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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  November 5, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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miami. >> alina machado, thank you so much for that. and thank you so much for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin. make sure you stay right here. it has been months since we've seen senator ted cruz on cnn. jake tapper is about to interview him. "the lead" starts right now. thanks, brooke. was isis on the inside of that airport? "the lead" starts right now. a day after u.s. intelligence suggested that isis blew a plane out of the sky, there is fear the terrorist group found a new way to slip past security with an assist from inside the airport. plus, the uk sending the military to save thousands now stranded with doubts that the airport in egypt could stop another attack. also, a brand new poll showing that the gop race may be finally solidifying. a potential final four with trump again on top. i'll ask one of the other
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leaders of the pack, senator ted cruz, what is his path to the republican presidential nomination. good afternoon everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we're going to begin today with our world lead. if this was indeed a terrorist attack, it is in some ways working. flights have been canceled. officials are on edge. tens of thousands of western tourists are stranded as the world now reacts to the strong possibility that isis brought down a plane pulling off the worst terrorist attack in the skies since september 11th, 2001. today we're waiting for definitive word from the u.s. government confirming intelligence that now suggests but is not 100% that the terrorist group somehow smuggled a bomb onboard metrojet flight 9268 out of the sky killing 224 people on board including 25 children. the u.s. and uk are strongly
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leaning that way. but egypt and russia they're saying not so fast. but the plane's black boxes possibly damaged and yet to reveal a single secret and no physical forensics yet confirming this theory from u.s. and british intelligence sources. our reporters along with our terrorism and aviation experts are all standing by. we're going to lead off with cnn's barbara starr who broke the news about the u.s. intel yesterday. she joins us live from the pentagon. barbara, what are your sources saying today about how they arrived at this theory that it was in all likelihood an isis bomb? >> jake, as u.s. and british intelligence services continue to scour every piece of information they have, what we now know is that it was chatter as they say very quickly after the plane was -- came down out of the sky after it crashed. they got the interests of the u.s. intelligence community. they monitored very quickly chatter coming, they say, from isis in sinai, an isis
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affiliate. and this was an isis affiliate that talked or posted information online. we don't know the exact nature of the messages, but there was messaging talking about the bomb, talking about the plane, talking about some specifics of the attack. by all accounts this message was sent to some other terrorist element so there was communication between some elements of a network here about the attack. it is this and how quickly it surfaced for the u.s. intelligence community that got their attention. this is not the public claims online that isis has been making for several days. this is something else that the u.s. considers very classified, very sensitive. it is what they are continuing to look at that leads them and potentially the british government to believe this indeed may well have been a bomb put on the plane at sharm el sheikh airport, jake. >> barbara starr, thank you so
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much. just a couple of days ago a lawmaker called the tsa pitiful because of the sheer number of guns and fake bombs that slipped past security during covert testing. now the possibility that someone working at the airport in sharm el sheikh in egypt, a so-called insider, planted a real bomb, has security experts worried that all the body scanners and wands and metal detectors and shoe removals in the world will not be able to stop the next attack. cnn aviation correspondent rene marsh joins me now. rene, was this a security lapse from the back of the airport so to speak. is this unique to egypt, to sinai? or is this something that could happen here in the u.s.? >> i've been speaking to a lot of people today past and present in the aviation security sector. if indeed a bomb brought down this russian airliner, some say there are vulnerabilities here in the u.s. security system that could make it possible for a
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similar scenario to play out here. what i've heard over and over again from past and present officials what keeps them up at night is this threat, this insider threat that airport or airline worker with access to the most secure parts of the airport and the aircraft. >> we cannot be certain that the russian airliner was brought down by terrorist bomb, but because it's a strong possibility it's right to act. >> reporter: following a stunning assessment by the british prime minister activity at egypt's sharm el sheikh airport has slowed significantly as british aviation experts are on scene assessing security. >> you're talking about a system which is highly vulnerable to those who wish to corrupt it by money. and again, you have a natural system of these folks, of these expediters who are on a daily basis skating in and out of the system trying to push people through. >> reporter: with u.s. intelligence pointing to a bomb
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on board, many here are asking if it can happen on american soil. congressional testimony detailed an undercover operation where tsa failed 95% of the time detecting fake explosives at u.s. airports. >> failures included technology, tsa procedures and human errors. >> reporter: but the larger threat may be beyond the security checkpoint. >> you may have someone who has gone through all the security checks, has passed all the background checks but has been successful in hiding their true loyalty or allegiance to al qae qaeda, muslim brotherhood or isis. and this is the ultimate threat, the insider threat. >> reporter: chad wolf, former head of tsa security policy, agrees. >> what we've seen over the past six months to 12 months is the number of alarming security instances here domestically in the u.s. whether it be atlanta airport or others where you've seen guns being smuggled onboard
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passenger aircraft. >> if you can smuggle a gun, you could smuggle a bomb one would argue. >> i think that's still what's alarming to a lot of folks that so far so much time has passed after 9/11 that we would have shored this up. >> reporter: another concern, while airports that fly into the united states are supposed to abide by tsa policy, wolf says there's little oversight to make sure those rules are followed. >> tsa's going to be driven by the intelligence that comes out of the investigation. so how if it is an explosive device, how was it put onboard the aircraft? was it smuggled? is it an inside threat? was it a passenger? >> all crucial questions for tsa even though this is not a u.s. airport, not a u.s. airliner, tsa's paying close attention to this investigation, what happened, how it happened, will inform their decision on how to enhance security if need be. also, jake, what's likely happening behind the scenes we know that tsa has embeds in embassies throughout different
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parts of the world. they're most likely talking to those individuals to find out what's the security structure at those airports overseas to try and determine are there any soft points. >> rene marsh, thank you so much. let's go on the ground now to egypt, cnn's ian lee is live from sharm el sheikh. a number of airlines are banning flights to and from the airport where you are. what is security there like now? >> reporter: well, jake, security is really tight here. and coming in here earlier this morning i've been in and out of this airport a number of times. i was surprised how tight it was. just to give you an idea before you even come and get on the grounds here you have to go through a checkpoint. they search the luggage. they have a bomb sniffing dog. and once you go inside the terminal here behind me, there's extra layers of security where they scan your luggage twice, you go through metal detectors twice and most likely you will
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get a patdown. so they have really ramped it up. we've seen extra police officers here as well. and i talked to passengers who are still flying out of here. it's still very much a busy airport, if they felt safe. they said absolutely. they said they didn't have any security concerns about their flight. they thought the egyptians were doing a good job. but we know a team from the uk has been on the ground here working with egyptians getting some sort of deal where they can get these flights going again. tomorrow we're hearing some of these flights will resume to get some of these thousands of stranded holiday makers back home. >> ian lee in sharm el sheikh, thank you so much. the sinai peninsula in egypt has quickly become a terrorist hotbed with isis affiliates growing. so why didn't intelligence pick up anything about this plot if it was indeed a bomb that brought down this plane? that story next.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we're back with the one major question in our world lead, did a bomb from isis really bring down that russian airliner? today we learned u.s. and british intelligence sources did not and are not sharing information yet both came to the same conclusion that someone likely from isis likely planted an explosive on that plane killing 224 people, 25 of the victims children. we're also getting our own intel on a potent branch of isis in the sinai region where the plane went down. let's bring in cnn's evan perez. what are you learning about this group? >> one of these groups that emerged from the chaos after the arab spring in the sinai peninsula, it's been known mostly for attacking the egyptian state, the egyptian military, police. and in particular in july there was this rocket attack against
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an egyptian navy ship that really raised alarms. people really saw this was an increase in their capabilities that really had not been seen much before. and we've seen just since they've pledged allegiance to isis in november 2014, we have seen an increase in their propaganda, their sophistication, being able to carry things out. and so that's one reason why there's a lot more attention on this group. >> last year when we were covering the war between israel and gaza there was a lot about sinai and the illicit smuggling and trafficking of arms. that could be relevant here too i suppose. >> it could be very relevant because the question of where they get their armaments, the rocket where they used against a navy ship in july is very much an open question. and we know that these groups now that they're getting this allegiance to isis the question is are they getting more help from central isis, or does this simply help them raise money and get more weaponry? that's the question. >> all right. evan perez, thank you so much.
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appreciate it. let's bring in former congresswoman jayne harmon. now she's director of the wilson center. also with me here in studio cnn national security commentator mike rogers who was the senior republican on the intelligence committee the chairman of the intelligence committee. congresswoman, let me start with you. earlier this week even before the intelligence community began talking to reporters, you said you suspected foul play in this plane crash. why? >> because the signature of this it seems to me is an explosion. and i doubt the engine blew up. we don't know for sure, but it is plausible that this was either a crude bomb or a sophisticated bomb. and the use of sophisticated bombs on airplanes has already been attempted. so that's what led me to believe that. plus, sharm el sheikh is a bizarre of a town. the airport is wide open. there are sunnis who are very
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angry at russia for helping the shia in syria. and you put all that together and it just seems to me that cocktail is likely to be a bomb. >> congressman, one of the reasons why people were reluctant to believe isis after they initially claimed responsibility was people didn't think they were capable of such an attack. are they? >> well, it depends. i think what you're finding is there's a lot of allegiances and terrorist groups out there that are drifting. some have gone from al qaeda to isis. some have both. we know that over half of the al qaeda affiliates in the world have pledged at least surreptitiously support for the isis cause, meaning they would join in logistically or in events. that may have been what happened right here. the sinai has been deteriorating. remember when morsi got elected the security situation in the sinai went rapidly deteriorated. so when el sisi became president of egypt, that was a takeover if you will, some would call it
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something different than a coup, he began to re-establish security in the sinai. so it has been a tumultuous area. there is lots of connections between the muslim brotherhood, between isis, between other terrorist factions operating in the sinai. it is an arms bizarre that they're trying to get a handle on. and they have lots of relationships back into sharm el sheikh that could have come from different desperate groups. but isis could have encouraged it and again could have combined logistics to pull this off. and it is likely given what we have seen, and the british have great intelligence there, so do the russians, that it was probably an inside job in the sense that the device was in the right place at the right setting at the right altitude to bring it down. that says a lot about what they believe happened in an operation. again, it might not be something other than terrorism, but all the indicators are something different. >> congresswoman harman, explain why you think it is in all likelihood that russian authorities and egyptian authorities seem to be at least
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publicly more cautious, more circumspect in what they're saying other than beyond where america and the british are? >> well, this is a huge embarrassment both to egypt and russia if in fact it was a bomb. i agree with everything that my former colleague and buddy mike just said about the opportunistic nature of these different terror groups. they come together when it's convenient. and so let's understand that al qaeda especially in yemen has the most sophisticated bomb making capability, a guy named al asiri whom we've been trying to get for years. he may have played a role in this. obviously if it happened on egyptian soil, have lack security, and russia went into syria so vladimir putin said to prevent isis or any of these groups from attacking russia. of course what they're doing in syria is helping bashar assad
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rather than attacking isis. but nonetheless they could have been blamed, as i said earlier, for siding with the sunnis against the shia. so both of them will have black eyes if this turns out to be a bomb. and i think we're being very careful not to say more until we're absolutely sure. and the brits as you know have very good intelligence, mike just said that too. and so they're more out there than we are. and i still think the likelihood is that we will be able to prove a bomb was involved. >> congressman, a lot of people are watching this unfold and hearing about an insider job, somebody at the airport putting this device on the plane. they're wondering well how safe are american airports, how safe are they? >> speculation at this point. i think the information coming in might lead that way, but still social security speculation. they've got pieces of a puzzle. they're drawing a conclusion. so we need to be i think very careful to say that. >> okay. >> but on an inside job here you always worry that somebody breaks bad on the inside. they may have passed the background, they may have done
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everything right, somebody touches their heart to do something as dangerous as this you can't quite catch that. they have a pretty good system. they have a reinvestigation system. they're going to keep their eye on it. it's always something you worry about, but it is something they have taken into consideration here in our u.s. airports as well. >> former congressman mike rogers, form congresswoman jane harman. thank you both. donald trump taking a new swing at senator marco rubio. and today rubio punched back. plus, a new poll shows trump on top, but there's another candidate quickly moving up behind him, senator ted cruz. and he'll join me live coming up. jusdoes that mean they have toer grow apart from their friends, or from the things they love to do? with right at home, it doesn't. right at home's professional team thoughtfully selects
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. our politics lead now. chill out, that's what jeb bush wants the nervous nellies in his camp to do. but a new fox poll may be giving on edge donors even more reason to ditch the bush campaign. donald trump, dr. ben carson continue to battle it out for first place. this new poll has trump on top. senators cruz and rubio battling it out for third place. but bush, he's tied for fifth at 4%. along with three other rivals. cnn political reporter sara murray is right along side me here in washington. trump vying with carson but for some reason keeps punching down at rubio. it's kind of odd. >> it's amazing. donald trump is on top of the polls, but he's definitely not taking any chances. he's going up with ads. and he is laying into marco rubio. in a crowded and chaotic gop field, the top tier is finally coming into focus. a post-debate fox news poll puts donald trump ahead of the pack
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by a hair leading dr. ben carson 26% to 23% nationwide. >> i don't pay a great deal of attention to polls to be honest with you. i rather be near the top than near the bottom though that's for sure. >> senators marco rubio and ted cruz tie for third each at 11%, while the rest of the field stalls in the low single digits. >> our country is in deep trouble because, let's face it, politicians are all talk, no action. >> looking to poll to a wider lead, trump released his first round of radio ads in iowa, new hampshire and south carolina. >> if the people of iowa vote for me, you'll never be disappointed. i don't disappoint people. i produce. >> the ads positive bio spots chock full of campaign promises ignore trump's toughest rivals even as the candidate takes a harsher tone in interviews and a mistaken ly released promo for
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"saturday night live" as carson claims he has no interest in appearing on "snl." >> i think the presidency's a very serious thing. and i don't like making light of it. >> carson is up with his own ad promoting his record remix to rap music. ♪ >> as for rubio he's still weathering criticism about using a party charge card for personal expenses in florida. >> for years i've heard about marco and his credit cards. to be honest with you i think he's got a problem there. >> reporter: rubio today brushing aside the attacks with a swipe at his billionaire rival's business record. >> i just find it ironic that the only person running for president that's ever declared a bankruptcy four times in the last 25 years is attacking anyone on finances the. >> now at another sign we're sort of moving into the next
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chapter of the republican presidential race, both ben carson and donald trump will be getting secret service protection. just a couple months out from iowa and things are getting more and more intense, jake. >> very exciting. sara murray, thank you so much. moving up the polls but with trump and carson battling for the top spot, what is senator ted cruz's path to the nomination? he's here and he'll tell me next. senator cruz, good to see you. >> good to see you, jake. the future belongs to the fast. and to help you accelerate, we've created a new company... one totally focused on what's next for your business.
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candidate who proposed bombing isis back to the stone age handle this latest deadly turn in the fight against the terrorist group? here with me in washington to talk about national security and much more, republican presidential candidate and senator from texas ted cruz. senator, welcome back to "the lead." >> thank you, jake. good to be with you. >> so if you were in the oval office and this intelligence were confirmed, and obviously it's not 100% right now. but if it were confirmed this was an isis bomb that brought down the plane, what then? what would you do immediately? >> well, listen, this is an opportunity for the united states to focus russia's energy on isis. isis is the face of evil. and if they're responsible for this horrific terrorist attack, that's all the more reason for a concerted effort and a concerted commitment to destroy them. i mean, if you look right now part of the problem is putin i think has taken the measure of the man in barack obama and doesn't respect him. and it has limited -- once putin determines that obama's not credible, that he won't do what
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he says. >> uh-huh. >> that makes the prospect of our working together seriously to target isis a lot less plausible. >> well, let me ask you then. if we were to go down that route as a nation and seek a greater alliance with russia on fighting isis, which seems to be what you're suggesting, how would that effect american protests against russian incursions into ukraine? should those become secondary concerns because the truth of the matter is isis poses more of a threat to us than russia going into ukraine? >> well, listen, you can do both. and that's one of the things american foreign policy has long recognized is that you can pursue more than one objective at one time. for example, when russia invaded ukraine, at the time i called on president obama to do two things. number one, to install the antiballistic missile batteries that had been scheduled to go into poland and the czech republic. obama and secretary clinton had canceled that in 2009 in an effort to appease putin. >> right.
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during the reset. >> yeah. and the appeasement didn't work. that would have been a powerful statement of america standing with our allies. you know, i met with a number of conservative eu members who were in town yesterday. and we were talking about exactly this issue. and it was striking that all across europe the members who were here were nodding and saying that would have had a powerful impact on underscoring that america stands with our allies. the second thing we should have done at that time is there were then 22 applications pending in the federal government to export liquid natural gas. president obama should have held a national tv conference and said i'm approving every one of them right now today. now, it would have taken some time for those to process through and flow out, but the effect would have threefold. number one would have helped the people of ukraine and europe stand free from putin's economic blackmail that he uses energy to blackmail them. >> uh-huh. >> number two, it would have hit putin where it hurts, in the pocketbook. and number three, it would have
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created jobs and economic growth here. that's an example where we can press back against russian aggression. but doing that is not inconsistent at the same time when you have a malevolent force like isis working with them where our interests coincides. >> let me ask you about isis because you are not alone among republican presidential candidates in suggesting that the solution is increased air strikes in syria and iraq against isis tarkt targets and to arm the kurds, the peshmerga. but there are increasingly officials saying that's not going to be enough. more at least western combat troops if not u.s. combat troops are going to be needed. but you haven't been willing to go that far. lindsey graham says, senator, republican running for president as well, that if you're not going to be willing to put 10,000 u.s. troops in iraq, 10,000 in syria as part of a coalition, you're not serious about fighting isis. >> look, there are some politicians who like to support
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boots on the ground in every conflict across the globe in an effort to lean forward and show how tough they are. i don't think this is a game of risk. i don't think it should be politicians moving armies about. i think it should be driven by the national security imperatives and the military needs on the ground. right now what we're doing is utterly ineffective. i've spent a lot of time consulting with senior level military advisers both active duty military and retired generals admirals. >> right. you're on the senate armed services committee. >> and i believe our approach to isis should be twofold right now. number one, overwhelming air power. and it's worth underscoring you know in the first persian gulf war we had about 1,100 air attacks a day. it was overwhelming. after 37 days saddam hussein's army was crippled and we mopped in there 36 hours because of the impact of that overwhelming air attack. right now we're launching 30 air
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attacks. >> it's a small number. >> and the second piece, the kurds, are boots on the ground right now. they're fighting. they're effective fighters. they're loyal to us. they've been strong allies. and isis is using u.s. military equipment they seized in iraq. the kurds are using outmoded equipment and the obama administration refuses to provide weaponry to the kurds because they think it would dismay baghdad. i think that makes no sense. >> it also dismay the turks. let's move on i want to talk about your tax plan. you propose scrapping the tax code as it exists right now. and it's a very detailed tax plan. people should go to your website to read it, but the headlines are -- >> do you remember what the website is? >> tedcruz.com -- >> dot org. >> dot org, i apologize. business at one rate, the conservative national review takes issue with your business flat tax. they say it will be, quote, ultimately passed through to
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individuals in the form of lower wages, reduced dividends or higher prices. i'm sure you think the national review is wrong. tell me why. >> well, i think that was one columnist who wrote an article. i don't think it's the national review as a whole. but what i can tell you if you look at the tax foundation, which is a nonpartisan organization that scores everybodi everybody's tax plans. they've concluded of every major republican presidential candidate on that stage that my tax plan would generate the most jobs 4.9 million new jobs, would produce booming economic growth, increase capital investment by 44%. and for every income december siel from the poorest to the richest all of us would see double digit increases in after tax income of 14% or more. now, what does that mean? what does that mean for a single mom right now making $40,000 a year? it means she takes home an extra $5,600 each year after tax. that's real money to provide for her kids, to pay her bills, to
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make ends meet. it is an aggressively pro-growth plan. and one of the great advantages of a single flat rate 10% for everyone is that it lets everyone fill out their taxes on a postcard. which enables us to abolish the irs. and this simple flat tax means we also abolish the payroll tax. we apolish the corporate income tax. we abolish the death tax, the alternative minimum tax and abolish the obamacare taxes. and that means you don't have washington politicians picking winners and losers, deciding we're going to favor this group over the other group. you no longer have billionaire hedge fund managers paying a lower rate. everyone pays 10%. >> exempting the first 36,000 which is tax free. >> yeah. so for a family of four the first 36,000 you earn you pay nothing. that's not only no income tax, that's no payroll tax, which is the biggest tax many americans
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pay. but if you look at businesses, right now today the corporate income tax 35% the highest in the developed world. giant corporations have armies of lobbyists, they end up often paying little to no taxes, small businesses get hammered. my simple business flat tax everyone pays 16% treats them evenly and don't have government picking winners. >> stay right there, cruz. we want to talk to you more, we still have to pay some bills. senator cruz says the nominating contest might come down to him and one other guy. find out who next. big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets.
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what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern. ancestry has come out now they have lifestory. it literally lays out somebody's life, from birth to death. when i was using lifestory, i discovered my great grandmother. she went through a lot. two sons go to fight in world war ii. she lived through the depression. and she made it through all of that. here i am. just because she survived, and she kept going. bring your family story to life like never before. get started for free at ancestry.com
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welcome back to "the lead." did president george w. bush's inner circle steer him in the wrong direction? if you ask his father, former president george h.w. bush, that answer might be yes. in a new biography titled "destiny and power," bush 41
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blames bush 43's help including former vice president dick cheney and defense secretary donald rumsfeld for serving the younger bush poorly. of rumsfeld bush writes him off as an arrogant fellow lacking humility. cheney was called an iron ass who divided the west wing. republican presidential candidate ted cruz is here with me. i know you're probably not willing or desirous of entering into bush family politics, but you worked for the george w. bush white house. does the father's estimation of how that white house worked bear any resemblance to what you've witnessed? >> oh, look, i'll stay out of any fights between bush 41 and rumsfeld and cheney. they're all big boys that can take care of themselves. >> all right. >> i will say something as you know i met my wife, heidi, on the bush 2000 campaign. and we were one of eight marriages came out of that campaign. which something i tell young people if you're looking to meet
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a spouse, come to a presidential campaign. and it led to a lousy joke that i've told all over the state of texas, which is whatever anyone else thinks of george w. bush, in our house he'll always be a uniter and not a divider. >> let's stay on the family theme but a slightly more serious one. jeb bush has been talking about his daughter's struggles with addiction recently. it's a huge issue out there especially in new hampshire where you're campaigning a lot these days. in your book, which i've read and i do recommend. it's a great campaign book, one that you actually wrote. you write rather movingly about your older sister. >> yeah. >> her struggles with anger and ultimately with drugs and she died in 2011 after accidentally overdosing. >> yeah. >> did that experience teach you anything in terms of dealing with addiction as a society or as a representative of the
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government? >> it's a horrible disease. and i've seen it firsthand. i mean, my sister was nine years older than i am, i grew up with her, she was my half sister from my dad's first marriage. her parents got divorced when she was a little girl. and mariam was always very angry about it. and it consumed her. and she was smart. she was beautiful. and yet her whole life she lived basically as an angry teenager. she was sort of frozen emotionally in a state of rebellion. and she made decision after decision that was the wrong decision. and she struggled her whole life with drug and alcohol addiction. she was in and out of prison for petty crimes. i mean, for shoplifting, for little things. but she kept associating with people who were really bad actors. and, you know, when i was in my mid-20s things got really bad for mariam. she was actually living in a crack house. >> in philadelphia. >> yeah.
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so my dad flew up to see me and the two of us we left our rings and our watches and our wallets and everything because we're driving to a crack house to try to get my sister out. and we didn't know if we'd be robbed or shot or what we were going to experience. and we pulled her out. we went to a denny's and spent about four hours trying to talk to her saying what are you doing. and she was just angry. she wouldn't change. and you can't -- with an addict you can't make them change if they're unwilling to get treatment, if they're unwilling to walk a different path. and, you know, mariam had a son, my nephew going into seventh grade at the time. we're saying, look, joey needs you. she wasn't able to provide for him so i had just gotten out of law school. i ended up putting a $20,000 cash advance on my credit card and paying to put joey in a military school valley forge military academy. and i think that year made a real difference in his life providing some structure and
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some order. and then by the end of the year she had improved somewhat and was able to care for her son again. but then as you noted she a few years ago overdosed one night. joey came to the apartment and found her dead. >> that's a horrible story. my deepest condolences. awkward to turn to politics, but i have to for a second. which is you have said privately according to press reports that you think ultimately this race is going to come down to you and senator rubio. senator rubio unveiling three endorsements this week from freshmen republicans in the senate. if it does come down to you versus rubio, why you? what's your argument for you? >> well, listen, i'm not sure it will come down to marco and me. i like marco. i respect him. he's a friend of mine. he's a great guy. there are a lot of political observers that are saying that, and i think that's certainly a plausible outcome. you know, as i look at the race historically there've been two
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major lanes in the republican primary. there's been a moderate lane and a conservative lane. and in past cycles there's been a consensus moderate choice early on, all the money gets behind them. and conservatives we fight like cats and dogs, there are a ton of us, nobody has any money. and that's how the moderate wins the nomination and then goes onto lose the general. and one of the things i'm very encouraged by is in this cycle that's flipped. it's inverted. the moderate lane is crowded as all get out. you've got four or five candidates that are slugging it out who i think will spend millions trying to take each other out. >> kasich and jeb, yeah, christie. >> and i don't know who comes out of that lane. look, i think marco is certainly formidable in that lane. i think the jeb campaign seems to view marco as his biggest threat in the moderate lane. so i think they're going to slug it out for a while. but when you look at the conservative lane, what i'm really encouraged by is that conservatives are consolidating behind our campaign. so the two candidates that have dropped out, scott walker, rick perry, both very good men,
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strong governors. both were competing primarily in the conservative lane. >> uh-huh. >> other candidates that were expected to be formidable in that lane have not been getting significant traction. and so i'm very encouraged every day more and more conservatives are uniting behind our campaign. and once it gets down to a head-to-head contest between a conservative and a moderate. >> yeah. >> i think the conservative wins. if you look at republican primaries, conservatives outnumber moderates three to one right now. so if we get head-to-head, i'm very confident we're in a position to win the race. >> quickly if you could, you are speaking at a conference this weekend, the national religious liberties conference in des moines. it's organized by a guy named kevin swanson. you've been very outspoken about what you deem liberal intolerance of christians. kevin swanson has said some very inflammatory things about gays and lesbians. he believes christians should hold up signs at gay weddings
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holding up the leviticus verse. i don't hold you responsible for what other people say, but given your concern about liberal intolerance, are you not in some ways endorsing conservative intoleran intolerance? >> listen, i don't know what this gentleman has said or hasn't said. i know when it comes to religious liberty this is a passion of mine and has been for decades. and i have been fighting for religious liberty for everyone. for christians, jews, muslims, for every one of us to practice our faith. and in the last six and a half years under the obama administration we have seen an assault on religious liberty from the federal government. couple months ago i hosted a rally for religious libber eer iowa had 2,500 people come out. single biggest political event in the state of iowa this year. and we had nine heroes, people who stood up for their faith who just told their stories.
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and it was powerful. you can go and watch those stories o on our website, tedcruz.org. the amazing thing is many in the media diminish threats on religious liberty say they're not real. what i tried to do is withdraw myself and have the focus be on them telling their stories. >> i know you got to catch a flight so i'm getting the hook now. senator ted cruz, thank you so much for stopping by. good luck. see you on the campaign trail. >> thank you, jake ncht coming up, new twist in the case of the police officer wlo killed himself and made it look like murder. what did his wife know of his illegal activities? that's next.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. our national lead now, investigators say illinois police lieutenant joe -- staged
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homicide designed to look like murder. today the attention is turning to his family. messages uncovered from gliniewicz wife reveal his wife may have been part of the embezzlement scheme. she's listed as an adviser for which her husband which say was stealing. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning it over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." evidence of a bomb, officials say the specific nature of messages among isis members now leading u.s. intelligence to the belief that a bomb brought down a russian plane over egypt's sinai desert killing 224 people. america's response amid concerns that weak security or an airport insider could have allowed a bomb on board. we'll take a closer look at gaps and security abroad and airports right here in this country. could new precautions keep