tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN May 27, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
for me today on this wednesday. i'm brooke baldwin here in new york. we're going to send it to my colleague, jake tapper in washington. "the lead" starts right now. more rain falling in texas as officials worry they could find even more bodies tangled in this storm. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the national lead texas cities drowning in water. more killed at least 18 people found lifeless. and where are the 13 still missing in the chaos? the sports lead an ugly sigh to the beautiful game. they rake in billions selling their sport to the world. now a massive globe-spanning sting exposing the very ugly underbelly of international soccer. officials who allegedly live like czars and accused of extorting entire countries get swooped up by police. but why did law enforcement let soccer's kingpin go free? the money lead. he made his cover models wear
pasties but only on the front of the magazines. now hugh hefner is having his playmates put on their clothes and convince readers to read "playboy" for the articles. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. breaking news just in a military lab makes a massive mistake that could have very easily turned into a lethal blunder. an army facility shipped a live sample of anthrax, the fatal substance that killed five people in a terrorist attack in 2001. let's get right to cnn's barbara starr at the pentagon. this is one of the deadliest pathogens in existence and it was just sent out for delivery like anything else? how did this happen? >> reporter: that is the question, jake, at this hour. that the centers for disease control and the pentagon are trying to answer. here's what happened apparently last friday. some anthrax was shipd.
it was supposed to essentially be dead spores shipped under less stringent circumstances for research programs than what the pentagon ships live spores. this time the lab receiving it reported it wasn't dead it was live. and it was shipped in these circumstances, it wasn't supposed to be. it was supposed to be dead. it was shipped from utah to private commercial labs in eight states. wisconsin, delaware new york texas, maryland new jersey tennessee, california and virginia. now the cdc is collecting up all the samples that the military shipped, looking at all of them to make sure it wasn't just this one lab, that there are no other live samples out there that they don't know about. at this hour the pentagon not able to tell us if anyone is even undergoing protective
medical treatment for exposure to anthrax. they're collecting the samples and right now they do not believe there is a threat to public safety. they believe they have a handle on it. but this isn't the first time this kind of shipment has happened. a lot of questions to answer. >> barbara starr at the pentagon with that thank you so much. to our national lead now, the destructive thunderstorms in the southeastern united states which threat ton make an already lethal situation even worse. today, road crews attempting to clear debris found a man's body. that brings the number of people who have died in houston alone to six. the death toll is more than 30 for the entire region. 13 others remain missing including 73-year-old alice tovar. her car was found in a ditch. families have been wading through waist-high water to make it to safety. you see one man with a small child in his armdz. drone video gives us a different perspective in houston.
multiple of it unable to absorb into the already saturated ground. jennifer gray is in texas. we hear more rain might be coming there's at least for five days? >> reporter: yeah, now through the weekend at least. we're looking at more rain. the amounts vary. where i am, maybe an inch or less. but areas like dallas and into oklahoma, they could see a couple of inches. that's the last thing this area needs because the river behind me the blanco river, are filled to capacity, to the brim. they have gone down considerably. but still seeing water flowing over bridges. that's what you're seeing there behind that tree. you see the flow of water, incredible. this area where i'm standing, it's a resort. you see all the debris around. but the people here the night of the flood knew what to do and they were ready. the cabins at this resort along the blanco river were filled to
capacity the swimming pool prepped and ready for the memorial day weekend until a wall of water and mud rushed in. >> it started going into the swimming pool. it's just weird because it's just a brown -- like the blob that oozes. you can see it moving all the way over. then it came more and more. then you heard it take the deck and all of the stuff out and you hear the cracks and the roars. there were trees, trees down there. and of course they're gone. >> reporter: joanne whose father started the camp in 1946 said she's seen the pool flood before. but this time was different. >> this water is just coming up so fast. >> reporter: the entire campground some 400 people forced to flee to higher ground in the dark just before water demolished these cabins. >> all we could do was her because it was the middle of the night. you could hear big trees cracking and glass breaking and moving. so we really didn't know till
light how bad it was. >> reporter: joanne's sister-in-law, trish, said it's the worst flooding the resort has ever seen in its 68 years of existence. >> it was unbelievable. >> reporter: as waters begin to recede in parts of oklahoma and texas, hundreds of families are facing similar clean-up this week from massive destruction caused by severe weather. but the structural damage pales in comparison to the lives lost and still missing, like this mother and her two children who were inside their vacation home also along the river, as it was uprooted and pushed downstream. laura mccomb called her sister as the house drifted away. >> a little after 1:00 in the morning, she called me and said i just want you to know the ceiling has caved in and the house is floating down the water. and tell mom and dad that i love them i love you and pray.
>> reporter: with more rain expected in the days ahead, flash flooding is still a threat. >> the clouds have come in. it's dark outside. we're taking a look at it and kind of starting to plan to make sure that we're ready in case we get more bad weather coming in this way. >> reporter: for this resort and its rich history, there are so many reasons to rebuild. >> it really means the people that come here year after year. we're in fourth generation with some families. >> reporter: but trish says right now that decision is still uncertain. >> we just don't know what the future holds. it's kind of an hour-by-hour day-by-day decision making. >> reporter: and today it's that day-by-day process, they are cleaning, the family is here. friends are here. you can see everything inside the cabins are now being brought out and they are deciding what to do over the next couple of days, weeks and months. jake they are just trying to get as much cleaned up before more possible rain later this week and the weekend. >> jennifer gray, thank you so
much. let's go to the dallas region now, specifically to ft. worth, ft. worth mayor betsy price joins me now on the phone. mayor price, thanks for joining us. you met with emergency officials in the area today. what is the biggest concern right now? >> the biggest concern in our region of course is the additional runoff and additional rain. in ft. worth alone, our two major lakes are at -- are topped. and lake worth is over the spillway. parker county is already beginning to evacuate which is our county just to the west. areas there, they have until 8:00 to evacuate. roughly 250 families or more. it just continues to be rising water and the additional rain that's coming. the forecast is for rain for the next five days. >> that's what's really scary. tell me about the padera dam that's near you that's near you. engineers have said the dam is holding for you even though it's topped with water. what is the seriousness of the
concern that that might change when it rains tonight as it is expected to? and is anything being done to hold the structure? >> they're working on it. they've been evaluating it all day. i'm not there. but the report this morning was that they felt that it would hold and that they could contain it. there's people downstream from that dam. they're not worried about massive areas because a lot of it is agriculture. but there are families they've evacuated. and the major runoff from that lake would go down towards the houston area which was very hard hit. >> 25 homes downstream from the lake have been evacuated. >> that's correct. that's what we were told also 25 to 26 families. >> we're told there are approximately 13 people still missing. what help do first responders need to find these people? >> well i think they need for families to call in if they have someone missing and to report -- this is what i was told -- to report where they were last seen. also to contact the red cross
locally. our local dfw coordinators are handling 100 texas counties. and there's 8,000 homes already impacted by that that will be devastated and caused for relocation. we're asking people to contact red cross. at this time what they need is monetary donations or for people to come in and get trained by their local red cross to help in these disasters. >> as you noted, rain is expected for the next five days. how is the region preparing for further rainfall, further storms? >> i think red cross is coordinating for relocation and rescue if needed. our emergency operations center along with dallas county's emergency operations parker and all of them are coordinating our efforts. we have sent 12 firefighters as part of a texas task force that
does emergency relief. we're just taking in additional supplies and monitoring it very closely. if we feel there's any threat we'll issue evacuation orders for people if we feel like they should need it. >> mayor betsy price, thank you. our thoughts and prayers are with the people of your region and i'm sure the donations will be coming in as well. >> tell them just to text red cross at 9099 if they want to make an electronic donations. >> thank you. the charges sound like they're straight out of a mob movie. except these charges are against some of the most powerful men in the sports world, now accused of taking $150 million in bribes including one who pulled in $11 million alone allegedly. that story next.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. the sports lead now. it is a monumental takedown of one of the most powerful organizations in the entire world, one that has walked into countries and forced them to change their own laws if they want to do business. the allegations of corruption and strong-arming are so stunning they would prompt the guys who hang out in the back room to blanche. the u.s. government charging 14 members of fifa with racketeering wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy and taking bribes totalling $150 million. not bad for a so-called non-profit that doesn't pay any taxes. cnn justice correspondent pamela brown is here with the shocking details of this indictment. >> this was a massive u.s.-led operation. they handed out 14 indictments
to officials tied to fifa around the world. the u.s. is vowing this is only the beginning to rid the non-profit organization and charge the most popular sport in the world of corruption. it's the largest governing body for the world's most popular sport, soccer. and now fifa has enough people indicted for corruption to start its own team one the justice department says is organized, widespread and criminal. >> they were expected to uphold the rules that keep soccer honest and to protect the integrity of the game. instead, they corrupted the business of worldwide soccer. >> reporter: hours ago at this luxury hotel in zurich switzerland, authorities arrested seven fifa officials as they gathered for their annual meeting. in total, the justice department indicted 14 people. >> all of these defendants abused the u.s. financial system and violated u.s. law. and we intend to hold them accountable. >> reporter: among the charges, racketeering wire fraud and money laundering. >> this really is the world cup
of fraud. and today we are issuing fifa a red card. >> reporter: events like the world cup help fifa bring in more than $2 billion a year. the international event draws top players, top tourism and top publicity for the host cities and sponsors. now the justice department says fifa officials have used that allure to earn a cool $150 million in bribes for more than two decades. in exchange it allegedly provided lucrative media and marketing rights to the world cup and other tournaments. >> fifa worldwide has extraordinary power. this is uber power. we could make the case this is the biggest sports bust in history today. this is historic. this is monumental. >> reporter: who's among fifa's least trustworthy team of executives. jeffrey webb is directly accused of using his position to solicit kickbacks. according to the irs, top committee member charles blazer
has amassed $11 million in unreported income. accusations of corruption have long shadowed fifa including controversial decisions to hold future world cups in russia and qatar instead of the united states. >> it was a shock. but then everyone thought about the oil and the money and the fact that you could open up another part of the world and everyone kind of shook their heads and said well, of course. >> reporter: fifa's provocative president avoided charges and is up for reelection to the post on friday. but u.s. officials made clear this is just the beginning. >> the work will continue until all of the corruption is uncovered and a message is sent around the world that this conduct will not be tolerated. >> and fifa president blatter said in a statement today that such misconduct has no place in football and we'll assure those in charge f of it will be put out of the game. back in december fifa announced its findings in its own investigation and said it found
no corruption. >> wow. they investigated themselves and they didn't find anything? >> that's what i'm telling you. >> wow, so strange. thank you, pamela brown. more breaking news in our national lead today. new details emerging on yesterday's data theft from the irs, the agency said a sophisticated organized crime syndicate used stolen personal information of more than 100,000 americans off of tax forms. now it seems as if the roots of the theft lead overseas. cnn investigative correspondent chris frates is following the trail for us. chris, where are these bad guys allegedly? >> the irs believes that the bad guys originated in russia that this breach originated in russia. if you remember about 100,000 taxpayers had their tax returns taken. and the irs says that information taken from those tax forms was then used to fill out fraudulent tax returns. and there was about 50 million of those tax returns filed
before the irs caught on to this. they say that the criminal investigation unit is looking into this. the inspector general at treasury is also looking into this. the department of homeland security has been alerted. so we're early on in the investigation here. but i think it's also important to remember that the irs has been warned for years about its security. going back to 1997 they were told that they need to have better cybersecurity. so this is something that has lawmakers on the hill interested. they are asking for the irs to come and brief members of the senate finance committee on what happened how could it happen and how do we prevent it from happening again. >> so it was about 100,000 americans had their information taken by these cyber thieves. any idea about who specifically these 100,000 americans are? have they been notified? is there some special form these people filled out that if you filled it out, you should be worried? >> the irs says they will contact all 100,000 people whose
information has been breached. the irs is trying to take care of those folks and we'll see how this progresses. if we get more information about who they are. >> chris, thank you so much. coming up, terrorists nearly pulled off a deadly plot in texas. now the isis recruiter who inspired that attack is back online. and he is trying to seduce others to do the same. is anything being done to stop him? plus you're cruising along at nearly 40,000 feet when both of your airplane's engines stop. now a mid-air scare has airbus scrambling to assure more than 100 airlines their planes are safe.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. an urgent law enforcement warning in national news about a potential isis attack here in the united states. the bulletin says u.s. officials are overwhelmed by the amount of support the terrorist group isis is receiving on social media and they warn military personnel to be on heightened alert. let's get over to jim sciutto now. is this based on a specific credible threat stream? >> not specific, not credible, largely about timing. issued this weekend because isis and other terror groups often time their attacks to holidays and other significant dates to maximize their impact. this weekend, of course, memorial day weekend. still, a u.s. law enforcement official tells me the current posture is quote, prudent and very concerned. and this intelligence bulletin is a sign of that level of concern. the new fbi joint intelligence
bulletin warns u.s. military law enforcement and government installations and personnel are at increased risk of attack by isis. the new warning first obtained by fox news and issued before memorial day cautions that isis and other terror groups often time their attacks to significant or symbolic days to heighten impact. the terror attack in garland, texas, earlier this month demonstrated the threat from isis supporters hiding within the united states and communicating directly with isis leaders abroad. after the shooting the security level at every military base across the country increased to bravo, signifying an increased and predictable threat of terrorism. u.s. bases generally have not been at this level since the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. u.s. law enforcement is particularly concerned about isis' aggressive and successful online propaganda campaign. thousands of people in the u.s. have shown interest in isis
online. and u.s. officials fear that some of them could be inspired to carry out attacks here. >> it really is an expansion of how the internet has been used, frankly, for several years now both in recruitment and radicalization of young people to join terrorist groups. >> reporter: the men believed to have been in touch with one of the texas shooters is back online encouraging new supporters. the british-born isis recruiter posted his contact information on twitter for anyone who wants to quote, bake a cake a well-known code phrase for building bombs. >> group likes like isil or al qaeda now are calling publicly for attacks in the west of people who they have never recruited, specifically, they have never trained. someone could decide on their own to answer that call with little or no notice to our intelligence community.
>> one of the key challenges for u.s. law enforcement is the sheer volume of online communication and contact by known jihadis, suspected jihadis and others on social media. u.s. officials speak of thousands here in the u.s. who show interest. but that could be as simple as someone following someone on twitter or facebook. that doesn't make you a terrorist. but the trouble is it's very difficult to judge the step from that to someone going out and buying a gun and carrying out a shooting like we saw in texas. that's the real challenge not only for law enforcement in the u.s. but here and where else. >> jim sciutto, thank you very much. she took a swipe at hillary clinton in her campaign launch video and regularly brings her name up on the campaign trail. but this time carly fiorina held a press conference in south carolina right outside clinton's campaign event. that story next. ♪ every auto insurance policy has a number. but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. ♪
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time for the politics lead. a judge today potentially making things a wee bit tougher on presidential candidate hillary clinton in a ruling a federal court ordered the u.s. state department to release monthly installments of those e-mails from clinton's time leading the state department e-mails that will continue to shine a light on her use of a private e-mail server that clinton has since had wiped clean, e-mails that could continue to prompt questions from pesky reporters and accusations from republican rivals such as say former hewlett-packard ceo and now republican carly fiorina who is shadowing secretary clinton in south carolina. let's go to our reporter who's in south carolina. i assume fiorina is trying to make a point with this dueling banjos act. what's the point? >> reporter: she is. if the spotlight doesn't come to
you, you go to the spotlight. that's exactly what carly fiorina did today. she's been trying to make a name for herself in that crowded republican field, trying to break out of it. today on secretary clinton's first visit to south carolina in seven years, carly fiorina arrived right outside her doorstep. as hillary clinton swept into south carolina today, she had company on the campaign trail. >> people running for present gave a lot of speeches. >> reporter: carly fiorina stepped directly into her spotlight. >> i am running to live again at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. >> reporter: it wasn't exactly a shootout at high noon but the latest in a game of follow the leader. fiorina is fighting to be seen as clinton's rival. she hopes it elevates her from the crowded gop pack. it started when fiorina's own announcement video featured clinton. >> i'm running for president. >> reporter: and continued to the campaign trail, from iowa -- >> i'm criticizing hillary
clinton because i come from a world where a title is just a title. and talk is just talk. >> reporter: to new hampshire -- >> hillary clinton must not be president of the united states. >> reporter: to south carolina. >> unlike mrs. clinton, i never did photo ops. i had real meetings. >> reporter: fiorina, the former chief executive of hewlett-packard and one-time senate california candidate is hoping to make a name for herself. she says clinton is too secretive. >> anyone who runs for president, regardless of their party, needs to answer basic questions about their record about their positions, about their finances. >> reporter: secretary clinton didn't mention fiorina but accused republicans of standing in the way of equal pay laws. >> what century are they living in? >> reporter: across town, fiorina painted a different picture as she spoke to a crowd of republican women.
she's trying to make the uphill climb through her own republican primary to one day take on hillary clinton. would you relish the idea of being on a debate stage with her? >> i would. hillary clinton wants to run as the first woman president. she wouldn't be able to do that. >> reporter: but clinton gave a different reason to elect a woman, to end the streak of presidents who turn gray. >> i have one big advantage, i've been coloring my hair for years. you're not going to see me turn white in the white house. >> reporter: and clinton made that joke to an adoring crowd of women supporters. but she was also trying to extend something of an olive branch to these south carolina voters who voted overwhelmingly for barack obama eight years ago. she lost by some 20% here. and building that coalition of african-american voers and others is key to her chances in 2016. >> let's bring in another
republican who is in south carolina today. ohio governor and potential presidential candidate, john kasich. thank you for joining me. >> good to be with you, jake. >> i want you to listen to something that senator rand paul said this morning. >> it's exactly the opposite. isis exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately and were snatched up by isis. these hawks also wanted to bam assad. >> do you agree with senator paul that hawkish republicans fueled the rise of isis? >> no, i wouldn't agree with that. this is a long and complicated issue. but one of the first mistakes we made in iraq is when we disbanded the iraqi army. and it created a vacuum and real chaos in iraq, as you know. a few months ago, i had said that the united states should be in a coalition with our
alliance, with the western alliance and some of our allies in the middle east people we share mutual interests with. and that if need be we need to put boots on the ground for this simple reason -- isis is stronger. we need to go we need to knock them out as a group of civilized individuals, civilized nations and then we need to come home. and we've made a series of mistakes. we talk about syria, frankly, we should have armed the rebels in the beginning to push out assad who is supported by the iranians and the russians. we didn't do it. we put in a red line which we ignored which in some ways emboldened putin. when our interests are at stake, we must act with speed and with great lethality. >> when you say there need to be boots on the ground there are 3,000 u.s. troops in iraq right now, there are obviously other american fighter pilots there as well. what are you talking about and what number are you talking
about? >> well jake that decision would be up to the military commanders. but i don't think we ought to be there alone. i think over a period of time our relationships with our friends in europe have not been as strong as they need to be. we speak in some ways with a fractured voice while our enemies speak clearly. and i wouldn't do this alone. i think there's great interest obviously when you look at the saudis in terms of what's happening in regard to isis. i think there's interest in jordan. probably interest in egypt, of having a coalition that can come together to stop this menace. we heard over the weekend, an administration official saying if they get a nuclear weapon we'd have to go and take it away from them. even the thought that we would allow them to acquire something like this to me is one of the most unbelievable things i've heard in my time watching foreign affairs and being involved in public life.
so we don't need to do it alone. but we can be there as a group. we can knock them out. and then we should leave. >> you haven't declared your candidacy for president yet. although it looks as though it's going to happen some time after june. but you're clearly serious -- >> who told you that, jake? what are you hearing that? >> advisers of yours have been chatting with plenty of reporters. >> oh they have been huh? >> but i do want to ask about your record because looking at your record you voted for the assault weapons ban, you embraced obamacare in your state, you have supported tax increases. who in the republican primary electorate -- >> no no no you've got to do the research. >> let's go through it. >> first of all, i don't support obamacare. i want to repeal it. but i did expand medicaid because i was able to bring ohio money back home to treat the mentally ill, the drug addicted and help the working poor get health care. >> talking about the medicaid
expansion that was part of obamacare? >> yeah. listen ronald reagan expanded medicaid, jake. you might recall that. you were involved on capitol hill. and expanding medicaid is a separate issue. and john roberts gave all the states the ability to decide that. and i'm going to bring $14 billion of ohio money back to ohio so we can deal with some of our vexing problems. and when it comes to raising taxes, we've cut taxes in ohio by over $3 billion. that's more than any place in the united states of america. and of course i was also chairman of the budget committee in washington when we balanced the budget. i left with a $5 trillion surplus. we cut the capital gains tax. as governor we went from $8 billion in the hole to $2 billion in the black being in structural balance up almost 350,000 jobs. i think that is a record that appeals in ohio, as you know. i won 86 out of 88 counties and almost 64% of the vote. >> only 86%?
>> our -- >> only 86%. >> i hear what you're saying. but i'm surprised you're saying that you oppose obamacare. a lot of republican governors who refuse the medicaid money, who refuse obamacare, federal funding, would, i'm sure take issue with the notion that you are an opponent of obamacare given that you have used obamacare dollars in your state for ohio citizens. >> but, jake, look, i oppose obamacare. it's been reported by the "associated press." we had a little issue with them where they said one thing and they retracted it. they said yeah the governor is opposed to obamacare. but because you oppose obamacare doesn't mean when you have an opportunity to bring these $14 billion of ohio money back to ohio, that's not obamacare. that's medicaid. you know the difference between medicaid and obamacare. and with medicaid we've cut our
growth rate from 9% this budget it will be about 4% 4.5%. and we're treating a lot of people. nobody ever said -- i've never said i was against the medicaid program. i would like it to be block-granted to me is i can be more helpful in helping those who are poor and live in poverty. but i also want to hold them accountable to get them work and get out of that situation. but we have programs in ohio to deliver value-based medicine where we are incentivizing physicians insurance companies to be in a position of where we deliver better health care at lower prices. that's where i think we have to go. and i think obamacare's disrupted too much. >> you have said that the republican -- >> how's that? >> well that's clearly what you're going to say when all your opponents take you on on the stage -- >> oh jake, i don't worry about that. the deal is with me if you play golf you play your game and don't worry about anybody else. i've been okay in being able to
stand up and argue my position. the most important thing for republicans is let's tell people what we're for, not what we're against. that's what i've always been about. >> governor thank you so much. we'll have you back on "the lead" and perhaps on "state of the union" coming up. thank you so much. >> jake thank you. coming up a brand-new plane filled with passengers loses power in both its engines at 39,000 feet in the air. now there is real concern it might happen again on other planes.
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you can even check your connection status on your phone. now it's easier than ever to manage your account. get started at xfinity.com/myaccount welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. our world lead, another scare in the sky. both engines on an airbus a330 temporarily shut down while the plane is cruising at nearly 40,000 feet. that k a happened over the weekend. thankfully singapore airlines headed to shanghai, china, and landed safely. but this is sounding alarm bells. rene marsh has the story. >> reporter: singapore airlines
flight 836 with 194 onboard was flying over the south china sea bound for shanghai when both engines went out. the sudden loss of power at 39,000 feet as the jetliner passed through bad weather. within seconds, the aircraft dropped nearly 13,000 feet. >> the pilot has to basically put the plane that's now lost power in its engines in a dive. and that wind going through those engines spins the turbines and helps the pilots get a relight. but even with a relight, getting your engines actually going again, fuel is burning, you have to be able to sustain those engines. so it's a really tricky maneuver. >> reporter: singapore airlines said the problem started about 3 1/2 hours after departing from singapore. they say one engine regained power while pilots worked on the second. >> that is something they're trained to do. and in all cases on all planes there is a point at which the manuals say, don't try any more diving restarts.
just look for a place to put it down and set it down. >> reporter: this is the latest of several incidents involving asian airliners. in february both engines on a transasia flight lost power. the flight crashed into a river in taiwan. in december airasia flight disappeared from radar and crashed into the java sea. and malaysia airlines flight 370 from kuala lumpur to beijing disappeared without a trace more than a year ago. but as for singapore airlines, its safety record is one to brag about. this year it was rated one of the top ten safest airlines. >> our thanks to rene marsh for that report. in our money lead one of america's most iconic magazines is moving away from what made it famous. but will covering up really bring in more profits for "playboy"?
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. our money lead. it is the magazine known for its articles -- okay, maybe not. but consider this. "playboy" which hit newsstands in 1953 published works from notable writers and they even interviewed a soon-to-be-elected president. hugh hefner reportedly said in 1979 without you, i'd have a literary magazine. true. but amidst the glut of free internet porn out there, the magazine has lost readers over the years and arguably relevance. and now in an effort to get back in the game it is taking an interesting step. alison kosik joins us from new york.
alison is this going to work? >> reporter: if you ask them at "playboy," they'll say it is working. it's not the only magazine struggling with declines in circulation. it's happening throughout the entire industry. but theits revamped website is showing how less is more. "playboy" has no patience for its critics. >> they don't have real day jobs. they're just critics. >> reporter: that's the chief content officer, a man charged with revitalizing what some call a dead brand walking. nudity was revolutionary when hugh hefner launched "playboy" decades ago. >> they're one mouse click away from anything that you can manage. >> reporter: their strategy? go digital, minus the raunchy stuff. last year playboy.com relaunched as a safer work site. check this out, there's barely any skin.
the girls are fully dressed. >> it's not provocative to see nudity. in fact it can actually limit our audience. >> reporter: maybe "playboy" is about the articles then? >> it's always been about the articles. >> reporter: and the magazine isn't going anywhere. "playboy" calls it an ambassador for the brand. one that feeds its real cash cow, licensing. >> the narrative starts in the magazine. >> reporter: "the magazine did more than $1 billion in retail sales last year everything from perfume to clothing. the recognizable bunny powers the brand. >> i would say the rabbit head logo is worth a billion dollars. >> reporter: playboy works in 180 countries, 24 international editions of the magazine. but the thing that built its business won't be what saves it. >> full nudity does not need to
be the bedrock of this brand. it's about lifestyle, entertainment. i say we give aspirin for the headache of people's lives. >> reporter: and it's hef who still makes the final decisions on who you see in the magazine. >> alison kosik, thank you. i'm jake tapper. turning you over to mr. wolf blitzer next door in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news, anthrax error. the u.s. military mistakenly ships anthrax in its deadliest form to multiple states. this the latest in the series of anthrax slip-ups. what's behind such a potentially lethal mistake? isis plane threat new reports say isis sympathizers may be responsible for major threats against airliners, snarling air traffic and creating holiday havoc. is this a strategy or a rehearsal for something more sinister? loss of thrust one o