tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN October 8, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PDT
but like many who do extraordinary things he's surprised by the attention. >> this is just something of my routine. i was kind of surprised but at the same time i'm also really glad that people know that the teachers in this community are really invested in the community. >> i love it. >> and it worked. four others now do the same thing. >> i know a guy in l.a. that used to do this too. really amazing. hey why don't you do the business here. >> that was so nice. hey, thanks very much for watching "new day." thanks very much for having me. i appreciate it. the newsroom with ab ana cabrera. >> anderson, i hope you get a nap some time today. newsroom starts now. hello on this friday eve. thanks for joining me. item ana cabrera and we begin with a high stakes showdown for house republicans today on capitol hill party lawmakers
will gather to push the person they want to replace boehner as speaker of house, the second in line to the presidency. kevin mccarthy, the house majority leader and boehner's number two guy is widely viewed as the front runner. but his path to the top has hit a few hurdles. one being from jason chaffetz. and now daniel websiter is in the mix and has the support of the house freedom caucus. the caucus is believed to have up to 40 member, enough to block mccarthy from getting the full title when the house votes in a few weeks. one underscoring just how critical the choice is. >> i think folks are starting to realize -- we have a long way to go. luckily we have three weeks to
look at this. this is a major decision. whoever gets this spot is second in line to the president of the united states. it is not necessarily about campaign contribution and those kind of things. we'll take our time and we're not going to be rushed into it. >> cnn political reporter manu is joining me from the hill. what are you hearing about this upcoming vote is this. >> it appears that kevin mccarthy does have enough so forth in order to win that republican nomination today. he needs 125 votes from the republican congress members. what officials say is he's but as tim hill's camp noted in that sound bite was that you need 218 votes in order to become elected speaker. and that is going to be the big hurdle the for mccarthy to overcome. the question for those house conservatives in the freedom caucus is whether or not they
are going to continue to band together on the house floor and unite against mccarthy after today's vote we are not certain exactly how they are going to play that. i spoke to justin amash, a congressman in michigan, one of the leaders of the freedom caucus. and he says the caucus does want to unite but they want future meetings with presumably mccarthy if he does win that nomination today, try to get more concessions from him before they agree to voting for him on the house floor. but it is clear they want tro try to make him work for that support october 29th or my way see something unprecedented on the house floor, if there are many, many ballots. we'll see how far it actually goes. >> you will stay on top of it. and cnn will continue to monitor this throughout the morning and the day we'll bring you any updates right here in the newsroom. and minutes from now jeb bush is
expected to speak in des moines, iowa. he's also holding a meet and greet over pizza with voters there later in the day. but rival ben carson is the one making big head lines this morning, facing backlash after doubling down on his controversial comments about last week's mass shooting in oregon. carson ignited a fire storm after suggesting that the shooting victims should have rushed the gunman. now one of those victims is speaking out, telling cnn this. quote, i am fairly upset he said that, nobody could truly understand what actions they would take like that in a situation unless they lived it." let's bring in cnn's athena jones from the campaign trail in iowa. how is carson now responding to the criticism over these comments? >> carson isn't backing down. he says that the media has been trying to twist his words. and now he has a fellow rival for the gop nomination coming to
his defense. donald trump early yesterday in a tweet said that carson was not criticizing the victims of the shooting. he said later in the day after his event in waterloo, iowa that carson has been treated unfairly. so you have trump coming to his defense. but meanwhile this is an interesting turn. carson has been advising folks to rush a gunman but he recounted a very different reaction when he was confronted by a gunman in baltimore some time ago. listen to what he said in an interview with satellite radio just yesterday. go ahead and play that. >> guy comes in, puts the gun in my ribs. and i -- i just said, i believe that you want the guy behind the counter. >> in that calm way. >> that a calm way. he said oh, okay. >> so you just redirect -- i redirected him -- >> okay. so a bit of a contradiction
there in that interview with sirius xm radio. >> and how is this going to resonate with voters do you think? >> well that is the big question. a lot of voters you talk to, they say the appeal of ben carson is that he's not a politician. he says what he thinks, he doesn't worry about political correctness. he said that a lot, he doesn't worry about political correctness. and so far some of his past controversial comments haven't hurt him in the polls. take, for instance, his more recent remarks about not wanting to see a muslim in the white house. that hasn't hurt his poll numbers so the question is who his latest comments will hurt him or if voters, his supporters will continue to give him the benefit of the doubt. we'll be watching. >> we will indeed. athena jones, thank you very much. after the backlash, the backtracking we're talking about another controversial comment. it all started when media mogul rupert murdoch sent out a treat saying ben carson would be a
real black president. here is the tweet. and i take a look. ben and candy carson, terrific. what about a real black president who can properly address the racial divide and much else? well that tweet of course being seen as the district hit at president obama. and when a spokesman for 21st century fox was asked about it what murdock meant? she just simply said we don't comment on his tweets. a few minutes ago murdock sent out another tweet. he said apologies. no offense meant. personally find both men charming. let's talk about this. welcome jeffrey, welcome -- >> good morning ana. >> let's go to you first jeffrey. i want your take on that tweet by murdock. what do you think he meant? >> interestingly when president obama was senator obama and was running in 2008, an african
american writer by the name of david aaronsteen wrote a piece in the los angeles times referring to senator obama as quo quote/unquote the magic negro. and by that he meant someone like sidney portier and others who are not seen in his words quote/unquote threatening and not, quote, authentically black li like. beyond that i really couldn't say here. i just think this is sort of an old argument that's somehow pop you had up here with mr. burr do murdock but it's been said before and by an african american. >> three words that could carry so much meaning to different people. real black president. you don't think murdoch is
questioning obama's race or -- >> i don't know what he's doing. if there is some inflection of white privilege or billionaire sbie entitlement that's forced him to make these comments. here is a guy who's not black, not even american telling african americans who we should support as our president. if i were to make a comment and say malcolm turnbull the prime minister of australia isn't a real white prime minister. i think people would be offended. they would think that's ridiculous comment and the idea that this comment would be made at all by murdoch is problematic. regardless of the apology. i think i'm also tired of this conservative sort of disingenuous concern about black people. because the comment was framed by rupert murdoch in a sense that well black people should be really upset because obama hasn't done enough for them. but when was rupert murdoch ever
really concerned about what obama has done for black people or what black people need in the first place. if he were concerned he would probably listen to black people who would tell him they support obama far more than they support ben carson. >> i do want to talk about the comments. about what he could do in a situation which a gunman opens fire and now he seems to be doubling down. part of his appeal as athena mentioned is he says what he thinks but did he go too far this time? or does -- >> i do think he's being criticized unfairly. i've met doctor carson. he is a lovely human being. i don't think he intended to day the folks in the classroom should have done a, b or c. i think he was just saying in a general sense, you know, trying to make a decision as to what people should do in a future situation. i don't think by any stretch of the imagination was he intending
to criticize the people in that classroom t kids in that classroom. that just is not ben carson. i think it is unfair. >> keith, you know, carson came out in the sirius xm radio interview and talked about having been con fronted with a gun previously in which he didn't charge the gunman. and it was a different situation. more of a hold up. but one thing he said in the interview he told the gunman you don't want me, you want the guy across the counter. what kind of an answer is that? >> yeah that is a really macho move i guess to make, you know. but i don't know what ben carson was thinking when he made that comment about the people who were killed. i think that it's more important that ben carson is diverting attention away from the real issue, which is the issue of what we do about the problem of gun violence in this country. so he made the same mistake. his insensitive remarks were the same mistake that south carolina republican lawmaker made after the slaughter there at the
emmanuel church there. when he commented that those people in the church should have fought back. and i think this is the sort of tone deafness among republicans who are so caught up in this imagery of machismo and gun rights that they forget that people are actually wanting policy solutions to the problems of gun violence in this country. so they think that they can just spout of rambo lines and that is enough to satisfy the needs of the american people who are rightly concerned about the problems. >> all right. thanks for the thoughtful discussion, guys. keith and jeffrey, great to have you. a quick note for viewers here. make sure you stay with cnn. ben carson will be on air with wolf blitzer today at 1:00 p.m. eastern. sirius sere syria says it is launching a major attack on isis thanks to russia for paving the way. but it may not all be what it seems.
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welcome back. the situation in syria is intensifying this morning. forces loyal to a syrian dictator bashar al assad are now launching a wide scale offensive. the top general telling syrian tv that a week of russian air strikes have now cleared the way for the syrian army to fight isis. but take a look at this map. you can see russian air strikes appear to be hitting primarily rebel held territories which want assad out of power. not fesly isis strong heldses. do we have any new details about syrian's stepped up military action. >> they are claiming they now have this wide spread ground offensive going after terrorist targets. i think it is doubtful that the u.s. or nato would agree with them on that. the view from the pentagon is that the syrians are very much
going after forces that are opposed to their regime. the very forces that could topple bashar al assad. the forces that the russians are also attacking. all of this really taking place, the overwhelming majority of the attacks taking place in western syria, where there are no real isis strongholds. this is an area of civilians and people opposed to the assad regime. so it may be with syrian government, with the syrian military is saying. a lot of skepticism here about the validity of those claims. >> and you have also learned there was this incident between u.s. and russian aircraft, american plane vs having to avo an incident of sorts. what can you tell us about that. >> two days ago, two f-16s flying over eastern syria were on a mission to strike an isis target when a russian aircraft
came within 20 nautical miles. and the u.s. has instituted rules that when a russian aircraft comes within 20 miles the u.s. pilots need to divert and move away. why? because officials tell us the u.s. military is very much taking responsibility for its own safety, for the safety of american pilots and american air crews flying over syria. it is not that they think the russians are going to shoot them down. but the russians very aggressive fliers. there is still no technical agreement about how the two militaries will keep themselves safe in the sky from any accidents with each other. so until all of that happens, in order to stay safe, pentagon officials say pilots will move away if the russians come within that 20 mile limit. >> very quickly, do we know when there is supposed to be a meeting between russians and the u.s. to work out this agreement as far as the air space goes? >> yeah that is everybody's question, absolutely. i mean it could happen really at any time.
they just have to work it auout. there was a meeting last week, a first meeting. the u.s. put some proposals on the table. we are told the russians put some proposals on the table. and now they have to sit down again. again, a very technical military agreement. but it means everything because it is what is supposed to keep pilots of both sides safe up there. >> real important there. barbara starr, thanks for your reporting. let's check the top stories. doctors without borders now revealing new details about the deadly u.s. air strike on its hospital in afghanistan. cnn was at a press conference held in kabul just hours ago and here is what we have learned. 24 staff members remain missing along with nine patients. charity officials, still haven't been able to reach the bombed facility. and when they do, they still expect the death toll to rise. they also say staff reported no taliban fighting around the hospital on the night of the attack. president obama has formally
apologized for this strike but this group says it is not enough. it wants an international investigation. an update now from the flooding carolinas. two people who drove around the barricade and went missing yesterday during this show in the flood waters, they have now been found dead. that raises the death toll to historic 19. right now more than 400,000 residents are under a boil water advisory. their misery isn't over yet. 13 dams have failed. another 62 are still being monitored and the damage estimates are climbing into the billions of dollars. >> this just into cnn, the hero from the oregon shooting last week has just been released from the hospital. this is army vet chris mintz. and still to come. the search for survivors now called off.
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for the first time in nearly a week the u.s. coast guard will not go out in search of survivors from cargo ship el faro this morning. rescue efforts were called off last night and all 33 members on board are presumed drowned. for the families it is just devastating. >> i just want him back. even if it's just has body. i want him back. >> we all do. yeah. >> tough to see that. alexandria field is doing yes
now. and we're entering a new phase of the investigation and a navy salvage team has been called in. >> one week after the ship sank this is no longer a rescue but the search is really important. now there is a goal of finding the ship. bunz you find the ship searchers will have a better chance of finding the data recorders and that would really hold a lot of the answers. that data recorder would have started pinging once it hits the water. it has a battery life about 30 days. some of the information contained will be various records from the bridge. certainly that is something that the coast guard and the ntsb will want to hear what was going on aboard the bridge. the data recorder will also have information about the ship's course and speed. the real question has been why was it heading into the track of this category 4 hurricane and why did it lose propulsion? these are questions that president obama says need to be
answered for the families of the victims. he has issued a statement saying as americans our economic prosperity and quality of life depend upon men and women who serve aboard ship likes the el faroe. the investigation now under way will have the full support of the u.s. government because the grieving families of the el faro deserve answers and because we are to do everything in our power to ensure the safety of our people, including those who work at sea. this obviously hit very, very close to home to all the people who were involved in the rescue efforts, the coast guard came out yesterday saying that the rescue efforts would be suspended at sunset and really share the grief. 33 people on board. their families now waiting for answers. >> we talked earlier because the focus was really only on finding the survivors if they were out there. now turning to the ship itself, do they have a good idea where the ship sank? >> there are two debris fields where they were focusing and
that is again where they will be looking for the ship itself. one is really directly in the area where the ship was last known to have been. the other debris field, some 60 miles north. these are the two spots where they will actually turbine to look for the ship t data recorder and other relevant evidence that could be helpful to the investigators. >> alex field, thank you very much. i'm ana cabrera in for carol costello. i want to go back to capitol hill now and manu raju. he's caught one one of the republican lawmakers taking part in today's speaker nominee vote. >> i'm with john flemming here the congressman from louisiana. a member of the house freedom caucus. that is that conservative group that has endorsed daniel webster who is trying to challenge kevin
mccarthy for that speaker's job. mr. flemming you look at the vote. kevin mccarthy has the votes today to become the republican nominee for speaker. assuming this moves forward, on october 29th, will you continue to unite as a block and try to prevent kevin mccarthy from getting 218 votes on the house floor? >> well the house freedom caux voted last night to get behind dan website are for today's vote. then we'll meet after that vote depending on the outcome. but certainly, simply winning the republican nomination is not enough to win the speakership on the floor of the house on the 29th. so there is still more work to be done from today's vote all the way to the 29th. >> what does kevin mccarthy need to do to convince you -- to convince members of the freedom caucus to support him on the house floor? >> well the freedom caucus, like many of the members, feel like that we have too much of a
top-heavy, power-based type of leadership program where the decisions are made exclusively at the top and that members voices are not heard. which means that our constituents voices are not heard, those that we represent. and so we need to be convinced that this is going change. we don't want promised. we want tangible results. >> what does that mean tangible results? concrete? can you be more specific on what mr. mccarthy needs to do to change things? >> el well i'll just give you some examples and i'm not certain really what all we need to do. but the committees who determine what people serve on is completely under the control of the speaker. that power should be diffused to many other members and it should be merit based rather than what you do for the speaker and how you specifically vote. also, many members are frustrated that they have bills that are very popular, have a lot of co-sponsors and they
never get a hearing. they never get a vote. so we need to see a structural change so that is much more from the ground up. that is better representation for members back home. >> what has mr. mccarthy said when you asked him specifically about these things? >> well he promises more representation from the base. but there hasn't been any tangible changes yet. and that is what we're going to be looking at for the next three weeks. whether is he going to do in our rules and the structure of leadership that would make us follow in support of him so we could see it would be a new day a new sheriff in town. >> so if he does makes those changes, will you support him on the house floor? >> e well it all depends on what those changes are and how permanent those changes appear to be, how tangible they are. i'm open minded but i'm also skeptical. >> so you are not ruling out the possibility of backing him. >> i don't rule out anything. >> well there you have it.
it looks like kevin mccarthy has his work cut out assuming he does get the votes today, which we expect. later today he's probably going to get the 125 vote threshold. the big question is whether or not he can get 218 votes on the house floor. and he's going the need the support of conservatives like mr. flemming here in order to get over that 218 vote threshold. you heard here what mr. flemming wants mr. mccarthy to lay out in order to become the next speaker. so it is clear kevin mccarthy has some work to do. >> sounds like it is going to be a battle in the next few weeks. coming up, hillary clinton splits with the president again. this a strategy for the democratic front runner? do you know the secret to a happy home in these modern times?
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we just heard live on our air representative john flemming talking about this upcoming vote going to happen in the house tonight as they elect a nominee to put forward for the next speaker position after john boehner vacates on october 30th. after today moving forward there will be o vote on october 29th. that is with the full house. so who is going to be the guy -- or gal. s guys right now. and i want to bring in our panel. he just heard from representative flemming that
mccarthy is not their guy. although he is still the leading candidate. >> republicans are some of the hardline conservatives say look, kevin mccarthy is not necessarily our guy. but support is coalescing for mccarthy from outside the capital. dick cheney just weighed urging house republicans to support mccarthy's bid. by can tell you all eyes are on what's happening in the capital right now. because this answers a central question about can the republican party actually govern? are they setting up a leadership strategy that will work going forward to govern in difficult challenges facing them and the country? just because john boehner stepped aside does not mean any of the issues that gave him problems are going away here. so just in one month's time this house of representatives is going to have to decide are they going to vote to raise the nation's debt ceiling?
are they going work on a budget? are they going to prevent another government shutd shutdown. there are forces inside the capitol that want to give mccarthy a run for his money here. a test here. they are asking is he conservative enough for this conference? we expect him to get enough votes the majority of votes but the next three weeks going into that vote on october 29th are risky and tricky. >> mccarthy has been there almost a decade. how good oaf a negotiator might he be. voters want to see their elected officials get things done and that requires getting people on board and willing to compromise. >> no doubt. he has a very good relationship with a lot of individual members of the house republican conference. he was elected in 2006. so he's relatively new to the house. he's part of this sort of new brand of republicans. this new brand of conservatives.
he really got to know a lot of these republican members in 2010 when he was the chairman of the national republican congressional committee, which is the arm that is responsible for recruiting candidates to run for office. so he has a very good relationship with a lot of these republican members. he is going to be seen as more of a deal cutter. more of a negotiator trying to placate the hard right conservatives as well as holding the rest of the conference in line. but the question is it used to be that the speakership was sort of a long-term position. you could hold it for a long time in washington. we'll see if that is true in this case if he wins. because the forces at hand really don't allow for a lot of compromise here. so he'll have to work with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, also a republican, of kentucky here. and keep those forces at bay with within his own party. so if he wins has a big challenge ahead of him. and of course he's front and center in the democratic presidential campaign right now
because of those comments he made on the benghazi committee. so what happens between now and october 29th, that house speaker vote, hillary clinton is going to be appearing before the benghazi committee. so this is one of the challenges for kevin mccarthy to try and not make any more missteps like he did last we're saying the benghazi committee was essentially political. >> we appreciate the insight. thank you so much. >> hillary clinton by the way is headaching another big break from president obama and this is it is on one of the cornerstones of his presidency, the trans pacific partnership. clinton, who now opposes the deal once called it the gold standard when she was secretary of state. she also pushed for this agreement more than 40 times between 2010 and 2012013. that was before the deal was finalized but listen to what she now told pbs news hour just yesterday. >> i have been trying to learn
as much as i can about the agreement. but i'm worried. i'm worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement. we've lost american jobs to the manipulations that countries, particularly in asia, have engaged in. what i know about it as of today, i am not in favor of what i have learned about it. >> clinton obvious lly singing much different tune five days before that first democratic debate. >> rival bernie sanders taking this opportunity to point out that he was right, first. >> i'm glad she reached that conclusion. this is a conclusion they reached from day one. i believe that the trans pacific partnership is nothing more than a continuation of disastrous trade policies, which we have experienced for the last 30 or so years, which have led to the loss of millions of decent
paying jobs. >> in the meantime rnc chairman riens priebus attacked clinton more directly saying her painful waffling on tpp has been a case study on political expediency and precisely why millions of americans don't trust her. joining me now my panel. thanks gentlemen for being here. chris we'll start with you. clinton is being called a flip-flopper again by her critics because of this issue. and as we mentioned back in 2012 she called the trade deal a gold standard as it was being worked out. so how can she justify her change in position? >> one way to look at it, when you are a member of a cabinet you are basically a prisoner to the president's agenda. so i think there is some extent you can give secretary clinton the benefit of the doubt that when she was obviously in the obama administration she
couldn't really be critical of a plan that was being pushed by the president. and i think the challenge is going to be -- and you are going to see this play out in glowing colors in the first debate is she's going to get pushed on this obviously by the moderator but also from governor o'malley and senator sanders. they are going to push her hard on this and it's got to be i think a more detailed explanation than what we've seen to help explain why you have made a change. but i think -- i'm not sure that people hold her to a different standard that she changes her mind. as long as she's changing her mind for what they believe is the right reason then i think voters especially on the democratic side will be open to supporting that. >> and larry, does this change in her position in your opinion help or hurt her? >> well first of all the change is transparentally political. this is part of the presidential campaign's pandorama. he's pandering.
and i think they essentially endorsed or encouragement this trade agreement 45 times. her husband was known for nafta, pushing and getting nafta adopted another trade agreement in the 1990s. it is perfectly obvious why he did this organized labor is strongly opposed to these trade agreements. they believe it costs america jobs and depresses a wage and she needs to votes while campaigning and of course her opponents like sanders and o'malley had already come out against this new trade agreement. and she wants to box in joe biden who if he jumps in will have to defend president obama's decision to support it. >> let's talk about her opponents. because we heard from bernie sanders. he basically said well good for her. she finally came around but i had the position first. are you surprised that sanders didn't go on the attack, chris? >> you know, i was fortunate to
meet senator sanders when i worked on the hill. and it is just not his style. i think if people are expecting a rockem, sockem debate on tuesday with senator sanders on the offensive in a personal way, i think they are going to be sorely disappointed. i think he's going to make very clear and distinct distinctions between his positions and secretary clinton's and everyone els. and i think those may be pointed but they are not going to be personal or what you have seen play out in the republican debate. you may see a little bit more of punch from governor o'malley. i mean if you looked at his statement today about tpp, it was much more pointed than senator sandersem but it is just not his style. and i think that is part of his appeal to be honest that she is touching and tapping this cord amongst the progressive wing of the democratic party that likes someone who goes out there and is really passionate about what he believes and makes it clear that this is where he stands. >> we'll have to leave tlit.
thanks both of you. also happening on the hill right now general john campbell is back there to testify. this time in front of another senate committee, addressing the bombing of the doctors without borders hospital in afghanistan and how that fight in afghanistan is going. we will monitor this and bring you any news that comes from it. stay with us 40% of the streetlights in detroit, at one point, did not work. you had some blocks and you had major thoroughfares and corridors that were just totally pitch black. those things had to change. we wanted to restore our lighting system in the city. you can have the greatest dreams in the world, but unless you can finance those dreams, it doesn't happen. at the time that the bankruptcy filing was done, the public lighting authority had a hard time of finding a bank. citi did not run away from the table like some other bankers did. citi had the strength to help us go to the credit markets and raise the money. it's a brighter day in detroit.
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ex-girlfriend. the case was dismissed after the victim declined to cooperate with authorities during the appeal process. hearty has dodged reporter questions about this incident since he's returned to the field. he went on to spark even more controversy ahead of his debut against the patriots. the defensive end saying this, i love seeing tom brady. he's cool as crap. have you seen his wife? i hope she comes to the game. i hope her senior comes to the game. all her friends come to the game. i don't know what to say. cnn sports ankle joins us. rachel, i'm speechless, honestly. who says that? >> that's not all greg hardy says. let's review how get on to this point to begin with. he was convicted by a judge of throwing his then-girlfriend onto a couch that had piles of assault rifles on it while threatening to kill her. then taking her by the hair, dragging her in the bathroom and banging her head against the floor. he started that news availability you just saw on
your screen by talking about he wanted to come out against the patriots guns blazing. gun s blazing. en maybe not only poor choice of words, then talking about how hot tom brady's wich is, to have her sitting there for him to look at. later when another reporter, by the way, that's a whole other issue, a reporter brought up that blake bortles, quarterback for the jacksonville jaguars, his girlfriend is really hot, and greg hardy says he votes on players to come to the pro bowl based on how hot their wives are so he could have things to look at. what's dig gusting is not just the comments, is he doesn't think women are people. anyone you knock nir head against the concrete doesn't think this is a real person, feelings, blood coarsing through their veins. he shows after the suspension,
he hasn't learned anything. the nfl doesn't have a responsibility for greg hardy not to say stupid things. they can't be in front of every player's locker every day but they have a responsibility to educate these players. especially someone who is at the center of the domestic violence issue the past year, right alongside ray rice. that guy should be more educated than anyone and zero has been done. >> roger goodell did come out and have a press conference yesterday. not about this issue specifically, but you did ask him about these comments by greg hardy. what de say? >> i absolutely did. the comments happened 24 hours earlier, and roger goodell said he was unaware of them. so, either he was slightly aware of them and wasn't directly saying that to us or he really was unaware of them, which that's disturbing too. shouldn't the league be keeping better track of something like this, someone just coming off a suspension this week, one of their most high-profile stories that's not making had to his desk? that's disturbing. listen to the rest of the answer he gave me.
>> there's a very, very, very, very small percentage of people who don't follow policies, we'll do everything we can to intervene and make sure we get them to follow policiesings and see the way the nfl does things. we won't compromise on that. >> and just to wrap one thing up here. jerry jones, owner of cowboys was asked at "sports illustrated" what he thought of greg hardy and he seemed to brush it off swul. he said, my estimation of tom brady went up 100% when he married gisele. >> jerry jones, owner of the cowboys says, he's got a good looking wife so he must be a good player. what's a trophy wife or two. >> thanks much. next hour of "newsroom" starts after a break. or, as we say at unitedhealthcare insurance company, go long.
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good thursday morning. i'm ana cabrera in for carol costello. right now we're watching three big stories on capitol hill. first, house republicans are meeting right now. they're voting on their candidate for speaker of the house to replace john boehner. who says house majority leader kevin mccarthy is a shoo-in? the head of volkswagen in the hot seat. the shocking testimony he knew about possible emissions systems and a way to cheat the system last year. plus, general john campbell back to testify on afghanistan. will we get more answers on the terror threat here? we start on capitol hill and the republican battle to be the party's next nominee for speaker of the house. live pictures right now of the capitol in two hours. lawmakers will gather, cast a
secret ballot for their choice to replace john boehner. while today's process is behind closed doors, a very public fight, with a rift between the party. dana bash is joining me now. we now know there are three candidates working to get votes of their colleagues, right? >> reporter: that's right. their three candidates just gave their closing pitches behind closed doors to the republican members who will be voting in a couple hours. kevin mccarthy is one. he is the front-runner, currently the house majority leader. jason chaffetz, chair of the house oversight committee, threw his hat in the ring last weekend, surprised people, since he and mccarthy are friends. daniel webster of florida, he is now the favorite among those who call themselves kind of the most conservative in the so-called house freedom caucus. moments ago kevin mccarthy walked by me. he insists he's going to be okay, he's going to get the
votes later at noon. what's going to happen at noon is a secret ballot. then to get the nomination, which is effectively what this is, the nomination for speaker from the house republicans, it's got to be 125 yeses. and then, you know, if that doesn't happen, there could be multiple ballots but, again, mccarthy insists he feels comfortable, he will get that in the first round, ana. >> really, the key here, though, is not just today's vote. when we look ahead in a few weeks, when the entire house votes, it's not slirly clear it seems that mccarthy's going to win that. >> that's exactly right. what we're going to see october 29th is the actual vote for house speaker because the -- here on capitol hill, almost all the leadership posts are done by the party. once the party nominates them, that's it. the speaker of the house is different. it's a constitutional position. the entire house of representatives has to approve, the majority has to approve the
speaker of the house. so, that vote is set, as i said, for the end of october. just because mccarthy, assuming he does get the nomination today, it doesn't necessarily mean that he's going to get the magic, what we expect to be needed, 218 votes, majority at the end of october because there have a lot of to'ing and fro'ing going on. i told you about the house freedom caucus. they effectively forced john boehner out. they don't think mccarthy is a new face and they're going to use their leverage, make sure he's going to listen to them, give them power they say they need, they want in order to secure their votes. >> dana bash on capitol hill, thank you. now, as she mentioned, with one group threatening to derail kevin mccarthy's quest to be next speaker is that house freedom caucus. this is a group of key conservatives believed to total around 40 members. enough to keep mccarthy from reaching that crucial 218 votes needed when the full house votes
later this month. as of now, the freedom caucus is backing this man. this is florida congressman daniel webster. but will they then stick together during the actual vote? that is yet to be seen. cnn's chief national correspondent john king is going to join me now. john, things are getting interesting. >> this is interesting. this debate is really about who they should be and what months tour they should take. the freedom caucus, 40 or so conservative backing daniel webster right now. most kai came in in the tea party wave of 2010, some in the second republican wave of midterm election of 2014. they think their party which won those elections, they have this frustration they're not winning. why haven't we repealed obamacare? why do we keep increasing the debt ceiling so the government can borrow more money? they're frustrated. now, what john boehner has tried
to tell them and what kevin mccarthy is going to have to try to tell them now, no matter what, yes, we have a house majority but there are only 54 republican senators. by the way, there's a democratic president, barack obama, who can veto anything we send him. these most conservative members despite civics 101, if you remember taking civics class, they still think their leadership should be getting more. if they can't get more, it should be more confrontational. those conservatives will be with daniel webster today. i think the key point is after the vote today, assuming mccarthy is right and he gets most of the votes, quet nthe qu now, what does he have to give up? does he have to issue a public statement. let's listen in. jason chaffetz on capitol hill. >> this is what i worry about. is the math is an issue. it will continue to be an issue.
given there's a process here, if you wanted to run, you step up, and i did. i think we can yield a good result. >> what does this say about where the republican conference is right now, these deep divisions that still remain and if any eventual speaker can unite the party at all? >> again, i want to engage in process reform. i think if you do that process reform, then you do yield a better result. but this is, you know, a healthy part of the process. nobody expected speaker boehner to step down, so we're going through there in the right way and hopefully we can get united. >> do you think there needs to be different in positions of leadership. >> no, no, no. >> you said 50 will vote against mccarthy. is that still true? >> based on the people i've chatted with, you know, it's part of the reason i offered my candidacy, is if they felt like they wanted an alternative, that i could help represent that alternative.
so -- >> is that still true? >> i -- it will be interesting to see how many people take a similar approach to me and say, look, we had the race and, you know, this is the result, so we'll respect that. >> to be clear, you're still planning -- if you don't get the votes today, it's over for you today. >> yeah. i'm going to support the nominee, whoever that is. we'll find out here in a little bit. >> congressman. >> i'm going to keep going. i think you got enough stuff. >> that's the republican congressman, jason chaffetz of utah. he threw his hat in the ring. you heard him acknowledge, he doesn't have the votes, kevin mccarthy has the votes but he put himself forward as plan "b." if enough republicans refuse to vote for kevin mccarthy and they need an alternative, he tries to have him right there. cnn now has daniel webster, the other conservative candidate for speaker of the house against majority leader kevin mccarthy.
let's go take a peek. >> that's right. i have daniel webster just walking by after he gave his pitch to his caucus. thank you very much for joining me. what did you say about why you think you should be speaker? >> well, i just said, look, when i was speaker of the florida house, we were able to turn our poll be numbers rightside up by taking up the most important issues first and taking that pyramid of power where it existed where few people made all the decision, push it dourngs spread it out so every member got a chance to be player. when you do that, you buy in the membership and adjourn on time and take up the most important issues first and you get your job done, it work and it is public notices. >> and you have gotten the endorsement of the house freedom caucus, which is a caucus relatively new but has quite a lot of power. talk about your conversations with them and why you think you got that? >> i told them the exact same thing. they were wanting to know how i would run the house and the idea
is to give everyone to participate instead of a top-down approach where most decisions are made at the top and most of the dig decisions are left to the deadline instead of taking those up first. when you take them up first, you have the upper hand. when you take them up last, you'll get run over. >> you know, as you well know, around here, that's generally not how the house has been run. either by democrats or runs. it's been run by power at the top and been done that way for many, many years. a lot of people think it has worked for many years. why do you think it should be different now? >> i think the public thinks it's dysfunctional. our numbers are 11% approval. we base everything on principle instead of power. those two can't exist in the same room. you either have principle our have power. when the membership gets engaged, the whole body does a much better job at doing the work. >> assuming that you -- let's
just say that you don't get the nomination today in the vote today and kevin mccarthy does, will you support kevin mccarthy on the floor when the house votes october 29th? >> i'm going to answer that if i lose, how about that? >> have you been thinking about it? >> no, i've been thinking about winning only. >> how do you feel in terms of the volts, how many do you have? >> i have no idea. vant asked for commitments. i've made my own commitment to them. i commit to serving them by telling them the truth, by making them successful, by giving them them the idea of putting principle over power and also by saying that i'll earn the right to be heard and not demand to be heard. >> i know you don't want to think about what happens after the vote but i'm going to try one more question. if you don't get the vote for speaker and and whomever it s lease assume it's kevin mccarthy, you know if you have a
seat at table with me, that would help, if you could get the freedom caucus. would do you that? >> i'm a plotter. we'll get to that vote, see what happens and i'll make any decision after that. >> appreciate you stopping. good luck today. back to you. >> planning it carefully to congressman webster, holding his cards close to his chest. you jaus heard from jason chaaafetz. congressman webster says, i'm the conservative guy, i'll win all the votes. kevin mccarthy remains establishment favorite. as we watch, this a lot of people watching around the country thinking, why does this matter to me? this is a big deal about the civil unrest within the republican party, the disagreements over whether to be governing or opposition conservatives, be more oppositional with president obama. as we watch this play out today and over the next several weeks,
many tensions are what you're watching when you have the republican debates between a marco rubio and ted crews or donald trump. >> the bigger question is, when that speakership changes hands, what's going to change? it sounds to me is that the conservative caucus, which he will then represent on a more broader level, i mean, they're still going to be digging in their heels. do you expect dynamics to change internally? >> that's a great question because the math won't change, at least until the next election. have you a democratic president to the white house, 54 republican senators on the senate side. these conservatives want more but the math does not support getting it. will they be happier if we voted ten more times to repeal obamacare, even though we know we're not going to get it?
is more confrontation enough or, as congressman webster said, more consultation consultation. but the math is not going to change. so, the question is, can they manage this? one other quick footnote, conservatives have invested in congressman webster. his district is likely to be redrawn. most people believe he can't win his seat next year. that it's going to be redrawn into a democratic district. they're looking for someone to carry their banner. he's likely to lose today but because this is behind closed doors and the frustration is so great, let's watch what happens. a little chaos and then it will play out. >> we'll keep an eye on it for sure. john king, thank you. still ahead here today, rupert murdoch feels the backlash. now he's backtracking. the tweet that started it all next.
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to the race for the white house now. republican hopeful jeb bush is in iowa today trying to win over voters there. he is wrapping up a three-day visit to the hawkeye state. today's events including a meet and greet over pizza with some of the voters. rival ben carson is the one making big headlines this morning. he's facing backlash after doubling down on his controversial comments about last week's mass shooting in oregon. carson ignited a firestorm after suggesting the shooting victims should have rushed the gunman. let's bring in cnn's athena jones live from the campaign
trail in des moines, iowa. one of the victims from the shooting not taking carson's comments too lightly. >> reporter: good morning, ana. that victim is taking offense at his remarks. look, voters say one of the appeals of ben carson is not a politician. he says what he thinks and he doesn't worry about political correctness. the question now is whether these latest comments will begin to damage that appeal. >> i want to plant in people's minds what to do in a situation like this. >> reporter: republican presidential republican hopeful ben carson can't seem to shake the firestorm he ignited. doubling down on controversial comments he made about last week's oregon campus massacre. >> from the indications that i got, they did not rush the shooter. the shooter can only shoot one person at a time. he cannot shoot a whole group of people. >> reporter: now a su vooifr of
the shooting has respond telling cnn, quote, i'm fairly upset he said that. no one truly knows what actions they would take in that situation unless they lived it. carson first commented on the massacre tuesday, telling abc news what he would done. >> he would tell everybody to attack the gunman because he can only shoot one at a time, that way we don't all end up dead. >> i would not just stand there and let them shoot me. i would say, hey, guys -- >> reporter: just a day later the former brain surgeon recounting a much different reaction when he was once held at gunpoint in baltimore to sirius/xm radio. >> the guy comes n puts the gun to my ribs. i said, i believe you want the guy behind the counter. he thought he was -- >> in a calm way, just -- >> in a calm way. he said, oh, okay. >> so, you just redirected him to -- >> i redirected him. >> on wednesday an unlikely ally coming to carson's defense.
>> mr. trump, real quick on ben carson, you're tweeting differently about him. >> i thought he was treated unfairly. >> now, trump and carson have been holding their fire against one another in recent weeks. in fact, trump says he would tap carson for a cabinet position if he wins. >> athena jones reporting, thank you. today one of carson's big supporters, rupert murdoch, is backtracking after he sent the internet into a frenzy for tweeting this. ben and candy carson, he says, terrific. what about a real black president who can properly address the racial divide and much else. murdoch is now apologizing with the tweet following up with this, saying, apologies. no offense meant. personally, find both men charming. cnn political commentator and radio host ben ferguson and joined by cnn commentator, ben.
what's your reaction to that initial tweet murdoch sent out? >> i think what he was trying to imply is president obama has not brought us together on the racial divide. in many ways i think the president has actually made it worse. he always seems to come out any time people are pressuring him on a racial issue to make it even worse than it was and not to bring people together. now, the way he said it wasn't the way i would say it and now he's backtracking a little bit here. i do think ben carson would be different and i think he would actually try to bring people together instead of always getting people riled up over racial issues. sometimes when the initial report is not reality. a great example is ferguson. i don't think the president did anything to calm that situation. he helped push that situation even bigger than it was before. >> mark, do you take offense at all to murdoch's comments? >> of course i do. who is rupert murdoch to be the
arbitrator of black faces? the knox fuse structure and right wing spent the first six years of president obama's term in office reminding us how black he was. when he was running for office they had "the new yorker" and michelle obama with the black power get up, they called the fist bump of terrorist fist jabs and they did these things to blacken up obama so white people wouldn't vote for him and now he's about to leave office saying he's not black enough. his proxy should be ben carson. we're all black. we're equally black. there's no differential types of black here. to ben's point, which i completely disagree with, how could ben carson bring us together racially when most black people aren't voting for ben carson and find his political commentary objectionable. president obama didn't do a great job for race all the time. for me because he didn't talk about it not enough.
white people, if you talk about it twice, that's two times too many. president obama didn't talk about race his whole term. he talked about it rarely. >> no it's not -- >> let's talk about -- go ahead, ben, finish your thought. i think the big difference here is, you know, you listen to what mark said about ben carson. many african-americans for some reason because he's conservative imply he's not black enough. you just said you're not questioning his blackness but now because of his politics you're saying he's not a real black men. >> i said the opposite. are you not listening? i said, i'm not requesting his blackness. no more is more black than anybody else. >> you said we don't -- >> because we don't agree with him. donald trump can't bring us together. george pataki can't bring us together. >> why can't ben carson come to the table with a different viewpoint and somehow you imply because he's conservative, he can somehow not bring african-americans to the table and help with a racial divide in this country and, therefore, barack obama can?
>> no. i'm glad people in america have dvr and they can rewind and see what i said. i said his politics are not compatible with racial reconciliation. contrary to what you -- >> how so? give us one example. >> i'll tell you in one second. i want to challenge the other point you said president obama could. i said, president obama did not bring us together racially enough. i disagree on why. i don't think we talked about it enough. >> what policy does ben carson have -- >> i'm going to answer your question. ben carson in the first debate said that when you cut people open, everybody's the same color inside. he said all of these things. that speaks to facially neutral color blind public policy which, in fact, we need racially targeted public policy. not only do i think it's wrong politically but i also think it's wrong for bringing people together. when you start telling black people they shouldn't be named black, all lives matter, that doesn't bring black people to the table. that pushes black people away from the table.
>> i disagree. i think his point is very clear. every live matters when someone is killed or shot, whether it be an african-american police officer, hispanic police officer -- >> you always say is that. >> it may just be the truth. >> i said black people have said always that. >> for the color of his skin being that, white, hispanic, all lives do matter. i think it is -- >> guys, we've had black lives matter/all lives debate before. i have to end our segment there. it's very obvious, many people are passionate about this issue, the issue of race. thank you. you offer thoughtful discussion. up next, the head of volkswagen u.s. in the hot seat. the shocking testimony he knew about possible emissions issues and a way to cheat the system as early as last year. books at laquinta.com.ead n he gets a ready for you alert the second his room is ready.
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hello again, i'm ana cabrera in for carol costello. volkswagen sitting in front of lawmakers right now admitting under oath he knew about possible tampering last year. german police executed a raid on the company's headquarters securing documents in light of this emission scandal. government regulation correspondent renee marsh is following this story closely for us. >> that's right. you just saw the images there, michael horn, the head of volkswagen here in the united states. he is giving his testimony, fielding questions from lawmakers in front of a house committee there on capitol hill. now, the problem is the epa says the german automaker tried to
cheat emission standards by using this software to essentially trick emissions tests into believing that vw diesel cars were in compliance when, in fact, they were actually spewing out 40 times emissions allowed. horn, who you're looking at there, has admitted he knew about the possible cheating scheme since 2014. we just turned around some sound from his testimony. let's take a listen. this is just minutes ago. >> on bhafehalf of our company colleagues and me personally, i would like to offer a sincere apology, sin see apology for volkswagen's use of software program that served to defeat the regular emissions testing regime. in the spring of 2014 when the west virginia university study was published, i was told there was a possible nonxlins that could be remedied. i was informed epa regulations that included various penalties
and also that the agency could conduct engineering tests on their own with -- which could include analysis on axillary equipment. let me be very clear about this. >> you heard in his own words, telling the committee that he was aware of this possible scheme in 2014 but the automaker only came clean to the epa last month. that's going to be one of the questions the lawmakers will want to know, white house responsible for the cheating scheme? why was the software installed? and how will the automaker fix the problem? how will that fix affect the performance of vehicle on the road today, ana? we expect lots of questions from lawmakers as they try to drill down on exactly how this happened 1k3 who was responsible. >> that's right. thank you. still to come, you see them all the time in isis propaganda videos, fleets of toyota trucks
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an investigation under way by the u.s. treasury department and their big question is trying to find answers about where isis is getting its toyota trucks from. now, the islamic state has shown the vehicles in all these propaganda videos. officials are now taking a closer look at how these cars are resold and they're examining the supply chains into the middle east. cnn's brian todd is investigating this for us. brian? >> ana, the treasury department is pressing toyota for answers the automaker may not have as to why so many toyota pickup trucks, suvs and other vehicles
are in isis's hands. analysts say it's almost as if isis has outfitted itself with a fleet like a corporation would. whenever you see them righting into toin they're draped all over toy toelt oath thats. they're hard to miss, toyota pickup truck and suvs are featured prominently in isis propaganda videos. >> toyota is the truck jihadist choose when they want to go to watch. >> reporter: toyota pickup trucks, similar to tacoma and land cruisers are scene. a top iraqi official tells cnn he believes isis has acquired hundreds of toyota vehicles in the years. toyota tells cnn the u.s. treasury department is seeking information on how isis has gotten ahold of so many of its
vehicles. and they briefed the treasury department on how it handles its supply chains. how do you think they're getting them? >> i think they're buying them -- through formal channels. they're probably going right into the dealerships and purchasing them. they're just not identifying as isis. who would? >> reporter: a former tracker at department says they run themselves as a mafia gang and major corporation. it has spreadsheets. some terror group vehicles are clearly from other carmakers, not just toyota. this ford pickup truck still has decals of a plumbing company from texas. the company tells us after they traded it in it must have gone to an overseas auction. taliban and other groups use toyota but it's well-suited to isis's fast and light fighting style. >> they can be easily modified, upgraded so great for desert,
dry conditions, dusty conditions. they have a lot of ruggedness that helps out a lot. also, you can put pretty much any weapon system from, you know, from a grenade launcher to, you know, a machine gun. they're easily modified so you can mount equipment on the back. >> reporter: a toyota official tells cnn they don't know how isis obtained all those vehicles and says it's impossible for any automaker to control how many vehicles are stolen or resold by third parties. they say the company is working with treasury department and treasury indicates toyota has the right procedures in place. a treasury official responded by not confirming that characterization but they refuse to disclose details of its investigation. >> fascinating story. brian todd, thank you. still to come, the battle for the hispanic vote heating up. can democrats retain the support of this key constituent by or might there be an opening for republicans?
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hillary clinton tonight at annual awards gala. clinton will present an award to chef jose andres, who canceled plans to open a restaurant in one of donald trump's hotel after donald trump called immigrants rapist and killers when he first launched his campaign. maria, in 2012 we know hispanic voters largely backed democrats. in fact, president obama won the vote over mitt romney by about a three to one ratio. let's fast forward, 2016. republicans fielding several candidates with ties to the hitt h -- hispanic community. >> in one word, ana, no. that doesn't mean democrats are not going to fight for every hispanic vote. they will be out there earning
the latino vote day in and day out. hillary clinton has a vast history going back five decades with hispanic voters, back in the '70s when she was registering hispanic voters in texas before it was cool to register hispanic voters, before democrats. bernie sanders is doing a ton of outreach with hispanic voters, with hispanic organizations. he's meeting today with leaders of the national hispanic leadership. martin o'malley spoke the dream act of maryland and he speaks about his plans for latino voters that will help them live a better life. so, i think democrats are on a very, very strong position with hispanic voters. let's not forget after 2012, republicans were in a tremendous hole. in fact, their own report said they had to do much better with hispanic voters. what do they do instead of listening to that? they do the complete opposite. so, when their front-runners are
xenophobic, anti-immigrant, they continue with that rhetoric and no other candidate seems to stand up to that, i think democrats are going to do very well with hispanics. >> sally, i see you shaking your head. >> can i applaud? >> i want to talk about this key endorsement sanders just got. hillary clinton has more than 100 democratic endorsements in congress. so the support of sanders lead to a trickle down effect in his favor? >> yeah, i agree with everything maria said. i would put it a little differently which is republicans, you know, have proven identity politics doesn't win out over policy and that they have to stand for things. what's key here is, look, bernie sanders in particular, you know, hillary has an edge with latino
voters according to polls of 70%, 75%. bernie sanders at the same time has name recognition problems of 70% to 75%. so 70% to 75% of voters have no idea who the guy is. this helps him with that. this shows he is ahead of hillary clinton on issues that matter, like on not building a wall, not strengthening border security, and on saying he would extend obama care in certain ways to cover undocumented immigrants. those are policies that should speak to folks. >> speaking of someone who is speaking out largely on this issue, joe biden, he's not in the race yet but jumping into the fray regarding the hispanic h population. he was fired up yesterday. he says hispanics have taken a beating at the hands of the presidential candidates. does that rhetoric, that language that's so fiery resonate or could that offend some in his key constituency?
>> well, i think they will look at it in the way it was meant, which was that people like donald trump, people like ben carson and the others who have never been able to stand up to the kind of hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric that is exspoused by the front-runner, latinos will take a look at what biden has said and agree that, yes, the kind of rhetoric that's being talked about on the republican side is certainly rhetoric that is hateful and hurtful to hispanics. with those kind of numbers, they will never reach la casablanca. >> thank you both for joining me. >> thank you. >> a quick programming note for our viewers, the first democratic debate right here on cnn coming up next tuesday, just five days away. starts at 8:30 p.m. eastern. still to come, such a disturbing story. an 8-year-old girl shot to death by her 11-year-old neighbor.
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an 11-year-old boy is now facing first-degree murder charges in tennessee after officials say over the weekend he shot and killed his neighbor just 8 years old. she died after she refused to let him see her up. dwr. puppy. the small community is reeling. her mother, as you can imagine, overcome with grief. >> i want her back home. i want her back in my arms. this is not fair. >> the boy is being held in juvenile detention right now. victor blackwell is joining me from knoxville. i understand you spoke with a neighbor who witnessed this entire shooting.
>> reporter: yeah, ana, i spoke with this neighbor who said it was a typical saturday, late afternoon, early evening in this small town of white pine about 40 miles east of knoxville. he says on saturdays, as they had most weeks, they were inside, most adults, watching football. and the kids were outside on this saturday playing with puppies. this 8-year-old had a new puppy, and an 11-year-old boy who lived a few yards away in a new mobile home park had a new puppy. it almost seems cliche. then in an instant, tratdy. listen to the neighbor's account. so, he pointed a bb gun first? >> yeah, yeah. then it misfired or something and he threw it down in the grass and he went and got the shotgun and he just shot the little girl in the chest area or, you know, close to the
heart, you know. i can't get that picture out of my head, you know, her laying there, you know. i've never seen a little girl, you know, shot down before. >> reporter: investigators say the boy pulled that shotgun, the 12-gauge, after she refused to let him play with the puppy. she died. that boy was arrested, charged with first-degree murder. he's here at the juvenile facility on $500,000 bond. the superintendent of the system describes him as tiny, weighing just 55 pounds. he'll be back in court november 28th. it begs the question, is he going to possibly be charged as an adult? the da in jefferson county says that's a possibility but there's a heavy burden to pull that off. i want you to also know there's a possibility that the parents could be charged here. "the washington post" reports he pulled that from a parent's -- a
parent's closet. in tennessee there's a possibility -- a lesser requirement for parents to be charged if their child uses a gun to commit a crime. >> tragic on so many levels. great to have you here. "at this hour with berman and bolduan" starts right now. the doors will soon close. last-second deals cut. a possible insurrection launched. the vote minutes away in the battle for house speaker. >> ben carson tells americans he would charged a gunman, rush him, but when he faced a gunman, admits that's not what happened. >> hillary clinton versus the white house, the one she worked for. a huge split on a signature issue. so, is the risk of being called a flip-flopper worth it to avoid a showdown in the cnn debate?