tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN March 6, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
charges would be for corruption. evan what are you learning now about these allegations? >> well ana, these are corruption charges that the justice department is going to bring. we expect it will probably be another couple weeks before they are officially announced. attorney general eric holder has already signed off on the request from prosecutors to bring these charges. now, this centers around the relationship menendez has had with a prominent democratic donor and a friend of his, someone who's given to his campaigns and to the democratic party. salman melgen. he took trips with him and didn't disclose them later on. later on he paid $58,000 to reimburse for the cost of those trips. the government and fbi here in washington at the justice department have been looking
into this. the relationship between these two men. i should mention that you know a lot of the government's case spilled out into the open a little bit just last week when the third circuit court of appeals up in -- filed a ruling that disclosed the government was basically trying to force some of menendez's aides to provide testimony to the government. so this is going to bring up a host of issues for the government. they are going to face constitutional question of whether or not what menendez is doing was really just part of him doing his job. it's called the speech and debate clause in the constitution. that's what menendez is arguing. so we expect a big fight from menendez on this. >> in fact i want to get to dana because i understand you have reaction from senator menendez. >> if you looked at me looking at my phone, i wanted to make sure i have it to read to you. here's what his spokesperson
says. as we said before we believe all of the senator's actions have been appropriate and lawful and the facts will ultimate confirm that any actions taken by senator menendez or his office have been to appropriately address public policy issues and not for any other reason. she goes on to talk about that the senator and dr. melgen have been close personal friends for decades and that the two have spent holidays together. they've gone to each other's family's funerals and weddings. and so that is the basis of their relationship and certainly that is part of what they are going to argue that that's where their relationship ends and that there isn't anything corrupt or anything to suggest they're as corrupt as perhaps the federal government thinks that there might be. not just with trips but also the things that have been reported there have been questions about whether or not the senator helped get a deal done that the doctor wanted to get done with
regard to ports in south america. it's a complicated deal but that's another thing that has been out there so far. but he is maintaining he's done nothing wrong and that the official investigation of this matter is ongoing and again she says that they cannot address allegations being made anonymously. >> what more can you tell us dana about senator menendez? i know he's from new jersey. he is a high ranking democrat member of the foreign affairs -- foreign relations committee. used to be the chairman when democrats held the senate. what else can you tell sinus. >> well not just that he is really kind of in the thick of it right now battling his own fellow democrat in the white house on high profile issues. front and center right now is iran. he's standing with republicans on the issue of really opposing the way these iran negotiations have been going. he is co-sponsor of a bill to get congress' imprint on that
over the white house. he's even part of a sanctions bill. he's really been at lager heads with the administration in weeks and months over some pretty high profile international issues. so that's sort of why we have seen him a lot in the news lately in addition to as evan has been in front of reporting for months even years some of these questions that have been bubbling up. and they've actually stemmed from just even a couple of weeks before menendez's own re-election in 2012. that's when a lot of this spilled out into the media. the fact that the federal government and the justice department may have been looking into some of these issues that evan is reporting. now they feel they have a case about. >> evan i know you mentioned this goes all the way back to 2010. and dana referenced that these allegations include perhaps the senator influencing legislation there on capitol hill that would in some way help this doctor
friend of his. what more do you know about the legislation that could have been impacted? >> well you know some of the allegations the government is working on i should give credit to the new jersey law journal before put back under seal. but according to these papers the government -- the prosecutors are focusing on a couple of different things. dr. melgen his friend the senator's friend and prominent donor had a couple of problems. he was being accused of fraud. the doctor was. by the authorities that oversee medicare. and menendez according to the government intervened to try to get rid of this problem for his friend for dr. melgen. his second issue was that melgen had had a company that had an interest in port security contract in the dominican republic which is where he went to school.
and according to the government the senator violated -- broke the law in the way he tried to intervene to try to present another option that the dominican government was looking for which was to get some equipment donated. and so ana, this is a very complicated case for the government. we'll see. menendez is going to put up a big fight here. >> all right. thanks for staying on top of it for us. turning now to the fight against isis. air strikes along with coalition forces have booted isis militants from a key city in iraq. i'm talking about al baghdadi. near the base that houses u.s. military. this comes after priceless ruins were destroyed. isis fighters have turned their bulldozers on the ancient city
of nimruit. they have relics that date back nearly 3,000 years. the u.n. is calling this demolition a war crime and it all comes a week after the video we showed you destroying ar fi facts at a museum. ben, tell us more about the extent of damage to those cultural artifacts in the city of nimrud? >> reporter: yeah ana, at this point it's not all together clear how much of it has been destroyed. the iraqi ministry of tourism and antiquities put out this statement last night but isis has yet to post any video or make any claims. we haven't seen any still photographs. when you speak to people in mosul, clearly it's not easy to go down there. at this point it's only the word of the iraqi government.
of course we wouldn't be surprised if this was the case given that what we saw happening in mosul museum last week. what we've seen time and time again in a variety of shrines and religious places around iraq isis has destroyed them in their drive to destroy all signs of any other religion were any other faith that does not coincide with their very very narrow interpretation of islam. ana? >> ben wedeman, thank you. now i want to show you exclusive video we have of isis killer jihadi john seen as a teenager playing ball with his friends. if you look closely here at this video you can see mohammed emwazi. he's in the gray sweatshirt. he's there jostling with other boys. this is on a schoolyard in west london. one of his teachers tells cnn emwazi was reserved and, quote, didn't have a huge circle of
friends. he was also bullied a bit because he was quiet. for the people who knew him back then it may be difficult to fathom how this teenager playing sports with friends transformed himself into the suspected brutal masked killer. one reason jihadi john became the face of isis of course is that he speaks english. and it turns out plenty of other isis supporters do as well on twitter. let's bring in our panel joining the now karen greenberg, the director of the center at ford ham. buck, there's this institute study that finds one in five on twitter selected english as their primary language. does that surprise you? >> no. i don't think there's anything surprising. the speed to which these twitter accounts are created and the sheer expansiveness and how far the message is going on social
media alone is something maybe that will be jarring if not surprising. but that arabic is the primary language is to be expected. the main country, saudi arabia leading the back. a that also makes sense. but also there are these english speakers in companies like the uk and united states who are supporters of isis and are starting these accounts over and over again. shows you no matter what any social media platform does, they can create new messages. by the time they're taken down they're sen thousands of times. >> i got a message today from an isis supporter who is criticize criticizing in some way us for condemning them. so they are out there, they are trying to spread their message. one of the prom nept figinent figures trying to combat that is jordan's queen. she spoke out slamming this organization for twisting religion. let's listen.
>> you know people call them isis. and i'd love to drop the first "i" in that isis. there's nothing islamic about them. [ applause ] they have nothing to do with faith and everything to do with fanaticism. and i think as an international community we would do well to not focus on the religious character of that group. because when we do we give them undeserved legitimacy. >> so karen, we have the queen speaking out in a prominent way. do you think that's going to help combat isis' recruitment of women? >> it's possible. i mean i think we've talked about it before. the recruitment of women as foreign fighters to isis has been what surprising both in europe and the uk and the united states. and the question is what is the message there responding to? some of them one to be nurses. some of them want to be
teachers. some want to be mothers. so it's a start. i think it's an important start. you don't have a lot of leaders in the world who have come out and said rb look. there's a kind of islam that the majority of muslims in the world belong to and there's smaller group that is now causing violence. so it's a beginning. it may be a beginning with women, but it's important. >> i want to respond to the queen's comments. they're well intentioned but she's wrong. what's true is it is a war within islam. on the one hand we'll hear people say this is a small sect within islam, a narrow interpretation of islam. it is still islamic. if you're going to win an ideological war, you have to identify and deal with the ideology and it comes from within the islamic community. top say it doesn't is not helpful. it's well intentioned, she wants to make people feel better about the situation, but it's not going to help win the war that's happening within the islamic community right now.
>> but truly it's not just about religion. i mean we just saw isis this week targeting people who are homosexual throwing gay men off buildings. what do you make of that? >> well i want to say it may be a war within the religion but as you're saying but i think it is very much something we have to deal with as what's going on and who claims this religion. i think her message is very important. which is that let's talk about what is islamic and what's acceptable and who we are as a religion. i think -- i just disagree a little bit. i think it could be very important. i think this kind of leadership could be very important. you're right. i think the message is much broader. what you're referring to probably is the idea that they're attracted to the caliphate which they have claimed this bin laden message. now there's a place to come to. so it's a mixed message about the ideology the logistics, the reality of what isis is
claiming. i think it's complicated. >> there are multiple civil wars happening right now between sunni and shia and those who are moderate and those who want to go towards reforming the faith. we should not pretend somehow this isn't islamic. the question you asked, by the way, of the killing of homosexuals with that be just adds to the many layers and the mountains. we should be clear about this as well. to gather recruits. we would like to think this hay nusness would push people away from this but they use this as a recruiter tool. they show what barbarians they are. >> thank you both so much. up next as president obama gets ready to head to selma to mark 50 years since the march there on bloody sunday why aren't top republican leaders in congress also going there this
weekend to show their support? jake tapper is going to join me to talk about that. also just moments ago during a town hall president obama fielded a question on ferguson and the report on racial bias in its police department. hear what he said. and it's exactly one year if you can believe it since flight 370 disappeared and still no sign of that plane or the 239 people on board. so what's the leading theory about what happened one year later? that's coming up. [ male announcer ] legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses. if you have a business idea, we have a personalized legal solution that's right for you. with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality. start your business today with legalzoom.
scores of freedom frighters, mothers, daughters, sons, and fathers marched on their way to the state capitol. they were demanding the right to vote for african-americans. 50 years ago tomorrow that day became known as bloody sunday. and here's why. police officers savagely beat down the protesters including their leader. a young 25-year-old civil rights activist activist. that man you see is grz gascongressman john lewis. they would finally make it across the bridge. ♪ ♪ that's how we walk through ferguson with our hands up ♪ ♪ we woman and man up ♪
♪ glory ♪ ♪ when it's all said and done ♪ ♪ glory ♪ >> that march was recreated in january during the celebration of the oscar nominated movie "selma" which recounted the historic journey. today the bridge captured in this drone video stands as a testament to and a reminder of the courageous people of all race who is braved the civil rights struggle. cnn's fredricka whitfield is there in selma where the first family and thousands of others are expected to take part in the 50th anniversary celebration there is. i know you have the story of a family a couple families who are reuniting this historic weekend to relive some of their most trying moments. >> that is so true ana. it is an extraordinary weekend. it's starting out already. you can see the log jam right on the edmond pettis bridge there. you see people who are walking. and i have talked to so many
people who have stressed the importance of why they wanted to be here in zellselma on the 50th anniversary. and i also met up with reverend orlaf miller. he was with his colleague just a couple of blocks from here, about three blocks from here 50 years ago and witnessed the beating death of his colleague. and when i caught up with him, i asked him if he had any trepidation whatsoever to be here. he said at first he was not going to come. and then he thought of the reunions. >> you are standing where the attack about took place. we heard them behind us because they said hey, you [ bleep ]. and we agreed just keep walking. one of them had a club slammed it against james reed's head here. i dropped to the ground because
we had been trained to do that. go into a fetal position to protect myself. even so i got kicked in the head. clark had his glasses broken and pummelled a bit. but neither of us were seriously hurt. it was jim who got the whole bit. and all was over in about 30 seconds. i'll tell you why i finally decided to come back to selma. because marie reed the widow, the four children they had together grandchildren and great grandchildren, they're all coming here. i want to see them. >> oh, hi sweetie. >> you look great, woman. >> so do you. so do you. thank you. >> how's the trip been? >> it's been a journey so far. i mean it's been half the
family traveled through a snowstorm, from casper to denver. we flew from california. then our flight was delayed. we finally made it. >> reporter: and their 17 family members. you've all made this pilgrimage here. why was this so important to do? >> well it's important because it's a family. it's a journey we've been talking about for us all to come here and to be together and honor our father and grandfather. >> it makes it real every time you visit. it brings it all home. >> i'm sure the night that he a and my mother discussed his leaving, that he didn't think he was not going to return to us. but but he went knowing that perhaps that was a possibility. but in doing so he gave us the ability to see that when you're
called to something that says i have to go that you step outside of your life and you go where your called. >> it's taken my 50 years to come to the terms of my dad's death and coming to mispoint where i can actually come to the place where all this happened and meet the people that were involved in walked down the street with him, that went to the chapel with him, that came out of the walkers cafe and walked down this very street and was struck down there. it's time now to come together with the family that's now aligned, that's now taken 50 years to do this. >> reporter: and as you know president obama along with george w. bush will be here. obama will be bringing his daughters sasha and malia. one of his messages he's hoping to impress upon the younger generation that it is up to them to fulfill their own obligation to help serve the next generation. and one obligation that has been
the center piece of some discussions is the renaming potentially of the edmond pettus bridge. he was also someone who was a grand wizard of the ku klux klan klan. so now there is discussion on whether this would be fitting to rename the bridge. there have been some suggestions that it should be renamed the john lewis bridge of course after u.s. congressman john lewis. most local people are not having that conversation directly. they are having conversations about how to revitalize the city how does outside money come in here provide some jobs provide opportunities because it is a city that feels very forgotten. ana? >> fredricka, thank you for all that good information. fred will have live special coverage from selma tomorrow starting at 11:00 a.m. eastern here on cnn. and there will be dozens of
politicians there this weekend. the president, the whole first family and the largest bipartisan delegation ever is expected to be in attendance. but the group will not include top republican leaders. cnn has learned that the speaker of the house john boehner and mitch mcconnell are just a couple of lawmakers who will be conspicuously absent. jake tapper following the developments from washington. jake who else isn't going and have they explained why not? >> reporter: well, there are a number of democrats, rank and file members and the top democrat in the house, the number two democrat in the house, the number three, others all planning on attending. but as you mentioned, republican leaders in the house and leaders the closest you can get is senator rob portman who is a counselor to mitch mcconnell though not really in the top ranks of leadership. there really is no decent
explanation when you ask why they're not going to be there. they note that all republican who is are going to be there and one of the cochairs of the event is tim scott from south carolina and they note that congressional gold medals were given to the marchers by congress but there really isn't sort of satisfying explanation as to why they're not going to be in attendance. >> are they missing an opportunity to extent the arm to try to reach out to minority voters? we know they've struggled with that in recent elections. >> it is a huge missed opportunity, i think that's fair to say. this is a party that has struggled to appeal to minorities african-americans, latinos, others. this is a fairly stark, you know one side was right and one side was wrong moment in american history, the bloody sunday march across that bridge. and the idea there aren't going to be any top republican leaders is stark.
that said george w. bush will be there, laura bush will be there. there will be plenty of other republicans rank and file who will be there. but possibly from congress none that the average american recognizes. so it is a big missed opportunity. i've heard from other republicans expressing regret that the house and senate republican leadership is not going to be there. >> and real quickly just to be fair what about democrats? >> well i can't find any democratic senate leaders that are going to be there. harry reid obviously still recovering from an injury. when it comes to chuck schumer and dick durbin i don't believe they're in attendance either. but there are a number of democratic leaders from the house who will be there. so it cannot be said that no democratic congressional leaders are there. >> okay. thanks so much jake tapper. appreciate it. jake will be back with "the lead" at 4:00 right here. coming up just moments ago president obama live in south carolina. his first stop before he heads to alabama. he's weighing in on ferguson this afternoon. what he had to say about the findings of the police bias and
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just moments ago, president obama ended his town hall there at benedict college in south carolina which we had played some for you earlier. and he spoke about ten minutes. he spoke about the reports from department of justice. one cleared officer darren wilson for the death of michael brown. the other really just hammered on the ferguson police department for racist and profiteering practices against african-americans. now, president obama said that while problems like those in ferguson certainly exist, people should not assume the worst of police. >> i don't think that what happens in ferguson is typical. the overwhelming number of law enforcement officers have a
really hard dangerous job and they do it well and they do it fairly and they do it heroically. and i strongly believe that. we need to honor those folks and we need to respect them and not just assume that they've got ill will or they're doing a bad job. >> i do want to mention we did just get some new information out of ferguson and some of the fallout following the justice department's report. we learned that one person who has been fired since this was released is the city's top court clerk. two others still awaiting their fate as the investigation continues. i want to bring in a journalist who just penned a piece called "yes black america fears the police and here's why." nicole hannah jones is joining me from atlanta. you just heard president obama defend most police officers to a crowd of mostly african-american
college students and yet you say most of black america doesn't trust police. how do you reconcile that? >> well i mean the president has a role to play and his role is to kind of reassure his citizens but i think the experiences that many black americans experience in black communities, ferguson -- the ferguson report really rang true to them. >> do you believe that police are inherently bias? >> no i don't think you can say police are inherently biased any more than any other americans are inherptently biased. but with that said they share inherent biases that many americans have. and that enters into the way they're policing black families. >> i know you in your article write that your experience in this country is probably so different from others who may not be of color. and you share an incident in this article about when you
chose not to call police after hearing gun shots fired. and you realized that you were worried about being treated like a suspect instead of a witness. tell us more about your personal experience. >> well i think many many black americans of all educational backgrounds of all incomes have a very tense relationship with the police. in this particular incident that i was writing about, it wasn't even a decision not to call. it literally did not cross my mind or the minds of the other journalist who is were with me that day. really the experience with police is one i've often tried to limit interactions. you don't quite know how it's going to turn out. there's been so many instances that many of us can name where we have seen innocent black people who have been harassed abused simply walking down the street. so there's a fear. and it often causes us to avoid interactions with police unless we absolutely have to. and that's a problem. >> and finally nicole i do want
to make sure that we aren't coming across like we're demonizing police officers. that's definitely not the intent here. what would you tell those law enforcement officers who feel like they've been unfairly lumped in a group of bad guys of sorts when they really enter the profession to serve and protect? >> i don't think it's about looking at individuals and calling out individuals. we have systemic issues with law enforcement. in new york city law enforcement practices were deemed unconstitutional. in ferguson we have the justice department say the treatment of black citizens by police force was not unconstitutional. we need to not talk about whether they're individual police good or bad, but we have systemic issues. >> thank you so much for joining me. >> thank you. up next it's been almost a year since flight mh-370
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it's one of the biggest mysteries in modern aviation history. and it hardly seems possible in the age of instant communications and high-tech aviation systems a boeing 777 could simply vanish on a routine flight, but it did one year ago tomorrow. we're in kuala lumpur where families are marking the anniversary. >> reporter: prepare to commemorate the one-year anniversary since the plane's disappearance, the ceo of malaysia airlines says the search must count because the world deserves answers as to what really happened. >> i wish that you know we will carry on looking for the
aircraft. you know i think the world needs an answer. the family needs answer as well. >> reporter: more than 40% of the search area in the southern indian ocean has been covered and authorities are confident that the four ships scouring the ocean floor with sonar equipment looking for the wreckage will be finished by may. meantime the airline's chief has defended the pilot of mh-370 captain zaharie claiming he was responsible for the plane's disappearance are baseless and mere speculation. >> speculation. we do not suspect any one of our crew until it is evident. he was a very capable man. he's a 777 flight examiner. so we have no reason to suspect. >> reporter: he also says valuable lessons have been learned from the mh-370 tragedy
stepping up the protocol and flight tracking system. >> thank, anna coren. tonight cnn will look at this mystery behind the vanished flight in a special report. that's at 9:00 p.m. eastern. next the fallout over hillary clinton's e-mail causing a rift among democrats and the controversy continues. did democrats put all their eggs in one basket? should they have a plan "b" for 2016 or will this just blow over? that debate next. ♪ building aircraft, the likes of which the world has never
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for months maybe even years, hillary clinton has been perceived as the one, the only the democrat who can run for president in 2016 and win. but clinton's recent e-mail controversy has a lot of democrats scattering running for cover, calling for a democratic alternative. boy, how a couple news cycles
can change things. i want to bring in a couple political voices to talk more about this. hillary rosen is a cnn political commentator. also peter hand cnn's political reporter. i want to start with an op-ed piece from gloria borger. she writes about the former top aide to president obama, calling dems running from clinton bedwetters. gloria also warns that democrats don't have a choice but to get behind hillary clinton. here's a quote from her article. it says the republicans have a deep and varied field. the democrats have one real horse in the race. no matter how much she stumbles out of the gate. do you agree? have dems put all their eggs in one basket and are left with no other option? >> i think democrats do have a deep bench. i think hillary clinton's going to run. i think it looks like she's going to be the nominee. i don't think democrats are desperate. i think democrats are excited. people like hillary clinton. they think this e-mail flap is silly and kind of manufactured because there actually isn't a
campaign going on where there are other things to talk about. i think from the party's perspective, i think we're in fine shape. >> but peter, that's not what other democrats have told you, right? >> well look i think hillary is right from the official side of the democratic party, you know. everyone is rallying to hillary's side here even as some of them are taken aback by both the story itself and the way it's been handled in the media, but look having spent a lot of time talking to people in the last few days and there are activists, legislators, county chairmen all those kind of power brokers in the early states who have sway over the nominating process, many of them agree with hillary that this is a manufactured crisis. but a lot of them also don't and they are saying that this story itself reveals a number of things about hillary clinton that perhaps she isn't as vetted as we thought she was, perhaps her team isn't moving quick enough to the modern news cycle and yes, that maybe we need an
alternative in a competitive primary just to sort of litigate these issues even if hillary is going to be the nominee so that she's prepared for the general election. to be clear, that's not a majority of democrats at all but there are plenty of democrats who don't want hillary clinton to be the nominee and this is emboldening them. that doesn't mean she's not going to be the nominee. it just means the anti-clinton set of the democratic base feels like they have something to latch on to right now. >> if you think the majority is backing hillary, why aren't we seeing more high-ranking democrats come to her defense? >> i think you have seen a lot of high-ranking democrats come to her defense. multiple senators have and others and i think in part this is just kind of a silly issue. i think when she starts to run, you will see a significant amount of democrats already for her, will be more proactive in their defense. but she's, you know she isn't
running yet. state department lawyers knew about her e-mail situation. there's no allegation that a law has been violated so i think most kind of high-ranking democrats are just sort of waiting for this to blow over. you know that being said there are other candidates or candidates in waiting that are on the democratic bench and you know we have seen governor o'malley out there. i still love vice president biden and think he would make a great president. right now, i don't think most democrats see any reason why hillary clinton shouldn't be our nominee. >> finally, peter, just quickly, why hasn't hillary clinton spoken out to defend herself? >> well you know she's using the method of our times, twitter, to sort of communicate to the media. >> one tweet. just one tweet. >> one tweet. >> that's all it takes. >> democrats publicly are either reserving judgment here or coming to her side.
privately they're saying different things to the media. one of them is why did it take so long to respond, two days then a midnight tweet two days later isn't exactly the kind of rapid response operation you need in 2015. that's just something that again, once she does have a campaign, she will have to show she can probably move a little quicker than that. >> we have to leave it there. thanks to both of you. we take a look at the dow right now. want to give you a live look. almost 300 points down just before the closing bell. it is taking despite that great jobs report today. we will explain what's behind it coming up. ♪ at mfs, we believe in the power of active management. every day, our teams collaborate around the world to actively uncover, discuss and debate investment opportunities. which leads to better decisions for our clients. it's a uniquely collaborative approach you won't find anywhere else. put our global active management expertise to work for you. mfs. there is no expertise without collaboration.
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first cnn hero of 2015 and you can nominate a hero at cnn heroes.com. that's going to do it for me. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. the enemy of my enemy is a very very troublesome friend. ip jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead. 350,000 people civilians with nowhere to go as isis closes in. but cameras now catching iran that state sponsor of terror iran openly strategizing with iraqi forces our allies fighting the isis terrorists. so what does the u.s. military have to say about these unwanted battle buddies? the national lead. they were blasted with water cannons and beaten by police. now 50 years later, race and racism and america's original sin, still considered a significant problem even after the election