post. it looks like these are very good indicators, very good numbers. is it real? >> it's certainly a very strong number. we have to be happy about it because we have not seen strong growth for a long time. you toss in gas prices dropping and it's a very good sign for consumers going forward. the question is, as it's been for the last 10, 15 years, will this great economic news translate into actual raises for people in the middle class? >> we know that 20 states are
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trying to at least address this issue giving raises to minimum wage. but is there something that most people are feeling or the very rich or the very poor, are they becoming the gap actually narrowing or is it still the same, becoming farther apart? >> the pew research center said the wealth gap is the widest it has ever been. i think there's a lot of disconnection between people in the middle and the people at the top. the good news is, especially about falling gas prices, that affects people across the board. if you're a middle class consumer, that's a few hundred dollars in your pocket and that's real money. >> what are people doing this holiday season? are they buying, buying, buying? >> early indication is that we've had pretty good sales and it might get better in the next couple of days. i have a little shopping left to do. i think that's the hope, that lower gas prices turn in to more consumption and more of that fuel for the economics.
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>> the interest rates, what happens if they raise the interest rates? is that going to be the thing that really puts everything in reverse? >> it probably won't put things in reverse but could put the brakes on the economy. if the fed slows down and starts raising rates, that's a sign that the economy is doing well but also a sign that there won't be as much confidence maybe from the markets, that they are going to keep getting the stimulus as the fed has been doing. i think maybe we'll see the stock market's big rise flatten out a bit. >> what is fueling the job growth? >> well, first off, it's been a year when not very much has gone wrong. we didn't have a sequester or big bickering in congress that almost shut down the government. not a bunch of impediments to growth. the reason it looks really good is because the last 10, 15 years were terrible. >> all right. there's good news. >> yes. >> it's all relative. >> everything is relative. >> thanks. have a great holiday.
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>> thanks, you too. in our tech lead, protecting your personal computer from hackers. apple is not leaving anything to chance, issuing the first ever automated security update that could provide access to machines remotely. the vulnerability in software synchronizes clocks in computer systems and has been exploited in the past. the update is seamless and users don't need to restart their computers. and we were promised flying cars by 2015 but this might be even cooler. you've got to check this out. google just unveiled its prototype of a car that drives itself. the company claims it will be capable of navigating city streets and avoiding pedestrians on it is own. google says the car will go through a series of tests over the holidays before hopefully hitting san francisco's famed and wildly curvy lombard street
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as early as next year. pretty cool, like the jetson's, i think. california's regulators want to make sure safety regulations are in place before a convoy of unmanned vehicles take over our nation's roadways. coming up, he's facing nearly three years in prison for lying to the irs but despite a guilty plea, this congressman says he won't be giving up his seat. will he be forced to resign? plus, the broadway show anthony weiner will not be seeing. one star's recreation of washington's biggest sex scandals using the politicians own words. that's next.
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welcome back to "the lead." michael grim, a politician from
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staten island, new york, pled guilty to tax evasion charge and could do time. you may remember when he threatened a reporter for bringing up questions about his campaign fundraising for which he never faced charges. take a look. >> finally, before we let you go, we haven't had a chance to talk about some of the -- >> this is off topic. >> well, what about -- >> all right. so congressman michael grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign financing. he refused to talk about that. back to you. >> let me be clear to you. >> despite pleading guilty on a tax charge, grimm says he will not resign. nancy pelosi says he should step down. house speaker john boehner has not weighed in. grimn won re-election in november while fighting the
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charge charges. i highlighted his story after the election day. he was wearing the right jersey. >> reporter: voters are an awfully for giving bunch. check out these guys, the midterm winners, the republican doctor who got one of his patients pregnant and demanded she get an abortion. the federally indicted congressman who threatened to throw someone off a balcony. >> you can't make this stuff up, which is exactly the idea behind a new play from a "saturday night live" alum who used the words that politicians said after screwing up. cnn's gloria borger has that. >> reporter: talk about fear -- >> i am not gay. i never have been gay. >> last friday night i tweeted a photograph of myself. >> as much as i did talk about
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going to -- >> i ended up. >> reporter: no, it wasn't. and now mark sanford and three fellow infamous politicians are the stars of tailspin, an off broadway comedy about their sexual exploits. >> oh, my favorite young staff doing. >> reporter: the entire script is verbatim, the words exactly as they were spoken, texted and tweeted. really? >> this day is ready to do damage. >> it was instant chemistry. >> reporter: starring next to the offended is rachel, you may remember her as "saturday night live"'s debbie downer. now she's live again. >> come on. i'll show you. this is life in the theater. you put on your own makeup. >> reporter: on stage, she plays the wronged wives and the other women, too.
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from one of anthony weiner's e-mail buddies -- >> i'm a person that strips sometimes. >> reporter: to mark sanford's ar gener argentenian soul mate. >> you hear they were sexting and then it's like, whoa. this is beyond my sexting skills. these guys were pretty dirty dogs. >> reporter: i hear liberal girls are pretty accommodating. >> hey, it's all about taking care of a little guy. >> little? ouch. you'd be surprised how big. >> reporter: the bigger surprise is the size of their electronic flirtation.
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>> what makes these guys think they can get away with this? >> power. and the show is not about sex but about power. >> reporter: mario is familiar with the situation. he's a staffer who wrote the play. >> a lot of us make mistakes in our personal lives. i know i have. the reason we don't take these outlandish risks and expect to get away with them, we don't have power to protect ourselves. these guys are like, i'm a member of congress. i have a business car like larry craig who shows his car to the cop and says -- >> what do you think about that? >> senator craig was still arrested for solicitation in a men's restroom. >> hang in there. >> reporter: his wife remaining loyal standing by her man as did most of the others. what on earth do you think they were thinking? >> i imagine when the scandal hit, probably just want to err on the side of, i'm going to believe what he says, i'm going
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to keep the family together, blah, blah, blah, i'll sort it out later with a skilled therapist. >> reporter: which was the most fun for you to channel? >> well, the most fun of the show for me is barbara walters. they stood next to their husbands. you did not stand next to your husband. did you think of doing that? >> um, no. i didn't. >> and so by that time she's the last one in the audience who is like, woo-hoo. barbara walters says, he gave you a used bike. >> he drew me a picture of a half a bike. >> another time -- >> he gave you a diamond necklace. >> which you loved. and then -- >> he took it back. >> reporter: truth may be stranger than fiction but in this case it's also really funny, although mark sanford may not think so. so in the end, after doing this show, what is hiking the appalachian trail mean? >> i do feel bad for folks who
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go to hike the appalachian trail? who can say that now? >> they go to show receipts and stuff. >> reporter: that's it for "the lead." i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, protests planned despite an urgent plea for new york mayor after the funerals for two new york police officer's. rising tensions. george ptaki all but blames the mayor, calling the murders the outcome of an anti government rhetoric. and a stunner from sony. the controversial film mocking north korea's leader will open on christmas day despite cyberthreats, a move that president obama is already applauding. i'mf

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