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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  November 9, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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rachel, always great to have you on. thank you so much. and that does it for me. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. thanks, brianna. did isis just become a much larger threat to the united states? "the lead" starts right now. new details about how terrorist chatter helped convince u.s. officials that isis blew that plane out of the sky. could the next one be an american plane? revolt on a college campus after numerous allegations of racism. the football team there refused to play, one student refused to eat. it all forced a huge surprise today. plus, a little boy laid to rest today after two police officers fired 18 shots into his father's car. it's a tragedy and a mystery for this community. and new this hour, their boss is telling cnn that the city is corrupt. welcome to "the lead" everyone. i'm jake tapper. our world lead today, 99.9%
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certain, that's how sure a senior u.s. official is that isis snuck that bomb onto that russian passenger jet taking the plane out and with it 224 people including 25 children. the official line from the egyptians, confusingly remains the same. they say that it is still too soon to definitively say just what caused this plane to fall out of the sky. cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is in washington and will help us clear this all up. jim, why such a disconnect between what u.s. and british and israeli officials are saying and the public statements of the russians and especially the egyptians? >> i'll tell you, there's so many politics swirling around here. really the last thing you want in any sort of terrorism or possible terrorism investigation, you now actually have the russian prime minister dmit dmit dmitri saying all flights to egypt have been suspended since
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friday. that out of line with other russian officials who refuse to identify a cause so far. meanwhile egyptian officials have been even more reluctant saying that such an attack or fearing i imagine such an attack could undermine the government's tough counterterror efforts. u.s. officials while not reaching a definitive conclusion indicate they are moving closer to identifying a cause. tonight, u.s. intelligence is 99.9% certain a u.s. official tells cnn that a bomb brought down metrojet 9268 over the sinai. >> we formed the view overall that it was more likely than not that this was a bomb on the plane. >> reporter: the increasingly likely conclusion sparking ominous new warnings of the global threat from isis. >> this is a huge worldwide problem. >> if this is a bomb by the affiliate of isis in the sinai, isis has now fully eclipsed al qaeda as the gravest terrorist threat in the world. >> i think we do need to be very wary of flights coming in from
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the middle east. >> reporter: egypt's lead investigator noted a loud noise on the cockpit voice recorder just before the plane broke up in the air. but he still wouldn't concede a bomb as the likely culprit. >> the initial observation of the aircraft wreckage does not yet allow for identifying the origin of the in-flielgt breakup. >> reporter: u.s., british and israeli officials seem more convinced. some crucial intelligence coming from communications intercepted by israeli intelligence focused on the sinai and passed along to the u.s. and uk. one focus now the possibility this was an inside job with isis recruiting an airport worker in sharm el sheikh to place a bomb yob board the tplane. >> if they were able to infiltrate sharm el sheikh airport, they certainly could have had the opportunity to do that in other airports throughout the middle east. >> reporter: i'm told even u.s. intelligence at this stage is still raw and to some degree
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purely circumstantial. u.s. officials don't have the hard evidence they normally would at this stage, explosive residue on the debris or bodies with shrapnel, possibly indicating an explosion, until they do so u.s. officials will also refuse a definitive conclusion, jake. but as you have heard so many officials here in the u.s. and israeli and in the uk they're at least willing to go so far as that is most likely conclusion. >> 99% is pretty close to 100. jim sciutto, thanks. the british government says the luggage screening process at sharm el sheikh failed and that could be how isis or its affiliate in sinai potentially delivered a bomb to this plane. cnn international correspondent erin mclaughlin is in sharm el sheikh where this ill-fated flight took off. erin, you got a close look at what goes on behind the ticketing counter at the airport. tell us about it. >> reporter: hi, jake. that's right. we were given a tour of the security points throughout the airport including the luggage screening process as well as a room used to monitor cameras
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throughout the airport. we didn't see anything out of the ordinary, but the associated press reports that when the airport is out of the spotlight there are a number of alarming allegations made by seven unidentified airport officials. allegations including that a machine, a key machine used to monitor luggage for explosives often doesn't work due to human error. it also reports that there's lack security at one of the entrances to the airport for fuel for the airplane, food and fuel for the airplanes. they also report some of the poorly paid policemen inside the airport monitoring the x-ray machines are prone to bribes. so all of this egyptian officials really hitting back at the a.p. report spokesperson for egypt's aviation authority releasing the statement saying, quote, i am not saying we are 100% mistake free.
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it is possible. but not in the way it was portrayed. these allegations are generalizations. they are baseless and false. airport authorities insisting that the sharm el sheikh international airport is safe, jake. >> all right. erin mclaughlin, thank you so much. cnn aviation correspondent rene marsh is in washington as well. rene, there are hundreds of thousands of airport workers in the united states who have unrestricted access at the thousands of u.s. airports. and some u.s. officials seem worried because they say the government doesn't know all that much about who these workers are. >> jake, that's absolutely right. we know one congressman is sounding the alarm tonight over concerns about an insider threat right here in the united states. and he points to a vetting system for airport workers, he says is not stringent enough to catch bad actors. as u.s. intelligence officials are increasingly confident a terrorist bomb brought down the russian metrojet airliner,
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tonight u.s. authorities are honing in on security measures at airports across the middle east. >> isil is out there now active in a lot of different areas. and so while this investigation is pending, and because we have this group claiming responsibility, we believe it's significant to do these things on an interim basis. >> reporter: fewer than ten airports in the region with direct flights to the u.s. are seeing the increased security including airports in cairo, kuwait and ahman, jordan. but the list could expand. >> i want people to know that their aviation security officials working on their behalf are continually evaluating threats, potential threats, and that we make adjustments all the time. >> reporter: as the department of homeland security intensifies its focus on overseas airports,
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congressman john katko, chairman of the subcommittee on transportation security says not enough is known about the close to 1 million airport workers with secure access at airports here in the u.s. >> don't know enough about them. and it's troubling some don't have their basic biographical data. that needs to change. >> reporter: in june a department of homeland security inspector general report revealed tsa's airport worker vetting process had effective methods to match workers to terrorism but not for some basic criminal history. one u.s. official with knowledge of u.s. aviation security tells cnn the information that's needed to vet airport workers with access to the most secure areas of the airport is basically the same level of passenger would have to provide to get security precheck clearance. >> once they get hired especially i think we lose a little sight of them because, yes, their name gets screened
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against a terror watch list, but they don't do any current vetting would be more helpful. >> reporter: the congressman offered legislation that would increase random screening of airport workers and increase how many times they are vetted beyond their hire date. it hasn't passed the senate though, jake. and, jake, another issue that's come up, you know, if this is the problem at u.s. airports where tsa is in charge, some are saying imagine the situation overseas where tsa can't physically provide oversight. >> rene marsh, thank you so much. in our politics lead, one until debate day. dr. ben carson not happy with the continued questions about his life story saying he's been scrutinized more than any other candidate. now one of his competitors is asking, is he kidding? that story next.
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welcome back to "the lead." time now for our politics lead. in some ways it seems like you can't talk about one without talking about the other. they are the two republican front runners. and they're part and parcel of the outsider phenomenon though they are far different breeds of cat. they will both occupy two primetime positions at tomorrow night's debate in milwaukee. but donald trump and dr. ben carson spent their weekends, well, just a little differently. while trump was live from new york and danced like drake and goofy dads everywhere on "saturday night live," dr. carson spent his weekend answering allegations that he may have sensationalized portions of his autobiography. today, again, the outsider twins find themselves together in a new south carolina poll. let's go right to cnn chief political correspondent dana bash. she's in wisconsin. dana. >> reporter: that's right, jake. ben carson and donald trump are
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going to share center stage at yet another debate here in wisconsin tomorrow night. and there is new evidence this afternoon that right now at this snapshot in time it is carson and trump, and then there's everyone else. ben carson is surging in south carolina, now running neck and neck with donald trump. >> it's not particularly getting under my skin. >> reporter: carson is on the rise even as questions persist about his life story defined by tales of personal struggle and redemption, central to his appeal. >> you ask me something about fifty years ago. you expect me to have the details on that, forget about it. it's not going to happen. >> reporter: whether it's the fact cnn could not find anyone who could corroborate his story of stabbing a boy as a young man, a boy only saved by his belt buckle or "the wall street journal" questioning his anecdote about taking a test at yale designed to paint him ethical, carson says he's a victim of unfair media bias.
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>> it's just stupid. if our media is no better investigating than that, it's sick. >> reporter: carson declines to identify individuals involved in his violent outburst, but today he did point to a 1997 story featuring his mother who told parade magazine about the attempted stabbing and said, oh, that really happened. carson's top adviser sounds a different note from the candidate telling cnn the questions are fair game. >> i think it's a very good thing that dr. carson is being vetted, that dr. carson is being tested. >> is he kidding? >> and other candidates listening to carson complain say welcome to the big leagues. >> i don't have a whole lot of sympathy. he should answer the questions forthrightly and directly. >> reporter: marco rubio is also facing scrutiny for his past using a florida republican party credit card for personal expenses. but his campaign is confronting it with a different tactic, releasing the statements this weekend insisting there's no there-there. donald trump, a fellow outsider virtually tied with carson in
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key early states has the most to gain by the controversy and stoked it on cnn's "state of the union". >> ben wrote a book, and the book is a tough book because he talk about he has pathological disease. it's a serious statement when you say you have pathological disease because as i understand it you can't really cure it. but he said he had pathological disease. >> reporter: carson did call his temper as a child pathological, but not a disease. and carson isn't the only first-time politician prone to embellishing in the past. here's what donald trump told us this summer. >> everybody exaggerates. i mean, i guess i do a little bit. i want to say good things. >> reporter: now, one politician who thought he was going to get far as an outsider ended up dropping out at the end of september. and, jake, i'm talking about the governor of wisconsin scott walker. he has not made any campaign appearances since that time except he's going to change that in just a few minutes. he's going to be side by side
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with jeb bush talking about education. but i'm told by sources close to both men don't expect an endorsement, jake. >> that's right, the walker endorsement, a lot of people wanted that. dana bash, thanks so much. on the democratic side today hillary clinton making sure all the is are dotted and ts are crossed to get on the new hampshire primary ballot. a granite state victory is looking more and more in reach for clinton, and that's because this guy, senator bernie sanders from neighboring vermont, has slipped a bit in the polls in the granite state. while he has become a cultural phenomenon in some ways, his campaign seems to have stalled. our cnn chief political analyst gloria borger sat down with sanders and asked him if his moment in the spotlight is nearing its end. >> is the magic you had this summer slipping away from you? >> no. absolutely not. let's go back six months. and let's look at bernie sanders announcing his candidacy and being three, four percent in the polls. no money in his campaign.
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no volunteers. no political organization. running against a woman who is enormously well-known, whose husband was president of the united states. >> that would be hillary clinton. >> well, i don't want to say so, but if you say it i'll agree. >> okay. >> look, we started off, six months ago, be honest, gloria, what did the media consider bernie sanders, a fringe candidate, right? not a serious candidate, be honest, that was the case. now you're saying you haven't quite won this thing yet. that tells me we have made real progress in six months. >> i want to talk about hillary clinton's damn e-mails, to quote you. >> the american people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails. >> thank you. me too, me too. >> you sort of gave her a pass during the debate. do you regret that? >> no, i do not regret that at all. i mean, i cannot walk down the in capitol hill without being begged by the media to attack hillary clinton. they want to make it personal.
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it's easy to cover. i don't want to do that. let's talk about wall street, climate change, education, frankly that is what the american people want to hear discuss. >> don't go anywhere, you'll miss more of gloria's interview with democratic presidential bernie sanders at the top of the hour 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room" with wolf blitzer. coming up on our show, president obama and prime minister netanyahu meeting face-to-face for the first time in a year. are there new signs their strained relationship may be on the mend? plus, a 6-year-old boy with autism shot dead by police. it was all caught on body cam video. why did the officers shoot? a new court proceeding today. that story's ahead.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in other world news, an effort today to portray cleej yalty as president obama sat down with one of his least favorite allies, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu with whom obama has enjoyed a famously frosty relationship. the two leaders met face-to-face at the white house in more than a year. this comes of course after the passing of that controversial nuclear deal with iran which netanyahu strongly opposed. and amid continued violence between israelis and palestinians with no peaceful resolution in sight, israeli officials releasing today graphic video showing a knife wielding palestinian woman stabbing a security guard in the west bank before she was shot. let's get right to cnn's michelle kisinski. what was the mood reich whlike y spoke with reporters?
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>> everyone wants to see what this was like considering in 2011 when benjamin netanyahu was in that oval office lecturing president obama very uncomfortably on history and the relationship between these two countries. and then coming here just a few months ago not even meeting with president obama but railing against the iran nuclear deal before congress. so this is the first time that they're meeting face-to-face in more than a year. and it could not have been more different than those prior times. i mean, we saw this exuberant handshake multiple times. netanyahu offering an if fusive thank you to the u.s. and president obama also offered this strong statement, again in support of israel. listen. >> i want to be very clear that we condemn in the strongest terms palestinian violence against innocent israeli citizens. and i want to repeat once again it is my strong belief that
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israel has not just the right but the obligation to protect itself. >> interesting no mention there of it being both sides' responsibilities to contribute to peace, no mention of continued israeli settlement activity which the u.s. believes contributes to tensions. that meeting was to be all about building the relationship, moving beyond the iran nuclear deal and trying to build security. and just continue the relationship since those tensions. it's also really interesting though to hear the prime minister say that he's committed to a two-state solution. well, that's quite a bit different from some statements he made while he was running again for office. but, you know, outside of that meeting the white house says it trusts in the relationship. but there needs to be follow through to statements like that. it wants to hope for the best. looking for some ideas or concrete steps toward building trust and building peace there
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if there's not going to be a two-state solution any time soon, jake. >> michelle kasinski at the white house. thank you so much. in our national lead, today, a key resignation may have the team back on the field. that story next. if yand you're talking toevere rheumyour rheumatologiste me, about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira giving me new perspective. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. topping our national lead today, university of missouri president tim wolfe resigned just hours ago amid charges by some students and faculty. the school failed to properly address institutional racism on campus. african-american students in particular have been protesting for weeks after a series of racially charged incidence they say the president did not take seriously enough. the latest development on saturday members of the mizzou football team with support from their coach announced that they were refusing to practice or play until the president stepped aside.
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in his remarks wolfe said his resignation came out of, quote, love, not hate. it's been a dramatic scene at mizzou for weeks now including a student undergoing a hunger strike. it seems from the outside as though it wasn't until the football team got involved and revenue was at stake that the university started getting real. >> absolutely, jake. you're talking about an athletic department that brought in a revenue of $83 million the last fiscal year. it's truly a remarkable series of events we've watched play out in america's heart land. you have a small group of students that eventually grew support and then led to the resignation of that school president. >> please, please use this resignation to heal, not to hate. >> reporter: tim wolfe is answering the call for change at the university of missouri. he stepped down from his post as president amid heated racial tensions at mizzou's main campus. students insisted racism is real at their school and their leader
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wasn't doing enough about it. it's a claim wolfe acknowledges. >> i take full responsibility for this frustration. and i take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred. >> reporter: news of the resignation met with celebration by some students. voices united in an anthem reminiscent of the civil rights struggle of the 1950s and '60s. ♪ >> it's really about just fair bs, not just about tim wolfe resigning but just about equal rights with different things on campus. i know this is just like the beginning of it. >> reporter: the push for change meant to personal commitment for jonathan butler, the missouri grad student refused to eat until wolfe stepped down. >> after all the letters we've sent. all the in-person interactions, after all the forums we've attended, after all the tweets and telling the administration about our pain, it should not have taken this much. and it is disgusting and vile
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that we find ourself in the place that we do. >> reporter: nearly half of the missouri tigers football team fueled the cause by threatening to stay off the practice field in protest. their head coach announced support with a single image of his players locking arms. the team was prepared to boycott its next game, a move which could have cost the school a million dollars. this morning a faculty walkout added even more pressure. missouri journalist and professor cynthia frisbee says she's seen it. >> i've been here 18 years and this is nothing new. so i've been called the word too many times to talk about it on camera and to write them all out -- >> reporter: jonathan butler has ended his hunger strike. the football players will be back on the field tomorrow. but the student struggle is far from over. so what happens next? the group at the head of this movement say they are still standing behind their long list of demands, some of which, jake, the university says are actually being taken into account and
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being included in what the university refers to as a diversity and inclusion strategy. they've actually been working on this since last summer. they expect to unveil that next april. what's important to hear is it really does suggest that the university at least had an idea this was something serious they had to address even before the national spotlight got on these kids. >> all right. thanks so much. joining me is associate professor at the university of missouri school of journalism. you just saw her in the report. professor, thanks so much for being with us. i guess the first question, what had the president done wrong in the eyes of student and faculty calling for him to go? >> that's a great question. and one i'm asked frequently. i think it was the lack of response. i think even from a public relations perspective you always want to respond immediately to any crisis, whether you're responding immediately by saying i'm going to look into this later, i'm not quite sure what's going on. but if you go back and look at
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the youtube video from the homecoming parade and see that there was absolutely nothing done, i think that's a sign of leadership that people were complaining about. >> you talked in paulo's piece about being called the n word in your 18 years at mizzou with far too much frequency. once is with too much frequency, but give us an idea of what day-to-day life is like for an african-american on mizzou campus. >> well, i would say quite honestly i'm probably in a little bubble at the journalism school. so life for me is okay. i mean, it's great at the journalism school, but beyond that, you know, i do believe that i have to give a little bit more cognitive effort to some of the behaviors i get from students, from faculty. a lot of times you want to ask them, are you this mean by nature or is it because you harbor some resentment towards my skin color.
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that's not uncommon to me. i think it's a situation that i don't just see here at missouri, but i'm pretty sure people will respond to that on other campuses just as well. >> i have no doubt that there are some horrible people on campus as there are -- >> everywhere. >> -- as there are probably horrible people everywhere. but is this president resigning -- is his resignation going to change anything? he wasn't the one after all calling people those horrible names. >> yeah. you know, that is a great question because i do think it's one step in a bigger problem. like, you know, it's one piece of the jigsaw puzzle, but it's a step toward that direction. i think what we are probably going to need to do is figure out structurally what are some of the things that we need to change. why do people feel so comfortable to use the n word without any problem? i think it requires a lot of discussion and it requires a lot of candid discussions. a lot of here's how i feel about
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that. i think some of the questions about the n word is, you know, let's just be honest how can we use it in our music and say other people can't. so there's like broader issues in other words is what i want to say. that we have to work through those before we can see any kind of progress. so his stepping down was just one little mechanism that, again, is in a broader problem and framed in a broader problem. i don't know if that makes sense. >> no, it makes sense. professor, do you think that the involvement of the football team was crucial when it came to the president's decision to resign? >> well, whether it was the football team or whatever was crucial, i think, you know, jake, i think what struck me the most was that back in the '50s or '60s we had a time where people put some action to their words. so for example you had people who left their jobs in order to do a march. you know, left jobs they weren't
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even promised they'd have when they come back, or they went to prison. and this day and time what we see is a lot of people hiding behind computers, saying and hurling their insults or giving money to donations. but you hardly ever see somebody do something that's so drastic in order to effect change. and i think that's what we were seeing with the football team. you know, we were seeing people who decided, okay, i've had enough and i've got to go back to doing something like from the martin luther king jr. days that would effect change. >> associate professor cynthia frisby at the university of missouri school of journalism. hope your students behind you are getting credit for listening to this interview. >> thank you. >> appreciate your time. >> thank you. coming up, two police officers facing murder charges after killing a 6-year-old boy. but the question remains why did they shoot 18 bullets into this car? what did the dad do? plus, "breaking bad" star qur
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6-year-old jeremy mardis was laid to rest this afternoon in louisiana nearly a week after two police officers shot and killed the first grader with autism while they were chasing his father's car. the same day he was buried far too soon is the day we may finally get some answers about just why this happened. why officers fired 18 bullets into the vehicle when it was stopped at a dead end. with both officers facing the judge. nick valencia now join uses from marksville, louisiana. we're hearing one of the officers may have known the boy's father. >> certainly a bizarre set of circumstances surrounding this case especially after what we're hearing from a source, jake. a source close to the investigation who tells me that norris greenhouse, one of those charged in the murder of that 6-year-old, actually knew the victims prior to the shooting. while he knew them, the extent of how they knew each other that's being investigated by the louisiana state police. a big part of their investigation. and now this, the city's mayor telling me there's corruption in
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this city that he's been trying to get to the bottom of. outside the detention center the local sheriff announces the judge's orders for the two officers charged with the murder of a 6-year-old. >> the judge set the bond. set at $1 million. >> for each officer? >> for each officer, correct. >> reporter: the officers were moonlighting as city marshals in marksville, louisiana, last tuesday night when they opened fire on a car driven by this man, chris few. inside buckled to the passenger seat few's son, jeremy mardis. the officers fired 18 bullets. the little boy is hit five times, killing him instantly. the father is injured. he was unarmed. almost a week since investigators still have not said why they believe the officers pursued the car or why they used lethal force. >> jeremy mardis, 6 years old, he didn't deserve to die like that. and that's what's unfortunate. >> reporter: the incident is caught on police body cameras. the footage has not been released to the public, but
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louisiana state police superintendent says the video played a major role in the arrest. the arrests didn't come as a surprise to marksville resident patrick. in january he won a lawsuit against derrick stafford for false arrest when trying to get his dog to the vet during a july 4th parade in 2012. the city is now appealing the decision. >> when i said i knew he had some play in it one way or another. >> reporter: why is that? >> it's just the city of marksville how they are. they're going to cover for each other. >> reporter: this small town now the target of new allegations of corruption. something even the mayor acknowledges. is this city corrupt? >> depends the way you look at it. i think to an extent it is. and there are some things that need to be taken care of. and there's some things that need to be looked at very seriously. >> reporter: how do you address that as the mayor? even the mayor of this city is saying there's potential corruption in this city. i plan on meeting with the colonel from the state troopers
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and to get and sit with us with the police department and see if we can iron things out. >> reporter: just shocking, jake, when you consider how casual the mayor was talking about corruption in this city. he went onto tell me that he was actually thrown in jail, arrested based on false accusations from derrick stafford, who of course is one of those officers charged with the murder of the 6-year-old, stafford has been an issue and problem here in this police department, and he's been trying for quite some time to try to get him kicked off the force without any luck. jake. >> nick valencia with a bizarre and tragic story. thanks so much. the sports lead now, it's being called the residue leftover from the old soviet union, a doping scandal that could keep russia off the track and at the next olympics. the world antidoping agency today recommending that russia be banned from international competitions because of widespread doping. an investigation uncovered a deeply rooted culture of cheating at all levels within russian athletics including corruption and bribery.
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report even accused russian intelligence, the fsb, of being involved. the olympics governing body is now considering sanctions against russia in advance of the next olympic games scheduled for summer 2016 in brazil. you used to go to sea world for one reason, to see sha moo and watch him do all kinds of tricks. but after some of the killer whales killed sea world trainers and after the cnn documentary "black fish," exposed how brutally parks treat these animals in captivity, today the company says it is now doing away with its main attraction. sea world's ceo promising a new orca experience, one focused on a strong conservation message, he says. but it's only at this one park. the other ten sea world locations in the united states will keep running the show. the animal advocacy group peta says the move will do little to improve life for the whales. in our pop culture lead, chemistry teacher turned drug lord to a blacklisted hollywood
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writer, brian cranston receiving reviews for his latest portrayal. the actor joins me next. when your cold makes you wish... could stay... bed all day... need the power of... new theraflu expressmax. new theraflu expressmax. the power to feel better. plan well and enjoy life... ♪ or, as we say at unitedhealthcare insurance company, go long. of course, how you plan is up to you. take healthcare. make sure you're covered for more than what just medicare pays... consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company... the only medicare supplement plans that carry the aarp name, and the ones that millions of people trust year after year. it's about having the coverage you need... plan well. enjoy life. go long. i started with pills. and now i take a long-acting insulin at night.
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welcome back now. the pop culture leads. he won two academy awards while blacklisted from hollywood working under pseudonyms. one of the hollywood ten, a screen writer and member of the communist party in the 1940s at the time the u.s. and soviet union were allies. but after world war ii fear of communist influence in the united states became a popular cause. the screen writer was eventually found in contempt of congress. he was thrown in jail and blacklisted. now his stories in a film hitting theaters this month. >> what are you up to these days?
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>> i'll have another one of these and i just may tell you. >> oh, and i'm buying. usual. same again. oh, come on. i hear the rumors. show me you're still in the game fighting in the good fight. rub my face in it. whisper a movie you've written in secret. maybe i've even heard of it. >> maybe you have. >> joining me now is the star of the film, the man who plays trombo and for "breaking bad" fans, he is the one who knocks. brian cranston, thank you so much for joining us. >> nice to be here, jake. thank you. >> this film telling the story of a dark period not only in our nation's history but hollywood's history. people were punished for their beliefs, their thoughts. the studio heads in the film are depicted i think accurately as cravenly as caving to smear artists. i'm kind of surprised that
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hollywood made the film, although it was done independently. >> it was an independent film. i think studio hollywood would have endorsed a film coming out of the studio system. if it were a commercial piece. but you have your lead american communist party.he - there's no sex, there's no action, so it's not a real heavily commercial thing. but it's an important film. and we handled this very sincere serious issue with humor and entertainment. so it's fun to watch. you learn some things. and hopefully coming away from it you leave with the sense that, you know, you are more learned about this period, about the blacklist. and hopefully you'll look up some more information about it and read up more about this period. >> when you play a real person,
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either trombeaux or your current project in which you're playing president lyndon johnson all the way, how do you figure out what impression, what's inhabiting a character, what's mimicry? how do you figure out what to do? >> you rely a lot on yourin sting -- instincts. whether it's for lyndon johnson or whoever somebody you want to accurately portray and owe that to society and those who remember him well, i don't always know exactly what i'm looking for. so i have to just be an open vessel and take in as much information as i possibly can. and you distill it down to a usable sense. every piece of theaterical whether it's a play or television show or movie, takes
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th thee at tri kal license. they have to otherwise far too long, too much material to handle it accurately. so what we try to do is to get to the core of the story. and even though dalton trombo was at the vanguard of trying to make the blacklist collapse, there were other many members of that hollywood community who contributed mightily to that cause. and dalton was one of them. >> speaking of taking license, you've said in an interview with another organization, i think "the huffington post" maybe, that you think donald trump's candidacy is great. explain what you mean. >> i think i said that i was excited that he was in the running because i think he's refreshing. i think there's -- the american
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people -- i know i do. i don't want to see a candidate who's measured and controlled and governed to the last word about exactly what to say and whatnot to say and handled. and you can't handle donald trump. he is his own person. and that part of him is very refreshing. there's most of his politics i don't agree with, but i think again that illustrates the point of our film trombo is that we are not to be afraid of a different opinion but to actually embrace someone else's different opinion. and that's how our country started. the debates were long and hard and arduous. but essentially what the sides are trying to get to is build on the foundation of our first amendment, which was the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, the freedom to practice whatever religion you choose. and that's really the
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cornerstone of this story and many other stories that have to do with the lessening of the first amendment or the oppression of it. and whenever that happens in any society i think the citizenry needs to stand up. >> amen to that. the film is trumbo. it's a fantastic film. bryan cranston, thank you so much for joining us. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning you over to "the situation room." happening now, terror hunt. u.s. officials are 99.9% certain that a bomb brought down that russian airliner over sinai. the search is now on for who planted the bomb, who built it and who ordered it. i'll speak with the british foreign secretary. security lapses as precautions are stepped up at middle east airports. are employees and contractors being properly vetted? does isis have insiders at other