tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN September 30, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
ling. 9:00 pacific here on cnn. that does it for me here in new york. i'm brooke baldwin. obviously keeping with cnn as we follow this potentially escalating situation here involving russian war planes in syria. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. russian war planes in the air. whose side are they on? i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead russia is the one who knocks. a general in baghdad telling u.s. officials russian fighter jets bombing drops inside syria and giving the pentagon just an hour's notice to get safe. what is president obama's next move? the national lead was a state about to execute an innocent man? oklahoma put an execution on hold but now the supreme court denying a request to put the execution on hold about the fate of an inmate who wasn't even there when the murder took place. there are serious questions about his guilt.
what will oklahoma do next? . the politics lead. idiot, jerk stupid dumb are those words donald trump has used to describe his republican and democratic opponents or words voters in a recent poll used to describe him? the answer and a brand new trump interview coming up. good afternoon everyone. welcome to "the lead." i am jake tapper. our world lead. there is an old russian proverb, better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. for president obama and his top military commanders that slap came this morning. cnn reporting a russian general went to the u.s. embassy in baghdad, iraq and warned america stay out of the skies over syria. why? well because russian fighter jets within the hour began bombarding targets inside syria, air strikes called in by syrian president bashar al assad. and were the targets isis?
think again. let's get right to cnn's barbara starr live at the pentagon. barbara, secretary of defense ash carter finishing up a sobering press briefing. what are the obama administration's biggest concerns about this mess right now? >> well the safety of american pilots flying in the skies comes first and foremost jake. it has been a day of military drama between the u.s. and russia that we have not seen in years. the first russian compact camera video of their air strikes in syria. russian war planes struck near the city of homs in western syria, an area where anti-government forces are operating, not isis, the terrorist group russia claimed it was going after. defense secretary ash carter had been assembling a military team to talk to the russians about how to keep u.s. and russian pilots safe when they fly near each other. but earlier wednesday the u.s. embassy in baghdad got a sudden
visit from a russian general. so a russian general shows up this morning at the embassy in baghdad and apparently reads you -- your people a note saying air strikes are going to begin in one hour. is this not a little bizarre? >> this is not the kind of behavior that we should expect professionally from the russian military professionally. and that's one reason why i think it's a good thing to have an avenue of communication that is less unprofessional than a drop-in where we can talk about professional defense matters. >> the russian general giving just one hour notice strikes were to begin. and telling the americans to keep their aircraft out of syrian skies. >> the russians are using this opportunity to basically do their best to shove the u.s. out of the middle east. and they're doing it literally and figuratively right in front
of our noses. >> one of the areas the russians hit, north of homs where several factions including the al qaeda affiliate al nusra and other anti groups fighting the regime. the state department trying to diffuse rising military tensions between the u.s. and moscow but only going so far. >> the united states and the coalition will continue our ongoing air operations. >> russian president vladimir putin says his military was invited into syria by bashar al assad, the russian leader clearly ready to prop up assad. >> translator: we will support the syrian army only in its legitimate fights specifically against terrorist groups. >> for now, little mention of isis the u.s. priority. >> putin's ambitions are blindingly obvious, my friends. he wants to prop up assad, play kingmaker. >> there was a very odd moment in the carter press conference here at the pentagon. he was asked if he can now trust the russians essentially, can he
believe what he is told by them. and the secretary said that he could. he said in his experience the russians say what they mean. and then they proceed and do it. he said his problem with all of this is he thinks the russian strategy propping up assad with air strikes is wrong. and he calls it pouring gasoline on the fire. jake. >> barbara starr live for us at the pentagon. barbara, thank you so much. let's bring in republican presidential candidate and kentucky senator rand paul who sits on the senate foreign relations committee. senator, thanks so much for joining me. a u.s. official tells cnn these strikes did not aim to kill isis targets but rather other opponents of bashar al assad. at this hour there are unconfirmed reports of civilian casualties. if you were president right now, what would you do? >> you know i think the most important thing is to have open lines of communication. we had this during the debate that cnn hosted where we discussed should we be talking to putin. absolutely we should have open lines of communication because the most important thing not to
have happen is to have an accident happen where one side or another shoots down one of the opposition's fighter jets. so it's a very messy situation. the question is are they killing isis or al nusra. sometimes it's difficult to tell which jihadist group you're killing over there. there are 1,500 different groups pledging allegiance to a variety of masters in that war. and it's very very messy and difficult to determine who is whom. >> what about the idea that they might be -- since they're targeting homs they might be targeting the so-called syrian moderates and relatives of those individuals? >> it's hard to determine who is moderate and who is not moderate. you know, we spent $500 million training about 60 syrian moderates. they were captured in the first ten minutes. they went back in. so i'm not sure if there really is a syrian moderate force left over there. but i do think it is very confusing in the sense that al nusra is an offshoot basically of al qaeda.
it is a radical jihadist group. they are aligned with al qaeda as once was isis. there are no real pro-american groups to my knowledge, there are no pro-israel groups over there. so it's a very messy situation with people on both sides of that civil war who are not necessarily our friends. >> a few days ago the obama administration's point man in the coalition against isis retired marine general john allen told me he was worried this increased military presence could mean a confrontation with the coalition. if a russian air strike were to kill an american in this conflict how would you as president respond? what would you do? >> well i don't think it's really a good idea to talk about hypotheticals with russians killing americans. and the first thing i would do is try to try very strenuously for it not to happen. and the best way for it not to happen is have open lines of communication so we know where fighter jets are flying on both sides of this. but i think the other important
historical point of view to understand and be certain of is that russia's influence in this area has become greater since saddam hussein was toppled. so the iraq war has actually led to a chaotic situation in which iraq is now closely aligned with iran. iran is stronger and more emboldened because hussein is gone. and now you have basically iran iraq and syria all aligned with russia. i think that's a situation that is actually worse than it was before the iraq war. >> do you think that when it comes to what's going on in syria the united states should recognize that isis is the bigger threat and resign itself to assad being in control of that country? >> i don't know if i can give you an absolute conclusion but what i would say is there have been times in our history when we have aligned with people who are less than savory in order to get someone we think is a worse enemy or worse evil. i think really the first thing
to understand is there may be no good guys in this war. you have isis on one side and assad on the other side. and really part of the problem is ourselves, saudi arabia and qatar poured millions of tons of weapons in to that civil war. but that pushed assad back and allowed isis to grow. and remember only a year or two ago president obama, hillary clinton and many republicans wanted to bomb assad. i think had we done that isis may well now be in control of all of syria. so really i think we have to think before we act and understand that intervention doesn't always achieve the intended consequences. >> assad of course has been responsible for massacring his own people. does the united states have an interest in stopping that from happening? we're seeing the results of assad still being in power, spilling out into europe with this refugee crisis. >> you're absolutely right. it's absolutely a disaster over there. and i've told people somewhat
flippantly but trying to get a point across if i were to see assad walking down the street i wouldn't feed him. i mean he is an evil man who has gassed his people and is at least partly if not mostly responsible for this. but the war has two sides. and there are 2 million christians in syria. there are more christians in syria than any other country in the middle east other than egypt and you ask every one of those christians you know what they say who would you prefer assad or isis they all prefer assad. so sometimes we don't quite understand the situation as well as people who live there. we also shouldn't be making decisions that indicate we know with absolute certainty which is the best side to support. we could use our influence in the region to discourage saudi arabia from giving arms to isis to discourage qatar from giving arms to al nusra and radical al qaeda. but we also have republicans -- not republicans, american former generals like petraeus saying we need to ally with al qaeda against isis. that's part of the problem, the
thinking we can ally with people who hate us to go for people they hate even more. i think it's a mistake to be in the middle of that civil war. now we have to deal with the consequences of it. but we need to learn from this action that toppling secular dictators doesn't mace us less safe and in fact made the world more chaotic over there and really made it a much more dangerous world. >> i think petraeus was saying not al qaeda but jihadists that might have joined with the jihad but were convertible. but i take your point. i just wanted to clarify what petraeus said. senator rand paul thank you so much. appreciate your time sir. >> thank you. from the war in syria to a major loss in america's longest war in afghanistan where an intense battle is raging right now for control of kunduz in the northern part of afghanistan. the taliban has now surrounded the airport. u.s. forces have conducted air strikes and nato special forces are also assisting, but a shortage of afghan ground troops
is hindering operations there. reinforcements are reportedly being blocked by the taliban in a neighboring province. thousands of innocent civilians have fled the area. one desperate resident telling cnnku kunduz is echktively a ghost town. a man set to be executed this hour for a crime he did not commit. his lawyer says he was set up and there's no evidence linking him to the crime. the u.s. supreme court has just weighed in on the appeal to stop the execution. we'll bring you that news next.
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any moment now richard glossip could become the second person put to death in the u.s. in just the past 24 hours who did not actually physically commit the act of murder. glossip was convicted of having had someone else carry out the crime. the planned execution has had several eleventh hour appeals including a letter from the vatican. the case drawing more attention to arguments that the death penalty should end because sometimes innocent people may be put to death. in addition to arguments that executions are too often carried out in a cruel and unusual way. let's bring in cnn justice correspondent pamela brown. pamela. >> well this was certainly a down-to-wire decision jake. it came actually after the official time that richard glossip was supposed to be executed. so the supreme court deciding today that his execution should move forward despite a last-minute flurry of appeals claiming his innocence. his execution should happen any minute now. and this is the second high profile execution case this week renewing debate about the death
penalty. richard glossip supporters say oklahoma is executing an innocent man. glossip was sentenced to death in the 1997 murder of his boss. the actual killer in the case, justin sneed, is serving life in prison after implicating glossip as the master mind of the plot. in a recent jailhouse interview glossip maintained his innocent. >> the dying part doesn't bother me. everybody dies. but i want people to know i didn't kill this man. i didn't participate. i didn't plan or anything to do with this crime. >> reporter: glossip's attorney say sneed changed his story several times and made up their client's involvement to evade the death penalty and that the case against him was weak based only on sneed's testimony. glossip supporters say he was sentenced to die because he couldn't afford a better defense team. today pope francis who spoke out against the death penalty in a speech last week to congress weighed in. a letter to oklahoma's governor says quote, a commutation of mr. glossip's sentence would
give clear witness to the value and dignity of every person's life. the outcry comes a day after kelly gissendaner became the first woman in 70 years to be executed in georgia. her children failed in their crusade for clemency. >> so we chose to try and save her life. and they still denied us. >> reporter: more than 50% of americans favor the death penalty, but that is a 40-year low. >> the number of executions has been falling every year for almost 20 years. and we are headed for a historic low in executions this year regardless of what happens in the next couple of days. >> reporter: the supreme court also appears divided. justice alito said contentious arguments over a lethal injection drug were a veiled attack against the death penalty. >> let's be honest what's happening here. is it important to the judiciary to countenance what amounts to a guerilla war against the death
penalty? >> at least two supreme court justices question whether the death penalty is constitutional raising the possibility the high court could revisit the issue. and interesting to note here justin briar was the only justice to come out today saying he would have granted the stay of execution putting that execution on hold. and also of course we've heard from oklahoma's governor fallon who has said this execution should move forward. he was, she said in charge of the murder of this father of several children and this is the justice that he deserves. so very divide. >> this controversial method that has failed in the past is that going to be used to put glossip to death? >> right. in fact jake he is going to be the first person to be put to death with this controversial protocol including the medazalam at the center of the debate. >> pamela brown, thanks so much. appreciate it. coming up joaquin now officially a hurricane. experts predict it will strengthen more.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. also in the national lead today, hurricane joaquin gaining strength and threatening a large swath of the east coast of the united states. officials in virginia new york massachusetts all warning the public to prepare now for a storm that could be extremely dangerous. today forecasters said joaquin could be a category 3 hurricane
by this weekend. torrential rain and wind would only add to the flooding. many major cities are already experiencing right now. let's go to meteorologist jennifer gray in the cnn severe weather center. jennifer this system is complex and rather difficult to track, i understand. give us the best and worst case scenarios. >> right. very true jake. i wouldn't be surprised if this storm intensified to a category 3 by tomorrow or friday. it is sitting just about 190 miles northeast of the central bahamas. it is going to sit in very warm waters over the next couple of days. it will continue to intensify. right now it has sustained winds of 85 miles per hour with gusts up to 100. and i want to show you the forecast track. let's go out to the floor. we can show you it is going to stay a category 1 for the time being and then strengthen rapidly. could become a major storm. look how wide that is. this forecast cone is more than 500 miles wide. so anywhere from the carolina coast all the way to northern new england needs to be on the look out for this. and you say it's very difficult.
it is true forecast models are not agreeing right now. some are saying it's going to track to the west. some are saying it could even miss the u.s. completely. >> the hurricane forecast of course comes as the east coast is dealing with rain and flooding now. that could theoretically mean much more damage if joaquin hits. >> absolutely. especially if it makes landfall around the coast of the carolinas. let's go back to the wall. a lot of the models right now are agreeing that this is going to continue on that northward track for the time being. once it makes that turn i should say. and then possibly impact north carolina even south carolina. we've seen more than a foot of rain in places of virginia and north carolina during the past seven days. so any additional rainfall is really going to hurt that area. we're talking about beach erosion with the surf coming up and flooding rainfall not only for the mid-atlantic but possibly the northeast. >> jennifer gray thank you so much. in our politics lead donald trump, the family man talking about the toll this campaign is
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we have some more breaking news for you now on "the lead." we are learning that a pair of suspected drug lords are now headed from mexico here to the united states. let's get right to cnn justice reporter evan perez. also with me cnn law enforcement analyst. first of all, evan, what exactly is going on? what can you tell us? >> jake these are cartel suspects that the u.s. has long wanted to bring to justice at this hour about a dozen of them are on planes headed to the united states from mexico. mexico resisting sending high level cartel suspects to the united states in recent years. but that appears to be changing in the wake of the prison escape of el chapo, the notorious boss who slipped out of prison in mexico in july. here's a couple of the men we're
talking about. valdez is known as la barbie. he's a dual citizen. the d.e.a. considers him a ruthless person unleashed a war. kin kinnery also is -- ran a factory making explosives for the cartels. tell me this is a big deal. we haven't had many extraditions from mexico recently. take a look at a couple of these numbers from 2012 mexico indicted 115 people to the united states. that was down to 54 in 2013. and 66 last year. and that's now changing jake because there's a new attorney general in mexico who says she wants to do more of these. >> arthur so this is a pretty big deal? >> this is huge. i mean we have to take advantage of this as long as we can. there's been doors open in other countries also. and we've always jumped on it and tried to get these high value targets out as quickly as we can. so this is a great opportunity
for us. it looks like the government of mexico is making some concessions based on the el chapo case. so we've got to jump on this and get them out as quick as we can before that door closes again. >> all right. arthur arthur evan thank you so much. appreciate it. time for the politics lead. another new national poll and another big lead for donald trump over his republican challengers, a fresh suffolk university survey finding trum sitting pretty at 23%, ten points ahead of everyone else. but when you add nktdemocrats and independents in the mix trump comes out more mr. hyde than dr. jek jekyl. voters have harsh things to say about the businessman. when asked what one word describes 10% of all voters all voters say idiot, jerk stupid or dumb. let's get to sara murray in keen new hampshire, where trump is holding a campaign rally. sara what some voters had to say about trump was not so nice but that's democrats,
independents republican voters still very very kind to him in this poll. >> that's absolutely right, jake. donald trump will be here in just a couple of hours to talk to a lot of republican voters. this as the latest poll shows him still on top of the pack. donald trump still towering over the gop using his perch to take aim at marco rubio. >> the worst voting record in the senate. he never shows up. i mean he's not going in for votes. that you can't do. he's weak on immigration. unbelievably weak on immigration. >> reporter: a new usa today/suffolk university poll shows trump pulling 23% support from republican primary voters. ben carson and carly fiorina tied in second both at 13%. with rubio, trump's target dejour coming in fourth at 9%. and jeb bush at 8%. carson looking to capitalize on his washington outsider status on the trail today.
>> i really don't care that much about political parties. that's probably why the establishment of both political parties don't like me that much. but it's okay. because i don't really care about them. >> reporter: meanwhile, trump working on softening his sharp edges in a "people" magazine interview lamenting how often he's on the road saying i just don't have the time that i would love to spend with my children and wife. adding i see less of my grandchildren than i might like. as his wife treads cautiously around her husband's often controversial comments telling "people" he is who he is even if you give him advice he will maybe take it in but then he will do it the way he wants to. trump even seemed to set aside his ongoing beef with fox news. >> we're talking tremendous amounts of money. >> getting more specifics on his recently announced tax plans to bill o' reilly.
>> give me one big thing your going to cut. >> -- a bunch of drunken -- i'm going to cut big, big department of education as an example. >> now, trump may be hoping showing his softer side will help him out in the polls. in that latest poll he has the worst favorability numbers of any of the ten candidates polled jake. >> sara murray thank you so much. let's go right now to cnn chief political correspondent dana bash. she's about an hour east of trump in bedford, new hampshire, where jeb bush republican rival, spent the day. dana you grabbed a coffee with mr. bush at a dunkin' donuts. what'd he have to tell you about the state of his campaign? >> well jake despite the fact that yet another national poll that came out that was not good news for him, fifth place in single digits in this new poll. he insists that there are new ads running here in new hampshire and early contest states that are really explaining his record. a combination of that digital
media efforts, voter outreach in all kinds of way, his campaign will outlast his competitors. but i've talked to some supporters who are getting nervous. the irony of jeb bush being labeled low energy is that he's a tireless campaigner. >> each and every day i wake up with joy in my heart, with excitement. yes, mr. trump, with high energy. >> reporter: barn storming the early contest states with a breakneck schedule. but some worried backers tell cnn all that effort makes his declining support with voters even more alarming. one of your significant donors told me it's as if we keep investing in a company. and as a shareholder we're not seeing any sales. >> who was that? >> what do you say? >> who was that person? >> i don't want to say. >> he doesn't either i guess. look the fact is that we've got a plan. we're executing on the plan. i'm convinced i'm going to win the republican nomination. i'm going to do it in a way that will make it actually possible to win the general election as well. >> once the front-runner bush
has lost 50%, half of his support nationally since july. even here in the granite state where bush was leading in june he's now tied for fifth place according to a cnn/wmur poll last week. the result bush aides are spending a lot of time trying to reassure anxious donors and supporters what jeb bush himself told us be patient. that bush rivals may be generating buzz but bush is building a nationwide infrastructure team to keep him alive through the gop contests well into the spring. >> patience. that's my first part of this strategy. the second part would be more patience. >> but the long haul does not lead to victory unless bush can actually win republican delegates. to do that even bush campaign advisers admit the central thesis of his campaign has to work. that he can shed the bush baggage and convince voters he is the washington outsider they're looking for. >> i think people want authenticity. they want someone who has the leadership skills to turn ideas
into reality. i got to do that as governor of florida. i can do it as president of the united states. and i'll convince people of that. >> but even some bush backers worry the problem is fundamental. republican voters are looking for excitement and change. endurance is one thing, electricity is another. something jeb bush is lacking. >> i'm the tortoise in the race. slow steady progress each and every day. >> often voters leave bush events impressed but not excited. bush aides insist that's okay. voters are now letting off steam by backing donald trump and other first-time politicians. but when it comes time to pull the lever, they'll go for the adult in the room. >> ultimately this is not about the loudest -- you know it's not an entertainment. we're not auditioning for some kind of show here. we're running for president of the united states. >> now, as you mentioned, jake donald trump has an event about an hour from here. they're going to be at the same exact time this evening. i asked bush what he would tell voters trying to decide which
event to go to and he said to me if you want to show or entertainment, you can go to donald trump. if you want to come somewhere where someone's going to show leadership skills ability to fix things come here jake. >> dana yesterday on this show as well as on some other shows the candidate for speaker of the house republican house majority leader kevin mccarthy suggested he was going to under his leadership have a lot more special committees and investigations. and he suggested that the benghazi committee that had been set up helped bring hillary clinton's poll numbers, at least according to how many americans view her as untrustworthy, bringing that down. bringing her untrust wort thi numbers up. my understanding is that hillary clinton just responded to that comment by majority leader mccarthy. what did she have to say? >> that's right. she said on msnbc that that statement demonstrates unequivocally that this was always meant to be a partisan exercise. and she kind of slapped back at
him saying that it does a great disservice and dishonors the memory of the four americans killed in that benghazi attack. but, you know republicans privately, and this is according to to great reporting from dirdre walsh, they knew it was bound to happen that hillary clinton would come back at them and they are not happy with kevin mccarthy's comments. they have been trying for months and months to make this as nonpolitical as possible to make clear this isn't about her presidential race this is about getting to the bottom of the facts. and they're concerned that kevin mccarthy just undermined this in one foul swoop. it's not a great timing for mccarthy considering the fact he needs republicans to be behind him for his speaker run. and that election is going to be next week. >> dana bash in new hampshire. thank you so much. don't go anywhere. you will not want to miss the rest of dana's interview with republican presidential candidate former florida
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. making headlines in our national lead today, mysterious meeting between one of the most beloved religious figures in the world and one of the most controversial people in the united states. kim davis, the kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses because she says it goes against her christian faith. she says she had a private audience with pope francis during his visit to washington, d.c. last week. the devout christian telling abc news that the vatican set up the secret meeting and that the holy father encouraged her to quote, stay strong. >> i put my hand down. and he reached and he grabbed it. and i hugged him. and he hugged me. and he said thank you for your courage. >> the vatican staying quiet on the details, but is essentially confirming that the pair did
speak. let's get right to cnn's vatican correspondent delia gallagher in rome. delia delia. >> jake the vatican spokesman father lombardi said today that he did not deny that a meeting had taken place but that he had no further comment to add. now, the fact that the vatican is not denying the meeting suggests that it probably did happen. but the vatican may want to keep their distance publicly from what they see as an internal u.s. affair especially as it regards a local government employee. now, we know that pope francis generally does support the idea of conscientious objection. on the return flight from the u.s. in response to a journalist's question he said conscientious objection is a human right that should be allowed for by systems. when pressed if that right applied also to government officials, the pope said a government official is a human person and therefore also has that right. jake. >> delia gallagher in rome. thank you so much. joining me now is kim davis'
attorney. mr. staber thank you so much for joining us. why do you think the vatican is refusing to discuss the details of the meeting or even release photographs of it? >> well i'll defer to the vatican on that. but i do know pope francis was very kind and generous to spend time with kim davis and her husband joe. last thursday afternoon at the vatican embassy in washington, d.c. and at that meeting which was a private meeting, it wasn't a group meeting. it was just between him and kim and joe davis, he did hug her as kim davis said. he did encourage her for standing. he said that his words were stay strong. and the meeting was conducted in english from beginning to end. kim davis was incredibly amazed that a man such of his stature was so humble and caring and kind. it's a moment she'll cherish for the rest of her life. >> who at the vatican arranged the meeting? how did it come about? >> well, i won't go into details
in terms of how it came about. there's a lot of speculation and how did she get in and out without being seen by the media surrounding the vatican embassy. i will say that the bigger issue is not how or how it happened is that it did happen. and as you just reported on the papal plane back one of the questions was by a reporter and i've learned from those on the plane that those were group questions that they all agreed upon. one of those questions was about issuing marriage licenses and whether you would have a conscientious objection to which he said is a human right when pressed by a follow-up even when it applies to a government official and he said yes, government official being a person it is a human right. and i think that theme that he echoed there is a theme he has echoed throughout his papacy and throughout his life that this universal human right of religious freedom ought to be respected. and i think because of that you have an individual who was jailed because of her faith. and pope francis being the kind of individual he is and the
pontiff he's been to reach down even to the least of these or reach down to have this meeting with kim dafsvis to encourage her and to stay strong. he also gave her two rosaries a black one and a red one. kim davis' parents, her mom and dad are lifelong catholics. and so she was able to present her mom and dad with these gifts from the pontiff. and her dad said if he lives to be 200 years this will be the most cherished important gift he's ever received in his life. >> well it's no secret that pope francis supports religious liberty. he said so at the white house. met with the little sisters of the poor it doesn't surprise me at all that he met with your client. i don't know that you can credibly say she was jailed because of her faith. she was jailed because she refused to carry out the services of her job. nonetheless we appreciate hope you'll send photographs of the meeting when you get a chance. >> we will soon do that as soon as we get them. >> great. thank you so much matthew, staver must have been an incredible event.
coming up, a secret world exposed. now his children talking to cnn lisa ling series "this is life" is back. she'll join me next. at mfs investment management we believe active management can protect capital long term. active management can tap global insights. active management can take calculated risks. active management can seek to outperform. because active investment management isn't reactive. it's active. that's the power of active management.
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x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. buried lead now. warren jeffs well known for his crimes. one of the fbi's ten most wanted. the leader of a polygamist rogue mormon sect jailed for life for the rigorous assault and abuse of minors. for the first time two of his children are sharing their stories about life with their infamous father speaking exclusively to lisa ling as part of cnn's premiere episode "this is life". >> i tried to convince myself it didn't happen but all my life i never told anybody. >> why didn't you tell anyone? >> because father knows best.
to me he was so perfect that i kept telling myself this is an accident. something's wrong. >> and lisa ling joins me now from new york. lisa what was it like to hear these horrific tales from his children, wolf been in hiding for so long? >> you know jake any time someone divulges details of sexual abuse it's always difficult. but when i heard their story it was particularly heartbreaking. it showed a tremendous amount of courage on their part. because they've been living in this closed world all of their lives. they know nothing about the outside world and they are still in fact adjusting. but they felt it was so important to convey soon information about what their father was like before he became the prophet because he's still even though he's in prison controls thousands and thousands of people. these people in the flds still believe he's the hand of god. >> this sect is so highly secretive, what was it like to try to dig in and investigate this story?
it must have been very tough. >> well it was tough because when we go into the community on the arizona-utah border as soon as we saw people they would rush inside. but it is a unique time right now. warren jeffs' control over his people is so severe. and every family has been effected. he is just breaking families up at will and sending patriarchs off. some of the men haven't seen their families and children for years. and people are starting to really wonder why. things are at a standstill right now. warren jeffs is the only person who can perform marriages. and he has stopped performing marriages. so right now people are really really frustrated. and becky and roy want to seize this opportunity to try and convey information to people inside the flds that their father is not who they think it is. >> can you explain and i'm sure you go into much more detail in your show but can you explain how he still controls these people even though he's in prison? >> well i mean the people believe he's a hand of god. what becky said before she was
out of his good graces she was able to visit him early on. and she would go in with other family members and they would always be wearing these watches that she believes were recording devices. some of his brothers some of his wives would wear these watches. and when they would go into visit him he was allowed ten people on his list they would record revelations. that he would aspouz from prison and the next day he would mysteriously be able to translate directly these messages from warren jeffs. she believes that's how his messages have been getting through to the people. >> that's astounding and terrifying at the same time. lisa ling thank you so much. you can catch the full episode on this topic on the season two premiere of "this is life" with lisa ling tonight here on cnn at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific. follow me on facebook or twitter. that's it for "the lead." turning over to one mr. wolf
blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. russia strikes suddenly with little warning russian jets go into action over syria. moscow says it hit isis targets, but the u.s. says there may have been no isis forces present and russia may be attacking other groups opposed to the syrian regime. bush the disrupter. he's sinking in the polls and it's make or break time for jeb bush. he says he turned things upside down as florida governor. can he turn around his own campaign? cnn's dana bash has a one-on-one interview this hour. and dangerous widow. a former punk rocker who went to fight in syria is put on a terror list by the u.s. her isis husband was taken out in a drone strike. now she's calling for attacks in the west and recruiting other women to join isis. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."