tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN March 19, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
some disguises are so tacky, they should have just called the police along with the fashion police. suspects wearing underwear on their heads, plaid boxers a thong. stick to being a piggy bank rather than robbing a real one, darth vader. >> jeanne moos thank you. i'm brooke baldwin. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. the u.s. relationship with israel has it gone off the rails? i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead. the fight between the white house and the israeli government entering something like uncharted territory. the obama administration now saying they are going to rethink the whole relationship after prime minister netanyahu came out against a palestinian state. in other world news vladimir putin strong-arming land from ukraine, kim jong-un won't let his health problems
stop his pursuit of nuclear missles. now these two men with a talent for rankling the u.s. had set to meet in moscow. what are they cooking up? and the national lead. a truly tragic story after three tours in iraq he tried to hang himself twice. last month, this veteran told friends he was going to the v.a. to get help to check himself in. instead, a doctor gave him some drugs and sent him home. what happened next? that's the subject of a cnn investigation. good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with our world lead today. prime minister benjamin netanyahu of israel trying to mend a very damaged fence with the white house after netanyahu spent the past few months seemingly taking wire cutters to his relationship with president obama. netanyahu pulled off a strong strong victory in tuesday's election. president obama and his administration clearly think that victory came at the expense
of any hopes for peace between israel and the palestinians. almost as stunning as netanyahu's victory is the fact that right now, president obama has still not picked up the phone to call and congratulate his frenemy. today netanyahu struck a conciliatory tone calling israel's bond with the u.s. unbreakable. he said his address to congress was not an attempt at partisanship he just felt an obligation to speak up about a deal with iran that he thinks is dangerous. but reports indicate the white house as of now might not feel that same obligation to raise its voice in defense of israel in places like the united nations. i want to go right to cnn senior white house correspondent jim acosta. when i was white house correspondent, i had a front row seat as you do to watching the deterioration of the obama/netanyahu relationship. but i have to say, i never thought it would come to this. >> reporter: that's right, jake. how low can they go i guess is the way to put it. president obama declined to
weigh in on israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu's controversial rhetoric that likely paved the way to his re-election this week. the white house strongly suggested the president will take issue with netanyahu's remarks in a phone call as soon as today. >> thank you, everybody. >> reporter: meeting with britain's prince charles and his wife camilla, president obama refused to comment on israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu who has become something of a royal pain to the white house. administration officials say they are furious over netanyahu's remarks in the final moments of his re-election campaign pointing to the prime minister's rejection of a palestinian state in this interview as a key reversal that would damage prospects for middle east peace. asked whether a palestinian state would not be formed in he remains prime minister netanyahu said indeed. >> the president personally disappointed in prime minister netanyahu's comments? >> i would certainly acknowledge that the president is aware of the comments. and noticed them. i don't think i would
characterize his reaction. but i think that there are obvious policy implications for prime minister netanyahu's comments. >> reporter: in a post-election interview, netanyahu completely flip-flopped saying he now wants a peaceful two-state solution with palestinians. but the white house is also outraged over netanyahu's comment that arab voters were heading to the polls in droves a remark aides to the president blasted as racially tinged and un-democratic. >> i think that that comment and that tactic was something that was noticed not just here in the white house but by i think people around the world. and that cynical election day tactic was a pretty transparent effort to marginalize arab/israeli citizens and their right to participate in their democracy. >> reporter: netanyahu insists arab israelis will always have
the right to vote but they are not buying that at the white house, where officials are threatening to allow votes at the united nations in favor of a palestinian state, a measure the u.s. has blocked before. republicans who invited netanyahu to speak before congress against the u.s. nuclear talks with iran are saying get over it. >> what about the administration's sort of lukewarm reaction? >> lukewarm? >> the obama administration and benjamin netanyahu need to wake up understand the realities of what they can and cannot achieve, and try to restore some adult supervision. >> reporter: repeatedly pressed today over netanyahu's reversals on nearly all of his heated comments the white house seems to be saying that is not enough at the moment. with the president it seems to matter more what the prime minister said before the election not what he's saying now. jake when the white house is asked repeatedly what's the president's reaction and they won't give it to prime minister netanyahu's comments, they can't be good. >> jim acosta thank you so much. let's bring in the chief spokesman for benjamin
netanyahu, prime minister of israel mark regev. thank you so much for joining us. let's get to some of these policies here. before tuesday's election netanyahu very clearly declared the palestinians would not have a state on his watch but now today, he seems to be doing a complete 180, saying he supports a two-state solution that is peaceful and sustainable. which is accurate? >> jake the truth is there has been no change in the prime minister's position at all. he said six years ago that he wanted to see a solution where you would have a demilitarized palestinian state that recognizes the jewish state. that's been his policy that is his policy. what he's saying now and it's important, is that because of the realities in the region that's just not a policy option today as we speak. i mean you've got a palestinian leadership that's embraced hamas, brutal terrorist organization that says my country should be obliterated. they formed an alliance with hamas. they have also said repeatedly the palestinian leadership that
they will never recognize the legitimacy of my country, of the jewish state. you put those two together and you can see we have a real problem moving forward to a vision of peace. >> the white house is now talking about allowing votes at the united nations on palestinian statehood. this is something the u.s. stood in the way of for years. what's your response? >> first of all, i don't know if that is true or not. i do know the following. the historic positio of the united states over decades has been that the only way to solve the issue between israelis and palestinians is through direct negotiations between the parties where there is give and take on both sides. that's the only way to make real peace. >> they seem to be changing their position sir. >> i don't know. i don't know. but i do know this. no resolution of the united nations is going to advance peace. i do know that you can't do a dictate or force the parties to make this work. it's got to be negotiations
eyeball to eyeball, israelis and palestinians. i think people who want to make the peace process move forward, there has to be a clear and unequivocal message to the palestinian leadership. break your alliance with hamas and return to peace talks. there is no substitute for that at all. >> it seems like all of this is being done by the white house in direct response to things the prime minister netanyahu has done in recent weeks. speaking to congress against the wishes of the white house, coming out against a two-state solution with that rhetoric from before the election his language about arab voters. did the prime minister and his advisors did you all miscalculate how much this would antagonize the united states government the u.s. clearly a vital ally for your country? >> well with your permission i will address every one of those issues separately. the first thing, the speech to the congress i mean my prime minister in his remarks was respectful and praised president
obama. he said specifically that he has the greatest respect for the president, for the presidency and for the united states and talked about the things that president obama has done for israel's security those he can talk about and those he can't talk about. >> the president clearly didn't want the prime minister to give the speech. >> my prime minister felt a moral obligation to make our case on iran. we are close allies and we are friends but we don't agree on what's going on now in switzerland. we think the deal on the table is a dangerous deal. it's dangerous for israel it's dangerous for our arab neighbors. they say so openly. we believe it's dangerous for the world as well. iran with nuclear weapons is a problem. it's a problem for everyone who wants to see peace. >> i want to give you an opportunity, we are running out of time i want to give you an opportunity to respond to the white house today saying on the record josh earnest, white house press secretary, that the prime minister's comments about arab voters were a cynical election day tactic to marginalize arab israeli
citizens. the white house on the record saying that. your response? >> i think that can't be based on understanding the situation correctly. there was no attempt whatsoever to disenfranchise anybody. on the contrary. we are a democracy -- >> marginalize. >> you don't have to register -- you don't have to in any way register to vote. you are automatically registered. israeli arabs are the only arab community in the entire greater middle east that has consistently been participating in open and free elections. that has to be said. my prime minister was not trying to suppress the vote of anyone. he was trying to encourage his own supporters to go out and vote and that's perfectly legitimate in a heated election. that happens in the united states the whole time, does it not? >> there are certainly all sorts of tactics in the united states. we can get to it another time. i appreciate it. thank you so much for joining us. >> my pleasure. thanks for having me. in another major world news story today, isis just hours ago claiming responsibility for that
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in other world news is isis capable of exporting its terrorism directly to the united states? a new cnn/orc poll out this hour finds that 80% of the american people believe the terrorist group poses a serious threat to the homeland. that is up seven points from november. 79% of you say you're worried that the fight against isis will turn into a larger regional war compared to just 65% who felt that way six months ago. those fears may become even more
pronounced after the horrific terror attack we saw in tunisia yesterday. in a new audio message, isis claiming responsibility for the museum massacre that killed at least 23 people. many of them foreign tourists from places including poland france and the uk. two spaniards including one woman who is four months pregnant emerged this morning from the site of the attack having been in hiding all night long. let's go to cnn's barbara starr live at the pentagon. do american officials believe that isis was actually behind this or are they just claiming credit? >> reporter: well a u.s. official tells me at this point they have no reason to doubt that audio recording. they are still looking, though for that confirming detail the big worry as you say is that isis is opening a new front in north africa. the blood is still there. tunisian security forces on high alert looking for at least three suspects in the attack that has now killed 23 people and injured three dozen.
isis claiming responsibility for the attack warning this is just the start. in an unverified audio message. >> this is the latest example of extremist terror and we have to fight it with everything we have. >> reporter: growing u.s. worries about the spread of isis and where it could lead. >> a terrorism attack like this one on a soft target in tunisia promises there will be more terrorism in europe and eventually will wash up on the shores of the united states. >> reporter: for now, the u.s. doesn't doubt the isis claim of responsibility. but officials caution al qaeda affiliates in north africa also are very active in tunisia. these attackers perhaps inspired by isis rather than directly ordered to attack. violent as it was, u.s. officials say the tactics appeared haphazard, not a
typical terrorist hostage or kidnapping plot. tunisian authorities announced nine people had been arrested. four directly linked to the attacks. the prime minister identified two suspects by name one had been known to security services. but the prime minister did not say if those two were the gunmen that had been killed. a tour guide tells of the terror. >> translator: i thought a roof had collapsed but bullets were everywhere. we all hid from the shooting. >> reporter: an enemy increasingly difficult to track down. >> what makes these organizations this virus so difficult to kill is because it is home-grown self-recruited and there's no center and no return address that we can destroy it at. >> reporter: what officials are telling us is stop looking so much at the labels. isis al qaeda, it may not really matter at this point, that these are basically adherents that are spreading
across various parts of the middle east north africa eyes targeted on the united states whatever they call themselves it will be a difficult enemy increasingly to track down. jake? >> let's talk about this isis claim of responsibility with cnn terror analyst paul cruickshank. he is also the author of "agent storm, my life inside al qaeda and the cia." thanks for being here. do you think this attack was orchestrated by isis leadership or is it just an idea once again of these lone wolf packs emerging self-radicalized? >> i think the jury is still very much out on that. clearly isis have released this audio claim of responsibility but they offer no proof whatsoever that they were behind the attack. tunisian authorities have so far said they can't link this attack to an organized terrorist group. of course they may do in the hours ahead. as barbara was suggesting this
could be a local support group for isis that carried this out in tunisia. there's a very large pro-jihadi movement in tunisia called ansar al sharia. they also carried out an attack on the u.s. embassy in tunis just a few days after the attack in 2012 and there is also a very active north african al qaeda affiliate based in tunisia in the mountainous region near the algerian border. late last year they said they were going to bring jihad to tunis. >> what do we know about the individuals who carried out this attack? we heard that one of them was known to tunisian authorities. are there other terror suspects they are still searching for? >> we know very little about the individuals so far beyond the fact that one of them was on the radar screen of tunisian security services.
but they have not yet been able to link the perpetrators to any established terror group. i think the fact that there have been nine arrests including four people they say were directly tied to the attack suggests there's a wider cell wider logistical network that was behind this. that may point to the involvement of a larger more established terrorist group like al qaeda or like isis. >> paul cruickshank, thank you for being with us. coming up we are just getting new details of a horrific story out of mississippi. the body of an african-american man has been found hanging from a tree. the fbi is currently on the scene. we'll have the details coming up.
welcome back to "the lead." we have some breaking national news now out of mississippi. law enforcement officials tell cnn police there have found a body of an african-american man who had been missing since early this month. they found the body hanging from a tree. let's get right to cnn justice correspondent evan perez. the fbi is on the scene. what can you tell us about what officials are saying? >> right now they have two
parallel investigations. obviously this man was found hanging from a tree in some woods in property behind the residence where he was living and because of the circumstance this is in southern mississippi near the louisiana border the fbi was called in by local authorities. they found him this morning about 10:00 this morning. they were looking for him because he had been missing since early this month. the fbi is in charge of checking to see if there's any federal violation, civil rights violation, you know. obviously the circumstances are very suspicious hanging from a tree and so on. they haven't ruled out that it's possibly a suicide but it is suspicious and it is something that the fbi's looking into. at this point, all they know is that it is a suspicious death. they are looking into it. both on the local authorities side and on the fbi side. >> evan perez, we will continue to update you with news from that horrific story as it comes in. in other national news today, his photograph battered and bloodied while being held down by police officers has sparked protests and now a criminal investigation.
this is the photo that has been circulating of 20-year-old martice johnson being detained by alcoholic beverage control agents after being denied entry to a bar. there is also video of johnson calling the officers racist as he is being held down. what the video does not show is what possibly led up to this violent arrest. let's go live to cnn's nick valencia live in charlottesville, virginia. police have said johnson was drunk and belligerent at the time of his arrest. any new information coming out to either help that case or disprove it? >> reporter: very little information. they are saying in their police report that he was very agitated and belligerent and that this incident started as you mentioned when martice johnson tried to gain access into this bar behind me using a fake i.d. his attorney says that's not the case. he was turned away for another reason. still unclear exactly what happened at the point he was turned away to when he was pinned down on the ground. that still didn't stop hundreds of people to support him during
a rally yesterday talking about police brutality. >> i go to uva. i go to uva. i go to uva. >> you racists! you racists! what the [ bleep ]! how did this happen? >> reporter: st. patrick's day just after midnight. 20-year-old university of virginia student martice johnson is pinned to the ground by special agents after being denied entry into a bar. the disturbing cell phone video captures the moments after johnson is taken into custody for public intoxication and obstruction of justice. police say he was acting agitated and belligerent. you hear them on tape ask him to stop fighting. >> he's on the honor committee. he was an orientation leader. >> reporter: in the two years she's known him, jasmine says johnson has been nothing short of extraordinary both on and off campus. >> he is very involved in issues
relating to this. it's mind-boggling this happened to him. >> reporter: wednesday night, hundreds of johnson's supporters held a rally. he was there, too, after being released from jail. >> regardless of your personal opinions and the way you feel about subjects to please respect everyone here. we are all part of one community. we deserve to respect each other, especially at times like this. >> reporter: university of virginia's president theresa sullivan has asked the governor's office to launch an independent investigation. >> i felt it in my stomach. just seeing the blood run down that young man's face i wanted to know what happened. >> how did this happen? how did this happen? you racist! how did this happen? how did this happen you [ bleep ] racist? >> reporter: what is at the core of this? >> it's hard to say that it's a race issue. i think that race definitely played a factor in it but to me the biggest thing is excessive force.
>> reporter: this just in to cnn within the last hour coming from the vice president of diversity and inequity at the university of virginia saying martice johnson, officers may have felt he was intoxicated but from information this individual received his blood alcohol level was not that of an intoxicated person. this coming from the university. it is worth noting that the virginia state police have launched a criminal and comprehensive investigation into the conduct of the officers involved in martice johnson's arrest. jake? >> nick thank you so much. turning now to a special lead investigation, he gave his all to the country he loved but when this iraq war veteran needed help the most he was sent home by the v.a. with some prescription drugs and the promise of a phone call from a shrink in a week or so. richard miles did not make it that long. now his family wants answers from the hospital they say failed him. i went there to find out exactly what happened. our investigation is next.
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welcome back. our national lead now. a cnn investigation. for a year now we have been reporting on delays in appointments at v.a. hospitals across this country as veterans languish and some even die waiting for care. we elect leaders and our leaders send young men and women overseas to fight wars. there, they do things and see things and have things done to them that change them. sometimes causing permanent injury. how well do we as a nation deal with these injuries especially the ones inside their heads? are we doing any better? are we helping them enough? these are all questions that are magnified by the case of a man named richard miles. i need help. on february 15th iraq war veteran richard miles came to this veterans administration hospital in des moines iowa and told the staff quote, i need help. according to the hospital's records.
miles had told friends he was going to check himself in. he was diagnosed with worsened ptsd anxiety and insomnia but richard miles was not admitted to the hospital. five days later, the 40-year-old who had served three tours in iraq was found dead in the woods, having taken a toxic amount of sleeping pills. his body frozen in the elements. now those who loved richard miles want to know whether the v.a. did enough for him that february night. >> that was his cry for help and it was not taken seriously or received the way it should have been received. >> reporter: richard miles was one of the premier presenters at the science center of iowa beloved and quite literally a picture-perfect employee. >> he was passionate and knowledgeable about science himself and he went beyond that. his passion extended to sharing that knowledge with others. as excited as he would get about viewing stars on his own, he was
ten-fold more excited when he could share that with others. >> reporter: what this popular iraq war veteran did not share with most is that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. >> he knew the date and where he was, you know when he had shot and killed people. >> reporter: katie hopper is miles' ex-girlfriend and mother to their daughter emily. she says he left iraq but it never left him. >> he was very very aware of what he was doing, that he was ending people's lives even if it was for the greater good. >> reporter: it stayed with him? >> absolutely it did. >> reporter: medical records obtained by cnn state that years after miles returned from iraq in 2004 he quote, began to experience depression with suicidal attempts. he recalled seeing dead bodies and often had graphic violent dreams. friends and family saw miles struggle with his ptsd but say he was doing generally okay until january, when he disappeared. v.a. records show friends called
the iowa v.a. to look for miles and told the v.a. they were filing a missing persons report with local law enforcement. miles finally responded, days later, to his friend harry ollor who had reached out via text. >> he wrote back i didn't mean to get people worried. i just need to spend some time at the hospital to figure things out. >> reporter: thankfully miles returned and chose to stay with katie hopper. but after only a few days he became restless. >> i said do you feel like you need to get out of the house, do you want to go for a drive, do you want to go for a walk. he said no i'm going to go to the v.a. i said right now? yeah, i'm going to go right now. >> reporter: where must he have been to take taken these steps? >> he had to be in a place where he was going to harm himself mentally. and the thought of that would lead him to want to get help. because he would be letting down his daughter his son, his friends and that was not an option for him. >> reporter: on february 15th miles left several of his
belongings with hopper and went to the hospital. it was a familiar place to the veteran whose medical records show a long history of suicidal acts and thoughts. from 2008 to 2009 miles was hospitalized four times for ptsd made two attempts to hang himself and brought a gun into a separate hospital ward with the plan to kill himself. on february 15th miles told the hospital attendant he needed help but doctors' notes say he denied feeling suicidal when asked. >> he came home about three hours later. >> reporter: were you surprised? >> yes. i was like what are you doing here? he goes i'm done. i said what do you mean you're done? i thought you were going to be days or weeks, even. he said yeah me too, but they just gave me medication and sent me home. said my psychiatrist would follow up with me this week would set up an appointment. >> reporter: miles did not make it that long. he instead walked into these woods where he and hopper used to go, and never came back. after taking the toxic dose of
sleeping pills, miles was found frozen to death in this clearing wearing no jacket no shoes and most infuriating, with no clear reason why his life had to end like this. >> the v.a. failed him. i feel like they failed him. >> reporter: the v.a. tells cnn that the emergency room staff quote, followed proper mental health screening procedures and that miles had been given medication he indicated had helped him in the past. they refused to answer any more of our questions, citing federal privacy laws. if proper procedures were in fact followed it must be asked if the v.a. policies for dealing with suicidal veterans are adequate. not just in iowa but nation-wide. >> we are missing the boat with these most at-risk veterans and not enough is being done systemically in order to protect them. we can't just hand these guys pills. that's not the answer. >> reporter: brandon coleman developed a suicide prevention program at the v.a. hospital in phoenix where he says it's
desperately needed. but now the disabled marine corps veteran says he's blowing the whistle on insufficient care for his peers. a 2012 v.a. report suggested about 22 veterans commit suicide each day in the u.s. some of them seek help at v.a. centers and other hospitals and don't get the help they need. >> i came forward mainly because of the veterans' suicides. they are not being handled properly. >> reporter: in january, a different concerned employee at the phoenix v.a. secretly recorded a staff meeting and with it the astonishing admission that suicidal veterans there had quote, bolted out the door. >> we have been really lucky that nothing bad is happening in these specific incidents that just happened. it was sheer luck that nothing happened. >> reporter: coleman is now nearing his second month of paid administrative leave. he says it's retaliation for his whistleblowing. in a statement to cnn, the phoenix v.a. said quote, we have strengthened our protocols and
approaches for how we care for suicidal veterans. we continue to look for ways to improve the care and appreciate suggestions made by our employees and others. experts say, however, that even the best of intentions may not be enough. >> i think the v.a. is in the lead on treatment of ptsd. are they doing as much as they could be? it's no secret that the v.a. is an overwhelmed system and it's no secret to anybody that the v.a. can't handle it all. >> reporter: the friends and family of richard miles want the v.a. to learn from their tragedy. they want the v.a. to figure out what they could have done differently with miles so the next veteran is admitted and helped. what do you not have now because this happened? >> i don't have a friend. my daughter doesn't have her father. he taught so many people. he was so great. >> reporter: the iowa v.a. seems more focused on defending itself
than on learning from any mistakes. >> i really do feel as though the v.a. failed him. ultimately, i feel like it's kind of on them. up next north korea's leader is set to visit moscow in a matter of weeks. now many are wondering just what kim jong-un and vladimir putin may be up to. plus the smash hit tv show "empire" pulls in an insane number of viewers for the season finale. how many people watched? in my world, wall isn't a street. return on investment isn't the only return i'm looking forward to. for some every dollar is earned with sweat, sacrifice, courage. which is why usaa is honored to help our members with everything from investing for retirement to saving for college. our commitment to current and former military members and their families is without equal. start investing with as little as fifty dollars.
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joining me now is jamie metzel former state department official under president bill clinton, senior fellow at the atlantic council and author of "the genesis code." good to see you, as always. what is the relationship between russia and north korea? >> well it's an important relationship for north korea and it's becoming more important. north korea was born because of the soviet union and the soviet union was the biggest patron of north korea until the fall of the soviet union, then north korea shifted, deftly shifted to being a client of china, essentially. now relations between china and north korea are souring and north korea's looking for a new patron and russia especially with bad boy vladimir putin in charge is their best bet. so the two countries are very rapidly coming together. >> beyond just coming together what do you think these two guys are cooking up here? >> from the north korean perspective, as i said they need a new patron. for the russians they see an
opportunity to get north korea as a client. on one hand you would say why would anybody want north korea as a client state but from a russian perspective, if they begin arming north korea, re-arm north korea with better weapons than the north koreans have had in the past they have a tool. if relations between russia and the west worsen they can make sure that relations between north korea and everybody else worsens. if the west treats russia nicer, they can do what they can to help facilitate better relations between north korea and the west. so in russia and in putin, assuming this bad boy role north korea, a better relationship with north korea would give him another pawn to play in a global chess game. >> as part of that chess game we have seen putin become increasingly more aggressive more militant some would even say more greedy. how much should u.s. policy makers be alarmed by this? >> i think we should because putin is reminding the world,
particularly reminding europe that hard power matters a lot. many of us particularly those in europe have started to think that old-fashioned hard power didn't matter as much. now with russia they are flying planes along the english channel, they are re-arming, they are even threatening nuclear war and we are going back to an earlier time where it's the jungle rules and we are going back to this old balance of power model and client states and all these things we thought we had gotten over at the end of the cold war but now many of them are back. it's a big deal and very worrying. >> that's the last question i was going to ask. is this just another example of putin trying to return to that cold war era? >> it is and he's doing it in a really dangerous way. if i were a russian nationalist i would be up at arms because while i'm sure it feels very good to be saber rattling in the way they are doing and they have
gotten away with the taking of crimea with the invasion of the ukraine, at the end of the day, the only way russia is going to succeed is with economic growth. they can't succeed just providing natural resources to china. they are going to need to have real economic development and ultimately they will see that that can only happen with better relations with europe and the west. between now and then i anticipate a lot of pain on all sides. >> thank you so much. when we come back he's a millionaire accused of murder and now the fbi wants to know could robert durst be connected to even more killings? when the moment's spontaneous, why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use is approved to treat both erectile dysfunction and the urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess.
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named by a tyrant named cookie. >> i'm sorry. i'm sorry. she was talking trash. >> "empire," fox's hugely successful prime time soap opera, had its season finale last night. the show has grown its audience every week since its premiere. the secret to its success seems not just to be salacious and entertaining story lines but also a huge on demand viewership. and streamed episodes. "empire" is not just conquering the tube. the music world as well. the sound track to the show climbed to number one on the billboard charts. in other national news could a wealthy real estate heir arrested for a decades-old murder have left an even bigger trail of bodies across the country? that's the latest twist being in bizarre case of robert durst. durst of course as you know was
the subject of the hbo true crime series "the jinx" which examines suspicions surrounding his involvement with three murders. he was arrested over the weekend and charged one day after the show's finale aired this week. now the fbi thinks durst might be linked to other unsolved cases dating back 50 years. cnn's dan simon has more. >> reporter: as louisiana authorities have robert durst on suicide watch, the fbi is putting out a call to local police departments to examine cold cases where durst lived over the past 50 years. the wealthy real estate heir has a reported net worth of $100 million and lived or owned property in several states including new york, vermont, texas and california. >> we are certainly interested in any information that may or may not come out of interviews with mr. durst. if information comes to us that allows us to further our investigation, we will certainly take the opportunity to do that. >> reporter: one case that has piqued interest is in the small
northern california town of eureka. 16-year-old karen mitchell went missing in november 1997. she was on her way to work at a day care center. according to local news reports at the time she was last season leaning into a light blue car that she may have gotten into. a witness gave police a description of the man behind the wheel. the sketch bearing a striking resemblance to robert durst. >> durst apparently knew karen mitchell. karen had volunteered at a homeless center in eureka which durst had frequented which he had a habit of doing in these different cities. in addition mitchell's aunt ran a shoe store in a mall in eureka and durst had gone there several times, once dressed as a woman. >> reporter: an investigative reporter wrote "a deadly secret" about robert durst, copies of which were found in durst's houston home. in new orleans where he checked into this hotel using a fake name court documents also reveal he had more than $40,000 in cash mostly in $100 bills.
a rubber mask to disguise identity some marijuana and a loaded wesson .38 revolver. a law enforcement official telling cnn he appeared to be on the lam and planned to travel from new orleans to cuba. durst was arrested in new orleans on saturday and charged with the 2,000 murder of susan berman his friend and spokeswoman. she was killed just before new york investigators were to question her about the disappearance of durst's first wife. the arrest coming a day before the final installment of hbo's documentary about his life when he made this alleged confession while talking to himself in the bathroom. >> killed them all, of course. >> reporter: durst's attorney says not to read too much into those comments. durst himself has long denied any involvement in berman's death and his wife's disappearance. >> i was vindicated but chilled
by the open and unsolicited admission of guilt. >> reporter: that's jim mccormack the brother of durst's first wife kathy who says he hopes durst will confess to killing her and others. >> i'm hopeful he will finally man up, tell his lawyers to bug off and he wants to have this thing over and put behind him. >> reporter: dan simon, cnn, san francisco. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, taking credit for terror as the death toll rises in a deadly museum attack. a web post from isis now claims its knights, they are calling them knights, are behind the attack. complete reversal. days after saying he doesn't support a palestinian state, fresh off his party's election victory, the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu flip-flops and says a two-state solution is okay. will president obama